Monday, March 31, 2008

Sooooo close!

And yet so far.

We almost have the remodeling done! It is looking sooooooo nice!
All the cabinets are in. One counter top was the wrong size so I had to go back and get them to exchange it for a new one. That should be in within a week.

What we have left:
1. Kick plate on the island
2. Trim bought and stained and applied.
3. Hallway floor installed.
4. Entryway floor installed.
5. Throw all junk into dumpster.
6. Clean up the sawdust.

I've got all the food and pots and pans and such all put away.

Next weekend we are maple syruping at the Audobon Center in Sandstone MN.
I am so looking forward to that and bringing the camera along for some sweet shots.

I'm also looking forward to having some time later in the week to check out everyone's blogs that I am so super far behind on. I'm so sorry people I've been a bad blogging buddy to you guys!

I also wanted to put up my blogging awards again. When I changed the template it took them all down. I finally figured out how to change the blog look and not lose my extras.

Can I also mention how terribly sick of the snow I am!?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

LDS Journal

Today I started an online journal at a really cool site. At the end of the year I can chose to pay and have my journal for the year archived on a disk for me, for posterity sake, but yet allowing to leave the last year still intact online so that I can continue to read and add from it. They also send reminders to your email to keep up the journal, kind of like the scripture reading site does.
Maybe this is what I need to keep up a journal this year.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh I am a bad momma

I totally spaced out last night's reception for the honor roll students, of which my oldest son was one of! UGH, I feel so terrible! I have been so proud of him for doing so well. I especially was worried he might not get back into the swing of public schools when he went back, it has thrilled me that he's adjusted so well.

I hope I still get my bumper sticker.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thursday's Thumbs


Thumbs Up!

Hair Product-FX Flat Iron (sheer silky smooth heat memory flat iron spray)- I've been looking for a product that will help me tame my wild shorter hairs that are really my wiry grays, but died, when I decided to try this product. When I first sprayed it on my hair I was a little worried because the odor made it smell similar to hair spray, and I became worried that my hair would fry in the iron when I did get around to ironing it after it dried. However, after reading the ingredients I see there is no alcohol in it. So maybe it is ok. (I'll be watching for split ends in the next coming weeks.)

The directions say to spray it on your hair when it's dry, before ironing. I always spray mine when it's wet along with Infusium 23, let it air dry and then iron because my hair dries out so much if it's wet when I iron it. This made my hair super soft and helped only a little to tame my wild grays. However I did like it enough to give it a thumbs up because of how it made my hair feel and my hair held it's flatness overnight longer than it does with just the Infusium 23.



Workout Bra- Danskin Now. Ok, so I've rated their socks two thumbs up, and I am still loving them! This time it's the bra. I totally love this workout bra. I bought it at WalMart for something like 10 bucks. It has the racer-back. I loved it so much I went back for two more. It gives great support, doesn't pinch or hurt anywhere, the cups are firm with no wire in the under wire department. I think I'll go back for more, just to have for the future.



Thumbs Down!

Edible Easter Grass- This kind I bought in a 4 pack from Sam's Club. I thought, "How brilliant!" now instead of throwing it on my floor as they do every year, they'll eat it instead!"



WRONG!



It ended up on my floor still, and it tasted like "sweetened styrofoam" according to my husband and eldest son. I thought it tasted like shredded ice cream cones. Probably not a lot of difference between those two descriptions. Next year we'll be back to the obligatory plastic grass.

Good grief!

Ok, so not only is the gray sweat shirted guy scum, but he's also an idiot.

He had my husband putting in the floor the wrong way. UGH! Now we have to take apart much of it and now try to do it right. No wonder several pieces were breaking! I was getting a little worried when I saw how many were breaking from trying to tap these pieces together. Turns out we are supposed to do a whole row at a time. Hook them up end by end and then tap the sides into the last row... duh! Instead "bone head" had dh tapping them in one piece at a time both sides.

Since the fridge is already on some of it, we will keep those rows as is and put a transition piece in the doorway on that wall, but the rest of the rows we can do right. So glad I got involved and read the details on the back of the box! Dh did too, but he listened to the idiot and decided to do it that way.

This is the last time I have remodeling done in my home without my complete supervision, lol!

Now I have to run over to the hardware store and get a transition (or two just in case). I'm hoping the floors might be mostly done by Saturday afternoon.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 3

Day 2 didn't look much more different than day 3 of construction so I'll just show you that instead, since it includes the reinstalation of my dishwasher. There are a few detail things that need to be finished off on this side of the kitchen. The kickplates for the cabinets, the heat vent needs to be put back, the bottom of the dishwasher as well. Then I do have to paint the kitchen next summer because when we took off the old backsplashes (which were glued on) some of the glue was too high and the paper tore from the wall, and it is higher than the new backsplashes, so I will have to fix that by painting. I'm not too happy about that. I hate the look of painted panel walls. I kind of like my leaves.


Someone asked me what a manufactured home is. It's a house that is built in a factory instead of on a foundation. Sometimes it gets set up like a mobile home (like in our case) and sometimes it is put on a foundation later (like we plan to do in the next couple of years).


Here's how you have to "step" the floor when you install it... the blue stuff is padding with a vapor barrior.
Here's the north wall almost finished.

And a closer look at the wood.


Here's a closer look at the counter top we put in, and you can see where some of the wallpaper had been torn off.

Now for the rest of the week we will be working on mostly the floors and perhaps one of the walls might have to be replaced, depending on how easily we can tear off the entertainment center on the other side of it. DH unscrewed all of it, and it's still not budging. We're a little worried there might be glue involved, in which case, the wall will be ruined and we will have to rebuild it. Fun.

See the scum in the gray sweatshirt down there?

In the remodeling pictures. (The gray t-shirt guy is my husband.)

I don't usually blog, or write on message boards about any issues my family has or any need for prayers, (I'm usually superwoman) but I'm facing something that is much bigger than anything I've ever faced before and I'm needing a little more support than usual for this one.

We are remodeling part of our home and this weekend a long time family friend (who also happens to be my 4 year old adopted daughter's biological father, and live in boyfriend of my sil) who was helping us, assaulted my 6 year old son, by kicking him in the stomach/side when nobody was looking. Nothing like this has ever happened before, and it seems like a strange freaky dream.

Last night we talked to my fil and mil about it, he lives with them.

Tonight we go to confront him.

This is a heartbreaking experience for my family. My daughter will now be cut off from any relationship with her birth-father until she is 18, and now we have the awkwardness of not being able to visit my in-laws as long as he is living with them.

This totally hoovers.

I don't understand this. My heart has been in the bottom of my stomach all weekend long. I can't put off any longer confronting him. If there had been a bruise left, I'd have his butt in jail today, however I am thankful that he didn't hurt my son enough to cause a bruise... although the trama goes deeper than a bruise and will take much longer to heal.

My son thought this man was his buddy, his friend. My son thought he was safe in his own home. This man violated my son, violated our home, violated our sense of security. That's something that can't be given back, and will take time to feel that way again.

Later:
When it was time to leave here and while we drove over there I was shaking like a leaf! We stopped the car before leaving the neighborhood to say a prayer for guidance and for clarity of mind and that we would not have an argument or fight and that D. would be honest with us.

We went over there tonight. My mil called him and my sil up from their room downstairs and said that we were here to talk to them.

Our son came with us and stayed in the room, though given the opportunity to go downstairs with grandma. They came in and D. said, "Hey little buddy" and handed out his hand for 5, and my little guy hesitated but did give him 5. I think he was unsure how to act.

Then I got to do all the talking. I said, "Saturday after you left J. told us about you kicking him and we are here to find out what he did to deserve it." He started to act like he wasn't sure what I was talking about and then said, "Oh that. I didn't mean to kick him that hard." Then tried to explain that my son and daughter were playing in the kitchen and he thought J. was being too rough. He didn't mean to kick him that hard. I told him very calmly yet firmly, you don't hit my kid, you don't spank my kid, you don't kick my kid and you don't touch my kid. If you have a problem with my kid you tell me and I will handle it. I told him he wasn't welcome in our home anymore and that I don't want him around my kids anymore. I told him he broke a trust he had with us. I told him how my son thought he was his friend, his buddy and how he betrayed that and I don't know that he will ever get a chance to earn that trust back. I told him I hoped he realizes how serious it is what he's done here. He said he did. Then I waited for him to say more... he didn't. So I told him my son deserves an apology, to which he told my son he was sorry.

I then asked my dh and son if they had anything to say, they both said no.
So then we left.

I asked my dh why he didn't say anything and he said that I'd said it all. I told him, "You were supposed to say,'Yeah! What she said!'" Later, when we stopped for gas, my son started crying a little and said he remembered something he wanted to say to D. I asked what that was, he said, "See you in forever." Which is his way of saying 'see you never'.

I'm glad we got this taken care of, and my son was able to see me defending him. I hope he's learned that this is not ok, and he does not ever have to be afraid to tell us that someone has hurt him, and that he knows I will protect him the best I can. Now we can try to move on from here.

I feel sad for my daughter. She's built a relationship with this guy, and I knew that he was walking a thin line already at my mil's and was about to be kicked out again. I was worried that would affect their relationship. She knows she's adopted and that he's her "first dad", but she also knows that she doesn't "belong to him anymore" as she's said the other night. He's kind of hammered that nail in the coffin.

Have you eaten your doughnut?

My sister Karen sent this to me in an email and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with anyone else who would read it.

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In this Seminary classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's Seminary class.

Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro.Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?"

Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do.

"Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Brother Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" Again asked Brother Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,"

Brother Christianson said. Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it."Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited-it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk.

Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut.

And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. Then Bro. Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

hen Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

Steve started to do ten push-ups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Bro. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"Jenny said, "No."

Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely. Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row.

During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Bro. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You can do them any way that you want." And Bro. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."Bro. Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him."

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in."

Bro. Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

"Yes."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Bro. Christianson , can I help him?"

Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit." With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 1 Friday

Friday we (and I use that term loosely, because I ended up only cleaning out the cabinets and my fil and Donny- a family friend helped my husband do pretty much all the work) gutted the north side of the kitchen, pulled out the cabinets and linoleum. Then we cut out the subfloor. We were so happy to see the insulation had been protected well and it was mainly the subfloor that took the damage. The joices looked good and there was not any black mold at the bottom of the walls. Such a relief!



That pretty much took up all of the first day.

Check out this shot I got of dh sawing.... you can read the blade!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Please excuse the mess...



This is our kitchen back when we first moved in... you can tell by the lack of clutter and gouges.


This is kind of the family room. You can see the carpet and then the linoleum in the kitchen. Both rooms will be getting the wood laminate flooring. We will be taking out the entertainment center and putting the flooring under it and then reinstalling it for now, because we don't want to rebuild that wall yet. Someday... And if you haven't figured it out yet, we live in a manufactured home.

Disclaimer!:The pictures that follow in the next week will not reflect my wonderful housekeeping skills.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tomorrow

Oh my, I'm so nervous. Tomorrow my husband wants me to clean out the bookshelf and the entertainment center so that he can tear up the carpet in the family room. Wednesday begins phase one of our home remodeling adventure.

*Chewing on nails*

Our new cabinets should be ready by next weekend, but just to be careful we are starting with the other end of the house so that hopefully the cabinets will be ready by the time we get to the kitchen. We've given ourselves about 12 days to get all the work done.

I am going to be so happy to get rid of that nasty carpet! I just wish we had enough money left to carpet the living room too. The home is 4 years old and this is what they call "starter carpet". It started matting within the first few months. My kids used to drink cool aid all the time, and I've cut them off from that. They are now strictly water, or milk at the table. Somehow they are still soiling the carpet often because I have to keep using my steam cleaner every couple of months to get out gray spots. The steam cleaner works really well, it gets out so much dirt! And it fluffs up the carpet again, although it can't get rid of the old cool aid stains. But it doesn't last long with these kids. They are so rough on everything! I painted last summer and my walls look like crud again. That makes me sad. I can't wait until they are all over 8 years old.

The new floor will stay looking nice much much longer *crossing fingers*. Might be good to do a little throwing out during this time as well.

Wish us luck! And be watching for pictures to come!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just playing around

With trying out some stuff with the new banner. These all came from ShabbyPrincess.com from the people at Shabby Shoppe.
I have a friend Tammy who is so freaking talented with decorating, design and such. She's always decorating her blog every couple of weeks and they are always, always, always so cute! Someday Tammy I'm gonna hire you to decorate mine.
She also does amazing card templates that you can find at her photography blog for really affordable prices, seriously Tammy you should double your prices! And they are so easy to use, and so versatile.
Anyway, I'm not quite happy with what I've done here... back to working on it a little more....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cattail

Today while my son was at a birthday party I took the opportunity without kids to walk around at the regional park by my house. I have a lot of pictures I want to play with, but only had time for one tonight.
This is the first picture that I've ever showcased that was shot in RAW and gone through the whole developing process in Adobe Lightroom... I'm starting to get it!

Canon 30D, ISO 100, ss 1/1600, 55mm This was taken with my 17-55 2.8 IS lens that I love so much. I bought it for wide angle formals at weddings and find myself using it all the time!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Princess Joy

Talking to Joy the other day...
Me- "Oh look at those cute little feet!"
Joy- "Yeah, I have cute widdle feet."
Me- "They are little princess feet."
Joy- "Why are they princess feet?"
Me- "Because they are so little and cute. I could never be a princess because my feet are too big."
Joy-"Oh mommy! You can be a princess too, like me!"

I love her.

Said to me one sunday morning as I was getting ready for church in what Joy thought should be a princess dress...
Joy-" Just put your arms out like this," she spreads her arms out like she will be doing a curstey next, and in a valley girl sort of way says, "and say,'I'm a pricess, k?'"

Joy, today,"Mommy come here and let me smell your face..... *sniff**sniff*.... mmmm you smell good mommy!"

Did I mention I love her?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Relief Society!

Tonight was our Relief Society birthday party/Enrichment meeting. Relief Society is 165 years old! It
It was so much fun!
We did not do buffet style tonight, we had everything on our tables. We had a batch of spaghetti on every table, a birthday cake, garlic bread, salad and some type of soda/drink.
We based our evening on an article in the 2006 Ensign titled "In the Arms of His Love", written by President Hinckley, addressed to the women of the church. He says, "Today membership in the Relief Society is somewhere around five million. It is organized in many nations and teaches in many tongues..."
He goes on to talk about 5 things that Relief Society stands for.
Relieve Society stands for love.
Relieve Society stands for education.
Relieve Society stands for self-reliance.
Relieve Society means sacrifice.
Relieve Society means faith.
I'd asked 5 women to talk about each of these points, and they did such an amazing job. Truly inspired women. The spirit was sweet.
I ended with President Hinckley's closing of the talk...
" This is what the Relief Society does for women. It gives them opportunity for growth and development. It gives them status as queens in their own households. It gives them place and position, where they grow as they exercise their talents. It gives them pride and direction in family life. It gives them added appreciation for good, eternal companions and children.
What a glorious organization Relief Society is. There is nothing to compare with it in all the world.
May the Lord bless each of you with these marvelous qualities that come of activity in the great Relief Society organization. For this I humbly pray, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."

For the activity Sandy and I had brought all kinds of fun odds and ends stuff. At each table we'd placed a speaker for the evening, so in the end she ended up helping her other dinner mates. We asked them to take 10 minutes and come up with a script about the quality that the speaker had spoken about. And then we asked them to use the props. All the props got swooped up in the first 2 minutes.
It was a hoot!
We have such great sports in our ward... oh they were so funny! We all had a really great time.
I'm so lucky to be part of this wonderful program for women. My life has been so richly blessed by my relationships with them and by their testimonies. Relief Society is truly an inspired organization.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Kitchen

We had a new dishwasher that wasn't hooked up right, and leaked for about a month before we realized what was going on. Now we have a warped floor, and it took several months before I knew that I could see if insurance would cover it, then it took 6 months to get our insurance company to send us any money. It's been a really hard struggle to get any contractors to come in and give us an estimate, and then half of the guys I did get in here didn't send me the estimate they promised.
So now we've decided that we have to fix it ourselves because out of the only two estimates I got, one was too expensive and the other one was from a contractor that has never worked on a manufactured home. He was surprised to see the steel chassis under the house. Then he would never return the calls of my insurance company, so I'm not confident in his ability to do the job.
In a couple of weeks we'll be gutting out the kitchen and fixing the floor and putting in all new oak cabinets. Between the insurance money and the tax stimulus money we have enough to cover that. We had fake wood cabinets before and Joy has been peeling off the wood sticker.
I've been so disappointed in the quality of everything the builder put in this house. It's only 4 years old and looks so crappy because of the kids and the poor quality combined.
We'll be putting in Shaw laminate wood floors in the kitchen and possibly in the family room, depending on how much we have left after fixing the sub floor.
I'll be sure to post the before and after pictures.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friday's Feast

I've been gone all day or I would have done this sooner.

Friday's Feast #182
Appetizer
If you could be any current celebrity for one whole week, who would you want to be?
Hillary Clinton so I could totally mess up her campaign, hahaha!
Soup
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you enjoy talking on the phone?
With the right person- 8
Salad
Name a charitable organization to which you have donated (or would like to).
Besides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I regulaly donate to ARC and this year donated to DARE.
Main Course
What is a food you like so much you could eat it every single day for a month?
Chipotle
Dessert
Have you or anyone in your family had the flu this year?Yes :(

Friday, March 7, 2008

Edd's Funeral

Today was Edd's funeral. It was amazing how many people were there from his family, work, church, stake. We filled the overflow and into the cultural hall. There wasn't anything said that didn't surprise me. Edd was a gentle, kind, good man who loved everyone around him, especially the youth of the church. He reminded me a lot of my own father, in his strong testimony, and his willingness to serve the Lord with all he had. He has touched so many lives and will be missed by all.

In the middle of the program a lady in our ward sang this song, I'll call it a hymn because it's in our hymn books at church. I don't know how she does it! I was touched so much by the spirit there that I wasn't able to sing the opening or closing hymn without crying. And she's pregnant! I was an emotional wreck when I was pregnant. But she did a beautiful job, and it was a moment that calmed our souls. I set my blog up to play the version done by Vocal Point, an a capella group from Brigham Young University.

I also set it up to play the other two hyms that the congregation sang for opening and closing hymns.

Enjoy.
Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice
Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love,
His heart,Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Words:
Katharina A von Schlegel
Translated:
Jane Borthwick
Music:
Jean Sibelius

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sad Passing Away

Tomorrow will be a sad day for us. We lost a friend in the ward to liver cancer. His first prognosis gave him 2 years at the most to live. He lasted 4 and a half. I know he was diagnosed about the time we moved into the Shoreview Ward. I didn't know what with, and I'd assumed that he had been cured. I had no idea he was terminal. He was able to stay home until the end, not needing hospice care.
They have at least 4 children that I know of. The youngest daughter was in Laurols when I was the Young Women's President. She was awesome. She was the first to finish her Personal Progress under my presidency, and received her Young Womanhood Recognition Award.
They are such a neat family and I feel so badly for them. Their boys are such kind wonderful kids. When Jake broke his leg they brought by a plate of cookies for him and called to see how he was doing. One of the boys is and Eagle Scout and graduated from High School last year, and the other one is Jake's age.
When I was Young Women's President we had a fireside for our youth where we had some people come and talk about Christmas traditions. This family is where I got the traditions, I've recently shared with people, that I've incorporated to our celebration to put Christ in the center of our celebrating. I got the testimony candle and wrapping baby Jesus ideas from them.
Tomorrow is his funeral. I've been asked to bring a desert for the luncheon. How can you go wrong with chocolate brownies?
When we first found out about it the two counselors in our Bishopric were visiting at our home and told us about Ed passing away the night before. One of the counselors said that the next day he was feeling pretty grumpy, and then realized that it was because of Ed's passing. Then he said that during his thinking about it, he began to think about how it was for Ed. What an amazing day of discovery! That's a really great way of thinking about it. He will be reunited with friends and family he knew before. Probably able to meet Brother Joseph or Brigham Young and see President Hinckley.
Man, my life is so blessed because of the Gospel, and because of my knowlegde that this is not the end... it's only part of the begining. How amazing will that be for me when it's my turn. (Hopefully 50 years from now *wink*).

Side Note: I know this is really dumb, but I am feeling some guilt because this last December Ed's wife Christine asked me about photographing their family at Christmas, when all of their kids would be there. She was thinking on Christmas Eve. I was feeling the stress of the season, and I had all my stuff in storage, and the sun sets so early that time of year... anyway, story short I declined. Now I am feeling horrible. I should have done it. Should have said yes. Then they'd have a picture of their family the last Christmas spent with their dad... *sigh*... I wish I'd known he was terminal.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday

This is going to be a picture heavy post, but most pictures will be sooc with a crop. "I must, I must, I must decrease my butt." Yes, that is the war chant theme of my mornings now days. Today as we left the Y Joshua asked, "Mommy, are you skinny yet?" ... to which I suggested we had McDonald's for lunch. I was good and had the apple walnut salad, yummy! I am feeling like it's doing something. My muscles are feeling tighter. I've been doing weights and cardio and I've been every day in the last week except Sunday.

Yesterday before going I played the YMCA song here on my blog for the kids and took a couple of pictures of them dancing to it.




Sunday is the night we have our Family Home Evening, because of conflict of schedules with Joel's school and work. Joel worked this weekend and it was his turn to do the FHE lesson. I was talking with the kids about it, and suggested we just have a game night, but Joshua begged me to let him do the lesson. OK! He asked me for a picture of Jesus and a picture of Jesus with his disciples in a little boat and Peter sinking in the water, a picture of the nativity and a CTR (Chose the Right) ring.

His lesson ended up being a little potpourri of everything Joshua knows about the Gospel. He started out with a picture of Jesus and then proceeded to grill us about what we knew about him. Then he showed us the picture of Jesus with his disciples and grilled us about that picture, even though I had told him the story of Peter just an hour before.

Then we talked about the birth of Jesus, to which he asked us, "And what holiday was that on?" Hahaha. We had to correct him on that.

We ended the lesson with talking about what CTR stands for. I found his ring, so he used that for a prop. We talked about being nice and being honest and making good choices.

Then we ended the evening with a couple of games of Farkle and some creme filled cookies. I got my camera out for that one.

Here's a cookie... yummy!

This is Joel getting a "Farkle!"


Check out this fast shot I got!



Jake is a whiz with stacking things. Someday I'll post his house of cards.







Far be it for me to get the camera out without trying to get something a little artistic shot.




This is "sweet" little Jaeden comforting Jake when he farkled... but little did we know a little dice shark lived inside that sweet innocent thing dressed in pink with puppies and kitties on the front...



Yeah... this is her "Game is on!" face.




And she was the winner... handing our butts to us on a cookie.
Grandma and Grandpa Hill, better watch out when we come back to town! She'll give you a good game!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Our class needs a specialist.

Ok, today was a really hard day for me. I can't hear out of one ear still, and was feeling a wee bit crabby. I got enough sleep, but I think being sick is wearing on me.
My husband and I teach the 10-12 year old boys. We have two boys with adhd, or add, and we have one kid with aspergers.
They have been really hard to teach. They talk all the time, derailing our lesson. One of the adhd kids is always having outbursts of noise to get attention. I've decided that I'm not going to try to bribe them with treats anymore, and I just want them to be good. No matter what. It's ridiculous that these boys will be deacons soon and they act like this. I don't want to send them into the priesthood thinking they can act like this. Maybe having Jacob being a near-perfect child has given me unreasonable expectations of how a boy that age should act.
Today one of the kids refused to take out his scriptures and participate. First, I should mention to any newcomers or non LDS people reading that the first Sunday of the month is what we call Fast Sunday. It's where members of the church fast for 24 hours (consisting of 2 meals) and give the money they would have spent on those meals to the Bishop's Storehouse, which feeds and takes care of the needs of our poor. Then we also have a testimony meeting where we share testimonies of Christ, God, or Gospel principles with each other. So back to this kid... he'd gotten up in sacrament during testimony meeting and rambled on and on mingling the story of Nephi, and he didn't really know what he was talking about fully, because he was calling Laban "Lehi". His parents started waving to him to close up and get down, but he just sat there asking them what they were doing, while he stayed at the microphone. The Bishop got up and had to ask him to close up his testimony. In the end what his testimony was about was holding to the iron rod (the word of God). So this started the kid on a bad road for the day. I ended up having to ask his mom to come take him out of class and try to get him to cooperate.
Then the aspergers kid kept getting up and wandering around the classroom. At one point he was squatting and looking at me through the back of his folding chair... what's up with that??? Ugh. So I asked him, "If your dad was teaching," which his dad did teach our class for the last two weeks while we were sick,"would you be doing this?" He got up and sat down on his chair.
I'm so tired of people telling me to bribe them with treats!
The one boys mom said that I should have a treat they don't know about, and when I catch one paying attention to toss them a little, like a Hershey's kiss. Are you kidding me?
These kids are 10 and up.... are you telling me that their teachers at school do this? I think NOT.
Are the teachers at school just putting up with it? I don't know, but I know this is wearing me out already and we've only had this class since the first of January.
I'm not educated in the field to deal with these kinds of kids.
I know... I know.... the Lord will qualify those whom he calls. He did it for me when I was the Young Women's President. He did it when I had to teach Relief Society classes.
I think this is what they mean by "endure 'till the end". I have to "endure" 'till the end of the year. I am desperate to find order for our class. I am tired of asking kids to be quiet every two seconds. I'm tired of trying to get back on task every 5 seconds. Our class needs a specialist.