Friday, August 31, 2012

Some Memories of Grandma

My grandmother returned to our Heavenly Father 25 years ago today.  I was 13 when she left this earth.  The world lost a wonderful woman this day 25 years ago.  I have many wonderful memories of her. 

My first memories include a trip to Lake Havasu to visit her.  I thought that the lake was hers.  I was really young, I wasn't even in Kindergarten yet.  I rode with my Dad and my sisters to Arizona from Houston.  It was a very memorable trip.  We still talk about it.  I don't remember a lot of the trip, of course.  I remember we stayed in a hotel that had a vibrating bed.  Dad put a coin in the bed that my sisters and I were sharing and the thing started vibrating.  I remember arriving at my Grandmother's house the next day.  She had cookies.  It almost seems like they were Thin Mints, but I can't say for sure.  She also had cans of soda pop. 

We went out on her lake.  We rented a paddle boat.  My grandmother and I rode in it together.  I couldn't reach the pedals, so in all my wisdom, I got down on my knees, and tried to do the pedals with my hand.  That was a horrible idea...  my life jacket got all tangled up in that thing!  Good thing paddle boats aren't known for tipping over!

There was a little shooting gallery there by the lake.  You would shoot little targets and different things would happen.  The thing I remember the most would be the piano starting to play.

My Grandma would come to visit us every so often.  I can't really remember how often though.  It seemed like once or twice a year.  When Grandma would come to visit, she would perm my hair.  I always looked forward to the perm.  She gave me the best perms going.  I do remember once, a brush or curler, or something got stuck in my hair.  It definitely wasn't a good thing.  It did get out and I got to keep all of my hair.

The year before she died, we all went to Bridgeport.  It was the last time we would all be together.  All of my cousins, my Aunts and Uncle, and my Grandma and Grandpa.  We have a picture of all of us together.  My sister uses it on her Ipad as the desktop photo. 

The following summer, Grandma was already sick.  We had made plans for me to go out and visit her for the summer.  I was young, 13 years-old.  I left my family and went to Albuquerque to stay with my Grandma and my Aunt.  We went on a trip to Lake Powell where we met my Aunt, Uncle and their children.  We stayed on a houseboat for a couple days (I really have no idea how long we were on that), I do know I slept on it for a night or two, at least.

We would fish off of the boat.  We would swim.  We would nap.  We would get off the boat and go on dry land.  We had grilled walleye and catfish, which we caught. 

My cousin was reading the map one day.  Grandma asked where it was.  He looked out the window and upstream from where we were.  Grandma got a big laugh out of that.  We still made it back to where we started from.  I'm not sure if we had another map.

I was in Albuquerque for the Fourth of July.  We had a little party at my Aunt's house.  She had some of her friends over.  It was a really nice get-together.  There was watermelon.  I was shy.  I hate watermelon.  They gave me a slice and I ate it, very slowly!  I helped to get everything put away.

While I was there, Grandma and I would watch "Three's Company."  She had never seen it before.  I was a regular viewer.  I didn't understand what was going on at that age, to me, it was just a funny show.  It still is a funny show, but I understand it now.  My grandmother would just laugh and laugh. I would lie in bed with her and just watch TV during the day. 

This was during the Iran-Contra hearings.  I can remember that Grandma didn't like that those were taking place of all the shows she enjoyed watching during the day.  We had to find alternate viewing.  There was lots of leftover watermelon.  Whenever Grandma would get up, she would bring me a slice of watermelon.  I, being the shy, and polite person that I was, would eat it.  Very slowly, I would eat it.

My Grandma had cancer.  I was blessed to spend some of the last days that she was healthy enough to go out and have some fun.  She was an amazing woman.  I was blessed to be able to know her.  There are a lot of people that never get to know their grandparents. 

My Grandma was always quick with a joke and she had an amazing laugh.  She had a great sense of humor!  I remember her saying, "Are we having fun yet?"  I would have loved to be able to have her around much longer.  I would have loved to have her meet my children, hold my children.  I would not wish her to have lived another day with the cancer and the pain and sickness she had though. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Daughter's First Audition

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, my 8 year-old had her first audition.  I saw on Twitter that my city was having a play in October and there was going to be auditions.  I asked my two children that are old enough if they would want to do that.  I knew that my daughter would and that my son would not, but I had to give them both the option.  I was right.  I made the appointment for the audition, several days before, and we were set to go. 

My daughter was looking forward to this audition for the next several days.  She would ask me how many days until the audition.  There was no way that she would let me forget what was going on.  This opportunity was the highlight of her life, since we moved to this house.  That morning, she woke up, got a shower, had her outfit picked out and ready to go.  She woke me up, a couple hours early, to be sure she wouldn't be late.

The audition was set for 10 am and she had to be there by 9:45 am to read over the lines.  We got there about 9:35 so that we could be sure that we found the right place.  I am still getting used to where everything is around here.

We went in and she let them know who she was.  They gave her a number.  She was number 41.  I had to fill out a form and we both had to initial it and sign it.  After we were finished, we went into the hallway so that she could start reading lines.  Since she has no background in theater, I had to explain to her that she doesn't just read the lines, that she has to add emotion.  She did a great job reading, I thought.

The children had to line up in numerical order to go in for the audition.  Away my daughter went...  I went on a walk with my baby in her carrier.  I figured I should do something for that half hour.  I got back a little early and waited for her to come out.  She didn't get a "call back" slip.  I told her that was okay, and we came home.

On Tuesday, as directed, we went back to find out if she got a part.  She is going to be the "Narrator 1" in the Pre-show Show.  I was very happy with that.  She wanted to be in the "real" show.  I told her that there were many children that are not going to get to do anything.  I also told her that this is a stepping stone.  Since she has no experience in theater, to this point, it is nice that she got a part.  This will give her experience.  She was happy with that explanation.

My son has decided that next time he is going to audition too.  I guess the thought of actually being in the play sounds like a good idea to him.  The thought of trying out wasn't quite as enticing. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Peach Tree

Today was a big day in our life as homeowners.  On Saturday, I went to Lowes and bought a bunch of things.  The things include a hose, oscillating sprinkler, sealant for our roof, a brush to spread it, mulch, soil and fertilizer, grass seed, grass seed spreader, cherry tree, and a peach tree. 

The cherry tree is going to make a return visit to Lowes.  My husband has heard that birds eat the cherries and then decide to poop on the house, which will leave stains, according to him.  We certainly don't want red, bird poop stains on our house or cars.  We don't want to stain our neighbors' cars either.

My husband and daughter borrowed a shovel from our neighbor across the street.  Then my husband went in the backyard and started digging.  My husband apparently found an underground anthill.  I would dare say there were thousands of them.  Since he already had a good hole going, he just kept digging.  Our peach tree went into that hole. 

It is a cute little tree.  We put the soil and fertilizer around it.  We watered it.  We followed the directions.  I am excited to see what happens with our peach tree next year.  I was told that it would be producing fruit next year.  It is a little tree, so I imagine we might get 2 peaches next year.  I am not sure how much the tree will grow in the fall, winter and spring. We shall see!

The grass seed got spread in the front yard on Saturday, shortly after I got here with it.  My 4 year-old had gone to Lowes with me.  He was very excited to spread the seeds.  We wanted to do the front yard first because everyone sees that.  The backyard needs the seeds too.  We will seed that this weekend. 

The oscillating sprinkler has been put to good use.  The children like to run it all over the yard.  They also like to run through it.  Ever since we lived at our last apartment, the children have enjoyed sprinkler parties.  It is very fun if they can turn the sprinklers on and have their own sprinkler party, on their own terms.

If it weren't for the poisonous spiders that seem to inhabit this area of my world, I think I would really like it here!  I killed a black widow spider today.  It is not something I ever envisioned myself doing.  I never associated them with Utah.  I came to college here.  I lived here for a couple years before I moved back east.  It is not something I want to deal with :(

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Black Widow Spider (August 24, 2012)

I was told before I bought a house here that Black Widow spiders are not uncommon in the area.  I was also told that I should buy some chickens to keep them at bay.  I was all about buying a herd of chickens.  I do not suffer from arachnophobia, much to the contrary, in fact. 

I think that I might be the reason that my two younger brothers do suffer from arachnophobia.  I had absolutely no problem, as a child, grabbing one of the eight legs and chasing my brothers around the house.  I did it to be mean.  I thought it was funny.  Looking back, I could have thought of better things to do, but I was young.  I liked to hear them scream and run away.  I am thankful that we didn't live near snakes, because I am sure they wouldn't have had a problem grabbing one of those and chasing me around the house. 

Well, I can't buy chickens, because the city council members decided that citizens could not have chickens, unless it was in an agriculturally zoned area.  I am sure I am not in an agriculturally zoned area.  I live a block off of the main street that runs through here and a block from the interstate.  There went my dreams of having chickens eat the spiders, and having fresh eggs.  The chickens would have never become meat, I couldn't do that to an animal, well, unless I was starving to death.  Then I am sure I would cry the whole time... I cry when my goldfish die.

Well, my husband was at work on Friday.  My 9 year-old came inside and told me he was sure he found a black widow spider.  I asked him how he knew that it was a black widow.  He said, "It has a red hourglass on its back."  That made enough sense to me.  My next question was, "Where is the spider?"  I was hoping that he located it down the road a ways.  He told me, "It is under the mailbox."  Too close for comfort!

I got up and went to explore.  The spider was about 2 to 3 feet below the mailbox.  It had something red on its back, clear as day.  I didn't get close enough to make sure that it was an hourglass.  I guess that a black spider with anything on its back should be considered a black widow.  I went to my neighbor's house.  We have become friends.  I rang his doorbell and asked him if he would know a black widow if he saw one.  He kind of giggled and said yes.  I told him that I thought we had one, but I wanted to be sure.  He was in middle of cooking his dinner, so he said when it was done he would be right over.  I told him I was sure it wasn't going anywhere.

While he finished his supper, I put mine in the oven.  We were having pork chops and mashed potatoes.  He came over and brought a stick and spider spray.  I showed him the spider and he said it certainly was a black widow.  He squished it with his stick and then used the stick to take down the web.  The web crackles when being removed. 

I told him how my 9 year-old was the one that spotted it.  He said he was glad that he didn't mess with it.  I am too!  I am glad he noticed it.  I go out to the mailbox daily.  I don't need to upset a black widow.  We walk past it several times a day.  I would never want my children or anyone visiting to get bit by a black widow.  Needless to say, I pay very close attention these days to any arachnids in the area.  I will not let my children see me remove some outside.  I don't want them to think they should do that, because they might not know which ones aren't safe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Backson

My sister came upstairs last night, after my 4 year-old came up, trembling.  He had just finished watching a terrifying movie, a movie called "Winnie the Pooh."   It is a rated G movie.

She came up to tell me that he was scared to death of something in the movie, "Winnie the Pooh."  I wasn't sure I heard her right, so I repeated it back.  She confirmed.  Who would think that "Winnie the Pooh" would have anything that could be remotely scary?!

He woke her up to let her know.  He came running up here, scared to death, and lay down beside me.  He was not able to talk about it for a few minutes.  I kept asking him what was scary.  He told me that it had horns and a triton.  So, I was wondering if Piglet had a pitchfork or something.

Tonight, we fast forwarded the movie, so he could show us what was scary.  The thing appears to be a bull, with a ring through its nose.  I haven't watched the whole movie yet, but I needed to see the scary thing.  Seeing through the eyes of a child is difficult.  I can't figure out how it is scary.  He was hiding under a pillow while he pointed it out.  He truly is afraid of that thing, referred to as "Backson."

I am going to have to watch the whole thing, to get the full jest of the Backson.  My sister said when she woke up, the credits were running.  So, I am guessing that it comes back toward the end of the movie.  I will be watching it soon, when he isn't in the room.  I don't see the point in scaring him.  I want to understand though why that thing is scary.

We are sitting here right now watching "Tangled."  Another rated G movie by Disney.  He asked to watch something else so he wouldn't have "that dream" again.  "Tangled" is something else.  "That dream" was probably a nightmare about Backson last night.

I know as a young child, I was scared to death of a rocking horse that was in my room.  I would hide under the bed when I would wake up.  I still remember some of the nightmares I would have about it.  I am sure if I would have told my parents, it wouldn't have remained in my room, but I was scared to death of that thing.  I know that although things don't seem scary, they can be. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breaking Glass

This morning, that is what I woke up to.  The sound of breaking glass.  It is that kind of sound that just makes you sit right up and try to figure out what is going on.  It made me really hope that it was something on the interior, not someone breaking in. 

I got up and went on a search.  I guess I should have been a little more careful since I didn't really know what was going on.  I started hearing the children.  Then I knew that it was at least something inside the house. 

First, I need to explain a part of our house.  The playroom was added on to the house, it is virtually an enclosed patio with walls, carpeting, sliding glass door.... It was added on many years ago.  There is a window that leads from the playroom to the downstairs bathroom and another to a bedroom. 

My oldest son was trying to open the window from the wrong side, from inside the playroom.  The glass ended up popping out and shattering on the bathroom floor.  I was so thankful that the children weren't injured.  I am also thankful that no one was in the bathroom when that happened! 

Now the children understand why we told them not to play with the windows.  They liked to open the windows and climb in and out of the rooms.  I am glad the lesson was learned without injury! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is It Exercise?

Is it exercise if you enjoy it?  Or is it just a good way to have fun and burn some calories?  Well, I have discovered that crawling around is what brought up that question.  My baby is a very good crawler.  She enjoys having the whole house as her playground.

I decided one night to get down on the ground and crawl around with her.  As I got down there, on my hands and knees, and started chasing her around, something very interesting happened.  She got the biggest smile possible and turned and started crawling toward me.  She would get really close to me and then lie down. 

Later that evening, when my sister got home, I told her what happens.  I showed her too.  I got down on the ground, the baby got a big old smile and started crawling toward me.  I started crawling away, then she got close to me and down she went to her belly.  My sister realized what she was doing.  She wanted to go under me.  I then got up higher and under she a boat going under a bridge.

I have daily been getting down there and playing with her.  She will follow me all over the house.  I never realized how painful crawling on tile can be.  I will definitely be keeping the thick carpeting until she is well past her crawling and falling phase.  When I go from the family room (thick carpet), to the kitchen (painful tile), then to the dining room (thick carpet), I look forward to the carpet again.  I am glad that we have the carpeting now. I wanted hardwood floors, I will get them when the baby is a bit older.

It is a good workout.  I had been trying to figure out why my arms have been hurting.  It is the crawling and going up and down to be at her level and then let her go under me.  It is well worth it, I love the smile I receive when I get down there and she knows what is about to happen.  She is my little crawling buddy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Black Eye

My four year-old was playing around on Thursday and "slammed" into my daughter's dresser.  I heard crying like I hadn't heard in quite awhile.  The children brought him upstairs and I saw a big old knot next to his left eye.  I asked what happened, and they said, "He slammed into a dresser."  I immediately put a package of frozen peas on the knot. 

The knot next to his eye on Thursday, turned into a black eye by Friday morning.  I am starting to wonder how long it can last.  Here we are on Monday and he still has a black eye.  I do believe that this is his first black eye.  I am also hoping it is his last. The poor fellow!

I am thankful that he hit the dresser where he did... a little further to the right and he would have gotten his eye, a little further to the left he would have gotten his temple.  So, if this had to happen, it happened in the right place. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Are Two Front Teeth Really Worth It?

My ten month-old daughter seems to get her teeth in pairs.  Her first two teeth, the bottom two in the front, popped out around July 10th.  There wasn't much of a fuss with those.  You wouldn't even know she was teething, except you could see them cutting through the gums.

She is now getting her two front teeth.  You can see the whole things through her gums, they just haven't broken through yet.   They are not coming quite as easily as she would prefer.  To the creator of Orajel, thank you!  To the creator of Baby Acetaminophen, thank you!  My baby seems to be having some anger issues with these teeth.  I think that she is trying to tell them to either pop out, or stay forever embedded in her gums, but to please stop hurting!

She is a very happy baby, so it is sad to see this pain, and to have her temperament change.  It is amusing to see her chew effectively with only 2 teeth.  She can eat quite well, using her gums for most of the chewing.

She has become very talented in feeding herself.  I don't think a parent realizes how well the baby's hand-mouth coordination is until you spot a foreign object in a dirty diaper.  Today, for example, there was a red piece of paper in her diaper, which turned out to be a label, that wasn't chewed very well, that said "Made in ...."  Not quite sure where the label was made.  Just reminds me that I need to pay closer attention to what is on my floor.  I guess that I need to vacuum several times a day!

It was a wonderful Sunday, my husband, baby and I went to church.  My sister and children came back from Wyoming.  It is always wonderful to be back together again :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hard to Say Goodbye

Yesterday my three oldest children went on an adventure with their Aunt Brenda and cousin.  They went to Wyoming to bring their cousin back to his parents after he visited us for a week.  It was a wonderful week they got to spend together.  There was a lot of playing and running, and I didn't have to worry about them bothering the downstairs neighbors with all the noise, since we no longer have downstairs neighbors.  Sometimes I forget we don't have downstairs neighbors anymore and I tell them they have to be quiet.

My youngest wasn't originally going to go with them on the trip.  I worry how he will do without me.  I recalled earlier yesterday, how sad he was when his brother left to come out here with Grandpa, Uncles Jim and Bob.  My daughter drove out with her Aunt Susan.  They drove out here and my two younger children and myself flew home.  When it was time to say goodbye to his brother, my youngest son cried and cried.  He wanted, with all of his heart, to go with him.  He kept repeating, "I am going to miss Caleb, I am going to miss my brother, I want to go with him."  Tears streaming down his face. 

I wanted them to be together, but I worried that they would get several hundred miles away and he would want me and there would be nothing anyone could do to fix it. I don't think that would have happened.  He has always been one for adventure.  There is the off chance though that it would have.  Yesterday, as I remembered that scene in Erie, I sent my sister a note and told her that I was going to pack him a bag, just in case it happened again. 

When it was time for them to get going, my sister said goodbye to him.  He said he was going with her.  I told him that he was going to stay home with me.  He had that sad/hurt look on his face.  He really wanted to go on this adventure.  I couldn't hold him back this time.  The furthest away he would be is 4 1/2 hours.  If worse came to worse, I would make that trip and get him.  The only reason I didn't go this time is that I am not sure my van would make those mountain passes.   It has a hard time on hills, and those would be mountains.

As they got ready to leave, I told them each I love them, gave them hug and kiss, and waved and blew kisses.  My youngest son wanted to tell me something, and I couldn't hear him.  I got close to the car, and he said to me "I love you and I will miss you," I said it back and away they went, I watched them get to the corner.  I watched my sister get out of the car and check her tire, then get back into the car and drive away.  Then I came inside, I saw the older children's suitcase sitting on the floor.  I called them.  They came back and got it, took a potty break, and headed off.  I gave them each another kiss and waved goodbye.  My heart broke as they drove away. 

Goodbyes are hard for everyone.  I always look forward to getting together again.  Saying goodbye to family and friends has always been difficult for me, but I know that my family knows that I love them no matter where we are.  I hope my friends know that as well.  Getting together again is always the most joyful of reunions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

If It Weren't for Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck at All

I fully intended to start running this week, I want to get back into shape and get at least two more marathon finisher medals.  I want to have one to give to each of my children.  I have 2... well, I know that at one point I had two.  I haven't seen them in a while, so I might get to run 4 more, we shall see...

Anyway, I got ready for church Sunday.  I found a skirt and a top that would go with it.  I had to hold my breath and zip (to be honest). I need to wear a skirt and top since I nurse my baby and wearing a dress is impractical.  I found some shoes that I hadn't worn in a long time.  As I walked to church, I remembered about 3/4 of the way there why I hadn't worn those shoes in a LONG time.  The back of both of my heels were bleeding.  The shoes have straps that criss-cross in the back.  I loosened the straps once I was sitting down.  The damage had already been done. 

After church, I came home, took off the shoes, and the skirt.  So, I was able to breathe again normally and my feet could begin the healing process.  They have not healed yet.  Therefore, I am not lacing up any running shoes, knowing the pain I would be in.  I imagine that I will be able to start running again on Monday.  I'll keep this updated!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Sleepover

Tonight my daughter is having her first sleepover with someone outside the family.  The girl that is sleeping over is the only other child that is living on our street right now.  There are a couple other children that will be back soon, they are away visiting family, so we haven't met them yet.

My daughter had that little ray of sunshine in her eyes when she asked.  I remember when I was young and I would have a sleepover.  Half the time, I would end up back at home in middle of the night.  I started to pretend that I was at home as I would doze off to sleep.  That made the homesickness go away.

We had Family Home Evening tonight.  It was on miracles.  I know that miracles still happen today.  I have seen them happen for myself and for others.  Each of my children are a miracle.  I was once told that I would not be able to have children without fertility treatments.  I never had to have fertility treatments and I have four wonderful children.

I had made brownies and bought ice cream so we could have brownie sundaes for the treat.  My daughter asked if she could invite her friend for the treat.  I told her that she could.  So, her friend came over for that.  She was then invited to go running with my husband and children.  I had her find out if her family wanted the rest of the brownies.  When she asked if she could go running, she found out that they would take the brownies.  The brownies were delivered on the way to the park.

It was at the park that I was asked if the friend could spend the night.  I tried to think of several reasons why she shouldn't stay.   In the end, I thought it would be nice for the girls to have this time to spend together and forge a good friendship.

As a mother, I have always wanted my children to have good friends.  That is what enticed me to go with my children to find friends.  They didn't want to go by themselves to see if there were children.  I didn't really want them to, because I didn't know who lived around here.  So, we went on the adventure together and found a child.  You would think that in a neighborhood, there would be more than a few children.  I think we doubled the child population here!  I remember when we moved to NY in 1983, my family doubled the child population there.  I realize now that the older neighbors probably weren't so excited!

Well, the children are off to bed.  Morning will come early!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Things I Wish for Now That I Own a Home... And Blessings of Owning My Own Home

I have a small wish list since I now own a home.  They are things you never really think about...

1.  I wish it would rain for at least 10 minutes every morning and every evening, preferably around 7 am and 6 pm. 

2.  I wish that unpacking was a fun, joyous event.

3.  I wish that my vacuum sucked better than it does... (this is the only thing I think I will ever wish sucked, and it doesn't). 

4.  I wish I had unlimited funds to decorate (okay, perhaps it is something I have thought about regularly in the past).

Blessings of owning my own home include:

1.  Not needing to pay rent for months/years and getting nothing back (except security deposit) when I leave.

2.  Being able to decorate the house as I choose.

3.  My children being able to run around and make noise without worrying that it is imposing on someone else's solitude. 

4.  Having storage areas

5.  Having extra room so when family visits they will not be crowded together.

6.  Having a flat top stove so I don't have to clean drip trays :)

7.  Being able to meet neighbors and knowing that I won't be leaving in a year or so.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Just a plug for a great concept.  Last I knew, it wasn't available in the Southern Tier of NY.  I am living in UT now and I absolutely love it. 

Today I was able to give some items away, completely free, to someone that could really use them.  I have received things from Freecycle, but today was the first time I gave something away.  It is nice to be able to receive items, but it was a much different feeling to give. 

I think the payment is the appreciation that was given. 

On Freecycle, I see things being offered daily.  I see things being requested daily.  I see things being received daily.  I think that it would be a great idea for every community to adopt.  It is an organized "FREE" community yard sale.  People pick up the items, you don't have to deliver them to the recipient.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feeding Herself

My baby never ceases to amaze me.  Today she was being awfully quiet so I went to check on her.  She had been playing with her older siblings.  When I came from the family room to the kitchen, this is what I saw:

my baby was eating a cookie.  It was a cookie that my sister brought home for me last night, quite large, and very tasty.  It was completely chocolate.  I had broken it into pieces to get the middle of it, which looked like it had a melted Hershey's kiss.

Somehow. she had managed to get it to the floor, still in the box.  She was enjoying each bite she took.  After watching her enjoy the cookie for a few minutes, and having my children take pictures, I decided it was time to bathe her.  She was quite the chocolatey mess, something I would like to someday say about myself!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Old ARE You?

I went to Wal-Mart today, it isn't an unusual occurrence in my life.  In fact, I have been doing that quite regularly since my move.  I need to buy things that didn't make the packing cut, or things that I need that I have no clue where to find.  Of course, I find it shortly after purchasing a duplicate.

Well, today's trip consisted of a high chair, some fruits and vegetables, some washcloths, a bath rug, a bath towel, and a few other odds and ends.  My two daughters and my sister joined me for the shopping trip.  My ten month-old was in her car seat, which rested on the part of the cart where children usually sit.  My 8 year-old was wondering around trying to find something at the checkout stand to buy. 

I was minding my own business, talking to my baby girl and my sister.  The female cashier asked me how old the baby was.  I answered her truthfully.  She then asked me, "How old ARE you?"  Once again, I answered truthfully, saying I am 38.  The line of questions began...  I didn't know where the questions were coming from, or what the purpose was.  I would guess the cashier was early to mid-twenties.

The next question was, "So, did you wait until you were older to have children?"  To which I answered, "I waited until I was married, I didn't get married until I was 27, then I had my first baby when I was 29." 

The following question, "How many children do you have?"  To which I answered, "I have four children, two boys, two girls."

Then she volunteered that she had her first baby when she was 19 and that she has 2 daughters, her baby will be 5 months soon.  She said that in some ways it is smart to wait until you are older to have children, because we know what is going on.  I'm not sure I know what is going on all the time, but I know that I know more than when I was younger, so I agreed. 

After I finished paying for all my stuff, I was kind of dumbfounded.  I think that what I learned is that I should always expect the unexpected.  The cashier was being friendly, in her own way.  I could not imagine carrying on that line of questions with a stranger. 

The other thing I have always known, is that I am proud of my age and getting older.  I have always said that it beats the alternative!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The New House

As I mentioned previously, my husband was busy packing and signing closing papers on a house while I was back east.  We had located the house that we wanted to buy before I headed out.  He was blessed to sign the closing papers on July 31, which was 5 days after we were supposed to.  Thankfully the family we bought the house from signed the papers to extend the closing date.  It was quite stressful having that out of our hands.

On Saturday, several men from my church came and helped load our stuff out of the storage unit into the UHaul and then unload it into our new house.  We have a TON of stuff to do.  We have to unpack all of our stuff.  Thankfully, the men brought the heavy stuff in.  We have a couch in our family room, beds in the bedrooms, desks and dressers where they should be. 

As I look around, I see a lot of boxes.  I know that eventually they will be empty, and I look forward to that day.  I am thankful to know that this is likely the last time I will move for a long time. 

My children have been very helpful.  They enjoy unloading boxes and discovering what is in each one.  It is almost like Christmas.  My 4 year-old found a box full of whiffle balls today.  He had a blast with those.

It is wonderful to have doubled our space 2 1/2 times over.  It is nice to be able to put things away and not have the clutter associated.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Fastest Four Weeks

This year I went back east to visit family and friends.  We left Utah on Independence Day.  We meaning myself and my four children.  We were dropped off at the Salt Lake City Airport and spent the next 9 hours either on a plane or in an airport.  It never fails to amaze me how flying to Buffalo can mean a stop in Washington DC.  I love DC, but it is a bit further east than Buffalo. 

My children were amazing on the flights.  We flew with only one DS.  The children shared it well.  They read or just talked when it wasn't their turn.  My daughter, being the outgoing child she always has been, made a friend at the airport during a layover.  Her friend's name is Nina.  She ended up flying the second leg of the flight with Nina and her mother.  That made her time in the airport and the flight go quicker. 

We arrived in Buffalo a little before 9 pm.  We hadn't checked any bags, so we hurried to roadway to be picked up.  It was wonderful to see my mom, sister and bro-in-law waiting for us.  We hoped to make it to my hometown in time to see the fireworks.  My bro-in-law adjusted the carseat for my baby and off we went.  My three older children with them, and myself and my baby with my mom.  On the way home, we had to make a pitstop at a Burger King for potty time. 

We missed the fireworks by about 10 minutes.  We met the rest of the family at a local ballpark.  My sister had bought the lantern balloons (whatever they are called, as seen on "Tangled").  They set them off up in to the air one at a time.  I wondered if some of them would clear some electric lines and trees, but they all did.  It was amazing to watch them lift off.  It was beautiful.  They flew away into the sky, where they would turn into little lights and then fade away.

During those four weeks, we got to watch some softball games, and tournaments.  We were going to participate in a kickball tournament but it ended up being the last day we would all be together.  There was a UHaul that had to be packed, as my sister and her family were moving to WY the next day. 

We spent many hours in the backyard on the swings.  We would laugh and talk like old times.  Any time we get together, it is a good time.  Dad grilled some food, which is always delicious.  We watched the birds.  The squirrels came around to scare me.  I have a horrible fear of them.  They are fine if they stay 10 feet or more away from me. 

My baby warmed up to the family within 48 hours.  She took an instant liking to her Uncle Bob.  I warned him before I gave her to him that she will probably cry.  Not a peep out of her mouth.  She was content.  I was amazed. 

The children got to get re-acquainted with some of their friends.  My son got to see his closest friend several times, for which I am thankful.  The children spent a lot of time with their cousins.  I miss those times.

My older brother came into town for a visit for a few days before he had to go down to Pittsburgh for a conference.  We got to watch all the boys play in a softball tournament together.  That was awesome.  The next day we went up to the Rock.  It is where my dad grew up.  It is a special place to our family.  My poor baby was a little sweat ball by the time we finished the hike, since she was in a baby carrier. On the way home, we stopped and got a few buckets of ice cream, as tradition would have it. 

My mom, two younger brothers, my sister, her son, my kids and I all went to Palmyra, NY, to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  We got to visit the Joseph Smith Home and walk through the Sacred Grove.  We went up and walked around the Palmyra Temple as well.  It was a wonderful time.

I was blessed to get to visit with some of my dear friends.  I saw some of them at church and some stopped by my parents' house to see me.  I enjoyed getting to visit with each of them.

28 days flew by.  There were many people that I wanted to see, that I didn't get to.  One day quickly became the next, and one week, quickly became 4.  Time flies when you are having fun, right!?

On Sunday, July 29, my little brother and my sister and her family, moved out of New York.  My brother was headed to Washington State, and as mentioned before, my sister was headed for Wyoming.  They drove out west and took my two older children for the trip.  They arrived here on Tuesday.

My two younger children and I flew out of Buffalo and arrived in Salt Lake on August 1.  It was a good flight.  I had never flown during a storm.  It was quite amazing to see the lightning below us.  It was late, so my children slept through it.  There was at least an hour of turbulence, so that was for the best.

I came home to a new house.  My husband closed on a house while I was on vacation.  He packed up most of the apartment and did a great job.  I did some packing before I left.  Now we face the task of unpacking.  I plan on this being our last move.  I really hope that this is the house that I grow old in, that this is the house that the children call home, even when they no longer live here.  My parents' house will always be home to me.