Friday, April 30, 2010

Oh Ya!

I just finished submitting my final paper for this semester! It's over!

I feel like I just won the lottery or something. You know the question people always get asked after they win something big? And the answer is, "I'm going to Disneyland!". Well, if you were to ask me that question today, my answer would be, "I'm going to the library!"

Really. I have been waiting for this day for so long. I am going to the library to start whittling away at my running list of books-to-read. I may never emerge again.

Happy weekend to you all!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Monday Story

Yesterday was one of those days that starts out as any other day- nothing out of the ordinary- and then proceeds to knocks you off your feet.

At seven-o-clock, the morning was off to a good start with the sun shining and the boys, who are off track, playing nicely.

At nine-thirty, we were off to Ian's well child check-up with no worries in sight.

At ten-fifteen, Ian's eye exam at the doctor's office had me a little worried. He could barely make out any of the letters on the wall with his left eye.

At noon, I scheduled another eye exam with an optometrist.

At three-thirty we were on our way to the appointment, talking about how cute Ian would look wearing glasses. The worried feeling growing in my stomach.

At four-eighteen, sitting in the exam chair, Ian looked so small as the doctor explained that his left eye was 'lazy'. Strabismus, is the technical term. The sick feeling in my stomach swelled as the doctor relayed to me that 90% of his seeing was being done by his right eye and the left eye had become so weakened because of this that it was barely seeing anything. "Use it or loose it", the doctor said. How had I not noticed this?

At four-thirty, I called Erik on the phone to tell him the news and consult with him about what this all meant. Trying to hide the feelings of guilt and sadness from him, he helped me figure out what eyeglass plan to purchase for our boy.

At five-ten, we tried on twenty pairs of glasses. The brown, Scooby-doo frames won, hands down.

At seven-thirty, we found ourselves shopping for eye patches. He will wear these as often as possible, covering up his 'good' eye so the 'weak' eye can get stronger.

At the end of the day, Erik asked if I was OK. "You've had quite a day" he said. I'm sure he could sense the worry in my voice as we had talked earlier that day, and could probably still see it on my face as I crawled into bed.

It was one of those days that leaves you feeling a little beat up.

But today is a new day, and Ian is wearing his eye patch like a trooper. He struggles to focus on anything further away than the length of his arm. I am trying to figure out how I did not notice anything and praying that now that we do know- his eye will get stronger and all will be well. Time will tell.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Worth Your Time- part three

Calling someone's supervisor to praise a job well done.

This is one area I can do better in. I find myself feeling the urge to shoot off a strongly-worded-letter to a supervisor when someone 'does me wrong' (although I never do) but don't often think of giving a word of praise to the manager of an extra sweet cashier at Target or a very helpful bagger at Macey's.

There was this one time though.....

I was in my bedroom one afternoon. The window was open letting in fresh air and with it came the sounds of happy teenagers at lunch at the middle school next to my home. I paused for a minute to see if I could catch a glimpse of my daughter but instead saw something that surprised me.

There was a group of young men playing basketball in the school parking lot and standing among them, playing right along, was the assistant principle.

Not to sound too critical of the teachers or administrators at this school, but this was not the norm. It was for this man though. There were several occasions when at the school, I had walked down the halls and had seen him giving high-fives, chatting with or teasing the kids. I had never witnessed another administrator behaving this way in the 2 1/2 years that my child had attended the school. He was making a difference in these children's lives by being a kind authority figure who treated these kids with respect.

I decided it was time to let the principle know that someone had noticed this man and how he was always going above and beyond to befriend the kids at this school. I sent her an email telling her how impressed I was with him and what I had noticed.

Her response later that day was sobering. She replied that no one had ever taken the time to send her an email praising a teacher or administrator before. She often received complaints and threats from upset parents, but this was the first time someone had pointed out someone doing good. She said how grateful she was for my email and how she would pass it along to the assistant principle saying, "I know it will make his day as it has mine."

It was such a simple thing to do- but was obviously appreciated. So here's my challenge to all of us. Find one person who you can praise for a job well done this coming week- and then let their supervisor know. (You could even use those handy thank-you cards that are now in your purse, right?) I promise it's one little thing that you will find is truly worth your time.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Worth Your Time- another idea

Writing thank-you notes

When was the last time you received a hand written thank-you note? If you have to think hard to remember, you are probably not alone. I personally do not feel that I do a lot that deserves a thank-you, but doesn't it feel good to know that someone took the time to write you one?

The other day, Isaac came into my room while I was busy typing away on a never ending writing assignment. He stood by my side for a second or two and then handed me a paper. He had drawn a beautiful picture of a desert scene and on the bottom he had written, "My life would be a desert without you! Thank you for all the things you do for me...laundry, dinner, etc." It was totally unexpected and instantly brightened my day!

Knowing how it feels to receive such a note- why don't we take more time to write them ourselves? I think it is one of those things that ends up on our 'I'm too busy' list. But are we really too busy? Think of all the times when you are sitting in your car waiting to pick up a child, waiting for an appointment or for a meeting to begin. What if you tossed a pack of 'thank-you' cards into your bag for moments such as these? This is something I have started doing recently. Just knowing that I have those cards in my bag- I find myself actually thinking about people who I could send a quick 'thank-you' to. You should try it!

And even though I know it's much nicer to hold your own thank-you note in your is a snapshot of a thank-you I wrote just for you!

I really, truly believe that writing a thank-you note is worth your time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Worth Your Time

This month, my favorite magazine highlighted 22 'things in life that are really, truly worth your time'. I fell in love with this list from the very first page.

I am in the final weeks of the semester with one or two assignments and some editing of my papers left to go- and my brain is fried. But this article inspired me.

So over the next few days, so that I don't have to think too hard about something to blog about, I am going to pick a few of my favorite 'things that are really, truly worth your time' from their list, adding a few of my own thoughts, to share with you.

The first, Making the Bed.

I grew up in a home where making your bed was not an option. I didn't exactly enjoy doing this chore, but I did love the way it made my room feel. Clean, organized, fresh.

I don't know how my mom got us to do it daily, because 16 years after becoming a mother, I have not been able to pass this 'law' on to my children. It is I who am still making the beds each day. I don't even know if my family notices or even cares if their beds are made. But I do.

I love starting the day with freshly made beds. I love walking down the hall, glancing into each room seeing the comforter and pillows laying straight and wrinkle free. I love the way the rooms feel. Clean, organized, fresh.

The other day I overheard one of my son's friends say to him, "You make your bed every day?" and then before he could answer the friend said, "It's such a waste of time. You are just going to get back into it again and mess it all up."

Maybe it's true. And maybe a made-up bed doesn't do the same thing for some people as it does for me, but it's one little thing I can to do for my family, and one thing that I really believe is truly worth your time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Room

When we finished our basement and Nicole moved downstairs, I inherited her old bedroom and lovingly called it my 'craft room'. I moved my things in as fast as I could before anyone else could stake their claim on the spot. I had plans to 'cute it up'....but there just wasn't any time, or something like that.

So this.....I'm so embarrassed to even show it....has been what I have been using as my craft room/office/where-I-study/

I know, it's bad. Really bad.

Last week when Erik went out of town I decided that it was time to re-do it. I don't know what it is about Erik going out of town, but I always like to do some big project while he's away to surprise him when he gets home. So I went shopping....found a few things....including a couple of these lovely pictures, which I made in to chalkboards because I fell in love with the frames.....

And this is how it turned out! So much better, don't you think?
I love how the chalkboards turned out!

But the bed has to be my favorite part of the room! It's so inviting- the kids always end up visiting with me, laying on it, while I do schoolwork. I love it!
And there you have it. Erik was quite surprised when he got home, which is always my favorite part. :) I probably should have spent the time working on my papers, but this was way more fun!

Since we last talked.....

We celebrated our little monkey's birthday at the zoo....
We now have 3 sets of car keys to keep track of.....yes! Erik bought a truck!
And I became a published author! At least I'm famous to my family. :)

What have you been up to? I've missed you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Look who is six today!

Six is a wonderful age to be.

Here are six very important things in this six year old's life:

1- Losing another tooth
2- Riding his bike
3- Having friends who are 'nice'
4- Owning every single action figure sold at Target
5- Being the first kid to the kindergarten playground each day at school
6- No butting in line

Oh to be six!

Happy Birthday little man!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Break

This year, we spent Spring Break up in Wallsburg at a cabin. We brought our friends along. Here are some of the things that we did....An Easter egg hunt....there were some really good hiding places in the old trees....
The kids went was Ian's first time. After the third time casting it out, he declared, "I'm never going to catch anything!" He has a lot to learn about fishing!
A cute picture of all the friends....
And then there was the barn....
Everyone had fun in the barn...

Feeding the horses....
Playing in the hay....
The tree swing was another favorite....
Everyone took a turn....
Even cute Christy.....
And Erik....well, he's just special....
Many games were played, lots of conversation and laughs, yummy food, so many good memories.

The part I will never forget though, is the night that the kids sent the adults off to Heber for dinner while they stayed at the cabin and made up a 'show' to put on for us. When we returned, they were all ready with props and memorized lines. They had chosen several movies to act out for us. We were given a hand written program to help us figure out what movie they were performing. We didn't even need the cheat sheet because they did such a great job acting. We were all amazed at their creativity and talent. It was so fun! I wish I had pictures to share, but I ran out of memory on my card. :(

It was one of those weekends that no one wanted to see end. I'm so glad that we had good friends to share it with!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Crumbs in my Bed

There are not too many things worse than climbing into your bed after a long day, only to be greeted by scratchy crumbs under your covers.

There is a good reason that our mothers told us not to eat in bed. (Or was mine the only one??)

Today that rule was broken.

As I sit here in my bed, typing away, there are a few crumbs under my legs. Oh, and there's one at my foot! It is going to be a long night unless I can find them all and brush them away, or even better, talk myself into changing the sheets before bedtime.

Why the crumbs?

Today was General Conference (or as we call it around here, Jammie Church). Erik and I were laying in bed- enjoying the slow paced morning, when the boys emerged with two trays of food in their hands.

Isaac had made us breakfast. Scrambled eggs, his specialty. Along with the eggs, we each enjoyed a slice of whole wheat toast, a poppy seed muffin, a sliced orange, and a glass of milk. The presentation was beautiful. The boys were so proud.

Erik and I were wowed, as were our taste buds! The look on our boys faces as we thanked them and the thoughtfulness of the act more than made up for the crumbs that we will be sleeping with tonight.

It's mornings like these that make you glad that you have children- and even more glad that they know how to cook. :)