Friday, June 5, 2009

The Game

A friend of mine, Ashlee Miller, had this story on her blog and I thought it was worth sharing:

"I've felt impressed to write about something we discussed in Relief Society yesterday. The question was posed, 'Why do we need adversity in our lives?' I started thinking about basketball. (I know, sports analogies are usually left to the Elder's Quorum, but stay with me.) I think life is a little like basketball. We practice dribbling, shooting, passing, running plays, and defensive strategies so that we can become better at each skill, and develop into a better player in general. If all we ever did was practice, what good would that do? We need to actually come against an opponent to test our skills and know what we need to work on in order to advance, and therefore be in a better position to win the next game.

In life, we spend each day 'practicing' such skills as obedience, communication, compassion, faith, etc. But in order for us to progress, we need to come against an opponent to test our skills so that we know where we are and what we need to work on. The trials that come into our lives are just such an opponent, and by evaluating our performance within and at the outcome of each trial, we can know on what skills or characteristics our time should be spent 'practicing'.

For anyone who has played basketball before, you know that emotions can run high, effecting performances and ultimately the outcome of a game. Same thing in life! If we allow them, our emotions can hinder our ability to see clearly the big picture and stop working in areas that need the most attention, or cause us to give up altogether.

I guess my point is that we can be in control of our 'game' as long as we take the time to put the right kind of practice in beforehand."

I know there has been much adversity in our family recently and I truly hope this story will help us as we face this adversity in each of our lives. We can and we will get through it, with the Lord's help. I want all of you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers always. I love you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Video of Chickens and Turkeys

Ryan helped me convert the dvd from my camera so that I could post it here. Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Chickens and Turkeys are Here!

These are just the chickens - they arrived yesterday and the turkeys arrived this morning. We have 15 hens, 5 roosters and 14 turkeys (we won't know how many males and females we have until they grow a little more). We have lost one chicken (the littlest) and one turkey, who drowned in the water dish. My dad used to raise turkeys when I was growing up and sometimes they would try to drink the rain water when it rained and they would drown in the rain. They are pretty dumb and you have to watch them carefully. They also liked to chase the cars on the road - and they would usually get run over.

The chickens with the blue spot on their heads are the roosters. The chicks with the unusual brown markings are Americanas and will actually lay multi-colored eggs - blue, green and lavendar.

I tried to do a video that shows the chicken coop Tara designed and everyone (except me) helped to build, but I can't figure out how to download it. We have a fenced area for them when they get a little older and we will actually let them out for awhile in the mornings and evenings so they can eat the bugs and scratch around for food. That is actually very good for them. But, when it's time, they will go back into the fenced area or the coop all by themselves. They like to feel safe. We'll keep more pictures coming as they grow so you can share in this adventure with us!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Puppy Party

Yesterday our puppies turned 1 year old, so we decided to have a birthday party for them. Kayla and I made cupcakes and then Kayla and Arleen made birthday hats. Kayla could hardly wait until her brothers got home from school! It was very windy outside and we knew their hats would just blow off, so we invited Apollo, Bailey and Zar into the house for the "party". It took a few minutes to get them calmed down because they were so excited to be in the house; we finally got hats on Bailey and Zar, but the yarn on Apollo's hat broke off. Apollo was mostly interested in Mollie (you can hear her barking), who was in the bedroom because she is at the end of her heat, but apparently still somewhat desirable. He was very conflicted all the time he was in the house. get the idea. Here are a few pictures of the festivities! In the first photo, it's Zar (who has one ear that has never stood up straight - we think it was because he was so sick with parvo as a puppy), Apollo (the biggest) and Bailey (the smallest) . Below is a short video of the fun event. Those cupcakes went down really fast!! It's hard to believe that they looked like this one year ago!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

1. I LOVE to long as I have enough money in my pocket so that I don't have to worry about expenses. If I start running out of money, I panic.

2. I really love thunderstorms and I have been known to be a "storm chaser". I like to get as close as I possibly can. There is something relaxing and comforting about the rolling thunder.

3. My family means more to me than anything else in this world. There is nothing that relieves stress more for me than spending time with them.

4. One of my favorite places to go is Hawaii. I've been twice (but without Michael). I enjoy walking on the beach, the gorgeous sunsets, the weather, the palm trees. The next time Michael and I will probably go with Jerry and Kaye.

5. I'd rather be hot than cold.

6. I've always loved being tan. My neighbor all through Jr. and Sr. High School and I had a contest every summer to see who could get the tannest the fastest. I would even go up on the roof of my house to tan because it was closer to the sun and I thought I'd tan faster.

7. I hate aging. If I had the money, I'd have plastic surgery - especially on my eyes - as long as it doesn't look like I've had plastic surgery!! I always tell Michael that I feel like my face is falling. (Maybe I shouldn't have spent all those years in the sun.)

8. I have 4 dogs. I would have more if I could. Mollie is our Queensland Heeler, and we have 3 German Shepherds: Mieke, Apollo and Zar. I especially love it when one of them sleeps on my bed right near my feet.

9. I don't like the wind. A cool breeze is nice, but I hate the cold wind (like today). It feels like it's biting you in the face.

10. I love to watch it snow. I don't like being outside in it, but give me a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire and I love to sit by the window and watch big, huge flakes of snow fall.

11. My best friend in the world is my sister-in-law, Kaye. We have been friends for over 35 years and there is hardly a day that we don't talk to each other. We can talk to each other about anything and everything. I totally trust and love her.

12. Don't send me to a pet store. I'd want to buy everything in there...except for the snakes...they can keep their snakes!! (If my brother, Jerry hadn't chased me with snakes while we were growing up, I might feel differently.)

13. I idolize my Mom. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I could talk to her.

14. I have always loved to read. Most of my weekends were spent in my room reading mysteries when I was growing up.

15. I absolutely LOVE a clean house. If Febreeze really worked, I'd totally spray everything in my house with it so it would smell good.

16. Now that my children are grown, I love having them as my friends. It's awesome when this happens and it's great to have fun together. Of course, I still love being a mom and having them ask me for help and advice.

17. One thing I work on every day is trying not to be judgmental of other people. I always try to see the good in everyone and see their potential. My Mom taught this at a very early age and I hope I honor her in treating people the way they want to be treated. I hope my grandchildren always remember this about me.

18. I love to dance. I used to do Ballroom Dancing - my favorites are the Latin Dances and the Waltz. While in High School, I did Polynesian Dancing with some other friends. A good friend that I babysat for that was born in Hawaii and she taught me the Hula and other Tahitian dances. I loved it so much and we actually performed around Tacoma all year round, but especially during the summer months.

19. When I graduated from High School, I was accepted to BYU Hawaii. Sometimes I could kick myself for getting married and not going, but I know I wouldn't have the children I do today if I had. You know, it's always "what if...". I have visited the campus, though! Oh, and there's that thing about the education I could have had...

20. I recently attended an energy healing seminar and became certified to do energy healing. I believe this is something I can do to help others. It's called Calyco Healing and it's not as weird and crazy as it sounds. I have already been able use it on several occasions.

21. One of my favorite things to do is bake. I love to make bread, cinnamon rolls, pies, cookies and healthy meals for my family. The greatest compliment is when my kids tell me I should open a bakery.

22. I used to have to take a lot of flack for having 7 children and 3 step children. I wouldn't change a thing. Now I have 5 daughters-in-law and 2 sons-in-law that I really love. I can't imagine our family without them.

23. I've never thought of myself as a country girl, but I am now! We are going to have chickens, turkeys, a cow, horses, and pigs. We have our garden planned and will be ready to plant as soon as it's warm enough! The chicken coop is almost finished (thanks to Tara, Scott, Jared, Arleen and all the kids.)

24. My biggest fault is that I love Diet Pepsi. I know...I know...I've heard all the bad things, but I really enjoy it.

25. Going to a good movie is a favorite hobby and if it's REALLY good, I'll go more than once.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hey, Jeff! Are Your Fish Hungry??

OK - Can I just say how much I absolutely LOVE my Bosch Mixer? I just made 4 dozen cinnamon rolls and 7 loaves of bread. The mixer makes everything so easy and making bread is no longer a chore. Homemade problem! Whole wheat problem! We even made homemade pizzas last night for dinner. Homemade pizza dough...NO PROBLEM! My house smells soooo delicious! My only wish is that all of my family could be here to share it all with us. Tara helped me finish because I tried to do so much too late in the day. I got everything in pans, but had to lay down for awhile. Tara finished baking and frosting everything for me. I don't think she minded very much - she had her eyes on the cinnamon rolls (or at least one anyway). She and Arleen have been walking every day and we are trying to watch what we eat. (Well, at least we will walk off what we eat.)

I only have one question...DO YOU MISS ME YET???? ;-) And door is always open!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

My patience is paying off with regard to the repairs that need to be done in the house. (At least I've been TRYING to be patient.) Because of the water leak, insurance is going to pay for us to install a whole new kitchen! They are going to replace all the cabinets, the floor - even some of the sub-floor, baseboards, and island. The water got into the laundry room also, so the floor will be replaced in there as well. The floor looked good, but did not match the kitchen floor. Michael is going to lay all the flooring to save some money and that will hopefully give us enough extra money to purchase a new dishwasher. Michael also has to get the house leveled right away (see pictures of the settling) so these other repairs can be completed. It will take 2 weeks before they can begin work in the kitchen because everything has to be ordered and we calculate that the work being done will coincide with Spring Break!! I know Arleen and the kids were planning to go to the valley at that time, and possibly Tara and Dean. I may also be coming down just so I won't have to deal with all the construction mess. I'll keep everyone informed and post pictures once I have my brand new kitchen! Woohoo!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leak Under the Sink

Last Sunday, I went into the kitchen to make some rolls for dinner (using my new Bosch...) and I noticed that my socks kept getting wet. I also noticed that water was squishing up between nearly all the wood planks on the floor. At first, I thought that my dishwasher was leaking, but upon further investigation, we discovered that there was a leak in a pipe under the sink. Luckily, Jared was still here and was able to take care of the leak right away. There was water under the wood on the floor from one end of my kitchen to the other. We put towels down all over the kitchen to try to soak up the moisture.

Monday morning, Tara and I noticed a horrible moldy smell and just looked at each other knowing without a doubt that the entire floor had to come up. That meant that EVERYTHING had to come out of the kitchen. We have 2 food storage shelves loaded full, a microwave stand full of stuff, an island loaded full of stuff (one that Jared and Arleen brought with them) and the little buffet table that Mom Halls gave me. Plus, we also had to clean out the food on the floor in the pantry. We were exhausted just thinking about all the stuff we had to move out.

Once we had everything out, then Michael began pulling up all the wood. Luckily, there was linoleum under the wood - ugly, ugly and full of staples because of the plastic that was installed under the wood - but better than particleboard. Michael swept the floor and wiped down the linoleum to get the worst of the dirt. Then Tara took a scrub brush and scrubbed every inch of the floor. We had to wear masks because of the mold and smell. I have had laryngitis all day today and congestion in my chest. I'm hoping no one else gets sick.

The good news is that our insurance is going to cover it! We will probably have to get a new island and replace some of the wood underneath the linoleum. We have a $500 deductible, but that is much cheaper than what we thought we were looking at if we hadn't had the insurance. I'm posting pictures of what it looks like now and then I'll post pics when it's done.