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!
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!
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
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Yesterday afternoon, after the elementary-aged boys got home from school, I sat at the table in despair about what to make for dinner. This is a common occurrence at our house. We had three soccer games last night and Mutual. It was a bit crazy. With needing to help boys with homework and be out the door in a half hour to go to the first game, I knew there wasn't going to be time to make something of nutritional value for dinner.
I asked Inmate #5 to get the crockpot out. I then directed him to get out the chicken from the freezer and a jar of salsa from the pantry. He sprayed the crockpot, threw in the chicken and poured the salsa on top. He then turned the crockpot on high, and we let it go.
In between games two and three, we dropped by the house and grabbed out some tortillas, cheese, sour cream and refried beans. We warmed the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds and spread some beans on them. We shreded the chicken and grabbed some out (it had been cooking for just a bit more than three hours at this point), and put it on top of the beans. We then put some cheese and some sour cream on it and rolled it up. It was so yummy, and so easy. Not only that, but Inmate #5 had bragging rights for "making" dinner.
Posted by Julie Hess at 5:06 PM
Monday, October 11, 2010
Is there really such a thing as a fluke? I'm not sure if I believe in coincidence. Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't. A recent turn of events in my life has me thinking that yet again, flukes and coincidences don't just happen.
My mother was a fastidious genealogist. It was her love, after my dad and us kids, of course.
A few years back, I saw that she had my grandmother's (her mother's) year of death written as 1933 in one place and 1934 in another. BAFFLING! Yet, I did nothing to solve the problem. I just looked it up her records and left it alone.
The other day, I received a message from one of her cousins stating the error and asking which was correct. I honestly didn't know, so I got into looking for the answer.
I contacted a gentleman in Spokane Valley, Washington. I think I've shared about the historical museum there and the interest they have in my mom's pictures. Well, this man is my contact with the museum. I emailed him and asked if he would go to the cemetery and take a photo of my grandmother's grave. He wrote back the next day stating that he and one of the grounds keepers at the cemetery had walked the grounds near the site that day, and it was gone. This is the photo he took:
I was told that her site is near the road and that she is buried next to her parents, so I'm assuming that the four in front are her family.
It is this grandmother that I'm referring to.
I have checked grave site transcription records and found my grandmother listed, so I'm assuming that some kind of marker was there between 2001 and now. I have a hard time believing that my grandfather would leave her grave only marked with a temporary marker. She died in 1934. It was the great depression. She had been sick for awhile, and that illness was expensive to treat--they sold family land to be able to cover the cost. It's just such a mystery, but I need to make it right.
I spoke with a man at the cemetery today. He is going out this morning to probe for a temporary marker that may have sunk down. I should be getting a call in a couple hours. I also have a man locally who is ready to help me find a new marker for a good price.
Not sure why it's so strongly in my mind. It just has to be taken care of. I have always felt close to this grandmother. Sometimes I wonder if she watches out for me. Now, it's my turn to watch out for her.
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:05 AM
Friday, October 8, 2010
Well, I think I've decided that since this is the "Madhouse," and since Z frequently answers the phone at our house, "Hesses Madhouse" (did you know that is where the blog's name came from?), I might need to stick with that kind of theme for our names.
When Z answers the phone like that (it's either that or more often "Chico's Bar and Grill"), if the person calling asks for me, he then responds with, "Yes, the Chief Inmate is here. Just a moment...." With the Bar and Grill scenario, he'll say, "Hey WO-man stop cookin' them thar burritos and talk to this woman (or man if such is the case)." Too many people have really thought I was making dinner at that point and apologized for interrupting my work. HaHa! Even at 9am or 9pm. What can I say? I'm a busy burrito baking momma.
So, I think Z will be known as "the warden" from here on out. Might just have to go with inmate #1 down to #7, and of course, I don't refer to myself in third person, but you never know with the way my sanity is sinking--that day may come; in such a case, I will be the chief inmate.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:34 AM
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Just wanted to share a little conversation I had with B this morning. I think it may have been inspired, and I might be onto something. I'm reading Alma 42 this morning, and it fits right in with what happened between B, A and me before they left for school.
Here's what happened...
B, while the boys were trying to get out the door, did something mean to A. Not an unusual occurence in our home (it actually happens a lot more frequently than I'd like to admit--it makes me crazy!)....A came to me to tell me what B did.
I called B to me, and instead of the usual lecture, asked him some questions. First, I said, "B, did it make your heart feel all good and happy inside for doing that to your brother?"
Response, head bowed, "No."
Me, "Then why did you do it? I'm sure you know from past experience that it's not going to make you feel good. Do you like that feeling?"
So, I guess it did get a little lecture-y, but I followed up with, "B, that feeling is Heavenly Father's way of teaching you that your spirit is now dirty. It's His way of reminding you that He wants you to come home to him someday, and as long as you have that on your spirit, you can't come back. So, how are you going to get rid of that? What can you do? You need to train yourself to be sensitive to those feelings and do whatever you can to get rid of those bad feelings quickly."
B then, very sincerely, apologized to A, but still looked sheepish. I said, "Maybe that wasn't enough....Looks like you're still feeling it a bit." B walked over to A, put his arms around him and hugged him for a good while.
It was a sweet moment between these brothers. It made me happy to be their mom. Yay for little whisperings. Tender mercy.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:47 AM
I've never done this before, but the kids are dying for tacos, so I'm going to appease them tonight. I'm still determined to use the crockpot as much as possible because it's making my life soooo much easier, and I feel a bit more "together" just knowing that the food is ready to eat when Z (who is only Z for a little bit longer) gets home from work and the kids are done with soccer.
When it's all done, spoon into shells or tortillas and top with your faves--lettuce, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, olives, etc., etc., etc.
There you have it. I'd love to know if you've tried any of these recipes. Let me know what worked and what didn't as well as any changes you made and if they were a success. Have a great day!
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:43 AM
Monday, October 4, 2010
We had guests for Conference. I believe I mentioned that in my last post, but I have to tell you some funny things I learned about our guests. We had a couple (Makay and Cali) come over who are currently attending Pacific University in Forest Grove. They are newly expecting their first baby. Exciting times! Funny thing is, that Makay's parents took us under their wings when Z and I were a young couple, going to college, and expecting our first baby. His mother helped me sew baby clothes and a quilt (which we still have and use). Makay was seven (A's age). Z and I were 24, the same age Makay is now. Funny.
As we talked about this fact, many things became clear to me. First of all, I have to tell you that Makay's mom is one of my heroes. I love her to pieces. She's sweet and obedient and kind and just plain "together." She's the whole package. I want to be just like her (when I grow up). Over the years, and especially back in that day, I would sit and ponder about why she'd want to be friends with me. I really have never figured it out. But, having Makay and Cali over yesterday, I think I'm finally starting to understand.
We really loved having them over. They made us feel young and happy. They are venturing into a new world with all the changes that are happening in their lives. Oh how I remember those days. How different it would have been had we not had friends like Kitti and Kjel--Makay's parents.
Now, since their parents are far away, I'm hopeful that Z and I can step in and help in whatever way we can. So nice to be able to give back to the family that gave so much to us! Tender mercies.
Okay, so now to the title of this post...
Between conference sessions, Mormon Messages were played. This one came up, thus part of the reason for me reading NieNie yesterday:
I introduced Cali to NieNie yesterday, and we talked a bit about blogging. Z got into the conversation, as did Makay. While we talked, Z interjected, "Mr. Nielsen(the name NieNie has given her husband in her blog)? I want a name. I'm just Z. Why can't I be (I can't remember what title he gave himself, but something truly obnoxious, I promise you), or something other than Z?"
So, now, the quest begins. If I'm going to give him a name, you'd better believe the rest of the gang is going to hop on that bandwagon until we have an entire orchestra begging for cool, hip, and slightly obnoxious (probably more than slightly) monikers. So, ideas? I'm totally open. Here's the line up for now, see what you can do with this....
Q (nearly 17-year-old daughter)
G (15-year-old TODAY!!!! son)
DJ (13-year-old daughter)
B (10-year-old son)
A (7-year-old son)
T (almost 4-year-old son)
L (15 month old daughter)
Maybe I'll have them describe themselves and use what they come up with, but for now, see what you can do with what you know. I'd love to hear it!
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:46 PM
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Sometimes, a lot of the time lately, I don't feel like blogging. Today, I remembered NieNie. I remembered how she inspires me to write. If I ever feel like I have nothing to write about, I read her words and look at her pictures, and somehow, it brings out this desire to write--even if it's really about nothing of importance.
General Conference was wonderful this weekend.
L was sick on Friday. I had just changed her diaper before going into Target to go birthday shopping for G, who turns 15 tomorrow. When we finished shopping and I pulled her out of the car, my hand was very wet. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out where the moisture came from, but she was soaking all up her back. It was then that I realized that she had created the moisture with no apparent effort. EWWWW! I now had it on my left hand as well as on the pocket of the vest I had borrowed from DJ earlier that morning.
I also noticed, as I pulled her from the cart and kissed her head that both her belly, under my fingers, and head, under my lips, were very warm. The shopping trip came to an abrupt halt, and I will have to shop for T's birthday another day next week.
I measured her temperature when I got home and found that she was at least 103.5.
We had invited friends to come join us for Sunday's Conference broadcast, but I thought I had better inform them as to the ill baby, so they could decide if they really wanted to come. We still ended up with friends here. It was a great time!
We had the usual Sunday morning Conference feast--donuts, hot cocoa with peppermint ice cream, fruit salad (I did something a little different with it this year, and it was yummy....I'll share later). For lunch we had two kinds of soup--taco and potato (the kind out of the packets you get at the store) with ham and cheese added. Oh, we also had rolls. G talked me into making cinnamon rolls (I have gotten permission from my friend Mandy to share the recipe here too, so I will here in a couple days), so we each had two of those also.
There were so many good talks. I took notes Saturday morning. Although I had a sick baby to tend on Saturday, which I thought was going to be a total bummer, it ended up being a great blessing. I got to watch conference alone. Everyone else was at soccer games. It was delightful! I loved President Uchtdorf's talk. Here it is, just in case you missed it:
I love the part about how we should be spending our time. I'm going to work on this!
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:36 PM
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I thought I'd better write while things are fresh in my mind. General Conference's Saturday morning session just finished, and I have so many thoughts in my mind that I want to get down before they leave me.
Because of a sick baby last night, I was the one who got to skip out on this morning's soccer games and stay home to take care of her. The house is quiet, and now that she's asleep, it's just me. Wow! What an opportunity! I've never gotten to watch Conference alone that I can recall.
The sound wasn't working online, so I missed the very beginning including a few of the words of the prophet. I don't know which temples were announced, but I figured out that if I went to the audio feed, I could get that going also. Isn't modern technology amazing and wonderful?
I felt inspired to continue to encourage my children toward serving missions. I cried as Elder Holland talked to me. I really felt that. I've never felt so sustained and supported as I did as I listened to him talk. I hadn't realized that they think about and appreciate what I do. As he spoke and shared a number of ways in which members of the Church serve, I noticed that I have done many of those things. They were small things, most of them, and I somehow felt that my Heavenly Father was aware.
The talk by the General Primary President was sweet. I felt humbled to be in the position in which I currently serve and felt happy that I've been blessed with the vision of what my calling's all about--that I am to take each child by the hand and walk with him/her, encouraging each one to continue on the path that I find such joy in.
Brother McConkie made me want to radiate the love I have for the Gospel with the children while I do sharing time in Primary this month. Although I'm not a trained teacher, I have all that I need just with my enthusiasm for what I'm teaching and whom I teach. I truly love the children I get to serve. What a blessing that is! I also feel their love for me, which I a great gift that makes it all so much more do-able.
Elder Christopherson urged me to work hard all day and teach my children to do the same. He reminded that there are many "mind-numbing" things we can use for entertainment. I felt cautioned. I know that facebook is one of those things. I learned a number of months back, as I listened to blogger Stephanie Nielsen share some of her feelings, that all things can be used for good. That's what I want to do with these potentially dangerous things. First of all, I want to watch more carefully how I use my time and secondly, when I do use them, that I use them for only positive, building purposes.
Now President Uchtdorf....Wow! How I love that man! What a wonderful message. I have often felt apologetic when people enter my home, that things are so undecorated and plain. As I listened to President Uchtdorf, I found that there's a reason for that. I have always been drawn to simplicity. I don't know why, but I have never been a frilly person. After hearing him, I want to simplify further. I want to have the ability to spend time building the relationships that President Uchtdorf shared were most important--with God, with family, with fellowmen, and with self. I want to spend my time in secret, personal prayer; in quality time shared with my husband and each individual child in my family; in being sensitive to the needs of those individuals I come in contact with; in cherishing the relationship with myself.
What a wonderful session! I feel so uplifted and desirous to change and focus my life on the important things in my life. Truly wonderful!
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:33 AM