Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ringing in the New Year

In past years, we've had movie marathons. One year we watched our series of old Little Rascal movies from about 4pm until 1am. We could have gone on longer, but by then we could hardly keep our eyes open. Another year we watched Mr. Bean in the same manner.

When it was changing from 1999 to 2000, I was up feeding and changing a brand new baby. That was a new year's celebration I'll never forget.

This year we're not doing anything fantastic to celebrate the ending of 2008 and beginning of 2009. We're going to play games, drink sparkling cider, eat my mom's amazing dip, and maybe watch a movie or two. It's just going to be us. Z wanted to invite others, but I'm not sure I'll make it to midnight or that I'll even try, so I squelched his great idea. You know, every party has a pooper...

The one thing we're going to try this year is to pass around a piece of paper for each family member that says, "What I want from ____ in 2009." We'll pass them to those who can write and see what we come up with. Of course, these listed things can't be physical items; they will be limited to actions or ideas. I'm hoping this will help me and the rest of the family come up with some resolutions. I might even add the element of a wish for each family member for the new year.

So, for today, the plan is to clean the house. I always want to start a new year out fresh. I'm hoping to get the garage completely finished, sheets changed, laundry done, garbage all out, and everything sparkling. Thank goodness I have so many helpers! The men in the house need haircuts, so I'll undertake that as well. We'll see how we do.

I'd love to know what your traditions are. What was your most memorable new year's celebration?
Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Lucky Number

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

child number seven is due on 7/7.

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.)


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!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Missing Emilie

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.

Making Up for Lost Time with Some Randomness

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!

My Favorite Christmas Gift

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!!!

Christmas Eve

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.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just a Little Thinking Ahead

Christmas isn't even here yet, and I'm thinking about my resolutions for the new year.

Okay, here it 2009, I want to be perfect.
How's that?
I want to learn to do it ALL and be ALL that I'm supposed to be.
With that kind of attitude, do you really think any one little goal is going to satisfy?
Hm. I didn't think so.
So, what's a girl to do?

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.


      Saturday, December 20, 2008

      Madness or Medicine?

      I noticed that the last time I posted was my 300th post. I think I deserved a bit of a break. Ooh, that darned entitlement thing. I really didn't deserve it, but the only things I truly want to blog about cannot be blogged about yet. I'm figuring give me to the end of this week, and I won't be able to stand it any more. Just a warning--a good gut spilling is on its way--that's what Z says I do here (he's just jealous that he doesn't have a place to do the same; don'cha think?).

      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...

      ...some medicine:

      Friday, December 12, 2008

      More on Courtney

      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.

      Thursday, December 11, 2008

      Just Gotta Vent

      Okay, help me understand this. I will be as vague here as I can be and will use no names in order to protect the innocent--and also because I don't know their names.

      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.

      Another story...
      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!

      I guess coming from an educator's wife and daughter-in-law's perspective, I've heard so many things about parents backing and protecting their children when it's so very evident from everyone else's perspective that the kid is wrong or has a problem that needs to be dealt with. We are doing our children no favors by siding with them or ignoring what we're being told. We are depriving them of some very important lessons. Man, I mean, wouldn't you rather have them learn it now from people who love them and want the best for them than when they're adults and have to be told the much more painful lesson from a police officer or a judge?

      I'm sorry, but when my kids are wrong, they're wrong. If a teacher comes to me and tells me one of my kids is having a problem, which has happened more than I'd like to admit, I listen and try to come up with a plan of action with that teacher. I want help from that person who spends a good part of his/her day with my kid and has studied these things and learned from the school of hard knocks in many cases. I know, having seen my husband in action and the time in the evenings when he worries about his students and loses sleep over them, that a teacher or administrator doesn't call us to pick on our kids and make our lives hard. I would think this is the hardest part of their job--to have to call parents and confront them about issues with their kids. Why can't we see this and why do we ignore them or debate with them? Ugh! I'm sorry this just frustrates me sooo much!

      We can say, "What is wrong with kids these days?" But, I'm afraid in many cases the answer is evident, "Their parents."

      Okay, so I'll step off my soapbox now.

      Courtney Jones Video

      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!

      Back On

      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.

      Tuesday, December 9, 2008

      I've Just Gotta Do It!

      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....

      Right now!

      Sunday, December 7, 2008

      Seven Important Dates

      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."

      The Coming Week

      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.

      Saturday, December 6, 2008

      Kind of Funny?

      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!

      Friday, December 5, 2008

      Can You Help Me?

      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.


      Wednesday, December 3, 2008

      Someday... *Sigh*

      We sat looking at our Christmas tree this evening. We have just a plain ol' tree. Nothing like you'd see at a department store or anything fancy like that, but every ornament has a story behind it, and you can tell that some proud kids decorated it. You can also tell that a two year old lives in our house by all the ornaments that were once on the tree but now decorate the floor.
      As we looked at the tree tonight, A and I, I started to comment on who made which ornaments. He asked, "Which ones did I make?" I realized that there weren't any that he had made. There were some that he'd been given, but nothing that he could look at and say, "I made that," so I told him the day school gets out for Christmas break, we'd make ornaments.
      I remember being invited over to my neighbor Laurie's house when I was little to make homemade ornaments. One year it was orange crickets made from clothespins and another year, it was styrofoam boys and girls that we cut out with cookie cutters and painted with red and green glitter. We were allowed to take home whatever we made and put them on our tree. Every year, I would remember making those ornaments and the good feelings of doing so. This is a tradition I'd like to start in my home.
      As I was hunting for ideas this evening, I came across this. I think it's beautiful and would love to make it, but it makes me laugh because as I look at this picture, all I can see are little bites out of each and every apple. This poor thing wouldn't last a day at my house. Would someone please make this, so I can enjoy it at your house?

      Someday, I'm going to have things like this. Just wait and see. For now, I'm going to have glittered styrofoam hanging from my tree, and I'm going to have kids who are proud to say "I made that" for the next fifteen years of their lives.
      I this this is a good trade-off.

      LOVIN' this!

      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.'

      .........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!

      Tuesday, December 2, 2008

      Stand Firm

      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.

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