Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fixing a tear the imperfectionista way

I've been at the YMCA a lot lately...(ran 1.25 miles today--big accomplishment for me)...and as I really only have one pair of exercise pants, they take a lot of abuse. I noticed yesterday morning that they had split on the inside seam, and rather than buy new ones (I'm cheap) I thought I'd try to fix them. This is what I came up with:First, pin the seam together......using leftover monkey fabric from Hannah's pajamas. Then,realize I don't have grey thread to match the pants, so find green thread (cuz its close enough).Stitch together...not bothering to notice that the tension needs to be adjusted when using the zig zag stitch...So, color in the white bobbin thread with a black permanent marker.
And it worked! But I am considering looking for another pair, just in case my patch doesn't hold.
Here's a teaser for something I've been working on for the last few months...hopefully, I'll have something pretty to show soon...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where did she come from?


Hannah is a bit of a health nut (I think she watched a little too much tv as a kid--too much Captain Carlos and Sesame Street...). Last weekend we went to a pizza buffet and after several slices of pizza and/or brownies, she went back for her very last plate and chose....salad. Not only did she give away most of her Easter candy, every morning she likes to look at the cereal boxes to find out how many vitamins she's getting. This morning, when I asked which cereal she wanted, the first thing she did was grab the frosted mini wheat box and check out the nutrition facts. She noted that it had a lot of iron and asked if she needed iron. I told her that mini wheats has lots of fiber, and that fiber is good for keeping our insides clean. She said, "Like a toilet brush for our insides?"
Yes, Hannah, exactly like that.

She also told me on Sunday that she liked my necklace and would like it when I die.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Progressing Personally...maybe

Can I just say how awesome I think the YW program is? Aside from my teen years, I've spent the last 2 and a half years serving with the YW (in two wards) and I love it. And every time I commit to the Personal Progress program, the blessings are immediate. Really, I find inspiration and guidance every time I open the manual, and the goals I set to live the YW values help meet my needs now, even though I'm not exactly "young" anymore (by church organizational standards...). I want to get my medallion again...maybe make a charm necklace with all the YW bling from my youth and from my current efforts...
I frequently get very frustrated with church--frustrated that I can't both fulfill my calling and interpret for Rachel, that I'm not skilled enough to interpret for Rachel, by the behavior of my kids, and that with everything going on on Sundays I often loose time to feel the Spirit and have personal study time. However, when I get over the idea that I go to church for myself and loose myself in service, and put first those things that should be first...well, its amazing how much more peace I feel.
So here's to recommiting to do what I'm supposed to be doing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On goes the fight...

I know I've posted about his before...but I'm still frustrated!

Hannah refuses to ride a bike.

Now, I know I cannot make her do anything, and that riding a bike should be fun. I also know that she won't learn to do it until she wants to, and fighting about it certainly won't make her excited to try.

But I really want her to learn!

Its for her own good, too. I want her to be able to keep up with the bigger kids in the neighborhood this summer, and I want to give her an opportunity to try something difficult and succeed.

I also vividly remember feeling exactly like she does when I was her age, and giving my parents grief. (I didn't learn until I was 10, when I taught myself. I was bitter that my parents had given up, but now I see that maybe I didn't give them many options).

So--she has to want it (we've bribed her with new flip flops). I won't let her not try. She'll be happy when its all done. What do I do?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Catch-up

Another week (or more) has gone by without blogging...seriously, we have a life we just don't always have blogworthy photo opps. Here's a summary of what's up:

*We finally had good snowman-making snow.
*Christian spoke in Sacrament meeting on Easter Sunday. He was particularly interesting in redeeming himself after his last speaking assignment, which he forgot until he saw his name in the program Sunday morning. This marks the 5th time in the last 8 years that he has spoken and/or arranged all the music for the Easter program. (When we lived in Provo, he was choir director/ward music director for a while and created a whole Easter program--with a really talented bunch of people, including David Wooley, who could do anything with the piano.)

*Just like the rest of you, we painted eggs and did a little Easter egg hunt. I found out that Hannah, my little health nut, doesn't really like candy (she bagged most of hers to give to her teacher). Nathan thought the hollow chocolate bunny was pretty cute and used it as a telescope, leaving behind what looked like a black (or chocolate brown) eye.
*I'm in love with Spring weather! I'm actually really excited to work on the yard this weekend (before the possible snow on Sunday). We'll post pictures when it all looks nice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Advice?

I'm in charge of finding housing for my younger brother and his friends when they all get home from their missions and head back to BYU this Fall....So, does anyone have recommendations for a great place to live in Happy Valley? (I'm partial to Belmont, but its already full...)
Its kind of fun, honestly, registering and looking for housing again. Kind of like I'm at BYU again, without any of the pressure of grades or the expense of tuition...or the fun social life...or interesting classes...I'm kind of jealous that Kevin gets to go to BYU--I wanna go again!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Real Life"=++

Sometimes I feel like I haven't yet begun to live "Real life." I have this image of what my life as a functioning adult should look like...car, house, bills paid, security, balance between work, play, service, and personal time, health, and the ability to use and indulge what I sometimes think are my talents. I'm not there. I'm nearly 28, married with kids, so I think I should be there. But then, when I think of my parents and where I was just 10 years ago, I think I've come along way. We are not rich, but I have more financial security now than I ever had as a single person (yikes!). I have a beautiful home that I love, and although I can't decorate it as I'd like, its by far the nicest place I've ever lived in. And I have four kids, who often make me feel like I've lost my mind, but I love them dearly and would do anything for them. I'm really not a very good mother though--well-intentioned, but after 5 years with Rachel I don't feel like I'm doing all she needs me to do. So no, I don't feel like I have arrived at "real life" yet.
I was thinking about this as I watched General Conference today because as I listened to the talks I had to evaluate my attitude. I spend a lot of time on things that might be good, but aren't most important. Even in my parenting, I often spend so much time thinking about what's going wrong that I don't work enough on the things that I can do well. But even with all this, the main message I got from General Conference this weekend (and its the same message every time I really listen to Conference) was that the Lord was telling me, "I love you--now go and do better."
Even with all that I'd like to do better, should do better, and might one day be able to do better, the Lord loves me--and all His children--and wants me (us) to know that. Once I have that feeling of love, I can get to work on filling my life with the things that are most important.

April's Fool (She's 5 already!)

Rachel is an April Fool's Day kid (I know...I'm still waiting for someone to tell me the whole deaf thing is a big joke...) and she's 5 year's old! Boy, has she come a long way...We enjoyed a fabulous trifle made by Aunt DeAnn while we were in Milwuakee...Rachel shares her birthday with her Uncle Jonathan, who had prank cakes nearly every year growing up and warned me several times not to play jokes on Rachel every year for her birthday. Apparently he didn't really think his shaving cream cakes were very funny... We didn't celebrate on her real birthday because Christian was out of town and honestly, she's still young enough that she didn't know what day it was. So on Friday, two days later, we opened presents and ate cake. I let her pick a cake from Sam's (hadn't bought eggs, didn't have time to buy them and then make a cake) and expected her to pick something brightly colored but she chose the triple chocolate bundt cake...with neon blue, pink, and yellow ice cream (totally, inedibly disgusting ice cream). She was thrilled to get cards from Aunt Nancy, Brian and Amy and fam, Grampa Green and fam, and Grandma Sylvia...she loved her My Little Ponies and Littlest Pet Shop and is excited to have her own Webkinz so she can play like Hannah. We opted not to have a friends party this year, but every day since she's asked when her friends are going to give her gifts...Rachel has had a huge impact on our family. In the last five years I've been stretched as a parent in ways I never expected, and I've watched this little girl grow and defy her doctors' and specialists' expectations. As I watched her actually pay attention to General Conference this afternoon (watched the ASL interpreters on a laptop--bribed with candy, but hey, she watched), I was struck by how much she's grown.
(Check out the gold couch and green carpet...kind of miss that house!)(a.k.a. Bam-Bam)
(Before surgery #1 at Johns Hopkins, age 2 1/2)(Check out the harness she used to have to wear to keep her implant on...cute, huh?)Happy Birthday, crazy girl!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The rest of the story

We finally made it home late Tuesday night. We're so thankful for Jonathan and DeAnn, who literally saved us from our plight by driving down to pick us up, and we're so glad that the whole thing wasn't any worse than it was. The transmission went out after we slowed for the very last toll booth, so we were able to hang out behind the toll station while we waited for the tow truck. Yeah, the tow truck was really late, and yeah, he tried to charge us and the insurance company for things that didn't happen and yeah, our van wasn't taken where it was supposed to go and we had to track it down Friday morning on the way to the temple...but its all over now. Here are a few pictures of how we passed the time...(that's all our stuff piled on a picnic table behind the toll building as we wait for Jonathan...)(taking a walk around the parking lot...)

Our kids love playing with their cousins...and even now, after that crazy weekend, they are still asking to play with them.
Christian drove back Sunday night so he could get back to work, so I made the return trip alone. After picking up the van, I got stuck in Chicago rush-hour traffic. I've been in some bad traffic (the worst has been in Seattle and D.C.), but it literally took two and a half hours to get through the city. After that, we made one stop for dinner (Denny's, kids eat free on Tuesdays!), but it still took something like 8 hours to get home. Christian traveled to Ohio on Tuesday afternoon, so we came home to an empty house. Friday we were finally together again and were able to celebrate Rachel's birthday (5 whole years old!).
It was wonderful to be at the temple together...it has been almost two-ish years since we've been able to go together (either in D.C. or Atlanta). Amazing how much peace the temple brings, even with crazy things going on in our lives outside.
Looking forward to General Conference...I'm in need of a little peace and guidance.
Anyone want to have a playdate this week? Its Spring Break...!