November 08, 2013

Hello Dusty Blog

Well I feel a sense of accomplishment today because I got all the Halloween stuff neatly folded and put in boxes under the stairs.  Patted myself on the back and ate a fun sized snickers is what I did about that!  I still need to balance the checkbook, pay the bills, make potato soup, buy soccer game snacks, and go visiting teaching but the kids come home in an hour so I'll need to pick one or two of those : ) We can have pancakes and I can always buy snacks on the way to the game right?  Curses I need to slice orange wedges... It'll have to happen before the game on Saturday I suppose.  This is the price you pay for having a girl on a winning team I suppose.  When she was on worse teams they never had an orange wedge requirement for half time.  Her team is in the running for 3rd place and she has made great strides this season.  My poor 10 year old is overbooked this year but managing like a champ.  I see a great future for her.

One thing I have noticed about Big Girl, when the girls in her grade are being less than "golden" i.e.: being boy crazy, dressing up for Halloween in slutty costumes, acting like they are all that, she doesn't let it ruffle her feathers.  She knows she is choosing the higher road and she isn't snotty about it, she just rolls with it.  I could see the jealousy and sadness in another girl's eyes as she felt left out at the Halloween party.  Big Girl just 'let it be'.  I'm not sure I was made of that kind of stuff at her age.  I had the hutspa (as a 44 yr old) to ask one of the popular girls dressed as a pink lady from Grease where her hickeys were.  She had the surprising response of "let's go and you can give me one!"  Yeah... not scheduling any play dates with her and Big Girl anytime soon.  I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  I'm not altogether sure she knew what she was saying.  Let's hope not.

What else is there... It's a cold and rainy day here today so I've been wanting to curl up with a book but I don't have a good one right now that I am in to.  I've actually been reading a book to the girls called Ozma of Oz.  It's good!  I want to read ahead but then it won't be as fun when I read to them later.  I'll close with a disturbing fact for you.  I think I may have a bladder infection!  SCAREY


PS I am really out of practice in blogging.  I apologize for this sad sad excuse for a post : (  To make up for it here is a photo of my  Big Girl as Rainbow Dash and my Fox Halloween Costume with my Little Girl Rock Star by my side!
her make up took 20 min! too bad you can't see her awesome mane full of ribbon

not a coke addict- a fox nose!

October 23, 2013

Halloween Update

Hi there!
It's time I wrote.  We are gearing up for Halloween which is a favorite time of the year for me.  I am one of the only Mom's at the school who dresses up (can you believe that?!)  This year I was going to be a witch but changed my mind recently.  When you dress up as a witch people tend to joke around with you and ask "where's your costume?"  HA HA HA!  Speaking of ha has.  What is up with all the missionaries writing ha ha after every other sentence in their letters?  My missionary does it and so do lots of others I have been reading lately.  The 'funny' (ha ha) thing about it is that they use it in places where there is nothing funny whatsoever.  Like "we went to the fruit market and bought some bananas ha ha"  What's so funny about that?  And then there's the misuse of 'to' vs 'too' and the under capitalizing of the word i.  It's just lazy.  Sorry for my rant... where was i?  Just joking (ha ha).

Where was I?  Oh yes, my Halloween costume this year will be a dancer from the viral video "What Does the Fox Say?"  You know the dancing gals with white shirts and ties wearing fox ears.  I've been making a study of their dance moves for people in case they don't get who I am.  The costume is pretty much a litmus test for who is into pop culture.  One may just assume I'm a well dressed fox with crazy dance moves if they haven't seen the video.

Little Girl is excited to be a rock star (I admit that I pushed for an 80's rock star influence-it was a great time to be a rock star what with all those black rubber bracelets and big hair).  Big Girl was pretty sold on her costume when we purchased it in *cough cough* July.... don't judge me, I love Halloween and I needed an outlet for the pain I had when sending off my oldest for Brazil.  However, now she is less sold on her Rainbow Dash pony costume.  I'm sure once she sees the hair and make-up I have planned I can make a believer out of her.  I just can't let her obsession with all things Harry Potter turn her this year.  Next year she can be a great Hermione but this year I already have rainbow nail decals lined up!  The boys are not dressing up this year but I do have fake mustaches for them.  I can imagine that they will both enjoy pretending they actually grew the mustaches and didn't wear a costume at all.  I LOVE Halloween too much for words.

In other news my missionary son is growing up just a bit on his mission.  He actually loves getting up early and studying.... when I read that I had to pick up my jaw off the floor.  He is enjoying Jesus the Christ right now.  His letters have been pretty few on the details but he sounds happy and he is really encouraging us to do more missionary work.  Not just to our friends but like everyone we come in contact with.  He's caught the missionary spirit that's for sure.  I'm a very proud momma.  He got his visa (we think) and will most likely transfer from Washington state to Sao Paulo Brazil in November.
That will be a stressful day for me I think.

Middle Boy gave us a bit of a difficult day yesterday when he decided to just get in the car and drive away minutes before his piano lesson.  He says he was just 'going for gas' but I think I could actually see his nose growing as he spun that tale.  I understand his dislike for his piano lesson but we are under contract with the teacher for two more months and we aren't paying for nothing here.  We decided to prorate the amount of this missed lesson and charge my son for it.  I can hardly wait to see what kind of mood he will be in when that hits the fan.  Teenagers are hard.

Little Boy is loving high school and is very involved which is I think the key to loving high school.  The kid is in Key Club, Engineers Club, Music Honors Society, Cross Country, and something called Best Buddies.  Best Buddies is a cool club where kids interact with disabled kids their same age.

Some may think "nerdy kid" when they read those things, but I look at that and think "kid with great potential to improve the world!" As I type that list of activities I wonder how I made a kid like that?  This is new territory for us.  My older boys were much less into things than this one is.  I've come to understand that I probably should have pushed the older ones more when they were younger.  Moving around a lot and having less money didn't help much either.  Oh heck, why is it always parent's fault?  They are who they are and we have very little influence!  I'm going to to with that philosophy.  It just feels better.  Ha Ha (just kidding I know that isn't funny).

Girls just wanna have fun

September 15, 2013


Lately I have been struggling.  Struggling to adjust to my son being gone for two years.  Struggling with time management.  Struggling to figure out where I stand with people.  Struggling with children who make less than the best decisions.  I have figured out that this life is full of struggle.  Struggling with decisions about what to make for dinner....

But then there is calm.  Calm that comes with knowing I am not alone.  Calm when I attend the temple.  Calm when I look outward.  Calm when I serve someone else.  Calm when I realize that my struggles are understood.  Calm when I realized what I have to be thankful for.  Calm when I get to take a nap. Calm when I laugh with my children.  Calm when I cuddle with my husband.  Calm when the cleaning lady comes.  Calm when I know someone is looking out for me.

Tomorrow I will face another Sunday.  Those are hard days for me lately.  Mondays are worse.  I struggle now to decide if I should mention why.  I struggle with being to open and honest on my blog.  I've actually tried to be less forthcoming to protect the guilty.  Yes, the guilty party who is too young to know better but may look back and feel betrayed.

T and I are taking a parenting class on Sunday evenings.  Parenting is the toughest gig.  My missionary son asked in his last letter why we were taking a parenting class now.  Weren't we finished with parenting?  I guess he forgot that he has a 6 year old sister.  In am tempted to write back that we were hoping not to make the same mistakes on the rest of the kids that we made with him.  I held back (but not here- see my struggle?).  One thing they talked about in the class last week was tenderness.  Are we tender with our children?  We will get much better results when parenting if we use love in equal or more amounts as opposed to discipline.  So I worked on that this week.  I found it much easier than I thought.  I got to say he was right about that.  I had much more success than failure.

I believe one key here may be to let go of the struggle and get on with the cuddle.  It melts cold hearts.

I wrote a paper letter to my son in Washington State.  I went through many drafts and even asked for outside opinions.  My goal was to show love and also to inspire and motivate behavior that has not seen previously.  If only I could give him a cyber hug.  I haven't seen the expected response yet.  Maybe Monday...

September 02, 2013

Sunday Post

Well well well,
It's Sunday.  I've had a good week I suppose.  The biggest news is that my son is an official Elder serving in the mission field in Everett Washington.  He will serve there until his visa arrives.  Could be soon, could be months.  I hope he will do his best and dig in and work hard.  I miss him still, but I am glad he is where he is.  I am anxious to see the growth that is bound to happen while in the Lord's service as a missionary.  He gets to write to me each Tuesday.  I'm hoping for at least 3 paragraphs this time but I won't hold my breath.

In other news it was T's birthday on Friday.  He turned 44.  Funny thing was I thought he was turning 45.  I thought I was 45 and he was turning my age.  I'm still 44 until November and I forgot it.  Does anyone else do that?  I just don't think about it. Sometimes I have to sit down and do the math to figure out my age.  Not regularly or anything but about twice a year or so.  At least I'm not age obsessed.  When he told me his age and we figured out about my brain fart I was so pleased to have gained another year!  You're only as old as you feel right.  I feel 30.  For T's big day he took the day off from work and we did just whatever came to us.  With all the kids in school you can imagine where that led to.... exactly, we went to breakfast, went to a book store, a running store, and then to a gas station for a corned beef sandwich that he had been told he must try.  Corn Beef King at the Exxon station on Georgia Ave really knows what they are doing, and buyer beware they don't make breakfast items.

I got the following facebook message along with a friend request yesterday:

"I don't know if you remember who I am, but I had classes with you in High School. English was one we had together, i was not a very good student you on the other hand was. I remember one time we were asked to read our short story out loud and if we did we would receive extra credit, You always did and I never did. Sometimes I didn't like you very much because you were always prepared and just a happy girl. When i married 26 years ago it was my goal to have girls with the confidence you had and to stand up and read their stories for extra credit.. my oldest daughter is in college to be a high School Math and science teacher, My youngest is a girl in 9th grade and she has stood up and read her story, i smiled to myself and said Thank You Kelly!!!! Kinda weird I know but I felt like i should let you know You were an example to me all those years ago -Kathy."

At first I didn't remember her, but after confirming her in a yearbook I accepted her friendship.  T thought it was possibly a scam.  As if I couldn't have been that great in high school or something.  I was insulted!  (kidding).  It just goes to show that you never know who you are influencing with your behavior.  For good or bad.

Tonight I found a binder full of letters that I put together as a gift for T.  It's all the correspondence we kept while he was in Iraq in 2008.  Reading all that writing has gotten me in the writing mood.  It was a hard time for us and I was alone with my thoughts so much that I needed a place to vent. Thankfully I like to write. I thank my Heavenly Father for watching over us and for giving me this blog as an outlet to work out my feelings. I certainly had a lot of support from the blogging world as well.  I haven't kept up with it as of late but I suppose even that is a good thing.  It means I am busy with being present in the moment with my family more.  Reading back brings back such good memories though.  It also reminds me of all that I have to be grateful for.  Family, church, my marriage, my children, my talents, my testimony, our family trials.  I'm thankful for it all....


August 22, 2013

Above Average

Hey, it's me!
Yes I am still here.  I find I have not made the time for blogging like I used to.  Oh well, I guess the blog bug that had once bit me so badly has let me go.  I still love to read over the past entries though so I should probably keep it going for the sake of history.  I recently found several blogs of the people serving in my oldest son's district at the MTC (missionary training center).  I felt they were so lucky to have sons who like to write.  While Big Boy is many great things, he is not a great writer (yet).  In fact I had to gather tid bits of information from a letter written to a friend of his in order to have enough substantial stuff to post on his latest entry on his mission blog.  Funny how nice and suavely informative he can be with persons of the female persuasion.  Yet when he writes to me he tells me to write less and stop using the nicknames that I found so hilarious.

My Dad tells me to be more patient with him.  He's probably right.  Then he told me what I was like at that age.  I'm certain he's wrong there ; )

So what else is going down... My kids are ready for school to start and so am I.  Part of me will miss them when the crickets start chirping at home.  Part of me will be glad that the house is less messy and that I can take an uninterrupted nap/shower/potty break.  Big Girl and Little Girl found out what teachers they will have this year and a few tears were shed as we found out that their most beloved friends are all (ALL) in the other class.  What is up with that?!  I see it as a new opportunity to make new friends but at this stage (5th grade) the choices for really nice girls are slimming.  They all start acting snotty a bit sooner than they should it would seem.   Big girl also has a cold starting... blah. We will survive.

Little Boy is starting his first year on the cross country team at Sherwood High.  He had a two mile time trial today and clocked in at 15min 33 seconds.  He was proud of himself.  His older brother has decided not to run on the team this year and is going to have to find an after school job instead.  He needs to save for his mission.  I wish he would run but you can only lead a horse to water so many seasons.

So that's the new from our Lake Wobegone, where the women are strong the men are good looking and all the children are above average.


August 13, 2013

A Decent Beginning

All packed 
Just before heading through security
One last glimpse

This post is way overdue.  I guess I've been in a funk about it.  I don't really know how to put it into words.  My son left for two years on Wednesday the 17th of July.  I went from being SO ready for him to just leave already to being touched by his kindness the last couple days at home with me to bawling in public at the Baltimore International airport.  He kissed my cheek, hugged me and walked into that security check line like a champ.  He never even looked back at us.  I felt odd.  I kept changing positions so that I could get one last peek.  Then at long last he could be seen no more and I wept uncontrollably.

I know this is where he should be right now.  I know it's what we've talked about and saved for his entire life long!  I know it's the best place for him to learn and grow.  He needs this time to learn so much about himself and to bless the lives of others.  I know all of this.  But I also feel empty and sad.  I have been doing things like taking a nap in his bed, wearing his hoodie, smelling his clothing, and buying the gum he used to chew.  A favorite song of his keeps playing on the radio and I weep each time I hear it.  I'm much better now, but for a few days there I could hardly get out of bed.  I wish I had been warned about this by someone.  It was almost too much to bear waiting for that first letter home. It took 9 days before hearing from him.  When his letter did come I was so happy to hear that he was in good spirits that I tried not to be bothered by his not mentioning the packages we'd sent.  He's always been brief when it comes to communicating.  I hope to see growth there.

As therapy I have been eating chocolate, shopping for Halloween costumes for my girls, writing to my son and sending him too many things, dream-house hunting online for houses we'll never be able to afford.  My favorite is waterfront property on Bambrige Island in the Seattle area. Sigh.

I've also been praying for comfort.  Sunday I received that comfort in the form of an outpouring of the spirit confirming that my son is learning and growing and in the right place.

In the meantime we got our family photos from July back.  I was so pleased to see them.  I'll share some here.  It was the last chance for us to be photographed as a family for 4.5 years.  Thank goodness we had some lovely shots!  We were battling rain, sun going down, and sprinklers going off.

As we took Big Boy to the airport for our last farewell I asked him about the layout for his missionary blog that I would be starting for him.  We discussed colors and photo options for the heading.  "What shall we call it?" I asked him next. "How about Decent Beginnings" was his reply.  We had a good laugh about that.  We had just been discussing the Jared Hess sleeper movie we'd seen.  The same director who made Napoleon Dynamite made a kookie movie called Gentlemen Broncos.  In the movie a woman has a line of modest lingerie.  Funny right?  She decides to call her new collection 'Decent Beginnings' because it has a wholesome ring to it and she thinks it will appeal to a younger market.  I guess Big Boy really took that to heart.  So link to it if you like from my side bar and have a read.  I guarantee he won't be as long winded as I am.
July 2013

totally Big Boy

March 15, 2013

Be Good and Sing

Our family has been so blessed this week.  Our oldest son was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He will be serving for 2 years in Sao Paulo Brazil!  We were beyond shocked when we heard this news.  We asked him to send a photo of his call before we were convinced. He wanted to open it privately in Rexburg, so he texted the news to us.  It made me a bit sad that he wanted to do this without us online or something, but I had to get over that.  I'm just grateful that he is worthy and willing to go.  He seems happy with his call.  I am thrilled.  I was totally expecting Ohio. It is not usual for kids with a history of ADD to get calls outside the United States.  They want them to have access to medication if needed.  Nathan only uses his medication on rare occasions.  He's pretty high functioning without it.  The church leaders may send you to Canada, but not Brazil.  It must really be 'meant to be' for our son to go to Sao Paulo.  He did get an extra interview and follow up call relating to his medication issue.  I'm sure they were just being careful. 

So now I'm obsessed with  finding out more about Brazil and it's culture.  We own the movie Rio.  You know the one with the blue parrot?  So I think that should pretty much cover things.  Oh and we have the soundtrack as well, so... we're good!  Its funny how many things start popping up that are Brazil-related once you start looking for them.  I looked online this morning to see when we could possibly combine a family photo shoot with my oldest before he leaves and found the Blue Lily photographers will be in Utah this summer.  I hope to combine a trip home at the same time that they are there. The Blue Lilys travel all over the globe and are just now posting photos from guess where? Brazil of course!  It was fun to see that.  Then yesterday I recalled that in the 5th grade, my friend Amy P and I did a report together on Brazil for the cultural fair.  I recall the little green and yellow Brazilian flags on toothpicks that we passed out. The half shelled out watermelon bowl her mom made for us to serve fruit from.  It was pretty classy with a zig zag cut edge.  I should have known that would have some future impact.  I don't ever recall studying or making hand-outs for Ohio or passing out buck-eye treats.  I told my friend that maybe I thought I heard the spirit whisper "Ohio" and it was just too noisy in my house to hear correctly.  "Sao Paulo" kinda sounds like "Ohio" right?  It's totally possible. 

(a pre-mission photo shoot below)

The night we got the word I was just so happy.  I could not stop thinking about what this would mean for our family.  The trials leading up to this week have been plentiful.  I think that is usually the way things go.  Satan works harder on us before a big blessing comes.  I was awake into the wee hours of the morning thinking about everything under the Brazilian sun.  Would my red head get enough sunscreen? Could/should he bring his violin? Would he have to drive in that crazy city? Would my baby get swept up in a Carnival parade and be forced to wear big puffy sleeves?  I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like that.  I got up an surfed the web a bit and that just gave my mind more things to wonder about.  I snickered like Stefon when I read that there would be a chance that my oldest would be doing his laundry by hand on a cement slab in the sink or possibly the river.  I could barely get that kid to put it from the washer to the dryer on his own.  So there is room for growth.  

And that is really the thing isn't it?  The growth?  He's going to  do some growing on his mission, our family will experience growth, hopefully the Brazilian people will experience the message of hope and grow from knowing my son.  He will be a wonderful asset.  He's charming and funny.  He has a testimony of the Gospel and he wants to choose the right.  From the time he was small and would push his little red trike around the block, he'd say on the hilly side "press forward saints!" I knew then he would serve this way someday.  However, he did used to complain about church from time to time and say "Church is the same thing each week the message is just 'be good' and then we sing.  Be good and sing be good and sing week in and week out"  So now as he gets ready to depart I will be sure and give him two bits of advise... Be Good. And Sing.  Because that is the thing right?  Just choose the right and then praise God and be happy.  Sing!  Be thankful.  Pay it forward.  Share what you know.  That's the singing part.  I pray that as he goes forward his song will be heard.