What if I don't want to answer this one?
At this point in life (and winter vacation), I'm just trying to get through day to day. Here it is 10:45 at night, and I haven't even finished the laundry for today. I'm getting all the stuff ready for Sunday and making sure that all the teachers have their manuals and sharing time is prepared and class lists are prepared for the doors for new classes.
I don't even feel like talking about my goals and dreams right now.
I dream of having a truly clean house. There, how's that? I see things streamlined around here and organized and beautified. Part of my problem is that these dreams seem like a lifetime away. I don't do anything right now to see them come to pass, when really I could, but I just don't. I'm waiting for life to get easier. I shouldn't wait. I know that, so why do I? I do this in a lot of areas of my life.
It's that "someday I'll arrive" attitude. It's dangerous.
Someday I want to design and build my own home. Will it ever happen? I'm halfway through my life. I don't think it will, but I would sure love it if it did. How would I afford that with seven kids? Anything's possible, right?
My goal is to finish school, and I'm not that far away. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter. From there, a master's degree, but I'm not sure in what yet.
Honestly, this post is probably a little too honest. Sometime, when I have time to sit around and dream and plan, I'll let you know what I plan to dream.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
What if I don't want to answer this one?
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:45 PM
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I don't look at life this way very much. I don't think I'd want to change places with some mega-superstar. I think the fame and money would go to my head too quickly. I wouldn't want to change places with someone who has a great amount of power because I would mess that up entirely even if only for a day. I think it would be fascinating to be Kate Middleton for a day right about now, but nah. I'm pretty happy with my little life.
So, that all said, I have two possibilities for day changes--either of my two older daughters. I would love to have a "Freaky Friday" experience with either of them. Most especially Inmate #1. I think she's who I would pick. She has a great bedroom, lots of friends, and within reason, pretty much anything a teenage girl would need. I think she knows she's got it pretty good. She's got it together and is a good kid.
Let me tell you what would change if I were her for a day, though. First thing, that bedroom would be clean. She would learn to drive and take charge of the things she wants done instead of waiting for the parents to get it done for her. She would get all of her homework done that she has over the break, so she has the rest to play and do what she wants with it.
If she were me for a day, I think my talents would get developed a lot more than they do. I would take time for the fun things of life. I would take time to be more social.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:13 AM
Monday, December 27, 2010
WHAT?! You have GOT to be kidding! Whoever created this 30-day challenge must not have been very creative (sorry, whoever you are). Aren't you all about sick of seeing my face? So, for a little variety...
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:40 AM
Sunday, December 26, 2010
This will come as a shock to some of you, but I don't own an iPod. I don't even own an mp3 player, but here are the first ten songs my playlist comes up with this morning and why I chose them for my list:
- Burning Flame by Vitamin Z - when I was in high school, I had a brother who played in a "new wave" band. We were always discovering new and different music to listen to. This was one of those from my late teens.
- Kissing a Fool by George Michael - The Warden and I listened to "Listen Without Prejudice" in the car on our honeymoon. This is where I learned to appreciate George Michael's ballads.
- I Love You (Always Forever) by Donna Lewis - This is another one of those high school songs.
- When I'm Sixty-Four by the Beatles - This song makes me think of Inmate #2. At one point, he was learning to play it on the piano.
- The Promise by When in Rome - High school.
- Love Story by Taylor Swift - Who doesn't love this song? This one reminds me of Inmate #1.
- Numa Numa by Gary Brolsma (?) - Another Inmate #1 song. She came home singing it from EFY a few years ago.
- Our House by Madness - Fits, don't you think?
- And We Danced by the Hooters - When I was in high school, my dad had a good friend who owned a condo in Cannon Beach, Oregon (my favorite place on the Oregon coast). We went there at times. One particular time, my best friend went with us. This was part of the soundtrack for that weekend. Good times!
- The Riddle by Five for Fighting - Five for Fighting is probably my favorite right now. I love the piano and their lyrics.
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:47 AM
Saturday, December 25, 2010
|Christmas 2009 with the Warden's family|
|At the Hamm family reunion in Seaside, OR (end of July 2010)|
I can't tell you why I love the bottom photo so much. It just cracks me up how everyone is looking at someone at the end of the log except for Inmate #5 who is looking right at the camera. This is just so us!
There were multiple takes of each photo. You are clearly only given the best that we have to offer here. Scary, I know.
|At Punchbowl Falls (early August 2010)|
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:09 PM
Friday, December 24, 2010
I've been a bit sick the last few days, but I will not be stopped from having Christmas Eve at our house this year. Since before we were married, we've done Christmas Eve at the Warden's parents' house with his siblings and their families. In the past number of years, as their family situations have changed, the siblings have been come and go from this tradition, so we decided that maybe it was time to do things a little differently. This year, we're on our own. I'm excited about his prospect.
Tonight we will have a few friends over for food and fun and games. We'll, hopefully, sing carols around the piano. We're having the Warden's family food tradition--Chicken Tortilla Pie with layers of tortillas, chicken and cheese and a sauce of sour cream, diced chilies and cream of chicken soup. There are a few other things in it, and I'm happy to post a recipe if anyone is interested. This was my favorite recipe as a kid. It was the Warden's too. With my being sick, the Warden was the chef. I believe he has prepared four 9"x 13" pans of the stuff.
After dinner, we'll have the kids get in costume for the reading of the Nativity. This has also been a Hess family tradition. Funny, but I don't remember my family being particularly social when I was a kid--no big Christmas traditions. We got a new pair of pajamas each year; most of the time, my mom made them for us. That was pretty much our Christmas Eve celebration--new jammies and a picture of all the kids in them then off to bed early "so Santa can come."
We draw names a couple weeks before Christmas and go buy a gift for the person we choose. Those gifts are opened on Christmas Eve right before the kids go to bed.
Tonight before I go to bed, I will prepare tomorrow morning's breakfast. We're combining our two families' traditions--caramel pull-aparts from my family and breakfast casserole from the Hess family. Our wonderful Danish neighbor sent over Kringle for our family to enjoy too.
The other tradition we started this year came from some good family friends. Years ago, when I taught one of their daughters in Young Women, I asked her what her favorite thing was about Christmas. She told me that she loved that each person in the family had all of his/her gifts wrapped in their own individualized wrapping paper. This year, I found nine different patterns of wrapping paper and wrapped each of the Inmates' gifts in their own paper. I didn't have to put tags on anything. The best part about it is that they have no idea which gifts are theirs, so they're not sitting there shaking them and fondling them trying to figure out what's in them.
I didn't get Christmas cards out this year. I'm going to blame that on statistics. That was one thing my mom did EVERY year. She hand-wrote notes to what seemed like hundreds of people. There was always a family photo and a signed card. In my mind, that's what should be done, but not this year. We did get some Christmas baking done, but didn't deliver to as many people as I would have liked. I had to bow out because of illness, or we probably would have had a lot more deliveries done. The Warden likes things simple.
Please share the traditions your family loves. I'd love to try something new next year.
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:02 PM
Hmm. This is a toughie. I try very hard to deal with people soon if they hurt me. Thankfully most of the people in my life are good people, who I believe, are trying to do good things and aren't "out to get me." Most of the time, if someone hurts me, it's a misunderstanding and not intentional. I try to remember this and forgive as quickly as I can. If I find it hard to forgive, or it's nagging at me, I try to straighten things out face to face.
There have been a few of these with my current calling at church. When I served in the Young Women as first counselor, I saw the president come under scrutiny from one or two people in the ward. That was sad and hurtful and unnecessary, but the woman I served with, being the happy, upbeat person she was, seemed to just roll with it. I never heard her say a thing about it. I was proud to be able to call her my friend. It wasn't until I was in this calling that I heard her say anything about it. The truth was, she was hurt, but she handled it all so beautifully, you'd never have known it. I want to learn to be like that. I'm grateful for good examples like this in my life. I have many of them. What a blessing!
When unity is our goal, I would hope that everyone would give everyone else the benefit of the doubt that we are all trying our hardest to do our best and be good people.
I'm not really sure if I'm ready to air my "dirty laundry" about this "hurt." I'm not even sure what I'd say. I will tell you this much, I see the dirty looks and am aware when I walk in the room that there's not a whole lotta love coming from one person in my ward. Thankfully, it's only one person. It has been shared with me that this person has had conversations with others about what a lousy person I am, and that makes me sad, but in this situation, I'm not hurt for me, I'm hurt for those that were effected by this person's decision. No, this isn't a letter, but like I said, I'm not sure how to form words around my feelings yet, and I've said all that I've needed to prior to this directly to this individual.
Other than those people this person has spoken with, who don't seem to have changed their opinions of me, I don't think anyone else is aware that anyone feels this way about me.
My instinct is to avoid this person, but here's what I plan on doing....I will continue to be kind. I'm going to love my enemy and bless those that curse me. I will do good to those that hate me and pray for those who spitefully use me, and persecute me. (Matthew 5:44) This is all I can do. It is probably the hardest thing to do, but I'm finding that the hardest things are definitely the most rewarding things.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:35 AM
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Oh my goodness. Boring topic!!!
I found blogger through a google search, I believe. I had heard the word "blog" quite a few times and really didn't find the attraction. Even at first, I wrote one post and was bored to tears over it, so I left it alone.
A number of months later, my counterpart in the Young Women program at church started one. Her's was cute. It had a fun background and music that turned on automatically when you tuned in. It was just her. That was when the fun began. I talked to Tonya about how she'd set it all up,and she gave me some pointers. She admitted that she was addicted to it, and for some time, both of us were.
I have a blog for a few reasons. I keep it as a journal and as a place to vent some of my pent up feelings. I have had friends who have kept journals in books in which they have placed carefully placed pictures and cut out mementos. I have always thought that so creative. I don't have the foresight or patience for those things, but I wish I had that gift. Here, I can place photos and fun things that illustrate the things I write about.
I also love it when people comment on what I write. Who doesn't? It's been a fun way to make connections with people and make new friends.
Posted by Julie Hess at 1:26 PM
When I took children's literature, I went to Powell's books on a Saturday morning, pulled up a chair and read this book:
It has remained with me. I was very impressed with it.
Today, I found it at the library. I checked it out and Inmate#1 read it out loud in the car. It has been passed around our house. I tried to stress that the things that happened in this book weren't that long ago. Many of them were during my lifetime.
One word that recurs in this book is "compulsory." This word is bothering me. Does it seem to anyone else that this word is becoming more familiar in American life?
I took one of my kids to the doctor the other day. They asked for his race and ethnicity. At the time, this didn't really bother me, but then I remember the conversation I'd had with the Warden a number of months back about how schools are also supposed to report the race and ethnicity of each and every one of their students. It's not a choice. It is COMPULSORY. This BOTHERS me! If the schools don't report it, they lose out on their governmental funding. If someone refuses to report, the principal then has the responsibility to guess and report it.
A little note to Josh: I know how you feel about this, and I'm good with you thinking what you want. It still bothers me. I can't put my finger on it. I guess it's the whole government in my business thing. Maybe it's the rebel in me, but I still don't agree with it at all.
Posted by Julie Hess at 12:07 AM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:53 PM
I posted this last year as well. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:30 AM
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This is going to be a short one. If you want to know what music I listen to during all of these times, click on my playlist. I LOVE it!!! When it's my week to do dishes, the playlist goes on and gets me through it. I don't know if I have one in particular that gets me going more than the others. I just think they're all pretty great.
My tastes are pretty varied. Five for Fighting, Toto, Taylor Swift, Oingo Boingo, Haircut 100, older Billy Joel....The list goes on. I love music that makes me happy.
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:46 PM
Monday, December 20, 2010
Well, this is not a hard one to respond to. It's been a bitter couple of weeks around here, so I'm proud of myself for sticking to it and finishing statistics.
I need to share the process for taking an online class; at least the way I do things, so you can understand why this is what I have chosen.
I have a set schedule for what classes I take when. This schedule can be tweaked from time to time as needed, but the kinds of classes they are is set. When I first started taking classes, I chose the classes I would take and in what order I would take them. As I mentioned yesterday, statistics was supposed to be taken two years ago, but I found myself expecting Inmate #7 and knew that wasn't going to work, so I moved it back. I wasn't sad about it because so many people had told me how terrible statistics was. I actually think I had pushed it back in the schedule at least twice prior to this. I was avoiding it big time.
I bit the bullet last February, when Inmate #7 was seven months old. I have a year to finish a course, so my hope was that with Inmates #6 and #7 still taking naps each day, I'd at least have a little bit of time to focus on this class.
Before I sign up, I take a look at the course load and how much I'm going to have to submit for my grade. This class was excessive--WAY excessive. Eighty-three submitted assignments, three exams and a final. A typical class has about 10 submitted assignments, a midterm and a final. I then decide if it's something I can handle. If it is, I check to see that we can financially handle it (I have money put aside each month for tuition and books). If we have enough saved, I go ahead and sign up for the class. I then go to the online materials and look at the syllabus. I immediately create a spreadsheet and schedule very specific assignments for myself for each day. As I do so, I know that everything is subject to change, and I revise this schedule often. I try very hard to be realistic with myself. I know that even baby steps are accomplishing something, so sometimes it's something very small that gets scheduled in.
When I learned about Independent Study's closure, I re-created the statistics schedule completely from where I stood in the class. I was just about ready to take the third exam and still had a fourth of the textbook to cover and eventually the final. I also pulled the Warden in because I knew I was going to need his full support. I created a plan A and a plan B. Both needed to end before the 23rd. I wasn't sure I could really do it because I've never had to work that efficiently for a class before. Going to two lessons a day from half a lesson a day seemed very daunting. Could I really do this? I prayed for extra help. I knew it was only going to last for a short time. If I played my cards right, it wouldn't last forever, so I had to jump in. Plus, if I held out until after the closure, I would definitely forget the information I had already learned thus making it that much harder to get back on track.
As I look back now, I see what a total miracle it is to be done. I was able to follow the plan. My family sacrificed a lot. In hindsight, it seems that it all happened almost effortlessly. I have no doubt there was a little extra help I haven't been aware of. So thankful for answered prayer.
Today's final was grueling. It felt like it went on forever. It took me a little more than two hours to finish. When I was done, all I could think was that I wanted to sleep. I didn't get to do that, and I don't think it's truly sunken in yet that I'm truly finished with this class, but now the vacation can be a little more restful. Statistics has been such a huge part of my wakeful hours for the past number of weeks. I'm afraid it's going to take me some time to start to feel relatively normal again.
Now I can move on and redo my literature class schedule and work my way through that one. Maybe I'll decide that I like this school stuff again. Previous classes have been enjoyable. Statistics was just a chore. It was the medicine I had to take. Now I'm hopeful that these other classes will be a little bit of sugar.
Before I was so rudely interrupted by statistics, I was working on these daily blog posts. I think ideally they're supposed to be done for 30 days in a row, but what can I say. I live in a self-imposed madhouse, so you don't always get what you want.
So, here's what I was supposed to write about when I took up servitude to statistics--my short term goals for this month. This month will be translated to December 19th to January 18th.
- Study the last part of statistics tomorrow morning.
- Take the statistics final at 1pm.
- Inventory where I am with Christmas shopping.
- Finish Christmas shopping on Tuesday.
- Read to my kids everyday.
- Read the scriptures everyday.
- Have a get-together on Christmas Eve.
- Read four more books for adolescent lit. and do the assignments that go with them.
- Get everything organized for Primary for the new year--manuals to teachers, etc.
- Prepare for the Primary breakfast.
- Figure something fun out for New Year's Eve.
These are the biggest things on my brain. There are more, but if they don't happen, I'm not going to be crushed.
Posted by Julie Hess at 12:09 AM
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Statistics is completely online. I figure I was close enough to being done that I had better get myself in gear and get going and just get it done before the closure. Before I knew about this, I was doing about a half a lesson a day. I figured out that in order to be done before December 23rd, I would have to do two lessons a day. My family has sacrificed greatly.
So, here's where I stand....I had to complete 83 quiz-like assignments. These had to be turned in all at the same time--right before I ordered the final. They were counted as one grade. I got a 96%. Yes, folks, that is what we like to call a miracle. Oh, did I say miracle. I mean MIRACLE!
That 96% helped my grade TREMENDOUSLY! So, here's what I figure. If I go and bomb the final--the lowest I can get to pass the class is a 55%. If I were to get that 55, I would end up with a C. If I get 100%, I will get a high B. So, I'm feeling pretty good about things.
This has been a tough class. I put it off for a very long time. It was originally scheduled to be taken when I was pregnant with Lachlan. No way! I knew it had to be rescheduled, but I didn't want it to be my last class. That would have left and awful taste in my mouth about this whole experience, so here I am.
I now have three classes left--adolescent literature, which I am also taking right now, but have put on the back burner while I focus on stats; career strategies; and financial planning. I will then take the capstone and be done. YAY!!!
One of the things that made statistics difficult was that when I was frustrated and not understanding what I was studying, I would open a new tab and go to facebook or come hang out here in my blog. To overcome this temptation, I had the Warden change my password and not tell me. I think that was the best thing I ever did. If I was finished with my studying, he'd sign me in, and I could be rewarded with some time in the places I enjoy.
Today he told me my password. It was hilarious, but what else would I expect from him. It's nice to be back. It'll be nice to be able to be done preparing for this final and get on with Christmas preparations. Wish me luck. Oh how nice it will be to be done!
|Inmate #2 will be sad to know this.|
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:36 PM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I waited in the waiting room for about 45 minutes and was called back just as he was waking up. YIKES! He was thrashing and crying out--tears streaming. It broke my heart. Such a contrast to what I'd seen wheeled out of the room. He had twisted himself right out of his gown and was saying how it "hurt like heck." He responded to no one, so I couldn't even tell if he could hear me. They had to remove part of his I.V., so he wouldn't yank it out with all the flailing. They told me that sometimes this kind of reaction happens with kids. They all kind of stepped back and let me take care of it. Wow! What was I supposed to do?
He eventually calmed down once they got him some pain meds. As he relaxed, he kept clearing his throat and saying how he couldn't breathe. He was fine. It just hurt.
As he got more calm, he turns to me and says, "Mom, did you take pictures?"
"Yah, buddy, I did before you went in."
"Did you take some while I was in surgery?"
"No, buddy, I was in the waiting room. Do you want me to take one now?"
Please remember this kid is still pretty loopy at this point. He chimes in with, "Yah, and put it on your blog."
Laughing, I reply, "Okay. You want to be part of the blog, huh?"
"...And on Facebook."
I clicked this one:
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:29 PM
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I received the recordings of What Not to Wear from Netflix a few weeks ago. They were the "Mom Makeover" episodes. It was fascinating to me. I related to those women, most of them, so much. One thing that was reiterated to almost each woman was "You dress like you're out of control."
I have never been one to worry too much about what I wear. That's not exactly true. In high school, I cared a lot. A number of years back, my sister took me shopping and bought me some very nice clothes. It was right at the time when the Warden's job changed, and my sister felt it important that I look the part of being wife to such a man. I did well for a couple years. Until I got pregnant. It's hard to dress such a round body and then to dress it afterward when it's not quite down to the size you like to dress, it continues to be a struggle.
After seeing these episodes, I decided that I don't want to look like an "out of control" mom. As I have changed how I dress, it's amazing how it's effected other areas of my life, but it's also made me look at what other things might be out of control for me.
The Warden read me this article today. Don't get me started. Ugh! What was the teacher supposed to do? I questioned the Warden about this, and he shared with me just what would happen in this case at his school. It's sad that things have to get this bad. Who is helping this kid get some control in his life? Shouldn't he start learning it from this young age?
It just makes it so clear to me. Wow! We, as a nation, are out of control! Look around you to learn from the mistakes of others, but mostly look at yourself. We're all out of control in some area of our lives. Is it your weight? Is it your house? Is it your kids? Is it your job? Are you addicted to something that you now "can't do without?" Do you overspend? What is it for you? For me, it's a number of these.
So, I have to ask, what can you do to put things back in control in your life?
To not "look out of control," as I learned from What Not to Wear, is just he beginning. From there, it's a matter of not being out of control. I must put things in order. It's up to me. This world is crazy. I can join them, or I can beat them. The words, "Arise from the dust," and "Shake off the chains with which you are bound" keep coming into my mind. Beating them is what I plan to do.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:28 AM
Monday, November 15, 2010
This cracks me up. Ah, just take a sec and write about the most important thing in your life. C'mon now, it'll only take a moment and then you can get on with life. HAHAHA!
I thought about blogging about my mom or her death. I thought maybe I'd blog about the birth of one of my children, but I once heard it said that the most important decision you will ever make in your life is who you will marry, so I've decided to blog about this man.
I don't blog much about the Warden. I respect his privacy. But, I have to say that the person who has impacted my life more than anyone else is this man. He builds me up. He gives me freedom. He is the only reason I was able to endure my mom's death. His was the hand I held when my children were born. He's a rock. There's only one problem he has that I can see....He has to endure me.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:25 PM
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This was a hard one....
But, I have chosen.....
Yes, that's right, Jack Jack! I mean what' not to love? He's so innocent-looking but holds so much power. So much power, in fact, that he hasn't a clue what to do with it. No one else holds a candle to Jack Jack (pun intended).
I need to add a little unrelated note here...
I'm struggling big time with my statistics class, and although I have six more months in which to finish it, my original goal was to done with it months ago. I'm at the point where I will do anything I can think of to avoid it. I flit from stats to facebook to stats to this blog, and it goes on and on. Just one of the dangers of taking an online course.
This morning, I woke up realizing how much time I'm wasting in my avoidance techniques. As I lay there pondering, I came up with the perfect scheme. I asked the Warden to change my passwords, so I have no clue what they are. I can't sign in. He will do it for me when I've completed all that I've assigned myself for the day.
So, if you see me here, you will know that I've done a good job and gotten it all done. If there is no post, please know that I'm struggling and didn't get it done in time. My hope is that I'll get caught up soon and be on here daily. Look for me, okay?
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:07 PM
Friday, November 12, 2010
|Punchbowl Falls the Columbia River Gorge|
I haven't been to these falls since I was a teenager. We live about an hour away from the Gorge, but these falls are inland a bit, and I hadn't yet roped my kids into the idea of hiking in that far. We have settled for those falls on the roadside and those just off the beaten path. This particular hike took my brother being in town to go do it. He told me he was taking his family there while we were on the phone trying to figure out a place to meet up before he left town. I jumped at the chance to meet them there and hike with them. I think he was a bit surprised that I'd want to. I've been dying to get back to Punchbowl Falls. It's so beautiful! If you're LDS, it should look a bit familiar to you.
Posted by Julie Hess at 12:37 PM
Thursday, November 11, 2010
This is the list of books I get to read for my current class. For many of them, I had a list to choose from, but there were a few where I was just directed to pick a book from a particular subject. Let me know if you read any of them. I'd love to know what you think.
The Golden Compass
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A Hero Ain’t Nothing But a Sandwich
My Darling, My Hamburger
Princess Diaries #1
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1
Catcher in the Rye
The Way Things Never Were: The Truth About the “Good Old Days”
Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery
My Life in Tap
Just What the Doctor Ordered: The History of American Medicine
Teen Manners: From Malls to Meals to Messaging and Beyond
Be The Best You Can Be; A Guide to Etiquette and Self-Improvement for Children and Teens
Manners Made Easy for Teens: 10 Steps to a Life of Confidence, Poise, And RespectA Wizard of Earthsea
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You
What I Did Last Summer – or - A Man for All Seasons
Sixteen: Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults
Quest for the Eagle Feather
With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:15 PM
Hi. My name is Julie and I pick my cuticles.
I started doing this back when I was about twelve. It has been called a "nervous habit," but the funny thing is my mom did it too. Genetic habits? At my mom's funeral, my brother, for some reason, looked at my hand. He saw my thumb and said, "Wow! That's Mom's thumb."
I have done a little research on it recently and found that it's not all that uncommon.
What it comes down to is that I really don't like the feeling of the roughness of hangnails, and I usually don't have fingernail clippers on hand, so I pick the skin off. It's not a matter of me wanting to hurt myself, and I don't believe it has anything to do with stress. At some of the most stressful times of my life, my hands have looked their best--when I got married and each time I've had a child.
I would love to stop. I just don't know how because most of the time I don't realize I'm doing it.
There you have it. Any ideas for me? Anyone else do this?
Posted by Julie Hess at 1:50 PM
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:04 AM
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
"Hesses Madhouse," I have heard, is what the Warden's dad called their home when the Warden was a kid. I, personally, have only heard it called that by the Warden. He used to answer our phone with those words as a greeting. It just stuck from there. If you have spent any time here, at our home, you'd realize quickly that that's exactly what it is, a madhouse, and we all like it that way.
If you were to call our house, and the Warden were to answer with, "Hesses Madhouse," and if you were to ask for me, he would say, "Yes, the Chief Inmate is here. I'll get her for you."
The madness doesn't really end with that....A few years ago, at the tail end of our family reunion (my side of the family), we were leaving the last event of the weekend, and as one of my great-nieces got into her car, she yelled, "See you later, Crazy Aunt Julie!" This caught me a little off-guard. I'm sure, as I have analyzed this, that the reason for the moniker is that this same little girl has an Aunt Julie as well, and they needed a way to set me apart from her. The other Julie is calm and mellow. In comparison, I am not. I'm the one that's not afraid to take a risk, and I'm the one that grew up with four brothers thus tending to look at the world through very different eyes.
At first, I was sad about this nickname. I wondered how long I'd been "Crazy Aunt Julie," but then I realized what a great name this was to have. I can get away with things few others can; it's almost expected that I do the unexpected. It's an unwritten license to step outside the box. Yay for being "Crazy Aunt Julie," and yay for living in the Madhouse! The madness just makes life worth living.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:33 AM
Monday, November 8, 2010
Just did my own personal photo shoot. Ugh! I look crazed. Yuck! But, here you go...
1. My mouth is crooked from dental work I had done as a child. I fear the dentist more than anything, but I still go--sweating and shaking all the way.
2. I am really good at building fires.
3. My biggest dream is to learn to fly.
4. I do all the voices when I read to my kids.
5. I hate it when cars are parked on the curb (and now we do it--temporarily).
6. Someday, I'd love to design and build my own home.
7. I am left-hand dominant, but I write with my right hand.
8. I think teenagers are the best!
9. I am an auditory learner.
10. I have no stretch marks.
11. I have attended four different colleges/universities.
12. I am somewhat obsessed with my weight.
13. I would love to learn sign language.
14. I loved KFC barbecued chicken (when they made it).
15. When I was a child, I taught myself how to ride a bike, how to read, and how to play the piano. Wish I still had that desire and drive (and especially time) for things.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:18 AM
I was just visiting an old friend's blog. I hadn't been there for quite some time. It was nice to get caught up with her. She is currently in the middle of this challenge. It looked like fun, so I'm jumping on board too. Today, I will do "day 1." Enjoy!
day 1- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.
day 2- The meaning behind your blog name.
day 3- A picture of you and your friends.
day 4- A habit that you wish you didn't have.
day 5- A picture of somewhere you've been to.
day 6- Your favorite super hero and why.
day 7- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.
day 8- Short term goals for this month and why.
day 9- Something you're proud of in the past few days.
day 10- Songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad.
day 11- Another picture of you and your friends.
day 12- How you found out about blogger and why you have a blog.
day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
day 14- A picture of you and your family.
day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: first 10 songs that play.
day 16- Another picture of yourself.
day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why.
day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have.
day 19- Nicknames you have and why you have them.
day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future.
day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy.
day 22- What makes you different from everyone else.
day 23- Something you crave a lot.
day 24- A letter to your parents.
day 25- What I would find in your bag.
day 26- What do you think about your friends.
day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge.
day 28- A picture of you from last year and now, how have you changed since then?
day 29- In this past month, what have you learned.
day 30- Your favorite song.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:39 AM
I have a TON of things to do. I'm behind in my studies with this weekend's fun activities, so I HAVE to get on that. Monday is also laundry day, and I was left with a sink full of dishes; although, the dishwasher is empty and just waiting to receive. I have two hours until I go pick up Inmate #6 and Inmate #7 is asleep, so now is my time.
I decided that my greatest chance for success this morning is if I include some prayer and scripture study, so I begged for some help and turned to Alma 53. Within the first five verses, I'm already impressed with a few ideas....
In verse two, it talks about Lehi. I love that I have Lehies in my life--those who have been placed in my path to ease my burdens and stress. Those who have so willingly shared in my tough times and my happy times. I especially love the idea that God is aware of me and that He blesses my life with His grace.
In verse five, I feel like it's giving me a clue on how to deal with my kids (one in particular). It's speaking about when the Nephites are preparing for future battles, and they're fortifying their land and using the Lamanite prisoners to get the work done. I almost started laughing when I read, "It was easy to guard them while at their labor."
One of my little cherubs is very busy all the time. It would be nice if that busy-ness was constructive and creative, but alas....I need to get this kid working!
I love the little parental secrets and clues given in the scriptures. YAY!!!
Have a great day! Look for miracles.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:16 AM
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Last night at the adult session of stake conference, the Stake President shared this scripture:
Although it had nothing to do with his talk, my mind started following an interesting course as I heard these words. I got to pondering on just what this means to me and my family, and I decided to try an experiment. For one week, I am going to attempt to choose good in EVERYTHING. I am going to try my hardest to control all of my thoughts, words and actions. If I start to think something negative, I'm going to change it for something good. There is good to be found in everything. Even if "Wow! What good breathing he's doing," is the best I can come up with, or "Oh how I love you," is all I can say, I'm going to give it my best shot.
There has been too much negative in my life, and I've allowed it and sometimes invited it in. At this point, I would say any is too much. I'm curious to see what effect this will have in my home and on my children.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:31 PM
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Inmate #5 has a soccer party tonight. I think over the years I've become very opinionated about soccer tradition. I think trophies are for the birds--get the kids a sweatshirt or something they can use to commemorate the season. I think snacks after games should end at about the age of 8 or 9.
Team parties, though, simple is SO much better in my book. Tonight's is the best plan I've ever heard of, though. The coach's wife is having the kids over to their house for a potluck. She assigned each family to bring something in a certain category. We're dessert--I'm taking cinnamon rolls and cookies from the following recipe. The coach's family is providing hot dogs with the fixings.
Ahh! I'm so happy not to be spending a million bucks on pizza and going to a crazy place where you're chasing you don't know where your kids are half the time and the other half you're chasing them around just trying to get them with the rest of the team. YAY!!! So happy for tonight's party.
So, I'm sick of hunting this recipe down, so I'm posting it for future reference. It came form this link.
Bar Cookies from Cake Mix
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 egg
* 1 package yellow or white cake mix (you can use any flavor--our fave: lemon cake mix and pour in white chocolate chips)
* 1 cup chopped walnuts
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in water and egg, then stir in cake mix. Finally, mix in nuts and chocolate chips. Spread mixture into pan.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Yes folks, this means the season is almost at an end! We survived! We're all still in one piece.
When we were just starting out, I found myself in the mall. In one of the shops as I stood there buying nothing, this song came on. I just stood there listening to the lyrics realizing that this song sums up EVERYTHING I feel about the Warden. The video bugs me BIG TIME, but the message behind it is just so...so....PERFECT!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:45 AM
Monday, November 1, 2010
I have a rebellious spirit about me; there's no question, but on the other hand, I also am able to exercise a lot of self-control. I don't tend to follow the pack. I think it's in my blood. My dad's side of the family are like that. If you know the family I was raised in, I think you'd agree that we all got a substantial portion of my dad's genes. If you know the family I'm currently raising, you might also agree that my kids have inherited a large portion from me.
One thing I do rebel against is going to bed. I am not a night owl. I accepted that years ago, but for some reason, I refuse to give in when I get tired. I have what I call One-More-Thing syndrome. I know I can get that one more task done before it gets too much later. I KNOW it! Every night I know it. I expect that time is going to stand still for me while I do it too. Someday....
Last night, I decided that my rebellion does me no good. It's not beneficial in any way, so I decided to obey what I already know to be good for me and went to bed. It was 9:30. Ahhh! It felt so good!
I woke this morning with more than eight hours of sleep to my credit. I woke to my alarm and couldn't complain about anything. I got up and got moving. I woke the kids in time to get up and get ready so the morning ran oh so smoothly. It was just heavenly!
Things have really fallen into place today. I'm realizing that there really is only one person who can take care of me, and that's me. I'm the only one who can make the decisions that are going to benefit me the most and lead to me being happy. That happiness seems to work like the gears in a clock. It touches everyone who lives with me. They all seemed happier this morning too.
I've also been tracking my Weight Watchers points this morning. November is my month. I'm going to get back on track and take care of me the best I can.
I also got two lessons done for school. The shocker...I actually understood what I was studying! I know, I can't believe it either. Maybe it all comes back to having a decent night's rest.
Well, I'm off. Gotta go get some kids from school. High school soccer is now over, so my big kids'll be home too. YAY!!! This day is just gonna get better and better!
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:11 PM
Sunday, October 31, 2010
It was a rough morning. It was just one of those nothing seems to come together kind of mornings. If you read my previous post, you know I was already a little fearful of what was going to happen, but right before I left for church, something I feared DID happen. Ugh!
I contacted one of our teachers to share the situation that would affect her directly, and she handled it with grace and kindness. I was fearful that she would react with unhappiness as I laid the extra bit of stress on her right before church, but there was none of that. She told me what she would do to remedy the situation and then did.
Robin! You are my hero of the day. My whole day was made brighter by that phone conversation this morning. Thank heaven for good people!
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:29 PM
Kids are down at the table laughing and eating candy. Inmate #7 is down in her bed calling, "Mom." Here I am up in bed blogging. I have to do it now, or it won't get done--like yesterday.
The sky is gray. It's Halloween, but it's Sunday, and the Sabbath trumps Halloween. The kids went trick-or-treating last night. They had a blast! A friend in the ward had people sign up if they'd be willing to have trick-or-treaters on Saturday night. We were out running around for two hours. The kids buckets were practically overflowing.
Yesterday was rainy. Wet soccer games. A baptism.
Being baptized were the daughter of our good family friends and a boy from a neighboring ward who is Inmate #5's good friend and in his class at school. I took Inmate #5 with me. He really didn't want to go. I told him he should go for Samuel. So, he got dressed and came.
When we walked in, we were a touch late, Samuel looked back at #5 and smiled a huge smile. Immediately after the baptism, the first thing Samuel did was come back to thank Aedan for coming. It was clear it meant a lot to him to have #5 there.
I got to thinking about how oblivious we sometimes are to how much we mean to our friends. One little act, like just being there at an important time, can make a world of difference.
It was clear that #5 had no clue of his importance.
Inmates #1 and 2 had parties to go to last night. Inmate #3 had volunteered to babysit for the evening, so we took her up on it. The Warden and I went to Indian food at this little hole-in-the-wall place in Hillsboro. It was very yummy! It was nice to be with him. These past couple weeks have been so full that I don't think we've gone on a date in awhile. We usually go each week. We brought home leftovers--butter chicken and chicken vindaloo. I'm looking forward to eating it again.
Speaking of food, I have decided that November is going to be my month for tracking my Weight Watchers points every day. I have to! I am currently in open rebellion against myself (does anyone else ever do this?), and I need to gain some control and stop my stubbornness.
So, today is church. I hate to say it, but there is a bit of trepidation each week when Sunday rolls around. My current calling is wonderful, and I love it. I LOVE working with the kids, but I never know what challenge is going to come my way. I am grateful for wonderful counselors. They are amazing women and handle it all beautifully.
Last night, Z and I watched this before bed. It has changed my way of thinking this morning. Does it change that I'm a bit worried? No, but it puts things into perspective for me. I know that what I'm doing is what the Lord wants me to do, so He will help me. Will the day come when I won't worry any more? Is it because I lack faith that I feel this way? Hard to say, but then I think about the Young Women's General Presidency a few years ago that said their motto was, "I can do hard things." That just shows me that they must have felt as I do to some degree in what they were sometimes called upon to do.
The program's over, so now we're on to getting the nursery kids (my sweet and wonderful nursery kids!) in to join us for singing time today. One of these nursery children came up to me a couple weeks ago in the hallway, while she was waiting with her class to get a drink. She threw her arms around my legs and said, "Sister Hess, when will you be my teacher again?" Aw! She melted my heart and made me realize how much I miss those little children. So, today is the start for them to come into big Primary. I look forward to being with them again on a weekly basis. We'll start working on holiday preparations. We are also starting to look at 2011 and what it will hold for the Primary--the budget, the new theme, rearranging the teachers a bit....All things I've never done before. I am thankful for patient people.
We will hand out candy to our friends and neighbors tonight. It should be a good day!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:37 AM
Friday, October 29, 2010
As I went to write, the words, "The lunatics have taken over the asylum...." were playing. When I first started this blog, that was the only song that was going to be on my playlist, but there really are so many good insanity songs out there. "Unwell" used to be my ringtone and was on the playlist as well--such a good one. For now, the playlist is just a random selection of faves, but maybe someday there will be so many good nutty songs out there that I'll specialize it into something really fitting.
So, on my mind this morning....
Sick baby is #1. I took her to the doctor yesterday. I made the appointment 40 minutes before we went. As soon as I made the appointment, Inmate #7 started acting like her old self. I nearly canceled the appointment but then thought eh, what the heck and went.
When we arrived, she was still acting perfectly fine, but then the physician's assistant took her temp. It was 102+. The doc looked her over and everything was normal--so just a virus? They decided to have her do a urinalysis and gave her a can and a half of apple juice to drink, put a little bag on her and put her diaper back on. We were to wait. Well, we waited...and waited...and waited.....In the meantime, soccer games were starting.
Inmate #5 was with me. As we waited, Inmate #5 found an unlocked cupboard. Inside the cupboard, were...TOYS! He pulled them out and started playing with them. There were a bunch of those foam puzzles, but they were all in pieces.
I showed him how to make boxes from them. That's when the fun began. He started hurling foam puzzle boxes at me, and I started hucking them back. There we were, sitting on the floor throwing things at each other. We were laughing so hard I think anyone outside them room much have wondered what was going on.
Well, we continued to wait. Nothing happened. The doctor wasn't overly concerned, so she said that if we wanted to, we could just leave and come back if symptoms got worse. Being concerned about missing #1's game, and not being overly concerned about "just a virus," we headed to Inmate #1's game.
As we pulled into the parking lot, I said, "Oh good, they're still going." Inmate #5 said, "No, Mom, I think they're running across the field." Yes, they were. I had just missed the game. #1 had played as goalie for most of the game--position she hasn't played since she was probably 9-years-old.
We snatched up #1 and headed to Inmate #2's game at the good ol' purple and white. The marching band was practicing in the pouring down rain. Ah memories!
His team was getting slaughtered, but they were being good sports about it. The other team was not. I could hear the ref tell two purple boys to "be quiet and just play the game." The Warden told me they'd been whining the entire game. Yes, when I went to school there, I knew I was amongst a bunch of spoiled brats, but who knew it'd hold over this many years.
Inmate #6 is at the pumpkin patch this morning, so I will pick him up an hour later than usual.
Inmate #7 has been crying most of the morning, won't eat anything and only drinks when she feels like it. She refuses most of the time, but I keep offering. For now, she's sleeping. The dishes are running, the upstairs portion of the house is straightened up, and I'm trying to work up my nerve to start studying.
My neighbor down the street just stopped by to tell me that she had started Weight Watchers online on Tuesday and had already lost six pounds. I needed to hear that! Maybe she'll get me inspired to pick it back up. At this point, I don't think I look terrible or even bad, but I know it will come back on if I don't do something, so I was very glad for her news. We also discussed another friend who started WW a couple months ago. She went from a size 18 and is now a 14! Just wish I could find that same motivation I had before. There's got to be something that'll keep me going and get that last ten (probably now 15) pounds off.
Well, got to go get some "Duds of the Milk" out of the cupboard--gotta snack while a study, right?
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:16 AM
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I read the blog of a friend the other day. He said how he was working on writing a journal entry a day and that he had been doing really well at it. As I read that, I thought about why I started this blog....It was so that I'd have a fun place to write my daily journal. I have somehow lost the whole picture of what that was to me. I think I wanted to write something that would be wonderful each time I sat down. Life has gotten busier with husband, kids (and their activities), school (theirs and mine), my current calling, keeping my house together, and just trying to strike a balance.
I definitely (after not blogging regularly for so long) see the what blogging did for me when I was writing daily. I could sound-off on the goals I was working toward. It made weight loss so much easier because of the accountability aspect it offered. It gave me a bit of fun and creativity each day. It gave me a link to the outside world. It also helped me to assess and analyze just how I was feeling about life and its many facets.
So, for today, here's what I'm feeling and doing....
I'm still working on my statistics class, but I'm seriously in the market for a tutor. The last exam I took took the wind out of my sails. I did sign up for a new class yesterday--Adolescent Literature. I have found that when I have two classes to take (one being enjoyable), I do better in both. Thus the reason for the new class.
As I'm getting closer to graduation, there is a new sensation. I wasn't expecting it, but it should have been expected just by understanding human nature. That is the difficulty in finishing. I feel like I'm crawling to the finish line. If I can get through these two classes and then finish two more, I can get onto the capstone, write my paper and be done. The Warden has even mentioned the possibility of going to BYU and "taking a walk." That would be kind of exciting.
I'm really loving my calling. We have more than 70 kids, and they are WONDERFUL! We just had our Primary program this past Sunday, and it went so well. My counselors are so amazing. It baffles the mind how well we each bring something different and complementary to the table.
Inmates #s 1 and 2 have their last soccer games of the season tonight. They're playing my alma mater. Inmate #1, although she has one more year of high school left, has decided not to play soccer next year. I am very relieved. My hope is that she'll run cross country. She's a really good runner. So, after eleven years, this will be her last game. The hope is also that she will go and get her driver's permit tomorrow after school. Soccer practices every weekday make it impossible to go get it, so wish her luck.
With the permit comes the car that the Warden's parents have been holding onto for her.
So, there it is. I'd better get going with some studying. I have to wait for my text to arrive for the lit. class, but there's always stats to worry about.
Grocery shopping was on today's list too, but so was the curriculum order for Primary for 2011, so that took precedence. Do I really want to go to the store with a very tired post-preschool Inmate #6 and Inmate #7 who had a fever for two days (but it doing much better this morning)? Just thinking I'll save that fun for tomorrow. Can't there just be a few more hours in the day? I love the hours that Inmate #6 is at school, but there is always SO MUCH I want and need to do during that time that it overwhelms me.
Hope you have a great and productive day!
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:15 AM