Sunday, May 29, 2011

May, Week Four

IMG_3237This made me laugh!  I try so hard to remember everything – I have my calendar, then I enter everything on my online calendar so my phone and my computer will beep when I am supposed to be somewhere – and some times I still forget!  So I wrote myself a note, on a chalkboard that I would have to trip over to get out of my bedroom.  And what happens?  Joy thinks it’s a great place to color – so much for remembering things! 

We had a very large pine tree in our back IMG_3250yard that Jason did not like.  It curved over the house.  During a storm it would sway with the wind and was quite scary.  After seeing how a tree can split a house in two during his trips to Louisiana and East Texas after the hurricanes, he really wanted that tree down – only it costs a ton!  So much more than a normal tree because it was leaning over the house.  Well, it is no more.  It’s gone.  My back yard gets a ton of sunlight now.  I didn’t realize how much shade the two trees we have cut down were providing!


Bella is almost always on the vent these days, but I sneaked her out and let her swing for a few minutes – she loves it!  Jessi got gold medals for her team’s math and social studies scores.  And yet another remind to never leave small children unsupervised with a pen nearby.  Not a good idea.  Lots of scrubbing involved!


Monday was also Jessi’s last Girl Scout meeting.  She enjoyed it a lot.  And the cake that Sammi made for our Family Home Evening.

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Tuesday: Sammi finished Botany.  Training her Padawan.  Joy writing letters in shaving cream with her Mama.


Tuesday morning before my eyes were even open, Becca came storming into our room complaining that her hair just won’t cooperate.  (She was a bit stressed with her audition for Orchestra that day).  So I created this:  And the audition?  She came home smiling.  Big sigh.  That is good.  Her tutor says she had improved so much this past month!  Good job, Bec!

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I finally tracked down the source of the washer’s problem – this drain tube.  Somewhere down there was a plug.  Two snakes and some DrainO later, it’s all working again – yeah!



May 29 004Wednesday: Took Joy’s teachers their gifts, just in case my life fell apart and we didn’t make it to school on Friday.  Then Sammi and I headed to the Woodlands.  We were going to go to the Children’s Museum there, but it is more geared to toddlers and preschoolers, not big kids.  So I suggested the Mall.  Sammi about died – me suggest that?  I know, crazy thought.  We went and had lunch and looked in two stores, then rode the carousel.  Sammi is in such a between place.  Not a little kid, but not a teenager.  We’ll figure it out together, Sam

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After picking up Joy, we finished our afternoon at the library!May 29 010

Thursday:  Sammi finished her math final.  Which means that she is done with Sixth Grade!  Wahoo!               Lizzy was invited to a birthday party.  They were picked up after school in a stretch Hummer Limo and taken to Itz!  She had fun.

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In Seminary, Becca got an award.  She had the highest number of days of reading scriptures.  That would be because her Daddy read them to us every morning while she ate her breakfast and before they left for seminary.  I’m still trying to figure out the Bob the Builder reference.


Friday:  Sammi and Bella playing with Bella’s new foam blocks.


Joy’s last day of school.  Dropping her off for the last time and picking her up for the last time.  I was sad and grateful when I picked her up.  This is probably the last time she will be totally in a normal classroom with “typical” peers.  I’m so glad she got to have this preschool experience. 

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Sammi got a certificate for her half birthday and Joy for her birthday.  So we went and redeemed them!  Free ice cream – we are there!     And we did it – we went and got Jessi’s cello.  We have set up Cello lessons for the summer.  It begins….  We also ordered Becca a 15” viola.  That will be her full size instrument.  We also took in an old violin that Kris gave us.  She played it in the 3rd Grade.  It is being re-strung and will be good to go the repairman said. Lizzy is excited to learn to play it.   So much music!

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Becca getting off the bus – she is finished with 9th Grade.  She is now a Sophomore!!  And then a couple of hours later, she and her Daddy headed out to Orchestra Banquet.  A good year for my girl.

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Saturday: dancing. cleaning, and playing.  Everyone, except for Bella and I, went and meet Grandma and Grandpa Ball, Nathan, and Mandy and watched Ku Fung Panda 2.  They really enjoyed it.  They came walking into the house all laughing!  That is a good sign!


I read recently that Steven Hawkins does not believe in the existence of a God.  That the idea that there is a great Creator who would have an individual relationship with each of us human beings who number in the billions is all a great big fairy tale.   I spent a few days thinking about that.  Thinking about not believing in anything.  And it was sad to me.  Who would I thank for the beauty?  And the fact that He can have a relationship with me, one of billions, is a wonderful treasured truth I hold very dear to my heart.

And then yesterday a nurse made the statement that Bella’s health, experiences, and long hospitalizations must have rocked and tested my faith.  No, to the contrary, I reassured her.  My faith has been strengthened.  We never have faced anything together that He wasn’t right there with me.  No, my faith is greater because of what we have faced together.

What a blessing to have a knowledge of the reality of God in my life and to know that I am His daughter! 

I’ll Do, I’ll Say, I’ll Be

I love this song – life doesn’t go according to plan – but we can still follow Him.

Jessi’s Creation about her Life

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are you happy?

I had planned on entitling this week “It is what it is,” but last night I ran into an old Bishop.  After Jason and I brought him up to date on the last decade, he asked me, “Are you happy?”  “Yes.  Yes, I am happy.” I answered instantly.   I have a loving and supportive husband and I have six children.  I am a mother, which is all I want to do and be.  My children are beautiful and learning and becoming.  Through them and from them, I am learning and becoming.  I truly agree with Sister Stevens when she said this in General Conference:

Our Father in Heaven, in His great wisdom and love, sends His spirit sons and daughters to this earth as children. They come to families as precious gifts with a divine nature and destiny. Our Heavenly Father knows children are a key to helping us become like Him. There is so much we can learn from children.

I am grateful for that chance encounter.  It’s nice to stop and look at life as a whole, rather than as its individual components and be reminded that life is beautiful and wonderful and I came here to follow a plan.  I’m grateful for that little divine coincidence last night!

I was going to call this week “It is what it is” because we spent two days down town doing appointments.  Bella is going to do what Bella is going to do and regardless of the plans the doctors make, she follows her own plan.  So it was a week to re-adjustment my expectations and just accept that Bella is who she is and will lead us in the medical world. 

The rest of the week was pretty much a week long mental health day for me.  I am trying to learn to take it easy on myself, without guilt.  That’s hard for me.

On Tuesday we did a lot of baking!  Sammi made us oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and bread.  Lizzy made us some banana bread.  Yummy day!


Jessi had a project on Red Pandas.  She had to bring in a display – good thing she is so good at making things from clay!


Wednesday night was a big activity for Becca.  She has been planning a Life Size Clue Game for months.  As president, a lot fell on her.  Tons of preparation and work.  Sammi helping her out and the room.  This was a huge learning experience for her.

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Thursday (and part of Wednesday) our nurse called out.  That always adds a level of stress to the day.  Things like getting the kids to and from school, picking up Becca from Orchestra, those types of things become issues.  And then my washer decided to throw some fun in there.  So now I know exactly how many gallons of water my washer can hold.  So fun!

My beautiful Bella and doing Speech together:


These I love – playing together and my sweet crazy Bella!IMG_3226IMG_3227

Thursday night was the final Orchestra concert of the year.  It was four hours long – so the girls and I stayed home and Jason got to go and listen to our girl play.  They are excellent!  Auditions for next year are next week.  Becca has been working so hard this month trying to get ready.  How I hope she does well and is pleased with her placement.  The girls and I had ice cream while Dad and Bec were gone!


may 21 003Friday Joy got to take cupcakes to her school to celebrate her summer birthday.  They also had a Library trip and pizza party that day.  School ends for her next Friday.   She has grown so much there.  I’m glad that she got to go to a “typical” preschool.



My tomato – that I grew from seed – is now taller than some of my children.  It makes me happy!  Becca and I made Strawberry Jam – never done that before.  It was a lot simpler than I thought it would be.  Can’t wait to eat it.  Too bad we are giving most of it away for teacher’s gifts!


Saturday, busy as usual.  Two birthday parties and one wedding reception and lots of work around the house.  I got to go out to lunch with my mother – that was a nice break from life!  Jason put up our new outside light – love it!  A bit of nostalgia for our first house in Utah with the craftsman style lines.  Sweet Joy got a goose egg on her forehead.  The girls were upstairs cleaning.  Joy hid behind a door, and when Sammi went in to vacuum that room, pow!, right in the head.  She got lots of snuggles for that one!


IMG_20110521_124925Jessi got to try out a cello – she loved that!  She says “It just felt right.”  She will be taking 5th Grade Strings next year.  The debate is whether or not to start lessons over the summer!

I didn’t even take these next four pictures! I love that my kids have become photographers, preservers of memories!

Sammi and Jessi went to the school to fly this kite.  Sam got it at the Young Women Garage Sale and just hasn’t had time to fly it.  They had fun!

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Bec’s party – I love her friends.

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Hanging out with Daddy and his iPad.