31 August 2014

Finally! We have another missionary!

I had to keep this secret for a very long time.  It was really hard!  And now that I'm finally writing about it, I don't remember many of the details.

I didn't know that Wiyah was even considering a mission.  But here and there she would mention things about "......my mission....." and I realized it must definitely be on her radar.  It was exciting, but I didn't feel like it was something I should ask her about or talk to her about.  That I should just let her explore those ideas on her own without any pressure or expectations.  

My recollection is that by the time she got around to officially telling us that that was her plan, she had known and shared with Baboo for quite some time.  There was a part of me that was sad to have not been part of her process with her.  And another part that was really happy for the close sibling relationship and sharing with her missionary sister.

Once it was official, I really wanted to make some kind of announcement because it was so dang exciting!  But I WAS NOT ALLOWED.  In fact, she wanted to keep the whole thing a secret, even from her siblings, UNTIL SHE GOT HER CALL!

Ugh.

So we had to make decisions about what college she would accept at, knowing that she wouldn't be there for two years.  It was really hard for her.  And people kept asking questions about her future that were really hard to answer truthfully without divulging her plans for a mission.

I got pretty good at it, though, and loved it when she appreciated my helping her out of some sticky conversational situations.

Eventually, we did have to tell the kids that she was planning a mission because some things just needed to be talked about and keeping a secret like that at home was almost impossible.  But no one was really aware when she submitted her papers.

And then nine days later (last Wednesday) she got her letter from the Prophet telling her where in the world the Lord needed her.  At first, she planned on waiting until Friday to open her call.  But in the end, she wrote on facebook, "I've waited almost 19 years and I'm not waiting any longer! I'm opening my call tonight..."

It was a lot of fun posting the surprise photo of her with her call already on facebook and the shock and surprise that family members had.  

Anyway, without further ado, here is her call opening.  The first two videos below are part 1 and part 2.  They were taken by a friend of hers.  The third video is one that the Hubba took on his phone and is a little bit longer.




video
video


30 August 2014

Overheard

Getting late night snacks in the kitchen, I hugged JJ.

Me:  JJ, I love you.  You make me happy.
JJ:  I love you, too.
Me:  Good.  I don't want to be a burden.
JJ:  If we were pioneers crossing that freezing river, I would carry you over first and you wouldn't be a burden.
--------------------------------------------
Winkleberry had a hard first week and a half of first grade--especially getting up in the mornings.  Every single morning after the first day was filled with tears and tantrums reminiscent of that year with Pinkleberry.  She would just say over and over "I want my sleep-in day!".  We kept telling her that on Saturday and Sundays she could have her sleep-in days but she just screamed that they were so far away and didn't count.  This morning, Wink woke up around 9:30am.  I usually wakeher up for school at 6:30....

Me:  Winkleberry!  You got your sleep-in day today! Do you feel better now?
Wink:  (eyes lighting up) Yeah!  I'm not even sleepy.  How long did I sleep in?
Me:  Three hours!
Wink:  (Wicked smile)
Me:  And you get another sleep in day tomorrow!
Wink:  Wait. Is today Saturday?
Me:  Yes.  But Monday is ANOTHER sleep-in day!
Wink:  (Wicked laughter)

29 August 2014

Grown Up Friends

Pink and Wink have two very special grown up friends.  One is Tom.  He is an older gentleman that lives down the street.  We met Tom and his wife on the day they were moving in.  They have family in our neighborhood and called and asked if we could come help unload the van.    They called several people to come help, but we were the only ones to come and we brought our whole family.  We made short work of that van and all the kids were helpful and made an impression.

Every time Tom would see me or the little girls he would make a special effort to stop and say hi.  The little girls liked to go visit him at their house.  At church every Sunday except Fast Sundays, Tom brings a little candy treat for them.  So they always look for him before sacrament meeting.

A while back, Tom had some serious health issues and was hospitalized.  The girls made him get well cards and we walked over to deliver them.  By that time, Tom was home and on the mend.  They invited us in and while I talked with his wife, Tom entertained the little girls--showing him all the trinkets around his house and giving explanation and asking and answering questions.  They loved all the time and attention.  He was indefatiguable and that was after a hospital stay!

I was reminded of Tom because he just stopped by our house!  With a cake for his "two girlfriends".  It's a double layer, round, strawberry cake with hot pink frosting and sparkles on top!  So sweet and kind and thoughtful!

Their other special friend is Marci.  She lives one block behind us.  Marci is a friend of mine and I used to take the two little girls over to her house once a month when I would visit teach her.  She always had a closet full of toys that they thought was the best.

One day I had an emergency and Marci watched Wink for an afternoon.  Marci had three big boys and so she really doted on a little girl and they did lots of girly things together.  Winkleberry loved it!  She kept asking and asking to go back.  Marci was charmed (I hope?) by that and invited Wink over for other playdates.  Sometimes I was invited, sometimes not.  Pinkleberry got jealous and so Marci started inviting her, too.

Marci also had a new baby boy.  So Wink and Pink always want to go over there  and play with her baby.  I think they keep him pretty well entertained so I hope it's not too much of a burden on Marci.  In Sacrament meeting, after they get their candy from Tom, they like to go sit with Marci and her baby.

I'm so grateful for these adults who take a special interest in my girls and nurture them.

27 August 2014

I feel like celebrating all over again!

I just got my blood test results back from my latest doctor visit.  That made me look up my last test results to see how those compared.  So I'll just copy and paste from 24 September 2008:

Lipid Panel Results

Total Cholesterol
240+ High
200-239 Borderline High
Below 200 Desirable
**My results: 164 And can I just add that breastfeeding raises your cholesterol level. So when I'm done nursing, it might actually be lower.
**2014: 153

LDL (bad) Cholesterol
Below 70 mg/dL Optimal for people with or at very high risk of heart disease
Below 100 mg/dL Optimal for people at risk of heart disease
100 to 129 mg/dL Near optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline high
160 to 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very high
**My results: 71
** 2014:  69

HDL (good) Cholesterol
Below 40 mg/dL Poor
40 to 59 mg/dL Better
60 mg/dL and above Best
**My results: 74
** 2014: 68

Triglycerides
Below 150 mg/dL Desirable
150 to 199 mg/dL Borderline high
200 to 499 mg/dL High
500 or above Very high
**My results: 93
**2014: 81

Also, this time there was some cardiac risk assessment test.  I'm not sure what it tests, exactly, but the results were negative.  Meaning that I'm not at any increased risk of heart attack.

24 August 2014

I'm Homesick

So I think I've started nesting.  Baboo comes home in about two months and we've got grand plans to get the vast majority of the house looking nice and feeling comfy to greet her.  I just couldn't stand the thought of her coming home to a place that was more run down and broken (remember that water damage from the ice dam just before Christmas?) than when she left.

The timing worked out perfectly and we were able to invest significant time and money into fixing certain things.  So our old fence, which has been in various states of disrepair and brokenness for about half the time we have lived here, has been replaced with a new fence finally.  We live on the corner of two streets with schools so we had a million school children cutting across our yard and I felt like we had no privacy whatsoever.  But now our privacy has been restored.  And it looks good.  And we are no longer the blight of the neighborhood.

Inside we had just planned to fix and paint our family room which sustained the most water damage last winter.  At first we were just going to repair the wall and ceiling with new drywall, paint and put in new flooring.  But the Hubba decided to remove all the old, damaged drywall and put in brand spanking new drywall first.  So while he attacked that job, I was just itching to get started painting.

Meanwhile I was getting frustrated with the state of the "boys" bathroom upstairs.  So I organized some boys to clean it and got permission from the Hubba to paint it all in one day!  When I was choosing paint colors, JJ and X were out pulling weeds at a neighbor's house so I went to find them to ask what color they wanted.  JJ suggested yellow so that everything would blend in.  EW!  The little boys wanted orange.  The little girls and the big boys wanted green.  And since my whole purpose in painting was to entice the little girls to actually use that bathroom, I decided to go with the lime green.

So it only took me a couple days to paint.  It looks nice and I love the Hubba telling me what a great job I did and how professional it looks.  I got a matching bath mat and some new matching hand towels and it's a great, fun bathroom now.  (Additionally, we've made a new rule that everyone sits down to go to the bathroom every time and so far, that rule is being followed!  Yay!  Everything is so much nicer and fresher and cleaner and just plain wonderful all around!)

But that family room still wasn't ready to paint.  So I asked the Hubba if I could paint the living room.  I was going to paint the wall above the chair rail one color and below a different color.  But the Hubba asked me if I wanted to just put up bead board in that room too.  (That's what we'll be doing in the family room.)  It was exactly what I wanted, but I didn't think he'd go for it and I thought it would be too much hassle and too expensive.  So he got to work removing the chair rail while I prepped the wall for painting.  Only the walls were horribly damaged when we tried to remove the chair rail.  And as we tried to fix it, we only damaged it further.  We weren't sure how we were going to repair that to paint.  But we have a friend/neighbor who used to be a contractor and he helped us over the next couple of weeks with that.  (But we still couldn't paint though).

So in the meantime, the Hubba removed the chair rail from an adjoining room (now we had to put bead board in that room too, which was just fine with me!) and prepped it for painting.  The living room was in process of getting its two coats of primer and two coats of paint when I started in this other room.  I primed it with two coats and then put on the first coat of paint.  It totally clashed with the paint in the living room.  We contemplated leaving it but in the end I knew it would be a long time before we painted again and I wanted it to look good.  So we picked out another color of paint and Wiyah and I painted over it (She's been my roller.  I cut in at the edges and she rolls).  When we were almost done with it we realized that it was the EXACT SAME COLOR as the adjoining hallway.  We don't even like that color at all.  What are the chances??

And FINALLY, that family room is almost completely ready for painting.  Most of the room has been primed, but there are still some places where the drywall mud needs to be sanded.  Then after that  room is painted we need to remove the baseboards from the living room and we can put bead board up in the living room and its attached room.  We are putting engineered hardwood flooring in our family room and after the floor goes in, I can finally put bead board up in the family room.

The point is that right now our house is completely torn apart.  There is nowhere even to sit.  The plan is to get this all done before Baboo comes home (it's all a secret.  She doesn't know about any of it!!) and honestly we had hoped to complete it all before school started.  Ha!  School started on Wednesday and we were in chaos.  Utter chaos.  I was so unprepared and unorganized.  It was awful.  The teenagers and middle schoolers didn't even have notebooks or binders for the first day. Or the second.  Or the third.  I finally got them this weekend.

In July when we were at our family reunion in Oregon, I did not stress about mealtimes at all.  Every meal was planned and we had just enough food for those meals.  It was really nice and quite relaxing actually.  So as I was contemplating why that was not stressful and my real life was very stressful in relation to meals, I decided to try and replicate that experience.  So the plan was to empty out my fridge and pantry of basically everything (like that vacation home had nothing!).  Then each week, we will fill the fridge/pantry with only the items we will be using that week.  Ingredients for meals and lunches to pack and even snacks will be pre-planned.  Leftovers can be used for snacks.  I think I can MANAGE that kind of food system. I hope anyway.  And I'm thinking of going back to putting a kid in charge of dinner per day. We'll see.  Anyway, in order to empty out the fridge and the pantry, I have to move all the dry goods back down into my food storage.  But before I could move that much food down there, I needed to clean out and reorganize my food storage room.  So now all that food and those shelves are torn apart in my basement too!  UGH!

I'm feeling way out of control.

SO WHAT IS YOUR POINT, REAL??

The point is this.  I'm homesick.  Like really homesick.  For the first time in two decades, all of my children are gone out of the house for 7 hours per day.  It's the perfect timing to listen to music or general conference talks or even audiobooks and tackle all of these jobs!  I find myself wanting to know what that feels like to be alone in my house all day.  What does it feel like to clean and have nobody messing it up behind me?  What's it like to work on a project for a day and not stop to have to feed anybody else but myself?  This would be my year to experience all of that!

But instead, I'm leaving the house about two hours after the Hubba and Wiyah and I'm joining them at the office.  I stay there until the end of school and then I come home to be with the kids.  If I'm lucky, I've been able to squeeze in getting a coat of paint on a wall before I go in to the office.  And I just miss being at home and taking care of things there.

I don't regret being at the office.  At all.  I still find a lot of satisfaction in how well I can do those things.  Like I said before, I'm not particularly talented or successful at homemaking.  But when I'm at the office, I find that I actually do have some useful talents.  And I really do enjoy helping my husband with his business.  For so many years he would be stressed about work and there was nothing I could really do. A lot of the times I couldn't even "just listen" to him because of attorney-client privilege.  There was so much he couldn't even talk to me about.  But now when he is feeling burdened at work, there are things I can do to ease his burden, share the load.  It makes me feel really good.

But I do miss being a home, too.  A lot.  I didn't really anticipate that it would feel this way. It's kind of caught me off guard.

Also, because I'm blogging and who knows when I'll blog again I might as well just tack this on to the end.

OUR SCHEDULE IS GOING TO KILL ME.

For years I've been telling Pinkleberry that she couldn't do any activities until Wiyah graduated.  Because I couldn't fit one more thing in.  Well, Wiyah's done with school.  Pink thought she wanted to do soccer but I am so sick of soccer I could scream.  There's a wide world of activities out there that she hasn't even contemplated so it's time for me to push her in another direction and open her eyes.  I was going to do volleyball.  But then the Hubba reminded me that BASKETBALL happens in a season when we don't have anything else going on.  Plus the games are at the school right across the street.  Pink was ok with that and I was sold.

Meanwhile I was looking forward to only having Mack and Kelvinator in soccer this fall.  However our rec league just extended the ages to include a co-ed league for 10th through 12 graders.  So the team X has been playing with years decided to play some more!  And he really wanted to play so we signed him up.  And then realized that as a 12th grader, JJ could still play too.  So we signed him up as well.

Also, we are looking into starting Pink and Wink in piano lessons.  They took a neighborhood music class last year(Wink) and this summer (Pink and Wink) and the instructor says Pink is really talented and eager and we should start her in lessons.  So I'm looking into hiring a neighborhood youth who teaches and will work with us to just do two lessons a month rather than four (to make it more affordable).

JJ is still doing drums.  And JJ and X both have jobs.  JJ is still working at Wendy's and X is a referee for the very soccer league he is now playing in again.  But don't worry.  He won't be reffing his own games!  And I am still teaching at the hospital on Thursday nights.

Needless to say I am getting desperate for a third vehicle because we have people running all over the place and many of us are frustrated because we can't get where we need to go when we need to get there.  Last Thursday was a scheduling nightmare when I had to work all night, the Hubba and Wiyah were at the office.  Wiyah needed to get to an institute class and then go to a wedding reception.  Kelvinator needed to get to and from soccer practice and the Hubba needed to get home still.  Ugh.  And every morning the Hubba takes the kids to school, but then comes back home so that I can drop him and Wiyah off at the office so that I can have the car to run errands, work out, and get back to the office to start my day there.  Then after work, I leave to go home but Wiyah and the Hubba are stranded there which means that either JJ or I have to go back to pick them up and bring them home.

If you know anyone who is selling a cheap, old, used car, please let me know.

Well, I'm all typed out now.  I feel bad for slamming through a post like this because it reminds me of all the things I have not blogged about in the past few months--for instance, our family reunion or JJ getting his license or X getting his permit or our trip to Las Vegas, or the first day of school.

But I'm doing the best I can.

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