Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are you Covered?

Okay. So, I've been sitting on this one for a while...trying to decide whether or not it is "blog worthy" and then I decided that blog worthy or not, I just had to get it out there!

All right. Imagine this. It's approximately 8:23 am on a Wednesday morning. I'm in the driver's seat of my Honda Odyssey minivan, on my way to Gearity Elementary School where I will unload Taylor, Rachel, Brooklynn, and Matthew...take them all into the school, all the way down to the end of the preschool hallway where I will help Brooklynn take off her jacket and hang up her backpack. I'll give her a kiss and a hug, send her into her classroom by 8:30, and then fight my way back down the hallway which is now filled with other parents who like to say their goodbyes in the middle of the hall, make it out the doors to the now crazy and dangerous parking lot, reload Taylor, Rachel, and Matthew...and speed off to Noble Elementary school where I will say my goodbyes to Tay and Rachey and send them into the school to their classrooms by 8:45. Ahh...at this point, Matthew and I breathe a sigh of relief...and go grocery shopping, or go to the library, or go do other errands...or sometimes we even get to just go home and relax!

Point: I have a tight schedule in the mornings. From the time that I get myself out of bed, and then raise my children from their pleasant slumbers, feed them breakfast, help them get dressed, to when I drop them off at school it is timed down to the minute. BUT!!!!!!! Even though I'm in a hurry, I'm stressed, and I too have places to be, I do my best to be a safe and courteous driver.

But this Wednesday morning, it was especially challenging for me to keep my hand from laying on my horn. It was especially challenging not to think, "Man, I wish I were driving one of those old beat up pickup trucks with the front loader...so I could ram this person out of the way!" Ahem. I never think those thoughts. Often.

I was going down a street that is signed 25 mph, and where there frequently are police officers waiting on the side streets to pick up speeders, so I make it a point to not go more than 5 over the speed limit. Suddenly, a green jeep cherokee with a Cleveland Indians flag sticking off of it's front antenna comes up behind me and starts riding my tail like crazy. They swerve out to the middle of the road to see around me, and then swerve back into their lane to miss the oncoming schoolbus. (I'm thinking that the "Go Indians" flag must have gotten into their line of vision...how else could you miss seeing a big yellow schoolbus?) They now lay in on their horn. (Now my kids are asking me "Mom, why is that lady falling asleep on her honker?") Sidenote: For some weird reason, when people around here honk...they honk so long and so loud, that my kids think they've fallen asleep...therefore, the "fallen asleep on her honker". Anyway, I told them that this female was definitely NOT a lady. That seemed to keep them busy processing for a while.

Well. It gets even better. I now come to an intersection where I'm going to turn right. Catch. The stoplight is RED. Catch #2. There is a "no turn on red" sign. Well, apparently the "female" jeep driver behind me is not only unladylike, but is also illiterate because she is now blaring her horn at me, (she is seriously sleeping on that honker) and making obscene gestures out her window. (At this point, I've got my cell phone out, and I'm about ready to dial in to the Cleveland Hts. police to have them come pick up this idiot...when I realize that my cell phone is dead. Perfect.)

Time for some good old "right back at ya" right? I contemplate slowing down to 5 mph to make her pass me, and then riding her tail. I think about throwing out a stinky diaper to splat all over her windshield...but I didn't currently have one with me. I think about making a huge picket sign that I can have Taylor hold up to the back window that says "Remember...CIVILITY!" (Civility Rules are being taught by the city of Cleveland Heights. How? They're trying to teach the people who live here how to correctly treat one another by putting little hints on our water bills...as if the people who live here actually read their water bills...as if the majority of the people who live here bother to pay their water bills...) Okay, anyway, I'm thinking of all these funny, ridiculous revenge strategies to keep my mind off of her sleep-honking and rude gestures and by now her screaming of something out her window. (I can't understand a word she's yelling...unfortunately, my children can...they're better at the dialect than I am)

So the light turns green, and I go around the corner. At this point, this jeep driver decides to go around me at mock 10, swerve right in front of me (missing an oncoming HOT BMW navy blue convertible...nice) and then goes as fast as she can to the next stoplight, where now I am behind her. AHA!!! This is where the daydream of the front loader comes in. But, sadly, my daydream is interrupted by an interesting bumper sticker. This is what I read on the female-sleep-honker's bumper.

"I'm covered under the plan of Jesus."

Well! Apparently, I just need to get a different insurance company, and then I can drive like a maniac and do whatever the heck I want as well! I'm calling tomorrow to cancel Erie Insurance...I need better coverage.

On a serious note: I thought about that poor person a lot that day, and a lot ever since. It really just hit me pretty hard that there are millions of people in our nation who really believe that they can do whatever they please and be saved merely by saying their praises or whatever it is they do. What a truly great and terrible day it is going to be if they don't learn the truth and change their ways. It made me really thankful to have the gospel in my life, and to know exactly what I need to do to have the atonement work in my life. And it made me want to try harder to be better...because I do have the full knowledge and understanding of Christ's gospel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Girls Room

Okay, so this has been a long process, and it's actually been done for a while, I just haven't taken pictures. But Rachey kept letting me know that I still hadn't posted about her room remodel...so here it goes. Lots of pictures...they tell the story pretty well.
This picture shows the old wallpaper...and that is little Brooklynn when she was two!

Here the wallpaper is down, and now we're cleaning off the glue.

I had to document the colorful and hideous shades. Yuck.
Andy loves remodeling. Really. Okay, fine, he doesn't.

Just another shot of the mess and ugly walls!

So, we painted the girls room a very pale pink with white trim. I just wanted the pink to be soft and calming...not overwhelming and I liked how it turned out.

Here is the girls' little "dress-up" corner. They love their mirror and I often find them sitting in the little rocking chair doing each other's hair or something. So cute.

Just another angle of the girls' bed.

Here are the new window treatments. They were so easy to make, and lots of fun! I bought some regular white tiebacks from the store, and then bought some wooden flowers, painted them, and then glued them to the tiebacks. The top valance is pink gingham, and then I made some sheers just to soften the whole look of the window.

Eventually I'll get this dresser sanded and painted!

I had Rachey help me choose some fun spring flowers to put in this little flowerbox. We had to add some butterflies because they were so cute.

I still need to repaint this little shelf, it's still in the old baby room decor colors...but that will have to wait a few days! Both the girls love their pinboards and keep them very full of their latest creations. And Rachey and Brooklynn had to have some flower fairies up on their walls. So, I just scattered a few of these little fairies on the walls.

So the girls room is quite a bit different from the boys blue room with airplanes. It's fun to make a room fit the personality of the person/people who occupy it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's in Your Garage?

So, I've never really been one to rummage through our garage...that's Andy's domain. Sure, I'll go grab hammers, screwdrivers, paint rollers, etc. when we're working on projects...but I don't dig deep into the dark abyss of the back garage space. For good reason it seems.

Now how's that for a happy greeting?? Andy found this guy hiding out in a box with old Vytorin Merck pens in it. He didn't seem to like being intruded upon. Andy was armed with the beebee gun and the camera. How do you spell beebee gun? Anyhow...it's a good thing I married Daniel Boone...we've had more critters out here than we ever had in Idaho.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I've been Tagged!

I usually: stay up really late reading a good book or watching something (movie or tv) with Andy.

I search: for fingernail clippers, my favorite pens...which seem to be everyone else's favorites as well, and for my glasses after I've taken off my contacts!!! AHHHH!!!!

I wonder: what it will be like to have 5 children, why people drive so insanely within the 3 mile radius of my house, and why blueberries actually look purple when they're cooked and baked.

I regret: hmm...not going to bed an hour ago. :)

I love: my family, sunsets over Diamond Mt. and Mt. Borah (Idaho), waiting for the first star in the west to appear (it's been my star since I was 17), riding horses, performing Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat Major, taking walks on wooded paths here in NE Ohio, and Huck-n-cream ice cream from Reed's Dairy.

I care: about being a good example for my children, doing my best in everything that I do, and my calling...I care about the yw and their leaders in our stake.

I worry: less than I used to. I'm learning to let go of things I can't control, and to have things I can control in good order.

I remember: when I thought having one child was hard, exhausting, and time consuming. HA!!!!!!!!!

I believe: in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost...I also believe that pumpkin spice is the best scent for fall candles, and that denim skirts and brown leather boots should never go out of style. :)

I dance: with Andy in our basement family room. We move the furniture and toys to the walls, and have a nice big dancefloor. And I always dance in heels. oohh....sometimes I dance while I'm cleaning if I have the right music on...the kids get a kick out of it.

I sing: at home all the time. I sing along with favorite CD's and also play the piano and sing along...I love singing with Andy.

I don't always: blog this late. Wait a minute, maybe I do.

I argue: rarely. If my back is up against a wall about something that I know to be true, or something that I feel to be right and I'm being forced to either agree and concede with the group or state something to the contrary... I'll argue or resist because I cannot go against my feelings or what I know to be true...no matter the peer pressure.

I write: a lot. I enjoy keeping journals, blogging, and am currently working on my compilation of short stories from my childhood. I write to government leaders when I feel the need to voice my opinion, I write letters to friends and family members who live far away and don't have email...I just write a lot!

I win: competitions that require talent, skill, hard work, and determination...not luck. I've never won anything that is pure luck, like raffle drawings, etc. I usually lose card games, and any game that involves "luck of the draw".

I wish: I could spend one more day as an innocent little girl riding her horse barefoot in the pasture without a care in the world.

I listen: intently to the meanings behind words in my conversations with others. A lot of times, someone is saying one thing, but really meaning something else...they just don't know how to express themselves.

I don't understand: why Ohio is considered "midwest" when we are in the Eastern time zone. That just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. Maybe Mid-central?? But where does the West come in?

I can usually be found: driving kids to and from school, working in the kitchen, or working on a project.

I am scared of: heights, of big dogs that try to bite you while riding a bike (hey bros...remember Mac?) and of food that comes from a certain sweet old lady's basement freezer and food storage shelves... (laughing.... don't know who? go.com) Okay, okay, if you Belnap's still don't know who...then ask me and I'll give you another hint...

I am happy: when I'm doing what's right. I know, cliche...but true nonetheless.

I tag: Ashleigh, Heather, Sabrina, and Tacie!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

If Only

There are so many days where I feel just like this...
ahh....if only I could actually pull this off.
there aren't enough bibs to go around, there aren't booster seats big enough for me, and besides...someone has to clean up lunch...and with my luck, one of the kids would think it was a big laugh to drop something into my wide open mouth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Taylor's Bobcat Award

There's something about seeing Taylor in a cub scout uniform that all of a sudden makes him seem more grown up, and makes me feel like maybe I am getting older! Not fair! Taylor has been so excited to start scouts, and couldn't wait to get his uniform. He's been in cub scouts now since June, but we just barely bought him his uniform...so he was just beaming. Plus, he has earned his Bobcat award...so it looks like I already have some sewing to do.
This pack meeting they did some water rockets...which is why Taylor looks like he just got done having a water fight. All the boys had a great time, and when I say ALL the boys, I mean ALL of them, young and old. Andy was having a good time, let's just say that much.
Wow. I am a mom who has now had a scout pin pinned onto her sweater. Seriously! This makes me feel aged! He did a real good job, and didn't stick me. On Sunday, he wondered why I wasn't wearing it on my shirt...he is very proud of it! So, I think I'm going to have to share it with Andy and let him wear it on Sunday as a tie tack, and then it can sit in my jewelry box for the rest of the week.
Taylor is now hard at work on his Wolf award. It is fun to see him doing good activities, and learning how to make and set goals, and then achieve them. I think the part he likes best is that his dad is the scout leader, and that they get to spend some great time together each week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Day of School

Four years ago, when Andy and I were trying to make a decision on quitting a career and coming back to school, one of the most important things we talked about was how it would effect our children. We talked about how when we were done with dental school, Taylor would be nearly 9 years old, baptized, and finished with the 3rd grade. Rachel would be 7, and ready to start 2nd grade, and our little Brooklynn (who during this conversation was only a few months old) would be 4 years old and ready to start Kindergarten. It all seemed so far away.
Well, Taylor is 8, has been baptized, and just started the 3rd grade. Rachel started 1st grade this year, and little Brooklynn is now a "big girl" and started preschool. Unbelievable.

They were all three very excited to start. Brooklynn especially, because she started preschool!

I can't believe how much they've grown this summer!

Here is Brooklynn standing in front of her school doors.

On her first day, the parents were supposed to stay and help them explore the classroom. She had lots of fun, and was excited to go to school the next day "all by herself".

Matthew also had fun on Brooklynn's first day. He was right in the middle of things, of course!

Brooklynn met her four teachers too, and loves them all. She wasn't shy at all, and just started playing with them and telling them all about her baby brother, her big brother and big sister, how they annoy her sometimes, etc, etc. I think that her teachers got a good laugh. I know I did. I wonder what she tells them about me??? (scary thought...I'm not even going to go there!)

And the last thing she did on her first day was to go out and play on her new playground. Both she and Matthew had a good time.

Funny Notes: Taylor: Taylor came home very disappointed on his first day because his teacher had previously sent home a letter talking about all of the math and science they would be doing this year in the classroom...talked about doing science experiments, and even starting a classroom blog, and Taylor was disappointed because they didn't get started on any of that stuff on the first day. oh brother.

Rachel: Rachel has a new gym teacher this year named Mr. Mahoney. She said she accidentally called him "Mr. Baloney" on the first day, but didn't get in trouble for it. (Whew!)

Brooklynn: Brooklynn came home after the first couple of days and had a conversation with me that went something like this:

B: "Mommy, there is a boy in my class and he is a bum!" S: "Brooklynn! We shouldn't call people names. Isn't he a nice boy?" B: Yes, he is. S: So, why did you just call him that name? B: Because that is his name Mommy! S: Hang on, "Abum" is his name?? (How do you spell that?) B: Yep! A bum is his name! S: huh. Wow, what a ...(searching for the right word, struggling.... struggling...) what an interesting name that is!

So, then just yesterday we're eating dinner and Brooklynn says: "Hey guys, today at recess I was trying to play on the tire swing but a-BUM (Abum) was in it already." (Okay. Could any of you keep a straight face if your little 4 year old told you that?) Needless to say, Taylor, Rachel, and I just busted up laughing. Andy was at work, and boy did he miss out on a great dinner conversation. To change the Abum topic, I asked her "Brooklynn, how was snack today?" oops. That didn't help. This was her answer: "Great! a-BUM is our snack leader this week!" Mental image...yes, I'm bad...but instant mental image is an old dirty guy with a cardboard sign leading a group of little 4 year olds down the hallway and to the lunchroom.

I still can't get used to her stories about Abum...just writing about it makes me laugh. And I don't know how to write it, but she really stresses that last syllable so it comes out like this "a-BUM"...too funny.