A few weeks ago we went to the Ranch to blow up a pumpkin. We also went up to help the construction work in the building. We also brought our 169 pound pumpkin to blow up.
Here's the tale..
Setting it up and putting a face on the large pumpkin
The large pumpkin with a face and arms and a ball on his head
The aftermath. See the black mark on the ground? The older boys and Daniel took turns shooting at it. One nephew hit it just right.
Checking out the remains. The third kiddo there on the left is holding the ball that was unscathed by the explosion.
Then it was time for the science fair. I didn't do nearly as much work on this one to deserve a grade. Sam did most of it. He wanted to see how quickly nails would rust in water, salt water, bleach, vinegar and soda. The bleach rusted the most, but the salt water rusted the fastest. Sam came in 19th in the 6th grade. Only the top 13 go on to the next round. Dang!
And with this shot there are a few things I want to share with you.
First, look at my lashes! THEY ARE AWESOMELY LONG! I love them. I want to marry them.
You can see that I need my color re-done on my hair. When Bishops are called they start out with color on their heads and when they are released they are white headed. I didn't think it was supposed to be like that for a RS president. But it's happening. I have a white line going down my part. It's also been almost 9 weeks since it's been colored. But still...
You can also see my lovely Thanksgiving decorations on my table. I no longer decorate. But these were being given to those who wanted. I took what was left. So now I've decorated.
Last Friday and Saturday I got to spend time with some great gals at Time Out For Women. It was so much fun. We ate, we talked, we didn't sleep, we heard great music and listened to great speakers. This tradition was begun last year and I think we're on a roll.
I'm so glad it's almost Thanksgiving. I'm hungry!!
We went to dinner at Burrito Grande and she got to wear the birthday sombrero.
10 years ago today, a mom had a baby girl. You. She knew she couldn't give you all you would need. She placed you in front of the Bo Ai Hospital in FengCheng China. The placement spoke volumes to the love she had for you. You were found and taken to the orphanage around the corner. You were weighed, measured and named. Feng Li Qiu. Beautiful Autumn Thunderclap. The Beautiful and Autumn are a given. Literally. But Thunderclap? You must have had some lungs or a striking personality to get a name like that.
When I got the translation of your name, I KNEW you were mine. My Beautiful Autumn Thunderclap. I knew you'd go nicely with my Handsome Spring Thunderclaps, Isaac and Sam.
On February 16, 2005 I finally held you in my arms. I cried tears of joy as you cried tears of fear and unknown. We spent the next week and a half holding you in our arms. Saying Mama and Baba while pointing to us. Saying Qiu Qiu (ChooChoo) and Ruthie while pointing to you in the mirror. You listened to her brothers' voices on the phone each morning, loving the sound but unsure of what it was.
When we finally got you home, we went to pick up your big brothers. You kept looking at your boys and then looking at me as if to say, "Are they mine? Really mine?". You called them "my boys" for a couple of years.
I always say, and truly believe, that I couldn't have made you more "mine" than if I'd made you myself. Heavenly Father was watching over each of us during this process of bringing our family together.
Ruthann LiQiu, we love you, and are so so so happy you belong to us. Eternally.
We are also so so so very grateful to your birth mom and her great sacrifice to give you an opportunity to live a life she couldn't give you. She loved you so so so very much. I can't wait to meet her and hug her and thank her for giving you life.
Have I told you about Lois H. who I baby sat for and who was very round and who belched a lot?
Back in the early 80's I babysat for a lady who my dad home taught. Her son was Paul and he would record (on his boom box no less) his burps and farts and then play them for me when I would come to babysit. He was a rascally kid. But this isn't about him. It's about his mama. Lois lived in a pink house. At least that's what I remember about it. Everything was pink. And she had lots and lots of shoes. All neatly arranged in her closet in plastic boxes. The furniture was covered in plastic. And her son, well, never mind. Lois drove a little Geo Metro hatchback-type car. I think it was mauve. Geo Metros weren't around back then. Heck, we couldn't even walk away from the wall while on the phone back then! But it was a little itty bitty round car. Did I tell you Lois was a round lady? Well, she was. She was shorter than I, and I am only 5 foot 2. She had an afro-like perm to her head, which just added to the roundness. Any which way you were to look at Lois, she was round. And her legs were very short. She sat so close to the steering wheel in the little round car that her very round, um, -ness, met said steering wheel with magnificence. It was surely a sight to behold. Did I mention the floor in the house was covered in plastic?
Covered in Awesomeness!
Lois H. was a belcher. NO. Not a burper. A BELCHER!! She would rip one out, deep and throaty, and then the funniest thing in the world would occur. In her high pitched Mickey Mouse voice she would excuse herself.
*****BEELLLLCH***** excuse me*****BEELLLLCH***** excuse me*****BEELLLLCH***** excuse me
It was just the doggondest thing ever.
When I burp, pardon me, when I belch, I am most often fond of excusing myself in a high pitched Mickey Mouse voice. Now you know why.
Have you ever been able to look back and see that you were prepared for something?
I look back over my young years and then moving away from home right after high school and then moving back home and then ~viola~ I go on a mission. And I had been prepared for it.
I look back over my single years. I was in a singles ward, I went to school, I worked full time, I had good friends, I traveled, I wanted to get married. Then I dated a couple of, well, strange-lings, and I decided that I would always be single if that's what was left for an almost 28 year old. I told my parents that I was finished with dating and began making plans for going back to school, changing my job and working in the temple. Then I met Daniel and I married him. And I had been prepared for it.
I look back over the time we were having kids. The pregnancies that could have taken my life. I know it sounds dramatic, but pregnancy and I are literally mortal enemies. Then my OB said that if I had another pregnancy Daniel's second wife would be raising my kids, so I had a tubal ligation. Then I found an adoption agency. And I had been prepared for it.
I look back over the time we spent looking at the Marshall Islands to adopt the rest of our family. Everything we did, everywhere we went, everyone we spoke with, led us to the Marshall Islands. While we waited for our US approval to adopt an orphan from the Marshall Islands, the Islands shut down any further adoptions from their country. Our agency suggested China. Then we got to go and adopt our daughter. And I had been prepared for it.
I look back over the time spent with my brother Aaron. He was my little buddy. We spent so much time together before Daniel and I met. When Sam was born, he came to the NICU with my mom and dad to see Sam. We have video of him standing at the window and waving to us. Then 16 days after Sam was born, Aaron died. And I had been prepared for it.
I look back over the many years we spent waiting and longing for another child to join our family. Priesthood blessings, time spent in the temple, pleading prayers, never knowing when, experiencing a failed adoption and then, in answer to our pleas, we pulled paperwork from both agencies and chose to be parents to 3. Then we have been able to focus so intensely on our 3 during some rough patches in each of their young lives. And I had been prepared for it.
I look back over people I've met, friends I've made, callings I've had and decisions that have needed to be made. I had been prepared for every one. I was just called as the Relief Society President in our newly made ward. I am looking forward to serving such amazing sisters. I met many yesterday and am so so so excited to get to know them all and serve them!! Then I will experience sorrow, joy, hope, frustration and I will laugh, I will cry and I will grieve. And I know that I will have been prepared for all of it.
There's a chill in the air I put a sweater on Yay sweaters The mountain tops turn white Snow The chill in the house grows The windows had been open I close the windows I flip the switch on the thermostat No more AC Maybe AC next week In a moment it happens A familiar click A familiar sound A familiar smell The pilot light flickers The air begins to blow The dust is burnt to a crisp My house smells like heat The good heat The heat that blows through the vents The heat that warms me up But not quite enough to take my sweater off Yay sweaters It's chilly It's crisp It's Autumn My favorite time of year.
These past weeks have been full of amazing moments with my incredible brain. I've begun writing a book. Not that that's so amazing, but I have officially begun. I have also been PTA-ing and Ward Missionary-ing and helping a neighbor move and stuff. But in between all that stuff there has been other stuff. And I thought I'd share that stuff with you.
A few weeks ago I burned my arm. I reached over a just-out-of-the-oven baking dish to grab a paper towel and my arm met the dish. It burned! Hurt! Ouch!
Months before this happened I had purchased a box filled with this burn gel. I put a bottle in each car, in the kitchen, in the linen closet, in the first aid kit, in the 72 hour kits. And I still have more waiting for a spot. Anyhoo, Daniel grabbed a bottle and put a ton on my burn. I reapplied a bit later and the next day my arm was that picture up there. No blisters, no burning, no nothing. This stuff is awesome!
Grandpa brought kazoos for the kids when they came for dinner last week. He told the kids that now when they are asked if they play an instrument, they can say they play the kazoo. Hah!!
Last week while on my way to grandma and grandpa's to get some peaches, I stopped at the Maverick for a diet coke. I locked the car door, and, with keys in hand, went in. I came out and pushed my button to unlock my door and nothing happened. Nothing! No beeping, no unlocking, no locking. Nothing. So I called Daniel, who suggested I try again. um. I have been pushing the darned thing the whole time. Nothing Is Happening! So he thought maybe it could be the battery in the key. So I called my friend Laurie. I asked her to please rescue me. She came and took me to the store and she purchased a battery for me. My purse was in my car. Which was locked. So I replaced the battery and pushed the button. Nothing. Again. So I called a locksmith. Laurie stuck with me and we chatted while we waited. The locksmith came and opened my door. Good thing, because he wasn't getting paid for his trouble unless he got it opened. So my key lock still doesn't work. Daniel can't figure it out. I did get the peaches.
I went back in to my eye doctor who looked at my secret freckle. It hasn't changed. Yay! So I am not in the market for a sparkly eye patch. At least not right now.
My left hand pinkie has begun to trigger. It hurts like crazy cakes. I called the surgeon to see what he could do. They said I can't have surgery until it really sticks. Darn it all! But I could come and get a cortisone shot. Uh. No thanks. I remember the last time they did that. It felt like rocks were being injected into my thumb. I think I'll wait.
Sam is taking pictures of the goats for Reflections. I looked at his pictures and he had about 5 of his nose. I wonder if this could be entered under the theme. Believe, Dream, Inspire. Dream of long eyelashes. Believe your son will take great nose shots. Inspire with bold shots of the inside of one's nose. Could work.
Last week while flipping through a newspaper, I saw a nasty picture. I can't explain the picture, so I'll just tell you what the article said. You know those flushable bum wipes? The ones you use on your bum so your bum is clean and fresh and can flush down the toilet? They are clogging the pipes. They are causing huge problems for plumbers and for the sewers. Dang. Just when you thought you could clean your bum and rid yourself of the evidence, everyone can see that evidence in the newspaper! That was the picture. Is there no shame? Do we keep cleaning our bums and flushing the flushable wipes? Or do we go back to lousy dry TP. Oh wait! Apparently the thick TP is causing the very same troubles in the sewers. Dang. There's just no way around it. I have no advice or further comments on this.
Do you see what I see? Hold it. Do you see that empty space?? Daniel's old car is gone. It's in the Scout Master's drive way now. He's gonna sell it or donate it or something and use the money for the Scout program. Yay, the car's gone!
And furthermore, after much grocery shopping and PTA-ing, I went to Jimmy Johns to get a #12. It's yummy. And I deserved it. So I order and go to the window. I pay and get my sandwich. Then I come home, unload the groceries and go to eat my lunch. And what do you know?! It was all the inside the sandwich stuff in a lettuce leaf! Are you kidding me? Where's my bread?! I need the bread! So I eat my salad wrapped in paper and then I had eat a Twinkie. Because I need a carb. Or slightly more. Sheesh!
On a more spiritual note, I went to a fireside the other night here in our Stake. Sherie Dew and Virginia Pearce came to speak to us. They just co-wrote a book called "The Beginning Of Better Days" It has the notes taken by Eliza R Snow of the very first meetings of the Relief Society. Their thoughts on Joseph Smith's words to the Sisters are inspiring. And, of course, so are Joseph Smith's words. If you're looking for a very good, very quick, very inspiring book to read. Read "The Beginning of Better Days".
So there you go. I'm done for now. I need to rack up more stuff to share with you so I'll be off.
So I went in and had my tooth ground down to a nub and a temporary crown put on. In the process my tongue got in the way. As the dentist drilled and drilled, he came to a sudden stop and said "Oh". Then he pulled everything out of my mouth and sighed heavily as he sat back. Then he told me what happened. He was using the mirror to hold my tongue out of the way and, well, my tongue got in the way. The drill got my tongue.
He said I'd feel it tonight.
I'm feeling it. There is a chunk taken out of the side of my poor tongue.
I can't talk without hurting.
Then there's the fact that he drilled my tooth down to a nub and had to drill my gum down for the crown to go on and meet the back of my gums. Because this it tooth #18. It's the last tooth on the left side.
So if I don't talk to you for a while, don't take it personally.
Wait. Remember when I did tell you about my tooth that hurt like crazy cakes back in July? We were getting ready to go to Lava and I didn't want my tooth to break while in Idaho. So I went in and the dentist couldn't see anything wrong. Even in the x-rays.
Well, yesterday the problem was solved. My tooth broke. But wait! Let me begin again.
Yesterday I was eating those yummy Brookside chocolate covered pomegranate dealios. Yum. I had just gotten some peaches into the freezer in slices and jam. All of a sudden my tooth was out. My crown. But it went right back on. I spit out what was in my mouth, went pale and called the dentist. I said my crown popped off. She said to be there in 45 minutes and they'd glue it back on. So I'm thinking, this is the problem. It was just losing its seal and that's why it's been hurting.
I get to the dentist and apologize for whatever treats are now under my tooth that popped up and then went back down. I explain the treat I was eating and that it was worth it. They're that good. So the dentist is trying with all his dentist might to pull the crown out. It won't budge. So he gets this melty stuff and puts it on the crown and tells me to bite down hard and then pull my teeth apart. That baby is not coming off. By now, they are all wishing I'd brought some of the pomegranate stuff so I could just pull it out myself. Again.
Then the dentist starts poking around to see what else is going on. And he finds it. It's the tooth behind the crown, the one that I said was actually hurting back in July. It was broken clean in half. Long ways. He numbed me a little and pulled the broken piece off. They took an x-ray to see about the root. PLEASE! No root canal. The root looked good.
My tooth had cracked this summer, but not where he could see it, or even where an x-ray could see it. Now my hurt mouth will be healed. Except I have to have those nasty shots to numb my mouth so they can remove and shape and put a temporary crown on until the real thing is ready. Yuck.
I will be able to eat normally again on my left side. That is the true miracle of the story.
Last Friday night was out Scout Court of Honor. That's where the Boy Scouts receive their well deserved rank advancements. And, because we just got finished with summer, it was filled with merit badges.
Isaac got his Star rank and 10 merit badges. He did a double fist pump in the air as everyone applauded. He's such a hoot. And he's such a skinny thing!
This was Sam's first official Court of Honor. Actually it's his second, but we were celebrating my grandma's 100th birthday in California during that one. Sam got 3 merit badges. Not bad for an 11 year old. He also has earned his Scout rank, but we still don't have it. He'll get it along with his Tenderfoot at the next meeting. Sam led the flag ceremony. He was the only 11 year old scout there. He was told what to say, so he said "please repeat the Pledge of Allegiance with me". But no one was standing or saluting. So we all quickly got up and saluted and pledged. He did exactly what he was told to do.
Here is Isaac and mom and dad and Scout Master Steve as he received his Star rank.
We're proud of our scouts.
But you won't see one of those bumper stickers on my car.
So the basement goal was to have carpet in by Labor day. Aaaaaaaaaah. Think vibrato, Angels are singing.
But things change. Plans change. The Angels were on vacation.
The microwave stopped working. One microwavable dish at a time. When a simple quesadilla just wouldn't melt, we called it.
So long microwave which has gotten us through 14 and a half years of food warming and all around delightful nuking.
Daniel and I headed to Lowe's and got a new one on Monday. We're staying with white to match the other appliances, then when we re-do the kitchen, (read:knock out the wall and give me a bigger kitchen) we'll replace all the appliances. With another color. Like black. Or, if finances allow, that silver expensive stuff.
Here's the guy who's gonna put that baby in. While he does that, I thought you might like to see what IS finished in the eternally unfinished basement...
All the window sills got painted on Monday. The curtains had to come down for a day, but now they're finished. Yay window sills! Obviously we didn't pull weeds on Monday. We need something to do another day.
I took the rest of that white paint and painted this door to the food storage. It's already on it's hinges, so I did it carefully. Becuase we still have 4 more basement doors, all the basement baseboards to get done, and then 7 upstairs doors and many more baseboards to re-do, I suggested we invest in one of those paint sprayers. Also, I have a trigger finger starting again. Different hand and finger, but I can feel it growing. I need a sprayer.
Daniel finished the bathroom tile. Well, not the grout. But we purchased the grout. So now he needs to grout. Then I'll paint. Then we'll get the vanity. Then we'll call Steve to come put all the necessaries in so we have a functioning bathroom. Except they can't shower til I get a shower curtain. Details, details.
Oh! Why look at that. Tile in the entry way. Daniel stopped here, with 6 full tiles, but we can add another row to make it 9. How clever is that! And it needs to be grouted.
Let's head back up and see what's happening with the microwave, shall we? Let's shall.
What the WHAT?? A black microwave. But.. But.. it's like 3-5 years early.
Um. They gave us the wrong one. But we're Labored out. Let's keep it.
And there you have it. One of these appliances is not like the others. But it gives us hope that one day all the kitchen appliances will match. And.. I guess we're going with black.
This morning on the news reporters were talking about Syria and the UK's possible movement into the country. Serious stuff. As the reporters talked, there was footage of UK leaders walking through a beautiful black door. The door was opened for them from the inside. The first guy walked in and you could see a white shirt just peeking from the back of the door. Then, as more leaders walked through that door, the door opener made sure you could see him. Little by little more of his shirt and then his face could be seen. Then he even smiled at the camera as a woman walked through. She almost ran into him because he wanted the cameras to capture him and his door opening skills. I thought it was hilarious. Just give him a minute and he'll take his 15 minutes.
But here's the thing. The door was always closed and then opened at just the right time so that the leaders didn't even have to break their stride before walking through the open door. Here's what I want to know. How did the door opening guy know precisely when to open that beautiful black door? There was no eye hole, the windows were too far to the side and there wasn't an outside door opener.
Here's what I think... there was one of those laser type things that beep as you walk by it, only it beeps inside so the door opener guy can hear it and just open the door. Or this was a carefully orchestrated deal for all the cameras. A script and stopwatch told that door opener guy just when to do his job. And someone would be there to walk through. But the power of those cameras outside was just too much for the door opener guy.
I know there is a serious problem in Syria. I feel for those who are deciding how Allied countries should react. I don't know what is the right thing to do. But I am in love with the UK door opener guy who made me laugh amidst a very serious event.
This is my baby girl with a pillow in her shirt. Now. Picture me, many years older, with a belly that size on my adult body. There you go. My belly measured large enough for full term twins. A couple weeks before Sam was born. And he was 4 and a half weeks early. Thank you very much.
Yep. I was miserable. And large. So now I want you to think of the uterus that held the 4 and a half week early, 9.5 pound baby. You probably wouldn't guess that my uterus is very tone. Or is my uterus toned? I don't know. But it's a very strong and able uterus. Even for doing the large baby thing twice.
My doctor had told me on several occasions that my uterus is toned. In fact, after giving birth to Isaac the doctor took my uterus out to squeeze it before putting it back in. He commented on the muscle tone of my marvelous uterus. Then I told them I could feel their hands in my body. I woke up much later.
So. Anyone want a well toned, only used twice, not being used anymore, shapely and able uterus? It's for sale. There's got to be a woman out there who wants it. I will gladly give it to you.
On the other hand, my belly jiggles when I laugh, my cheeks wobble when I walk, and, if I don't cross my legs while I sneeze, I will pee my pants. My uterus may be the only tone thing on me. Or in me.
Last night as Sam was praying he said "Please help the school to be destroyed before tomorrow." Daniel started laughing. So Sam stopped and asked why he was laughing at him. Daniel said the school will not be destroyed and he needed ask for help in a different way. So Sam went back to his prayer and said, "Please help the school to be destroyed before tomorrow. Or that I'll have a good day."
Yesterday, Monday, the kiddos and I went to lunch for last day of summer fun.
Then we went to Back To School Nights at the junior high and elementary. We met teachers and saw classrooms. The kids have fantastical teachers and it's going to be a fantabulous year!
I ended up at the school doing PTA stuff way longer than I'd planned, so I ran home, made sure everyone had dinner and then we did Father's blessings.
Then I got out the back to school treats. I usually put their treats out on the first day, but because of the excitement and bits of anxiety, I brought it all out last night.
It says... To my SweetTarts. U-no you are such a Smartie(s). This year will be a piece of Cake. You may feel like you're on a Rocky Road, and that only Sour things are happening. Remember all the Good n Plenty you already know. You will Skor big in Crunch time. You're a Star. Have Fun. We love you to Pieces!
The root beer says We're Rooting for ya! And, of course, there are Hugs and Kisses.
Bright and early this morning Isaac left for the bus. I was close enough to a lady talking to an office staff person Monday night to hear that this year the bell rings 5 minutes earlier so the buses may be coming 5 minutes earlier. We also heard lunches are determined differently. I suppose I'll find out how this afternoon. Isn't he handsome?! He got confused as a 7th grader by some teachers, but all the students will be wearing their ID badges with a grade color coded lanyard beginning tomorrow. So there will be no confusing the 8th grader. Although we've recently purchased a couple pairs of jeans and they are too tight and a tad short. Rats. He's growing and we'll be shopping again!
Here are the other two. Sam is beginning his last year in elementary. Oh my! He's got a terrifical teacher and there are 33 kids in his class. It will be a fun year. Ruthie is in 4th grade and is in a 4th/5th split class with a superterrific teacher. They both wanted to get on the back of the banister for the picture. Obviously I am not invited to leave the car when I drop them off. But I got dressed anyway.
So now I'm blogging and thinking I'll just head to the school to help with lunch. I suppose I should clean the house. But it really is still summer. I'm still on vacation. We'll see.
Monday... Went to the school to help put back to school folders together. Went to grandma and grandpa's for a bit. I had an appointment with the dermatologist. He looked me over and as I raised my right arm over my head, he noticed my insulin pump in my ... um... bra... and said "is that a pump?" to which I said yes. He asked how long I'd had diabetes, I said 30 years, he said "I've seen a lot of pumps, but I've never seen one there".
Got my cookies and bread back. We are making our lists of baked goods we'll all enter next year.
Tuesday... Went with Isaac to the junior high to get his schedule. He's excited to have Gate Tech, which is a 1 semester 8th grade version of engineering. I voted in our mayoral and city council primary. Isaac had an appointment to see an audiologist and ENT. He has Tinnitus in both ears and we wanted to see if there is damage to the nerve. No damage. Yay. But the ENT said the tinnitus is a tic from meds he takes. We're gonna have to see about making a change to meds. But we are very happy he doesn't have hearing damage. Now I know for certain that he can actually hear me. Isaac and Daniel went to a Stake Priesthood meeting and Christine and I went to do missionary visits.
Wednesday... The kids and I went to see October Sky at the theater. We love that movie and it gets the boys excited about their upcoming science fair projects. Ruthie asked about my wedding dress so I got it out to show her. It's an ivory colored top with beading and such and then an ivory skirt that my mom made. (my total wedding ensemble cost less than $100...and we're still going strong!!) I offered to let Ruthie try the top on. It's not quite to good fitting yet.. but...
Thursday... Took the kids school shopping for supplies and tennies. They needed Sunday shoes too. Sam chose white dress shoes. ummm. Might start a trend? This is Isaac at a local art gallery we visited several weeks ago. I'll get a picture of those shoes soon!
Friday... Daniel and I had a date to meet at the train station, get dinner then head to the Bountiful temple. When we got to the temple there was no parking. At all! We drove through the upper parking, lower parking and the street. Nothing! So we came home. ...Darned Mormons think they have to go to the temple all the time... This is Sam with grandma when they dropped of the piano.
Saturday... Have you seen these? They are like the Samoas that you pay a lot for from the girl scouts. And you can get them anytime. Yum.
Sunday... Daniel had to find a new place for the container we use for trips. He came up with the pulley system just above the truck so all we have to do is lower it down when we need it and then pull it up when we're done. He did this on Saturday, but the cookie picture and this one got mixed up. We went to church and then had home teachers come. We stayed up to watch Rocketeer for our movie night.
School begins tomorrow! I still would like one more week, but since they won't listen to me, we'll go with tomorrow!