Saturday, March 21, 2009

Headed Out

The kids and I are leaving today to go to Utah for a couple weeks visit. We'll see ya when we get back, with loads of photos and stories to post, no doubt!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sweet Little Girl

This morning during breakfast, I had a pregnant moment and had to leave the room for a minute. When I walked back around the corner, I found Caroline reaching from her chair to Clayton, stroking his head and then she reached over and gave him a hug. She had no idea I was even there. When she did look up and see me, she explained: "I hit Clayton on the head with my hand. And then I was sorry. So I gave him a kiss and a hug and told him 'sorry'." What a precious moment! I gave her a hug and told her how happy it made me that she said she did what was right and was sorry and how proud I was that she was honest.

Caroline & Clayton playing on the window seat - peeking out from behind the curtains.

She is such a patient big sister with her brother. She has her favorite spots to play and recently has been inviting Clayton to join her. This morning as they hid on the window seat behind the curtain, I could hear Clayton yelling something. The curtains moved and he pointed out at something in the room. Caroline immediately identified a toy that he wanted, got down from the seat, retrieved it for him and returned. It makes me so happy as a mother to watch them help one another and learn and grow together. It is so sweet to see them learn to work things out and get along. I pray that their relationship continues to grow stronger and that they can rely on each other in the coming years for strength and support in choosing the right. I love my sweet babies!
Together in Caroline's hideout behind the couch.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to melt my heart and turn me into a pile of lovesick mush.

You must be tall, dark, handsome, and an incredibly HOT cowboy. You must love kids and leave the house in the morning with your 18 month old son for some one-on-one time feeding the horses.
You must then return to the house and cause before-mentioned son to squeal with delight by putting him in the swing and pushing him over and over to his utter contentment.
Oh, and you must be willing to periodically check for snot running down his upper lip and wipe it promptly with your hankie.
Yeah, that pretty much does it for the ol' ticker. Hubba-hubba! (Seriously, I don't know why, but it pretty much reduced me to a lovey-dovey mass of hormones this morning. But I'm not complainin'!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Squaw Mound Homemakers Club

When we first moved to this area, two sweet ladies arrived on my doorstep to introduce themselves and invite me to join their club. I'd never heard of a homemakers club before, but since I like homemakey things, I thought I'd give it a go. It's been very enjoyable so far and I really have grown to love my neighbors. We meet monthly, rotating as hostesses. We do cultural enriching activities like going to plays, have holiday parties, raise money through cookbook sales which is donated to local libraries, firestations & other causes, have a secret friend through the year and generally just have a good time. Our new club president decided to shake things up a bit and now instead of just meeting to discuss agenda items, we have our regular meeting, then put together holiday favors for the local rest home, and then the hostess teaches the club members a new skill or craft. I got to host club yesterday. I was a bit hormonal due to 1) the pregnancy, 2) lack of sleep, and 3) the fact that my husband is away on business and I'm feeling terribly lonely. I've felt like I've had a hard time keeping my head above water, and was not thrilled with the state of my house. I managed to get the kitchen and living room clean, put the kids down for a nap, and closed the doors to the rest of the rooms to the house so nobody would see the atrocious mess. By the time the club members arrived, I was near tears just feeling so overwhelmed. Turns out they were all mad at me for not calling and asking for help. The nice thing is, they are all older women who have raised families and are very understanding of what I'm going through - since they've all been through it. After they all helped me set out dessert & snacks and get the table set up, I was calmed down some. After our meeting, I got to teach the ladies the technique of Ukrainian Pysanki - which I learned at BYU in a Ukrainian Dance class. My teacher taught us not only about the music & dance of the country, but she brought traditional cuisine and then showed us all how to paint eggs in this beautiful & intricate way. I'm still not great at it, but I love doing it and when I have enough time to really focus, I can get a pretty nice result. This time, I had "help" from Caroline & Clayton, as well as limited time since Clayton had been sick. So I was finishing up my demo egg while demonstrating. It worked out fine and it was fun to visit and work on our masterpieces together.

Gloria, Shirley & Carolyn with their beautiful eggs.

Milly, Evelyn & Carmen showing off their artwork.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

On Saturday, the women's organization of our church did a musical production of the parable of "The Ten Virgins." I was given the assignment of musical director for this program and felt less than adequate. But with much prayer I selected 10 women from our Stake (sortof like a Diocese for those who aren't familiar with the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) in addition to myself to play the parts of the virgins and a narrator. I felt that the choices were very inspired and as we practiced, I found that each sister's strengths were SUCH an asset to pulling everything together. We even had a couple women who have been very involved in theater. They were able to give valuable directions to help me, since I don't have much of a background in that area. The musical expertise of many of the women was also invaluable! We rehearsed every weekend for a month and though I was very worried and stressed out by Friday night when we had our last major practice, everything came together with the Lord's help & guidance. It was a beautiful production, but the parable itself has been such a powerful reminder to me of the need to daily fill my lamp with prayer, diligent study, service & humility so that I will be prepared on the day that our Savior returns. I related on so many levels with each of the virgins, foolish and wise. I believe that is why Christ told this story in particular. We all have qualities, good and bad - like each of the virgins. It is up to us to focus on the good and develop them as we fill our lamps with sustaining oil I loved the lines of the closing song, called "When He Comes for Me." "Like a lamp, the Master planned each of us with His grand design. The oil is the light I will burn through the night as I wait for Him to come again. There will always be enough, if I run to Him to fill it up - drop by drop by drop. Till I'm kneeling at His feet, and I know Him perfectly. I'll be worthy of my king; When He comes for me." The lyrics have been in my mind all weekend and I pray I can keep them there as a daily reminder of the things I need to do to be worthy of him. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in such an uplifting experience, to be fed spiritually and also be fed socially! I love the sisters I worked with, and especially enjoyed getting to know some of the women who aren't from our area who participated.
I don't know if you'd call us WISE "virgins"...
I LOVE this woman! Karol is my new BFF - a truly kindred spirit (as Jake put it after reading one of her emails!)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Easily Entertained

On Tuesday, Jake took the kids with him in the truck to town to run errands so I could rest (I have a yucky cold and I'm trying to preserve my voice for a musical presentation of "The Ten Virgins" on Saturday in which I have a solo/duet.)
When they got home he brought the carseats inside instead of putting them back in the van, since I'm driving the van full of women to Rapid City for the performance and will not need the carseats, since the kids are staying home with my wonderful hubby. This morning as I've been puttering around the house trying to get stuff done, the kids have been, I kid you not, in the carseats for the last 45 minutes. They have a few toys, but seem perfectly content to sit next to one another, wrap each other in their carseat blankies and play with their plastic horses. I can hear them playing and Caroline is apparently, the "horse doctor". At one point, Clayton moved suddenly and his carseat slid and tipped over which is when Caroline became Clayton's doctor and nursed him back to health. I'm so glad my kids have a healthy imagination and can find ways to enjoy being together and entertain themselves & one another with simple things around the house.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Poor Fishy

I need help. We can't seem to keep our goldfish alive around here. We feed them (just the right amount). We clean their bowl. We take good care of them. Caroline even sings to and checks on them frequently during the day. But they don't last more than a week before they go belly up. When I was in high school, I had guppies. They never died. When I was in college, I had goldfish and they lasted forever. I can't figure out what we're doing wrong.
When Caroline was about 20 months old, we got our first goldfish. I figured it would be a nice "pet" that she could help me feed and that she could watch swimming around it's bowl. It lasted for a month or two before it kicked the bucket. It looked almost like it was bleeding internally - we could see dark red staining under its scales. So of course, we replaced it. The next one lasted a week before the same thing happened. And then the 3rd only lasted 2 days. So we took a break until just recently. 2 weeks ago, we brought home "Fishy". A week later, we fed him and left for town. When we returned several hours later, he was floating at the top of the bowl. Caroline sobbed. We bought two more fish. Here we are exactly a week later. Fishy #1 was belly up this morning. Fishy #2 was just discovered about 10 minutes ago taking his last gillsful of air. He's now in fishy heaven too. Any suggestions? What are we doing wrong??? 28 cents is definitely affordable to replace them, but I'd like to actually keep them alive! Help!