Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Last day of the kids school tomorrow.  Final Countdown is our song in the car each morning.

Need gifts for the teachers, but since we have four kids, that's a LOT of teachers.  Hmmm....

Charlie becoming more outgoing and playing with friends at workout in the mornings, now that the year is over.  To be fair to him, I totally quit working out when I was overwhelmed with school, so he didn't get as much chances as he should have to play. 

I heard a lot of screaming (Ahhh!) in the bedroom one day and it was because Charles was reading Dallas's name and pronouncing all the A's with a loud and long Aaahhh!!!

Charlie yelled at Dallas one day, "You're messing up my focus!", because Dal was bugging him.

We still set a timer for Charlie to remember to go to the bathroom, but when it goes off he tells me it's Mama's timer and I have to go potty.

I'm trying to make it through May and June.  So many camps and lessons to plan.  And then there's trek.  I need an entire week to just think and plan and I've been waiting for it ever since my school ended at the end of April, and still haven't had it.  Everyday there is something already claiming my time.  I accomplish a tremendous amount, but need peace and solitude.

Yesterday I thought I'd have a day to myself to plan my lesson on Sunday and think about things, but I got a flat tire and had to change it at the school and then spend the whole day down in Albuquerque getting new tires since they were apparently in bad shape. 

I got some help changing the tire from a dad who saw my predicament.  I've run into this dad in other places- school dance for example where our kids were the only ones dancing like no one was watching; for hours. I've felt like he is a kindred spirit, and found out later he has a daughter in my daughter's class.  In talking to him, I found out we have a lot of the same interests.  He is in a band and has a food truck.  I wanna be in a band and have a food truck so right there I could have talked to him for days.  Although my band would look like the Wiggles and he's in a pretty popular band from New Jersey that tours the world and probably isn't for kids.  He didn't volunteer it's name, and I didn't ask because I knew I'd either not know them, or they'd be so famous that then I'd act weird around him.  Anyway, I feel like I was supposed to meet him, but not sure why.  Maybe it's the musical future I hope to have.  Maybe a food truck future.  Maybe I'll never speak to him again!  Who knows. But I told him, some 4th of July, when I get our band up and running, we're going to play in the parade down the street and we'll need him to be our drummer.  Also, Charlie REALLY wants to be a drummer, so maybe he'll teach lessons someday.  It'll be interesting to see what happens...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sammy got some really bad ear infections and had some bad days.  My poor baby!  Everyone's been getting sick lately!!!  I hate that when it's Spring and nice weather!!!

Although we have been getting some strange weather here too.  Biggest marble-sized hailstorm ever a couple days ago.  Turned the ground white!

Stormy days.

We had a visit from Grandma, which I'll say more about later, while Pat and I had to go away for the weekend for bishop training.  It was the best visit ever, and she helped so much getting these guys to school and such.  It was so good to focus and not have to worry about the kids.  She's amazingly better than the last visit we had at her house were she was so very ill.  She got to hear the kids music, watch them play, and she even played piano for our primary since we were missing our pianist.  She was so helpful, and it was a really fun visit!  Happy Mother's Day!!!  Now if getting her here wasn't a whole day of flying and $500 dollars!

Leia has a cookbook with old recipes from the 1700's.  She really wanted to make Flummery which is something like making jam and it was served it in a pretty cup at fancy dinners.  A real treat back then.  I'll bet! 

I make the best donuts in case you didn't know. Usually I just do cinnamon-sugar, but made chocolate frosted this time which was delicious!!! They were the family night treat requested by Dallas and oh so tempting hot out of the pan.

The last gasp of winter ended up being our best snow this year!  It's weird how each winter is different and you just never know.  So the kids got to finally build snowmen, sled, and put on bathing suits for a snowball fight.  Wait, what!???

Adding sweetened condensed milk to snow.  Stir and eat!  A delicious slushy recipe we got from The Duggars TV show years ago.

Pat has a yearly take-your-kids-to-work day.  He has never deemed his kids worthy of attending before.  But this was the year!!!  The kids all LOVED it and talked and talked about all the neat things they saw.  I will never see these things until they have a take-your-wife-to-work-day.

At our town's Easter egg hunt.
Charlie hunting eggs at home.

I love seeing how much fun the boys have on the swings.  Here they have hooked themselves together and are swinging as one.  They are so funny to watch!

Playing dress-up with our neighbor!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Hair Dye

I have to say that although I don't dye my hair that often, usually just highlights, I felt like a change recently.  I cut my hair badly and it really darkened it when the light ends were gone.  So I did these two colors.  I really liked them!

I dyed my whole head with this dark red color.  I normally don't like red, but this color was really close to my natural color of really dark brown (almost black).  I left that on for a few days...

Then I had Pat throw in some highlights using this.  Ha ha. Neither one of us has ever done highlights, and I wished I could stand above myself and do it, but I obviously can't.  So I saw a method online of just combing in the color (no caps or foils), and that's basically what he did!  He didn't even complain much!  J/k.  He didn't mind.  So I did a few strands with my fingers around my face, and he did too, and then he combed the back in.  We messed up a little bit, but it's mostly unnoticeable.  Left it in about 25 minutes.

Whenever I go lighter it turns my hair orangy-red and the highlights did make it too orangy-red at first, but here's how I fixed it.  I mixed some GREEN FOOD COLORING in with my shampoo in a cup (about 3 drops per Tbsp), and after 3 shampoos (leaving it on 1 minute each time), it was a good color.  Now I love it!

This whole thing sounds crazy, I admit.  But I like it better than any other dye job I've ever had AND it cost $12 total instead of A LOT more.  Win Win!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April 29th.  Leaving to register the kids for swim lessons.  Around 6-8 inches of snow.  Incredible!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

There's so much going on, and I almost don't care about my classes anymore. I just want to be done. These are the last two weeks and with finals it's a bad time to not care!  I don't want to lose all the work I've put into the classes, but Pat doesn't have time to tutor me anymore, and we're feeling a lot of stress. Even though we feel fine, we can tell this new calling is taking it's toll because we stay up late and wake up way too early each morning unable to turn off our brains. There's just so much to think about. I don't know most of what he's thinking about, but I'm thinking about how to support him.
A bishop should look like a bishop, so I went through this guys closet and threw out all the white shirts that had turned yellow/grey and also threw out all his ugly stained ties.  We took him shopping to get new shoes, LOTS of new white shirts, and a couple new ties.  Then we got his 2 suits dry cleaned (not that that worked- they did a bad job and I got my money back).

Then he bought a phone.  For the first time, he has his own cell phone.  We knew there would be confidential things and other leaders with whom he'd need to communicate.  All of this cost around $400 dollars.  I teased that he should submit his receipts for a refund.  Then, yesterday we got a completely random check in the mail for almost $400 from refinancing our house a while back.  We weren't expecting it at all, and are so grateful for that timely blessing!

Speaking of house, we've had a builder and drafter come out and try to help us add on to our house.  We really want to do foster care, but are already very full here.  Howard McCall gave us the best price he could, I'm sure of it, but it was still too much money.  About $70, 000 for an additional bathroom and two bedrooms.  Now I feel kind of trapped.  We didn't feel it right to go into that much debt to have the ability to foster/adopt, but my heart also hurts to not be able to do it.

My wonderful sister Stephanie and brother T really helped us out this Easter.  We've been so busy that Easter baskets haven't been a priority.  She, however, sent us a care package from their trip to Hawaii, FULL of neat things for the kids.  I asked her if I could save it to use for Easter baskets and she said yes.  It saved us!  All we had to do was add some candy and the baskets were done!  They wanted to wear their new stuff to school and church they loved it so much!  We finally watched the Moana movie to go with it!

It was a wonderful Sacrament meeting today at church.  I got roped into singing last minute with the choir, but it was a song I knew, so it worked out okay.  But all the rest of the program and speakers were wonderful, and the BEST part of all was when the primary children sang Gethsemane.  There are no words for how beautiful and impactful it was.  I have written about that song before, so that's all I'll say about that.  Sister M, the music leader asked if we would help arrange the kids up on the stand, and I said yes! because I wanted to sit unseen behind them and sing.  Theresa then teased me about being the only adult standing in the back singing.  I love her for making that hilarious picture in my head. 

Pat's new counselors spoke today and they're both great.  One said, while giving his background story, that after his mission, his wife was "lucky enough to land me, the perfect trophy husband".  (That might come off bad if some did it, but from him it's hilarious).  Her reaction was so cute too.  They both love their wives and they really brought the spirit.

We are so thankful for our good friends here.  We were able to have a new family, the M's over for dinner and games.  We played an easy card game Wacky 6.  It was nice to get to know them (we love them!) before the bishop thing.  The stake presidency counseled us that some would see us differently and I'm kind of sad/scared about that.  Will people not want to talk to me as much?  Already I scrutinize what I wear when I go out a bit more and how I behave.

We had such a fun game night at the Tuck's house.  The Treys, Sheps, and Hass were there and everyone is so funny to me; the last time we were discussing days to get together, Pat said, "We're having an introvert party, and your all NOT invited".  That really made me laugh.  We are so sad the S's are leaving.  They know everything, and know how to do everything, and do it with the Spirit and pure hearts.  We wish them well in D.C.

Last, I'm thankful for these great kids.  When Pat was called, they immediately lost their two family vacations this year because of it.  So it's their Spring break and instead of being on the beach in California like we'd promised, they're sitting around the house.  I had to ask Dal to watch them while I went to my class.  They all got in swim clothes and made mud, and had a blast squishing in it.  I came home and found them like this.

Oh, and at our last family night, we played kickball, and Pat and I were dying laughing (on the inside) at how uncoordinated our girl is.  She's like Bella or the girl in Princess Diaries who throws the baseball right into the P.E. teachers head standing next to her.  Pat and I are both pretty good at sports, so I am floored that someone could be so uncoordinated.  Charlie can run circles around her.  When we found out she would be tall, I thought I'd steer her toward volleyball or basketball.  But perhaps I should steer her toward track, martial arts, or dance.  Or knitting.  She hopefully can't hurt herself knitting.  Man... she has overcome a lot of difficulties she was born with though, so maybe she'll get better.  Who knows!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On Saturday night, we told our kids that their dad was going to be the bishop the next day.  This morning as we were getting ready for church, Leia said, "Well, today's the big day!".  Impressed that she remembered I asked her what was happening today.  She replied, "Sister Ettin is finally coming back to primary!" (her teacher who broke her ankle).  I just love this girl.  Are we not all fellow servants?

Everyone has been so kind.  P. Manning came to me and in great delight gave his approval, followed by the phrase, "My condolences.  I'm sorry for your loss." This was probably the most appropriate reaction (from someone who knows). 

After church we went to Pat's office to say goodbye.  All the kids yelled "Daddy!" and gave Pat goodbye hugs; but Charlie just yelled, "Hey Bishop dude!".  (We are bewildered as to where he would get that).

We told Pat's parents they didn't need to come, but they did, and Charlie and Pat spent a good deal of time arguing about whether or not he even had parents.  Pat tried to explain that Grandma and Grandpa were his parents, but Charlie said, "You don't have parents!  You're a dad!!!"

So we got to enjoy spending time with the Grandparents, and Kathryne and had a lot of fun.  Grandpa likes to walk A LOT now, and so it was fun to go walking with them (even though D would ride next to us ringing his bell).  Dallas got made fun of by me for having a dorky bell on his bike. I just love Dallas, because instead of getting offended he started talking to his bell saying, "It's okay.  Don't listen to her."  Man he cracks me up.  He made pretty hilarious vlogs of his time with Kathryne too. 

I wonder if Pat was chosen to be bishop because of our wonderful kids and not because of us at all.  They have helped us so much this week (and they always do), and they didn't even know why we needed the extra help.  I am just so incredibly thankful for them. 

Pat and I cannot hold a candle to the former bishop, but the confidence of the Stake presidency meant so much to me today, along with the support from our ward.  Former Bishop Nuckols said there would be an intense pouring out of the Spirit in our home to help us and protect us.  The Shepherds expressed their love and support and I could tell that they felt both sad, and 100lbs lighter at the same time. 

When I told our neighbor and good friend Warren about it, he wondered why we would be willing to do something that required so much extra service without any pay.  I said it was a privilege to serve God.  I never know what to say in situations like these.  That seemed like too simple an answer, but it is hard to quickly sum up.  It is choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, like Jesus Christ did for us.  It is why we're willing to take His name upon us, keep His commandments and always remember Him; because he loved us first! *smile*

When you stand with God, you never stand alone.  I choose to stand with Abraham, with Nephi, and Moroni.  With Abinadi who testified in flames.  With Alma, with President Monson.  With those not of our faith who have the light of Christ.  I am so thankful for my husband.  Even in the midst of overwhelming schedules, we've made time for each other and been happier in our marriage than ever before recently.  This, I know, would never have come without us both loving and serving God more than we love ourselves.

Now a funny from Leia: She's been learning about liquids, solids, and gases, and she knows the air around us is a gas.  Her little friend Heidi came over to play, and as they were swinging together Leia kept asking Heidi, "Do you feel the gas?!?"
I'm sure Heidi hadn't any idea what she was talking about.

Dallas and I practicing our mad faces.

Charlie totally came out of his shell and was his normal (fairly normal), talkative, loving, crazy self.  What a surprise!
Leia said this poem at family night. 

The boys took torturing their aunt very seriously. 

Best friends.
with Grandma
more torturing
oldest and youngest