Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:45 AM
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
As a child, when asked what my favorite number was, I would say, "Four." Why four? I really don't know. I think my thought pattern went something like this.... I was born on April 13th--4/13. Thirteen can't possibly be anyone's lucky number, so I'd better opt for four. There it is, my favorite number, but as far as a lucky number, I've never had one. I think it's now time to have one.
According to Three Dog Night,
"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.
Two can be as bad as one
It's the loneliest number since the number one..."
..And, from what I understand from my childhood Saturday mornings, three is a magic number...
There are four seasons, so that's gotta be pretty important.
We, most of us, have five fingers and five toes on each hand and foot, and you give a "high five" when something goes really well. We also have five senses.
Can't think of anything for six, but to have a sixth sense about something is pretty special, so there you go. I thought six was a pretty great number for our family. Six kids was pretty danged blissful.
But now, SEVEN, let's look at seven...
Seven has been acclaimed as THE lucky number.
- God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it.
- There are seven days in a week.
- There were seven loaves multiplied in the miracle of the loaves and the fishes (and there was surplus).
- Oh yah, Pharoah had seven years of plenty and seven years of famine back in Moses' day.
- There are seven notes in a major scale.
- In the Harry Potter books, seven is said to be the most powerfully magic number.
- There are "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."
- There's a seventh inning stretch in baseball.
- I drink 7-Up when my tummy's upset and played "Heads Up Seven Up" when I was in elementary school. That was pretty fun.
- Snow White was lucky to find SEVEN dwarves in the forest.
The Hindus originally wrote seven as an upside down "J"--coincidentally the first letter of my name. Could this be symbolic? Seven, so far, has turned my life upside down.
In this analysis, lies the cryptic answer to my strangeness these past few months.
Here is a rerun of the miracle of seven:
Seven Wonders Of The Present World - Awesome video clips here
Yes, these wonders of our world are what I have to offer the seventh wonder of my world. This email was the first I received (just moments) after taking a pregnancy test, indicating that Z and I would be parents once again. The timing of this email was miraculous. It was a waking to my new reality. Becoming pregnant again was something I was sooo not anticipating. This is what I've been trying to come to grips with. This is what's been making me sick.
As of today, I am very excited to have another child. I will more than welcome him (I'm fairly certain this is another boy) or her (finally my Lachlan?) with open arms and heart, but I'm so not excited to be pregnant. It's much harder this time. I do not recommend pregnancy after 40. Pregnancy has always been a fairly easy walk in the park deal for me, but so far, it's proving different this time. I'm too old for this.
Because of the timing of so many aspects of this occurence, I can't help but believe that all things happen in the Lord's time. Coincidence? Accident? No way! Surprise? Of course. Gift? Miracle?You'd better believe it.
So, I'm going to try not to whine for the next six months.
Oh by the way, take a moment and review #4 of this list of unusual things, and you will see the significance when I tell you that
Yes, SEVEN is my new lucky number!
(I've decided not to mention the seven deadly sins, but they'd make some really great Halloween costumes in the future.)
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:42 AM
I found this today. Never did I realize that these little lists that I've created when I've been tagged may someday be used to define me. I love this list--#17 and #46 make me very sad. I have a hard enough time coming up with 5 facts about myself, but 50? No way!
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:36 AM
Friday, December 26, 2008
My childhood friend and neighbor Emilie Ast Lemmons, who has been suffering from cancer, died on Christmas Eve. I have been wanting to blog about it but haven't been sure how to. I have requested prayers on her behalf in the past, but now I'm requesting prayers on behalf of her husband Steve and two boys, Daniel and Ben.
Emilie was a writer by profession. We graduated from high school together. She attended Columbia University in New York. She was a soft-spoken, intelligent woman, who came from an uncomplicated, unpretentious, God-fearing Catholic family.
It has been a blessing in my life to become reacquainted with Emilie over this past year. We reconnected through facebook and then really got to know each other again through our blogs. If you get a chance, go to my sidebar and find Lemmondrops (her blog) and take a minute to read some of her entries.
Emilie visited her family in Portland--they still live in the house they did when I was a child--in October. By the end of the trip, she had an excrutiating pain in her hip and had to travel via wheelchair through the airport on her trip back to Minnesota.
To me, this was all very poignant. After my mother had seen all of her family, she too started to have intense pain in her hip and lost her ability to walk. I so hoped that these signs in Emilie, with her young family, weren't going to be the end for her. I also hoped she would make it through the holidays.
It is hard to understand why young children would have to lose a parent. My mom lost her mom when she was just about to turn six. My one comfort in this is that my mother was a uniquely strong person. She was sweetly strong. I hope this for these two boys.
As I have read of Emilie's journey through cancer up to death, I have been so impressed with her husband. I didn't realize until today, as I've read facts about her life on facebook, that she and Steve were only married for five years. The things she writes about him are so sweet. He loved her unconditionally.
I worry for Emilie's family here in Portland. Their road has not been an easy one. They are quiet people, strong and enduring. I hope in their situation they are able to get out to Minnesota. The funeral is on Monday.
I will miss reading Emilie's blog posts. I will miss getting to watch her boys grow up through her camera lens and hear about her fun dates with her husband. It is hard to believe that she is gone. I am grateful for the blogsphere that puts us back in touch with and connects us with others who we might never know but who can enrich our lives with their day to day comings and goings.
Please keep the Lemmons and Ast families in your prayers.
Posted by Julie Hess at 5:25 PM
I left my laptop at home for this trip to the beach. I did it on purpose, so I'd be forced to do other things. As the house is quiet right now, I decided that I'd get on Z's computer and do some blogging. The great thing about his computer is that he has photos that I don't have on mine, so I've decided to create a slideshow with some little glimpses of this past year for you. Enjoy!
Posted by Julie Hess at 3:55 PM
Z's mom decided that this year she was going to give gifts of service. She called me a few weeks ago asking what I thought Z would think about her ironing his dress shirts once a month. I told him that he would love it (so would I), so that's what she gave him. When I hung up, I wondered if she was planning on doing something similar for each family member and tried to figure out what she would do for me. I really couldn't think of anything.
On Christmas morning, I was handed a very small wrapped box with a raffia ribbon tied around it. Inside was a slip of paper that said that Z's mom would make an entire meal for our family one time every month for the year of 2009. Wow!!! For any of you that don't know, Z's mom is my favorite cook in the entire world! She never uses a recipe and ends up with amazing dishes that are TO DIE FOR. I couldn't be more excited.
You'd better believe I'll be posting about these fabulous meals. I can't wait!!!
Posted by Julie Hess at 3:47 PM
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
We have Christmas Eve and Christmas with Z's family every year. We have since we were engaged. We have a wonderful feast of a dinner, act out the nativity, and sing Christmas carols until we're hoarse. Usually we go up to their home in Banks (about 40 minute drive from our house), but this year, it was decided that we'd go to their home on the coast to celebrate. This was a great idea it turned out because the Banks home had at least four feet of snow to contend with.
Our original plans, this Christmas, were to leave for Lincoln City (on the Oregon coast) on the 23rd, but our world has been so snow covered, that we questioned getting there at all.
After much research, we decided, rather last minute on Christmas eve, that we'd brave the elements and head toward the beach. Yeah for a Suburban, chains and the weight of eight bodies. We experienced snow up through McMinnville. The only risky part of this venture, or so we thought, was going to be getting over the coast range. It ended up being no problem at all. Many of those roads had been closed during the days before because of downed trees. As we headed into the mountains all there was was rain. We were in great shape.
In the past few years, our ward has helped serve dinner at local hospitals on Christmas. Z invited his parents to join in on the fun last year. Z's mom was so enamored with this idea that she decided to bring it to the Lincoln City area.
The hospital here in Lincoln City is really small. One of the E.R. doctors used to be in the bishopric, so Z's mom had an in. She got it all organized.
When we arrived in town late in the afternoon of the 24th, I dropped Z and four of the six kids at the hospital to help. Even A, who is almost six, begged to go and help serve. I was so pleased with his decision.
Two of the boys and I left them, stopped at the grocery store and went to Z's parents house to unpack the car. We went back to get them at 7pm. They served 128 people and ran out of food. Everyone had a great time. Could become a new Hess family Christmas eve tradition, we'll see.
Posted by Julie Hess at 3:30 PM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
At this point, I'm so far from this goal that I don't even know where to begin. Here is my short list of possibilities:
- Be perfect in Visiting Teaching. I have never struggled with this like I do now. Not sure why. Wish I could resolve my own concerns about it, but not sure where to start. For 2009, I just want to get out and do it--hang ups or not.
- Be a better homemaker. I want to set goals each month to learn a new skill and work on it throughout the month until I get really good at it.
- Have more fun with my kids. Maybe reinstitute date nights with them. Not sure yet on this one. Any ideas would be appreciated.
- Read my scriptures daily. I've been doing good with this one, but I need to continue even if it's just one little verse every day.
- Say more meaningful prayers. I loved Elder Bednar's talk at this last Conference on this topic, and I want to do all that he said to do.
- Finish four more classes this year, so I can graduate next year.
- Become more fiscally sound--create a larger emergency fund.
- Muck out the house completely and keep it tidy--declutter. I think I will assign an area a month, and give myself some breathing room.
- I'm going to watch what I eat, limit my portions, and exercise at least five days a week. I need to get back into walking the kids up to school.
- Be a better housekeeper. I hate this one. Here's the reason. When I clean my house, I expect it to stay clean at least for a little while. I want to be able to leave a room and come back and at least find some semblance of my hard work when I return. If I don't find this, I become a bit irate. I basically throw what might be termed an adult temper tantrum. At forty years old, I think I'm ready to outgrow this, but I feel very disrespected when my house gets turned upside down without any effort on my part. To resolve this problem, I have chosen to ease up. My house is less than perfect, but it is liveable. I've even had people say they've never seen it messy (I don't think these people come over very often). My kids are very helpful and know how to work around the house, but none of us are all that great on picking up after ourselves on a regular basis. In short, I have chosen peace over perfection. Am I copping out? Should I be making a firmer stand with a more iron-ish fist? I think I just may be expecting too much.
So, overwhelmed yet? I definitely am. We have many home projects that need to be done--walls to paint, a retaining wall to put up, a dryer that still needs to be re-ducted (was supposed to be done yesterday, but the snow prevailed), and a ladder that needs to be created--we are WAYYYY overdue on this. The bids people are giving us are just way too high for our budget, and we now need to build it ourselves; good luck getting Z around long enough to do it. We will also be buying a new (well, not "new," just different) car in 2009. *heavy sigh* What do you think of this fine model? It just SCREAMS "madhouse," don't you think?
I know I've got to decide on only one goal, which will require a lot of prayer, but I would love any opinions you might have. I know these are personal choices that I need to make, but input is always valued. Many of you have been there and done that, so you have experience I don't have. Bring it on.
Maybe it's a good thing I'm thinking about this before Christmas. There's a lot to think through and iron out before 2009 arrives.
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Posted by Julie Hess at 1:35 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I can't sleep this morning, so here I am. Nothing like a little therapeutic blogging to put one back to sleep. Only problem is, my little human alarm clock will be awake by the time I finish I'm sure. *Sigh*
But, did you miss me? I know I have blogging friends that when they don't blog I miss them terribly. I'm sorry to be so sporadic, but I'm going to make that all change.
The other evening, we were with my sister-in-law and nephew. About something we had just done, my nephew said, "I have never laughed so hard in my life." Q said, "Well, you should come eat dinner at our house more often. I laugh that hard every night just sitting at the dinner table with my family." I LOVED that! We are truly a madhouse, and I would have it no other way.
I was also raised in that kind of home where laughter was the norm. We used to try to beat each other to the punch. When my dad said something, all us kids'd try to be the one with the funniest retort. It was just our way of communicating and showing love to each other. It's how I feel that others love me now. I love people who laugh easily--I feel a connection with them. I fear people who don't smile. I wonder when life turned sour for them.
I remember a few times when things got heavy in our home and my dad would lose his humor. Those were sad times. I have to admit, I follow that trend as well. These past few months have been a fairly humorless time in my life. I regret that I'm not laughing away my worries and am really trying to find a way to do so.
I once worked at girls' camp with a well-respected woman in our stake. One day she said something along the lines that people who laugh too much aren't right in the head. A number of years back, I heard a rumor spread that a friend of mine was crazy--not sure why this was concluded about her, and I defended her. I'm fairly certain that the same thing was said about me; the rumor spreader might not be all wrong if too much laughter is the criteria. Those who honestly consider us crazy just don't understand.
Honestly, I enjoy life. I feel that things happen for a purpose and there's a greater force in control here. Yah, hard things happen; bad things happen, and sometimes I get caught up in trying to adapt, but when it all comes down to it, let's put this all into perspective--I'm not out here on my own, fending for myself with nothing to guide me. I should be able to laugh at life, and I should laugh a lot and laugh hard.
So, here's the catch 22. They say laughter is the "best medicine," but on the other hand, if I'm a person who laughs easily, I'm crazy? Okay, so which is it? I'd much rather go through life facing my difficulties with laughter than with a stiff upper lip as I "take my medicine."
No doubt these are hard times. There are so many things to get caught up in and worried about. Many of these things that we face are not a joking matter it's true, but aren't there good things in life as well? Aren't there things that we should be truly joyful about? I just can't help but think that God is aware of the evil and bad situations around us, but is that what He wants us to focus on? If we are truly reliant on Him, shouldn't we be able to come to understand and learn from those things, make the best possible choices in how we respond to them, and then put Him in charge and seek for the joy that is here for us?
I look at my children, and I worry about what the future holds for them and their children. Who doesn't? But, do I want them to live lives of worry and sorrow? No WAY, so I'm giving them a little of my "insanity"--a little madness--so they can learn to live happily in hard times. Are you doing this too? Is there a method to your madness?
I know that our Father in Heaven has a sense of humor. I've experienced it. I believe He's blessed my life with it, and I'm grateful for it. Now, I just need to find it again.
Well, the two-year-old continues to sleep--oh blessed day! So, thank you for letting me spill a few more of my guts here. I'm back off to sleep now. I leave for you...
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:13 AM
Friday, December 12, 2008
For those of you who are interested, Courtney Jones was on KOIN-6 yesterday. I just found that it can be seen online--push the arrow to the right until you get to the picture of her. Here's a link to her website too.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:09 AM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
As many of you know, I am not married to a little man. I mean he can be picked out of any good crowd on a bad day. For those of you who don't know, my husband is a school administrator.
Here's the situation...
Yesterday, I get a call from the hubby asking me to bring him a new shirt. Strange request. No? Says he's been spat upon and needs a change. I'm thinking, "What?!"
He gets home last night and shows me his shin. It's got a huge bump and bruise and tells of the situation. I cannot share all of the details, but a kid went ballistic and a number of the school staff were present to take care of the situation. None of them got away unscathed.
Today, hubby gets the news that the parents might sue for abuse. What?! If anything, knowing my husband, the gentle giant, he should be suing this kid for the abuse he took.
The school district is now using a new computer software that checks students' compositions and essays for plagiarism. Sounds like an amazing program.
At another school in the district, a student's paper was checked and found to have 65% of its contents stolen from other works. Mother comes in with her son to meet with the principal, to discuss this issue, and sides with her son when he says it was all his own words. COME ON!
All I have to say is WHAT IS UP WITH PARENTS THESE DAYS?! Yah, what's up with the kids, but are we, as parents, so blind to our sweet little children that we can't see when they're pulling the wool over our eyes? For heaven's sake, people!
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:00 PM
This is the daughter of our good friends. I love this song, and I love this album. I know it's on itunes if you're interested in what you hear. Enjoy!
Posted by Julie Hess at 3:23 PM
I went ahead and re-signed up for facebook. So much easier to log back on than to get off the thing. Anyway, find me there. I had so many of my blogging friends signing on and received a few invitations that I couldn't stay away. Let's hope for the best this time.
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:38 AM
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I'm suffering with the lack of my usual blog music. Christmas music is great, but I'm, quite honestly, getting sick of hearing the same songs over and over again. Do I sound like Ebeneezer Scrooge here? I'm thinking the old music is coming back tomorrow, so if you don't like it, just push the pause button on the player.
On second thought, nope, not tomorrow....
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:25 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
In keeping with Vaxhacker's comment on my earlier post, I decided to hunt down some good meme's to share. This is one I found on a site called "Patrick's Place."
"Today is Pearl Harbor Day. December 7th is one of those dates that Americans were told would live in infamy by President Roosevelt. But it doesn’t take an act of war or anything necessarily bad to make a date stick out in your mind.
"Maybe you’ll never think of November 22nd without thinking of the Kennedy Assassination. But maybe you’ll never look at the date of your wedding without thinking what a joyful day that was. It can be something good or bad.
"This week’s question asks you to choose up to seven dates (including years or not) that stand out to you for whatever reason. (And please give the reason if you’re willing.)"
Okay, so funny thing is those dates mean nothing to me because I wasn't alive when either of those things happened. Sad, but true. Here are my seven dates.
April 13, 1968 - The day I was born. Do I remember it? No, not really, but I celebrate its anniversary every year. There was a long stretch of time when daily I'd look at the clock exactly at 4:13. That was weird. Actually, night before last I woke with my stomach hurting and glanced over at my clock (one of the only ones in the house that isn't set ten minutes fast) and it said, "4:13." Do you hear the Twilight Zone theme playing? By the way, yes, it is the thirteenth, but rest assured I was born on a Saturday (the day before Easter, actually). One of the Friday the 13th movies came out on my 16th birthday. Friday the 13ths have been my best birthdays--it's true.
May 1, 1976 - The day I was baptized. Z always wonders why I remember this date. I really don't know why it has left an indelible mark. We went to the Forest Grove building, as I recall, for my baptism. The closest font at the time, I think. I think the Hillsboro Stake Center was under construction at the time. I remember driving home and feeling the importance of what had just happened. I knew I never wanted to do a bad thing again in my life. I was confirmed the next day in our ward building (on West Union Road). I remember a boy who lived in the ward at the time sitting in the front row of the chapel that day and making faces at me the entire time of the blessing. Ugh! He ruined the whole thing for me. I wasn't smart enough to just close my eyes. So, I have no idea what my dad said in the blessing. Very sad.
April 7, 1989 - The day I went to the temple for my endowments. My younger brother had been called to serve a mission in Hartford, CT and I had been called to serve in Sendai, Japan. I entered the MTC on his coattails--just missed him. Huge bummer. He's a BLAST! Anyway, since we were leaving so close to each other's time, we got our endowments the same day. We drove to Seattle to do so. The Portalnd Temple was under construction and had its open house and dedication right after I left for the MTC. It was a very small session--just us, our parents and another couple, as I recall. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed when I walked out of the temple that day, but my brother was feeling the same way, and knew just how to verbalize it, so it was great being with him.
March 21, 1992 - The day Z and I got married. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a bit of a wind kicking up now and then. Man, I was so in love with him! I dated a lot in my teenage years and early twenties. My mom used to say she couldn't wait for the day when I came home exclaiming, "I'm in love!" I promised her that was never going to happen. Heck if it didn't. My parentes loved and still do love Z. My mom once told me that if I didn't marry him I would never get married because he was so perfect for me. It's true. He puts up with a whole lot of garbage but is so patient and loving. The best thing is he laughs with me and makes me laugh. How did he ever decide that he should marry me? I have wondered that often, but I'm grateful that he did.
November 11, 1993 - The day my first child was born. I will use this date to represent all the others--Oct. 4th, Sept. 4th, Dec. 28th, Jan. 3rd, and Oct. 10th. I had been told the day before that I would be induced as soon as possible because of preeclampsia--pregnancy induced hypertension. We went in bright and early and had to wait. It was Veteran's Day and the maternity ward was full. When they finally took us in, the woman in the room next to ours was screaming like a banshee. I turned to the nurse and asked, "Do I have to do that?" She said that some people are just more loud than others. I promised her that I would NOT be doing that, adn I didn't. It's funny how opinionated I was about this--no meds, I wanted to be in control of everything I could be. Q was born at 2:22 on 11/11. This has always been easy to remember.
March 17, 1999 - The day my mom passed away. I had to speak at the baptism for a sister-in-law that night. We knew for days that she was going to go soon, but that morning we knew it was imminent. I sat on her bedside that day and stayed there. I'd been in the house for five days, but this day I couldn't leave her. I didn't want her to be alone. I got a phone call from Z's mom asking if I was going to give the talk that night, or if I wanted her to prepare for one. I knew that was where my mom'd want me to be, so I told her, "No, I'll be there." I, in my head, said, "Mom, if you want me to be here when you go, you'll need to leave by 5:00." I went through the things on her desk--genealogy books, etc. trying to get a grasp for what had been most important to her in those last few months. I started to teach my sister how to administer her meds, but my sister got a phone call and stepped into the next room to take it. A few minutes later, my mom took a deep, awful, drowning, sounding breath. I turned and looked at her, knowing, but not wanting to know what was happening. She exhaled and did it again. My heart hurt. I ran to her side, but I knew there was nothing I could do. I ran toward the door calling my dad. I remember yelling, "Dad, Mom's gone." He walked in, laid her down, and as he covered her with the bedspread, said, "I'm going to miss your sweet smile." He followed this with words I'll never forget, "Time of death...five o'clock p.m." Someone had heard me and knew she wanted me to be there.
December 8, 2008 - Tomorrow. Who knows what tomorrow holds? But. as my mother by marriage would say it's gonna be "my best day ever."
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:19 PM
Here are the upcoming events at our house:
Tomorrow night, we get to do FHE with some dear friends to get ready for a Christmas nativity thing the kids'll do together.
G's got basketball practice on Monday and Wednesday nights. They had their first tournament this past Saturday and won all four of their games! Should be a good season. They changed the Monday night practices to 8pm. At first I thought this was a bit late, but I realized later that this is perfect for our Family Home Evening schedule. Yeah!
Yes, we're still without a dryer. I've been washing all the laundry, which is super fast, and then running the wet stuff to the laundromat to dry. We need to rerun our dryer ductwork in order to get our dryer a permanent fix, so it might not be until Christmas break for Z to have the time to do this. It'd be nice to know someone who actually knows what they're doing in this kind of a case, but we can't think of who would, so we'll see what happens. So, tomorrow I'll be washing all the clothes and Z will run them to the mat during G's practice. Oh I know, fun! Fun! Fun! You're all just a bit jealous of my seemingly idyllic life.
B's Cub Scouts and DJ's Activity Days are on Tuesday as are G's swimming lessons and Enrichment for me. I've loved watching G swim. I love, first of all, getting out of the house, but it's been fun to watch him graduate level by level. He started out at level C. He was nervous about this, thinking he'd be the oldest kid in a little kid class, but the first week he passed all the C requirements and moved to D and the next lesson he fulfilled all of those and is now in E. Our goal is to get him up to level G so he can do fun swimming stuff with his friends during the summer. He is in a class with one other boy who is seven, but G really likes him and is so good with kids younger than he is, that it's still a fun experience for him.
Wednesday I have a doctor's appointment and that evening is Sub for Santa with the youth. Q has invited her friend from school. Not sure if this is such a good idea. He is a boy, and just knowing how the youth have reacted in the past when girls have brought guys and guys have brought girls to mutual--there is a judgmental thing that goes on and they're automatically considered a "couple." Q knows there is no dating until 16, and she's seen others make mistakes that she knows she doesn't want to make. Am I handling this wrong? Should she not be allowed to invite this boy? I guess since I had so many guy friends at her age, I see things as very harmless. Am I being naive?
Thursday'll be grocery shopping day. Yeah for coupons!
Q's going to watch the kids for me on Thursday afternoon as soon as she gets home, so I can run to the temple. Ahh. I can't wait.
Friday is the day I'm looking forward to the most. Through blogging, I've come back in contact with a young woman who was one of my Beehives way back when Z and I were just starting out. She's a photographer and has offered to take our family portraits. So, we're picking Z up from work on Friday afternoon and heading straight down to Salem to see her (I think it's been thirteen years). I'm just so excited to see her! Now I've got to see what we all have to wear for photos--white shirts and jeans is where I'm leaning. It's been awhile since we've done photos like those. She mentioned black shirts also looked good, but I don't think all of my kids have black shirts. Any other opinions?
Just a silly side note:
At Z's school, there is a large flock of geese that hang out on the fields. One of them aimed just right for the passenger side window on Z's car. Today, as we drove to church, there it was, out my window. Ugh! It's green! I started calling it "poose goop," as I frequently mix first letters in words. It seemed to fit, but maybe it should be known as "peuce goop."
I promise that I'm going to get back into my Constitution series. It'll happen this week. Have a great one! We'll see if I can get a little more bloggy in my thinking and post a bit more than this past week.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:26 PM
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I know I need to get back into this blogging thing. It's only been a few days, and I know that a lot of people only blog every couple days, but I love blogging daily. For now, I don't have anything urgent that I want to post about. So, I come to you...
What do you want me to write about? Is that kind of funny to ask? Ask me some questions, and I'll do my best to answer them. Maybe it will get me out of this non-interesting phase.
Oh, Merrianne, I got your Christmas card!!! I was so excited! Beautiful pic of your family. Thanks for sending it to me. I felt so special to be counted as one of your friends!
Posted by Julie Hess at 5:13 PM
Friday, December 5, 2008
A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog--the I believe I have listed in my list to the right--and there was a recipe for macaroni and cheese. It was actually a link to another website. I thought I had saved the link, but I can't find it now. I wanted to make it tonight. Can anyone help me here.
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:19 PM
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:01 PM
Okay, so I'm in a rare mood today. I'm a bit grumpy. Feeling a bit rebellious. Just kind of in a bad mood. Someday I will explain more about why, but now, Z, always knowing just what to bring me out of these kinds of moods, sends me something worth laughing about...
When you have an 'I Hate My Job day'
[Even if you're retired, you sometimes have those days]
Try this out:
On your way home from work, stop at your pharmacy and go to the thermometer section and purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson &Johnson
Be very sure you get this brand. When you get home, lock your doors, draw the curtains and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed.
Change into very comfortable clothing and sit in your favorite chair. Open the package and remove the thermometer. Now, carefully place it on a table or a surface so that it will not become chipped or broken.
Now the fun part begins.
Take out the literature from the box and read it carefully. You will notice that in small print there is a statement:
'Every Rectal Thermometer made by Johnson &Johnson is personally tested and then sanitized. ' Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times,'I am so glad I do not work in the thermometer quality control department at Johnson &Johnson.'
HAVE A NICE DAY; AND REMEMBER, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSE WITH A JOB THAT IS MORE OF A PAIN IN THE BUTT THAN YOURS!
.........Remember, if you haven't got a smile on your face and laughter in your heart...Then maybe you should go and work for Johnson &Johnson!!!!!
Suddenly, I LOVE my job!!! Have a great day!
Posted by Julie Hess at 4:58 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
My sister sent this to me this morning. Wow! This is from an address at BYU in 1978. Is he talking about today or what?! Listen and be in awe of these prophecies. Then stand firm and immovable.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:41 AM
Sunday, November 30, 2008
We've gotten to a point where the nightly cooking duties are divided. We've been doing this for about the last month, and it's been heavenly. Z cooks on Sunday, I cook on Monday, Q has Tuesday, DJ Wednesday, G does Thursday, B (who begged to be added to the rotation) has Fridays. A is also begging (as of tonight) for a night, so he might just be added in for Saturday. It's amazing to only have this one night a week. I LOVE it.
G, a few months ago, told us that he didn't like to cook. He only felt this because his sisters on either side of him really like to bake--cookies, cakes, brownies, whatever is sweet and gooey and yummy--nice to have girls after my own heart.
We are trying to help him overcome his feelings of not being a cook. So, tonight G and I sat down to find a recipe for Thursday evening. Here's what we came up with. I share it here because it looked so yummy and easy--well, relatively so. The tricky part is going to be the pizza crust. I may just buy ready-made dough, or have it made up in my bread machine before he gets home at 4pm.
Let me know if you try it and how you like it.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:24 PM
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:52 PM
Any chance I can get at sharing something uplifting, I will. Thank you, Trudy, for sending this to me. I'm assuming that since this is being circulated via email, that I am okay to post it here. I have chosen to withhold the last name of the writer to protect her anononymity.
As I have stated before, I don't believe in coincidence, but I do strongly believe in miracles. I hope this story reiterates the fact that God is aware of all that goes on and watches out for each of us. We are all His children.
I have been to the Los Angeles Temple twice. Once when I was a college student when my older brother got married there, and right before I entered the MTC and was visiting that same brother. It is an amazing place. Right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles--on West Santa Monica Boulevard--stands this quiet, peaceful haven on a hill above all the craziness around it. I guess, having experienced time here, the email I received today meant even more to me. Thought I'd share it here.
"Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008, 6:16 PM
"My dear family, brothers and sisters, friends and leaders:
"My heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His tender mercies and mighty miracles in our behalf. I just have to share this with you. As most of you know, I am a Temple ordinance worker and work the morning shift in the LA Temple every Saturday. Today, I had the privilege of translating sister Martz-the new assistant Matron's-message during our devotional. She started like this 'The prophet Joseph Smith said that no unhallowed hand would be able to stop this Work from progressing. These past few weeks when mobs have combined and armies have gathered against the saints, the Lord has protected His house'. She went on to say that those, like her, who were inside the Temple when mobs were surrounding it, did not realize how scary and terrifying this looked on TV to the rest of us, because inside the House of the Lord all was calm and there was peace abundant. After Proposition 8 passed, the Temple began receiving threatening calls and mail from those opposing it. They were warned that more than 5000 people would come to the Temple and burn it to the ground, and stop Its work.
"The first Thursday when the mob came, the new LA Temple President called the Salt Lake City Temple Offices for instructions. He was instructed to call the local police and to insure the safety of those attending the Temple by closing the gates. The assistant Matron said today, that it was a tender mercy from the Lord that the mob chose that Thursday to come since they had only one person coming to receive his own endowment that day, which he received in time to leavebefore trouble started. The LAPD and the FBI responded quickly to the Temple Presidency's summons and patroled the grounds and kept the mob from entering the same. Most of them had never been there before and expressed their surprise at how beautiful and peaceful all around was. They were invited to come back during the Christmas season to see the lights and they promised they would.
"On Thursday, November 13th, sister Campbell, a secretary in the Temple, was opening the mail and upon opening a large manila envelope found inside a smaller one. When she opened this one, a white powder flew all around her desk. She thought this could be related to the demonstrators and feared the worst-ANTRAX. She contacted the President, who in turn called the Salt Lake City Temple office again for instructions. The FBI, the LAPD, and even the SWAT teams were once again in the grounds to investigate, and the Temple once again had to close from around 11:30 AM to 5PM. They closed the gates and were instructed to keep all the people there wherever they were found at the time. Those in the parking lot had to remain in the parking lot. Those entering the Temple had to remain in the first floor and those already upstairs were taken to the Celestial Room.
"Then, the miracles began to happen: A brother serving as a recorder that day is a Microbiologist by profession and used to deal with hazardous substances every day. He was the first to say the white powder in the envelope was only talc, and put every one at ease. Then the sister coordinator upstairs was impressed to call upstairs to the sealing area, and said 'They said we can't go down but no one said we can't go up, and I have many people in the Celestial room with their ceremonial clothes on ready to work. Could they do some sealings?' As it happened, there were four sealers present that day and they ran four sealing sessions non stop while the Temple was closed. Downstairs, someone else thought to invite those in the Lobby to do some initiatories, which they promptly did for all those hours too, brothers and sisters alike.
"Among those waiting in the parking lot there was a large group of young men and women with their leaders who had come to do Baptisms for the dead, and who waited patiently all those hours and decided when the Temple was reopened to go ahead and fulfill their assignment instead of driving back home. The Temple reopened in time for the 5:30 PM session. The next day when recording the ordinances, they discovered that they had performed 2000 sacred ordinances on Thursday, only one less than the day before when three stakes had been visiting the Temple. Once again the assistant matron reminded us of the words of the prophet Joseph Smith, 'No unhallowed hand can stop the Work from progressing...'.
"But, this is not all, a prophecy was fulfilled also. When the new LA Temple President was set apart by President Uchdorft of the First Presidency, he received a blessing and these words were pronounced: " The time has come for the LA Temple to come out of obscurity and become an Ensign for Righteousness to the world under your Presidency." The pictures of the Temple have been shown on TV, newspapers and the internet, not only in this country but worldwide. People of other faiths have called and sent letters to the Temple thanking the Church for defending marriage and protecting the family, and commenting how impressed they are by how beautiful and majestic the Temple looks . One minister of an African American church, who by his own admission had harbored ill feelings against the mormons before said ' I am impressed by your integrity and Christ like behavior, and even if I am not ready to consider you my brothers and sisters in Christ, we can be first cousins'
"I asked the assistant matron if I could share her comments and she said to go ahead. I can only add my own testimony that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the power and authority of God on earth. God Lives and Jesus, His only Begotten Son and our Savior is coming soon to redeem His people. I am grateful to know this and I pray we stand firm, steadfast and immobile while the prophecies of the signs before His Coming are fulfilled. 'Be not afraid, only believe' He has said, and also ' What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.' I testify that this is true and testify it in the Holy Name of Whom I strive to serve, even Jesus Christ. Be faithful and safe is my humble prayer.
"Your sister in Christ, P. H. A."
Posted by Julie Hess at 12:30 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Do you ever just sit and realize how many reasons you have to be happy?
Yes, I've been sick lately. I'm usually a pretty healthy person, and I don't enjoy being sick--who does? But, although I felt yucky all day yesterday and woke up this morning feeling it too, I made myself move today. I gave myself something to look forward to before I went to bed last night and made myself do it. Even though it was grocery shopping. By mid-afternoon, I was feeling much better, and I'm grateful for that.
Tonight I'm just happy. I get the feeling that life could not be better. I am blessed daily, so much so, that I feel ashamed that I overlook these blessings more often than I should. I never should. I hope that by mentioning them here, I am not misunderstood. I hope that it comes clear that I am grateful to God. I know from whom these blessings come. I know that He loves me. I know that He wants me to be happy, and I know that he wants me to succeed. I have my trials, but I know He is aware of those too, and He knows what will cause me to grow and improve. I hope I'm handling them as He would have me handle them.
I was driving in the car with the little boys earlier today. I told them that I loved them. I often sing a silly song of my own creation to express this to them. A echoed back my song with his own words. He then added something about how he shouldn't love himself. I stopped him and said, "Oh, no, you have to love yourself. If you love anybody, you must love yourself." I expalined a little of why that was important, and he decided that he really did love himself. I spent too many years of my life not loving myself and feel that it's held me back for years. I hope my children will always love themselves--not in a vain, conceited way, but in a healthy, taking care of themselves way.
Q got home early today. She showed up at 11:30, right as I as arriving home from the grocery store and was just about to walk A to the bus stop. What a treat this was to have her home!
After we walked in from the wait for the bus, I got T down for his nap, and we started in with the Thanksgiving preparations. Q makes amazing fudge. I have NEVER been successful in this (mine always turns out to be ice cream topping), so it's a source of great pride for her. She succeeded again today. We then made the salad, the pies, the cheesecake (which looks soooo yummy)--it has chocolate and caramel ice cream toppings on the top along with mini chocolate chips and pecans. I was surprised it turned out. I used neufchatel and thought this would affect the outcome, but it looks wonderful! Can't wait to have a sliver of it tomorrow.
Anyway, we spent all afternoon in the kitchen. I turned the movie "Hairspray" on my laptop and it played in the background while we baked our little hearts out. So, everything but the rolls are ready. They are still raising even though they're probably ready to go. I guess I'd better get on it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:11 PM
Wow! Not that grocery shopping was ever fun before, but my thanks goes out to Rebecca and all the people online that share great deals!
Oh, I decided that I'd go to WinCo first this morning and check out their shelf prices, get my produce and use any coupons that I have on stuff that I need that isn't on sale elsewhere and then go to Albertson's and buy the deals I'm aware of--including the blessed cheese.
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:29 AM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
If you haven't noticed, I like change.
I wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving for my Christmas change over, but I just couldn't wait.
I seem to be having good days and bad days right now. Today's a bad day, so while I'm laying around, here's what you get.
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:09 AM
I was sent this by one of my great Young Women. She doesn't know this, but this is my favorite hymn, and I'm not sure why they deleted it from the latest hymnbook. I hope they'll put it back someday. Regardless, not to be morbid, but I want this sung at my funeral.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:21 AM
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I taught the YW lesson today to two Mia Maids--count 'em, two. The birthdays hit hard this month. The Laurel class is up to 19--where we were last year--and we're down to four.
I really enjoyed this lesson and think anyone can benefit from its message.
We emphasized the fact that we are here on earth to be with, learn from and benefit from our interactions with others. We need to have other people in our lives but everyone can work on making their relationships with others more meaningful. So, I post these things here for anyone who could benefit. I just felt that I gained a lot from studying to teach this lesson.
We spoke about three main ideas in building relationships with others.
- Reach out to others.
- Don't criticize or judge others.
- Pray to have more love.
The lesson talked about out gifts and talents and how these are given to help us perfect ourselves and build others. This is our challenge in life. If we don't reach out to others, how will we grow.
A couple of the things that we decided that keep us from reaching out are fear and shyness. The lesson stated that if we are shy, we need to look beyond ourselves and look for the needs of others first. We need to not be so self-conscious but be more conscious of others around us and what we can do to benefit their lives.
So, there's the challenge for this week:
Think of someone with whom you could improve your relationship and figure out what you can do to make that happen. I'd love to hear what you do.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:15 PM
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:29 PM
Friday, November 21, 2008
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:27 AM
You're not going to believe this.
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:09 AM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I just LOVE being tagged. It keeps me from having to think about what to blog about. Plant Buddy, one of my new blogging friends, tagged me with this one. Oh, BTW Plant Buddy, I'm going to learn something from you and your blog because my plants consider me to be Plant Enemy #1--if they had a most wanted, I'd be at the top of the list.
The tag says to post 8 Random Facts and/or Habits about myself and then choose 8 other people to tag.
After you put this link on your site, go and tag 8 other bloggers and have them link back to you.
There are benefits to this tagging game: You increase traffic to your site and meet new people.
This is my first tagging experience. . . So here goes:
1. I'd love to travel, but so far I have only been to Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona (just the very northern tip when my brother was showing us the polyg colony there--he's fascinated by that--kind of funny!), Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Texas (only the airport in Dallas/Fort Worth), and Japan and Mexico (only Tijuana--does that count?).
2. If I had a choice between a dozen roses and mixed wildflowers, I'll take the wildflowers any day. I think roses lack imagination. I used to work for a seed company and the gardeners would come in at certain times of the year with armfuls of beautiful flowers and put them on my desk. I LOVED it!
3. I've been through the Portland underground with the same brother who is fascinated by polygamists. He's always looking for adventure and sometimes drags me along. They say the Shanghai tunnels of Portland could be one of the most haunted places in Oregon. Oooh, and I've been there--be impressed. I lived to tell.
4. I love color! I'm not brave enough to get really bright in my house yet, but blues, yellows and greens are my favorites.
5. I really like liver and onions. It was a food we weren't allowed to eat as children. This ranked right up there with steak. My mom would make these things for the adults and the kids'd get frozen pizza or mac and cheese, so these became delicacies in my mind. You had to beg for a bite.
6. I've only ever received one ticket. That was for running a stop sign that was covered by an overgrown tree. Fair? Hmm. I don't know.
7. I used to teach English at a language school to help get my hubby and me through college. I taught college students from all over the world. It was a private school, so I didn't have to have a degree.
8. I love anything with nuts--cashews are the BEST! The rest of my fam doesn't love them, so I sacrifice for them. Sigh.
Funny how I can't think of a thing as I sit down to do this, but so far I've thought of enough that I don't have to delve into anything too embarrassing. I'm afraid those days are coming.
HERE'S MY LIST OF THE NEXT 8 BLOGGERS BEING TAGGED (I'm chosing eight people that I don't know very well yet that I'd like to know better):
Tink (I know I just tagged you, but it's so fun getting to know you!)
Trying to Stay Calm
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Take a minute to leave a comment telling them that you have tagged them. Be sure to leave me a comment too when you're done. HAVE FUN!!
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:47 AM
Thanks to Patti for this new idea.
1.Eggnog or Hot Chocolate: Both. Eggnog just makes me feel guilty because of the fat content, but I do endulge from time to time--love it!
2.Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree? wrapped.
3.Colored or white lights on tree and house? white tree, colored house if we get them up.
4.Do you hang mistletoe? Sometimes Z brings it home, but that's only happened once or twice.
5.When do you put your decorations up? Any time after Thanksgiving
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Stuffing
7.Favorite holiday memory as a child: When I was about eleven, my mom felt terrible that she hadn't gotten me a doll. I hadn't asked for one, but she felt strongly that I needed a new doll for Christmas. She took me up in the attic on Christmas afternoon, and we searched through my sister's old dolls (from back in the '50s), and she gave me one. It had great clothes too.
8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What about Santa? Just kidding, my brother told me. I was devastated.
9.Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes. We have a gift exchange with the in-laws. We pen those presents the night before.
10.How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Z puts the lights on and the kids decorate it. I always ended up decorating the tree alone as a child, so I don't love doing it now. I let them enjoy it.
11.Snow. Love it? or Dread it? Love, love, LOVE it!
12.Can you ice skate? If I get warmed up.
13.Do you remember your favorite gift? That's a toughie. I think it was back when I was about 9. I wanted a Barbie dreamhouse, but we couldn't afford it. My parents got me a Barbie Boutique instead. I LOVED it!
14.What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending lots of time with my family.
15.What is your favorite holiday dessert? pumpkin pie topped w/real whipped cream
16.What is your favorite holiday tradition? Spending the night at my in-laws
17.What tops your tree? A white angel
18.Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I'm a bit embarrassed to receive--never sure if I'm responding correctly. I love to give especially when I know it's just the right thing.
19.What is your favorite Christmas song? "The Sheherd's Carol" and Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven"
20.Candy Canes? Yuck or Yum? Yuck. Only in hot chocolate.
Here's a beautiful Christmas video for you. This is an LDS video that just happens to go perfectly with "Breath of Heaven." I showed this in YW last year for Christmas. Hope you enjoy it!
Now, consider yourself tagged. Let's see what your Christmas is like.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:03 AM
Found this on Danielle's blog. It looked like fun, so I thought I'd do it too. Plus, insomnia reigns tonight, so what better do I have to do? This insomnia thing is a total bummer as tomorrow night at this time I'll be watching "Twilight," so I could use all the sleep I can get. *Sigh*
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument
Try this out. It's actually really fun to see what you've done. It also makes you think about what you want to do--so just copy and paste, then bold the things on the list you have done.
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:32 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Happy birthday, Dad! I love you!!!
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:07 PM
A--Attached or Single: Attached
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:42 PM
Yesterday was the most amazing day! By the time Z got home, the house was fairly orderly (you should have seen it the days before), dinner was on the table, all the kids were helping with various chores around the house, and I was feeling good. You could tell by Z's whole demeanor that he was happy to be home.
It just so happened that the missionaries dropped by as we were starting Family Home Evening, and it was nice that they could walk in, and I could feel happy about what they were walking in to.
If only I could copy and paste yesterday.
I've been reading "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker," which I saw recommended by a couple other bloggers. It's been a good reawakening for me. I'm not even 1/3 of the way through the book, but I'm bound and determined to get my house in order. No matter who is against me--not this boy:
I've been tagged a few times, and I need to get to those. I also have an award that I started to blog about (yeah! Thanks!), but I haven't gotten to that yet either. It'll all happen just not yet. Let me get a grip on life first, and I'll be back in full force.
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:31 PM