Thursday, November 07, 2013

Little tidbits

A few weeks ago, Evan was pretending to be a robot.  We had just finished dinner and asked Evan to clear his plate from the table.  He walked up to the table, moved his head side to side and said "scan, scan, scan" with a robot voice.  Bon and I looked at each other and cracked up!  I still get a good chuckle out of that one.

The kids seem to always ask when they can just have time alone with Bon or me.  We would usually put them off and not plan anything.  So I finally sat down a couple of weeks ago and came up with a date schedule.  One weekend will be a parent/child date on Friday and Saturday (different child/parent each night) and the following weekend will be a date night for Bon and I.

Well last weekend Bon was going with Ryan on Friday and I went with Ty on Saturday.  Saturday morning, Bon was telling me about the time they had.  He said that as they were driving, he hadn't really asked Ryan anything and it had been quiet.  Ryan piped up from the backseat and said, "Dad, you're probably wondering how my day was." and proceeded to tell him.  He said that Ryan shared what he did that day in the order it was done and his thoughts about stuff.  Then he paused and said, "Your idea for date nights was great.  Thanks."  I just thought that was wonderful.  Bon works a lot and often says he wishes he had more time with the kids.  I knew that having it on the calendar was one way to help get it done.

My date with Ty was hilarious.  That kid is a hoot.  I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.  "just a reg-lee-ur dad".  :)
Well, what are you going to do to earn money?
Oh, I'm not going to work.
Are you going to make your wife work?
Well, how are you going to pay for things like food and a house?
Welllll...I guess I could play music.
Oh, that's nice!
Yeah!  I could just put my hat down or something and people can just walk by and give me money when I play!
Soooo, you're going to play on the street??
Yeah --and continues to tell me a story about an obviously homeless person he saw on his way to the zoo for his field trip.  Apparently, you can make $100 a day!  ;)

Then I asked how many kids he wanted.
20???  (thinking oh his poor wife!)
Yeah!  Then I can build them a jungle gym!  Because kids LOOOVE jungle gyms!

In other news...
I told Bon last Tuesday during dinner that I kept getting the feeling I should be picking the kids up from school instead of them riding the bus home.  I said that I would start on Monday.  He turned and pointed to a saying I have up on the wall.  "Never postpone a prompting. Thomas S. Monson"  I said, "Dang it!  I'll go in tomorrow."  :)  I didn't have a number tag for our car this year and the kids needed their tags on their backpacks changed from bus to car.  So I got that taken care of and I've gotten them since Wed. the 30th.

Reagan had her follow up eye appt on the 1st.  She was tested for glaucoma.  At her first appt, it was noticed that her left optic nerve is a bit larger than her right.  That can be indicative of glaucoma.  So the test they did was a perimetry test, where they test her range of peripheral vision.  The doctor said that this test is hard for even grown ups the first time, because you just don't know what to expect or how to to it properly.  So there were spots on the test where she dipped into the troubled area.  And her eye pressure was 16.  So we have another appt on the 3rd of December with an ophthalmologist in the same practice.  She will perform the perimetry test again and the doctor will also see how thick her eye is to see if 16 is a good/bad number.  She explained that the eye is like a balloon, if you have a thicker balloon, you have more stretch and give, but a thinner one can only be stretched so much.  So...  Bon is coming with us for this one, since I never think of any questions to ask.  I did ask if it was stoppable.  And she said that it can't be cured, but there are treatments that slow it down significantly, such as eye drops.

I think that's all our big news.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Little bits

Every day around me there are little bits of loved ones.  Some of the ones I use most frequently belonged to my Grandma Smith.

I can still see this stack of bowls in the corner of her counter, stacked and ready to be filled with potato salad or fresh cucumbers and onions from her garden.

And these are the pots she cooked with most.  I'm sure the original handles had long since been broken and were replaced by these wooden ones from my grandpa.

She could be a mean old woman.  Never shy to say if you were getting fat.  But I loved her.  I'd spend a week at a time with her during the summer.  Once I was woken up by her making this strange bird call at 7 in the morning!  In the summer!  Trying to attract a cardinal and I'm sure failing miserably.  But still she tried. (birdie, birdie, birdie)  I can still remember the way her house smelled.  And still wanting to go and stay, even though I know ghosts roamed at night.  (truly...stairs don't creak by themselves one at a time....)  I miss her.

I hope everyone has little bits of their loved ones.  Sometimes physical reminders are so nice, especially when a lot of time has passed.  It makes them feel more real, instead of just a memory.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A little testimony strengthened.

Upon returning from Ohio, Ryan has been having issues with going to sleep/staying asleep.  Bon and I are getting frustrated and we're trying really hard to keep to a routine, but sometimes things just don't go smoothly at bedtime.  Last Saturday at one in the morning, Ryan kept popping up out of bed and Bon became so frustrated he went to the basement to sleep.  Ryan came into bed with me and slept, finally.  Ryan wants someone with him; Bon and I just want to be alone at night.  

So as I laid there, I was saying a silent prayer, once again, praying for Ryan, for ways we can help him, for inspiration on how to help him, what to say, etc.  I was tired and frustrated and I think about halfway through my prayer, I just questioned if He was even there.  Was He even listening?  Did He even care?  

Fast forward to the next morning, we walked into the chapel and I was approached by the Executive Secretary.  Would I give the closing prayer?  I wanted to turn to him and say "Are you kidding me??" because I just had this internal struggle and I really don't like praying in public to begin with.  But I agreed.  

Fast forward to the closing prayer.  As I was walking toward the podium, I felt this overwhelming love.  I felt this peace and comfort and assurance that He is there and He does care.  He hears our prayers and He loves each and every one of us.  I croaked through a closing prayer, grabbing a tissue on the way down. 

On Tuesday, we had a RS presidency meeting and I had the spiritual thought.  I shared this experience from Sunday and this scripture.  

Moroni 10:7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. 

In my patriarchal blessing, I am promised many things as long as I have faith.  That brings me comfort when I remember those blessings.  I often feel imperfect and I know I have many shortcomings, but I know that with my faith, I can only grow and become stronger in the gospel.   

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Whirlwind Summer

Last day of school

This summer seemed to rush by.  Before school was even out, we were at swim team practices.  Once school was out, the mornings were booked with swimming and Thursday evenings were spent at meets.  It was a fun experience and all of the kids did so well and progressed so much.  The kids gained confidence in the water and it has been such a blessing for me to not have to watch them like a hawk when we go swimming.

In July we went to Ohio.  We spent some time with Bon's parents, my parents and some time at the farm.  With the Carters, we shot guns and knitted on looms.  With the Smiths we went to Limestone Lake and went to the park and out for ice cream.  At the farm we spent time with Jenny, did the annual shopping with her and her friend Alice.  While we were there, a big storm passed through and a couple big branches came down from some trees and almost hit the house.  That's when we called in some help and had some guys cut the two trees down that were closest to the house.  They did a good job and they did it for free.  We payed them in popsicles, since it was really hot.  I'm grateful they were able to help us.

Limestone Lake

Limestone Lake

Storm damage right after the storm.

Storm damage in the sun.  :)

Without the trees.  :(

We ended the summer with being at home and getting ready for school.  It was a few weeks of playing with friends, going to the pool and the last couple of days were spent with Mary and her girls.

Chess at the library.

Sacked out on our bed.

Lunch with Mary and her girls before they left.

The kids are excited about their new teachers.  Reagan has Mrs. Sebastian, Ryan has Mrs. Williams (Reagan had her last year!) and Ty has Mrs. Smith.  We've met them and they all seem like wonderful teachers.  Their first day was yesterday, the 7th, and they came home chatting up a storm.  I don't think Reagan stopped talking the rest of the night.

First day of school.  Ryan was excited too, just mad that Ty had tried putting his arm around him too.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

RIP Beautiful Girl

I got two phone calls today.  A short one from my Aunt Sally and a longer one with my Dad.  They were calling to let me know that my Aunt Brenda passed away this morning.  She was 60 years old, 33 years past the 27 year life expectancy the doctors had given her.  She had Down's Syndrome and lived with my grandparents for as long as they lived.  When my Grandma passed away, Brenda moved into a nursing home and was under great care.  Her diabetes stabilized and she was doing really well.  In the past year, however, she started to decline.  She was put on Hospice care in September of 2012 and even though she was doing pretty normally physically, we knew she wouldn't be with us much longer.

Her passing comes as a shock for me, mostly because I try keeping my head in the sand about how bad people really are.

I loved her and will miss her greatly.  She had a beautiful spirit.

Brenda Kay Smith 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Busy times

Summer is going to start full-force here in a couple of weeks and I am not ready!

Swim team starts with after school practices on the 13th.

The last day of school is the 22nd.

Morning practices begin on the 23rd.  I'm grateful that my kids aren't in the early group.  The earliest one is 9.  I can handle that.  Evan won't start his practices until the 28th.  I'm super excited that he will get to learn to swim this year.  He was doing really well last year, just being at the pool for 4-5 days out of the week.  And I'm hopeful for the others that they will learn to swim better and not plug their noses and be afraid of getting their face wet and going under (Ty was last year).

Our Thursdays will be consumed with swimming all of June.  Practice in the morning until 11 and then meets at night starting at 6:30, but having to be there around 5.  There are a lot of members of our ward on this team, so I'm excited for a chance to get to know some of them better.

After swim is over, we will be headed to Ohio.  Probably the 5th or 6th of July and coming back here the 22nd or so.  I'm sure I'll be twitchy once I get back here.

But then my lovely friend, Mary, and her kids will be visiting before they move back to NC!!!!  I guess it's not set in stone yet, but it's leaning pretty heavy that way.  They will be close to Raleigh though, which is more like 5.5 hours from here.  Or if your Dad, it's about 4.  ;)

Then school starts the 7th of August or something crazy like that.

Ah, I guess I don't mind the summer.  Especially when we can hang out at the pool and come back to our nice, cool home.  :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And repeat.

Tonight as the kids were trying to settle down for bed (man, this daylight savings time is KILLER!), I came downstairs to survey the mess.  I looked around and saw dirty dishes all over the counters, piling out of the sink, the empty dishwasher just opened up and ready for business.  I saw bookbags scattered on the floor, partnered with the shoes that carried them to and from school that day.  I saw jackets laying lifeless, stretched from one room into the next.  And I stood in the middle of it all and made a guttural noise and rubbed my eyes and face to prevent myself from breaking into tears.  Bon asked what was wrong and I quickly said that life sucks sometimes.  It's the same thing every day.  Over and over.  I dove into the dishes and scrubbed some of my frustrations out.

Then I felt so dumb.  Of course it's the same thing every day!  Would I rather live a life where I don't know where I'll be one day to the next?  Would I rather live a life clean and tidy without my children or husband?  A big fat NO!

So while I strive to have the picture perfect life, I understand that I will always have a pile or three of something, anything laying around waiting to find it's proper home.  I will always find scissors anywhere else but where they belong.  I will always know that I won't ever have the complete set of screwdrivers in one spot at one time.  My floors will have crumbs, the walls will have fingerprints and it might even be a little gross around the toilet until I get a chance to clean.  But that's okay.  No one is eating off of any of those.

As long as I remember to always tell my kids that I love them.  That I always give them my attention and praise.  That they feel love and safety when they are with me.   Those are the things that matter.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Emotional Month

The end of January brought a new kidney for my step-mom of 23 years.  I was emotional for a couple of weeks following that news, knowing how much her life was going to improve.  I was filled with gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father that allows healing and forgiveness to work in our lives.  

A few weeks ago I started following journal updates for a mom of a family in our neighborhood.  I had met her once briefly this past summer.  She entered the hospital on December 20th and had struggle after struggle while fighting non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  She passed away this morning and my heart is heavy for her family.  It's amazing how one person can impact so many and how much love and support is poured out.

It made me think of how much I love my kids.  How much I love Bon.  My family.  How I would miss them if they were gone.  I'm grateful for the Plan of Salvation, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't grieve.  I need to make each day count.  Make it something better.

I thought of this song by Bruno Mars.  He's lamenting about losing his girl, but I twisted it into motherhood/being a wife.  Cause I can.  ;)

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm Baaaack!

My computer died.  It was quick and painful (for me).  But thanks to Bon and Dell, I am now fighting my kids for computer time at our new desktop computer that's based out of our kitchen.  It's wonderful!  (except for the fighting part)  ;)

And the first thing I want to share is my pantry re-do! 

I was annoyed with the lack of storage our pantry had.  My (genius) friend Mary said that maybe it was a closet before.  Oh, huh.  Yeah, that makes sense since it had carpet on the floor and isn't in an ideal place to be a pantry.  But oh well. 

So, our before.  4 wire shelves where everything tipped and nothing could be seen.

So I went to Lowe's and bought some supplies. I purchased:
1- 1x6x10
4- 1x12x8 (maybe it was only 3?)
1- 1x12x4 (as a precaution in case I mis-measured or decided to add more shelving)
8- 1x2x8 (also known as furring strips)
1 - 2.5 inch wood screws
1 - 2 inch wood screws (you could just get one size, but make sure you have enough for everything.)
5 planks of vinyl laminate flooring that matched my laundry room floor re-do.  It's vinyl flooring tiles that look like wood floor.  Very easy to install.  I had a few left over, so measured how much more I'd need. 
Then later at Home Depot (it's closer), I bought some mending straps.  I got 12 straps and some small screws to use with them. 

I bought some extra stuff at Lowes the first time, so my total was $117.  Taking the extra things off the bill, and adding the things at Home Depot, I would say this project cost right around $100. 

The first thing I did was to obviously empty out the pantry. 

Then I ripped out the shelves.  I loathe wire shelving.  LOATHE. 

I spackled the holes and sanded and waited for them to dry. 

Then is where the fun began!  I measured up from the floor 24" to put in the first row of furring strips.  I put the back ones on first and then added the side ones.  I used a level to make sure they would be straight.  Found the studs and then I would drill pilot holes through the furring strips into the wall, switch the drill bit and then drive in the wood screws.  I would use the level a lot to make sure it would stay straight.  Once I got all the furring strips in place, I painted the walls and the furring strips. Make sure you measure your pantry items so that you can determine the spacing of your shelves.

My bottom three shelves are "18 inches" deep.  I say that in quotes because we know that wood doesn't actually come in the size it says it is.  So they are less than 18", but "18"".  ;)  So I measured across the back from side wall to side wall.  I used that measurement to cut my 1x6x10 three times.  Then I used that measurement to cut my 1x12x8 to make three pieces.  (so, I started into the second of my 1x12's).  

For the rest of the shelves along the back, I just measured the width from wall to wall and cut my 1x12x8's.  

For the side shelves I took a 1x12x8 and drew a line down the center lengthwise and used a circular saw, some awkward body contortions and a plastic bucket to make that cut.  I then would measure from the inside of the door frame to the shelf where it would meet and used that measurement to make a cut.  Then I rotated the miter saw to make a 45* cut and sliced off a little angle so the sharp corner wouldn't poke an eye out in a pantry rush.

Once I had all the wood cut out and roughness sanded off, I whitewashed the pieces.  (love the look!)  

Then I attached the shelves to the furring strips.  I put the shelf down, drilled a pilot hole, then screwed it into the strip.  I used the mending strips to hold the little shelves together and even with the big shelves.  They were kind of caddywompus and probably wouldn't hold what they do if they weren't connected.  

After the shelves were in, I put in the flooring.  I waited overnight and loaded all our crap food back into the pantry.

I LOVE how it turned out!  Now, I will admit that I should've put a teeeeeensy bit more space between shelves, but it really doesn't bother me that my syrup bottles are laying down.  I have to reach to get stuff on the top shelf, so really, it's just fine!  Now I just need to figure out lighting.  Bon was thinking maybe we could wire something to the hall light switch so when that was on, so was the light in the pantry??  I like that idea!!!  

On the bottom, I have the two plastic bins that are in the original picture stacked and another set of plastic drawers that hold hot chocolate mixes and extra baking things.