Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad

Today would have been my dad's 70th birthday. This year however, he is not here to celebrate it. He passed away a little over 7 months ago. There is not a day that goes by that we don't think of him, or are reminded of him in some way. His wife, 12 kids, sons and daughters-in-law, and 58 grand kids miss him like crazy.

For Christmas this last year, my sister Lori and her husband Clay sent Christmas cards with bracelets for EVERY family member. I loved the idea. There was a scripture included with the bands....

Helamen 5: 6-7
6--Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.

7--Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them.

Hopefully, we are doing just that! We all want to remember dad and make him proud. Happy Birthday Dad! We love and miss you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Flashback...the chicken in the bed

This Friday Flashback takes us back to when John and I had only been married about 6 months.  We were living in a ladies house (her name was Annabelle) while she was serving a mission for the church.  (I've posted in the past about living there.)  For here.

The house was very old and quite often I felt terrified at night.  I wish I had the words to adequately describe this house.  The wall colors, drapes, and carpet were all dark.  The house was very poorly lit.  Most the rooms in the house did not have overhead lighting, instead they were lit with lamps.  The dark colors in the room seemed to swallow up all the light. 

The house was full of different kinds of clocks--cuckoo clocks, mantel clocks, pendulum clocks, that had to be wound regularly.  There was a kind of "cadence" from the clocks that almost caused me to have an adrenaline rush, especially when the pitch of the chimes were slightly off key.

Annabelle had many beautiful old antique statues and decorations.  Before leaving on her mission, she put many of them in a bedroom and locked the door so they would be kept safe, to which I was very glad---one less thing for me to worry about. 

The only bathroom in the house had one window in it.  One morning when I walked into the bathroom, I noticed that the window was up.  I asked John if he had opened it, and he told me that he hadn't.  A few days later I was standing in the bathroom and I watched the window as it slowly went up, yet there was no one there.  So, I learned that the window would just go up by itself, because it was spring loaded and very old.  I have to say that it was quite creepy seeing the window go up by itself...especially at night.  The old spring loaded window made a screeching sound as the window slowly slid up the track.

One night, after recently moving in, we kept hearing a knocking noise.  I asked John to do some investigating to find out where it was coming from.  He climbed out of bed and walked to the closet where the sound was coming from.  He opened the closet door and observed that the knocking sound was coming from the other side of the wall (which just so happened to be the room that was locked).  We were both totally freaked out.  I told John that I was petrified, and he told me that he was nervous too.  I was thinking Oh GREAT!  I went to bed paralyzed.  For some reason, if you hold completely still in bed you are safe...ya right!  I don't think we slept much that night, because we still hadn't figured out where the knocking was coming from.

The next day John solved the mystery.  He went outside and found a meter box located near where the closet would be.  The metal box had a lock on it that would tap against it when the wind blew.  At least that was the story he told me.  From that point on, at night when I needed to go "potty" I would wake John up and make him walk me to the bathroom on the other side of the house.  Poor John was awakened frequently to walk his big chicken-of-a-wife to the bathroom.  Oh, and did I mention, we lived there for 1 YEAR.  What a lucky guy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bed and make both

Do you ever feel like you are raising lazy kids?  Are there any moms out there that dread Monday mornings as much as I do?  This morning I got up and as usual, went downstairs to wake my girls for school.  I always feel instantly grouchy when I walk into their mess-of-a-mess-of-a-bedroom.  Grrrrrrrrr.  After going into their room, I enter the basement family room to find....blankets on the floor, a large bowl of popcorn, cups, markers, papers everywhere, jackets, candy, candy wrappers, the list goes on.  Grrrrrrr.  Why am I not teaching these dang kids!!??

Recently, I noticed that my friend posted pictures of his daughters messy bedroom on Facebook.  Another friend has decided to pick her daughter up from school if she leaves the house without unloading the dishwasher.  She will pick her up, have her come home and do her chores, and then return to school.  I think I need to come up with some new strategies.

Occasionally on Sunday night, I will remember to have the kids do a "20 minute tidy".  It always makes for a better Monday morning when the house is clean and somewhat organized.

When I was growing up my parents owned several apartment buildings.  When tenants moved out, my parents would go in and clean the apartment.  The apartments were always disgusting and filthy.  My mom would lecture and beg her kids to NOT grow up and live like that.

I think that sometimes I just do the job that I should be having my kids do, because they do such a crappy job.  My bad.  I know that is the way they learn.

What do you do when it comes to kids cleaning???

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amazing Experience

The last couple of days I have felt a little frustrated with a few things.  More or less a inner struggle.  Today, while I was home alone, I decided to talk out loud to my Heavenly Father.  It wasn't necessarily a "formal" prayer, more like telling him what was on my mind and asking for his help.  I was standing at the top of my stairs while I spoke, and immediately went and got into my car to pick my kids up from school.

On the way to the school, it was quiet in the van and I turned on the radio and proceeded to flip through the radio stations.  It wasn't like I was even listening to what was on.  My mind was too busy, and so I continued to skip through to the next station.

Suddenly, I heard my dad's voice in the car.  As many of you know, my dad passed away 7 months ago after a long battle with cancer.  I instantly got the chills and realized that I was in fact hearing my dad's voice.

Last year, my dad spoke at a BYU-I devotional and they were re-playing his talk on the radio.  I turned the radio up nice and loud and listened to his wise counsel and the tears began to flow.  Many of the things he was saying, were just what I needed to hear.

My Heavenly Father has blessed me on several occasions to feel close to my dad and still receive counsel from him.
 Photo of Douglas M. Andrus

The talk was titled, "The Precious Commodity We Call Time".  If you would like to read it, click here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

First Tooth

Haley lost her first tooth the other day during school.  It had been loose for several days and she just wasn't quite ready to have it yanked out.  She may have had flashbacks to this post (the pictures totally crack me up), and decided she would wait it out a little longer.  She was in her Kindergarten class when she managed to wiggle it out.  I asked her what her teacher said, and she told me that she just smiled really big.  I'm sure that kids are always losing teeth during class.

Now, her voice sounds a little different.  She's got a little whistle when she talks.  I have to say that it is quite cute.  I'm not ready for the LARGE horse teeth that come in after the cute baby teeth fall out.  Haley is growing up and I don't think that I am ready for it.  Love this Little Miss!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Piano Lessons & Drama Queens

Riley has been taking piano lesson for several years. I started teaching her how to play the piano when she was in Kindergarten. Anyone that has ever attempted to teach their own child to play the piano knows the amount of swearing, er, patience that is required. Sometimes it is a battle to the death, or at least it feels like it is.

In about the third grade I finally decided it would be worth EVERY penny to pay someone else to do the teaching. I knew that Riley would never say to her piano teacher how much she hated the song that she wanted her to play, or how the song was just too hard. (All those lame excuses that you hear). It must be a "kid thing". I remember laying down across the piano bench complaining to my mom. I recall being a total pain-in-the-butt to her. I also remember my mom teaching me how to play a song, and I ALWAYS played it wrong because I thought it sounded better that way. My mom would always try and correct me, but I knew better, as kids think they always do! Needless to say, I don't play the piano well today and I VERY MUCH regret it. I would like to spare my kids that regret when they are older. That is why I lovingly force them to take piano lessons.

Every week when I drive Riley to piano, she spends the time in the car on the way there letting me know how much she hates taking piano lessons. Recently she told me that she would rather be home throwing up, then go to piano lessons. Holy DRAMA QUEEN! I wanted to tell her that I would rather be throwing up then hear the same complaint! This has nothing to do with her wonderful piano teacher. She likes her! To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what the big deal is! I always tell her that I don't give a crap, and this is the one thing that she has no agency on. She knows that all the griping and complaining will get her no where with her stubborn determined mother. I let her know that she will thank me later. Yes Riley, you WILL thank me later.

(One of these days, I will record her while she is practicing and post in on here. It will of course have to be without her knowing or she will try and veto it.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Break

Well, the good ole' Spring Break has come to a close, and we have been thrown back into the "real world" with full force. 

Last week we took our kids out of school (on Friday) and headed to St. George Utah for some much needed R and R.  We rented a condo with John's family (to share for a few days).  We had planned on going hiking, in Zion National Park, with them while we were there.  The morning of the hike it was raining and a little on the cool side.  John and his sister Julie, and Julie's husband Doug, were the only ones that ended up going on the hike that day.  I like to hike, but I am not so die hard that I want to do it in the rain. 

The rain didn't stop my kids.  They spent a huge chunk of the day in the outdoor heated swimming pool.  They loved swimming in the rain.  When it comes to our family vacations....they consist of A LOT of swimming.  In my kids eyes, it isn't a vacation unless there is a swimming pool involved.

We were only with John's family for 1 day and they had to go back home because their spring break was over.  After they left we had the condo to ourselves---3 bedrooms, 3 baths, large kitchen and living room.  It was a nice condo with a nice pool.

My sister Lynette, brother-in-law Kory, and their kids were also down in St. George visiting his family.  His sister Nicole was my roommate in college (and she lives in St. George).  We were all invited to Nic's house for Sunday dinner.  It was fun to visit with my long lost wonderful friend Nicole.

While in St. George we spent time--relaxing, swimming, miniature golfing, hiking, swimming at the indoor rec center pool, EATING, etc.  It was great to get away from the cold and just play for a few days, without a care in the world.  Here are a few pictures from the trip...