I went to get all the fixin's for Conference weekend. There are certain foods and traditions we keep every year. After I unloaded the car and was putting things away in the pantry, the doorbell rang. #6 and #7 both ran to get it. I heard a very familiar woman's voice say, "Hello. Is your momma here?"
When I got up the stairs and looked toward the door, it was one of those double-take experiences that life sometimes hands you. There stood my friend, Heather, from way back when #2 was just a baby. I couldn't believe my eyes. I haven't seen her since then; although, I send her a Christmas card (and receive one from her) every year.
I ran to the door and threw my arms around her. What a GREAT surprise! She happened to be in the neighborhood and brought my address with her. She now lives about an hour away, so it was a wonderful treat to get to see her and visit with her for a few moments.
I LOVE this kind of stuff! It's been such a good day so far.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
I went to get all the fixin's for Conference weekend. There are certain foods and traditions we keep every year. After I unloaded the car and was putting things away in the pantry, the doorbell rang. #6 and #7 both ran to get it. I heard a very familiar woman's voice say, "Hello. Is your momma here?"
Posted by Julie Hess at 2:30 PM
When I put her to bed last night, #7 reached up and clawed my upper lip. I'm pretty sure she was just reaching up to touch me, but her nails need to be clipped badly. Anyway, she drew blood. I looked in the mirror and this is what it reminded me of. EWW!
All I need is the toothpick. If you don't recognize this guy, he's from the movie Uncle Buck--CLASSIC!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:53 AM
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I bought pansies today at Costco. They were an assortment of the dark purple, the blue-ish (which I love) and the light yellow ones. I went and bought pots for them too, but on my way into the store where I bought the pots, guess what....They had more pansies--the pinkish ones. So I bought them too.
I'm now feeling very springish. They make me happy.
Before we went to pick up the boys from school, I pulled off some of the dead blossoms. #7 wanted them, so I gave them to her. She carried them all the way up and all the way back from the school. There were a few times she thought she'd dropped one, so she'd stop, look around, shrug and say, "Where he go?" But she made it all the way back to the house with her tight little handful of dead flowers.
That girl loves nature...Even dead nature.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:34 PM
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
We did a little computing last night and came to the realization that we paid $1.42 per person for dinner last night. The amazing thing...we were all full when we were done. Yippeeee!!!
I think I've finally, I know it takes some of us longer than others, figured out how to do the menu/coupon/shopping thing. I figure out the coupon deals first, create the menu from that and then make the shopping list. I create my menu based on what's for sale and what I have coupons for. I then fill in the blanks and create the shopping list
For example, last night's dinner was two of each of these:
|.99 at Fred Meyer last week (I bought four)|
|Approx. .75 on sale with a coupon (purchased awhile ago)|
|On sale for $3.99 plus a $1 off coupon for each|
|3/$5 so $1.67 on sale|
Tonight is tacos. We are on a total taco kick. I make them at least twice a month if not more frequently than that. You can't lose with tacos. Just got the beef for $3 per package. I buy and prepare two of everything. I got the taco seasoning for .42. I got the lettuce for .99, and the cheese for $1. The tortillas were $1.99 for 10. I figure salsa and sour cream were roughly $4 when figured together, so this alone is less than $2 per person, but rarely do we only eat one taco, so it'll end up being about $4 per person. Still much better than eating out if you ask me. Wait....no, it's not! Taco Bell's soft taco supreme is cheaper than this. What am I doing?! We should go out!
Posted by Julie Hess at 3:15 PM
You know how sometimes, in a very rare while, you meet someone you just click with and identify with? Well, I have to share this....because that's just how it is.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:02 AM
I have some friends who are going through some really hard times right now. First thing I ran across this morning on Facebook were these two quotes. I hope, if you're struggling with something (and who isn't tha?) that these'll help lift you up and carry you through today:
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." — Marilyn Monroe
Love this quote. So defines most women; at least it does me.
"Tough times never last, but tough people do."
As we had family prayer this morning, we included praying for some people that my children don't know. There's a little girl, who is just a year older than #4 and lives a couple states away. She was bullied at school and has been in and out of the hospital since. Pretty serious stuff. I just can't explain the feeling in my heart. It felt good to pray for her by name. The second quote is for her and her mom. Hang in there my friends!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:06 AM
Monday, March 28, 2011
Today this girl turned 21 months. She is a joy. I can't imagine that we thought we were done before she came along. She just mellows out the whole crew and helps make the madhouse not quite so mad. She is a huge blessing.
So, now a return to this photo:
So, in order to get her to sit for the photo, the kids started handing her pinecones. It worked for awhile until she saw that they weren't "her" kind. Funny girl! Gotta love her!
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:53 PM
Proverbs 31:13-15 Do you plan and prepare for the day? Do you start the day with a quiet time with the Lord? Are you ready to meet the challenges of the day? Write a post about how you set aside time to plan and prepare for yourself and your family everyday. Whether it be meal planning, scheduling, grocery lists, chores, or what you do to make sure you have time for Bible study and prayer with God.
Here's the scripture reference:
13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
With each class, when I start, I create a spreadsheet that becomes my study schedule. Before I study, I always pray and take a half an hour to study the scriptures. I also pray as part of my first routine of the day and my last.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The GUIDELINES are:
- New or nearly new quilts and blankets.
- Twin, double or queens. Random sizes are fine too-- just not too small. The size of a throw is too small.
- Each quilt and blanket must be put in a plastic bag.
- Please donate items that will provide warmth, no thin blankets.
- Flannel quilts or comforters would be perfect, as would other warm homemade quilts, double sided polar fleece blankets and wool blankets.
- Sleeping bags are welcomed too.
"If you buy a blanket or comforter. Andy and Bax on Grand Ave has wool blankets for $25. Stores such as Kohl's, Walmart, Big Lots and Target have blankets and comforters. Fred Meyers has any size polar fleece blankets for $12.99 (reg 19.99)
"Inexpensive, rectangular (non-mummy) style sleeping bags used to be $20 or so at some seasonal camping supply places. (Costco, Bi Mart, Fred Meyers). The price maybe higher since I last bought some but the heavier, simple ones are relatively cheap.
"Wrap them in love. Attach a note to each quilt or blanket, letting the recipient know that you care, are thinking of them, and are praying for them.
"If you would like to make such a donation, please have your items ready no later than Wednesday, MARCH 30th. The shipment is LEAVING on the 4th. I need to get the blankets to their central location early enough for them to be prepared and packed into the plane."
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:30 PM
I can't look at this photo without completely cracking up! Can you see what #7 has in her hands to keep her seated? I'm going to let you guess. I'll be back later to tell you. If you know (Julia), don't tell. Thanks!
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:42 PM
Tonight I checked on the status of my friend Mayumi who left the United States and returned home to Yamagata, Japan the day of the earthquake (obviously not knowing it was going to happen). She is coming back to her husband and the U.S. tomorrow. Would you please add to your prayers a plea for her and her baby son's safe return and for her family as she leaves them in Japan.
This was her status on Thursday:
"Got scared from an aftershock (magnitude was about 6.5) this evening. I packed stuff in my backpack after that. I really pray that we can travel safely on April 8....We really need your prayers. The frequency of aftershocks are decreasing, but we still have them every day. I have heard that the initial earthquake lasted about 5 minutes, and my parents barely could stand while it happend although my hometown is about 200 miles away from the epicenter. Thankfully, only about 100 houses were destructed and only 1 death in my hometown, Yamagata prefecture. The next prefecture is Miyagi (Sendai), and already close to 6,000 death, and 10,000 collapsed buildings."
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:32 PM
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes:
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never - no, never, no, never forsake!”
(How Firm A Foundation, Hymn #85)
This was the final verse of the closing hymn of tonight's Young Women's broadcast. As we listened to the young women sing it, I felt touched. #1 leaned over to me and said this was her favorite verse. It speaks volumes. Just thought I'd share.
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:19 PM
I know I had a bunch of people were wanting to see the list my children use when making their school lunches. so here it is.
All I did was take the food pyramid and break it down into what we have in our pantry and fridge that fit those categories. I make sure these items make my grocery list each week. I also add things from time to time depending on what I have coupons for.
I put it in a page protector and taped it (beautifully, as you can see) to the inside of the cupboard. In the past, when I've had little ones who can't read, I've read it off for them until I got smarter and created a list with words as well as pictures.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:05 AM
Friday, March 25, 2011
One of my facebook friends who goes to the same school with my eldest, asked for help on couponing as her facebook status last night. I jumped in. I know a number of young girls who are the shopper/chef in their homes. I'm hoping that some of these girls will come to my house for a little coupon/menu/crockpotting class. The idea came to me last night, after responding to this girl's status. I realized that I have a number of things to offer to these girls. Hope it makes their lives easier. They are amazing people. I'm excited to get to hang out with them for a little while.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:55 AM
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I took my two eldest daughters shopping yesterday. Funny thing...they still ask me to go with them. Yes, I'm the driver, and they could just ask me to drop them off. They knew they would be spending their own money, so it was for that reason either. Could it be that they still like having me around? If not, don't burst my bubble, okay?
We went to all the shops they wanted to go to along with a few of my choice. As we walked into Hollister, my oldest leaned over to me and whispered, "Welcome to Hollister. Would you like a flashlight?" It was that dark in there.
The best deals for the girls were found in Aeropostale. We found hoodies for $10. We bought three. One for each of them and a guys hoodie for #2.
I spent some time in The Childrens Place. I found little boys' sweaters for $3. I bought two for #7. Yes, she is a girl, but they were just girly enough that they could pass, and how could I say no to $3? I also found sunglasses for kids for $3, so I bought two pairs.
For me, we went to Coldwater Creek and Van Heusen. In both stores I found shirts I liked and wanted. They were both on sale, but I couldn't get myself to buy them. Both shirts were white. Both had kind of a wrap effect to them. I tried on the one in Coldwater Creek in a medium. It was a little large--I was shocked, but I couldn't get myself to go to a small. I just don't think this will last. It's also interesting that I only choose white and black. I've GOT to break out of my comfort zone.
Some people use retail therapy to work through hard times. I need therapy to learn how to shop again. My other bad habit with shopping is if I pick something for myself that I like and walk around the store with it for too long, I will talk myself out of it. If it's for me, it doesn't matter if it's $6, I will talk myself right out of it and put it back on the rack. Pathetic!
So, I left with nothing for myself but something for everybody else. Is someone out there willing to teach a poor pathetic case like me to shop again? I need some serious help.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:19 PM
I have to be honest here. I've never had fish tacos. I've heard they're wonderful, but I've never even seen one in real life. Sad, but true. I guess I don't get out enough.
I find myself this afternoon with a large number of tilapia filets, and I'm thinking along the lines of fish tacos for dinner tonight. You can tell where this is leading, can't you?
Can you help me out? Do you have a great way of making fish tacos? Is it just the same as regular tacos only using the fish as the meat portion? Can you direct me to a good recipe? I don't want these to just be good, I want them to be GOOD. But, then again, I'm not one of those people that has all kinds of gourmet ingredients at her fingertips. I'm kind of a plain Jane, so maybe I'll just have to settle for good.
Can you help me out with this one?
Posted by Julie Hess at 1:42 PM
We arrived home safely from the beach only to find that my cord for my laptop remains plugged in in my in-law's dining room. This may limit some of my online time for awhile until I get it back. This would not be such a bad thing. The words, "The mind-numbing effects of the internet," keep popping into my brain. My use of the internet is limited to blogging, email and facebook, but too much is bad, so I'm trying, daily, to keep things in balance. I think I'm doing okay.
When we arrived home, our mailbox was full. I forgot to contact the post office to have the mail held. Oops. In the mail was the invitation to the Mother/Young Mother of the Year Gala. At the luncheon early this month, we all introduced ourselves, so it was hard to tell who was whom and who was nominated for what. It looks as though there are three women up for Mother of the Year for 2012 and two for Young Mother of the Year--me and one other woman. The Warden--always the optimist--says, "Well then, you have a 50/50 chance." I laughed!
Okay, so here's the thing....The other woman is amazing! I mean two kids and runs an at home business. She helps other women build their self-esteem, etc. etc. Hmm. A bit intimidating. I remember her standing to introduce herself. She was all confidence and charisma. I'd vote for her. I liked her. So, so much for that 50/50 chance. It's okay. I can go back to life as normal when all is said and done, and it'll all be good. It will have just been fun to have learned from this opportunity.
After we got unpacked and kids down for naps, I read with #5 for a little bit and then opened my computer. I found the nicest comment on one of my posts. I went to that woman's blog. In the past 24 hours, I've had two women mention my blog on their blogs. Wow! I feel so honored. I mean, that's a huge compliment. I went to this latest one and got to laughing when she said I was "intimidating, but then she said some really nice things that overshadowed that, so it was all good. I just got to wishing that she knew me in the flesh. Maybe I need to write a reality post, so you can really know me and see that I'm not intimidating at all.
The first time I had that word used for me was in regard to a young man who liked my oldest daughter. She told me that he was "intimidated" by me. Yeehaw! Mission accomplished! I'm great with that kind of situation, but I don't want to be intimidating to anyone else. How do I undo that?
Posted by Julie Hess at 12:48 PM
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
One child won't sleep tonight and another's coughing up a storm--one of my asthma boys. We have no inhaler here. Gotta get home to take care of my sickies. They weren't sick when we arrived. **sigh**
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:38 PM
Found this on a blog I just ran across the other day and decided it was a worthwhile endeavor. I'm a few weeks behind, so this may end up being a semi-weekly post kind of thing until I catch up. For today, here's week 1.
|Looked up Proverbs 31 and pushed "images" this is what I got. Pretty, huh?|
Wow! Why is this so tough for me? Yes, I believe I am a virtuous woman. Capable wife? More precious than rubies? Okay. I'll take it.
Yes, I believe my husband trusts me. Do I enrich his life? Hmm. That's where it's tough. I try to, but not consciously. I don't wake up every morning thinking, "How can I enrich my husband's life today," but maybe I should.
I think I bring him good. We have a fairly peaceful life together.
What would I change about myself? Oh wow! Where does one begin? Lately, I wish I was more organized. I know when I am, I feel better about myself and am more able to get things done. So, yes, that's what I'd change.
What do I like about myself? I like that I can laugh at life and find lessons in things around me. I like that I continually try to better myself.
This adds enrichment to my husband's life in that I work to make our household better too.
To be honest, I think all he wants is that I be happy. He continually tries to do things to bring me joy. He's a great man!
Yesterday, when we were in the car with my mother by marriage and were talking about Dog, I came to realize that we, as a family, have our own little sub-culture. We have our inside jokes, our own language, etc. Sometimes it can be rather disturbing.
While upstairs, we were walking along looking at some old school photos. We stopped in front of a photo of a basketball team from sometime around the 1930s. Our older kids were already there--laughing. Amongst the chuckling, I caught the words "fly open." Sure enough...last kid on the right--unzipped.
Just now, we were sitting at dinner, and my mother by marriage wanted to know how our trip was at the museum and what we thought of it. First thing shared, of course...that photograph. Not only did the kids mention it to her, #2 opens his cell phone AND...he had taken a picture of it! Can you believe it?! He actually flipped open his phone and took a picture. Now grandma has proof.
How'd you like to be caught for posterity with your fly unzipped? Ugh! Poor kid! Then to have some 15-year-old punk catch you again on his cell phone? That's downright disturbing, but somehow, it defines our culture--just slightly twisted.
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:05 PM
And this is how we did it:
The pancake eating experience will never be the same again, and she's not even two yet.
Oh how I LOVE this stuff!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:16 AM
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Warden has gotten so he'll say, "Sistah," whenever the situation lends itself to it. Every time he does it, I crack up. Just can't help it.
Today, we were in the car with the Warden's mother when he came out with another "Sistah." I started laughing, and she knew she was completely out of the loop. She wanted to know just what was going on that she didn't understand.
It's pretty intense, but they always get their guy (or girl, whichever the case may be).
My mother by marriage commented on how this just didn't seem like my kind of show. You see, she thinks I'm Mary Poppins, a.k.a. Molly Mormon (first impressions die hard--even after more than nineteen years). But, to be honest, this really isn't my type of show, but I LOVE it. I've faced the fact that it's because of the adrenaline rush they go through on a daily basis. I guess I'm a little jealous of that. I'd love to hang out with Dog's wife Beth. She's so opposite me that I think it'd be a very fun experience. I'd love to have her call me "Sistah."
So, one more confession, last Saturday night, when we were working in the temple cafeteria, there were a number of times when I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel room so I could catch the next episode of Dog. Oh m'gosh! That's TERRIBLE!
Well, I got my mother by marriage turned onto Dog. She's sitting watching the first episode right now. I'm curious to see what she'll think about it. Good times, Sistah!
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:01 PM
Monday, March 21, 2011
Eons ago, shortly after I started blogging, I did a little post on why I blog. When I was done with it, I remember how lame I thought it was.
As time has passed, and I've had many, many experiences with this blogging thing--good and bad, I've realized that my reasons for blogging have changed.
As I did the 30-day challenge, I realized that I had in some more modern way, become like my mom. As my kids come to kiss me goodnight, sometimes they catch me blogging; writing down things that are on my mind.
I don't want my kids to ever wonder where they can find me and my thoughts as they were growing up. I want them to be able to turn and find my personality for that's what I want from my mom now.
Last night, I had a rather serious discussion with the Warden. I faced some facts about why I love blogging and facebook so much. You know what it is? It's the instant feedback. I love it when I can carry on a conversation with someone and know their feelings. I love it when people make me laugh by the funny things they say. I appreciate that there are so many others that go through the things I do on a regular basis. I honestly just adore the fact that I can interact with others so regularly and frequently.
I have set a goal for myself that any time I go to someone else's blog, I will post a comment about something. It's made such a big difference. I always go to the blogs listed on my sidebar when I see they've updated, and a few times a week, I go to this site and read other LDS women's blogs. It has been from this site that I've made some of my dearest blogging friends. I'm finding that everyone has something to offer.
Here are a few things from today:
I found this blog:
She's participating in a "Woman of Noble Character Challenge" each week. I'd love to do this. She got it here.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:42 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:10 PM
Years and years ago, we decided to expand some of our entertainment horizons and turned our kids onto musicals. It all started with The Music Man. I remember #2 as a toddler saying, "When the man dances, certainly boys, what else, the piper pays him. Yessir! Yessir!" Of course, it didn't sound much like that, but because we were so familiar with the show, we knew exactly what he was trying to say. Here's that little link (plus some) for your viewing pleasure:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has become a big favorite. The kids used to choose which brother they were--when we had six. Everybody fought over who got to be Frank. This is the first time we've seen it since we've had seven kids. It became easy to decide who was whom. No fighting. No arguing. The kids sang along to every song, but this is our favorite. Enjoy!
I couldn't get the video to embed, so the link is what you get. Sorry.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:31 PM
The Warden and I ran away for the weekend. It's our six month get-away. We left the kids in charge of themselves. This morning, we return home to see if things are still standing. When we called last night, #2 told me that #3 had cleaned the kitchen beautifully. When it comes right down to it, in my mind, if the kitchen is clean, the whole house is clean, since that's where I spend the majority of my time. #3 can clean that kitchen like no other.
Monday is the Warden and my anniversary--19 years! I know...the man's a saint.
The first evening we were gone, I watched a news broadcast in which a geologist (who had been right on previous predictions) said there would be a major earthquake on the west coast of the United States between the 19th and 21st. I watched that on the 18th. Here I was away from my kids. Ugh!
I don't believe everything I see and hear, I promise, but be honest, wouldn't that make you a little nervous too?
On Friday, I had told some of the people in our ward that we'd be gone. As the weekend progressed, one friend called the kids to let them know he was around if they needed anything. Another friend actually stopped by the house while she was out running around yesterday. Wow! I have great friends! It's so nice to know that if I wasn't around, there would be those who would care for my kids. So reassuring!
Months ago, the Warden signed us up to volunteer in the temple. Yesterday was that opportunity, so as part of our weekend get-away, we went to the temple. We got to work in the cafeteria. The Warden did dishes, and I got to work the "front line." I have to be honest, I didn't love it. I much prefer doing the dishes. I have this perfectionist attitude and am scared of messing up in front of everybody. They told me that a ward was coming in at 5pm, so we should be ready before and after that session for an onslaught of people.
At 7-ish, the people came, but it was my own ward. PHEW! I hadn't connected the fact that my ward had temple night and that the 5pm session would be them. It was JOYFUL to serve them. Nice to know that if I screwed up, they'd be forgiving. Although I know the other people who came through would have been equally forgiving, these were people I knew would joke around with me about it.
I feel blessed to be in such a marvelous ward. It's perfect for us.
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:20 AM
Saturday, March 19, 2011
|The "victory signs" were their way of giving tribute to Japan.|
I don't know what it is, but this photo speaks volumes about #1. She's a "gaman" type of girl. If you read the article about Japan that I shared in a previous post, that's #1. I ABSOLUTELY loved the article, so here's the link again just in case you didn't read it the first time.
#1 ran the 400 and took first place. She also ran the 4 by 400 (the very last race of the meet), so it was a long evening. My toes were frozen. I can't imagine how the runners keep their feet thawed so that they can run.
I got in a nice warm tub after getting home. It took a long time to warm back up again.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:49 AM
Yesterday I volunteered at the elementary school. I walked into #5's class and found the usual note waiting for me. Typically, this note will say that I need to read with children A, B, and C, but yesterday, it said, "Please put the flowers on the wall in the hallway. The flowers are on the shelves behind you." I turned to find some HUGE watercolored flowers. I was told that I should go find the school's step ladder, so I went, searched it out and came back to the stapler and flowers.
Here's how it ended up:
If you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, you must understand that this time of year is grey and rainy. Yesterday was no different. As I put these flowers up, it just made my heart happy. The kids'd come to the doorway and peek out and oooh and aaahh about their flowers. It just felt like I was in on something beautiful. It felt great to create a little piece of spring.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:40 AM
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I'm joining other bloggers in this:
To learn more about this, go here.
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:07 PM
Last week was the Warden's birthday. I bought him some new pillows. I don't know when the last time was that he had new ones. He loves his old pillows. I mean really loves them. He brags about how wonderful they are. We, #1 and I, tell him that they're rocks. Well, one of them got a hole in it, so it's spitting out feathers all over the place. So, time for a replacement, wouldn't you say?
When I bought these, I thought I was buying such a thoughtful gift--something he needed and sure to be as good as, if not better than, the pillows he adores. He got them out of the package and PHEW!!! Just one whiff, and I had a headache. NASTY!
We took them out and thought we'd air them for awhile and see if they did any better. After three days, they may have been a wee bit better but really not much.
I finally went to Ikea and found the perfect pillow for him. It must have been comical for the people walking around me to see me squeezing and sniffing all the pillows in the store. I'm very happy with my purchase now, and these stinkers are going to be returned.
Here's stink #2. Man, my house is full of stink right now!
The other day, there was a call to my cell phone from the Warden's cell phone. I'm glad I didn't answer it in some crazy way because it was the Warden's vice principal calling to talk to me.
He said he noticed that the Warden's knee was having some pretty bad troubles. True. It has been. He instructed me to go get some Tiger Balm at Rite Aid, so we did. And MAN!!! STINK!!!
But, the Warden claims that his knee does feel better, so I guess I'm going to have to live with this one for awhile. Better get used to it. The things that don't kill us only make us stronger (or something like that), right? Oh, I'm going to be so strong by the time we're done with this stink. Pile a few more blankets on the bed cuz I'm sleeping with the windows open from here on out.
I'm just imagining the pillows and the tiger balm in the same room. Ugh! So glad the pillows aren't staying.
Posted by Julie Hess at 10:49 PM
We received some of this amazing stuff as a gift.
Well, it called again. I couldn't just ignore it, so I pulled it down again and assessed the fact that the Warden doesn't appreciate dark chocolate. He really doesn't. Now milk chocolate....That's a completely different story, so it wouldn't kill him if we saved one of the two packages for the weekend, right?
You can probably tell what happened after that, so I'll leave the rest of this tale to your imagination.
All I have to say about it is that it was REALLY GOOD!
Posted by Julie Hess at 5:19 PM
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I have found some amazing facts that I want to share--little glimpses of light in what seems to be an insurmountable darkness.
As I shared in a previous post, I have been learning more about God's tender mercies for his children. Having seen these tender mercies in abundance in my own life as I've dealt with my own little challenges, it gives me great hope in what lies ahead for Japan as I become aware of some of theirs. I know, with no doubting whatsoever, that God is in charge, and this is all part of His plan. Prophecy is being fulfilled. Good things will come from this. But, amongst all the horrifying images we see on the news, are you aware of the good that is going on at this very minute because God's hand is in all of this?
First, of all, I want to share the miracle of the missionaries. The more I think about this, the more aware I am that God has had something to do with this. The area of Fukushima, the farthest south area in the Sendai mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was hit extremely hard by the quakes and tsunami. It is the area with the nuclear plant.
These zone conferences are not an every day occurrence--like I said. Coincidence that they were doing this that day? I just don't think so. Someday I'd love to hear the mission president's story on how that particular date was decided upon because I would bet that it was no mere choice of a date. I have little doubt that it was prayerfully decided upon and that the Lord had some say in keeping His servants safe. Tender mercy #1.
Needless to say, when I heard of the earthquake when I woke on the 11th, Mayumi came to my mind. Did she make it? I went to her facebook page, but of course, there was nothing but worry--people here, in America, inquiring as to her whereabouts and well being.
The next day, we heard from her. She had arrived, but not without an amazing story.
On Sunday, March 13th, at 6:19am (Japanese time, I believe), she shared part of just what happened to her.
She said they were given a blanket and some emergency food. While she was trying to get her baby to sleep, an old lady saw her and became concerned because she could see that Mayumi was alone with a small baby and had just flown in from a very long international flight, so she asked one of the airport workers if they could find her a quiet room--these rooms are typically reserved for V.I.P.s.
They arranged it for her, and she was give place in the baby lounge. The next day, she found herself with a stand-by ticket and wasn't even sure if there would be a flight to Yamagata. She said she was "constantly praying," and finally found herself given a seat on a flight to Yamagata.
When she arrived in Yamagata, there was no power, and Mayumi was unable to contact her family to let them know of her whereabouts. She caught a taxi and headed to her parents' home. I can't imagine their joy when she showed up on their doorstep. Wow! Can you imagine that reunion? According to Mayumi, "They just repeatedly said, 'So happy to see you.'"
She will remain in Japan until April 16th. I hope and pray for her safe return. In the meantime, there is no doubt the strength that she is adding to her family. Tender mercy #2.
The reason I know that Mayumi is a strength is because of what I know about the Japanese people by the short time I lived in their culture. A few days ago, I ran across this amazing news article. This writer sums up what I learned while in Japan. I hope as you read it, it also gives you hope. To me, this article was tender mercy #3.
So, what tender mercies are you experiencing? What have you seen from all of this? I hope these little instances give you a little added hope to combat the tsunami wave of ugliness that threatens to engulf us all. God is aware of us, each individually, there is no doubt.
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:00 AM
On the far right is my cousin. Let me see if I can explain this relationship better....
My great grandmother was this cousin's grandmother. My grandfather was her mother's half-brother. Don't you just hate it when people talk like this and start trying to explain relationships?
I had never met this cousin before; although, there were photos of her as a young child and Christmas cards from her family amongst my mother's things.
When this happened (please read the link, so you'll truly understand), I found that because my mother was an only child, we, my grandmother's descendants (my siblings and I) would be the only ones who would really care. It also hit me that I don't know my mom's side of the family at all. I felt that I needed to get to know them. I decided that my family would go to Spokane during spring break and would invite all that we could find of the Stegner family to meet us there.
Well, to make a long story short, Carol came from Boise for the last three days to help organize the family reunion that will now take place in June, not March.
I watch my kids every year when we arrive at our family reunion and how they pick up where they left off with their cousins. It's magical. I feel like I had an experience akin to this with Carol. I enjoyed my time with her immensely. I'm so glad she came and was sad to see her go.
Posted by Julie Hess at 9:57 AM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Here we are. After you go to the link, click "Oregon Mothers Honored" on the left hand side of the American Mothers website.
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:26 PM
Monday, March 14, 2011
My good friend Becky spoke in church yesterday. She based her comments on this talk
Here is a short clip of some of its highlights:
As I sat in sacrament meeting yesterday, my mind wandered--not an uncommon occurrence. I wondered if the Japanese members had had the sacrament passed to them, and I was sure they had. I thought about the comfort that would be in such a time as this. I thought about my little boy who was passing positive, upbeat notes with his friend (things like "your AWSSOME), who was sitting down the bench from us, during the meeting, and wondered if there was a similar boy somewhere in that country who had a friend like that to buoy him up. I hope so.
I realized that tender mercies are available to all of us. I have no doubt that individuals in Japan are receiving day by day, moment by moment witnesses that God is very much a part of their lives. That reassures me. That gives me hope.
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:16 AM
Friday, March 11, 2011
It was an entire day on the train from the mission home and three transfers. I went alone. I was sure I would miss a train somewhere along the way, but thankfully, I arrived just fine.
Aomori is famous for its apples. I remember seeing orchards where the workers were on ladders wrapping each apple on the tree so that it would have even coloring all over. Amazingly tedious work, I'm sure.
I arrived in Aomori in July. It was very warm. I transferred in January. At that point, the snow was amazing. Thanks to some very patient companions--Sisters Okimoto, Tazura, and Nakamura, I learned pretty much everything I needed to know to be a missionary in Aomori.
I loved Yamagata. I think I felt like I had things pretty well figured out by the time I arrived here. The members were so warm and wonderful. They were in Aomori too, but by the time I got to Yamagata, I could understand what they were saying and I could hold a pretty good conversation too (or at least I thought I could).
I'm not sure if I remember all of my companions from this time frame, but I'm going to do my best (they may even be out of order)--Thompson, Honda (my across the hall neighbor from the dorms at BYU), Morii, Yoneda(?), and Sala.
This building didn't exist when I first arrived, it was under construction, so we met in a rented space. This building was dedicated in August of 1990. I departed in November. We witnessed many people join the church in this area. It was wonderful!
Here, I was companions with Sisters Yoneda and ?, Takahashi, and McNair.
What a wonderful experience it ALL was! What a blessing to get to serve in such a wonderful part of the world and to get to meet so many great people.
So, today, I worry about them especially those from the Nagamachi Ward. As far as I know, the missionaries currently serving in Nagamachi are not yet accounted for. I hope they are safe and are able to report in soon. My prayers and my family's prayers are with them.
Posted by Julie Hess at 11:01 PM
Like the rest of the world, I was shocked to hear of the earthquake in Japan that took place last evening. I've been searching news reports and found this one. It showed people and just what precautions were being taken.
This was my mission area. I've, thankfully, been able to touch base with a couple of my friends through facebook. Most of the area, at this point, is without power. It is now Friday night there, so people are heading off to bed. Hoping to hear more tonight.
I remember my first earthquake there, I was living with three Japanese sisters. We had just moved to a new apartment on the fourth floor. As I recall, we were, prior to that, living in a ground floor apartment, which was not okay. Now I see why. So, we had to move.
The first night in our apartment, I dreamt that I was in the top of a tree and the wind was blowing really hard. When I woke, I realized that the apartment was slightly swaying and there was a whooshing sound all around us.
The Japanese sisters slept, so I woke them. I learned a whole lot of new vocabulary that night.
They were not concerned at all. This was part of their existence. I asked them if it was a "jishin." They responded that it was, but it wasn't a big deal, just go back to sleep. I then inquired, "What if it was a big one? What would we do?" They told me that we'd turn off the gas and go stand in a doorway.
They went back to sleep. I laid there until the rocking stopped and went back to sleep.
The epicenter was in Morioka. I believe it was a 5 point something quake.
So hoping and praying that all will be well soon.
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:29 AM
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I had to do a double contraction in the title. The thought of putting two apostrophes in one word was just too exciting. Well, there you go. That's the thrill of my day. Well, except for that trip to Ikea.
Life is kind of boring lately. I went to a church meeting the other night where they talked about reducing stress. They said it was important to make time for yourself, and I realized that I'm afraid to do for myself. My dumb reason is that I'm afraid that whatever I choose to do, I'll get carried away and I'll lose balance. Well, in reality, what I have right now is not balance. It's called a rut, and I'm not really loving it. So, the Ikea trip was my way of getting some kind of balance. I had to get out of my house for more than just running my kids to school or track practice or whatever else they might be involved in. I needed to get out to do something I consider fun...and it was!
Oh, and when he mentioned how much he loved Portland, Oregon, I became a fan. I'm with him!
Posted by Julie Hess at 8:24 PM
Went to Ikea today. Had to get some things for the house, so I grabbed a friend, and we went. We got their Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes with lingon berry sauce--YUM! We then went and check our kids into the playland. #6 is the only of my children that fits the qualifications for this. #7 went shopping with us.
I really enjoy Ikea, but this time, I just couldn't get myself to go the right direction. There are arrows on the floor, and I just couldn't get into sync with the arrows. Hmm....Kind of like life.
I got some towels, a shower curtain, a set of bedside lamps (which I love) and a pink candle for my kitchen--just to make me happy.
Posted by Julie Hess at 7:37 PM
I once had a mother drop her oldest child at my house. He, after entering the house, dropped his mother's hand and ran off to play with the kids. The mother called him back, "Are you sure you're going to be okay? I'll miss you. I'll be here at 11:30 to get you...." He said, "Yah, yah, yah," and ran off again. She, however, stood there in the entryway with a very sad and worried face, seemingly shocked that he's just run off that easily.
I assured her that all would be okay. We'd watch out for him.
Mind you, this was just a playdate.
It seemed rather clear that this mom hadn't left her son much in the past. When she called five minutes later to check to see that he was okay without her, it was clear that she needed to leave him more.
It is true that as mothers, it is a total rush to have little babies so very dependent on us. A little one that loves YOU more than anyone else on earth. When little ones start to stray from our sides, it's a blow to our egos.
In some cases, I think separation anxiety is brought on largely by the parents. I don't know, but I think some of my kids are very in-tune with my feelings. They get my vibe. They can feel when I'm anxious about things. Thus they reflect that feeling.
This is what we've done to set our kids up for success when it comes to being apart from us. With some of our kids it was easy. With some, not so much, and it took a lot of patience and practice. I would venture to say that the easiest were the ones who trusted us the most. First of all, this is an opportunity for a child to learn to trust others, so my job is to make SURE that whenever I leave my child, I know that it's the safest place possible for my child. If they are unsure, I verbalize that, "You know I love you and would never leave you in a place that I didn't believe was safe." If I think the place isn't safe, there's no way I'm leaving my kid because it reflects on me and can destroy my child's trust in me. My child's trust is the most valuable thing I can have. Second, we, the Warden and I, talk the place up to our kids. This has been particularly true when they become of the age to go to nursery during church. "You get to go play with the kids? Oh, you're so lucky! I love the kids....."
If they are crying when I leave them, I know they will get over it once they start having fun. I don't stay. My child needs to learn coping skills. They need to learn for themselves to calm themselves and find the fun. If I stay and do it for them or with them, they will learn that I am the fun and I have deprived them of learning a very valuable, and I'd say vital, life skill.
My job, as a mom, is to train my kids to face the world. This task is SO not easy. I feel like my heart gets ripped out almost on a daily basis. It's hard to watch them let go of and stop needing me as much as they once did. But the more this eventuality is delayed, the harder it is to teach. The more they fight against it.
I am just now learning, as I face the reality that in the near future, one of mine will graduate and leave home, that every opportunity I give them to learn something that leaves me with less to do for them, the more I bind them to me out of respect and love. I believe that cutting my children loose by giving them responsibility for themselves has saved us all a lot of grief and has made them closer to me. We have avoided many power struggles. I'm not saying we haven't had any. Oh, we have, but I do believe there were others that were diverted just by letting the children choose and allowing them some independence. They grew, and we grew closer with the kids just with them knowing that we trust them to make good choices.
Just like the little boy who came for the playdate, all children seek for independence. My belief is that little by little, it should be granted, but not without teaching and training so that they can be successful. We, as parents, sometimes have to take the ego hit and deal with the pain. It's not them rejecting us, it's us letting them love us more. We're letting them grow up and become who they are meant to be. But, man, it's not easy.
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:38 AM
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I was looking for this article for a friend a number of months ago and couldn't find it. Well, today, there is was. Too late for this friend, but this is such a charged topic right now, I'm sure it would probably help someone. When #2 started middle school, he was bullied by a boy in one of his classes. This is what we used to get on top of it. The bullying lasted all of two days. After #2 learned what to do, that bully actually became one of his friends. Hope this helps!
Teaseproof Your KidsBy Jim Fay
"Mom, I don't want to go to school. It's not fair. Mrs. Taylor tells the kids not to tease me, but they still do it when she's not watching 'em. I try to ignore 'em just like you said, but they just do it all the more."
Loving parents who are confronted with this feel like a piece of their hearts is being ripped out. What a hopeless feeling we have when our kids are being rejected or teased by other kids. It is not uncommon at these times to have feelings that include both heartache and rage.
We think to ourselves, "Why can't the school people protect my child? Don't they realize that we put our kids in their hands, and therefore, our trust?"
The sad truth is that the more a teacher protects the child who is teased, the more resentful and aggressive the other children become. A teacher who tells kids to be nice to a specific child actually "marks" that youngster and sets him/her up for more intense rejection and ridicule.
When it comes to teasing, the only person who can protect your child from teasing is your child. Kids have some sort of built-in sonar that causes them to zero in on certain kids and they can be unmerciful in the torment.
Watching this happen can be a gut-wrenching experience for any adult. But the good news is that we can actually help kids become "teaseproof."
Have you ever noticed that some kids never get teased while others are constantly subjected to teasing? There is a pattern to this.
Kids who are never teased never worry about being teased. They can't imagine that it would ever happen to them. They have an aura around them that says, "I can handle myself."
Kids who do get teased constantly worry about being ridiculed and send out non-verbal messages that indicate lack of confidence and fear of teasing.
Children are especially in tune with non-verbal signals of weakness. Without realizing what they are doing they zero in on these kids. Two subconscious goals come into play. The first is, "I can show others that I am superior to that kid,"and the other is, "That kid's weak and I better show him that he needs to toughen up."
Remember that none of this happens at the conscious level. It just happens and appears to be human nature.
The trick to "teaseproofing" a youngster is giving him/her the skills to be able to handle teasing. Once the child realizes he/she can actually handle the problem, you will see a change in the non-verbal attitude. The other kids will recognize this and start looking for different targets.
Mr. Mendez, a wonderful second-grade teacher, "teaseproofed" his whole class. He said to the class, "Kids, the reason kids tease other kids is that it makes them feel superior. Now you can let them get away with this or you can use an adult one-liner. But first of all, we all have to practice the ´cool look.´"
This teacher had the kids practice standing with their hands in their pockets, rocking back on their heels, and putting a cool grin on their face.
He practiced this over and over. Every now and then, he would yell out, "Let's see your ´cool look.´" The kids would all jump out of their seats and put on the "look."
Once they had all mastered the "cool look," he said, "When kids start to tease you, put on your ´cool look.´ Keep the look going while they tease. As soon as they get through putting you down, use your one-liner."
The one-liner he taught them is one of the famous Love and Logic One-Liners, "Thanks for sharing that with me. "Mr.Mendez had the kids practice this, making sure that they kept the "cool look" on while they said the words.
Every now and then, when the kids would least expect it, he would yell out, "Let me hear your one liner!" And the kids would practice saying the words, making sure to grin while they said them.
Once the teacher felt that the class had mastered saying, "Thanks for sharing that with me," in the appropriate way, he started having them practice jumping up out of their seats, putting on the "cool look," and saying their one-liner.
The next step was for the kids to learn to turn around on the last word and walk away fast without looking back at the teasing child. Needless to say, they all did their practice until the skill was mastered. They even spent some of their recess time practicing this on the playground.
Now that the skill was learned, practiced and mastered, Mr. Mendez could implement his part of the operation. When children came to him to tattle about others teasing them he consistently asked, "Did you let him get by with it or did you use your 'cool skill'?"
In the event that child admitted that he had not used his/her skill, the teacher said, "How sad that you let him get away with it. Do you suppose you are going to continue to let him get by with it or are you going to use your skill? It's your choice, but tattling to me is no longer a choice."
Mr. Mendez tells us that the amount of tattling and complaining has been reduced by over 90%. He also proudly tells about one of his students who came to him asking if they had to use the one-liner he taught them, or could they make up their own.
This second-grader wanted to demonstrate to the class the one-liner that he used so successfully on the playground.
He stood before the class and said, "This other kid on the playground was dissin' me. He said I had the skinniest arms in the whole school. I put on my ´cool look.´ I grinned and said, ´Bummer, I thought I was cool, man.´ I walked away before he could figure out what to say. Man, I blew his mind!"
All the kids clapped for this skillful second-grader, and the teacher beamed with pride as he thought to himself, "Now that kid is really 'teaseproofed' for sure."
You don't have to wait for the teacher to "teaseproof" your kids. You can do it in your home the same way Mr. Mendez did in the classroom. What a gift you can give your child, and come to think of it, what a gift it is to a parent to know that we can send our kids out into the world "teaseproofed."
Since the development of the "cool look" skill, many different kids have found sanctuary in its use. One of the most creative applications was seen at a local school where the kids seem to take great pleasure in claiming to do research on the behavior of other kids' mothers and attacking each other with this information when they are mad.
One kid yelled out to the other, "Yo momma's a ho´. The youngster being attacked put on his "cool look"and returned, "I tell her to be nice, but she gets mad when I tell her what to do." With this he turned and walked away.
The teacher who witnessed this reported that the attacker's mouth fell open and all he could say under his breath was, "Man, that guy's weird. He be weird."
Now the kid who pulled this one off is absolutely "teaseproofed." Even if kids try to tease him, the attacks will bounce off like Ping-Pong balls off a stone wall.
(from http://www.loveandlogic.com/pages/teaseproof.html). For more helpful ideas: http://www.loveandlogic.com/articles.html#all
Posted by Julie Hess at 6:18 PM