Yesterday Daniel was out in the pasture and our neighbor to the back of us says, "You could shoot your wife out here and no one would know." Daniel wasn't quite sure how to respond. When Daniel told me all I could think of was Doesn't Randy like me anymore? I wave to him everyday! Does he think Daniel should shoot me? Really??
Don't freak out. Randy was just using that as a starting point for what he was gonna tell Daniel. The neighbors were shooting skunks last week and when Randy went out to see what the hullabaloo was about--skunks--he looked around at all the homes. Black as night. No one jumped out of bed. No one turned on lights and looked out the windows. No one called the cops.
So if there was a need to shoot a wife and not get much in the way of a neighborly response, you could do it here in our backyard.
On that note, Daniel and I celebrate our 13th anniversary tomorrow. Neither of us feels the need to shoot the other. Much. We really just like each other too much I guess.
I'm thinking I should just start doing A Day In The Life again. Instead, I keep doing these random updates. Maybe I'll begin again... Maybe I won't.
Last night Isaac had his first official Scout Camp Out as a Deacon. It was a practice session for Scout Camp this summer. When he will be hiking in 3 miles and staying there for 4 nights. It was supposed to be Monday-Saturday, but they squashed it to Wednesday-Saturday. It's a Wilderness Camp Out this summer. So we got the pack ($55 at Costco. Bam!) And a good sleeping bag that fit into the bottom compartment and then got his dad packed. The pack almost took Isaac out. But he did it. They are back and smell like campfire and dirt.
On Friday I got out a big bag of M&Ms and put a few into a little bowl. OK. I put a lot into a medium bowl. I found this sad oddly shaped brown M. He was so forlorn amongst all the shiny round Ms. I took his picture for posterity sake. Then I ate him. He didn't taste as good as his friends. I thoroughly enjoyed eating all of his friends.
Today marks 10 years since my brother Aaron died. We miss him. But the lessons learned and the blessings received because he died are immense. One lesson-slash-blessing is that I have this sacred partnership with Aaron. He works on the other side of the veil teaching and proclaiming. I work here, side by side with my sweetie, in the temple. Now Isaac joins that sacred partnership because he can go to the temple to do baptisms for those Aaron has taught. Oh my heart.
Update on the Popcorn Rock... Actually, I think it looks more like cauliflower than popcorn. What do you think? The vinegar is almost gone. So the kitchen doesn't smell as bad as it once did. Yay.
Update on food storage... I got honey powder to add to long term food storage. I made some up and put it in the honey bear. It's darker than non powdered honey, but tastes great and will last for a long time and goes much further than the little honey bear! Plus, for storage sake, it won't crystalize. I like that. A lot. I will be investing in powdered honey.
Update on cooking... I have been using plain Greek yogurt in my cooking for a bit now. It replaces sour cream. I have also replaced cream cheese in my crock pot chicken recipe. It's zippy and tangy and very healthy. I tried adding some fruit and honey to it to eat, but I think I'll stick with flavored yogurt for that.
Update on sick Vegeta... Not sick anymore. This is the penicillin bottle. He had one shot a day for 5 days. By yesterday, day 5, he was so not getting stuck with that needle again. Poor Vegeta. Daniel would get the needle into his neck (where goats should receive their intramuscular injections) and then Vegeta would swing his head away, taking the needle out of his neck before the meds were injected. So by the time he finally got the meds, he was bleeding and sad and wouldn't come out of his hiding place in the tall grass for quite a while. That'll teach him to get sick again!
It's been over a year. Usually when I'm asked about it, I just say what happened. I am getting better at just saying it, not feeling it. I can walk away without sorrow flooding my heart. But there are still times when I'm asked, or when a baby is born, a pregnancy announced, that the flood gates open and I grieve as if it just happened yesterday.
Our family is complete. I know it is. I know that another baby will never come. But there is still a part of my heart that can't accept it. When I see a baby I think, That could have been me again. It could have been our family with a new baby. It's easier to look at a toddler who is throwing a tantrum and feel peace that my baby is 8 and there will be no more. But still...
Our family is in a great place right now. We can go anywhere at anytime and just play. Just do. We don't have to plan for nap times, feeding times, diaper changes. We just stop for a treat or a pit stop. It's fun having kids who will challenge you to do something. I was challenged by Sam to ride the Re-Entry ride at Lagoon. I would rather be bit by a rattle snake. But I did it. The Joy on Sam's face when we got off and he saw my face was enough for me! They are all good joke tellers. And joke deciphers. They crack me up. They can be reasoned with and instructed. Understanding is evident when we teach a principle that they've been taught all their lives, but now clicks. They are growing up so fast.
And so we move on with preteens and look forward to more exciting events as they grow. Do I wish I needed to change a diaper at times? I would do it if it were here. Will that place deep in my heart continue to hurt? Not as much as it used to, but it will always be there. So I find Joy in my family as it is. Joy in what we are and what we can do and become. And it is spectacular.
So here we go. I went through the pictures on my camera and thought I'd just update according to what was in there. And then some.
After the great shake out last week, I told the kids I would put together an emergency kit for their backpacks. I happened to find a great example on this great blog and used it. The letter is almost a direct copy of hers. I did have to change up a little of what is inside the kit. But our FHE tonight will be the reminder lesson of what to do at home, at school, at 4-H, at a friend's house, at church, at scouts, etc, when there is an emergency.
I began the Great Popcorn Rock experiment over a week ago. It has been moving along just nicely. There are way more crystals by now, but this is the picture I have. The vinegar is horribly smelly. No one likes to go in the kitchen. But I think I have gotten used to it. I can't smell it anymore. More pictures later!
The goat herd was moved out to the pasture. Daniel got the mower out and the older goats all gathered around it. I thought they were intrigued by the mower itself. But then I went out there and saw that there was last summer's grass all over it and they were hungry. Vegeta is sick. Daniel had the great privilege of taking his temperature. Rectally. Yep. Vegeta was not happy about it. But he had a temperature which suggests an infection. So he's on Penicillin shots for 5 days. Today is day 3. I think when Daniel goes out there today Vegeta will scoot! He's on to him. At least he's getting better.
We did our last Sam the Double Digit Boy celebration last Sunday with grandma and grandpa. I made an 'S' on the cake and was thrilled with my work. It's been a really long time since I've done a super cake for my kids. But I think we all agree that a cake which is chocolate is just the thing. No special cake decorations necessary. You may have noticed that my kids are all even again. 12, 10 and 8. My life is in perfect order. At least with their ages. Not that it really affects anything, but I always feel more peace in my soul when they are even.
This is a goat. Look at those eyes. Did you know that there is only a small sliver of periphery that they miss with those eyes? They can see all the way around them except for that small sliver directly behind them. My AC is on. It's hot. Well, I'm hot. I don't like heat. I need to move to Alaska. Or just turn my AC on in April. In one week Daniel and I will celebrate our 13th anniversary. Before you say it's a bad luck year, I need to remind you that we are completing 13 years. Beginning the 14th. Thank you very much.
So there you have it. Just a little of this and a little of that.
Did you shake at 10:15 this morning? Today was the Great Shake Out Drill in Utah. Daniel and I were in the temple and didn't feel a thing!! So I mostly forgot about it. But tonight I had one of my kids tell me about it. He said they got under their desks and held on. Then they listened to someone talk about earthquakes in Utah and watched a video. hmmmm. He had some anxiety. So we talked. And talked. And went over what situations we would be facing if we lived on the Eastern Seaboard, in the Midwest, in California. Heck! Utah seems like the safest place to me. We talked about the earth quakes I experienced while living in California. Scary stuff. But nothing bad happened to me. He asked about aftershocks. I said they are always smaller than the original quake. Like an echo. I told him that if there is an emergency, the safest place to be is here at home with me. The second safest place is school. They will help him. And if they are in school, at church, at a friend's or anywhere else, they will each be my first and only priority. And I will come as soon as it's safe to get to them. I told him I'd put together a school emergency kit for their backpacks. I told him what I'd put in it. Some snacks, a rain poncho, a light stick and a space blanket. I will also put in a letter from me and dad and a list of emergency numbers and other info. I told him that if he is okay after the initial emergency, he will need to look around and see if anyone around him needs help. Then he needs to help them. It will help pass the time until I get there. We talked about the reason for all these disasters-- Jesus is coming soon. We also talked about the reason for being prepared-- we want to be ready and safe. We prayed and I sent him to bed with his MP3 player. He was just listening to Choose the Right. Perfect. Peace after the shake out. And my heart, though shook up with the anxiety of my son, was at peace and filled with Joy.
Yesterday was the 4th grade field trip to the Hill Air force Base Museum and then the Rock And Gem Show. I drove my own car on this one because Sam had a doctor appointment at 3 and we didn't know if we'd make it back to school in time to drive out. So I got to the Museum first. When the bus arrived his teacher told me I was lucky because they almost died. The driver backed right into a sign and then almost hit an RV. She didn't know where she was going and so the other teacher had to give her very direct directions. So when I followed the bus to the park for lunch, I stayed well behind it.
We had lunch then boogied over to the Rock and Gem Show. Cool stuff. Many of the kids brought money and bought some cool rocks and fossils. We saw this popcorn rock and I bought it. I am going to take pictures of the process as we go. It's sitting in vinegar and as it evaporates the crystals, which look like popcorn, will grow. Sam and I left the Rock and Gem show and headed to the doctor appointment. They wanted some blood work to check some things. So this brave boy sat while the nurse stuck his first arm. She filled one of the 4 vials and then it stopped. The blood just stopped. So she went to the other arm. This time the blood barely got through the little tube, then stopped. She moved it a little and went right through his vein. Ouch! So she got another nurse to come help. This one went to the first arm and got another vein. She had to use syringes to suck the blood out of his arm. She got all the syringes filled and then patched him up. Sam was pale and quiet. The first round of testing results came back spectacularly normal. We are waiting for one more test that will take the weekend to see results to. So we wait. While we wait today, some of Sam's friends are coming over for a party. In a half hour. I better go...
At our house we just yell HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM!! Today my man joined the double digit club. He turned 10! This is his alien look. The blue lips are from a sucker. Today he opened his gifts (finally) and then we all went out to dinner. At the restaurant he got to wear the sombrero grande. I'll get the picture up tomorrow. Sam got some Lego sets and some Godzilla figures and a new Godzilla movie. Heaven!
Tomorrow night we'll have ice cream sundaes since we were all too full tonight. Then Saturday is the friends party. Yay SAM!! We love you and are so glad you belong to us!
So the kiddos went back to school on Monday and I have been recovering from the long spring vacay. Well, not really. I should be cleaning my house after the whirlwind week, but all I've gotten done is the floor. But, man, that was a mess! Today I am going through ancestral records looking for anyone who needs temple work done. I have one so far. This is a strong line of LDS families. It's no wonder it's already done.
Last week the kiddos and I went to the Utah Museum of Natural History. The new one by the U. WOWZERS. It took us 2 hours to get through it all. And so cool. The kiddos loved it and want to go back when dad can come too. I highly recommend it.
Isaac was invited to a friend's house for a game party last Thursday. He was there 5 hours. He came home exhausted. But he had fun playing lots of different games and eating junk food. He's getting so old. Turning 12 has aged him somewhat. He still looks like he's 8, mind you, but his maturity level is aging. At least until he needs to be a regular adolescent.
My sister Katie and her kiddos came up on the snowing spring break day. We went to McYuckies and had lunch, then came back to my house so the kids could play and we could chat. That was also the day Grandma came home from the nursing home. She was soooo glad to be home!
On Saturday we went to a cousin's baptism. Then we changed into play clothes in the bathroom, went to In and Out for lunch then on to initiate our Lagoon season passes. I got dizzy. Daniel got dizzy. This may be a long summer. Then we went to see Grandma and Grandpa At Home! We had to do the disbudding paste on Felix again. His horn buds may have super goat powers. They just won't die.
On Sunday we went to church and then had our Easter Sunday lesson on the resurrection, then we went to see Grandma and Grandpa --At Home!--then went to Abbie and Poppy's for dinner and an egg hunt. We also celebrated 2 April birthdays...Collin and Sam. Yep, Sam will be 10 on Thursday. Double Digits! Then early Monday morning a new cousin came calling. My sister had her baby boy.
Did you know I have eyebrows? If you know me well enough to talk to me up close, you know that I have had serious brow problems. They are thin and weak and the pencil I was using was just yuck. So I have been getting them "done" by a pro. She used to do movie star's brows. So I actually have brows again. When she tints, she uses a hair grower along the lines of Latisse. YAY! I looked at my picture on my Lagoon pass and I can actually see my eyebrows. That makes me happy.
Last night we took dinner to Grandma and Grandpa and saw their new sleek car. The kids wanted a ride. They'll have to wait. Grandma is doing much better and is strong and healthy. We'll find out tomorrow how her back and neck fractures are healing.
Speaking of tomorrow, Sam will be 10. He has been begging for an early gift. So I offered to give him an early gift, but then he'd have to wait until Friday to open the rest. Bummer. I guess he'll wait til tomorrow. He'll have a birthday party on Saturday and then we'll celebrate again on Sunday with the Grandparents. Today he gets to go to the Webelos activity! He is so excited!
Speaking of Sam. He's been having bloody noses lately. Like murder scene bloody noses. I take him to the doc on Friday to run some tests. It might be his liver. Yikes! I'm hoping it's just seasonal dryness.
I need to get some laundry done. Today we take our Wolf den to the fire station for a field trip. So fun. Maybe I'll clean the house some more. Or not. But I do need to get back to the ancestral list to look for possible temple work...
Let me begin by saying that one of the greatest announcements ever proclaimed was made beside an empty tomb.Today we talk about the resurrection of our Savior. He won victory over the grave. He won victory over death and hell. We will all live again. When Jesus came to his apostles as their resurrected Lord, He commanded them (and us!!) to go forth and teach all nations. Nothing ended in His atoning sacrifice and resurrection. It quite literally began. We have a great work to do. Let's do it.There are more videos to watch today. Begin with Jesus Is Laid In A Tomb, then watch Jesus Is Resurrected, finally, end your wonderful Easter lesson with He Is Risen. Enjoy this beautiful Easter.
When His spirit left His body, Jesus had more work to do. He went to those in the Spirit world where He preaches His gospel. He sets up Missionary work. All of God's children have the opportunity to hear and accept the fullness of the gospel. When our uncle Aaron died, he went to work on the other side of the veil. He is teaching the gospel. Our responsibility here, as a partner with Aaron, is to prepare and do temple work. We are involved in family history here at our house and in helping to prepare information for others to do family history. It's a wonderful partnership and we are grateful that Jesus set the example.The scriptural account of missionary work in the Spirit World is found in 1 Peter 3:18-20. Enjoy.
On Friday, a trial ensues and the people call for Jesus' crucifixion. He carries the beam that will be His cross to Golgotha and is crucified. I always press the point that no one killed Jesus. He gave His life. In giving His life, He won victory over the grave. We also talk about the burial in the tomb. It is a sad day. But in understanding the significance of this day, we will better understand all Jesus did for us when He atoned for us.There are a few Bible videos that you can watch with this lesson. The first is the trial, the second is when Jesus is condemned before Pilate and the third is the crucifixion. Find Joy in the Atonement.
Thursday is such a significant day in Christ's life. He met with His apostles and instituted the Sacrament. We make unleavened bread to eat as we talk about the last supper. It can be made with 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup of water. Just combine the ingredients, knead for 5 minutes and then roll about 1/8 inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. We also talk about the Garden of Gethsemane and what Jesus did for us there. What a beautiful gift He gave us as He began the Atonement.You can watch the video of the Last Supper and Gethsemane if you click on each of them. The Bible accounts are found here... the Last Supper Matthew 26:26-30 and Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-46 and Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19. Enjoy.
Now I realize that this first picture looks like an odd pic of my microwave. BUT! If you look closely, you'll see a blur hanging there. BUT WAIT! That is no blur. Well. Okay. It is a blur. But that's only because I couldn't get the camera to focus fast enough before speeider fell to his death. That is a spider. Arachus Deathicus. Even the smallest bite will instantly paralyze. So we took care of him.Isaac shot at the web Arachnus Deathicus was hanging from when I walked right into him with his Nerf gun. He fell to the floor.
Then Sam took Isaac's shoe and squashed him.
No one was harmed in the destroying of Arachnus Deathicus. Well, except the speeider himself. And that was just for every one's non-paralytic future. Thank you very much.
On Wednesday, there is no account of what Jesus did in the scriptures. We use this day to talk about a very important parable. The Parable of the Ten Virgins. We have an oil lamp that my parents brought to us from Jerusalem. We fill it with olive oil and light it. We read the account in the scriptures and talk about how we each can fill our lamps with oil. In the last days, we are facing great trials and need to be spiritually, as well as physically, prepared. Since we go over physical preparedness with food storage and emergency preparedness and staying safe, etc, we use this time, as well as many Family Home Evening lessons, to talk about our spiritual preparedness. How full is your lamp?The account of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-13. I am hoping for a Bible video of this parable to be made for future use!! Enjoy.
It's spring break. We've got lots o' things planned. Today's activities were crafty. And had purpose. First we broke out the oven bake clay. We each fashioned an oil lamp for the Parable of the Ten Virgins lesson tomorrow. They turned out pretty good, eh!
Oh, we did go to Maverick first. Must do things in order. But the kids had fun crafting their own lamps.
They even had clay left over to make other crafty little things.
Some of them are just plain weird! The lamp on your left is the original oil lamp from Jerusalem. The lamp on your right is Sam's.
Here they are...baked and oiled and wicked and lit.
Sam and his lamp.
Ruth and her lamp.
Isaac and his lamp.
Then we got a box of eggs out and blew them. You know, take a raw egg, put little holes on the top and bottom and then blow with all your might until the snot like substance comes flying out. We broke a few eggs, but ended up with 9 greatly blown eggs. Then we painted them. Then one more egg broke.
We put a few of the brightly colored and keepable and unstinkable eggs into a cute basket with some jelly beans to give to grandma and grandpa tomorrow. Grandma is still in a care center while her back and neck continue to heal from the car accident.
There is one more craft we're working on but didn't get to today. We will be cutting out some eggs from construction paper and decorating them and then taking them to our local elderly care center for Easter. I'll show you how that one goes when we get to it.
On Tuesday, Jesus was asked by the Pharisees, which is the greatest commandment. Jesus answered, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart....the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" We talk about the love that Jesus has for the children in the scriptures, and, because of that love, we see how much He loves my kiddos. We should love one another as Jesus loves us.We made the big heart a few years ago and each painted a wood heart and put our names on them and then attached them to the big heart. We use it every year now to remind us to love one another. The commandment is found in Matthew 21:34-40. Any video of Jesus shows His love!
We've learned the hard way about horns on goats. When they have horns they butt. And without horns they tend to be calmer. And we know that goats with, um.. you know, goats that can, um, make babies, tend to stink. And make babies. Then we entered Goat 4-H and have been learning more. So we had quite a day last Saturday.
First, baby Felix got that green band put on his little, um, ya know, testes. Poor guy. Then he got wrapped up in a towel and Daniel shaved off the hair over his... horn buds! Not his... never mind. And then we put Vaseline around those buds and then we put the yucky stuff on his horn buds. Daniel had to hold him while it worked its disbudding magic. Felix cried and Mama Cass bellowed from far away. When he was done, it was Iris' turn. We only had to take care of buds on her. But she still cried and was so sad. I tried to get pictures of their little burned buds, but this is all I got. "Leave us alone lady!!"They're all better now. We have to watch them to make sure the disbudding paste did the job. I hope so. I don't like the baby goat cries!
Monday is the day that Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem. When he arrived he found money changers buying and selling. He overturned their tables and proclaimed that His is a house of prayer. He then healed the sick and lame who came into the cleansed temple. My parents brought each of our families a handful of shekels, straight from Jerusalem. We use those in our lesson. I hope there will be a video next year. The scriptural account is found in Matthew 21:12-17. Enjoy!