Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do I Have "Sucker" Written on My Forehead? -OR- This MIght Blow Up In My Face

Landon calls me at work. At 2:30. Every day.

Last week he called and asked if he could go to a farm located at ____ with his friends. And buy a duck. For a pet.

I said, "No freaking way!" (This was not hard.)

Yesterday Landon called and said, "___'s other ducks are picking on this one, and his mom is afraid they will kill the duckling. Can we take the duck for two weeks till it gets bigger?"

Big hesitation. "No!"

"One week, Mom?"

Another hesitation. Bigger.

Here is what is going through my mind: My mother HATES rodents. But when I was in 1st grade she let me bring home the class guinea pig for the weekend. Many times. We fed it lots of lettuce. I cleaned the cage (taking the rodent OUT of the cage) every day. Should I let Landon bring home a duck? What would my mom do? Is this a fight worth having? Is there a lesson in this? This is a gamble. Maybe he'll find out that it's a bigger pain than it's worth. And he'll leave me alone about getting another pet. OR maybe he'll fall in love with this duck, and we'll have tears and fighting and begging to keep the duck. Mean, mean mom? Take a chance? What if the dog eats the duck? Decisions, decisions...

"The duck MUST go home Friday immediately after school."

"OK! Thanks, Mom!"

So there is a duckling at our house. Cheeping. All. The. Time. Bella is a nervous wreck. She wanders the house all day long. And all night long. Landon is pulling his hair out. The cheeping is making him crazy. It's making me crazy. It's making everyone else crazy. The duck has to occasionally go outside to play. But the wind is blowing ME away--where will it take a duckling? Which is already in danger of being dog-eaten?

When I got home this afternoon I asked Landon if he'd had the duck out of the box today. He rolled his eyes. He said he had been outside with it for a while. And he said that since this is spring break weekend, and there is no school on Thursday or Friday, the duck is going back to his friend's right after school tomorrow.

Whew! Dodged that bullet!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Apology and a Laugh

We woke up to our house having been toilet papered. Again. This is probably the 3rd time since the ill-fated, amateur event I shared with you. These times the perps have been more professional (at least in the front trees), if not prolific.

Once our van, Flo--which Taylor drives--was covered in mustard or fry sauce or something. That wasn't so cool. He loved that.
He loves the TP, too. (A bit of a stick-in-the-mud, that one.)

I must admit that when I woke up and opened the drapes to this glorious morning, my first two thoughts were:

1. Seriously? Not AGAIN!
2. What's the good of having a dog if she won't even tell us when something like this is happening?

And so, to all of you boys--and especially to their parents--circa 1985-1988, please accept my sincere apologies.

  • I hope you understand, in spite of your frustration, that it was done in the spirit of love.
  • I'm sorry you had to clean up your yard. And the neighbors' yards. And the street. At all times of the year.
  • I'm sorry that you had flags of tp in the tops of your trees for weeks at a time.
On the other hand, how can you not laugh at this?

*sigh* If only we'd had colorful window paint when I was a teen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Falcon Watch Begins!

This is the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. If you look carefully you will see a small box near the top corner of the building, right next to the corbels (sp?). You don't know what a corbel is? It's that little decorative thingie at the top of the building--duh! Anyway, that little box was the home of our falcons last year (and the year before that, and the year before that, etc.). Jesse was their Mama, and he helped get the box set up when he was the FM of that building. Even better, Jesse helped get the camera set up so that everyone in the world can watch the falcons lay their eggs, hatch, and fly away. If you look closely you will also see that the falcons' home has been condemned and closed off. I do not know why.

This is the west wing of the Church Office Building. This is the falcons' new home. And yes, there is a camera there, too. I will keep you posted when and if a pair of peregrines decide to make it home for their nest.

We're still getting occasional snow, and it's still pretty cold. But it is spring in SLC!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Helping the Cause of Science

My brother's wife's brother's son -OR- my sister-in-law's nephew, Dixon (who is in 4th grade) is doing a science project. Please help him out by clicking here.

Dear Suzie,

Sunday we visited our former ward. As part of our lesson on Joseph (as in "The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"), we discussed The Big Picture. When we read about Joseph, we cover 20 years of his life in just a few short chapters of Genesis. But the truth was that he was in jail for YEARS. He didn't see his family for YEARS. He didn't know how it was all going to turn out.

A wonderful woman there spoke of her pain in not being able to conceive, and how some days she just thought that God didn't love her and she would not be able to go on. The interesting part in that was that--in all that time--she served as the YW president AND the RS president of that ward. She teaches music (she's great!) at Taylorsville High, where she blesses the lives of her students. I know this because I work with some of her former students, and they adore her! What she remembers of those years, though, is her private anguish and questioning God and wondering if He was even there. What we saw was a strong, capable woman, who remained true to her faith. And our version of the truth was closer than her version, because she IS a strong, capable woman who is true to the faith.

YOU are a strong, capable woman, who is true to the faith. I want you to know that I really admire that about you. I am THRILLED that you are serving with the YW now (again)--I only wish you were working with the MIA Maids or Laurels to Ashie could work closer with you.

And all of that is not to say that you are not allowed to have your own personal anguish--we all do, but for different reasons. I just wanted to tell you that I think you are wonderful and amazing and beautiful and talented. And I admire how happy you are, even though I know that you ache sometimes.

I love you.


P.S. And also, I love your blog!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tell Me What To Do!

Ashtyn got up and went to seminary this morning. After standing in the shower and sitting through seminary, she was done for the day. So a wonderful ward friend picked her up and took her home.

I'm weepy. I'm frustrated. I'm sad.

Someone? Anyone? Please, please, please tell me what to do!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Plain, Old, Boring, Ordinary Update on Our Lives

The pediatrician called me on Thursday night to tell us that (you guessed it) Ashtyn is healthy. She doesn't have mono. She's never had mono. Her thyroid level is .42 (normal is .5), but that is not low enough to require medication. Her blood count is normal. He doesn't think her symptoms warrant a visit to the neurologist or the rheumatologist. She must have a virus.


In the meantime, Ashtyn is still wiped out. The nausea seems to have passed, but she is tired all. the. time. She is frustrated and sick and tired and just not herself. And there's not one darn thing we can do about it.

And then my sister lovingly reminded me that miracles happen and we should hold a family fast. We did that today, and we ended our fast at 5:00 p.m. with many of Spencer's family here at our home. I made a couple of large pots of soup. We prayed to end our fast, and then just enjoyed each other and the food.

All of that said (and not to minimize our frustration and Ashtyn's illness)... The son of one of the ladies Briana and I visit teach took his own life on Thursday night. I called and left a love message on Friday. Then on Saturday morning Bri and I went to their home. We laughed a little, shed many tears, shared lots of hugs, and tried to figure out what we might be able to do to help. Geri's wonderful friends have taken beautiful care of them--she and Ray are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by people who love them. But they did let us do a little shopping for them (they needed a mattress pad) and we took dinner in tonight.

Ray and Geri were Landon's Primary teachers two years ago, and they both have a real soft spot for him. So he went with me and Briana to take their dinner tonight. Ray was adorable as he shared his love for Landon TO Landon. And he reminded Landon that he should never do anything without thinking about whether Jesus would do that. Landon shed some tears and shared some hugs.

Breezy and I also went visiting teaching this morning. One of our other sisters had a brother who took his own life when he was a teenager, and her feelings right now are very tender. Don't worry. I cried with her, too.

On a very happy note, we attended Sunday services in our former ward in Magna today. Immediately after the block of meetings, Lucas was ordained a deacon. It is a sweet experience to have friends who--in spite of not seeing one another for weeks or months at a time--are simply part of our family. They participated in our fast with us. We were unable to stay for their family meal, and they were unable to come for our family meal. But we are going to get together next week to break our fast (next Sunday is fast Sunday because the following week is General Conference).

It was fun to be in the 5th ward today. We were greeted warmly by many sweet friends there. There is a woman there who is a very different lady. I was her visiting teacher for a while, and she always throws her arms around me for a hug. There is another woman who has just become active (with her family) in the past few years; but when I lived there we were visiting teaching companions. Today she recognized me, and we had a sweet conversation about the changes in their lives and ours. We feel incredibly loved, of course, by the Bezzants. The Hulls, the Tarrants, the Maughans, the Burbidges, and many, many others acted so very happy to see us.

Emily, we saw Cameron's fiancee--she's lovely! We're very happy for them.

We had a TON of taco soup left over tonight, so we took some to our neighbors. As we walked out of their home, we were met from the north by the Voglers walking their two dogs and from the south by the Ulches walking their two dogs. Bella was whining from our living room window--"No fair!" (Yes, I speak Bella.) Spencer asked Bob to help him give Ash a blessing, so he came right in. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends!

Spencer and I played a few rounds of Clue with our boys. I read that my friends, Scott and Lorisa, are expecting.

Also, I got a massage from Briana at Eagle Gate's clinic on Friday night. It was fantastic! I highly recommend that you get a massage. It is a little piece of heaven. It's good for your body. It's good for your mind. It's good for your spirit. It makes it possible to face another day.

Here comes another day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On A Lighter Note

No updates on Ashtyn's condition yet. She's still sick, but we have not yet heard from the doctor after having bloodwork done yesterday.

However, yesterday I followed my friend Robin's directions and made a quart of yogurt. Yum! This morning I took about 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 T. Splenda, 6 blackberries, and 1/2 cup of Fiber One, and that was my breakfast. Awesome!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Requesting Your Prayers. Again.

Ashtyn woke up sick last Monday (March 8th). She was home sick all week. I took her to the doctor on Thursday. They tested her for strep, but the test came back negative. Everything else looked normal and happy. Still. And Again.

Ashie had a very normal weekend, and we were so glad. She was able to go out with her dad and her sister. She went to church.

And then yesterday (Monday again) she was no bueno. Again.

So today (again) I'm home from work hoping to get her in to the doctor as early as possible and hoping against hope that they will find something that is going to help her feel better; and knowing that they won't. Everything is going to be A-Okay. Again.

Which is good news. But how in the world can she feel so awful when everything is OK? I just don't get it. It's so frustrating for me, and I try not to take it out on Ashtyn. But she feels my frustration. She's already sick, so then she cries. And I feel terrible and frustrated. It's a vicious, spiralling circle.

Again and again and again.

*sigh* (again)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daddy/Daughter Date

This Wednesday the YW of our ward are having their Daddy/Daughter activity. Only Ashtyn's dad is in school on Wednesday night. So Spencer and Ashtyn went on a date yesterday. Ashtyn got to choose where to have lunch (Chick-Fil-A) and what to do afterward. She chose to do a scavenger hunt, and I got to set it up.

Rules: Don't open the envelope till after lunch. Take pictures of each of the following items with you in them. You can choose 5 items NOT to take pictures of. Be home by 4:00 p.m.
Here are a few of the pictures they took:Largest Shoe

Most beautiful dress

Ugliest socks

The Most Beautiful Thing in the Mall

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Appreciation for Friends AND a Pat on the Back for Me

When I started working for the Church in May of 2007, Jessica did a whole heck of a lot for me. The amazing thing was that she did SOOO much in so short a time. The phone line was put into my name. She helped me fill out paperwork for PaymentNet access. I had the keyboard I needed, a new mouse, a footrest, etc.--all within a day or two. In case I didn't say it, Jess--Thanks!

It has been 5 weeks since I took the job on the 8th floor (I know this because I interviewed the same day I took Lando to the orthodontist, and I just took him back yesterday). I am still trying to get everything where it needs to be and everyone the things they need.

On the flipside, now I know what question to ask, who (in general) to go to for help, and I'm doing fairly well. If slow.

When I start to feel comfortable here I'll know it's time to look for something else. It'll be a while. It's taken me five freaking weeks to do some of the basics!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Wish I Could...

I wish I could tell you all the funny things our kids say. Taylor had me rolling this afternoon, but unless I could somehow write in chicken, it's just not translatable.

So here's just one funny (and it will probably lose something in the writing). Last night we (Taylor, Ashtyn, Landon, and I) were watching TBL, and there were (of course) 500,000 commercials. Taylor looked at me, sighed, and said, "There hasn't even been anything on a commercial that I remotely care about." Without missing a beat, Landon said, "Except for those tampons. They looked pretty great."

Funny, funny kids!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Husbands Don't Say...and What That Means

"Wow! You got your haircut!"


"I like it! Nice haircut."


"Chelsea did a nice job."


"Do you think you'll like it?"


"Everyone's hair got cut."

Or anything else that refers to the fact that my hair is 4" shorter than it was. Three days ago. Three. Days.

Translation: If I ignore this haircut she will get the hint that I do not like it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Guess Who?

Let's play a game:

Guess who hosted high school Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival? The correct answer is West Jordan High School.

And guess who qualified to perform in Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival? The correct answer is Ashtyn (ensemble) and Taylor (both solo AND ensemble).

And guess who is going to State Solo and Ensembles? The correct answer is Taylor, for both his ensemble AND his solo.

And guess whose cheeks hurt from smiling at her son, who was schmoozing the entire room as he sang? The correct answer is ME, ME, ME!

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's a Good Thing I Stayed

I came downstairs at 4:00 so I could cover the phones (which require coverage till 5:00). Deb left at 4:15. Since then I have taken exactly two phone calls. And who else is in the office? Uh, that would be no one.

It's nice to feel needed...

On a brighter note, it looks like my 2LL position will be filled very soon. Woot!