Friday, March 26, 2010

Meet Harry

Ember came home from school today with a Razorback Sucker fish named Harry. Poor thing was tagged. I think it might belong to a fish relocation program. Apparently Mrs. Jung, kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, also free lances as a relocation specialist. She found homes for 20 fish today. I am sure they too were all tagged and ready to be sent on their merry way. Ember freed him from his tag a few minutes ago, he can now swim unabated. Okay, maybe not...I guess he could swim in circles easier...the tank is too small for him to get any real swimming action.
Upon arrival at his destination, Harry was in dire for somewhere to stay. After all, a backpack can only keep you safe and alive for so long. Ember frantically raided the tupperware cabinet to find a suitable tank for Harry. I was able to tell that what she settled with was definitely not the first tank she tried.
I was unaware that Harry would need such a wet environment. I could choose to be annoyed by the water-covered-used-to-be-freshly-mopped floor and crush a little girl's very realistic fishy dreams. Or I could play along.

After much convincing that Harry would indeed be safer in the kitchen, than say, the living room table or her bedroom, he has adjusted quite well to his new home on the counter. He has a hardy appetite and requires feeding frequently. I am glad he eats recycled paper pieces, or else the poor guy would starve. I don't normally keep fish food on hand.

Right now he is in watching a movie in my room. Apparently fish like a good action flick every now and then. I am sure he requested FINDING NEMO, but he can't always get what he wants.

P.S. Just don't tell her Harry is made out of heavy duty plastic...

Good communication

I have been working on personal progress the last few weeks. It is Divine Nature #3. I was supposed to improved my home life and strengthen my relationship with a family member. I had an obvious person in mind, but decided to go ahead and work to strengthen my relationship with each of my children. I would do this by really listening to them. Drop everything, look them in the eyes, and listen. I tried to show my children how much they mean to me and do little things that show it.

Let them take baths instead of running them assembly-line-like though the shower. Owen and Kaysen appreciated the splash time. I also ended up with a soaked floor mat each time. But they were happy, and it showed, and it made me slow down and be happy with them. I also noticed that when I took the time to listen before getting upset about a choice they had made, they almost always had a logical enough reason for what they did.

Well, to get to the point. I am sure glad that is over and I can get back to listening to my children while I cook dinner, check homework and chew gum. Multitask listening is so in. Just kidding. You thought I was serious, didn't you?

Well, on the note of communication and showing love I have this little story. I tend to write the kids little notes and put them in their lunch boxes. They really like them.

I go to make Ember's lunch this morning and this was in her lunchbox.

It says: "Mom I luv you, Ember"

It has to be one of the sweetest things she has done for me. She does love me!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Nothing feels better than knowing they are listening.

Today was my day to teach the Young Women. My lessons were on Patriarchal Blessings and Father's Blessings. We covered both and why they are important. It was a very good lesson. We all shared experiences and thoughts about the topics.

I challenged the girls to pray about their own Patriarchal Blessings and when it would be appropriate for them to get theirs. I also told them to think about how they can use the Priesthood for their benefit. I encouraged them to go to their fathers, or other priesthood holders, to ask for blessings as they feel so inclined in their lives. There aren't any restrictions on how many or for what reason to get these blessings. They are there for us, hence the word blessings.

I had one young woman share that she wondered how it felt to be the one giving a blessing. She has felt the Spirit as her father gave these blessings, but always wondered what her father felt and thought. I encouraged her to ask him.

As I came home today I pondered to myself if this young woman would follow through on asking her dad. Debated with myself on whether I would follow up with her later in the week with a phone call.

As I was washing up after dinner, I received a phone call. It was unexpected. It was from a father who wanted to thank me for doing such a good job on the lesson today. His daughter came to him and asked for a Father's Blessing, which in turn trickled down to all of the siblings into the family lining up to get theirs.

I mentioned her thought in class. He said that she did indeed asked him the question, and they talked about it for a while. I was overwhelmed with joy. It was so neat to know that the spirit can work through us as teachers as we worth with the youth. The Spirit can testify of the truths being learned, touch them deeply and leave them yearning to find out more.

I am thankful for my calling in Young Women's and for the opportunity I have to work with such intelligent, fun, spiritually intuitive young women. I have already learned so much from them and look forward to learning so much more together.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chicken Run

Yesterday I feel all nice and decide to go and check on the new chickens. Make sure they are feeling at home. It was a long drive and a cold night. I remember checking in on them (from the window) last night and wondering why they weren't enjoying the comforts of their pen. After a cursory glance in the morning, I notice that they had better have good aim if they are going to get into the pen. It is closed with a 6"x6" square in the middle. No wonder they slept on the cold hard ground last night. I am a bad host.

So, I decide to skinny myself into the cage. It seemed like okay idea...before I got in there.

You would think they would realize that I am trying to help them. Their eyes looked a little glassy and blood shot. Rough night. You think they would be rolling out the red carpet and moving out of my way.

To my surprise, there is poo flying everywhere. I didn't know that was a defense mechanism? I am guessing perching on your arm while you try to steady yourself is just to try and tip you over. Hurtful, not helpful.

So, I think it was this same chicken (who tried to knock me over) who decided to sneak behind me and steal out the first opportunity she could.

Why did I tell Shaun we would clip their wings later?

So, here I am on a lovely chilly my garments...stalking a chicken.

Stay calm. No sudden jerky movements. Round up the thing like a sheep.

Ok, unless I want to have two loose chicken, I better pen up the other. This is where I figured out that them chickens had plotted against me. Think Chicken Run. Because one of the chickens, the one that didn't escape, was in the pen. I didn't open it, so apparently they can fly their chicken bodies through that square. Foolish me. Praying on my kindness I tell you.

Pen up second chicken.

Try not to make direct eye contact with the loose chicken. Stroll casually behind the chicken. Spend the next 10 minutes nonchalantly strolling behind a jerky chicken. It should have a sign on her back that says, CAUTION: SUDDEN STOPS. I wouldn't even have bothered with the chicken if they wings were clipped.

It is after these ten casual minutes that the chicken realizes she has wings. I guess it takes a while when you have been cage your whole life. Free range eggs? Yeah, right.

One ungraceful hop/fly later I have a chicken on my brick wall who thinks she has found freedom. Her fate runs through my head. We have dog owners on each side. Dogs love chicken. Fresh chicken.

She starts tight rope walking toward her death.

I think quickly and go out into the alley. Forgetting at this point about the fact that I am naked and too focused on the fifteen dollars tight rope walking to certain death.

I decide to scare the chicken into jumping back into my backyard. One good juke and a twisted face and she is sitting their looking at my like I lost my mind. If chickens could laugh, she would have been rudely laughing in my face. I think the blank stare hurt worse. I step back and prepare for juke number two.

She jumps.

Into the alley.

At this point I am getting desperate and kicking myself for not cutting off this convicts wings. Forget strolling. I am chasing the chicken like a naked mad woman.

She is pulling out her football playbook and doing all these running back plays. Ten yards down, run to the left. You know, things like that. My defense is not good at reading chicken offense.

Up the alley, down the alley.

Two desperate lunges later and I have a limp chicken in my hands.

Oh, what, no fight? Giving up so easy? I ain't even...outta....breath.

I let her freeze last night. After all, she asked for it.

Shaun says I am better than Rocky. Something about chasing and catching chickens. Sounded very Karate Kid to me. I'll take it as a compliment.

Friday, March 12, 2010


We had someone come out and look at our drains the other day. I went with this person because they are a relative of someone that we know.

This person came out, ran the water a bit, poured some more powerful "Drano" down the drain. Go get more. Do it again. Take out his snake, that was too small, even by his own admission, and have a go. To no avail.

I asked him when he left if I owed him anything, and he said, not until we get it fixed.


So, I go out, on this guys advise and purchase more of this heavy duty drain unclogger and put it down the drain over night. Works for one day.

I get a call this AM from the plumber asking how things were. I didn't get the phone because I was in a meeting. Get home, unload the van, and guess who comes pulling up? Yeap, the plumber.

So, either it is coincidence and he is working on someone's house on my very block. Or, he is casing me.

He comes up to me and asks if my drains are working. I replay the whole ugly black mess to him. He then asks if I can give him anything for his time.

Umm, sure, since you did absolutely nothing for me or my pipes. Sure, since you said I didn't pay unless you got things working. Sure, since you are a bright plumber who doesn't even have a long enough snake.

But I did.

So, am I a jerk for not wanting to pay, or is he the jerk for asking?

I don't mind paying, but when you walk out of my house refusing payment until the situation is resolved...then I have a problem.

So, now I shelled out $40 on top of what I am going to have to pay a real plumber to come out with a real snake.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The best plans

1. Get kids off to school
2. Go grocery shopping.

1.Get kids off to school - check (One down, one to go!)
2. Drop off forgotten glasses at school.
3. Drive to grocery store.
4. Get call from school nurse to come pick up child. Not the same child who forgot glasses.
5. Leave grocery store - thankful you hadn't actually started shopping yet.
6. Call and schedule appointment for child while loading up children.
7. Almost hit biker. (No, I wasn't on the phone!)
8. Say a prayer for missing biker.
9. Pick up "sick" child - who doesn't look too sick.
10. Drive to doctor.
11. Have youngest child have massive blowout. Leads to ---Look like negligent parent of a baby in long pants, and undershirt, and no socks. Still trying to figure out how poo got on the socks. Be thankful I had a spare diaper in the van.
12. Sick child is seen. Has a sinus infection. Hmm, guess she is sick.
13. Get note and take her back to school. Hey, she isn't contagious, and it's a short day...and she isn't that sick. (And she wanted to go back.)
14. Go grocery shopping. Fresh basil costs how much?! Buy it anyway.

Conclusion: Expect to add 12 additional steps to every outing, especially when you know that this is one of the only days you are going to be able to get the running around done.

Afternoon plan: Public Library

Dare I even try?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Been busy...

potty training....again. This time with better results.
We are on day three. We have only had one two accidents today. One was pee the other was a little tiny chunk of poo.

This is above and beyond our last attempt. He even woke up dry one morning.

He wears underwear to the store, walking, napping, all day everywhere. He only wears a diaper at night. (With undies over them).

Wish us continued success! (It's amazing what kids will do for two M&M's.)

It's the thought that counts...right?

Our next door neighbors thought we might like a bag with some toys in it...