"The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

After a long absence.............

It's been almost 3 years since I have added a post to this blog!  4 kids are keeping me busy and occupying almost every moment of each day.  I'm considering starting up again, but am now very unfamiliar with the way this thing works!!  I have to re-connect and figure it out.  It took me a minute to even remember how to sign in.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prayers and .....other things she's said.

Lauren has said some noteworthy things lately...... too long for the "Lauren Quoted" side bar.

Recently, her prayers turned from:
"Dear Henly Fodder, fank you for everyfing, name Jesus Christ, amen"
to lengthy expressions of gratitude for her food, her little brother, her toys, her pillow pet, her bed, bless my food, please make my food cool down, etc. And a few days ago, she really impressed us:

"...please bless me, even though I can't see you, but I can feel you next to me."
"I'm sorry Jesus, for making bad decisions."

This was one of those times when Dave and I look at each other in surprise, beaming with pride and gratitude. :)

Then there are these statements:

"I don't like you, Mommy. I wanna find a different mommy and daddy that let me do whatever I want. I don't like you very much - or this house. I wanna find a different house and different people to keep me." (2-28-12)


"Mommy, if you don't help me with my job, then I'm going to spank you and put you in time out." (2-29-12)

Hmmm. Why do I say stuff like that? And why are kids so observant and impressionable!? I think I threatened to spank her once, and then quickly realized how ineffective that is. Another reminder to watch what I say! The time-out thing, I'm totally fine with. She'll probably hear that one again and again....... :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


So one day, it got to the point where I had to make a change.

In a rare free moment, I laid aside all inhibition and got on the phone to sign Lauren up for preschool. Yes, mid - year. I didn't know that was possible, but it is. And co-incidentally, they had one opening. We took it, and in two days, Lauren was walking into her classroom and taking her seat in a yellow chair.

When I picked her up, I wanted to take a picture of her, but she wouldn't hold still for a second! She was wired and crazy. Giddy, you might say. This was the best I could do:

As we were leaving for her second day, we had this little dialogue:

Lauren: "I'm going to tell my teacher that I want a different chair"
Me: "Oh, why?'
Lauren: "Because I don't like yellow. I like green and blue and all the boy colors and I like pink, but I don't like yellow."

As I dropped her off, I looked into the classroom and noticed that there are 3 tables: one with blue chairs, one with red chairs, and one with yellow chairs :). And Lauren immediately, upon seeing her teacher, requested a different chair.
(Which request was either not understood immediately, or side-stepped by her teacher, who said, "Hi Lauren! Find your seat... and can you start tracing your name?" )
I have no idea why she decided she doesn't like yellow, but I think she may have to accept her assignment for a few more months. :) We'll see if she brings it up again.
She is very opinionated and very sure about what she does and doesn't like.
But she loves preschool and I love the 3-hour break I get every Tues. and Thurs. and I am a happier mom. :)

(though, as mentioned in a previous post, it is bittersweet to watch your kids grow up. The first time I dropped her off, I almost didn't know what to do with myself when I got home. I missed her! I am used to her companionship and conversation!)

Overall, I think this was a good move.

We love preschool.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Little ball of Joy

This is my roly poly ball of joy.

My sister took this picture when we went for a walk on a gorgeous sunny day. (January has been surprisingly warm and clear - not too much inversion yet. Awesome.)
At almost 5 mo. Jacob is generally happy, though seeming to have an unsatiable appetite. He ALWAYS has his hands in his mouth, and if not his hands, the closest thing he can grab and bring to his mouth.

No one can make him laugh like Lauren can. He laughs randomly when he sees her. He laughs when she plays with him or talks to him. He laughs watching her play. It is sooooo cute.

He rolled over for the first time on Jan 11 and now he won't stay on his back! We finally moved him from the cradle in our room to a crib in his own room this week (Jan 9th) and it made me cry to see that empty cradle in our room when I went to bed. :( It's so bittersweet to see your kids grow.

I love this boy!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bowl o' Snow

There's nothin' like a big, cold, heaping bowl of snow. And a variety of spoons with which to eat it.

Mmm... Mmm... Mmm...

FYI - that bowl of snow was served up after the big storm on Saturday and finds it's way in and out of our freezer almost every day. It's all Lauren wanted for dinner tonight - seriously. I had a hard time getting her to eat food. All she wanted was snow.
The girl loves snow!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'd say we've been a little busy

* there are way too many spaces in this post. I have already spent hours on this blog and don't have the patience to figure out how to get rid of them right now...maybe later.....*

So here's a little update for the last few months and the reason why maybe I haven't posted since baby Jake was born.
The last half of this year has been um, a pain.......with scattered silver linings :).

My blog is called "the good list" so I feel obligated to point out the good. But it has really been pretty ridiculous and I want to document it, even if it's not exactly uplifting.
It all started Aug 13th (two days before Jacob came). I think I'll do this in list form with bullets to make it easy to follow.

  • Aug 13th. Tub got too full - overflow valve leaked. Water under the tub, floor, dripping through the family room ceiling. It was a Saturday night. Nothing to be done until Monday.......

  • Aug 15th - Monday. Jacob came :) Joy - tiny little cutie - perfect baby boy.

  • Aug 17th - Return home to a house smelling of mildew. Ins. guy shows up to assess. I am upstairs with Lauren and the baby, feeling unfit to see anyone, having just had a baby!! De-humidifier placed in family room to dry ceiling. Constant Noise.

  • Aug 18th - Air conditioning quits on us. In AUGUST! Dave places fan on kitchen counter surrounded by bottles of frozen water piled on top of each other for make-shift A/C unit. Guy comes to check moisture in ceiling - dry- phew. De-humidifier gone. Yay!!

  • *silver lining*......Lauren entertains herself for hours in "sand box" Dave created for about $10 with a few bags of sand and a bucket of sand toys.

  • Aug 18th - HVAC guy shows up at 10 a.m. New part, $475 later A/C works!!!

  • *silver lining*.......A/C was repaired w/in one day and I could finally wrap newborn baby Jacob in a blanket!!!

  • Aug 18th - Tractor guy Wade shows up to scrape our side yard free of bull-thorn, AKA "sticker plants" infested gravel. Dave makes an appearance for a quick drink after paying HVAC guy and goes outside to direct Wade.

  • K- that all happened days after we brought home a new baby. Dave took the whole week off, but was not really with me much. I guess the silver lining is......what a blessing to have so much paid time off, and nice that these things all happened while Dave was home so I didn't have to deal with 4 different male strangers in all my post-delivery glory!

    I'm just getting started :)In September Dave started having incredible, debilitating back pain! :( It lasted about 2 weeks. He walked around hunched over like an old man and would come home from work and lay on his back all night. He had several M.D. , chiropractor and physical therapist visits and courageously went to work every day enduring the pain. Life at home was tricky. Lots of balancing of kids, obligations, and emotions!!!

    In the midst of the back pain, we had to prepare the townhouse for new renters, have the car and truck repaired, Jacob had a little eye infection and then I got mastitis!!! We completely forgot Dave's dad's birthday and my grandmas birthday and pretty much lost all capacity to be responsible and consider others at all!

    *silver lining*......Dave finally found an incredible chiropractor who took a slightly different approach and pretty much cured the pain with one adjustment!!!!! What a blessing!

    *silver lining*.....The harvest!! We were completely overwhelmed with produce from our garden! We couldn't keep up with it all! We had so many cantaloupe, a random honeydew that showed up, plentiful grapes (delicious, fresh from the vine), tomatoes, yellow summer squash, cucumbers, beets, green beans, our own lettuce, pears from mom, and 6 eggs a day from the chickens. So blessed!

    *silver lining*.....Heavenly Father let me know I wasn't forgotten....The day my whole body ached & I felt miserable from mastitis was the day a good friend happened to plan - a few days earlier - to bring dinner. What a welcome tender mercy. The dinner was delicious and the timing could not have been better. She had no idea I was sick. Not a co-incidence.

    Okay, moving right along.

    So one day - some time ago, I happened upon a blog where the girl talked about the wonder of water and how it can entertain kids. She had decided to make cleaning the kitchen floor fun by letting the kids strip down and "skate" with rags on the soap and water she poured on the floor. I decided this would be fun for Lauren. I'm trying to be more light-hearted and fun as a mom. I wish I had had a voice screaming in my head, "DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!" Oh nothing went wrong that day, it was kind of fun, but I suffered the repercussions weeks later (in October) when Lauren decided to repeat the experience on her own in the bathroom upstairs.

    I was finishing up on a phone call and placing a Shelf Reliance order for a customer online. I had already gone upstairs once to turn off the water in the tub and didn't want to interrupt the call again, though I heard water splashing on the floor. "I'll deal with it later, I have to get this done," I thought.

    Little did I know...............................

    When I went upstairs after hanging up, Lauren had completely covered the bathroom floor with buckets of water (her little blue sand bucket).

    "I'm skating mommy!" was what I heard.

    Oh boy.

    What I saw was a floor covered with water which took every towel in our house to soak up. Water that leaked through the floor, and then through the family room ceiling....again. Remember the leak that happened right before I had Jacob?

    This water, this "skating" experience, which idea originated from a mother just trying to have fun with her toddler, caused $6,500 in damage!!!!!! (according to the ins. estimate).

    Well, another call to the insurance. Another visit from the disaster mitigation company. Several visits, actually, as 7 industrial fans and 2 de-humidifiers were placed and left for 5 days and checked on daily. We still hadn't replaced the ceiling from the first leak, and now we got another hole cut out in the kitchen ;) fun times.
    The vanity, toilet and tile floor were ripped from the hall bathroom and a row of tiles removed from an adjoining wall in the master bathroom.

    Did I mention the fans? 7 big blue industrial fans running 24/7 in a home with a 3 year old and a brand new baby!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, not much silver lining here, unless you consider this some kind of super powered white noise. It was really loud. One of the best days this half of the year was when they told us it was dry and they could take out those dang fans.

    Well, we have a gas fireplace in our family room - in the corner - which really limits the placement of furniture in the room. We've never really liked it and have maybe turned it on once since we've lived here. So Dave starts thinking: "our house is torn apart anyway - we could rip out the fireplace and repair the corner at the same time as the holes in the ceiling! Now is the absolute best time to do it! Let's do it!" So we did. He did. He took out the fireplace and demolished the corner of our house.

    Then we had daily visits from the drywall guy. Lots of pounding, lots of dust from sanding the mud and a cluttery, messy house.


    Before the drywall guy even finished, I was actually allowing Lauren to wash her hands at the kitchen sink, unsupervised. (I was feeding Jacob in the living room) I asked her several times to turn the water off and get down. When she didn't respond, I finally went it to turn it off myself and found the faucet turned backwards and water running behind the sink, off the counter and all over the floor. That's when poor Lauren got to see her mom lose it. I cried. I called my dad bawling, I called my brother bawling. I even tried the next- door neighbor (luckily they didn't answer, but I really didn't care who heard or saw me in this state. All I could think of was getting that water off the floor!!!!!!!) Dave had been out of town all week and was returning that night. Everything had gone according to plan. The house was clean and I was ready to welcome him home in a cheerful mood..............until this. Now, instead he got to come home to a frazzled, mascara streaked face, a pile of sopping wet towels on the floor, and a shop vac full of water and whatever else was in there from cleaning up the sheetrock mess. This is our dishwasher pulled out so they could check for moisture under the cabinets. See the drywall guy in the background?

    So, now our downstairs renters, my wonderful brother and his cute, patient wife, get visits from the disaster mitigation company, a hole in their ceiling and daily visits from the drywall guy, who, by the way, was happy to have the work :).

    The saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, we painted the corner of the family room where the fireplace was and the ceilings in the kitchen and family room. On the following Tuesday, we ripped out the carpet in the family room and from the stairs and painted the baseboards in the family room and all the trim in the entry way - which had never been painted white. While at Home Depot, to grab a gallon of white paint, Dave calls to let me know he's decided to re-build the top section of stairs, since they've always been too shallow and they creak. So 5 minutes before they close, I have to ask them for 16 feet of heavy lumber (stair tread), two tubes of construction adhesive, and a box of screws, all of which I somehow have to fit in our little Honda. Always the opportunist, my husband :) The Home Depot associates were very helpful and very patient.

    By Wednesday, we had new carpet. And the room looks AWESOME. It made it all worth it!

    Is this post long enough for ya?

    Here is the silver lining from all of this:

    #1: You can all learn from my mistakes. (Don't let your kids "skate" on your kitchen floor, don't leave them alone in the tub (common knowlege, obviously) and don't let them wash their hands unsupervised.)

    #2: After much work and many late nights, we have heavenly new carpet, a whole new room with a sweet furniture arrangement now that the fireplace is gone, and bright white ceilings. My husband has incredible skills for which I am so grateful.

    #3: The disaster mitigation crew was awesome. They were friendly and polite and very professional. When you have to see strangers so often in such circumstances, it's nice when they're pleasant to work with.

    The bathroom still has to be put back together. Dave is going to do the tile himself and he's pretty excited.

    So there's one way to re-model two rooms in your house, though I wouldn't recommend it.

    Then there's the Hurricane-like windstorm that struck two nights ago and ripped off siding, shingles and destroyed our fence..............I'll get to that later.

    Here are some pictures of other things we had going on in the midst of it all:

    Lauren playing in the car October 14.
    Family photo shoot October 15
    Lauren & Jacob on his blessing day October 30. I know. He's chubby.

    But so stinkin' cute!

    Halloween- our beautiful blue-eyed princess.

    Jacob hangin' out during the construction.

    So stinkin' cute!

    Thank Heaven for Homeowner's insurance and thank Heaven for Shop Vacs.
    Oh, Blessed Shop Vac. Though very loud, it's very effective.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    A Brand New Tiny Baby Boy

    Baby Jacob joined us on August 15, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.
    After intense, but short-lived pain,this cute, perfect little bundle arrived.
    (45 minutes from first real contration to delivery - and no epidural)
    He weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz. and was 19 inches long.
    Here's our little buddy on his first day on Earth:

    My doctor is in the purple shirt. She missed the delivery because it happened so fast. The cute resident in the long sleeves ended up delivering him. I really liked her, but was sad Dr. Laine missed it. She didn't deliver Lauren either! Bad Luck!

    Lauren got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa the night before he was born and they brought her to the hospital right away. She was so cute with him :)

    Here he is 2 days later on the day we went home

    You forget how tiny they are! (And Lauren was only 5 lbs 15 oz. when she was born!
    They grow so fast - as I'm posting this, Jacob is already almost a month old! I already miss those very first moments and often think back on the time in the hospital when they handed him to me for the first time. The memory of the pain definitely fades quickly and now we have this little peaceful baby with us. What a blessing.