Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Seriously, it has been a whirlwind and I wait anxiously, typing on the floor of our new third floor apartment, for the arrival of our things. it was an icnredibly long drive. One that my fmaily and even some friends were worried about me completing with just myself and my kids. It was worth it. I had a good time, although I have to say, the roads...are mind numbing after awhile.

I've noticed though the Texans have a great respect for using the left lane for passing only...serious business here. I do have to laugh though at all the signs that read: "Drive Friendly! The Texas Way!!!" I tell you, the city folk have a way of driving that could rival LA rush hour traffic. Friendly folk sometiems they are not, but I must add that is behind the wheel only...In face, they are the most pleasant people you can imagine.

The apartments we are in...perhaps not the most luxurious or the largest...but they are pleasant people and kind. Let me tell you a story. Due to some unforseen circumstances we needed to buy Molly a bed. Nothing fancy...a simple twin sized bed is what we were looking for. As we wandered around Sears, we were searching for a good deal on a dryer as well, we ran into a couple Richard and Jodi. They told us they were searching for a bed and we would get a much better deal going to another store. they gave us directions to the store as well as gave us the business card of the man they were going back to see. I was shocked. They welcomed me from the "Liberal" state and cheered the passing of Prop 8...it is a far reaching thing apparently!!!! life is different here...a good different.

So dear friends, I am home. I find myself in the center of a huge sprawling city. I honestly don't know which way to turn to find a job. It is a daunting task to see the city all around you and not know which direction to turn to. We did find the church...that makes me feel a little bit better at least

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 2...Off to El Paso

Seriously, I woke up and wiped the sandpaper from my eyes. I really wanted to sleep in, but I knew today would be a long drive. No bikers in spandex shorts today...I was thrilled. I took my kids swimming last night at the hotel...it was 107 at 9pm and they kept trying to get into the hot tub. I told them they were crazy and no parent would be caught dead letting their children climb into the hot tub in THAT heat!!! unbeknownst to me a family was in the pool area and the parents let their two smaller children climb into the hot tub. After the dirty looks were wiped from their faces as I lectured my children on the health issues with people using the hot tub in that heat. Open mouth, insert foot. Fabulous!!!
While in Arizona we passed up the world famous Picacho Peak. What?! You've never heard of it?! Let me illustrate that msot of you do....it was the inspiration of the location for the book..The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

Afterwards we drove by Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch...no I'm not kidding!!! if I had the room I would've bought an ostrich egg to make for family breakfast next week!!!Maybe next time!!!

To me one of the most beautiful sights of the drive is Texas Canyon in Arizona. Today Molly asked me if the mountain was real. It is so incredibly beautiful the way nature has sculpted the rocks...now remember. I'm I a mountain girl, I like trees, lakes, water...not dirt, sand and cactus. however, this canyon when you catch it at sunrise is incredible. Rich reds and browns surround you. truly a sight to behold!!!

Tomorrow I will arrive and see my hubby for the first time in 3 months and then I am off to the task of finding a job. Let the hunt begin!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

1 Day Closer!!!

Last night we slept at my parent's house and had a last great hurrah. I had fun watching my Dad play with his pigs, so aptly named: Sweet and Sour. I am so grateful for my parents. They were instrumental in helping me prepare for my move and being my contsant support during these difficult times. It really feels weird to be traveling without my husband with just the kids. I have two more days to go until I arrive at my new home and then the following week I will have to wrok on moving eveything into our home and unpacking. I still need to search listings and find a job like there is no tomorrow, but I will make it...I promise.

This morning I woke up, got showered and by the time I was ready to take off on travels my Daddy was in the kitchen frying up sausage and fresh home grown eggs scrambling in the pan. I was so grateful for the good start. We pulled away from their home knowing full well we would not be back for several years. It was sad to move on and pass Tracy one final time, but it's in the cards. The kids and I stuffed ourselves into the car and continued to drive.

We stopped at the Grapevine, a mountain pass just north of the Los Angeles area, to refuel and eat lunch outside in the bazillion degree heat... godd thing we're moving top Texas...home of the mild temperatures....just agree with me...I like it that way. When we approached LA my anxieties began to climb. One of my greatest hates is the freeway system in Los Angeles....who doesn't right? Well, we lucked out, being Saturday we were able to move through at 2 mph instead of the traditional standstill.

As we made our way to Interstate 10 and headed east I found I needed a major potty break. After about 500 exits we found the perfect stop and we all dashed in only to find the janitor had closed the women's bathroom. I eyed the men's for a moment before asking the janitor if there were other restrooms. Oh sure there were!!! On the other side of the enormous building....I nearly knocked over an 80 year old trucker to get there....walker and all...Just kidding!

Finally we made it to a small town named Blythe, just past the Mohave Desert and on the border of Arizona. It holds the key to my happiness...a air conditioned room to sleep in!!!! I didn't even mind so much seeing a couple of elderly bikers standing outside their room by their motorcycles wearing spandex shorts...although i admit I was tempted to take a picture with them!!! So, tonight my dear friends I will sleep well, not worrying about the world around me.

Tomorrow the trip continues...El Paso here I come!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Last Morning...

As I look out the front window of what I lovingly call the money pit I see the palm trees in the front yard lit up with the golden sun of the morning. I can tell you right now...it's going to be a hot one. Not one palm frond is moving...always a bad sign for the people who have no air conditioning. Bummer.

Yesterday, I woke up with a purpose. A major list of things needed to be accomplished before the men showed up for the loading. I have to admit...we were fairly organized...at least like to pretend that and we don't want to distract me do we? I didn't think so!!!

By 10 o'clock last night I had yet to eat any breakfast, lunch or dinner and my supply of Dr. Pepper had run out. I beleive at the point I discovered this the kids ran screaming from the room..."Head for the hills!!!" they called over their shoulders...dorks every one of them, but their my dorks and I love them...every other tuesday. I was so thankful when it was done and everything was loaded. I truly was ready to pass out from exhaustion.

After a quick run to McDonald's to buy my kids dinner...yes at 10pm. I'm guessing I am not going to win the Mother of the Year award for that move, whatever. The kids slept on Molly's bed and I took the couch. Yes, I said couch and bed. There's a logical explanation for both. Molly has a queen size white iron bed that will fill the entire bedroom of the one she is slated to share with her sister. We will be shipping that off today to my parent's house where they've gathered a lot of our items we can't truly use or fit. And yes, I slept on the couch...you know. the one that won't fit onto the trailer!!!! Aargh!!! so we will have no where to sit in the living room for a bit. I'm sure we'll find something when we are down there...I hope.

Anyway, I am about to wake my kids for their last day of school here in California. They will miss their friends and I will most definitely miss mine. One friend who hosted...along with another...dropped by to hand me a book of memories. She had pics from everyone at the party along with notes from all. It was really touching that my whacked out sense of humor was amusing to all. I will most definitely miss all my friends here, but with our blogs and facebook I am quite sure we will never lose touch and for any and all who make their way down to Texas...if you can climb rthe stairs to my 3rd floor apartment then you are welcome to stay. We'll hang out, explore the Alamo and realize it will feel like time never passed since our departure.

I am looking forward to tomorrow, getting on the road and starting our trek. Texas is our land of promise, besides....I'll air conditioning and a dishwasher! Life is good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Congrats Corinna!!!!

The day started off bad...it's laughable really. I woke up at 3am...Yes folks, 3 AM!!!!! Why?!

As you all know, when you are going through a trial and you say the 4 words guaranteed to make things worse..."It can't get worse"

Oh but it can friends...it can. You see, apparently a little creature decided to crawl into my room last night, climb into my bed, make its way over to my face and bit me. I woke up at 3am with my lip completely swollen. I looked like I had a bout with Rocky Balboa himself. I couldn't believe how bad it was hurting with my lip stretched to maximum density. I am telling you now I could never get colagen...it would kill me!!!! It has gone down quite a bit and I will survive...hopeuflly in the next few days I should have my lip back down to normal.

From that point on the day got better an better. I took the day off from the packing world and had lunch with a friend and her daughter and then I had to run and pick up Corinna so she could get showered and ready for tonight's celebration. It was fun to help her do her hair and prepare her for the ceremony. I was so proud of her for graduating with honors from her middle school. I was even more proud of her finding out she'd earned the Presidential Academic Award for her excellence. She was shocked. She never knew she'd received it. It was a fun night to celebrate her achievements. Way to go Corinna!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where are their parents?!

I am frustrated. It has been a long hot day and my family and I moved boxes and loaded up part of the trailer in the heat. Perhaps it doesn't help, but truly I want to know where the parents of the world are? Seriously!!! I see it everyday and I'm sure you do as well. Parents rushing from place to place getting their children to and from school, helping them with their homework, supervising them and raising them up to be good citizens, but mostly good people.

Today, bringing my children home from school I was talking to my youngest. She was telling me of a boy in her class who was suspended for the rest of the school year and the first few days of the next school year. Why?! What could a kid possibly do to earn that sentence. She told me that he made a video he put on YouTube where he ranted and raved about the students in his class and supposedly said some very mean things about my daughter including wishing she would get run over by a car and killed. Gulp!

I simply don't beleive a child this age could feel so malicious. It was seen by many of the kids in class and my daughter's teacher holds a copy of it for evidence of what this child did without his parent's knowledge. It made me angry that I was forced to answer the question as to why someone would force me to answer her questions as to what was wrong with her that he hated her so much. I wish there was something I could do to help people become better parents. I feel helpless, angry and frustrated.

Why don't parents step up?!

4 days until departure...

Today was a killer...I will be falling asleep WAY early tonight. Not only is it an incredibly hot day here, but the trailer arrived and my family came to help with some packing. We managed to load most of the boxes in the back of the trailer leaving the big chunks for our friends coming Thursday evening. It should be fairly easy as long as I can prepare everything left to go. I'm trying to get as organized as I can. I think I will be packing my trunk early tomorrow just to make sure I can fit everything in there....luggage and all. Ahh the fun and excitement.

Tomorrow, however will be much more relaxing. Tomorrow my baby girl will go through her promotion ceremony at her school. WARNING!!! WARNING!!! High School Ahead!!!! I am so proud of her and her attitude with the craziness in our lives. She was pleasantly surprised to find she was being promoted with honors. Congrats to Corinna!! All your hard work paid off!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Refiner's Fire...

As I was talking to my bishop today he asked me a question that I've thought about since leaving the church.

"What have you learned from this trial you are passing through?"

A simple question you can answer many different ways as there really is so much you can learn from each trial presented before and what you expect someone to learn is not always what they do learn. So my friends, here is what I've learned:

Dreams can come true

The objects we put in our homes as decorations and/or entertainment is simply stuff.

A house is no more than an object to dwell in

A home is any space in which your family lives together

the gospel and your testimony can never be taken from you...you can only give it away

My children are much stronger at their age than I was at their age

The prophets have impressed on us the need for food storage for a reason...and I'm grateful we listened.

The only thing that matters in this entire crazy world is our relationships with each other.

Never say it can't get worse...it always can

You really will find out who your friends are during these times.

Every time you hit the wall and think you can't take a step more...the Lord stands next to you and helps you take three more steps...allowing you to stretch yourself and grow.

Friends are found in different places and different spaces...whether face to face, telephone contact or even on the computer screen...friends are there.

You will do things you never thought you could...if only you have faith.

and finally...sometimes you need to learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

Yes, I learned a lot during this portion of my trial. I pray we are ending the difficult times and now everything will start improving.I don't know what will be happening in the future...I don't have a crystal ball, but I do know I want my family to be together again, under one roof. I don't want to have to say good night or good morning over the phone any longer. In fact, I want to shoot my cell phone, but that's an entirely different thought.


Confession #3 billion: I don't like to be the center of attention. Most of my friends here know that. I love doing things for others, but as for myself I hate to be the focus. It literally KILLS me!!! So when my dear friends asked to put together an open house to say goodbye to my family. "Uh...er...well...ok," was my answer when they asked if they could host. Now, this anxiety stems back to my teen years where I planned my sweet sixteen and nobody showed up....ouch!!!

So, yesterday I put on my best smile and the girls and I went to my friend's home, which she graciously opened up for us. She and my other friend are truly the hostesses with the mostesses! I enjoyed myself and had a great time visiting with our friends. I wish I'd brought my camera. We had fabulous food and fair. I was very impressed by the cookies in the shape of cowboy boots and stars, chips and salsa and all things delicious. I was truly grateful.

I should've known all was going too well. Molly began to snuggle me and was very quiet. By the end her head was starting to hurt and I thought we were on the migraine express again. Since she was little she's had migraines when she hasn't had enough sleep. She hits the same cycle over and over. Lack of sleep= nausea + vomitting + sleeping it off. Very predictable.

Not quite the same. We left the party 15 minutes before the end and brought her home. By the time we reached home...a 5 minute drive...she jumped from a normal temp to 104. Of course I had no medicine...we are moving later on this week. So I ran to the store, picked up my son and FORGOT the medicine. I ran back out to the store, called my home teacher for a blessing, grabbed the medicine and ran home. She drank the medicine easily and then laid on the couch. She received her blessing from two worn down friends. I appreciated their time and the lovely words in which the pronounced over her head. It was a relief and slowly she began to feel better. This morning her fever is low grade, but she is much happier nonetheless.

So, I thank my good friends for hosting a party which brought me comfort in my anxious times and helping me through it all. I thank my friends for blessing my daughter. Most of all I thank all my friends for being who they are and loving me...the way I am. Thank you for your comfort!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friend Potatoes...

I just thought about my grandfather. As the oldest grand-daughter I always knew I held a special place in his heart. I wish I was able to get to the pictures of me and my grandfather at two special weddings. My own and my uncle's.

At my wedding I took a special picture with just me and my grandpa together in front of the temple. He was a staunch Catholic and therefore was unable to come and see me get married, but he understood the meaning behind it and waited patiently in the waiting room while I was sealed to my husband for time and all eternity. He was a champ and standing with me in front of the temple he dressed to the hilt...his best suit, a sharp white shirt and his world series ring. he wore it to each of our weddings. You knew the day meant the most to him if he wore his ring. The first time he met my oldest daughter Corinna as a baby he wore his ring, but that's neither here nor there.

At my uncle's wedding it was a fun filled party with lots of smiles and never ending fun. We danced the night away and the floor cleared as grandpa led me across the dance floor dancing the waltz. it was a special moment I am grateful to have in photographic form to remind me.

What I reminds me the most of my Grandpa was nothing but friend potatoes. I learned to cook them when I was young and he always requested my famous fried potatoes. I made them for him at every visit. One time I used so much salt they were incredibly horrid!!! And yet he ate every last bite...while drinking a gallon of water. Poor man, I probably sent his blood pressure through the roof.

He was the same man that encouraged me to become a clown...yes, literally a clown. In fact, when he couldn't come to my high school graduation he sent a clown pin instead. We used to love clowning around together.

Today I challenge you to remember someone special in your life who has passed. What did they teach you? What was your fried potatoes?

A Litte Ray of Sunshine...

This morning I groaned as I rolled out of bed. I had to face yet another mindnumbing day of packing and preparation for the move. I was not looking forward to it and my body has been aching lately to the point where I can barely handle it in the morning, but still I give myself props because I actually rolled out of bed BEFORE my alarm went on. On I trudged taking the kids to school, picking up a blanket for packing items, running a few errands of the sort. I had no idea what events would unfold.

After returning home my husband called to let me know I had forgot to pay our cell phone bill. Of course I ran to pay the bill and with all the stress and moving it apparently had slipped my mind for over a month. When i originally walked in to pay I let the woman working there know I needed to pay the bill and then I was interested in buying a car charger for my cell phone in case of emergency. Well, to my surprise...and utter horror I hadn't paid my bill for two months!!! No wonder they called. I felt horrible and I told the woman I would need to wait since I was going to pay the full amount and I hadn't expected it. She asked me to wait and asked to see my cell phone. I showed her and she disappeared into the back and reappeared holding the charger which she comp'd to me for making sure the bill was paid. I was so appreciative! She must have thought I was a loon for tearing up!!!

Returning back home and working on my packing of the kitchen I began working again. Hubby called happy I was able to take care of it and get it all settled. he then started worrying about not hearing back from the apartments we applied to. I mean really, I'm leaving in 1 week folks!!! I was a bundle of anxiety myself, but kept it close as I waited patiently. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find they had accepted us, but with one condition...we pay three months in advance. NO PROBLEM!! Again I am thankful for all the help with the wood...it paid for our three months rent. I told her it was no issue and that I would wire the money to my husband and he could bring it in on Wednesday. I am thrilled!!! Another little burst of sunshine. And yes, that is our future home right there!!!

Finally, as I was getting ready to update the blog and share my minor miracles...and yet such wonderful miracles...my former Alhambra guy showed up to check on our water needs. He easily noticed the mountain of packed boxes in the living room and realized we were good. he then asked to check the water cooler. He quickly looked and then announced he would be back on Monday sometime. He wanted to exchange the cooler for a newer version for the move. I insisted he didn't need to worry about it, but he smiled patted me on the shoulder and smiled. As he walked away he said: "See you Monday!" What a sweetheart! I am so grateful right now!!!

So friends...little rays of light are parting the clouds at least for today and bit by bit my future looks brighter and brighter everyday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Phrase You Never Wanted Your Daughter To Say...

Yup!!! My 11 1/2 year old daughter said a phrase today I never expected and/or hoped to ever hear in my life.

"Oh! I forgot my pants!" She declared as we walked to the car.

Now before you call child protective services on me for being a bad parent in not noticing my daughter was wearing no pants...you really need a few more details.

I was picking her up from a going away party at Achievement girls and they were swimming. Therefore she was in her swimsuit. It is simply a question you never expected to fall across your daughters lips. These sentences appear from time to time in all of our lives. Some of my favorite sentences by the kids are:

"I'm going through a hobo phase." Not quite sure where that came from.

"Shiver me timbers & bubble me bath!" Outside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

"You're adorkable, Mom!" Well...I am!!!

"Caldron's General Store...can you help me?" answering the phone.

"I like pie." There was no pie in sight...or food for that matter!!! Random

"I not overmotional! You overmotional!!!!" Said my a 3 year old with that broke out with chicken pox the next day.

"Mom, can we get a resurrected fish for a pet?" That was today in the car on the way to school...again random 101 in this family.

We're never sure where these phrases come in, but they are funny none the less. They seem to pop out of our entire family's mouths. Several times my kids' friends have asked us if we could host our own reality show on the web so they could get a glimpse into the weirdness that is us. I told my kids their friends were obviously on drugs and that they could no longer speak to them ever again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

10 days and counting...

Yes, people...10 DAYS UNTIL DEPARTURE!!!! I am so excited to go. Next week will be a flurry of activity so I am desperately trying to finish all the packing this week. My girls' jaws dropped when I limited them to only 7 outfits to bring along...along with one church outfit. oh and if you were wondering how high my stress level is: DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!! We don't have an apartment to live in yet. No...I'm not kidding!!! So, most of you may know I don't have high anxieties, but right now...I am tempted to freak out. We are in talks with a complex right now and they are simply waiting for verification of Don's employment. He received his first paycheck and is now slated to receive his second on Friday. He just needs to bring both pay stubs in for them to verify his employment and we will be set, but I will tell you right now I will completely lose it if we end up being turned down.

I've thought much about my situation and I've likened it to the pioneers. My husband's family joined the church in Davies County, Missouri at a time where it wasn't popular to be a member of our church. As a family they walked across the plains eventually making their way to the Salt Lake Valley after a brief two year's service at Winter Quarters as the father repaired wagon wheels for all that rolled through before their final push. Like those pioneers, the distance ahead of me looms great, almost insurmountable if you will. I'm sure the distance seemed huge to them and I wondered if they looked ahead or if sometimes they simply walked looking at their feet...watching each step across the plains. I feel like that is what I am doing right now. I am simply watching myself take each step at a time. I look at it this way...with each box I pack I make it closer and clsoer to my goal. With each board denailed and loaded onto the trailer. With each horrid sound of packing tape being stretched to seal the boxes we inch our way closer. Those ancestors who walked across the plains were blessed to make it without losing a member of their family and I pray we will be so blessed to be together again in less than two weeks.

Step by step we will make it to our destination.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Sweet Treat...

Tonight, the kids and I spent the evening with my in-laws having a little going away party...pizza style. It was a fun get together. I watched as the kids all talked to their Papa and Auntie while my mother-in-law and I giggled down at the end of the table. My other sis-in-law showed up a few minutes later and we had a good time seeing them for the last time before we move. My sister-in-law made little bags for each of the kids...a survival kit if you will. I was a bit nervous when the kids first pulled out the bags of gummy bears and gummy worms along with an array of different puzzle books and such to keep them busy. The highlight to it all was finding two small squirt guns in each bag...including my own....I can see the looney family running all over the grassy area shooting each other with squirt guns. no worries...have camera, will travel. I laughed as I opened my bag:

Some traditional travel items such as tums, motion sickness medicine, my own squirt guns, and wet wipes. Then again she covered me for the large amount of gummy creatures she pushed down in my kids' bags....a new bottle of aspirin and earplugs. LOVE IT!!!!! of course I love the new movie too. I watched August Rush once and loved it. I've simply never had the chance to buy it...yet. And now I don't have to. I'm so grateful for the thoughts of all my family gathering to give us a good sendoff. Nothing better than having your family around you.

As I came home I received a call to arms. The girls were heading out on the town. It was so much fun to have my friends all around as we chowed down on dessert. Unfortunately, after a great dinner and a belly full of desserts I haven't been so full for so long. I am most definitely going to sleep well tonight. It was a fun time with my girls tonight!!!!

24 hours..

I'm on pins and needles here. It's been a long 24 hours filled with laughter smiles and now lots of prayers. We've found an apartment that is willing to work with us. They understand I don't have a job in San Anotnio yet and are willing to work out the details. So, we have paid the deposit and are now waiting for the verdict. I am praying so hard right now we will get the green light. Honestly, I don't even care that the apartment is on the third floor. Exercise is exercise. Whatever!!!! I am just waiting now to hear. I feel calm, but in the end I am simply anxious to hear. Something good HAS to happen eventually!!!

Last night, however, was a different. Last we watched the premiere of Hammertime on A&E. I know...another reality series...but it is a little more fun when it's set in the city you live in and a friend is in it. She was mortified, but in all actuality she was adorable!!! They filmed her as she was working out. It could have been worse...she could have been stuffing her face!!! So, if any of you catch Hammertime...just know...the streets, the sites, the high school are all nearby. I know these streets well. It's kind of weird to watch a show set in your own local city...weird really.

So all...have a great day!!! Talk to you soon!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Stop and smell the flowers....

AAAAACHOOOOO!!!!! Drat those silly allergies!!!!

24 Hours Ago...

I heard a cat meowing. For those of you close you will know I am a dog person...not a cat. I don't like cats...except for a ferile kitten I named Hitler...white face, little black mustache...you getthe point. However, for the most part I am not a fan of cats. I've had ferile cats living on the property and I haven't minded so much as they've always ate the mice...I hate mice more than cats. Anyway, occassionally in the summer nights as all windows are open and we are nearly asleep...the cats start howling...looking for a mate. I NEVER had to howl...I know where my mate is...Texas...sigh!!!

Anyhoo...last night I heard a meowing and looked outside in time to see Mama Cat sitting next to the swimming pool while her little snow white kitten...we have appropriately named Ted...not that we know if it is a girl or a boy, but whatever!!! he was swimming in our murky pool desperately looking for an exit while worried Mama called after her baby. Searching quickly I managed to scoop Ted up with a stick and set him safely down on dry land. I backed away waiting for Mama to come and check her baby. I watched as they cried back and forth and worried the little one would freeze. brought a towel out hoping baby Ted would snuggle up in it, but to no luck. I lost sight of them after fifteen minutes, but later today saw Ted romping in the front yard tackling long blades of grass waving in the breeze.

Did it matter that I saved one little ferile cat from a long hard life? It did to Mama cat.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Determined To Move On...

Dear friends, you've given me such good advice. The problem is I've been the rock for such a long time it will take some time for the erosion to take effect. No longer will I be the only rock everyone will lean on. slowly I will help my hubby become the rock he should be and together we will hold up the mountain top...together. You all had some great advice that will only make us stronger. I've already started to demand him to be my rock. He knows it is coming...he has known since I had my little breakdown on the phone last month. I think we went wrong by actually working together. We should've never done it, but you live and learn. We will survive. The good news is my rock-in-training has accomplished the task I sat before him. We shall see if he accomplishies the next task on monday...we shall see!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When Pride Gets In The Way...

While spending yet another day packing up the house I was talking to my parents and they wanted me to let them know if I needed anything and not to let my pride stop me from asking for help. I assured them all was well and that I would let them know if I needed anything. I asked them last week for 3 dozen more eggs as we've gone through eggs like crazy and their chickens produce a large amount of eggs. Of course, I do have to say I don't know what I am going to do when I have to go back to store bought eggs. I love the rich yellows of the yolks and having an occasional duck egg in the mix is always fun as it is quite a bit larger. Anyway, upon requesting more eggs they decided to bring a few items over to help us stretch our dollars much farther. I promised them I would let them know if I needed anything.

After finishing our packing for the day we said our good-byes and they told me they would come back on Monday to help finish...though most of it is done. We are organizing now. later on in the early evening a couple from our previous ward who has taken it upon themselves to check on my family every week. The dear woman gave me a hug and whispered a question into my ear: "How is your food?" Well, I can't lie. It's thinning, but this is why we have food storage...to help us stretch our dollars. We are well fed with full tummies. The wood is leaving next week which will give me the full payment and make life feel much better. I found it nice that this couple was thinking of me and making sure my family was taken care of in our tough times...truly grateful. A few minutes earlier another sweet woman I've met working with her in a calling or two had caled me asking if I would be home as she wanted to drop something off to me. She showed with a full meal for my kids and I. Yes, times are difficult and if I needed something more I would and have asked before, but the thoughts in these people who I've been blessed to share my life here on this earth. Someone who thought to bring my family dinner just to ease my burden a little. I've seen so many small things that meant the most to me. A sweet friend who is dealing with a great personal tragedy took the time to come and give me a hug when she thought I needed it...and I did.

Before you all start panicking thinking I have no food in my cupboards...don't. We are all perfectly fine. To be perfectly hoenst I haven't even made a dent in our food storage. I always wondered how long what we stored would last. I can most defintiely say...what we have left would last my entire family at least 9 months, maybe longer combined with fresh veggies and meats. This has been an amazing experience for us to know that we'd followed what the prophets had asked us to do and we are grateful for that knowledge.

I would like to challenge you...my bloggy buddies...to look for someone who may be flailing in the middle of a trial and try to change their day. And for anyone who lives in my city...that does not mean you target me!!! I know of several people who could use a shoulder to lean on.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Becoming Me...

With all the major upheaval in my life and changes happening at the speed of life, I find myself on a very unfamiliar pathway. I find, like many others on the pathway before me, I am changing from my experiences giving myself growing pains. Moving is never easy, but this change is a welcome one. All I need to know is where I'm going to live. Hubby is going to search a few different apartment communities this thursday and I pray he finds us a place to live.

Today, I found myself wandering through what was left of our store. My mother-in-law saw me looking around and asked me how I was doing. I dropped my mask and told her I was having a hard time these past few days. She understood. With tears in her eyes she openly wondered if my hubby, her son, really understood what I was going through. She said she thought he should know...but I stopped her. Truth be told I don't want him to know the extent of what I've been dealing with emotionally.

Let me tell you why... When I was six months pregnant with my youngest, Molly, I needed surgery to remove my gallbladder. Before the surgery as the attacks increased I found myself often on the floor curled up in a ball, willing the pain to disappear so I wouldn't have to take any medication that could possibly have an effect on my unborn baby. I have a fairly high tolerance dealing with pain. I can take more than many men with no problem. What I find worse is seeing the helplessness in my husband's eyes. He felt helpless at that moment while I dealt with the pain. He felt helpless as I cringed after having a c-section. He felt helpless when I suffered through two big bouts of pneumonia. THAT pain is not one I can handle. It was at this moment I became the rock I am.

So, dear friends, along with this chapter of my life here closing...a new chapter opens. What will be written? I do not know. What I do know is that my life will begin again...and someday I will become me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Type of Mask Do You Wear?

I was talking to a very dear friend of mine who I absolutely adore. She has so many talents in decorating and hosting fabulous parties, making everyone fell at home. She asked how I was doing and mentioned having a going away party. She also knows I am not one who likes to be the cetner of attention. I agreed knowing it would be fun to have one last party with my fabulous friends here, although I fully believe by the time it comes I will convince myself it is for someone else and not me...don't worry, she'll tease me about this later. However, it was later in the conversation when she mentioned something I have in common with other comedians such as Robin Williams, Jim Carrey & others. not that I am hysterically funny, though I feel myself mildly amusing.

What she had pointed out was my ability to hide. My humor is a mask I hide behind. You've all heard me say before in my family we choose to laugh or cry and we always choose laughter. Her words have echoed in my mind helping me to see a defense mechanism I never noticed. I don't know if it is because of my insecurities or the fact down deep inside I utterly hate to be the whiney friend who complains about everything. Whenever a friend asks me how I am doing my lips spit out the first one-liner I can think of. I see many comedians who do the same thing. THey always feel they have to be "on" and funny for everyone. It's kind of like when someone says: "Hey! I heard you are funny...say something to make me laugh!"

"Uh!!! Duh!!!" It's virtually impossible. So, in my first "un-hiding" moment I will answer the one question I get asked all the time: "How are you?"

Today my friends, I am literally crappy. Today the notice was posted on our property...we're being foreclosed on. We are losing everything we've worked hard for. I have to admit, I don't feel too bad. We move on June 27th and they are requesting us to be out by the 30th. We apparently timed it correctly. Anyway, after my family left for the day I stepped into my kitchen for a drink of water and found my parents not only had brought 3 dozen eggs fresh from their chickens, but they brought some extra food to help out until we move. Tears came to my eyes. I am truly grateful for my family and my friends.

To my dear friend who brought the truth to my eyes I need to share my thanks. I never knew I was hiding. I simply didn't want to burden anyone with my stresses. So to her I say a special "thank you." Your words and observation meant the most to me.

Are you board? Come have your nails done with me!!

Saturday was an eventful day for us. With help from some of the most fabulous men in the world our old western store was turned into a war zone as we worked hard at pulling the old planks off the walls. Pulling more than the original 2500 feet of wood we thought we had we brought it a whopping total of over 3800 feet of recyclable wood. That is the best part. The old barn look is apparently in demand. THink about those old BBQ joints you love to frequent. All the old worn wood lining the walls have to come from somewhere...this time it is from us. Figuring it all out I will be earning approximately $1 per foot. In a better economy the price would be tripled!!!
The good news is all the wood is down. The bad news...every single plank needed to be "de-nailed" so to say. All day, Saturday my sister-in-law and I hammered the nails and pulled them from the wood. We managed to finished what looked like the tiniest pile in the universe. Today however, my parents and older brother came down and we managed to finish almost everything in three hours. Both my Dad and my older brother are planning on coming down and finishing the pile on Wednesday for me. I am so gratefulo for their help. I figured I'd be out there for another 4 days and with the buyer planning on coming to pick up his shipment on either Friday or Monday it needed to get done.

It's these days, when life gets to be harder than ever expected, and your family stands behind you cheering you on and throwing in their help when you need it that you learn what blessings you have. I am grateful for me my family and today when I watched my Mom and brother carrying those 18 foot long planks of wood, watched my father quietly hammering the nails out, knowing my father-in-law nearly knocked himself out working so hard to help me and my sister-in-law who is coming tomorrow to lend a hand tears gathered in my eyes. I feel so thankful for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law hosting my hubby in their home for several months while he obtained a job.I am truly thankful. Now I need a manicure...my nails are horrible!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stuck in Germany...

I've blogged a lot about my Laurels as of yet with them beginning their new lives as the newest members of Relief Society. One of my older Laurels who graduated last year has been on my mind a lot lately. My dear friend Meaghan has been on the adventure of her lifetime. Plans for a marriage were put on hold while her significant other plans to depart for his mission. Instead of sitting around pining for him, she had found a job a friend had recommended as an au pair in Germany. Having been offered the job the family flew her over to Germany. Unfortunately, upon finding she suffers from depression from time to time they declared it was a disease and wanted her to leave. One thing led to another and she fled their house that very night. She moved from place to place and unfortunately in her short journey she lost her passport. She is now, for all intensive purposes, stuck on an American military base waiting to receive a new passport or travel visa so she can fly down to Milan to meet another family who is interested in her nanny services. Through all this she has made friends and is maturing at a rapid rate. She has kept a good head on her shoulders and makes her decisions prayerfully. I am so proud of her and I know her parents are as well. I pray she will remain safe and all will be well in the end.

Until then she is weaving a beautiful story she will tell her children of someday...being stuck in Germany.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good-bye My Laurels!!!!

Tonight was our official good-bye to the seniors who've graduated over the past few weeks. I wanted to share a photo of my girls. I had all but one of them present and they are truly awesome. I truly adore these girls and aside from their parents I am their biggest fan. I am sad to see these girls go, but I know they are heading off to their adventures in their lives. These girls are incredibly talented and I look forward as they all intend to keep in touch over the years sharing their adventures and hearts with me. I feel blessed.

Garage Check!!!!!

So, this morning I kicked it into high gear packing wise. Today the garage was on my agenda. After dropping off the kids I headed straight for the garage. Our garage is nothing like a normal garage. It is a ginormous 3-4 car garage made with heavy steel beams and heavy duty aluminum...in other words: every man's dream!!! However, needless to say the creepies and crawlies make it their favorite hangout. Today I killed one wolf spider, it was the size of a silver dollar, put my finger through another one's exo skeletal remains and saw rat droppings everywhere as they tried desperately to make duck ala orange out of hubby's duck decoys. Unfortunately, I ended up finding the remains of that same rat. Bummer!!! I am happy to report...garage is finished!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Marbles Gone...Check!!!

Ok! We all know moving is never a pleasant situation. There is stress involved and I learned early on during our first move you've got to give and take a little. This has been ...hands down...the hardest move we've ever handled. I believe it is most likely because the situation of dealing with the recession and everything which has made it more difficult. In these hard situations our families have surrounded us and been supportive. Our friends have been supportive as well and we could never make it this far without our family and friends.

Today my dear hubby presented the straw that broke the camel's back. Last night, while talking I explained to him I had several items on my list to complete before I could leave and these items were so large in my eyes that until I arrived in San Antonio I was not going to take on anything else. He understood completely after explaining all of my thoughts.

This morning however I nearly lost it. He called while I dropped the kids off at school and told me he was having problems with his phone. In my defense I kept my cool and didn't fly off the handle. I asked him very simply what he would like me to do and he told me he wanted me to fix it...4 states over. I told him I would call tech support to get their advice. However, I already knew what they were going to say....bring it to a store and have them test it...and they said it. I called him back and told him the verdict. He seemed very sad that I couldn't snap my fingers and make everything all better.

Then I realized. I love to serve my husband. I love to serve my family. I am a control freak to a point. I do have my anxieties about such things as flying, but every time I step foot on an airplane I have to make the conscious decision to let go. Why is that? I always try to pictures all the many amazing adventures and experiences I would have to give up if I didn't let go of that control.

Back to the point at hand...I serve my husband to the point where I've taken care of everything and he hasn't had the experience of building that independent spirit. The last thing I wanted him to do is not be able to make up his mind on how to do these simple things. What I have done all of these years?! I felt bad, but I have a renewed determination that when we are back together we are going to change it up a little bit. Slowly and surely I will help him to gain that self confidence and independence he needs and deserves. With us both working down south we will need to work as a team in different capacities, but we will work together.

Through this experience I am amazed at the growth my children have gained. We talk and make daily decisions. They feel as if they have a voice in all of this. They cook more and complain less. They are good now telling me things they need from the store ahead of time. I am grateful for this experience to open my eyes to our continual improvement and how far we've come!!!