Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Not only am I moving houses but also I am moving blogs. If you wish to follow, leave me a message here or on facebook and I will get the new address to you! thanks!

We made an offer

Well, my stomach is getting an ulcer. We made an offer yesterday, but the owner's husband didn't get home until late last night. So we got a call this morning from our realtor that they made a counter offer, and he didn't have it yet. He would send it to us around 1:30 or 2.
Counter offer???
Man, I hope that they don't want us to close a month early :( I can't come up with that much money in just a few weeks. We can probably have it gifted to us. But I don't know who could do that. YUCK.
My stomach is turning. This sucks. I hate buying/selling houses. One reason I never became a "flipper" like Joel wanted. I plan to live here forever. FOREVER!

My dream is for this to be the Klingensmith Compound. Where all the kids come to visit Grandma and Grandpa Klingensmith and their cousins and aunts and uncles. Where we all gather to get away from the world, relax and play. Where relationships are formed and bonds are made.
I know I could probably create that anywhere, but not the kind I want.
I want horses and four wheelers and ping pong tables and gardens and space for kids to roam and run. Tree houses, woods to play Robin Hood in, camp fires to make smores over, fruit to bottle, and memories to be made.
This is my dream for wherever we move to. I hope that it can be realized.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Found It!

We found the home that we've been looking for!
I'm so glad that it didn't take until next spring, but also, I almost wish it did.
It has everything we wanted, PLUS it doesn't make me feel like I'm going to miss my home. I didn't think I would find that.
Tonight we are waiting to hear back from the sellers if they have accepted our offer. We have asked for a closing date of October 3. I am hoping that isn't too far out for them. If our house hasn't sold by then we may not move until the end of October. I have a final test on October 20 and don't want to be moving before that is done. That will help me do my best on the test. Although, Joel is free to pack us up and move us if he wants. wink.
Jacob has decided he doesn't want to move with us. This makes me sad. He plans to live with his grandparents in Brooklyn Center while he finishes up school. We will miss him so much! I hope he finds the time to drive up to see us often!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Breaking Point

I don't know whether I should laugh or cry. I'm happy about some things, and anxiety and frustration about others.

We have our financing coming along great. Joel and I both have excellent credit scores and he's gotten some student loan issues taken care of. Now we need to find a house. It's been hard finding something that meets all our wants/needs. It's easy to find 3 bedroom homes. Are people not having kids anymore??? It's so hard to find four bedroom homes in our price range! I'd really like my kids to have their own rooms and also have room for Jake to come home to. We also must have acreage to make it worth it. I won't buy a house that has a small yard, and I won't settle for less than 5 acres. I'd just as well stay put instead of putting money into another non-private yard. We also are looking for a really good price. And that makes the task almost impossible. Just this week a home that would have been perfect has slipped through our hands. This has me depressed, a little.
 But as daunting as that seems, that is the EASY part!
The hardest parts will be getting this house ready, and coming to terms with leaving this home. I love my home. It suits our family just fine! I wish I could take it with me instead, but that also is too costly.
My kids have been of no/little help to me in getting the house ready.  I've even had to post that I wanted to hire someone to help clean and organize the house to get it ready to sell. I've had some offers from people to help. I think I am going to have to use them! This is a big burden on my shoulders that makes me feel crabby and anxious. I've lost my patience a couple of times, unfortunately, when seeing stuff out of place, messes or things I wish they would do on their own.

This isn't good.

Tomorrow we are looking with a realtor at two properties, one I feel doesn't have enough rooms and the other I didn't like the yard. I'm not hoping to fall in love.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm in the market for a good deal...

Joel and I have decided that it might be time soon for us to get back into a regular home. But we don't want just any home. This home has to have certain things to be worth it to us.
These are some of our requirements:
1) payments can't be more than our lot rent, some fixing up is ok, after all we know to get a good deal we'll have to put more money into it and some elbow grease.
2) it must have property and space between our house and our neighbors.
3) must have air conditioning.
4) must have 2 bathrooms and enough room to either have/create 4 bedrooms.

We have one property that we are looking into, but not getting my hopes up for it just yet. It has to go through an auction before I can do a walk through. So if it doesn't sell on the 7th, we will call and ask for a walk through. It went through auction in February and didn't sell, so I'm hoping I have a chance to look at it closer.  It has some water damage in the basement that we need to check out first as well.
Here's some pictures of it...
AWESOME oak tree in the front.  Landscaping needs major pulling and cleaning up.

The view of the house from the road. 

Cool circle window in the dining room. West side of the house.

Fun porch to hang a swing or place a glider. I could see us when we are old and retired hanging out on the porch watching the grandkids play in the yard.

Some of the front porch needs replacing. The old one is out somewhere in the 20 acre woods behind the house :) I would love to created some four wheeler trails behind there!

But, as I said, it might not be available after the 7th, and also I might not want it if I find the water damage is signs of a serious problem.

If anyone knows of any foreclosed homes that fit our needs, let me know!

Friday, June 24, 2011

In search of a perfect blog layout...

Dear Mom,
If you can't read this let me know!
I'm playing around with new blog designs and worry that some are too small.

I've been trying new blog templates and found a few that I love, but there's something on each one that's not perfect and I have driven myself crazy trying to fix them, which means going through my HTLM code line by line, which also makes my head hurt.
I will work on it more later.

A little break before hitting the books again. I think this will be the last time I take a math class during a summer session. Every day we cover something new and don't have any time to work on it, except that night and then the next day we are off on something new! I'm a bit worried I've ruined my gpa with this class. And that worry sets in more since I received a letter today from the college saying I'm on the Dean's List. Yay me! I'd like to stay there if I could.

We had a good weekend for our anniversary and Father's Day. Saturday night Joel and I went to Joe's Crab Shack and had lobster and crab for dinner. Then we went out shopping for a few things. He got some things for his tool box from Menards, I got a Nook from Barnes and Noble. Then we went to a movie, The Green Lantern. It was really good.

On Sunday I got to enjoy a day with no calling. That was really nice, but also felt a little weird. I'm used to getting out of the chapel and trying to beat kids down to the Primary room. This time I got to sit next to a couple of ladies I haven't seen or chatted with in a while and that was so nice!

After church we went to my in-laws. My FIL was able to come home for a little while and so we went to visit with him and bring him cards for Father's Day. He is starting to look better and has color in his face again. He was able to go up the stairs to use the bathroom (with a lot of help, of course), so maybe it won't be long before he will be home and able to get around. They say he is not supposed to put pressure on his half-foot for several weeks yet.

We ended the evening at home with corn on the cob, fried chicken and garlic mashed potatoes. I wanted to take the kids and dog to the dog park for a walk but I still had homework to finish so I had to do that instead. Booo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Families Can be Together Forever

I love this Primary song.
I did a lot of thinking this morning about how I love my sisters and family so much. I am so thankful that my Father in Heaven has a plan for us to be a family forever.
I was remembering my trip out west last summer when I visited my parents for a couple of weeks. I really just wanted to spend my time there visiting and not really running around doing stuff. I did go out and do stuff, but I also loved sitting around my parents house talking, playing games, etc. I LOVE being there! One afternoon my sister had stopped by my mom's to chat for a while. As she stretched out over my mom's couch we chatted about her job as a teacher and her getting ready for the new school year. It was so nice just to sit and listen to her tell her stories. She's a very kind person, and even though she was having trouble with one of her aids, she was still so kind while she talked about her. I admire my sister so much and the person she is. I just thought how lucky her students are and how neat it would be if I could end up working with someone like her, I would be in HEAVEN!

And when I do get to heaven, I'm so happy I get to be with my sister!

Friday, June 17, 2011


My house was so nice and clean.... a couple of weeks ago!
Since the kids have been home from school their rooms have exploded and things from their rooms have strayed out and been left around the house. So, today they are grounded for the rest of the weekend until BOTH of the little kid's rooms are cleaned. I'm wondering how long it will take. How many tears will be shed. How many, "You are the WORST mom EVER!" I will have to hear. How much my head will hurt by the time they are done.

This weekend it will be 18 years since Joel and I were married in the Edgerton chapel. Bishop Ron Holm married us. His daughter Hannah was a new baby and attended the wedding and reception. Our son Jacob was 4 months old and was at the wedding and reception as well. We moved away to Brooklyn Center shortly after that. During our time in Brooklyn Center, Joel joined the church and we were sealed for eternity by President Sheffield, a dear long time friend of my parents.Many years later, we moved to Shoreview, where Jacob and Hannah ended up being classmates. This last month all of us, Hannah, her dad, President Sheffield and our family were all at the Seminary graduation of our children/grandchildren. The Sheffield's grandson spoke at the graduation. It was a really sweet evening where a full circle had been made.

Joel and I have had so many ups and downs during our 18 years of marriage. He has stuck with me through my crazies, and that amazes me. When I think back to things I've done, I'm ashamed, I wonder how he's had the patience to overlook and forgive things I've said and done. He's truely kept our vows, for better, for worse. He's been a great example to me of love and patience.

(I wanted to share a picture from our wedding, but my scanner isn't working.)

Lately, more especially since medication has brought me out of the dark fog I've been in for the last several years, I feel more strongly committed to my vows I made to him and God. Maybe, at the time I made them, I didn't think about them so much. I just wanted our family to be forever. But now I ponder more in my heart my vows, and what they mean to me, and how I can better keep them and honor him and myself.

Happy Anniversary love!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Old Family Videos

Joshua, February 2006, tangled up in the Valentine's Day balloons I bought.

Jaeden having a tantrum, before she was saying much more than "Mommy" and "Daddy".

Jaeden dancing to the music in her head.

Joshua rapping.

The girls would often hold hands while riding around in the car.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On Death and Dying

A couple of months ago I was taking a Life Cycle Psychology class when we covered death and dying. We discussed the Terri Schiavo case, and it caused me to bug Joel again about his living will wishes. He's never written one, and wouldn't do it for me six years ago when I was making mine. The class has caused me to reflect on my life a bit and maybe make some decisions differently based on new thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Today a friend, on facebook, posted a link to an insightful article by Bronnie Ware about the regrets of dying people. I thought I would share them here (along with some of my mental notations).


For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

This would probably be one of my biggest personal regrets as well, and I would worry that telling people this would hurt their feelings. Although, now that my mind is clearer than it was before medication, I can see that even though I am trying to live how others expect me to, this is a righteous thing. I know that my husband and my parents have righteous expectations of me. If I were to do whatever I wanted, I'm sure it would not be the best thing for me, my children or them, and I would only be selfishly serving myself. And that is not how we are supposed to be.

Enter internal conflict: I have only this life. This one life to live only once. If I am not happiest living it the way everyone else thinks I should- even if it's good- is it worth it? Is that fair to me or them?

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

At this point, we do need to work as much as we do. We have four kids, no insurance and doctor bills up the wazoo. I wish we could get by with less, but it's just not possible right now. Every penny counts. I guess we will have to enjoy our grandkids more than our own kids. *sob*. I do think that maybe I can make improvements on this by choosing less housework and by taking more time to play. I'm glad I am going into a field where I can take summers off to spend with my kids. That IS a plus!

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

Dang if you do, dang if you don't, is my problem. If I do speak my feelings, I feel that only the positive ones will be accepted and listened to. Nobody wants to hear my negative stuff. The hardest person with this is Joel. I want to be able to share everything with him. But, I feel he takes personal offense every time my feelings aren't positive and when I express them it causes problems and fights. He feels responsible for me and my feelings, though he shouldn't.
I'm not ready for the "releasing the unhealthy relationship from my life" part yet, but I really wish I had a partner I could be honest with and they would accept my bad with my good and not feel that if I have a negative feeling that it's their job to take care of it. I just want someone to listen and understand.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

Meh, me, not so much this one. I would wish I'd kept in touch with more family members, like first cousins, more than friends. Maybe as far as friends go, I would wish I reached out to be a friend to others more than I have. That might be a more accurate statement for me.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Amen! This is one I am trying to do. I am trying to let go of things that make me unhappy and embrace and do things that I love and enjoy.

I try to be silly and play with my kids, even though it may embarrass them or others, but the other day I got a letter from Jaeden that said, "I love my mom because she is fun." Man, if that doesn't say it's worth it, nothing will.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


Regrets of the Dying is soon to be a full-length book, full of personal and inspiring stories about Bronnie's years with dying people. Please join the mailing list, on the contact page, to be advised of its release.
Coming soon in 2011.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Best laid plans...

foiled again!

I have been wanting, for weeks, to get Jake's pictures done. However, time has eluded me, Jake has eluded me, energy has eluded me. So, tonight, I'd had it! He was hanging out on my hammock and I decided that I had to get this shot done once and for all. It was similar to what I had imagined doing anyway. Voila! Here's Jake's announcements...

I love this guy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Well, they took all of Roger's toes off. He's in a transfer house learning to walk and use stairs without them. He will be there for over a month.

Jacob's graduation is on the 7th. And he's graduating with Honors! YAY! We are so excited about this! I can't wait! I have been wanting to take his picture for the last couple of weeks but his work and the kids soccer practices have us booked. I'm so sad I haven't gotten to do it yet. Very sad. He gets his cap and gown on Friday so maybe I will get a few shots with those too.

In the fall he will be getting his Associates Degree. We are hoping he will get to spend a semester at BYU before going out for his mission. I am even more excited for him to do this! I just know he will love it and my family will be so happy to have him around, they will love it! Life for him is so exciting right now!

My math class so far is going good. I think I have a good teacher. He's made things so much more clearer than any other teacher I've had before. This is encouraging! Hopefully my instincts are right. I'd really love to be able to get an A in that class. I don't start my Educational Psychology until July 5.

Josh and Jaeden are taking soccer this summer. I was a loser mom and didn't get them signed up for baseball in time, so we had to settle for soccer. They both, luckily, are very athletic and coordinated so they do well in any sport they do. They played soccer a couple of years ago, so they already know how to play. I still have to decide on something to sign up Joy for. She's a little tricky in the skills/interests area.

I took Buddy for a long walk today and worked on walking past people on the trails without trying to jump on them. He did pretty good! It was a bummer that the trails are paved in black and were hot, so I had him walking in the grass. Needless to say I was picking ticks off of him after the walk. YIKES! I hate those buggars.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I love my puppy. He's the cutest little guy, and he's so smart. But today something is wrong with Buddy. He's been itching his ear and shaking his head, a lot. Last night he crashed on the couch unusually early and I was wondering if he was sick. I have to take him to the vet this afternoon. I hope he's ok.

Jacob has decided that he would like the money instead of an open house, which I totally respect, and kind of expected he would choose that. He doesn't like having the spotlight on him. He's totally the kind of person that would save someone from a burning building and then disappear into the night before anyone found out who he was. He's never been a glory hound or felt the need to be recognized for his accomplishments. I love that about him. He's so humble. I love that kid.

They decided today to try to save Roger's foot, they will be cutting away infected parts of his foot, he may loose a couple of toes, but they will try to save the foot so he can have balance. This is great news! I pray it works! If he is not doing better in a few days they may have to take the whole foot. I pray that doesn't happen.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sad news

Tonight is really sad. I found out two sad things.
First, the crazy cat people down the road lost their baby this week. It was pretty much full term. I don't know the details, just that it died after it was born. We don't talk to them, so I only know what the youngest daughter tells her class (my daughter shares a class with her) in school. Even though I don't like them very much, I'm still very sad for them and remember the pain that comes with losing a baby.
The second sad news is that my father-in-law is very ill, in the hospital, and they will probably be removing his right foot in the morning. His feet were cracking and bleeding this winter, when he saw a doctor for it they told him to keep it lotioned. He also has diabetes. His foot became infected and he didn't take care of it right away. They were first talking about removing parts of his foot, but now tonight, the latest call is that they will be removing the whole foot. This is very sad. His life is about to change, a LOT. I worry that he won't be here much longer, and I'm worried now that the memories my three little kids will have of him will be sad ones. This is a hard thing to deal with.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brain Teaser

The other day I was talking to my kids about cough suppressants and explaining that they work by affecting a part of your brain, instead of affecting your throat, when you get that little tickle. In the medula of the brain there is a "cough center" that the antitussive works on to suppress the cough.
So after explaining this to them, Josh asks me, "I can cough on purpose, does that mean I can tickle my brain?"
That is quite possibly the funniest thing he's ever asked me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I love you Mom!
Miss you!

Friday, May 6, 2011


A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I hate being mean, but sometimes I think you just have to, to make people get up and shake a leg.
We are totally rained into our house. I can't walk my dog without rolling up my pants and wearing flip-flops. My kids are not going to be able to get to the house when they come home from school today. My yard is flooded clear back to the shed. Joel called the park manager and was nice to him, and the manager said, "thanks for letting me know." That just was not enough for me, so I called him back and said, "no! I want to know what you are going to do about it!"
I didn't get any dates it would be fixed by, but he was whinning, "give me a break, I've only been here a month!" It could have been fixed in that month. Grrrrrrrr. Then I chewed him out some more.

Jake gets his cast off today, and he is so excited. He has to wear a boot around for a few more weeks. He doesn't want to, but I'm going to ask the doctor how important it is that he does.

My house is falling apart, and it's making me crabby. I need a maid service, seriously. The kids aren't much help and as soon as they clean stuff they mess it up again. I don't have time to keep up with it all. I need more hours in the day, or to find a better way to study. Or maybe I should get off here and get to it.... bye!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Let us observe a moment of silence


in memory of Mom's sanity...

Well, it's happened!

I really thought when I started school last year that I would be able to take the summers off to spend with my kids, but feared that something would come up that wouldn't let me. All this time I have been working towards the summer, when I would have a break, and be able to play with my kids, and go places whenever I wanted, and not have to plan around a schedule. But the other day I got an award letter from the school saying that if I took six credits of classes this summer I would receive over $1,300 in Pell grants. How can I pass that up? It took awhile, but I found two classes that fit into my degree requirements, to take during the summer. One will be a class that's entirely online, and educational psychology class. The other class is a math class, and I will have to go to school every morning, except for Fridays.
My choice was to either take a math refresher course and try to test out of the class, and have no other classes this summer. Or I could take the class I was trying to pass out of, and take a second class and both would be free, and also there will be money left for books. So, I guess I'm opting for the second choice. Free is good. That does kind of bum me out, I do value my freedom in the summer, and lack of schedules.
Last week I had three tests in my classes, and after being sick all weekend and on medications and lacking serious sleep hours, I thought for sure that I would not do well. I was very surprised to see that I got a 92%, 89%, and an 88% score on those tests. Yay! We only have 2.5 weeks of school left. I'm getting at least a B in every class. I am hoping to keep them up through the finals projects and finals week.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My phone takes crappy pictures.

And now that I got that off my chest I want to share some recent images I have take with my crappy phone camera...

But first, a moment of silence:
I was sad to see today that little "Jason" the black bear cub died a couple of days ago :( No word yet on why.

And now onto the crappy phone pictures. Here's a picture of what my kids have been up to the last couple of days... seriously, I don't know why we don't just buy them big boxes for birthdays instead of toys....
But the problem is, we only have two boxes that size, two skateboards and three little kids.

Tonight Joy helped me by making the bread for our dinner, that ended up being ruined anyway because of some bad cream, so we had McDonalds instead. Bread will go with tomorrow night's dinner.

And besides buying the kids boxes for birthdays, I don't know why we don't just get them a bunch of Pillsbury bread cans for Christmas...

WARNING! If you don't like doggie butts, don't read this post further....

I warned you.

Ok I have been meaning to post about this latley, but haven't gotten to taking a picture of it until the other day. This is either just plain weird, funny or cute. It makes me giggle almost every day. My dog has the funniest spot for two cowlicks.

I'm laughing now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick update before I run out the door!

Jake had surgery on his ankle this morning. He seems to be ok for now. Heavily sedated and foot propped up on a foam plank. I couldn't be there with him because I had a test and a class that I can't miss today. I might skip my class tomorrow because of him, we'll see. The doctor said everything went well. He has to wear a cast for a couple of weeks, but can put weight on it, then he has to wear his boot for another 4 weeks, and then have a final check on the leg and be given some physical therapy exercises. I hope that he feels good soon and that this won't be anything that will hinder him on a mission, or make it hard to walk a lot or ride bikes. We don't know how much it's going to cost us in the end. Minnesota turned us down for assistance, but the hospital is trying to do some other stuff, so we'll have to wait and see. But for now he's resting comfortably and I have to run to class. Bye!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mood ring: Blue

Yep, that's the color it is tonight. Not like the pretty green in the picture (and mine was only $2), but a very bright and happy blue, which according to the website means that I am either very relaxed, calm, or happy. This is the exact ring I have, funny that I found that online. I bought it when the kids and I were at the Audubon Center in Sandstone Minnesota. I think it is fun to look at throughout the day to see what color it is. Usually it says I have mixed emotions or I am lovable.

The weather has been so beautiful this week, and sadly, I heard it will be raining this weekend (that's OK because I will be at Time Out for Women). I really wish I was outside tonight playing in it instead of talking to my blog, but before talking to my blog I was stuck studying for a test that I have next week, and now I need to go find a lesson for my children on Sunday, and am also trying to finish up a session I had last fall so that the senior has pictures for his graduation. I also need to get my own seniors pictures done, it's a matter of wrangling him, tying him up, sedating him, or hypnotized him, to get his pictures done.

I have such strong spring fever right now that it's really hard to contain my mind and concentrate on the tasks I need to do. It's days like these that make me wish that there were more hours in the day. I'd like to take the dog for walk in the park, I'd like to take my camera out to play, I'd like to go for a bike ride, I'd like to have a bonfire, make some smores, but right now I have to go make some fajitas. Ciao!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Out like a Lion

RAWRRRrrrrr! Haha. Ok, it's been months (actually since October) since I colored my hair last. So a couple of weeks ago I colored again because my roots were getting to be about 2 inches long. I went to school one week, and then the next week my classmate came in and said, "whoa!" when he saw me. I said "what?" and he said, "your hair." I explained to him that I was wearing my wash and go look, and that I had finally got around to coloring my hair, to which he said, "What made you choose that color?".... wow, way to make a girl feel great.

So here is my new lions mane look I've been sporting since I've decided that nobody cares how I look and I'm just too tired and worn out to care myself, lol.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A new toy

I have a new toy! It is so cool! I am making this post by voice. Woo Hoo!!! This is going to make my life so much easier, I hope. I think it will make writing papers go so much faster, and give me more time to play with my kids after I do my do my homework. Why didn't I think of getting one of these sooner?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Ok, this might all be too much information (TMI) for you so go ahead and close the window to my blog and come back another time when I've made a new post.

Ok, this is your last chance!



ok, if you stuck around, just remember that you asked for it!

I think I am having perimenopause symptoms. There. I've said it. It's too late for you to turn around now! Hey! Get back here! Now that you know what's wrong with me, you have to listen to why I think that.

Yes you do.

I found a list of 25 symptoms of menopause.

No, I didn't just decide tonight that it would be a fun idea to find out how close I am to my last period (although I think that would be a really cool thing to know, and man would I really look forward to that day even marking it on the calendar and throwing myself a great big party, or at least I'd buy myself a three layered chocolate cake). Ahem, back to my story....

There's a reason. The reason is, I've been having symptoms. More than 17 symptoms to be exact.
How many symptoms should I worry about before I think it's a good sign that I'm beginning the stages of menopause?

Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
Irregular heart beat
Mood swings, sudden tears
Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods,
shorter cycles, longer cycles
Loss of libido (see note)
Dry vagina
Crashing fatigue
Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
Disturbing memory lapses
Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
Itchy, crawly skin
Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
Increased tension in muscles
Breast tenderness
Headache change: increase or decrease
Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
Sudden bouts of bloat
Exacerbation of existing conditions
Increase in allergies
Weight gain Yeah, but that happened 6 years ago, and it really had to do with the last baby I had, so I don't think they will let me count that.
Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair Thank heaven's not this yet!
Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
Changes in body odor Please, if anyone notices this, let me know!?
Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
Tingling in the extremities
Gum problems, increased bleeding
Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor And uh, let me know about this one too, k!?
Osteoporosis (after several years)
Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc.

And many of these symptoms are VERY not pleasant and persistent and bothersome. Especially the one where I have periods in between periods, or the tingling in the extremities and the bloating.

What's a girl to do?

I don't want to go to my doctor for ... yet.... another thing. I've already seen her this year about the migraines and the depression... do I really have to keep visiting her and telling her a new sob story every time I go? Why can't, for once, I go to the doctor when nothings wrong and I have nothing to complain about? We could hang out, I could tell her my funny school stories, she could tell me some funny doctor/patient stories and then I could go home, without a prescription, without a big bill and without having to pour out my guts, or have a reminder that this is the year I turn 40. That'd be great. Thanks.

You asked for it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crazy Crunch!

Crazy Crunch with nuts
Crazy Crunch plain

Courtesy of my dear mother, a wonderful memory from my childhood, and now part of my own children's memories :)

Set aside in a greased bowl-
14 Cups of popped corn Add Image
1 1/2 C. mixed nuts

In a large pot on the stove bring to a boil-
1 1.2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. dark Karo syrup
1 1/2 square butter (3/4 Cup)
3 T. water

Boil until hard ball stage (checking in a bowl of ice water, you pour a little into the bowl and can use your fingers to form a solid ball). Remove from heat.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla when it's at hard ball stage.

Pour over popcorn and mix.

Dump out onto greased foil or wax paper to cool.

I have a little bit of time here, while I wait for my highlights to take effect. Today is coloring day. I haven't colored my hair since that scary day in October when I decided that I wanted a warmer darker color for winter. It didn't turn out so great. I've been scared to go back to my old color, but afraid to go forward with another color and so I've been sitting and waiting and letting my grays grow long. I finally caved this week and bought a bottle of my old color. It's almost spring so I'm over the urge of wanting warmer colored hair.

This week is spring break for all of us in our schools. The kids are already bored out of their minds and Josh has a cold coming on. I hope he's well enough to spend the weekend up north with us. We are taking the little kids up to the bear and wolf centers. Jake is staying behind to take care of the dog and hang out with friends. I'm making my mom's Crazy Crunch to go with us. The kids are excited about that!

I did have homework during break, I have to put together a speech for my speech class. I got my power point about photography put together yesterday. Not exactly something I want to talk about, but also, it's something I know about so I can talk about it with relative ease and low script.

Well, I have to say things kind of suck since Jake turned 18. He's gone all the time. He's out very late on weekends. He is cutting the apron strings. Boooo. He also kept putting off registering for the draft so he was a felon here for a week. I hope they accept his late registration and don't fine him. I also hope it doesn't interfere with his qualifying for student aid or aid with his surgery. I hate letting go of control.

Ding! Time to wash! Bye!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Time for another update, I suppose :)
This morning, in a little bit, we are headed out to puppy play time at the Humane Society. Buddy loves chasing around little dogs. He's afraid of the bigger dogs so we have to be careful what playgroups we take him to. My husband, I'm sure, thinks I'm crazy to spend money to let our dog play with other dogs, but I think it's been important for his socialization and will help when we go out walking and run into other dogs on the path.
I'm volunteering 4 hours a week, through the end of March, in a couple of special education classrooms and it's been a really great experience so far. I'm learning a lot from observation and finding what kind of setting I would like to teach in, if given the opportunity.
Jake is still waiting on surgery for his ankle. He's scheduled for April 13. It feels years away, and that is hard. I wish he could be fixed sooner.
This week I have a presentation to give with my group in my drugs and alcohol class, about a visit we made to an AA meeting. We have this lady in our group that is seriously difficult to work with, so I hope things go well with our presentation. She likes to overpower everyone and is wanting to make our presentation into a lot more than it should be, or that the teacher has asked for.
We are expecting about a foot more of snow in the coming week. I am so sick of snow! I am ready for spring and color and walks and warm sun on my face! I was actually looking at scooters on Craigslist the other day. When we visited Utah last summer my sister took my kids out on her scooter and they had so much fun. I didn't realize they can get 80 miles to the gallon! I think I'd like one to get back and forth to school on, but Joel wants a motorcycle. We would never be able to agree on a motorcycle. He's into choppers and Harleys and I'm not. I don't want a big heavy thing. I want something light weight and easy to move around. Oh well, guess I'll just keep dreaming about my Jeep and the day I don't have kids to drive around so I can have one.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day to my sweet hubby. Love you babe!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back at it again

I am back at school again. New semester. This time I am taking four classes.

1. Introduction to Special Education
2. Psychology II- Lifespan Development
3. Speech
4. Health- Drugs Across the Spectrum

I am loving the Special Education class so far. My teacher is very demanding of us, and I love that. He's also worked in the field for a lot of years, and is planning on starting a school group for those in the special education field. He is the first teacher at our school to teach Special Education. Right now he's working on a mission statement. I have to volunteer 20 hours in a Special Education setting in a school to pass this class. I am having a hard time finding a school to take me, or return my calls. I think it's really neat that as I am learning about "exceptional learners", as they are called, that I am having the same kind of experience that I had when I used to edit photographs. As I would edit, I would find myself feeling a great love and appreciation for the people who's pictures I worked on. I could understand the love Heavenly Father has for each one of them. As I am learning about exceptional learners I am having a similar experience, feeling a great love and appreciation for these children of our Heavenly Father who have struggles, developmental and physical. I know I am following a path that I will love.

The Health class is a bit interesting. We have some major projects, one of which I don't really want to do. We have to get together in a group and visit a chemical dependency self-help group, sit in on their meeting and then do a report on it. I don't want to do that. I'd like to remain in the dark about that kind of stuff. I've been there with tobacco, and I don't want to see what other people are struggling with, with even stronger addictions. The other project we have to do is do a presentation about a case study. Our group picked a study done in Massachusetts where they are focusing on preventing college students from binge drinking.

Jacob turns 18 on Wednesday and I'm lacking gift/activity ideas because of his leg. He can't do all the ideas I would love to do to celebrate his birthday like some laser tag games for him and his friends, or bowling, etc. Also, we don't know what our financial situation is right now, or what to expect for a final cost to fix him, but so far we're in debt for 2 grand and he's still broken :( I missed a call from the financial person at the hospital yesterday and am waiting for her to call me back today. I'm hoping that he will qualify for some help from the state since the surgery will happen after he's 18 and has no insurance, but we will see.

I have lots of work to get back to, so that's all for an update for now. Ciao!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bear Den Camera

I have been leaving the window to this site open for the last day or two, and coming when I hear noises. This den in Ely Minnesota is being shared by two female bears, Hope and Lily. Lily is the mama bear, Hope is almost 2 years old. Lily is about to have another baby, most likely before January 22. I'm hoping to see a live black bear birth, wouldn't that be a treat!?
Check it out yourself. You have to watch a 15 second commercial before the camera comes on.
(Also today when I was watching Lily covered the camera with straw, so I'm hoping she moves the straw down before she has her new baby/babies.)

Lilly and Hope Bear Cam

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm getting butterflies in my tummy....

Our family has had a nice break this holiday season. We had a lot of fun playing and being together. The kids went back to school this week and I start my next semester next week. I have two classes on Monday, one in the evening and then a class each day for the next three days. I have Fridays and weekends free for studying and grocery shopping.

I've spent a lot of time this week working on Buddy. He's coming along. He's so smart and has caught onto a lot of stuff I've been trying to teach him (yet also forgetting some really important stuff I've been trying to get him to remember). He's been to classes twice and both times was the best behaved dog there. He's in classes for dogs 5 months and up. He has a few new tricks that help with redirecting his attention and obedience. I also have taken him a couple of times to the pet store to let him wander and sniff and see people and other dogs. The kids really want him to learn fun tricks, like "roll over", and are not patient about him just working on basic control and commands. Some day he's going to be the best dog ever, I just know it!

I have my books for my new classes. They look pretty interesting. I'm putting off starting to read them because I have had teachers go out of order with chapters and I don't want to spend time reading something I don't need yet, so instead I am reading Eat, Pray, Love. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'd like to finish the book first. So far it's very good!

I also finally got a chance to look at the pictures I took last August in Utah. Man, those were some really good days for me and the kids!