Monday, August 31, 2009
While we were in the moment of the blessing, my mother also got one for comfort, my sister for help with her problems in her pregnancy, and my brother-in-law for calm and comfort as her is about to become a father. It was very special.
I am a huge believer in the power of a priesthood blessing. I think not many people know, but when Preston was born his newborn screening tests came back positive for cystic fibrosis. They re-ran that test and then ran another type of test and both of them came back positive again. I was devastated. I didn't know what we would do, how we would handle it, what this would mean for our family. I knew that because these were screening tests there was still a possibility that he did not have cystic fibrosis, but I was looking on the negative side and was convinced that he would be diagnosed with the disease.
On the morning that we were to take Preston for the final definitive test that would tell us whether or not he had cystic fibrosis, Aaron and my father-in-law gave him a blessing. The moment that the blessing began, I was filled with a calm feeling that everything was going to be okay. I KNEW that Preston was fine and the test would show us that there were no problems. I don't remember the words of the blessing, but I remember that feeling and my certainty that everything was okay. After weeks of stress and worry, the cloud was completely lifted. The test went smoothly and Preston received a clean bill of health.
Thanks to that experience, I have a strong faith in the power of prayer and priesthood blessings and I will always be grateful that I learned that. As my family deals with everything going on right now, it's wonderful to have the assurance we gained last night from those blessings that everything will be alright.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
My sister is having a difficult time at the end of her pregnancy. She is 35 weeks along and has pregnancy-induced hypertension that has her on bedrest and feeling very ill. My mom is doing a lot to help her right now as everyone keeps a close eye on Melissa to be sure she and baby are okay.
At the same time, my dad has to have surgery tomorrow to have a pacemaker installed. It's a low-risk surgery, but my mom was upset about having to take him out for the surgery and take care of all that on her own. But there was no one who could go with her right now (what with pregnancies, and newborns, and jobs and everything else that goes on in life).
Aaron and I talked about it and decided that I should stick around and give all the help I can just now. So he headed home with the kids so that Haley could go to kindergarten this week. Haley sobbed and told me how much she would miss me. Which made me cry. Which made Preston cry. Brekken was fine. He's such a daddy's boy that he may not miss me much. But I miss him. And Haley, Preston, and Aaron, too.
I'm glad to be here right now, because I always feel bad about being so far away and unable to help when my family needs a hand. But it's going to be a long week away from Aaron and my babies.
Friday, August 28, 2009
We need to meet my new nephew Kyron - he's still pretty little; probably hasn't lost that "new baby" smell yet. ;)
We need to check up on my baby sister. She's almost 35 weeks pregnant and on bedrest for pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. She probably will be induced in about a week to 10 days and I'll have a new niece, too!
And we need to see my parents' practically new house. They had a flood a few months back. The dog chewed through a hose at the back of the toilet and flooded the whole house. I believe the last estimate I heard was $20,000+ in damage. The whole upstairs, most of the downstairs... everything had to be repaired, replaced, or otherwise fiddled with. My poor parents lived in an RV in the front yard for a month while the work was being done. But they're back in the house now, and from all accounts it is beautiful.
And the kids really need to see Grandma & Grandpa and the various aunts, uncles, and cousins who will be around. They have been excited about this all week. So Utah here we come!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Then one day... a little blossom appeared on the squash plant. Then another and another. Eventually, two tiny squashes began to grow. We watched them anxiously. We checked on them every day. Did they have enough water? Did they have too much water? Were they getting the right amount of warmth and sunlight?
And then, the little squashes finally grew large enough to pick! What a happy day when we proudly brought the produce from our own little garden inside to cook for dinner. Sure, I had to go to the market and buy a few more squashes to go with ours in order to have enough to go around. But I'm sure I could pick out the ones that grew in our garden. They were the best ones of all!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I made a trip to the dollar store to find supplies for our craft project:
It's just some foam-core poster board, some pages of craft foam, and tea candle holders. You could use regular poster board, cardboard, or any other flat surface for your game board. You could also use construction paper instead of craft foam for the squares or just draw the squares on your board and color them in with crayon or marker.
To get started, I let the kids pick two colors for the checkerboard. They chose red and blue. A checkboard is 8 rows of 8 squares each. So I cut out 32 red squares and 32 blue squares. It doesn't matter what size you make them, as long as they are all the same size and they all fit onto your game board.
Next, glue the squares onto your board in a traditional checkerboard pattern. The kids really liked this part... they were a little TOO enthusiastic with the glue. Thank goodness for the wood floors instead of carpet - it made the spills easier to clean up.
I use the tea-candle holders for my checkers. I cut out circles of foam (letting the kids pick the colors again) and glued them to the holders. Here's the final product:
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
When I picked her up from PAWS, she was just bubbling over with happiness about her great day! She loved it all. Some of the highlights:
- She got to meet lots of new kids in her class.
- She got to do lots of coloring.
- She got to eat pizza for lunch. With pink milk. And she remembered her code for the lunchroom computer (she was VERY proud of herself for this!).
- She got to play outside at PAWS.
- She got to play an elephant game of some kind. I don't know what it was, but she enjoyed it a lot.
She went on and on about her day. It was so great to hear that everything went well and she loved her first day of school. Let's hope this sets the pattern for the rest of the year!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
They came out afterwards to go over her scores with me. In almost every category she was at least double the expected benchmark. Her reading was especially high... by the end of the year, they should be reading at a level 4. Haley was reading at level 14 when they finally stopped her assessment!
When she walked out of the testing room she heaved a big sigh and told me, "Mom, that made me all exhausted!" =)
I always knew she was smart as anything, but always nice to have it confirmed!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
- George: I don't get these birds; they're breakin' the deal! ... Don't we have a deal with the pigeons?
- Jerry: Of course we have a deal: They get out of the way of our cars; we look the other way on the statue defecations.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
- All of my family is out of state and blogging is a way to keep them up-to-date on our lives and what's up with the kids.
- I have lots of friends around here, but we're all so busy that it's hard to get together often. By writing my blog, I can tell them what's going on with us. By reading their blogs, I find out about things going on in their lives. And I learn more about my friends and what's important to them. I assume they can learn the same kind of things about me.
- I can share fun tips and tricks that I've learned. When I find something that works for me (like making my own chalkboards) I like to tell people about it. Maybe it will work for them, too.
- I can keep myself accountable. When I set goals for myself and then blog about it, I feel like I have to follow through. Once other people know about my goal (like saying Yes), I try harder to meet the goal.
- I use it as a journal. I'm not good at keeping a written journal, but the blog is a record of my life that feels a lot like a journal to me. My scripture-reading blog helps encourage me to keep up with my reading (the accountability thing again) and helps me think more about what I read, because I journal about it after I read.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So I've found a new treat that comes without the guilt! Buy some Yoplait Whips (yogurt) and pop them into the freezer. After it freezes, it has a firm, creamy texture that's similar to ice cream. It tastes great. And it satisfies my craving for a frozen treat.
- Ben & Jerry's = 280 calories and 15 grams of fat in a 1/2 cup serving
- Yoplait Whips = 140 calories and 2.5 grams of fat in one cup
So frozen Whips are working for me. Check out the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival at We Are That Family to see what's working for others!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Every day on my way to the bus stop, I walk past Jim. I know nothing about him other than that he is older (based on the white hair and beard), he has a routine that sends him walking up the hill every afternoon as I am walking down the hill, and apparently his name is Jim (based on the name stitched on the work shirts he always wears). So I don't know anything about him, but I like him. When we pass every day, he smiles and nods. Sometimes he says hello. So he seems nice and I enjoy seeing him.
On the other hand, there's a lady at my bus stop that I also see every day. I'll usually nod or say hello when I walk up, and she sometimes nods back, sometimes just kind of looks away as I walk up. So even though I know nothing about her, I kind of don't like her. She's probably a really nice person. Maybe she's just tired at the end of the day. Maybe she's shy.
I guess what I'm getting out of this is that I should take the trouble to smile and say hello when I see someone... otherwise maybe they'll decide to dislike me for no good reason. =)
Monday, August 10, 2009
On Saturday, Aaron took a few hours off work so we could goto the annual summer picnic for Nurse-Family Partnership (where I work). It was held at a park up in Conifer and it was a beautiful area. Of course, we made the mistake of telling the kids we were going to a park for the picnic, so they were very disappointed when we got there and they discovered there was no playground. Without a playground, it doesn't really qualify as a park, apparently! But we'd brought the ball-catching game I made from milk-cartons, so they enjoyed playing that. They also did some sidewalk chalk drawing, played some soccer, danced the hokey-pokey (as did Mommy) and ate a lot of really good food!
Sunday, it was back to the rock show in Buena Vista. Aaron & the kids were disappointed enough by missing out on Friday, that I was convinced to go back on Sunday. So we drove to Buena Vista and looked at rocks. It was pretty warm, but at least there was a good breeze to cool it off a little. Aaron, Haley, & Preston really enjoyed the rock show and all of them got some rocks that they will add to their collections. Brekken and I were just kind of along for the ride. But I'm sure that in a couple of years, Brekken will be right there collecting rocks with the rest of them! (I will still just be along for the ride - it's just not my thing - but I like seeing the rest of them enjoy the rock shows!)
Friday, August 7, 2009
He is to be called Underdog at all times. He won't answer to anything else. So around our house lately, it's "Underdog, eat your dinner." "Underdog, it's time for bed." and even "Underdog, say your prayers."
He also refers to me as Sweet Mommy (Sweet Polly is the heroine in the Underdog cartoons) and insists on rescuing me from imagined peril many times each day.
Part of his obsession is his love of singing the theme song... in his own special way.
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder.
I don't know how Hi-ho-the-der-i-o came to be mixed into the song! =)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Then I gave the kids a couple of balls and let them go crazy. It was a ball-catching free-for-all! They had a blast and are entertained by this game for up to 30 minutes at a stretch. If they were older and could play catch with the jugs, that would probably be a lot of fun too.
There is also some very involved and complex imagination game that Haley & Preston have come up with on their own... something to do with the balls (which they have named Zoey and Blink) who run away and need to be caught and taken care of. The jugs become cages, beds, carseats, and who knows what else. Lots of time spent playing this game as well. Brekken is happy just carrying his ball around and showing it to us. =)
So that's what's working for me this week. Check out the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival at We Are That Family to see what's working for others!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Turns out this guy wasn't old, he was just really occupied... too intent on what he was doing to pay much attention to his driving apparently. He had a finger all the way up his nose and was just digging away. That must have been one annoying booger! =D
Monday, August 3, 2009
So I need to make an effort to have some quality time with the kids as soon as we get home. This week, I'm going to give it a shot. Every day, when we walk in the door, I'm not going to immediately launch into my to-do list. Instead, I'm going to sit down with my kids and listen to them talk about their day. I'm going to give them my attention. I think that if I give them that focused attention for a bit, then they'll be more settled and able to go off and play while I get to the things I need to do. And I think we'll all enjoy it.