Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

Besides the scorpions and the heat, we've got lots going on around here.

Drew started ASU.  He said he's one of the older people in the class.  Apparently he is surprised by that.  I think he thinks he is a high schooler, most of the time.  I think his few grey hairs (made more plentiful, thanks to SCUSD) tell the story otherwise.  He is a dutiful scorpion killer, going out nightly.  If only we could cook them or something....

Conner is loving school.  His teachers have a lot of great projects and a lot of it involves using technology, which Conner is ALL. OVER.  He's making good friends, and learning that sometimes our friends don't mix well.  It's a good lesson to learn.  I will have to say that martial law is helping.  Honestly, I'm not sure if it's just the extra attention he's getting or what, but it's working well for both of us.  We got his gifted testing results back.  I'm not sharing them with him, but let's just say he did really well.  I'm fairly sure Einstein was a big liar in his youth, am I right?

Spencer is still a mystery.  I will say that his high annoying voice is losing some of its power.  Thanks, most likely, to peer pressure.  I'm excited to go volunteer in his class next week.  I did finally find another family in our ward that goes to our school, so that's good news! 

P is doing great with the potty training.  I will have to take a picture of her dry pants chart, because it's going to be about 12 years before she gets her Dora underpants.... but then it will REALLY be exciting then, won't it?  She is learning to play on her own really well.  And coming into her own little person.  A little person who can not be left alone because of her penchant to play in the toilet.  Yes, that much fun.

I am bouncing along.  I finally feel like I have things under control.  Somewhat.  I really want to get more involved in the kids schools, but I'm not sure how... exactly.  I am going to the next PTO  meeting, so hopefully that will help out.  I really need to start finding some things that I'm enjoying.  I do enjoy my early morning walks.  Just me and my tunes, it's nice to get out.  I need to get a hobby though.  Or re-start one, as the case is.  However, guess whose parents are coming this weekend.  Give it up for extra troops!

Drew and I did get callings.  yay.  Drew is the 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum (the arm of the church for younger men -- usually under 50'ish).  This means he's helping out with moves, and going to meetings in the spare 3 minutes we have in the evenings (btw, how is it that we have moved COUNTLESS people, but have yet to have more then 1 elder ever show up for our own moves?).  It's nice to have him really involved in the ward though... because I got a calling in Primary.  I am teaching the 4 and 5 year olds.  Which, while it is pretty well "my zone" didn't thrill me to my toes.  I'm really feeling stifled here at home with kids, kids, kids.  However, I'm grinning and bearing it.  I do the kids are SO adorable.  Last week they were all saying, "Sister Erickson, you are so funny!".... maybe I have found my friends. :)

But never fear, the scorpions  AND the heat are continuing.  Wanna come visit?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

With His Pants On Fire

The lying has crept back into our house, mostly from el Presidante.  I'm not sure if he just didn't do it for a while, because he could tell how entirely overwhelmed I was, or if he was doing it and I was just brushing it aside.

But he's done it a LOT lately.  And I'm done.

I'm done, and I have some free time and we're nipin' this one in the bottom.

So, yesterday after telling me the laundry was totally folded, and then me finding it in his room, not folded in the basket I said, fine.  Talk to me in the morning.

I went to think in my room about the natural consequence of lying, and why I don't lie all the time.  I mean, it can get you out of some consequences....

But for me it's trust.  I want people to trust my word.

And honestly, I don't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth lately.

So, he now has 3 areas of anti-trust (is that even a word, in this instance).  If he doesn't lie to me for a week, I will repeal one, and if he does lie to me again, he will add to his "sentence"

Current areas of anti-trust:
 1.  He has to do his homework in my view, most likely in the kitchen.
2.  He has to go to bed at 8 pm -- he usually goes to bed at 8:30 and reads for a while, but staying up late is pure privilege which requires trust because I can't stay on top of him all night.  What a shame...
3.  All jobs have to be checked off with me after they are done.  If possible, I will stand there and watch him do them.

He is SO not a fan of these.  Hooray. :)

I do have other things in my mind to do if he lies again.  Things he will hate, but things that also show I can't trust him.  Things like password protecting the computers, or making him practice with me.

I just hope we don't get there.

I'm tired of the lying, and I WANT to trust him.  I just can't.

Honestly, I think he thinks that he is smarter then I am.  I think he thinks he can get away with anything, because he is the dubious mastermind.

And it's my job to show him he can't.

Martial law, if you will.  Game on.

Tragic Tuesday: Depression

I would dip in and out of this stage.  I will say, that having kids makes it so you can't just lie on your couch in the fetal position and suck your thumb, even if you'd like to.  I had to get up and do their stuff, and keep going.

And the fact that I had about 9 million things to do kept me occupied most of the time.

But it was hard not to say "WHY ME", what'd we do to deserve this?

But, I also really think you need some time to be sad.  Especially if this is true grieving, someone that you've lost.  You need to have your sad time, because if you don't it will hit all the sudden.

I wanted SO much to have my last week of school be at time that I could really dig deep into how hard this move was going to be.  And I must admit, God gave me that week.  I road the highs of Conner's graduation ceremony, and the lows of leaving the school on that final day.

It does remind you to enjoy whatever it is you're doing, because it won't always be like that.

It just won't.

So, what do you guys think?  Is depression a helpful step?  How do you know when it's time to move on from that step?  And how do you move on?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Miracle Monday: Potty

Sure, last Monday was truly tragic.  And it always is.  You feel like you've gone through that EXTREME amount of effort and the kid barely goes!  But, there's just something about that system.

Here we are a week later, and we're moving onto really getting the personal hygeine down.

And I'm calling in a miracle.  I felt entirely defeated last Monday.  I thought we might have to throw in the towel.

I guess it's a lot of opportunities for success that make them feel good, and all the time that you spend just concentrating on them.

Anyway, a total miracle.  A miracle that I still plan on having many accidents, but a miracle indeedy-doo.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This Woman is Amazing

My kids are easy, and amazing.
And this woman takes hard times and MAKES them amazing.
I want to be a better mom watching her.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Favorites: Kitchen

Welcome to my favorite room. :)

Brabantia Steel Fingerprint Proof Fall Front Bread BinI was looking for an amazing bread box.  And I found this one.  It was a total splurge, but I had some birthday money and I really wanted one that would look good for a long time.  And it does.  I do think the bread stays fresher longer too.  It has a little magnetic closure at the top.  I like it. :)

Fox Run 3 Tier Hanging Fruit Vegetable Kitchen Storage Basket - Green, White, or RedOk, this isn't what I have -- but it's like little tiered shelves and I put my counter produce on it.  Save space and I really like it.  I found it in Walmart in the bathroom section.  Go figure. :)

Progressive International Stainless Steel Lid and Spoon RestOk, I LOVE my little spoon and lid rest.  I guess you're not supposed to put lids on the ceramic cooktops -- so this holds them and then they just drip into this and I rinse it out and go on my merry way.  I LOVE it.  It's also cheap and great.  Did I mention I love it?  Because I do.

OXO Good Grips 14.5-by-21-Inch Carving and Cutting Board, RedI've always wanted to be Rachael Ray with her giant cutting board where she just preps everything and it's there.  And now I am.  I have this red cutting board (I love it because it doesn't slide around thanks to the rubber grips on the edges) and it just sits vertical at the back of my counter, not taking up much space.  Anyway, handy little thing.

Redi Shade 3362548 Redi Arch White Window Shade, 36-by-72-InchOk, random one -- our kitchen was getting SO hot in the mornings.  We bought blinds, but it has the little arch at the top and when I looked, blinds for that were crazy expensive.  So we found this.  It works really well.  At first it tipped out, but now it stays in place and does just what we need. 

Chaney Instrument 00985 Wireless Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer Alarm SetAnd finally, somehow our kids keep leaving our fridge or freezer WIDE open in the garage.  It's bugging me to no end, so I finally bit the bullet and bought a freezer alarm.  I guess it can't be TOO Far from the intended appliances but it works really well for us so far.  I'd hate to lose any of the food out there, so I figure it's a good investment.  The two rectangle things go in the fridges or freezers and the digital thing goes in the house so you can read how cold they are.  An alarm will sound if the freezers get out of range.  Pretty handy.

So, that's what I'm loving right now.  I'm mostly loving Drew's hammer that's killin' all the scorpions in our world.  Happy day.  Hope you're all having a great weekend!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo Friday: Potty cute.

Get it, potty cute.  Pretty cute.

Potty funny. :D

Anywho... I did go into work last night, and I may have re-gained a couple of brain cells.  Time will tell.

These photos pretty well tell my week.

First off, guess who got piggies this morning.  That's right, she's almost 2.5 years old and this is the first time this child has gotten some adorable pigtails.  She's already ripped one out, I doubt I'll do it again any time soon, but she sure is cute!


And a front view, of course.


I'll often find P like this.  She loves to turn up the metranome as fast as it will go and jam out to her tunes.  I love the undies.  I think they add a nice touch (AND tell a lot about our week). 


Wait, I hadn't seen it before, but check out how expressive her adorable piggie toes are.  I love little kid feet, they often tell the story.

So, our new goal is to try to use the "big" potty with very little luck.  I see myself confined to home for the rest of my life.  I guess I could get some of those fold up potty seats, but she's a big girl, she should be able to go... {sigh}  Tips on toilets?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Cheers: The Complete First SeasonLet's face it, I was pretty dang popular in Santa Clara.  At least among the Mormons, and at my school.  If those two communities had a bar, I'd be Norm. :)

So, last night, after not leaving my house for 3 days I went to Spencer's "curriculum night" and I'm no one there.  I'm LESS then no one.  And no one knows my name.

So, we had the emotions of the fact that I'm never leaving my house, and even if I did it hit 119 yesterday.  Plus, the fact that everywhere I go I'm always watching myself so that I act in a way that people might want to be my friend.  That's not to say that I'm being fake -- but I do edit myself more then usual.

Shocking, I know.

As I sat through her exceedingly short presentation I thought about all the teachers that Spencer might have had if we'd stayed in CA.  How I would've had a ton of friends around me that night and we would all be joking about how boring it was and how useless Meg's speech was.... again.

Instead I was just trying to figure it all out.  Look around the room to find a friendly face.

And not cry.

What I wouldn't give to go back to "Cheers" where everyone knew my name.  Where I had friends around each corner, where I was the one trying to include new people.  {sigh}

Sam and Diane, where are you?  I'd even take a Kirsti Alley... what was her name again on that show?

{While I may be able to edit myself around people, I am rarely able to edit how I feel on this blog.  This is how I feel, for a moment.  But we do really love it here.  I can't imagine how God could have made this an easier transition... but it's still a bumpy road.  A long, and bumpy road}

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

9 LED 400 nM UV Ultra Violet Blacklight Flashlight 3AAA, 7301UV400First off, Drew went scorpion hunting last night.  He got, probably 25.  You go out with your black light and a hammer, and then when you see them (because they glow bright orange with the black light in the dark) you slam the hammer on their heads.

Humane, no?   He said it was actually a little cathartic.  Go him.  Luckily, they're slow little critters, no chance of them running up to you and biting you.  He's going to do it nightly until he's not finding any and then maybe weekly.  I can't take them in our house.  As for an exterminator, it sounds like you can't really kill them, unless you kill THEM.  Like, spray the actual insect (are they an insect?).  We are going to work on the insects they live on, but they can live forever without a kill.  I hate them.  It's hamma' time.... ;D

In other news, Drew starts ASU today.  He's also taking an institute class to get cheaper/closer parking.  I was hoping it was a marriage prep class, no luck.  It's teachings of the living prophets.  It's weird to think he's going back to school, but whatever.  Band widow, masters widow... it's still a widow. :)

Conner is doing gifted testing today at the Jr. High.  He's really liking his classes.  We had curriculum night there last week and it was like a dream.  Just perfect for him, and I really like his teachers.  Really excited for him.  He also made it into the jazz band, so he's gonna go early a couple of days a week, and I even found a mom to carpool with.  yay.

Every day when I pick Spencer up (from the bus, thank goodness) I ask him what he's learned.  And he says, "Mom, I learned nothing new, do you mean what did the CLASS learn?"  I emailed his teacher today just to see if she's seeing what he's saying... we'll see what she says.  We have her "curriculum night" (aka, back to school night) tonight.  Excited to learn a little bit more about her.  Thinking about keeping Spencer in swimming lessons every other Saturday or something, at least through September.  I think he needs something besides piano.

P is doing great.  The potty is still really new, sometimes she'll "go" (and by "go" -- I mean she'll sit on it) every 5 minutes or so.  She only wet a couple of times yesterday AM with minimal prompts from me.  I'm pretty dang happy about it.

As for me, life keeps moving along.  I'm still trying to be nice to myself, but I have started walking 3 mornings a week, just for 20 minutes.  I do about 5 minutes of jogging in the middle of it.  It's nice to get my heart up but I don't want to overdo it yet.  We've also had an excessive heat warning for like the past 3 days... I'm happy to stay inside with little Miss Potty.

And life goes on, doesn't it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Potty Day #2

I think today's going better.

I think we've had 1 or 2 accidents, and lots of triumphs.  Horray for P!!!!

Part of it is the head change that this is her thing.  It is going to have consequences if she has mistakes, and that's all.

That's really all it is.

She now has ownership of her potty.

And I have a timer set for every 1/2 an hour, just for dry checks.

That is all. :)

Did you see on Face book I killed a scorpion today?  I wanted to die.

I didn't.

I actually had to pray just to get on with my day (like, I can't pull the wagon too prayer).

I was ready to be taken up to heaven at that point.

That AND potty training?  Yikes!

Stages of Grief: Bargaining

Hmm.... this one.  Kind of a tough-y...

I will say that in my head I kept thinking "this is happening because______________" and for a long time I thought that it was so I could move next to my friend Miranda.  And it wasn't.  It simply was to move us to the desert, but how could I have planned that?

I do know that you tell God a lot of things during trials.  I can't say that I ever said I'd be super good if he'd just take it away.  I knew that wasn't going to happen.  I did try to be super good, just so I could have some peace.

I will say that I would be the Mary Poppins of all mothers if God will make P just pee in the potty. :D  Unlikely, but I will. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Potty Training Day #1

I oddly enough realized that I wrote up Spencer's potty training on this blog too.  Man, I've come full circle.  How sad.

Today was fraught with fun.  Let me tell you my problems.

1.  The 2T underwear I got was a little too well sized.  I ended-up pulling out some of our older kid underwear and it was easier for her to pull up and down.  Horray.  Of course, I was just throwing one pair out to dry in our 114 degree heat while she wore the other pair.  I'll be doing laundry in a minute.

2.  She really got into the potty practice, and kept doing it.  So, it' be sit down -- jump up, no time to pee and then she'd run around and then sit down, blah, blah, blah {picture Hilary wanting to pull her hair out}.  I finally just set a timer and made her sit for 3 minutes on the potty teach time she said she needed to go.  This made it a little less fun, but we still had potty practice when she wet.

3.  We probably had 6 accidents today, and about a similar amount into the potty.  This morning she'd just pee wherever she was without a care in the world til' I noticed.  This afternoon she was finally running to say she needed to go potty (although, it's still just "something to do" so there's still a lot of false alarms).;

4.  We started our day in the kitchen, and then we moved into the living room (much of it is tile and I let her sit on the couch with a protective pad under her).  This evening she made it to the playroom.

5.  The main reward in all of this is how cute little people's buns look in panties.  A-dorable.

I think my plan tomorrow is to stay downstairs playing and just set a timer to go off every 1/2 an hour for dry pants checks.  I'll try and mention a couple of times about being dry in between that, just to remind her.  I think the potty will hang out in the playroom tomorrow morning, and then make its way into the bathroom later in the day. 

And I will cross my fingers, and pray.

I wonder if there were many suicides caused from potty training.  Anyone?

{I know a lot of you are thinking I'm insane to just do it all today, but this method REALLY worked with Spencer and it's nice to really just focus on it and get it out of the way.  Also, I have classes I'm taking coming up and I just can't have our sitters having to deal with it, it's not fair -- hence.  Potty, potty, potty, potty.... POTTY}

Menu Plan Monday

The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook: A New, Healthier Way to Cook Everything from America's Most Trusted Test KitchenThis week is all about simple.  EXCEPT that I saw a delicious recipe for shrimp on America's Test Kitchen.  I'm gonna try and work it in somehow, it doesn't look TOO hard.

Greek Shrimp with tomatoes and feta
Pork chops and applesauce, probably with veggies.
Burritos (maybe with some yummy bean-y salsa)
Breadsticks and salad (my kids love this)

Anyway, it's nothing too fancy but I am excited for that new recipe.  I'd love if you'd put on YOUR blog, your favorite week night meals.  And link to them in the comments for all to share. :)

Miracle Monday: Scriptures

Conner had a little issue last week.  A friend had pushed another friend, and somehow they had decided that one friend didn't like Jews, hence he pushed the other friend.

Apparently, no one had learned that friends don't work well in 3's.  But I need Conner to have as many friends as he can get right now.  I was really worried.  Mostly because I came home from work to find out about it and I couldn't talk to him.

So I prayed about it.  The next morning I went to the scriptures, as I do most mornings.  And read this:
20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

You shouldn't hit, but shou shoudln't judge. How perfect is that?

Very perfect.

And then we were able to talk about friends in 3's and sometimes my friends don't mix well either.

Anyway, just grateful for the answers I consistantly find in the scriptures.  What a miracle they are.

{never fear, I am potty training today, this was pre-written.  If you call today, don't expect me to answer}

The Entitlement Trap

If any of you listened to the great webinar that I posted a few weeks ago, NOW is the time to get it in book form, so you don't have to take notes and try and remember all of it.

You can even enter to get it for FREE

After listening to the webinar I am constnatly thinking of ways to put the ownership back onto my kids.  Them learning natural consequences and me helping them become successful people.

It has been a struggle for our family, but I'm excited to get my own copy when it comes out on September 6th!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Potty, Potty, Potty, Potty, POTTY...

{get it, I substituted potty for party... amusing little quip, isn't it?}Tomorrow's the big day.  It's time to potty train our little miss.

A few thoughts before our big day:

1.  HOW DID SHE GET TO BE THIS OLD?  This is the earliest that I've done any of my kids, but I just can't believe she's this big.  How did that happen?  Who do I speak to about keeping her small.  Well, not just small.  She IS small. :)

2.  I got my regular potty training in less then a day book at the library (3 cheers for the library), but then I also got the Potty Training in a day book.  I would totally recommend the first one.  The more "old fashioned" book was much more detailed and gave you tons of real life examples.  Either way, I hope your library has them because I will be all too happy to send those back as soon as she's done.

3.  Man, it's hard to find a decent potty doll.  I finally just got the 15 dollar one at Walmart and I hope it works, although I see a fair amount of urine coming out of her neck, poor little dear.  She also smells like a french whore.  Maybe that's why she pees out her neck.

4.  I have said it before, and I'll say it again -- I'd rather give birth to them then potty train.  Drew will skip off to work tomorrow, just hoping I pull off some magic before he gets home.  HOWEVER, this time I have shared with him that he will be doing ALL of the household chores tomorrow, he is also in charge of cleaning the kitchen and doing lunches tonight.  I'm bound and determined for him to share in the pain.

Anyone have any last minute advice?  Everyone's said that I've trained boys and this will be MUCH easier.  The girl is pretty darn excited to go to the potty, so I'm hoping for a walk in the park, but I'm prepared for a long distance run with hills and coyotes.

Because I am Missing the Chastity Lesson

I'm missing the chastity lesson at church today, because I have a new calling in Primary.  But, I wish I could hear it.  It's been so long since I haven't been the one to teach it.

But, in lieu of that....



Just puttin' this out there.  I was a virgin when I got married, and I think it's an important choice that I, as a woman, got to make.  It's my body.  Not anyone else's.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Friday

This week has been all about being nice to myself.  While my kids haven't really gotten into the spirit of the week (MUCH drama) we are surviving.

Mostly I really wanted to get me and P into a good schedule we could fall back to on the days where we don't have anything planned.  Seriously people, there are days I actually don't have to leave my house at ALL.  How long's that been?  Makes me want to stay in my bathrobe all day, but I know better.

 Anyway, our current plan goes a little something like this.  She wakes up between 7:30 and 8, we watch a little news, while she drinks her milk.  Then it's in for breakfast.  Today was Nutella Bread.  YUM.  Then it's off to do our personal issues.  I'm REALLY trying to get her to work on dressing herself, but she mostly just wants to suck her thumb and smile at me.  Little stinker.  You'll see i the Nutella picture that she had a little top piggie in yesterday.  It got taken out at naptime and her hair is STILL on end.  How funny.  Do you love her superman jammies?  My sista from another mista sent them to me.  As if selling my house wasn't enough?  Does anyone have tips on them getting dressed?  Monday we're starting potty training, so I know we need to work on pulling down the undies and pulling them up.  Super excited, can you tell?

Let's Sticker & Paste! (Kumon First Steps Workbooks)Then, it's time for lessons.  I got these great books at Costco.  They're just perfect for a little person like herself.  Right now we're doing the folding and coloring one.  Just teaches great fine motor skills, without jamming education down their throat.  If you have a tiny, and you see them, get them. :)  We do the workbooks, and a little flashcard practice (because, let's face it I'm not TOO fancy not to jam a little education down her darling little throat), and then some puzzle time.  I'm a huge puzzle fan, I think it teaches so many great skills.  We're still doing the "knob" kind, but I'm hoping to move up a little in the next few weeks.

Then, it's time for play.  I'm reserving a few toys for just this time so she's more excited.  Stuff like our wooden building blocks, or things that are really easy for me to teach with.  Colors, shapes, all sorts of fun stuff.  Then I leave her and try to clean up a little.  She tends to come find me about 5 minutes into it, but I am hoping she's learning to play by herself.  Here she is with the Dora ABC game.

School's so important in our family.  Mostly because it gives me time to really mold her into the person I want her to be.  I think that Heavenly Father spaced our kids so far out to really give me time to work on that molding.  Let's face it, I want to eat bon bons and watch America's Test Kitchen all day but I need to sneek in this time with her before it's all too gone.  Not sure what I'll do at that point, but I have 3 long years to find out. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend.  I'm supposed to work my first shift as a real nurse, but our OR flooded and we had to close for the weekend.  And yes, I am serious.  I think maybe this is a sign.  Just not sure what for. :D

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

The Cook's Country Cookbook: Regional and Heirloom Favorites Tested and Reimagined for Today's Home CooksWell, I am obssessed with America's Test Kitchen.  I couldn't seem to find it on my TV here, but I now saw that you can watch their episodes online, same with Cook's Country (what's the deal, why do they have 2 shows that are almost exactly the same?).  I love how I can see the video and then just click to print the recipe.  SO much joy.  Sure, that show is sometimes WAY over my head, but I always learn a lot about the science of cooking, and I really like that.  I'm still taking it easy this week.  Currently I am mulling over if I'm ready to start piano lessons yet.  It is still be kind to Hilary week.  I'm leaning towards no. 

Drew is buried under a bunch of tests he has to take at ASU before starting class next week.  I think he's realizing that in 11 years you might forget a few things.  Shocking.  Between him needing to study, after his insane band camp/new teacher schedule I'm really hoping to see him a bit more after these, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

We went to Conner's open house last night and the teachers just said he's doing wonderfully.  Had SO many nice things to say about him.  Who knew where that came from?  Anyway, really excited about the program there.  All the kids have to be gifted (whatever that means, it's kind of a scary word for me) and test 2 grade levels above in math.  It's nice for him to be in that type of atmosphere, I think.  So far the homework looks to be an hour or so a night.  Nothing too crazy!

Spencer is still a bit of a mystery.  I am excited to go to his open house next week.  I want so much for that little guy to flourish here.  I worked really hard to get Conner where we need him to be, and I just hope Spencer's grounded just as well.

Paige had a play date today.  She called the other lady mom the whole time.  I couldn't tell if she was shopping around, or just confused. :D  I have decided to start potty training on Monday.  Heaven help me.

Oh, and I start like a big girl at my real job on Saturday, no more hand holding.  Frankly, running around, trying to get in all the experience was a little mind-numbing.  I won't miss it.

Mormon Cheese

and I'm not talking about the kind they make at Welfare Square.

I love my church.  I love the gospel and I love the people of our church. I. LOVE. IT.

But the culture.

It just leaves me cold.

And I think a lot of it has to do with growing up in the heart of Utah where everyone was LDS and they felt that certain chord changes could produce the spirit more then actually HAVING the spirit.  That sharing stories that someone else had shared that someone else had shared would truly light the spirit in your heart.

It makes me want to have  seizure.

Did anyone see this 4 year old on the Today Show?  I was SO creeped out.

I just love hearing things that people believe in their heart, through experience and they are sharing with love.

I don't love people who are saying what you want to hear, and are getting paid to do it.

I have a REALLY hard time with people making money off the church.  a REALLY hard time.  And I know it has a place and all that jazz... I just have a hard time with it.

Am I the only one?

Do you want to shrivel up and die when you hear someone talking in a specific tone and in a specific way?

Is it only me?

Does this mean that I'm not celestial material?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hurting Heart

Sometimes I feel like I have died.

And no, this isn't as the after-school tropical storm hits, I'm just WISHING I was dead then.

As I read about kids starting school, or ward BBQ's or exciting events in my friends lives.

I feel like I'm dead, or they're dead.

And while I think I fooled myself into thinking that things wouldn't be all that different with me gone, it, in fact is.  I feel my heart fall to my diaphragm when I see photos of the first day at our old school.

I just had so many ties there.  So many relationships I'd worked hard to build because I thought they were going to last, and last, and last.  And while they're lasting, it's still hard.

I know you all think I don't miss you at all, but I do.  I miss each and every one of you SO much.

And let's not even talk about your weather.  I could make out with your weather right now. 

Tragic Tuesdays: Anger

I will admit, I was REALLY angry.

Drew literally got his layoff notice the DAY BEFORE he went to Ireland with the band.

The DAY beFORE.

He had literally spent hours and HOURS getting those kids ready and working extra just to get that.

Not that working extra was beyond him.  Not that they were replacing him with someone who would do his job near as competantly.  Not that I'm still bitter.  No.

Because I really HAD to let this stage go.  I had to realize that all of this was happening for a reason and it was my job to figure out that reason and to just move on with my life.

But I must say that there's nothing wrong with having this stage.  There's plenty of people to be angry with, the person, the people around you, God.  It happens.

I do know that God didn't tolerate me being angry with Him very well.  I'd feel an immediate removal of the spirit, as if to say, "woah Nellie, simmer down on that one!"

So, what do you think, does anger help?  Is it a necessary step as you go through a tragical process?

You are Entitled to Listen to this Life Changing Webinar

I have had the problem recently that my kids expect EVERYTHING of me.  I'm supposed to remind them to do stuff, then help them with it, and then make sure they follow through.  I am supposed to fight their fights and fix their arguements.  I am everything and nothing all at the same time.

Well, the buck has stopped.

Thanks to this great Webinar I listened to the other day.

I have implemented the family bank and how they deal with fights.

I want to re-listen to it again and take notes.

AT which point maybe I'll blog again, but so far the processes are in place, and I just need to follow-through. The best thing about this is that if the kids want allowance THEY need to do the follow-through.  I just need to stick to my guns.

And frankly, I bought some super glue at walmart just last week. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miracle Monday: Ear Bud.

This miracle Monday happened last Thursday.

Motorola H270 Bluetooth Mono EarsetI'd just gotten done with 10 hours of work and was on my way home when I realized I couldn't find my ear bud.  Sure, not so important in AZ where it's not against the law to talk on your cell phone, but I do enjoy having it if I'm going to talk while I drive.  It was nowhere.

I had the strongest feeling that I should just go back and look around, after all I'd just go home and have an ice cream cone, that could wait.

So, I turned around, drove into the parking walk and seriously walked RIGHT to it.

What are the chances?

God is really watching out for us right now, I really appreciate it.  Now, YOU go write your most recent miracle on YOUR blog! :D

Meal Plan Monday

I swear, my life goes about 900% better when I have one of these.How is that?
It's like having someone tell me what to do.  I need that, especially in the after school tropical storm that hits in the afternoons here.
How can a bus carry a tropical storm?
Anywho....
  • Monday -- Creamy Shell Pasta Salad
  • Tuesday -- Leftovers because I am working and have to run to a back to school night, or if I don't work that night, I'll work Thursday in which case this will work for Thursday.  Clear as mud?  BTW, when I make casseroles I almost always just make enough to go in a square dish and then freeze or take to a friend the other 1/2.  Does wonders.  Casseroles are almost always fatty.  It's a great way to allow veggies to make up the rest of the calories.
  • Wednesday -- BBQ Chicken and black bean pizza
  • Thursday -- Some sort of marinated chicken that's grilled and corn on the cob possibly some tater tots and a salad.  Who knows what kind of mood I'll be in.
  • Friday -- We're having dinner with friends, and I'm in charge of dessert.  I see brownie mix in my future.
  • Saturday -- I work.  Good luck to the rest of them.
I love how my week is almost dictated by what's from my bountiful baskets.  Kind of like a poker table that basket thing....

Mawridge du moi


Today marks 14 of the longest years of my life.  No kidding.  I'm quickly coming up on the number where I've been married as long as I was single.  I mean, not THAT quickly... but it is surprising how quickly it's gone.

Drew and I got married on a HOT August morning in The Salt lake LDS temple.  He was 22, and I had just turned 21.  Thank you very much, I could sign my own marriage certificate.  Something I did with pride.

A great percentage of my life, much more then half, of my life has happened since then.  I graduated from college, I've had babies and moved, and jobs, and more jobs.  Drew and I basically grew-up together.

Lately I've thought long and hard about how that one decision shapes your entire life, and if I'd actually considered how much it would change in my life.  Is it possible to consider that?

Doubtful. 

You just can't see down the line about his DNA and his own job plans, dreams, hopes, aspirations.  You just can't see that far.

It's funny.  I see some people who think through marriage SO carefully, maybe too carefully.  And then you see so many people who just jump into it.  I think it's rare to find the couple who thinks about it carefully and THEN just jumps.

Part of it HAS to be a leap of faith.  That he'll stay faithful, faith that he won't make decisions that ruin your life, faith that things will work out.

Anyway, 14 years later things are still going strong.  I feel so much for Drew.  We've been through a lot this year.  I'm hoping for a super calm, normal year that doesn't involve me lifting any heavy boxes.  I'm glad I made that decision oh so many years ago.  We promised something BIG on our 15th, but it looks like that's just going to be Drew going to graduate school.

It's always something, isn't it?

Happy anniversary Mr. Erickson.  Love you so much.  What a great team we make.

Potty Training Advice


Toilet Training in Less Than A DayI have about 40 diapers left.

I'm in the quandry, do I buy more, or do I potty train?

She's the first of my kids that seems actually ready.  She will tell me, she's always asking to go to the bathroom.

I did Potty Training in a day with Spencer.  And while the first day was, in fact, pure hell it actually went alright as far as later accidents. 

So, I want to do that again.  But here's my questions:

1.  Can you adequately potty train if they're still in a crib?  I really don't want to give that up.  I do love her in her crib, especially for naps!  Am I just going to hear 9 million "I HAVE TO GO POTTY" in her crib?

2.  Do you have a favorite doll for potty training?  I might try to borrow one, except for the fact that I'm sure she'll want to keep it since she's a girl.

3.  Should I be nicer to myself and just let her pee in her pants a bit more?  Or, shall I bite the bullet?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

i love you....

In honor of our 14th anniversary that's coming right up.  I really liked this one. 
Do you guys ever watch the Marriage Ref?  I love it at the end where they say, "it's worth fighting for."  True words. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Favorites: Living Room/Office


Remember when my amazing friend, Shannon, did our family photos?  Well, it took a while to settle in and figure out where I wanted a canvas, but I figured it out and got it printed at Costco.  I ADORE it.  I got some other enlargements, but somehow Costco couldn't find those so I still need to work on them.  But I love the canvas.  I got another one back when they were new, and I had so many comments.  I love a good frame, but the "art" feel of a canvas is pretty cool.  BTW, I'd highly recommend Costco.  Our last one was from Canvas on Deamand and while it was good, the colors were a bit off.  I'd say Costco was more spot on and they have a secondary wood backing that I like to keep it all in place.

Ooma Telo Free Home Phone ServiceI'd mulled over getting high speed Internet phone service for a while.  I'd had a lot of friends get it and I sure didn't like that my land line phone bill kept going up and up.  BUT, I wanted to save my phone number and I worried about 911 and having a phone in a power outage, or an emergency.  BUT, when we moved here I threw all caution to the wind and bought Ooma.  I actually bought it on woot, for like 140 or something.  Anyway, for basic phone service it's great.  We now have caller ID (we didn't before, I know, dark ages).  I can block callers (which was great when I accidentally tried to get life insurance online, why do I do stupid things like that?).  I can listen to our voice mails online.  It's pretty fantastical.  It does have 911 service, because my address is tied to the line now, so if I were to call 911 it will show-up where we live.  It does need Internet and power to work though, so in an emergency I just need to hope one of my neighbors has a landline.  Or, that my cell works.  Or, that I can adequately send smoke signals.

Rolodex Elegant Warm Metropolitan Look Desk Tray (23350)I will have to say that my inbox is what got me and all these papers through the move.  Thanks to Mind Organization for Moms (I swear I'm gonna get past the first step any day now) I am fully converted to an inbox.  It was SO great to have a place where I knew papers could go and that I'd go through them when I had a chance.  My and the kids are self insured down here so I had a MOTHERLOAD of paperwork from that.  Feel. the. joy.  I do have a filing system downstairs but I needed something that was convenient for the kids and me and well, this works.  I like that system.  I really need to get to step 2 or, is it 3?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Letting Go, and Letting God

Remember back a few months ago where I was so whiny and annoying.

Yeah, that was me.  Same person.  I felt whiny and annoying.  I KNEW I was those things.

Anyway, when you think about relocating and ALL the things that needed to fall into place.

Well, it's a bit disgusting.  Selling the house (and I really wanted to sell it to the right people who would make the neighborhood happy, etc), buying a house and then ALL that entails with school placement, kids friends.  Stuff like that.  Getting jobs, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, do you remember when I finally just left it to God.  I did the legwork and I let God make decisions and recruit good opportunities for us.

Well, today while I sat in a PTO meeting (yes, I went to a PTO meeting, sue me) I heard that they are focusing on becoming more like this teacher college model that all the teachers at our old school were doing.  ESPECIALLY Spencer's teacher.  They had a rep from that institute come out and teach the teachers and then they sent 3 teachers there last summer, and they want to do the same thing this year!

They're the only ones in the area doing it, and Spencer really thrives on their workshop model.

Anyway, there are so many parts of this move that boggle my mind how they all fell into place.

If you're in a situation where a lot of marbles need to fall into place... God can make that happen.  You need to work hard to get you there, but God loves you and He can make it happen.

{God is in charge, don't jump off the plane}.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Great Podcast

Tonight, as I sat down at the computer, I decided I needed to find something to make me a better mom.  I found a great post on the Power of Moms that has a GREAT podcast on morning routines.

Huge, loving listening to it.

What's Up Wednesday

FINALLY, instead of a united battle against unemployment we're each doing our own thing:

Drew is loving the new school.  The facilities are about 2000 times better and he says the students are really hard workers, which is great because even when they practice at 6 am it's still REALLY hot outside.  He starts ASU next week.  His grandmother died this past week.  We are all really sad, especially since we can't make it to the funeral what with new jobs and Drew starting school.  She was a wonderful woman who was sharp as a tack up until the very last minute.  I know she is happy to be free of her aging body here on earth.  She was almost 98.

Conner has a good friend that lives just across the street.  They walk to the bus together in the AM and their last 3 classes are together.  He also has another friend that's doing band and is also in our ward.  I am feeling most solid about him, even if he did have a major melt down yesterday.  I have vowed to meet him at the door with a glass of water today.  I hope that helps.

Spencer is doing alright.  I have yet to hear about many friends, but he says he has a couple.  Knowing Spencer -- he does.  I am going to email his teacher tomorrow to see how she thinks he is doing, and also see about getting him into the gifted program.  It was Spencer's turn for a meltdown this morning, as his shirts were too big that a friend sent us.  And when I say meltdown, I truly do nuclear reactor style, not otter pop style.  Who-wee, that kid can scream!  And at 7:11 I just don't quite have the fortitude for it.  I just calmly packed his lunch and walked him to the bus.  I hope his mood improved on the bus.

Tiny P is actually enjoying her time at home with me all to herself, for the most part.  I will admit this girl just can't get used to getting into a hot car.  It's a trial every single time.  We're starting up mommy school.  I got some great 2 year old workbooks at Costco and we're learning our letters and preposition words.  I'm mulling over potty training.  To buy another case of diapers, or not to buy another case of diapers.  THAT is the question.  She's ready.  I'm just not sure I am.

As for me, I'm slowly sinking into the school routine.  I've been SO tired -- I think my body is still catching up from the job hunt/move/so darn hot mess that it has been under.  I'm not a good napper though, I get up in a real mood and that doesn't help our after school problems.  I think I need to just go to bed at 8 pm with Spencer until I can stay awake all day.  I am, however, making friends.  I even went to the movies with some ladies last weekend.  Give it up for girls night!

So, that's what's up here.  What's up there?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Post Where I Rant

I know, things are daises and butterflies here.
But every now and then....
Well, let me just rant a bit.

1.  Conner always has SUCH a hard transition to school.  It drives me insane, and makes me really mad at him, in general.  I really have to prepare for him coming home, but that's hard with two other demanding people.  Anyway, the first week always catches me off guard.  Why can't I remember these things?  My apologies to his future college roommates, because this isn't getting better....

2.  Do you ever feel like you are in charge everything, all the time?  I'm just saying I sometimes do.  I've been working on health and life insurance the past few months and I feel like a secretary and a personal assistant.  I just get tired of that feeling sometimes.

3.  I killed a scorpion on the first day of school.  It was disgusting.  Eww.  Why did we move here?

Anyway, I just want to eat a giant handful of animal cookies and  Blizzard right now.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

They were on the fence

I guess I hadn't filled out enough info in my mormon.org profile, which kept creating an error... although, frankly I didn't want to give as much info as they wanted.

Darn that church, always wanting more.

ANYWAY, I guess they decided not to excommunicate me, and they finally published it.

Take a looksie!

I'm a Mormon.

Tragic Tuesdays: Denial and Isolation

TragedyWe had a lesson about trials on Sunday.  I sat there thinking about my latest trial... which has probably been my largest so far.  When I think of it, it's not that big of a deal.  We're all here, we both have jobs... but our life is SO different.  I do feel like the old me has died.  Along with all my old friends. 

Anyway, I was thinking about how the stages of grief can relate to many things.  They teach us in nursing school that parents who have a sick child also go through the stages of grief -- grieving the child they had envisioned that was healthy and strong.

I am not unaware of the stages of grief.  I've had a lot of family members die and I'm sure there are more to come.  I have also helped moms with stillborns. 

But, I think it's interesting to relate those stages of grief to other events.  And maybe think about how you are processing the event.

Denial: A Memoir of TerrorThe first stage is denial.  No, it's not just a river in Egypt.

For me, this time... I actually didn't spend too long in denial.  I think in part this was in thanks to our Heavenly Father who changed my heart for me.  I think I easily could've spent a month in this stage.  However, I did isolate a lot because I didn't want to think about ALL that we would be leaving behind.  I didn't want to talk to friends or go places because I didn't want to attach or talk about it, or have people ask me questions.  It's rare that I make the decision to not be social.  But this was one of the times.

I actually hadn't thought that it was part of the denial phase, but it makes sense.  You just want to be alone, because when you're alone it's just not something you have to think about.

I had a lot of friends just show-up during this point.  They'd call.  They'd just say they were thinking about us.  They'd say what a great band director Drew was and that they were sure he'd find a new job.  They buoyed me up.  But, frankly -- the biggest part was just reaching out at this point.  And nothing crazy obtrusive -- an email, a quick phone call.  I knew who the real friends were...

So, what's a tragic situation you had.  Did you have denial and isolation?  Did someone help you in a great way?

Monday, August 08, 2011

School Days


It was hard today.  So conflicting.  So JOYOUS to have them GONE, GONE, GONE!  We've had far too much togetherness this summer.  Lots to do, not a lot of "fun" time... which left us plenty of time to argue and not clean things up.  It's been super fun.  But, then there's the other side of the coin where I felt nervous, hoping they were making friends and remembered their schedule, etc.

Spencer meets the bus at 7:11 -- that's right, Slurpee time. Feel. the. VERY. EARLY. MORNING. joy. There, do you feel it? I know I do.  He was pretty excited though.  We can catch the bus at either 7:11, or a few minutes later... he is sticking with "Slurpee time".  We'll see how long that lasts.



I was pretty sure you'd want a close-up of those shoes.  You did, well, here you go.  They light up even.  We got them at Kid to Kid, they provided a lot of joy and were low in cost, as well as quality.  We'll see if they melt one day.


Here he is waiting at the bus stop with his one other compadre.  She is in 5th grade, and adorable.  I must say that all the people I kids I have met have been REALLY well spoken, they speak to adults well.  That's something we could use around here....


Spencer got on the bus... with nary a pause to be afraid.


Then, I ran to the school just to be with him on the first day.  One of his classmates puked in line.  I can't blame him, it was really hot.  What a nice way to start the first day!


Reports from mister middle are that he had a great time.  He has 2 new friends and he really likes his teacher, but the playground isn't as good.

Get THIS.  The PRINCIPAL called this afternoon.  I was worried she was calling for a particular reason, but she wasn't.  She just wanted to check up and see how Spencer had liked his first day.  I was really impressed that she did it.  I know it didn't take long, but wow. 

So far, so good.

Of to Mr. Middle SCHOOL...  He doesn't have to meet the bus until 8:36... and he was up with Spencer... which gave him a lot of backpack wearing time at the house.  He was pretty excited.  He's already met a few friends, including the kid across the street.  Sadly, his mom took him to school this morning, so he was the new/friendless kid on the bus.



He did alright though.  I tried to be really incognito taking these pictures.  I am fairly sure I didn't succeed.


What with the new school-ness, I haven't really had time to revel in the fact that I have a kid in middle school.  That's just crazy talk.  CRA-ZY talk!  But, I'm excited about the friends he's already made.  There's a good kid in our ward who is in band with him.  I'm seeing benefits for this man already.

'

So, all in all a success on the first day.  I even made cookies to greet them with when they came home.  They were bitter I didn't have otter pops.  You just can't win.

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