Thursday, May 28, 2015

9 Days

The past two weeks have been crazy, and it's not about to get better. Hopefully I can remember everything.

1. Yard work. We've now planted the garden, put up netting around it, built sand paths in between the boxes, pulled out the willow trees, and set up hose timers for the garden and front grass. I did general maintenance as well (mowing/trimming). We still need to finish the sprinkler system, fix the one station that won't come on, and put a few things away. When we get back, we will plant grass. The people at the nursery said to wait. I'm okay with that! It's been stressful to be hurrying so much with everything.

2. Sam & Jesse came to visit last Thursday with Charlotte. We had a great time hanging out, going to the park, and even planting the garden together. James and Sam went shooting. The kids got along pretty well. The only two who fought were Charlotte and Katie. They were either hugging or yanking each other's hair.

3. End of school. James finished up on Friday and checked out of his classroom. He had to pack up 30 years' worth of stuff from other teachers. His new classroom at the high school is 50% bigger and brand new, as well as empty! That's the best part. We've heard nothing but good about the high school.

4. End of preschool. We did a little celebration at the park today. It was a little muddy from all the rain, but the kids had a great time. They got certificates and had "fruit sundaes".

5. Rain. It has rained almost every day for the past 2-3 weeks. It's driving me crazy how wet it is. There are even frogs in the neighborhood now. They're really loud at night.

6. Classes. James is still working on his 3 classes from BYU for his geography endorsement. He will finish them by the end of the summer, and since he won't be working, he will have time to hang out with us too.

7. Trip. We leave Saturday for Rexburg and the Head reunion in Albion. We will be gone for 9 days. I haven't had time to be stressed until now due to other demands, but now I am! I've been making lists, cooking so we don't have to eat meals out, and trying to get loose ends tied up before we go. It can't be as bad as last year. I had a horrible time with Katie at the reunion because she cried for 4 days straight (ear infection). It drives me a little crazy anyway to be around so many people and have no time alone, but I'll make it work.

8. Church stuff. James has had some kind of church commitment every day this week. Sunday- church, Monday-FHE, Tuesday-meeting, Wednesday-moving someone, Thursday-baptisms with youth and cleaning the temple AND buying stuff for the Father/Son campout, Friday, Saturday-campout. Basically, the boys will come home and we will leave for Rexburg right after that.

Whew. I thought this week would be easier, but it's been full. I haven't had spare time due to all the cooking, cleaning, yardwork, and even cleaning someone else's house so she can try to sell it. I have a goal to actually finish a book while I'm on my trip. It's by Brandon Sanderson, so who knows if that will actually happen. I'm ready for a real vacation!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


This week has gone all right, but yesterday did not end well for me. I'll get the complaints out of the way first. I worked in the yard for 3 hours Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. For some reason, yesterday left me feeling really drained. It's probably the warmer weather, which made me a bit dehydrated. Anyway, I dragged myself to make James's favorite meal, almost to completion, but I ran out of time before I had to go to Chelsie's house. I left instructions on how to finish the meal.

James called me around 5:30 and said he wanted to eat out, then go to his classroom and clean up (and pack up) since he needs to have it ready for a math teacher. I didn't want to do this. By this time, Katie had started crying for no apparent reason even though she had food and drink. She just wouldn't stop! All I wanted to do was go home to a hot, prepared meal, which I already did most of the prep for. That didn't happen. We ate out, and to make matters worse, I didn't like the meal I ordered, and it cost more than I would normally pay. That didn't improve my mood at all. Katie cried the entire time we were in the classroom, so I don't feel like I was able to help a lot, and then I fell asleep during one of my favorite TV shows. Also, I forgot to put the dumplings away, so they sat out all night. Basically, yesterday was a huge waste of time.

But on the positive note, I cleaned up the garden area, tuned up the lawnmower, and mowed/trimmed the front yard. The back doesn't need it yet. I took apart the last of our pallets, made 2 more garden planters, and cleaned up the LAST of the river rocks from the driveway and empty lot. We went to Lowe's and bought all the stuff for sprinklers, which cost almost exactly what we thought it would. I also gave the extra pit liner to my neighbor. Next steps are install the sprinklers, add dirt to the garden boxes, and then plant everything! I'm so excited that we're getting so close. Since we have 14 working days left, it doesn't have to be stressful at all. Hopefully. :)

Another positive note is that I've started losing the last 10 lbs. of baby weight. Really, this is baby weight from Kenny and Joseph! I have to be more strict now. The first 20 lbs. of Katie was effortless, and the next 20 wasn't too bad either, but the last 10 is always the hardest. Once I reach my goal, I will share how I did it. I don't want to make any assumptions yet. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

On mothers: a guest post from James

Hi there, this is James and these are some of my thoughts on moms.

These are some of the sounds that greet mothers every day.
the "pitter patter" of little feet
which is realing the ungainly "thump thump" of toddlers falling
the little voice saying "I wuv you mammee"

These are some of the smells that greet mothers every day
half digested food
baby hair
that clean baby smell
that dirty toddler smell

Some of things a mothers hand feels every day:
snot on a baby's face
a banana peeled for a little one
that gross feeling when you step on that banana after with was thrown to the ground
the soft cubby cheek of a toddler
a lego creation of a 4 year old
that feeling of stepping on one of those legos
the hug of tiny arms

Some of the things a mother sees every day
running children
the inside of that diaper
weepy kids
chaos itself
smiley faces
remnants of dinner
a room that looks like it was hit by a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and the Hulk
kids playing together
half finished plates
way too much Sesame Street, Wild Kratts, Thomas, Frozen or whatever is on Netflix..
sleepy little eyes as they go to sleep.

These are some of the sights, sounds, smells that greet mothers every day. I am so grateful for my mother and my wonderful wife, the mother to my kids.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rainy Days

One thing I miss about the South is the rainstorms. When it rained there, it really rained. If you were outside for more than 30 seconds, you would be wet enough to need new clothes. Also, the rain was very warm and refreshing, though not so nice once it stopped and went straight into the air. As a child, I loved playing in it. It was like a free shower.

Desert rain is an unusual occurrence most of the year. We have spells of a few days with showers, but it's usually cold and misty, just barely enough to use the windshield wipers in the car. This was to my advantage yesterday since I worked in the yard for 5 hours total. With my hoodie on, I stayed pleasantly cool, albeit disgustingly muddy by the time I finished what I was doing. It's still weird for me to even see rain here, and it seems that I have to explain to my children each time that it's rain, not snow. They don't know the same rain that I did.

I finished the dry creek bed!!! Even though it goes through dirt on most of the yard, it looks totally awesome! It really makes our yard look like it's on purpose, like one of those nice yards I always envy because a rich person can hire out people to do the dirty work or have a gardener or something. There is still a lot of work left, but I should have my patio and sidewalk back by Saturday night. That's the lofty goal, anyway.

I promise pictures once it's all put together. I never thought that landscaping a quarter of an acre could be so much work, but it is. :) Worth it? Yes.