Friday, April 27, 2007

week in review

So, here are some of the things that have kept me busy this week.

Teaching piano lessons.
Hosting preschool for the last time this year.
Visiting teachers came.
Derrick's Kindergarten Music Program.
Hearing appointment for Abbie. Her speech is not exactly clear at this point, so we needed to rule out that she was having trouble hearing the words. All is fine, we may need a little bit of therapy, but she will likely just grow out of it.
Soccer practice. We also have an early morning game tomorrow.
Home teaching with my husband. His partner is not really one to go with him.
Cleaning my bathrooms.
Lots of laundry. We just moved Gracie into her normal crib, and unfortunately her portable crib has become a dumping ground for my clean laundry, which my husband has been folding for me when he gets home. How bad is that? I just need to take the crib down so I'm not tempted.

Wow, when I list it all there, it really doesn't feel like that much stuff, but it sure seemed to keep me occupied. Anyways, the most interesting item of the week may be the fact that we, like everyone else, may be moving in a couple of months. Just in town, and not because we are selling a house. We are actually renting right now, and weren't even thinking about leaving our current house until we are ready to buy, but we just learned of a great rental that is coming available around the beginning of July. Jon could walk to work, and I would be neighbors with one of my good friends. We would be back in the same ward again, which would be great, even if it is 1:00 pm church this year! I just registered the kids for school, but they would have to go to a different elementary school if we did it, which would be fine. It's a great deal, and I'm sure we'll probably do it since we are still a little ways off from buying a house here. We're going to look at it on Monday.

OK, I'm tired and I have to get up early tomorrow. Derrick has a 9:00 am soccer game, but I'll need at least 30 minutes to fight with him about getting dressed in the morning. It has been like pulling teeth lately! Does anyone else have this problem? I'm hoping that it is a phase, and while I love having him in school, it sure will be nice not to have to rush in the mornings come summer vacation.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

gratitude sundays (a wedding and a vacation)

So, this one might be strange. We've known for some time now that my little brother was going to be getting married this summer. In fact, we have planned our summer vacation around it. We've just been waiting for it to become official, and about a week ago it did. He gave her the ring, and they just did their engagement pics this weekend. So, congrats to Grant and Aubrye! We are excited to welcome a new sister-in-law and we are grateful that they are getting married in San Diego. Not only do we get to go to a beautiful temple, but it is a great place for a family vacation. We plan to take our kids to the beach, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo. In fact, most of my immediate family will be extending their trips so we can all enjoy some time together in California. So, while neither the wedding or the vacation has happened yet, I'm grateful to these two kids for giving us a good excuse to plan some good old fashioned family recreation this summer. Congrats again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

no more complaining

I finally caved in. Several months before Gracie was born, Jon started pushing to get a new van that would more easily accomodate 3 kids. We currently have a Chevy Venture and an Isuzu Rodeo. The Rodeo is in fine condition, but does not easily fit a baby carrier and two booster seats. The Venture obviously has the needed room, but it is a piece of you know what. We bought it while we were in college, and it drives nice, but a few summers ago the air conditioning went out. When we checked in to fixing it, it was going to cost about $900, way more than we were willing to put into it. Then, this last fall, I noticed that I was driving along one day and going 0 mph. That's right, our dashboard had a short. We have no idea how fast we are going, how many miles are actually on the car anymore or how much gasoline we have. We have figured out which fuse to replace so that it will work, but until the short is fixed we have to keep replacing fuses everytime that it blows out. Why don't we just get the short fixed, you ask? Well, according to the mechanic that we talked to it would be an easy fix once he finds the short, but first he has to FIND the short. He says he would actually have to catch the short when it happens. To us that is code for bring me your car and let me charge you for a bunch of hours to find the short. Since we don't care too much about this car, we don't really care to get it fixed. It still drives well, you just have to be cautious with your gas and be sure not to speed. Because the air conditioning is broken, we don't feel comfortable with me driving the kids in the van, so it has become Jon's drive to work car. That is about all we use it for. But, the kids and I in the Rodeo is a tight squeeze. I have been holding Jon off now for some time, insisting that we could make it work. I've been this way because we have been married for almost 8 years and only made a car payment for 2 months of that time. I know that this is not normal, and I know that eventually we would have to take on a real car payment, I've just been trying to put it off as long as possible. Anyways, the point is that I finally gave in. Last week I got tired of listening to Jon bug me about it, so I got the financing in place and yesterday we went out and bought this.

It is a 2004 Nissan Quest and we are in love. We got a really great deal and it has hardly any miles on it. The kids love the built in DVD player and Jon and I like that it is a minivan but doesn't look like every other minivan on the road. All that's left to do is sell the Rodeo. Simple enough, right? I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

in a nut shell

Our life for the last week and a half, in a nut shell.

Family came in to town for Easter weekend and Grace's blessing.

My little sister, Katie, put together an Easter egg hunt at my parent's on Saturday with all the cousins. Derrick scored big with 34 eggs, and Abbie refused to pick up any color other than pink. Cousin Carter stole a pink egg out of her basket, and she promptly took it back! The kids dyed eggs at Grandma M's house and we made cream puffs for the next day's lunch while the guys were out golfing.

Gracie has really started to smile a lot lately. This is the first picture we have of her doing this. My timing was a little off, so I only caught the beginning to the smile, but you get the idea. She is starting to show some personality and we are all loving it! Aunt Kimmy bought her this cute outfit, which is a 3-6 month size, and she has already grown out of it! She had her 2 month check-up and shots on Tuesday, weighing 12 pounds 12 ounces and measuring 23.5 inches long. 90th percentile both ways! She is growing like a weed!

We blessed Grace on Sunday. To complicate the morning, I had to be to church early for a choir practice because our choir is so small that the only other pianist HAD to sing tenor instead of play. I got Gracie in her blessing dress before I left, and everything seemed on track. I started to get concerned when Jon and the kids were still not there a couple minutes before Sacrament was supposed to start. Shortly after they walked in, I learned that Gracie had had a MAJOR blowout right as they were ready to walk out the door. It's never a good thing when your six year old says, "Dad, Gracie went to the bathroom, and I can see it!" Fortunately, my sister was still at the house to help Jon out, and she cleaned the blessing dress as best she could. They made it just in time, and Jon gave her a wonderful blessing. After church we had a lunch gathering at our house for both sides of the family. The food was great and the company was the best! AND, despite the skeptical comments I received for making a triple batch of cream puffs, they were a hit and gone by the end of the day.

Derrick played in his first soccer game. After watching him at practice, I was worried that he would be too cautious when it came to playing a real game, he wants to do it just right. Instead, he went for it! As expected, it was basically a large mass of little kids moving around the field and kicking at each other shins, occasionally hitting their intended target, although not always in the right direction, ignoring the whistle and the pleas from the coaches to "turn the ball around." He got to defend the goal several times, although once he was too busy dancing on the white lines about 10 feet in front of the goal to notice that the other team scored a point! But, I did get this priceless picture, and although I've never really played soccer, I think he might have some talent!

I think I'm all caught up now...I think!

my head hurts

I am somewhat reluctantly embarking on a new endeavor. I will be learning to speak a new language of sorts. I have not even started and already my head hurts. Not only that, but I'm slightly terrified and nauseated at the same time. What, might you ask, could do this to me? Well, my friends, the organ. Anyone who has ever looked closely at one of these can tell right off the bat that humans are not built with enough arms and legs to easily play one of these things. I have known for some time that I would have to learn. When they created a new ward here and realigned the boundaries last November, it became inevitable. Our bishop's wife is really the only who plays the organ well and she has been needing me to learn so she can have a break every now and then. The time has finally come, and after a stake training meeting tonight on the organ, I'm even more anxious about it. Fortunately, I have my mom and the bishop's wife (my former piano teacher) to help me out. While I know that I can do it, the questions start to emerge...where will I find the time to get to the church to practice? do I really have to buy $50 organ shoes? should I take the BYU correspondence course to certify? how can I make my brain learn how to move the bass part to my feet after 20 years of playing another way? why does there have to be two sets of keys, about 100 different buttons, pedals, and more pedals? AAAAAHHHHH! In any case, the adventure begins, and despite their reassurance that I can do it and will end up loving it, my head still hurts.

gratitude sundays (a good ward family)

So, I missed last Sunday due to the fact that I had family in town for Gracie's blessing and Easter. More about that in a separate post. Anyways, I didn't want to miss another Sunday, but was unsure about what to be grateful for until today during Sacrament meeting. As I mentioned in an earlier post, our 2nd counselor was diagnosed with a brain tumor about a month and a half ago. Since then, he has undergone 2 surgeries in Los Angeles and is now back home recovering. It still looks like it will be a couple more months before he is able to return to work. Due to where the tumor was located, he ended up losing his hearing on one side and is therefore having a lot of trouble with his equilibrium. While he adjusts to this change, it is very difficult for him to have noise at home, which is a challenge with 3 small children. Many wonderful people in our ward have pitched in to help. They are taking turns watching the children during the day, and today I saw 3 different families that were helping out during Sacrament. His wife must have stayed home to be with him today. While I do not currently have such a great need as this, I know that these people would all be there for our family the same way. I don't get to attend Relief Society because of my calling as Primary Secretary, but I did actually read today's lesson on Selfless Service (chapter 8 in Spencer W. Kimball). Together with what I observed from across the chapel, I was reminded of how grateful I am to be a part of such a good ward family.

Monday, April 2, 2007

all clear!

Derrick and Abbie had dentist appointments today. I'm happy to report that all is good, despite the fact that they have only been once before this, and that was at least three years ago. Yes, I have been not so good at getting them in so I'm grateful that we don't have any major decay to deal with. Now we have their annual physicals tomorrow morning and Jon has a follow-up visit later tomorrow afternoon. I think we'll have had 5 out of 6 days with some type of doctor contact, so I'll be glad when it is over, but not so glad when the bills show up!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

gratitude sundays (good friends and family)

It's been one of those weeks. One that reminds you just how unpredictable life can be, while at the same time bringing you blessings that you didn't ask for and probably didn't deserve. On Tuesday, Jon started to feel some pain in his chest after mowing his parent's lawn. It continued off and on throughout Wednesday and into Thursday. We just assumed that it was heartburn, but he didn't sleep very well on Wednesday night because of it, so when we got up on Thursday I made him an appointment for later that afternoon. Actually, first Jon went to the dentist and had two cavities filled, THEN I made him an appointment. As I was finishing my last piano lesson, he called to let me know that they were sending him over to the hospital to spend the night for tests and observation and that I needed to come and drive him over. His blood pressure has never been high, but it was elevated enough at the office that it concerned them given that he was also having chest pain. Fortunately my mother was already planning to come and get Abbie for a sleep-over, so she just took Derrick along while I went to get Jon. We got to the hospital and got checked in around 5:00 pm. They hooked him up to a heart monitor and ran another EKG (they had already done one in the office). They also hooked up an IV, gave him an injection in the stomach of some type of blood thinner (he got several more of these and now has a lovely 3 inch purple bruise on his stomach), and had him take some nitro for the chest pain. They took him later for some x-rays and shortly after that I had to go get Derrick and put him and Gracie to sleep for the night. He was scheduled for some stress tests in the morning to check on his heart and I planned on being there even though we weren't told a time. That was the plan, anyway. I have been doing some bookkeeping for my father-in-law's business. Usually he makes the bank deposits, but they are out of town so I have been doing it. I also had the employees paychecks that needed to be taken to the store, so I needed to stop on my way to the hospital and take care of these things. As it turned out, the noise I had noticed my car making the night before turned out to be a flat tire waiting for just the right moment to surprise me, which it did about 1/2 mile away from the store. My husband is in the hospital, my father-in-law is out of town, and my father was already late for an important meeting. Yes, my dad did teach me how to change a flat, but that was 10 years ago with a tire that didn't weigh a million pounds. So, my mom came to get me and the kids so we could go get our other car that we had to leave at the doctor's office the night before. The plan was for my dad to change my flat when his meeting was done. The errands were taken care of and I got to the hospital shortly before they brought Jon back from his tests. So far things were coming back OK, but he had spent an interesting night with the nurses. I think they thought he was in more pain that he was because he had to refuse a morphine drip and a nitro patch during the night. Don't get me wrong, he was in pain, just not THAT much pain, I think they thought he was going to have a heart attack at any moment! Anyways, Derrick was glad to see his dad, Abbie was with my mom and clueless, and my car was sitting on the side of the road. While at the hospital, we decided that it would be better if I just called Big O Tires and asked them to come pump up the flat enough to get it to the store for a repair. My dad is a busy guy, so one less thing for him to do is always a good thing. Up until a few years ago, Jon's parents owned the Big O Tires in town. There are several guys still there who always take very good care of us to this day because of that. We try not to abuse this, and always try to pay for whatever we need done, but it doesn't happen. Anyways, I left the hospital to go and meet the guy at my car. I got there and in the process of switching my kids back into the car with the flat, one of the ladies that I work with in the Primary presidency drove by, saw us on the side of the road, and whisked Derrick off to play with her boys, assuring me that he could stay as long as I needed him to and to come pick him up whenever. I had to fight back a few tears right as the Big O guy was getting there. He then tried to air up my flat, but it wasn't going to happen. So he decided to just put the spare on, except he couldn't get it off the back of the car. After searching through both of my cars and his for the necessary tools to get the spare tire off (yes I needed a wheel lock and didn't have one), he decided to have another guy bring some tools down. When the second guy got there, he still didn't have what he needed. He then tells me just to go take care of Jon, not to worry about the flat because he will take care of it for me and we can just come get it when we are able. Despite my protests that I should stay, he insisted. I tried to make sure he had my phone number in case we needed to buy a new tire, but he didn't take it. He sent the second guy back for a used tire to change for the flat so they could drive it to the store where they attempted to fix it, but couldn't. There was a giant triangular piece of metal that I had run over. They just let us keep a used tire and wouldn't let me pay for it when we went back that afternoon. So, I left to go back to the hospital because our doctor was supposed to come talk to us around lunch time. When he got there, he assured us that so far everything was coming back normal with Jon's heart. He still wanted to run a test to make sure that he didn't have a blod clot, which came back normal, so he released Jon with instructions to come back on Saturday morning and finish the second part of the stress test. Chances are that he has some type of gastro-intestinal problem or maybe an infection. We are supposed to schedule a follow-up visit for this week in the office, and Jon is now taking a daily Aspirin, Prilosec, and blood pressure medicine until they tell us otherwise. He is still feeling some chest pain, but has gone back to work and we're waiting to find out what is really causing it. To top it all off, despite repeated warnings not to kiss Gracie when they were sick, Derrick and Abbie couldn't help themselves and now she is sick, too. I think that about covers the last few days. Now here comes the good, that which I am grateful for. People saw a need and didn't hesitate to help out. They took my kids, they changed my tire, and they made sure my husband was alright (OK, we're going to be paying THOSE people, but I still appreciate them.) All in all, it's been a good reminder that things aren't so bad. And when they may seem that way, good friends and family will be there to help you through.