Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to Business

Now that the reunion's over...

1. James is working for the bishop of our ward M-F (or Saturday, maybe?) for the next 7 weeks doing door-to-door insurance quotes. Finally, something worked out!

2. I have a huge pile of smoky/dirty clothes and blankets to wash.

3. We get to start looking for house in Vernal soon.

4.  I get to go grocery shopping on Saturday! (Haven't gone for a while, but more on that later.)

5. I have several crafty things that I'm working on. (More to come later.)


It's good to be home after a wonderful family reunion with the Heads. We left on Thursday to travel to Ashton, ID, just north of Rexburg. It was a lot of fun, despite the mosquitoes and freezing cold nights! Well, they weren't literally freezing, but you know, it's Idaho. Thursday night we had a little family meeting and campfire with songs. We didn't sleep in the tent yet, because not all of the family had arrived, so we slept in one of the rooms. It was super hot, so I slept terrible. The boys did great, though. Kenny didn't grunt all night...hurray!

Friday, I learned how to braid rugs from Grandma Head! It was so awesome to learn, and it's really not that hard to do, either. I'm currently making a potholder to replace some of my really old ones. They're looking sad. After lunch, I took a nap with the boys while everyone went to Mesa Falls. I was in desperate need of one due to my lack of sleep the night before. It was a great nap, needless to say. Then, I helped make dinner. For those who have never had the Cafe Rio cilantro ranch dressing, it's the best dressing in the world. Period. My mother-in-law has the recipe. I just stuck all the stuff in the blender, but the whole family raved about it and kept asking for the recipe, so I had to tell them to go ask Melodie. Haha. I need to get it from her as well, but I never have fresh cilantro and don't remember to ask her. We had another family meeting around the campfire to do poetry. The Heads are CRAZY about Robert W. Service. I love it. (Think "The Cremation of Sam McGee".) We quote one of his poems at our house all the time...

Don't stab father with the bread knife, mother,
'Twas a gift when you were wed.
But if you must stab father with the bread knife, mother,
Please use another for the bread.

If that doesn't describe the family's sense of humor, I don't know what does. :)

Saturday, there was a bow and arrow contest, a basketball tournament, and then dinner at "the ranch" (G & G Head's house) in Victor. It was awesome to see how well those homemade bows worked. Sunday, we had a testmony meeting and Swedish pancakes before packing up to go home. James and I took the scenic route (US-20) rather than the interstate to get home. It's 20 miles shorter but takes about 15 minutes longer, due to slower speeds, but it's gorgeous! Most of it really is very scenic and beautiful. I got to see Craters of the Moon as well, which is really interesting. 

Needless to say, it was a fun, exhausting time. Joseph got to play with his uncles and aunts, and everyone thought his basketball obsession was pretty funny. Kenny got passed around so much that I only held him to feed him, pretty much. It was great to catch up with everyone and see how much the little ones have changed. Why do they have to grow up so fast? 

And why do I never take any pictures?

We will definitely be going camping again sometime. I know now how cold it really gets at night and that a sleeping bag and heavy blanket are a must. I also have confidence that I can sleep through it all just fine...on my air mattress! Man, that thing is comfortable, as long as it's inflated. :) Hopefully we will go again before winter hits. I'm still surprised at how much fun I had, once we figured out how to stay warm enough. (And thank you, Kenny, for sleeping from 10-6 every night!)

Monday, June 18, 2012


I'm not sure what to think of life right now. It's not making a lot of sense. James has applied to 12 or more jobs now but has had no luck in getting one. I guess it's hard because there are only 2 months left until we leave! That fact is in itself bittersweet to me. We've really loved Nampa and would have been very happy to stay here, but the Lord has other plans for us. Why we're going to Vernal, I don't know yet. I have a small idea of why we were here. This ward is amazing when it comes to taking care of people. In Rexburg, it's easy to assume that all college students are poor, etc., and that you're probably going to move again, so no big deal if you're new. We had the warmest welcome here. Lots of people in the ward seem genuinely sad that we will move away. That's a refreshing feeling after being in a ward where not many people noticed if we moved away.

Anyway, life goes on. It seems to be moving rather slowly right now. I don't mean to complain about that, because it really is rather good, just a little stressful. The boys are great, though. I have no complaints about them. I can't believe how big Kenny continues to get. He has to wear size 3-6 mos. now, because he got too long for the 0-3 mos. Sizewise, I think he's probably a month ahead of how big Joseph was at this age. He's already 12 1/2 lbs. I know that Joseph didn't hit 14 lbs. until 4 months. I guess we'll see, because it could all change.

Joseph loves his bed. I'm glad I decided to put him in it. It's still going really well, even at naptime (usually). He  loves to be able to get out of it instead of being stuck in the crib. Kenny does wake him when he eats at 4-4:30 a.m., but that's the only time I get up with him, and Joseph goes right back to sleep as if it never happened. I wish I could do that!

James started volunteering at the Old Penitentiary in Boise. We toured it on Saturday. Talk about creepy! The overall feeling there is just eerie. You can tell that there were lots of evil men in there. But it was a cool tour anyway. Joseph got scared when we went to see the cooler, so we didn't stay in there long. The part that James volunteers at is the arms exhibit. Apparently, this guy had million of dollars of guns, swords, etc. that he donated when he died. Any guy's paradise.

James had a decent Father's Day, I'd say. I cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast. James got a poster with candy on it as the words, a desk that he found for 5 bucks, and a pair of swim goggles. Hopefully it will be hot enough to go swimming. I'm thinking yes, because it's supposed to be 97 this Thursday. (Yikes!!!) For dinner, we enjoyed BBQ chicken, biscuits, corn, and baked beans. Dessert was lava cake. I'd say it was a good day.

This week, we head off to the Head reunion in Ashton. Here's to hoping for good weather, because we are crazy enough to go sleep in a tent for 3 nights! How I'll get any sleep, I'm not sure. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Love This

Really, I do. Being a mom is much more awesome than I ever imagined it would be. I love my two little guys, and I'm so happy that they came to our family. We have been blessed so much!

This week hasn't been too busy. We're thinking of visiting a ghost town tomorrow. James is still looking for work for the next few months. We will probably be moving the 15th of August or so.

Joseph is now sleeping in a toddler bed. I had wanted to wait, but James's family gave it to us a couple months ago. I felt like it was time for the change and that Joseph should be able to get out of bed when he wakes up. In the crib, he was so quiet that I couldn't hear him very well, so sometimes he'd wait a long time for someone to get him up. He just doesn't know how to yell, except during Church. So far, he goes down at night just fine. Kenny sleeps till 5, and he woke up Joseph this morning, but they both went back to sleep without a problem. Joseph hasn't taken a nap for the past 2 days, which I suspect is a result of the room being too light. We put a blanket (aka ghetto curtain) over the window to darken the room, so hopefully that will help and he'll get the picture! He needs a 2-hour nap, or he falls asleep at dinner. Thankfully, he doesn't have long meltdowns when he's tired. He just finds a spot on the floor to go to sleep. Hmm, we will have to work on that some more. I think it will be just fine. He's not upset to be in the room when he's not sleeping, and he can't open the door, so no big deal. As long as he isn't taking naps, I at least still get quiet time...well, if Kenny sleeps too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy 2 Years, Joseph!

I can't believe that it's been 2 years since I first became a mommy to my little Joseph. He's changed so much, I can barely believe it.

Since day 1, Joseph has been a delightful little boy. Although he's entering into some tough years (both for him and for me!), I've been so happy to see him grow up thus far. I love that he can run, laugh, talk, and almost hold conversations with me. Many of them are almost arguments, but we're both pretty stubborn and don't want to give in. Oops. I wonder where he got that trait...

I see a lot of myself in this little boy. He reminds me that life is not about myself. It's about others. He's always there to do something goofy and make me laugh.

If I'm sad or angry, he asks, "Mommy, wrong?" Knowing that he cares is enough to drive many frustrations away.

I'm so glad that Joseph wanted so much to be in our family. He's an awesome addition, a wonderful son, and a great big brother.

6 weeks old

1 year old

2 years old!
Happy (belated) birthday, little buddy!

When the Family Gets Together...

The last 5 days have been great, but different than I expected. I had FUN! didn't get too stressed, and mostly felt like a competent hostess. (You know, like keeping everyone fed and entertained when you aren't quite sure what they expect.) I guess I worry a little about that, because in-laws are a little bit different than immediate family. :)

But to backtrack a little...

James's mom, sister, and 2 brothers arrived last Thursday night. The house was all ready for them by then. We celebrated Joseph's 2nd birthday with chocolate cupcakes. He is now the proud owner of 3x as many toys as he had before, but the new ones were all Duplos, one train set, and the other a zoo set. He got a few other little toys as well, like a mini basketball.

Both Friday and Saturday morning, I attended the CHOIS (Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State) Conference with Melodie, my mother-in-law. Wow. It was not what I expected. Well, I don't really know what I expected...maybe for it to be a little boring and anti public school? Needless to say, it wasn't at all. It was actually very inspiring to me.

I've been wrongly prejudiced against mainstream Christians and their abilities to receive personal revelation. I am privileged to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, a modern-day prophet, and 3 additional books of scripture to guide me in my everyday life. They don't. What's my excuse?

The conference emphasized the importance of the family and homeschooling with religion. Education IS religion. And homeschooling parents were jailed in the 90's for believing this?!

I really felt the Spirit throughout this conference, especially as the father of 10 testified of the importance of family. He said that it never gets easier, but it's worth every minute of the hard work. I couldn't agree more, even though I have nowhere near 10 children.

All the speakers impressed me with evidence of their faithfulness to the Gospel. I know that none of them are members of my church, but they still study their scriptures, pray and fast for answers, put their trust in the Lord when answers are tough, and have strong testimonies of the importance of families. None of these people go to churches that teach that the family is eternal, yet they live as though they know it's true. This makes me truly happy.

We had a wonderful time with the family here, with days chock-full of good things: shopping, movies, junk food, family dinners, swimming, hanging out. James and I were able to go on our first date out since my birthday 2 months ago. We saw the Avengers and really liked it. I love my husband. I sure miss going on dates when we had free babysitting!

I'm really grateful for our Sunday School class as well. We had a great lesson on Sunday, because the Spirit was there. That doesn't always happen, but if it does in a room full of 16-18 year old kids, it feels especially great. One of the things that I love most about the Spirit is that he's so persistent. He doesn't give up on us easily. I know that even when I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the Spirit years ago, I still felt it pretty strongly anyway. I hope that the kids in our class never come close to the mistakes I made at their age. Being their teacher has reminded me of what an important turning point that age is. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a positive influence on the youth of the Church, even though it's a small calling.

Life is good. James is job hunting for the last 2 months that we live here. I'm going to miss it, but I'm thinking positive.

pool party, baby

He will tell you that he's Obi-wan Kenobi. NERD.

I love my little boys. :)