Monday, December 27, 2010

"All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good..."

Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-9 "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?...therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

Well, I'm still here, barely. Now, I'm not saying my life is that hard... times have been much harder for sure... but what a weekend!

So Zeke got home Wednesday afternoon...

Gabe watched the kids for us while we went to Zeke's work party... first party with the new company... it will take some time to adjust. I didn't know anyone and all the employees talked about work the whole time. They served us a yummy dinner, but it tasted way too salty to me. I didn't even like the chocolate raspberry cheesecake! Yeah, I think I was starting to get sick that night... I just felt off.

Here's a rundown of our Christmas via Facebook (bear with me... my head feels like it weighs 30 pounds at least):

Dec. 23rd: well, thanks "SC", for a Merry Christmas :) and here we are... Kaia AND Zoe are both sick now... C'est la vie...

Dec. 24th: Dear friends and neighbors... please know that we love you and thank you for all the goodies and gifts... this year we will give you a gift of NOT giving you our germs... this morning we are ALL sick (except for Zeke). You don't want this bug, I promise.

Dec. 24th: looks like the Tooth Fairy will have to hitch a ride with Santa tonight...

Dec. 25th: Merry Christmas everyone! I am so thankful for my family and for our Savior Jesus Christ and for Ibuprofen.:)

Dec. 25th: okay, so we all have colds... but Zoe is coughing up blood... any ideas what could be going on? I'm thinking bronchitis? do I need to take her right in? or can it wait until Monday?

Dec. 25th: thanks everyone, Zeke and Zoe are home. Dr. said her lungs are clear for now. He said her throat is very raw and inflamed; could be causing the bleeding. He gave her a steroid to help with the inflammation. We have to take her back to the Dr. on Monday to make sure there's no infection/pneumonia. Dr. said Zoe probably just has a nasty virus. Well, it could be worse, right? :)

Dec. 26th: I think I'm done... last night, Beck got THE worst nose bleed I've ever seen... he was even bleeding out of his tear ducts... that was before he threw up all the blood the ran down his throat...okay, so if you want to start the bidding for the movie rights.... we just need a title... I'm sure it will be a big money maker....

Yesterday, Zeke's Mom stopped by to say HI.
Oh, Patty, thank you for coming!!
and thank you for the great presents!
It finally felt like Christmas! I sure hope she doesn't get sick. Gabe is the only one with a fever still. We're getting better, but it's going to take awhile. And by some amazing miracle, Zeke hasn't got sick...yet. I think Zoe was the sickest so far. Poor girl. I'll put up more pictures later...
Beck and Kaia are lovin' the Zhu Zhu pets...
Beck got a Hot Wheels garage...
I am so thankful for prayer. I know I've prayed a lot before, but this weekend is definitely in the top 10. Beck's nosebleed just about did me in. It was one of THE scariest things I've ever been through. Poor Beck! I'm thankful for Priesthood blessings and just for time. It's nice to see Kaia getting better; it gives me hope for the rest of us. I'm thankful that Zeke was here to help me, sorry honey! One of these days we won't be sick during the holidays...

Zeke and I really enjoyed watching Pippin watch TV with us last night... yeah, it doesn't take much to entertain us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Copy and Paste: My world with a smile...

I am being a slacker... I'm copying and pasting my FB statuses... "Life may take you where you least expect it -- always have faith that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Interesting thought... they say Faith is an action... at what point do you take action and make your life as close as possible to what you want? or do you just sit back and let things happen?" I was feeling sorry for myself this week... yeah, I'll go into it later - or NOT.

Today I'm thinking I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, because this is the world I am used to: "Well, this is my world: Kaia is sick with 104 degree fever and coughing, Zeke's been in New Jersey for work since Dec. 10th! and he's finally/hopefully coming home today, Beck is throwing crayons and making Zoe cry, but you know, I'm still happy, life is good. I'm so thankful for medicine to help Kaia and I'm so thankful for my Mom and for my neighbors who gave Kaia a Priesthood blessing last night. :)" Thank you Brother Sullivan and Brother Hale :)

Anyway, we had some Christmas travel plans... who knows with Kaia being sick. She has reactive airway disease and a small cold can give her pneumonia overnight. Really.
But what can I do at this point? We've actually been very blessed this fall... she hasn't been sick since Halloween and that IS amazing for her. It sounds crazy, but I actually feel at peace... we don't have to juggle schedules or trips yet... it all depends on when Kaia is feeling better. I believe Heavenly Father has a plan for us, for everything. Of course I don't want Kaia to be sick ever, but I just feel like there is a reason why she is right now.

Even though, Zeke has been gone, the kids and I have done pretty well. They have been very good helpers and we've had a lot of fun in spite of missing Dad. I had a special movie night with each of the 3 older kids, just one on one, they got to pick the movie... I think this will become a tradition. Not that I want Zeke to go out of town for work all the time, but hey, it is what it is and I'm trying to make the best of it. Netflix is awesome, by the way :)

Gabe's movie: "Fear of the Dark" what was I thinking?!?! Now, don't judge me, or if you do, don't tell me about it, because I don't care. I checked the movie on the internet movie data base and it's as "good" as a horror movie gets. We were both scared... but it was fun.

Zoe's movie: "The Princess Who Never Laughed" an old 80's "Faerie Tale Theater" It was actually pretty good. It had a good message -- YOU decide how you feel. Even though Howie Mandel was in this movie (and he had hair!) I still liked it. See, I got the message.

Kaia's movie: "Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief" Okay, she's really sick and I love her and I said she could choose... but seriously, I despise this movie! But I kept my thoughts to myself and she fell asleep before it was half way through (phew!!)

I had an awesome visit with my Mom yesterday on the phone. I don't know what I would do without her. REALLY. She is my therapy and my idol! At one point, my Mom said, "Now, I know this is the wrong advice and you probably shouldn't listen, but... and she went on to tell me anyway." I LOVE THIS WOMAN! Seriously, she is THE best! You are Grover and I am Percy. You are my protector, Mom.

I had an interesting road rage experience the other day... I was pulling out of the parking lot of the post office and planning to turn left (no light). It was VERY busy and well, it was going to take a minute. The guy behind me starts whaling on his horn like no tomorrow and I'm thinking, "What the heck?!" There is NO opening for me to pull out... I do NOT know what this guy is thinking. Whenever someone is being totally irrational like that, I like to think up a story to explain their rude behavior. Like, maybe this guy REALLY had to go to the bathroom or something!

Well, crazy I know, duh, but all of his honking just made me more stressed! NOT HELPING!! So when I was finally able to pull out onto the street, I was MAD. Yeah, I have a temper, and it's not good, but I'm trying to control it. I'm not one to EVER swear at drivers or make obscene gestures or anything, but I just HAD to yell something. So he was in the lane to my left, I unrolled my window, smiled my biggest smile, waved both my arms and yelled, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!" Anyway, it made me feel a lot better. Zoe was with me and she said, "Mom, you are WEIRD!" It was so worth it to see the confused look on his face. :)

Okay and now, I am so excited... my wonderful roommate/missionary who brought me to church with her way back when... she found my blog! Yay, Jen! I hope I'm not embarrassing you (ha ha ha) but this really made my day. We haven't been in touch for awhile and well, I love this girl!

Anyway, I need to go check on the kids... Beck is terrorizing everyone this morning (oh wait, that's normal too). It means I need to get off the computer. Merry Christmas to all... and I mean that in the most "non-angry will you please stop honking at me?" way. REALLY :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

My gift to you

I've been blogging now for about 7 months. It has been a great experience. I have met many new friends and have enjoyed getting to know old friends even better. I've been wondering what I might give all of you for Christmas. I've decided to share with you one of my very favorite stories... I'm not sure where I heard it from. But I know you will love it! Thank you for all of your comments, advice, funny stories, and your examples of faith and obedience. I look forward to a new year: "My life is an uphill climb and I'm going to smile everyday." Merry Christmas!

You may have heard the story before about the woman who goes to a silversmith to watch the process of refining silver. The story goes like this:

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' (Malachi 3:3) She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy — when I see my image in it.'
"The greatest man in history had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today."
(Thank you to the Oldham family for this great quote!)

I hope that we can all slow down this holiday season and take time to feel the true Spirit of Christmas; that we might reflect His love in all that we do and say and think and feel. I hope each of you can have the opportunity to give service and to share the Gospel with someone. I know that our Savior lives and that He knows and loves each of us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


You know the movie "I.Q." with Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins? I love that movie.

What makes me go "Wa-hoo?"
Zeke just finished his Bachelor's Degree yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(but you need to say it like Albert Einstein/Walter Matthau: "vah-hoo!")

He has been in school off and on since before we got married almost 15 years ago! He has been in school continuously for the last 3 years! And he's been working full-time. I am so proud of him!
I am so glad he's done.

It will be so nice to have him back. Poor guy, the last 3 years have been HARD. When he is home (which is rare), he's either so tired he can't keep his eyes open, or so spacey that he can't function. I don't know how we've done it all... and during most of the last 3 years, I was serving as the YW President in our ward and Zeke was the Stake YM President. CRAZY!

I feel like this will be a new chapter. Heck, a new BOOK!! Zeke asked me what I want for Christmas... I told him, "I want to go to the temple with YOU! and I want you to watch the kids so I can do whatever I want for at least 3 or 4 hours all by myself!" Yeah, that is what I want.

YAY!!!! We are so blessed. Heavenly Father has given us miracles (great and small) all along the way to make this possible. I am so thankful. It really is a miracle!

I love this quote: "To live through a period of stress and sorrow with another human being creates a bond which nothing seems able to break." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Graduate he did!!

P.S. I just realized this is my 100th post!!! Hooray! Happy 100th! What a great post too :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Attack of the Killer Christmas Stockings and their evil leader, Death Shelf

Well, just when I thought Friday would be a relaxing day... I picked up the girls from school and we came home and had a snack. About 4pm, I started fixing dinner and heard THE LOUDEST crash come from the living room. Beck started screaming and Zoe said very calmly, "Uh, Mom, I think Beck's hurt..."

I'm too tired to give you a well-written play-by-play today. My dumb IC is acting up really bad and I'm just worn out. But here's my Facebook entries for Friday:

"Beck had to get stitches today: He's okay now, He somehow pulled down our shelf over the fireplace and everything on it and it landed on his head and cut him just above his eye... pretty bad (about 1 1/2 inches long), lots of blood, it was way scary, BIG! But I have awesome children. Gabe cooked dinner and Zoe made the beds while we were gone.

Kaia tried to gather up all the pieces of my nativity sets and stuff (she wasn't supposed to but it was sweet). She had them laying in piles on the table when I got home. Zeke met me at the Specialty Hospital and gave Beck a blessing. Beck was so brave. He also got 8 suckers from the nurse! While they were stitching him up, he said, "Mommy, say "It's okay baby!" so cute :) Thanks to the staff at CVSH you guys are so wonderful :) We are so blessed, it could have been so much worse.

The funny part was Zeke got there before me and he was just walking around in the parking lot. Well, I guess about 30 minutes earlier, some guy called the Specialty Hospital and was really angry with them and yelling at them. Some of the nurses were worried that Zeke was THAT guy and he'd come to cause trouble... they were really glad to find out he was just a concerned dad waiting for his son to arrive :) ha ha ha"

Yeah, it was a crazy night... but as soon as we got home from the ER, Beck was bouncing around back to his old self. It broke my heart to see him get stitches and to look at me and say "Mommy, say "It's okay baby".

But it is okay. It could have been SO bad. I honestly don't know how he pulled that shelf down, but needless to say, I took all the stockings down just in case. I'm feeling like a rotten Mom and wondering why I didn't think about him doing that.

I decided not to put up a picture of him at the ER, it's pretty gruesome. His cut was almost 2 inches long and open enough that I could have put two of my fingers in it! More blood than I ever want to see coming out of my child. Ever.
But here he is after the stitches were done: "Duh dodders fizz it, Mom!"
(The doctors fix it, Mom!)
He is so brave. Really.
He was really excited to get some "Lightning McQueen" stickers too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Leaving a legacy?

Well, there's this skirt my Mom gave me and every Sunday I want to wear it and every Sunday I pull it out and think: Dang! I need to iron it! So one SATURDAY, I wrote a note to myself on the fridge and actually pulled out the ironing board and iron.. and ironed my skirt. YAY me! I was so proud. And then after the first twenty minutes of Beck wriggling on my lap in sacrament it was wrinkled again, but hey, I did iron it. And it felt good. I think I've ironed enough for a few years now.

The kids were fascinated by this bizarre ritual. Kaia said, "Mom, what are you doing?! Why? What is that? Can I help? Can we do that to my clothes?" Okay. So I NEVER iron. REALLY. NEVER. Even, Zeke said, "Yeah, I guess you don't iron much..." Nope, I don't. It's been YEARS. Really.

Oh yeah, and then there's dusting... let's not even go there. Let's just say, I don't need a message board... I could write messages to my family in the dust on my TV and nightstands and bookshelves. I loathe dusting.

Here's the deal, I'm really not a good housekeeper. I only do things if I like doing them. For example (say it like Hermione):

laundry (yeah, it's creepy)
vacuuming (stress reliever)
baking (obvious)

So any of you out there... can you somehow help me LIKE ironing, dusting, washing dishes, mopping, changing litter boxes? I'm always making my kids do the chores I don't like. I remember doing those same chores when I was growing up... Mom, is there something you should tell me? And I always vacuum, because it's fun! Mom always vacuumed too... hmm.

Anyway, I've noticed lots of my friends don't like doing laundry. Of all the things people complain about on their blogs and Facebook and such... a BIG majority complain about doing laundry.

Well, this is my "secret" to enjoying laundry. Now I can't promise you will enjoy it, but it will make it easier and you'll always have clean clothes. At least I think so. There's this cool chic called The Flylady. I subscribe to her daily emails to help me keep track of my house. Now, I obviously don't do all the stuff she tells me, but I really like her solution for laundry.
She calls it: "No more Mt. Washmore!"
This is my laundry pile, but I am so "persnickety" I must confess: this is several loads of clean clothes piled up just for the picture (I can't handle too much dirty laundry sitting around!) Yeah, I might seem crazy, but it's a great blessing! Here's the trick: the Flylady says to do one or two loads of laundry EACH day. That means washed, folded, AND put away. Done.

I don't have a "laundry day". And I don't ever have a huge pile of dirty laundry taking over my basement. But I always have clean clothes. Now, there's always a full basket or two of clothes that needs to be washed, but when I do one or two loads a day, I'm always making a dent in it.

Another reason I like doing it this way is when I used to have a set "Laundry Day" (mine used to be Monday several years ago), it seemed like something would happen that day that prevented me from devoting my entire day to laundry. The kids would get sick or I needed to run to the store or something. I don't know about you, but with 4 children, I couldn't devote one day to anything!

Anyway, the Flylady and her routines have been a HUGE help to me. I like the idea of doing a little bit everyday and it all adds up. It does. I just need to stop ignoring the email reminders to dust my house!

Oh, and this is totally random, but I when I was little, there was an awesome cartoon I loved to watch called "Hong Kong Phooey" I loved it! A Karate Master/Super Hero dog and his sidekick, Spot, a smart cat who really does all the work. Anyway, my dear hubby ran across an AWESOME cover of the Hong Kong Phooey theme song. It's from a band we like, "Sublime." I love the reggae and ska punk influence they put into it. I can't get videos to work on my blog for some reason. Zeke's going to help me figure it out when school is done (NEXT WEEK, by the way!!) But here's a link. It puts me in a good mood every time! I love how music can do that. (P.S. Just for the record, I think the band could use some shirts, but hey... they're having fun, right?)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter -- Part 2

HAPPY 71st BIRTHDAY to my wonderful Mom, Rosalind!

She is one of my VERY best friends. We can talk on the phone for HOURS about nothing and feel like we've said everything. We change subjects faster than I can type this post. We finish each others sentences and we know what the other one means even when it makes no sense. Just one word can cause fits of laughter or teary, Spirit-filled silence. Testimonies are shared and strengthened. Advice is given and appreciated. Laughs are many and meaningful. She LOVES me. Some days I cannot understand why, but she does.

She is a tough cookie and I mean that in a good way. She has sacrificed so much and has patience and "sticktoitiveness" in spades. I am like her in many ways. I want to be so much more like her. I can hear her voice through mine sometimes... it makes me laugh (because I thought I'd never be like her) and cry (because I wish I could see her more).

I love when something makes us laugh. I love when she talks about the past. I love to hear about my Mom and her brothers growing up. I love to hear about my Mom and Dad when they were first married. I love when she tells me about a good book she is reading. I love how much she loves Zeke and my children. I love how she does things. She is very practical and organized.

I love to wander through any store with her and go "bumming." I love to watch ice skating with her. I love when I was little and I would go out to eat with my Mom and my Grandma Bonnie and they would fight over who was paying for the food and would throw cash back and forth at one another until one of them got some of the cash past the car window and into the drive-thru window to the cashier.

I love when my Mom sees a mouse (Sorry, Mom, I can't help it, it's so funny when you scream!)

I love how much fun we have doing nothing. I love when people tell me "you look so much like Rosy"! I love when she gets peeved with my Dad and tells him about it! She is SPUNKY! I love to see her grow in the gospel and tell me about her Sunday School Class. I love when the phone rings and I just KNOW it's her... and it is! She listens to me complain and cry and worry about everything. She just listens. And when I ask her, she always gives me wonderful advice. Wonderful because she knows me so well and wonderful because she always tries to be positive just like a good Mother should be.

I know I gave you most of your gray hair back when I was in High School, Mom, and I'm sorry for that. But I made it and you stood by me no matter what! I regret so much the years I was in high school and was a horrible hormonal brat. Thank you, Mom, for not shipping me off to some loony bin or just completely losing it and stringing me up from one of our apple trees by my toenails!

Thank you for teaching me to work. Oh, I remember washing dishes standing on a chair so I could reach the sink while you were buzzing around cleaning the kitchen and would come by and plop an extra spoon or three into the water. I would get SO mad!

Thank you for sticking up for me when Tonya's Mom threw away my Metallica? (I think it was) cassette, even though I probably didn't deserve it. Thank you for always letting my friends come over and making us feel so welcome. Everyone loved coming to our house because you were so nice. Thanks for forgiving me when I scorched a perfect iron shape on your light pink pants. Thanks for always having a houseful on the holidays and fixing us yummy food and always making sure there are clean towels for everyone.

Thanks for being an example in our family and being sealed in the temple to Dad, so I could be sealed to you. This is a miracle in my life.

Mom, I am forever grateful to you... YOU light up my life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

16 girls, 1700 square feet, and Sardines!

Zoe, age 10: decorator of cakes and instigator of chaos

Well, I survived Zoe's birthday party Tuesday night. Why oh why did I let her invite so many girls? Because I'm her Mom and I just can't resist that face. It was really fun, just crazy. I think Zoe was the loudest one of all. I didn't get too many "action" shots either... I was right in the middle of it all!

Poor Beck, he was SO tired, but he REFUSED to nap. He was very grumpy and crazy. Thank goodness Zeke was there to help me. He's so wonderful. He even cleaned up after the party while I was taking girls home. Yep, he's a keeper. :)

Opening presents:
Kaia made Zoe a really cool 3-D paper flower garden

Zoe wanted to decorate her own cake this year.
I think she did a really good job.
The girls wanted to play Hide and Seek and I talked them into playing Sardines instead. Our house isn't very big and I wasn't sure there would be enough hiding places for 15 girls. Especially since Gabe threatened us not to let any of the girls in his room NO MATTER WHAT! He was lucky enough to go to a friend's house during the party! (Thanks, Nicole)

Sardines is WAY more fun than Hide and Seek anyway. Please tell me you've played Sardines before. You haven't? It is SO much fun. Back at Snow College, my roommates and I and whoever was at our house at the moment wasted several hours playing Sardines. And we were so good at it too! The trick is to be very quiet. I never thought our little laundry room could hold so many people. Good times.

Okay, so it's kind of like the opposite of Hide and Seek. You have ONE person hide and then everyone else splits up and looks for the one person. If you find them, you don't say anything and the game isn't over yet. Instead, you quietly hide with them. So one by one, each person finds the little group of hiding people and joins them. Depending on where you hide, it can get pretty squishy, hence the name "Sardines". Oh, I wish I had a picture of everyone hiding behind the shower curtain in the bathtub... it was awesome. Thanks girls, I hope you had as much fun as I did!
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