Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Sing 2011

Emma had her first choir concert last night...

She is in Concert Choir 
They sang "Old Dan Tucker" with all the choirs in the school 
As just their group they sang:
"Homeward Bound"
"See the Light"
(from Disney's Tangled)
She looked beautiful and sang even more so! 
Emma with her friends Olivia & Kaitlyn, they did a personal rendition of the program in the foyer... 
Gram had been detained and was so sad to have missed her songs!
It was really sweet to hear their clear & beautiful voices echoing in the foyer...
They did an amazing job!!

Congrat Em on a great performance!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh no... I am in trouble!

Aunt Becky just shared their family's new favorite recipe...

My little family was craving a treat, so I thought we would try it!
Oh! We are in t.r.o.u.b.l.e. now! LOL
Rice Krisie Treats for One 
Take about 1/2 T. - 2 T. butter (depending on your desire for richness/greasiness) and plop it into the bottom of your favorite cocoa mug. Add 1 Jumbo Campfire marshmallow
(those super big happy ones ;) ) 
(Through the microwave door... sorry such a funny pic!)
Cook in microwave for about 25 seconds.
It will puff up and look like it is going to pop out of the mug... it's ok!
Immediately stir in 1/2 - 3/4 cup Rice Krispies 
Vary the amount of cereal depending on your desire for more crunch or more s'mallow 
Stir it up - it balls all together.


I think we are going to need some more hot cocoa mugs!

Thanks for sharing Becky!!
They are DIVINE!!
And the kids can't wait to make them for afterschool treats!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

This post is for any of you (and you Aunt Becky and Uncle Kevin... my favorite people to talk "gonga deals" with) that have thought about being part of the Co-op called Bountiful Baskets
Today's Haul... because my bag was so big for the scale, it came in at anywhere from 26.3 to 24.8.
So for documentations sake:
Let's take what I have pictured...
25.4 lbs of fruits and veggies
Spent $15
GRAND TOTAL for all this lovely produce??
About $.59/ lb!!!  
Red Peppers, Green Peppers, Tomatoes, 2 kinds of Apples, Cucumbers, bananas, Nectarines, Grapes, Plums (Holy cow! They are huge!), Onions, lettuce... and when was the last time you could get a pineapple for $.59/lb??)
You tell me...
Is it worth it??
Goin' to go make my menu for the week now...

Friday, September 23, 2011

I looked out the window and what did I see..?

My sweetheart and his bestest helper finishing up the chicken coop! :D 
Flattening the chicken wire down... 

Then to wrap it around the bottom of the coop... 

Caleb is always SOO willing to work.
He enjoys it and loves seeing a job well done.
He is definately a "chip off the old block" - the Jestin Block!


Just found this photo on my camera.
How sweet!
One of my children thinks their parents taking a nap is cute!
Crack me up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The teeth place

The other day, while riding in the car, Caleb said:
"Mom... I t'ink I need ta go to da teeth place"
"The teeth place...? You mean the dentist?", I asked.
"Yeah", my cute 6 year old replied.
"Oh yeah? How come love?", I asked.
To which he replied, matter of factly, "Well... we need ta ask him how come my teeth are leavin' me!"

He lost his second tooth last week...
... appearantly this is a problem! LOL

Friday, September 16, 2011

A real update...

Today in my morning prayers, I received the distinct impression that I need to write.

Write about it all.

I have been feeding you all fluff, in a vain effort to avoid feeling the realities of our life. Some realities are amazing and good. Some are down right dark and hard. And all make up this amazing quilt of our lives!

I also have been justifying not posting because I am out of order, and so far behind on putting up pictures... blah blah blah.

Well... my 10 years of FLYLady experience has taught a great principle that I have not been applying:

"Jump in where you are" and "You are not behind".

Meaning... quit waiting for xyz and LIVE your life.

So... without further ado... here's some real honest truth updates:

I've decided to go back to school. I was working through all the hoops, feeling quite happy with my choice. Full-time college while my kids are all in school all day seemed logical. It could help better our family's situation, our future, my mental capacity and much more. We would undoubtedly qualify for grants after the last couple of years we have had. I was READY.

I spent the day at the college, filling out last minute paperwork, and taking the dread assessment tests (who really wants to know how much info did not stay in their heads from school at age 35??). The English portion was not too hard for me. I loved English, in fact if I had applied myself I would have done really well in high school - I was in honors English for heavens sake! I just never applied myself. I denied myself that potential... but seriously... let's not open *that* can of worms! LOL!!

The math was TORTURE.

Literally. It hurt my mind. See... since my stroke... numbers do not stick. Tell me a phone number? it is gone within seconds. Tell me how long to cook something? I can't recall it from the time it took to turn around and push the buttons on the timer. Really. It's that bad. I can't even remember what channel I was just watching if it isn't a show I know belongs on a certain channel from before my stroke. Remembering what grade my kids are in is rough. Unless it's a number I knew before the stroke... it is like an opposite magnet to my brain's memory system. I am doing daily brain exercises to try and improve that. (and they literally hurt my head)

SOOO... here I am taking the math assessment test. I KNOW I know how to do the problem before me. I know the steps. Common... it's "elementary algebra" for heaven's sake! LOL Nope. I would get one or two steps into a problem and completely have no idea how I got there and where I was going with it. It would take me 10-15 min per problem!! Story problems like the ones our 2-3rd graders bring home?? Could not take all the steps. Even with writing them down! :P It was t.o.r.t.u.r.e!!! I admit though... some of the processing got better the more I did. (hence why I am now pushing daily practices) I bombed it. I will have to take a bunch of prep math classes. *sigh*

I left campus that day, glad the tests were behind me, ready to go online and select my classes.

And then I thought I should stop at the grocery store for some items for dinner. Not a good choice in my life....

A little 82-year old man ran the red light and hit me. I was turning left, and even though the light was REALLY red for him... the law says it is my fault because I should have yielded, that he had "control of the lane". Whatever. Jes claims he is going to run every red light from here on out because he "has control of the lane" (ha ha). Something about that law is flawed... you can't have it both ways! Either it is illegal to run a red light... or it isn't.

I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
The trauma of the accident removed all access to the new pathways in my brain. It was as if I had had a stoke all over again. I couldn't move my right side. I couldn't close my eye or swallow. They back braced me and hauled me off. By the time I got to the ER, with multiple pokes to the arm trying to get an IV in... I swear... they should not try to put IV's in while in a moving vehicle! LOL... things started to improve a little here and there. I could lightly squeeze the Dr.s hand, where at the crash site I could not even move my arm/hand. After about 2 hours I could get my body to move... it took a lot of brain power... but I could move. They let me come home.

They said it would just take time to regain access to those neuro-pathways.

When we got to my front steps I burst into tears. I could not do the stairs again. The reality hit me like a ton of bricks. My hard work all summer (Couch to 5k) was wasted. My handwriting was gone again. And I couldn't even pick up my foot to climb 2 lousy steps! Once I gained my composure, I looked up and there stood both my parents, Jes' parents, my sister Jenny and all my kids.
Meltdown in front of all of them.
Go me!

It took about 2 weeks to regain everything.
In hind sight it was a gift. I was not "hurt" in the accident.
And I got to be reminded of exactly how far I really have come!
And it bought me some time.
I will wait and start school in January.
Right now I need to focus on getting our home in order from moving...

Ten days before my accident, we began moving out of our lovely home.
The bank won.
Without destroying our future accepting their terms, there was no way we could keep this house.
The bank wanted it too badly.
So we gave in.

It has been one of the hardest things we have ever done.
(I have used that phrase a lot lately haven't I?)
My mind/heart have been kind of funny about it.
Everyone keeps telling us we should strip it and take everything worth anything.
And we did take a lot of the expensive electrical that Jes installed, but we replaced it all with something similar.
And I am taking my glass-top/double oven stove.
And our ceiling fans because the ones at the new house are super loud.
But we replaced it all.
And I spent multiple days cleaning.
In my heart, I had to.
I was taught to leave things better than I found them, and to the best of my ability that is what they will get.
Even if it sits for a year or two.
I will know.
And it was healing...

The understanding of how the Saints in Nauvoo, or Far West, or Kirtland must have felt has penetrated my heart like no other.
True, we have no mob with torches and guns at our door, but the emotional torches and guns and threats and uncertainty has been there.
And we have lost all that we have worked so hard for.
Our livelihood, our belongings, our home.
Because of the self serving interests of another.

All we have left is our family, our lives and faith.
And our clothes.
(and a bunch of stuff that we had to pack to use to live...LOL)
Anyway... the *feelings* are very similar...
And there have been days when I was not sure I was strong enough.
Or faithful enough.
Or submissive enough.

It's been a tough haul at our house.

But we have been blessed as well!!
The kids got to start school, in their same school.
Jes still has a job, and little side jobs all over.
My body is back to normal and I can be the homemaker God wants me to be.
We have a place to call home, and we are working hard to make it such.
We had an "extra" car, that fit the whole family, while they repair my Expedition.
We have insurance to help repair my Expedition.
I was not hurt in the accident.
The little old man and his wife were not hurt.
We qualified for the program called "Cash for Keys",
and that will cover my deductible for the repair of our car.
My washing machine broke, and I was able to find one on for $50, with a dryer, to replace it. I can sell the dryer for $50. Making total cost for new washer? $0.
Our chickens have started laying eggs.
Our "new" neighbors have welcomed us with open arms... and brownies and garden produce... LOL This "4 houses and around the corner" move has been good for us! *grin*
We have moved to a home that I can easily maintain... without stairs... which is lovely.

There is much joy to had.
There are tears to cry.

But I am taking Dr. Seuss' advice:
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cam's Map

Cam has been learning about maps in school and had to help me make some salt dough to take to school. 
He made his own map of Utah!

Good job Cam!!!