Thursday, June 30, 2011

Phone and Friends

I must have friends here, because instead of carrying my phone every where I go, and looking at it so forlorned  every night wondering why I never get calls, I leave it downstairs, I leave it on the floor, I leave it my purse.  I take a nap and think, hopefully that is far from where I am while I sleep, I don't want anything interrupting me.  (I actually hardly ever take naps, but my daughter does.) At first I found this odd, then I realized I must be getting enough social interaction here.
That must also explain why I'm not annoyed at my husband for being quiet and sullen, in fact I've taken up the practice its quite nice to not talk. Sometimes I think he confused, he doesn't know if he should be relieved or play damage control for who knows what.
I go to two different playgroups/park days every week.  It sort of makes me exhausted, to have two mornings a week absorbed in social interaction. I'm actually not exhausted at all, I just think I am when I contemplate my summer schedule. Its a fine line between too much and not enough conversation. My brain can never decided if its introvert or an extrovert.  Whether it needs people around to be energized or whether I need my alone time to survive the world.

Its weird, I just spent 20 minutes talking on the phone to a friend.
My husband went a man-date, this friend cut our chair rail for the kitchen!
We went on a double date.
We have people over for dinner.
It takes a half an hour to get out of the church building because there is so many people to talk to.
Two playgroups.
All new experiences.  I think the last time Brent and I went on a double date with a couple not related to us, was when we were engaged.

Not to mention we have sidewalks!  We walk to parks all the time. Not to mention a yard and a driveway.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunbeam Update

Just in case I've mentioned my struggles with sunbeams to any of you out there, here is an update.
Yesterday went so much better, I totally changed around the classtime schedule, and made it more structured.  I figured I've now been teaching these kids for two months, they know me now so they can handle the change.  It worked so much better this sunday.  There was less screaming, less cliques, less aimlessness, the structure was perfect, it kept everyone almost busy and gave me time to learn signs from my little deaf boy in class. Forty-five minutes with seven 3 and 4 year olds is a LONG time.
Have I told the blogosphere about that? I teach sunbeams, I have three girls and four boys, one is deaf, no one other than his family signs in our congregation.  He is really a very smart sweet boy, he just needs a little attention/communication in a totally auditory church, which means I have to keep the other six kids occupied while he teaches me signs. Although I'll be honest he can throw some wicked tantrums since he struggles at communicating with most of the world. Luckily I have two years of practice in wicked fits with a child who didn't talk. There is a lot more drama in the sunbeam class, but maybe we'll save that for another day.

As an aside I will say, I now see one of the reasons my daughter was a late talker.  Sure it is probably genetic, since myself and my son were also late talkers, but she followed a different pattern which concerned me. Everyone told me don't worry, my parents, my grandma, my husband, but yet something was off with her speech and I knew it.  Which meant when her pediatrician asked how many words she said, I didn't lie when I said one, and I'm not even sure she knows ma-ma means mom.  We watched her, tried to encourage speech, and I talked a lot with Danna-- my husband's sister who is a speech pathologist and has amazing gift for it.  Last fall we started driving 50 minutes one way for two year old speech class with Aunt Danna. I will be honest the first few sessions I was mad at the world that my daughter wasn't talking.  It was nothing anyone did or say that made me mad, I was just upset. In fact without me mentioning anything at all, Danna assured me it is nothing the parent does or doesn't do that makes their child a late talker.  The late fall class was sporadic, and then in the new year we did a consistent 8 week (maybe?) class. Last fall what I didn't understand at the time was the Lord was preparing me to teach a deaf foster child in sunbeam class in a different state, that I had given up any plans of moving to.  And I truly believe that.  I mentioned to someone a few weeks ago, how I'm glad I did speech class with my daughter because it is helping me in sunbeams, and they asked how?  Honestly I can't give a specific answer, but after watching Danna, who truly is gifted at what she does, I've learned by example how to teach and communicate with a child who doesn't talk.  Sure the one I am communicating with also doesn't hear, but same principles apply.  Not to mention he is starting a series of surgeries to regain his hearing, so in coming months he will hear although he will have no way to interpret what he is hearing until he is taught/learns. But based on my own impressions and conversation with the Primary President on how to best teach my class, I honestly believe one of the reasons my daughter need speech class is because the Lord cared about a little boy in a different state that my daughter lived.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


My husband moved in with on Saturday.  It was all very trilling.  I went grocery shopping at 7:30 am we would have something to eat and so I wouldn't miss his probable early arrival. I figured after that I would clean the kitchen and vacuum the house.  Imagine my surprise when at 9 am while I still unpacking groceries I heard a car in my garage.  I found a tired look husband standing my doorway, he had started driving at 4.  I was ecstatic. My daughter was equally excited to find have daddy get her from her crib.  My son.. well I'm sure he was excited but he is pretty sullen, and you never can tell from his expressions.  Needless to say, I was glad I cleaned my room at 11 pm instead of assuming I could get it done in the morning, I really wasn't expected him before noon.
So the children and I have lived here for two months, my husband spent three weeks getting us moved and situated before he returned to school, he was gone for 5 weeks minus the 6 days he flew in to see us. I now a lot of people here for only living here for two months, so now people keep asking is he home?  Where is he what does he look like.  I told someone the other day, here he is he isn't imaginary.  Everyone here has been so helpful and supportive while he was gone.  At first I thought why are the making a big deal out of me?  This is military country people are use to spouses being gone for 6-12 months not, 5 weeks.  Then I realized, oh that is why, they realize how difficult life can get.

I haven't blogged much, because well, it seemed weird to blog about life without a husband. The kids got to the point that my five year old wanted to talk on the phone with his dad, but yet didn't seem to notice if he didn't talk to him for three or four days.  My daughter still daily asked "where daddy go"  but she no longer seemed to expect an answer.  She was just as happy to have fake conversations on her fake phone with  dad as to have real conversations on my phone.  In fact if she had a fake conversation that day she wouldn't talk that night.  Life became normal, and I now understand how single parenthood works.  I would hardly say 5 weeks is as hard, but always wondered how anyone could do it?  But now I understand like anything else, you just wake up and do it, and each day repeat.  Although I hardly think it was an ideal situation, I wasn't able to meet their needs like normal, and I also was being a poor substitute for a dad.  Brent wasn't around much during school, it was it was amazing how much he was around in comparison to living in a different state.  Anyway, we are all back together, the daily occurrences are maybe not so personal, so maybe I'll blog more.
Life is weird all together.  Last night we were out to dinner, when my daughter decided to take a nap on the floor, my husband took care of it, it was like some out of body experience. I really don't think I could describe how weightless I felt to realize I didn't have to wrestle my children 24 hours a day anymore. But yet life is hardly a vacation, my husband goes to work every morning, and I still have to grocery shop with both kids.  Its so miserable to shop with both of them.  My daughter threw a wicked fit today, to the point that everyone, I mean everyone even from aisles away were looking at us, I finally wrestled her into the basket and strapped her in, surprisingly she calmed down within 5 or so minutes.  I thought she was going to fight and scream the whole trip.  Yes, I still wrestle, but its nice to know in the evenings I have back up.  But honestly having back the second parent for my two parent household is really not the reasons I'm glad Brent is back.  I missed my bestfriend more than I missed the other parent.  If that makes sense.


Two stories:

My daughter was crying because she had spent about six hours in the car, with long breaks, and was sick of the last hour and half stay.  We were five minutes away from our house when I noticed a pink sunset horizon.  I said Nan, can you see the pink sky?  She stopped and laughed and said, nooo, blue!

Before the six hours my son hid a secret message under my husband's pillow, when we went to bed, I said oh, what is under your pillow?  He pulled out a very folded grocery store ad.  The top in big printed letters read, "Celebrate Dad".  My son can read, so he thought my husband would appreciate the Dad grocery store ad.  My son loves to peruse the food ads.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Around the Globe

My daughter was spinning the globe today.  I said where do you want to go?  She pointed to Indonesia.  I said good pick.  Then she said, Hoshy and pointed again, picking Eastern Europe.  Then she said Mama, and pointed to Latin America.  I complained saying why does everyone want me to go to Latin America?  I think she is ganging up with her daddy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Do you ever wish you had less stuff?  Wish you bought less?  Wish you careless about the things in your life?  Wish you wanted less? Had less furniture? (thats not me right now, I really want a guest bed) But seriously less stuff?  That would be nice, I guarantee that if we had less toys and less screen time my children would play more often with their toys.
This seems to be a recurring theme in my life... I don't know how many blog posts I've written and how many just sit in my head, but it is recurring.
Tonight I decided to blame it on my sister, she has written on envelopes for years, "Les is more" Subliminal I tell you, one day I might actually become a minimalism if she sends me enough birthday cards over the years. Although that is contradictory isn't it, enough birthday cards, les is more?!
Speaking of cards and my sister, I'm grateful we don't exchange mother's day cards. Les is more remember.  I think a call from me a few days later in a panic saying I didn't send you a card, and her calm response of nor did I, is a much more lovely tradition.
Less stuff, think about that this weekend.

p.s. junk mail, coupons, all of the above is the bane of my existence

Memorial Day Weekend

For memorial day weekend, Brent's oldest brother, sister in law and the four kids came to visit us.  It was terribly exciting to have guests in our new house.  I think all of you reading this should come visit.  They really came to go to my sister in law's nephew's wedding, so other than running around at 10 oclock playing pokemon, there wasn't much time during the three days they were here.  But we did get to go to Garden of the Gods together. We also went with my brother in law's friend, who knew my husband when he was about J's size.

Just for the record, you don't have scale rocks like a mountain goat when at Garden of the gods. Although its a family trait.  We have so many pictures of my husband on the top of red rocks. I'm sure my husband would have been sad he missed if except for the fact that he was scaling other red rocks with a backpack on.

Raspberry extravaganza

Last week was Raspberry Extravaganza at our house.  The local grocery store had them on sale for a $1 a package, I haven't seen them at that price since J was Nan's age.  I went planning to buy 20, they were advertised as 10 of 10.  But then they were in boxes of 12, 6 up top 6 below.  And since I was there first thing in the morning, had a busy day ahead of me, and had two whiny kids, I got confused.  I'll admit it, and I thought I was buying 18, in actuality I bought 36 packages.  So we ate a bunch, froze a bunch, and made jam.  Here is our jam adventures. Sadly enough I didn't realize how many I was buying until after I paid. I wondered why I was being charged so much.  Sometimes, I embarrass myself.

 "More" please

Don't worry she did the dishes after she made the jam.  So instead of cleaning up just raspberries, I also got to clean up the dishes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hi Daddy

Hi Daddy, Nan spent the first 10 minutes of the day talking about daddy.  She picked out her clothes and her bows all by herself, constantly talking about daddy and her clothes. 
Imagine that, my daughter after two and half years finally wants bows in her hair.  Always two, I had to trick her one sunday to only go with one large flower. Not to mention she needs a hair cut.


This is what our backyard looked like in February when we put an offer on the house.
 Here it is, now in June.  Spring has sprung!  Maybe its summer, who knows all I know is three weeks ago the heater was still running at night, and I was wearing fleece jackets all day and sleeping under three blankets.
 I want to trees on the hill, so eventually in the summer we won't be able to see our neighbors houses. I think this is my husband's plan, but I'm not really sure.
Do you notice all those sprouting things in the middle in front of the wall?  Those are cattails, imagine that, cattails that naturally grow in my backyard?  I am suppose to live in a semi-arid desert?  That's what happens I guess when I live below a neighbor with a sprinkler system? Except none of my other neighbors have a marsh, I guess we were just lucky?!  I told Brent all the benefits of a pond without the drowning hazard.
Our hill is so overgrown and full of weeds. Remember the house was bank owned, so the yard has a fair amount of neglect. We are working on cleaning it up and it is enjoyable since its ours, except for when I have to clean up petrified dog poo-- the problem with a discount price. But with my husband's schedule and my allergies its not going fast. I am currently on allergy medicine, which works fine until go out to work.  I get about about an hour of work before my allergies are so bad I can't function.  I go in and wash my hands, arms, and face and 12 hours later, maybe get another hour in. Work is really slow, but this is a big yard, .25 acre for people who have never had a yard.
Also anyone want to donate a $100 so my children can have a swing set?

P.S. Oh my goodness, our lawn looks terrible.  I thought it did then when my husband got home and mowed it he was so proud there was green. I think we need a turf builder or something.  So much to buy for a house and so little money.  Remind me its fun to be house poor.

Front Porch

We have a front porch how quaint is that?  (And no eviction sticker, I scrapped that off two weeks ago!)
 When my husband showed me the real estate listing online, I told him I wasn't even interested in looking at the house, I thought it was ugly and dated looking- mid 90s forest green splendor. We looked at it anyway, because there really wasn't much in our price range with at least a .25 acre lot.  Luckily we did, because we now live in it, and I love it. But for months all I could think about was painting our house.  I thought it was hideous. The Lord has soften my heart, since I don't have the money to repaint the outside and the inside. Inside got picked first.  The exterior paint is not my favorite, but at least very little of it is peeling off.  So I've decided to accept it and embrace it as a member of my family, and love it for who it is, because who can hate a front porch even if your mom doesn't like dark trim? Not my five year old.
Speaking of, I assembled this child size bench myself, used a power tool and everything.  Sometimes independence is a blessing.  Only sometimes though.  My son wants you to know this bench says, "The Circus Choo Choo Railroad". Don't mind my daughter for looking so tragic.  We love her anyway.  Being a little girl is sometimes harder than a boy, because adults insist on giving girls longer hair than boys.
P.S. Based on the porch seating, I'm a single mom.  Poo! on school!  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Another Nan Miracle

Yesterday my husband was home to attend church with us.  It was lovely.  The previous two weeks it had just been me and my babes.  But bizarrely enough, or miraculously enough my children were good.  No one cried, no one needed to go to the potty.  Both times they were so excellent during the sacrament that I pulled out my scriptures to think about Jesus, since I didn't have to help a small person be quiet and force them to think about Jesus.  But in all seriousness, my children have never been that good in church. I knew it was a miracle and I was appreciative during and after.
Then daddy came home, my daughter wanted us to know that the Lord was blessing be the previous weeks and to not get any funny ideas on how church would go.  To prove this, she started screaming twice, and had to be taken out both times, all before the sacrament.  Yes, it was lovely to be back with the family I know in love, because I just don't know what I would do with myself if Nan started liking church. Just for the record, outside of the chapel is not a fun place to be, when your last name is ours.  When Brent takes Nan out for screaming, they find an empty classroom, and she has to sit still on the chair until she is ready to go back in.  It may not be fun in the chapel but its infinitely more fun, than by yourself in a chair.  At least there is raisins and crayons at the pew. 
Just like many things in life church and Nan have not be easy.  But we'll save those stories for a different day.  Many people have supremely happy babies.  My daughter on the other hand, has had a hard time adjusting to her moral existence for whatever reason. But we'll always have those two perfect sundays.... ahh memories.

Old Religious Post

This post has been floating around in my head for weeks.  In my ward, the Relief Society sends out a email each with a short blurb about the lesson and announcements.  I find it extremely useful, since announcements never make it to Primary teachers.  Plus I do like a good Relief Society lesson so I appreciate the blur. A few weeks ago, the lesson was on The Eternal Blessing of a Temple Marriage by Elder Scott. I received this blurb,

     ...Elder Scott says, "Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven's plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan's relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity." We discussed some of the ways Satan works to accomplish this goal, including distracting us with busy schedules, viewing ourselves as individuals rather than part of a marriage or family unit, misinterpreting the divine definition of marriage and family as well as our roles within each, and seeking perfection in others. The underlying component to many of Satan's best tools is selfishness. Most importantly, we touched on the importance of the sealing ordinance. Satan will do all he can to distract us from this most important goal.
    In another talk by Elder Scott he states, "I bear witness that all those things that have and will bring me the greatest happiness in life have roots in the temple ordinances." Regardless of our circumstances, if we will do all we can to live worthy of the temple ordinances the Lord has promised that in His time all blessings we are worthy of will be ours. 
 That had the answer to what I had been pondering about the previous weeks to the email,  "viewing ourselves as individuals rather than part of a marriage or family unit, misinterpreting the divine definition of marriage and family as well as our roles within each".  More specifically viewing ourselves as individuals rather than part of a marriage.  I feel like every where I look I hear if you want to be happy you need a goal and then work towards it.  But not a goal about someone else, a goal solely for you.  Which creates problems.  The last six months have been pretty absorbing to my husband's education and career, shoot, last six months, last two years.  Sure I could have gotten a hobby or part time job outside of the house to purse my own needs during the last two years, but seriously, when my kids don't even see their dad half the days of the week it doesn't seem very fair to leave them with a babysitter, since my daughter says about once an hour, "where daddy go?". So yeah, I think I spend a lot of my energy trying to help my husband fulfill his career goals, both long and short term.  So now I guess I could think about what it would take to make me happy, what do I need to be pursing, oh wait, but first I need to work on the goals for my children. It can be quite time consuming to try to teach one child how to talk while helping the other child learn how to read and write.  Not to mention all the other things going on in my children's lives.  Oh and should we mention, buying a bank owned how was like having a part time job.  Every morning in March from Tuesday to Friday was spent either calling different people to make sure everything was happening correctly, or filling out paperwork and sending money.  (If we didn't close by the end of March the bank was going to charge us a $100 a day!) So lets see over the last six months, what have been my goals for life, did I meet my needs?  I have no idea I was so exhausted after helping the other three members of my family reach their goals, that I just was thankful there was only three other people in my apartment, and I had just enough energy to watch a tv show before bed.  Does TV shows meet my needs? No, but I'm too worn out to be concerned about anything else. But seriously that voice of doubt was in my head, I've heard its terrible for stay at home moms to wake up one day and figure out their children are all grown and they have nothing else in their life.  So seriously I have been concerned about what I'm going to have to show for myself in 20 years. (Probably serve in the church for another forty years.)  Maybe other moms don't worry about this, but I do. I never planned on staying at home and being a mom, ever since I was little I wanted to have a fabulous career, so its easy for me to start doubting my existence.  But its even more confusing then that, because I really don't want a career right now, I know my babies are going to grow up to fast, so the last thing I want is to miss eight hours each day.  But then luckily, I got the email from my Relief Society. Satan works to undermine my temple covenants by telling me  to view myself "as individuals rather than part of a marriage or family unit, misinterpreting the divine definition of marriage and family as well as our roles within each." Oh now its all coming back to me, when I was first married in a Stake Conference a member of the stake presidency taught me when united in marriage my husband's accomplishments in his career are mine, and accomplishments of the kids and I, that he misses while working are still his too.  
To to reiterate my point, a few nights later I was watching a movie, a psychiatrist in the movie said figure out what you want in life and then how to ask for it.  I spent the rest of the movie wondering what is it I want it in life? I couldn't come up with anything, how can I make goals for myself right now?  How will I know what I want to get a masters degree in 10 years from now, how can I know where I be personally in a decade or two? Right now I'm most focused on dirty diapers than what I want in life.  Then I realize, well I know what I want for my family, I know where I want my family to be in 10, 15, 20, 30 years.  Those are easy goals to set, and they have clear pathways to success.  So once again, I realized to be happy I need to stop focusing on myself as an individual, and more as the co-head of a family.  And you know what when looking at both sides of the scale, I'm pretty sure in 30 years I would have more regrets if my family was totally estranged than if I never had a career. To to mention in 30 years when all my kids are out of the house, I'll hardly look back and say, I have nothing now, everything is gone, what do I do with my time.  Unless I stop going to church.  My mom is busier now than she ever was when I was at home.  I think I remember President Utchdorf talking to Priestholders saying Brethren there is no retirement in the church.  I'm pretty sure the same goes for women. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fifth Sunday

Last week I didn't teach the sunbeams because the Bishop wanted to talk to all the adults, during the last hour of church.  He had recently listened to For All Eternity by Dr. John L Lund, he said by the third time he listened to it on CD, he thought I got teach my ward this stuff.  (By the way anyone have a copy they want to loan me? I like reading over listening to CDs.)
The bishop talked about how people are terrible at communicated with each other.  Our words only make up something like 8% of our communication.  As many as you have probably heard men and women also communicated differently.  The main point I came out with was specifically tell your spouse what you need.  Society has taught us it means more if we don't have to ask for it, but that is wrong.
Not I want a birthday party
Or I want help in the yard
I want you to buy me 1, 2, 3, or 4, in blue and specific cake.
Or can you help me in the yard on saturday for three hours.
Or I want to watch x amount of sports this weekend, what can I do before hand to help you so I'm not interrupted.
I'm stressed out I need to talk to you for 20 minutes, tell me when you have 20 minutes to focus on what I'm saying.
He said then their duty is up, the time is up, they are done, they are off the hook, stop.
I have really been thinking about what he said, Society has taught us it means when when don't have to ask for it, but that is wrong. How true.
 I really related to was he said, clearly tell you spouse what you need.   We can't expect our spouse to guess what we are thinking.  He used many examples the birthday one applied to me: maybe you really want something for your birthday.  Instead of expecting a surprise and then being disappointed and mad at your spouse.  Maybe come up with a specific list of four items you want then be surprised which item you get.  That really spoke to me, because the holidays whether birthday, anniversary, christmas, what not, that I'm totally upfront with very thing I'm expecting from my husband are extremely enjoyable.  But when I think oh he should understand by now, he knows what I like to do, I am always fed up.  Some years I am totally up front with him, and they are so fun and I come away thinking wow my husband is great, my birthday was great.  But last year, I "let him off the hook"  we were sick, he was working and in school, and I have been mad him for eight months about my birthday.  I have to say after church on Sunday, I realize what I did wasn't fair.  I was the one in the wrong.  But we do that so much in society, we tell someone what we want is not important, then get mad when they believe that is not important.  We do that many different relationships that are not just marriages.  But back to the previous example, last year for mother's day, I said I want you to go help Josh pick something out to buy me.  He said where should I go?  I said I don't know walmart, wander around the home goods and find something that josh wants to buy me.  I also want you guys to make me cards, and what are we going to eat for dinner?  I want this desert. I came home from ward choir practice and they had made cards and wrapped up makin' bacon.  It was a great holiday. Every time I use my bacon cooker which is often I think wow, Brent and Josh can get a present for me together.
But back to marriages, we were all raised very differently, and so we come into marriage only knowing how we were raised, and it was completely different than our spouse, so the only way we can be happy is be honest and clear when we are talking.
I will say, in some matters I was already doing this in my marriage and I think it works great.  I'm sure most stay at moms experience that, oh great my husband is home, great another adult to talk to, and someone to play with the kids. Then the only thing that happens is your husband comes home sits on the couch and remains super quiet no matter what happens, for at least 20 minutes as he decompress from the world.  Well in the past I haven't used a time frame, so I should probably start.  But instead of being mad that my husband doesn't want to talk, I figured out its much more successful to say, hey I got something that is important to me to tell you, can you tell me when you are ready to listen. Then not talk to him at all until he talks to me, and when he does talk to me, if he doesn't say he is ready to listen, I realize we are having a conversation not me telling him about the day.  I wait for him to say, whats on your mind. Works 150% better and then I don't yell at him for not listening, and I'm satisfied with our conversation when its over. Also I've found as the bishop mentioned, if you want your husband to listen to your problems, tell him he is only listening, if you want a solution, say, I need help what do you think I should do.
But this is just good stuff all around.  I'm working with my five year old to be better at communicating, and being assertive.  When he wants something, I trying to help him ask the other kid, or adult.  Just a minute ago, he came to me and said, I need you to follow me.  I looked at him and said, tell me what you need.  He said I need you to help me.  I asked him what help he needed.  Then he finally said, I need you type in Spongebob.  I asked him if he needed me to type it in or if he just needed it spelled out.  He walked away happy with a piece of paper with Spongebob written on it so he could play his computer game. I didn't go all through that to be difficult, I went through all that, because I'm trying to get him to ask for what he wants. I want him to be able to clearly talk to adults.  I noticed Brent is good at getting people to help him, because he is so clear, Hey can you help me on Saturday, we are doing specific specific specific it should only take two hours.  The other thing I thought of it, is in church, when someone says, we can you come to this meeting about _____ it will only take a 30 minutes, even if we are don't finish we'll end it at 4:30, I am so much more willing to go and participate. I hate when anything doesn't have a stop time listed, whether its a meeting or baby shower.  I don't care if things go longer as long as I can choose to leave when things are set to be over.
This really is good stuff, I was talking to my husband on the phone on Sunday telling him about church.  He said ok, so what is it you need?  I said I don't know let me thinking about it.  I realize I need better birthdays, so I need to tell him September 20th what I'm expecting. I like to buy presents, so I listen to him, all year long waiting for him to mention something he is interested in, then I write it down, so I have a whole list of things to choose from.  And he is always super surprised, and loves his presents, for years I have wondered why can't he remember that I said that is one of my favorite movies, when we are watching previews. Well the bishop talked about this.  He said his wife use to say, look there is a 7-11, he would say, yup there one is, and keep driving.  When of course she was saying, hey honey, I'm thirsty will you go into the 7-11 and get me a diet coke.  But he doesn't hear that, he thinks she is pointing something out not asking.  But then last week he was driving to Denver with someone and said, exactly that, will you pull over next time we pass a 7-11, I'm thirsty.  But I will take it one step farther, I think a lot of females have been taught to not be assertive in their needs.  Sure I'm thirsty, but oh, I don't want you to go out of your way.  You shouldn't care about little ol' me.  I don't know why we are taught this, but we are.  The bishop is right its stupid.
  Also I just was chatting with Brent.  I said do you think you should get movie tickets tonight?  Then I said, let me rephrase that, I need you to stop on your way home from work at the movie theater to get the tickets for tomorrows show, so I won't yell at you when we are getting ready to leave. Guess what Brent did?  He went to get the tickets, Imagine that. But if I wouldn't have rephrased that, he would have said, I don't know if you want me to.  Then I would have said, only if you remember, and its not out of your way.  Then tomorrow I would have yelled at him for making us late, and what if everything is all sold out, and then sat in the movie theater mad at him.  Yeah, I'm a terrible date, I'm so mean when it comes to dates, that I don't let him take me out very often.  But now we have lots of babysitters in this ward, and I've been taught to be clear in what I want, so maybe we'll start dating again. And in actuality, I am pretty controlling so I use to plan most of our dates, (ie where we ate, when we saw, when we were going) and we had a great time.  But then for some reason I thought he should be in charge of it, and I was mad at him, and he was wondering what went wrong? Here is my last example I'm recording for posterity.  I love to go to the temple, I would go every week if I didn't have kids, my husband doesn't quite share my exuberance, he would rather build his testimony by moving every family that comes in or out of the ward. Literally every move he is there.  So instead, I say, tell me how many times you think you have time and are willing to go to the temple this year.  He thinks about it for awhile and said, once a month, or every other month, or what not depending on what his schedule is for the year.  Then if I plan for that many, and if it doesn't meet my quota, I go alone and he watches our kids.  It works great and it is so much better than yelling at him to get dressed we are going to be late.
I say recording for posterity, I totally expect my daughters or granddaughters to want to read my blog books on day, and since I plan on this, they probably won't care at all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I am Mother Hear Me Roar

On Saturday I took my children hiking by myself, I think we hiked for about two and half hours.  I felt so empowered to do something like this.  I have never taken them hiking alone.  It was so fun, I needed to be in the outdoors.  I had lived here over a month and had yet to get out and get to know the mountains.  We had a great time.  
 We were in Waldo Canyon, I just found a hiker sign off the side of the road.
 I wondered about the littley, her daddy get impatient and carries her most of the way, since she is only 23 pounds.  But she did great, I only carried her a few times.  In fact she was a rock star hiking down, she would have to stop and wait for her big brother.
 I am so blessed to live by so many mountains.
 See no other adults.  I'm super woman, we are going to have such a fun summer while daddy goes to work.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Austen Sort of Month

I can't think of anything more appropriate to fill up my extra time with my husband away than reading Jane Austen, some of the most classic love stories ever written.  I started off reading to Pride and Prejudice Fan Fiction spin offs, and then after those I realized I couldn't remember Austen's original Pride and Prejudice. Sure I can remember movie and spin offs and such, but what was Austen's original plot what words are hers and what words are Hollywood?  The last time I read the original my son was my daughter's age.  Then since I was having so much fun with Janes and my nook, I decided to try and actually finish Emma.  Of course I had to start from the beginning, and of course I am very familiar with the plot, I think I have seen Clueless more times that I've read a Jane Austen fan fiction novel.  But I had no idea what words Jane Austen used to actually finish off the plot of Emma.  I enjoyed Emma, but I also grew tired of the words.  Ah, I guess that is Emma, felt in the book. And most of all I should end with I love my nook.  The only thing my husband has bought me that I love my than my Nook is my three wedding rings (engagement, wedding, anniversary).  So here are my goodread reviews.  I should also say, I'm waiting in anticipation to read Mr. Knightley's Diary also by Amanda Grange. But the question is with everything that is breaking in my life and with all the move expenses do I really have $4?

The Darcys & the BingleysThe Darcys & the Bingleys by Marsha Altman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a fan fiction sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I read this book in its entirety and I guess it was a fun read, but it was a low quality writing in my opinion.  I didn't the think author did a very good job of capturing Austen's characters' true personalities, or capturing Austen's writing style.  It seem that she instead picked and chose what she like out of the character's personality and ignore the rest.  The first part of the book was also slightly smutty, and I think Jane Austen probably rolls in her grave every time a fan writes smuttiness out of one of her characters, since Miss Austen was a lady I'm sure she never implied what fans have sometimes interpretative. Altman is by far not the only author who has done this.  But the second part of the book was fun even if the author didn't do a very good job of character representation.  I thought she made Darcy's character unrealistic, I find it highly unlikely that he would have made a 180 in personality adjustment after marriage. Darcy would still be Darcy, marriage does not really change people. Then again, I am a minority in thinking Darcy is not a knight in shining armor.  I like Darcy as much as the next girl, but he is always a pompous jerk, and that is why he so appealing, no one really wants someone perfect. Darcy is not the symbol of perfection that most fans make him out to be. He would still be rich and insolent whether he married Elizabeth Bennet or not.

View all my reviews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book a lot.  I thought Grange did a very good job in her Pride and Prejudice fan fiction.  I thought Darcy's character was very well represented.  This pretty much the exact same plot as the original just in diary form of Mr. Darcy's perspective. (There is a little bit added when concerning his relationship with Georgiana.) She borrows a lot of Jane Austen's original proses, but I guess that's why I thought Grange did such a good job of representing the original story. Grange's text blended well with the original in my opinion. This was definitely a fun read. But since it was fan fiction it was also easier to read than the original.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I started reading Emma years ago, and never finished.  I might have actually started multiple times.  I love a good Austen Novel, but the text of Emma is so wordy.  This time I was determined to finish.  Emma is broken up into three different books, the third was definitely my favorite, but I guess that is to be expected.  I don't think I had ever made in more than a third of the way through book II. Once again this time I started to wain during Book II.  Although the plot is very familiar to me, the particulars of the story were unknown.  I do love the plot of Emma, and all the different movie spin offs that I have watched since I was a kid, but Jane Austen was really wordy in this book.  Sometimes I had to re-read to figure out what the character had said, or if the character was thinking or talking.  It seemed that other than Miss Bates, Austen writes the whole story by telling you what the characters are thinking without ever telling you their actual conversations.  I debated back and worth whether to get this three or four stars.  I think the story line is four stars, at least, but the text is 3 and half.  

I should add a disclaimer, I am super exhausted, and sleeping very poorly without my husband around, so there could be all sorts of typos in this post.