Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow, frost, ice

The kids are home again today!  The high today is -4˚.  It's really fun to have them, but my schedule gets a little messed up.

I seriously can't think of much that we've done here for the past week.  It has been super cold!!!!  So school was cancelled last Tuesday and Unit 5 was cancelled on Thursday, but we weren't.  I tried to stay inside as much as possible.  Archie started coughing a lot in the night I guess last Wednesday, so I didn't want to take him out, but then Friday I had a lot to do so we kept having to brave the unbearable wind!  That night we had the Elders over for dinner and Archie sat at the table not eating anything and his cheeks and ear getting redder and redder!  I went over to feel his forehead and he had a high fever!  I put him down early, but it stayed all night.  In the morning it was a little better, but we were planning on going to Nauvoo and didn't know whether we still should or not.  Lexi is pregnant!  She has little Lachlan who is totally adorable.  He just turned one in November and then she found out that she will having twins in July!  She'll have three kids under 17 months old!!!!!  And the Stouts are moving to Korea on February 13th.  Anyway, I didn't want to get the baby, the pregnant lady, or the soon-to-be traveling family sick.  Oh, Lexi is there because she is going to live there while her parents are gone for two years.  Okay. So I called them and they told me to pray about it and we decided to go anyway.  Archie slept the whole way down, dad and Brock went to the 3:00 session; Julie, Lexi, and I did initiatories at 4:00 and then we all had dinner together.  It was fun.  And the weather was in the 30's so probably one of the nicest days to visit.

Stacie put me in touch with a photographer here in town who is doing a project called "unearthed."  She is scheduled to come here to take my picture on Thursday, but just sent an email yesterday with what she wanted.  She wants me without any make-up or hair done, wearing a white tee shirt and black yoga pants.  It terrifies me!  I don't wear that much make-up, but a little concealer makes me feel so much better!  And I don't know if she has ever been overweight or not (we still haven't met), but a white tee shirt is probably the least flattering thing I could think of to wear right now!  I am so insecure and I don't want to do it at all!  I was complaining to Matthew yesterday about how ugly I am.   What do you think he should have said?  How about, "Well, I think you're pretty!"  But no, he didn't.  He asked if I could get out of it.  He never says I'm pretty.  It was shocking to me, but it shouldn't have been.  I didn't realize and it will just take me a bit to adjust, but for now I'm a little bit mad at him, but can't really tell him why.  I can't stop crying about it.  Oh, and surprise surprise -- I'm having my period.  I hate hormones.  And devils that whisper nonsense in my ears.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Piano Recital, Serendipity

So I had my first major birthing class drama with a couple that did not like the way I was doing things, haha!  She had had a friend who took the class and in her class they had done a relaxation practice every single week and I don't do real practice in class until class 5.  It's not in my class outlines and we didn't do it that way in the class that I took before Charles was born so it never really even occurred to me.  So this couple started taking classes a little late in their pregnancy and barely had time to finish up the whole series and then we had Christmas and then the next week we were sick so I cancelled class again. So the next week was their third time coming, but I was trying to catch up and we did class 4 and part of class 5.  I was really trying to accommodate them!  So once again, we hadn't done a practice and I said that we were going to start the next class with a 30 minute practice -- they were so annoyed!  And they told me that they didn't really know how to practice relaxation at home since we hadn't done it in class.  I just think that is stupid!  Have they heard of the internet?  Just look up relaxation exercises!  Plus, we have some in the book for every week that I read out loud and then they're supposed to do all week.   Go home and do it!  I did it before the internet and look how that turned out!  But, as they were talking, she said that she had found out that she was showing signs of maybe coming early so I'm sure she was just stressed out!  And in the end, I was kind of relieved that they just decided to quit the class (they didn't know what they were going to do, but seemed relieved when I offered a refund) because they were seriously sending off a negative vibe!  Which wouldn't be good for the other three couples.  My first instinct was to be totally offended and upset, but I was very nice to them and they appreciated that.  I might just be growing up, aaah.  I also decided to learn from the experience and will now do short relaxation practice starting from class 1.  Learn from trials and try to do better, right?

 I started doing the Artist's Way -- a sort of program to rev up one's creativity.   I'm doing it with Cherrie, Fara, Joy, and Rebecca.  We have a facebook group and hopefully it will be good.  It lasts 12 weeks and each week there are tasks to do and every morning you're supposed to write three pages of stream of consciousness.  I was nervous about that, but it hasn't been too bad.  It helps that my brain has a constant commentary marching through.  Anyway, this week I had so many ideas percolating in my brain -- it was really great!  I was rethinking my children's book that I started writing in France.  Did I mention that serendipitous thing?  Ever since we got back from France I have been searching everywhere for my little black notebook!  And I was never really losing hope.  Every time we go on a trip I would re-look in all of the suitcases hidden pockets still hoping the book would be there!  Every time I get out a box in the basement, I'm just sure it will be there!  I have cleaned out my cupboard multiple times since then, but I was still sure that it had to be in the house somewhere!  Well, on Christmas Eve, when the Thayn's were here, we were having so much fun singing songs that we got out these old songbooks that we had gotten free from the church.  They were in the messy cupboard where we keep the hymnbooks.  Moving those red songbooks made everything fall over, so later, while Dad and Charles were trying to set up the  Christmas presents, I decided to reorganize that cupboard.  First I found an unopened French hymnbook and then right behind that was my little black notebook!  It has been four years!!!! Can you believe that?  I was so excited!  I have tried to sit down and rewrite my little story, but it was totally blocked.  I couldn't even write one little sentence!  So this was really a blessing and I've been thinking about writing a whole series about little kids who move to different countries and the strange new customs that they find there.  And then in the back could be a list of simple vocabulary words, etc.  I was also thinking of either doing travel books or a webpage of traveling with children.  And then we just might have to travel more places, right?  Oh, the possibilities!   So it is fun to be thinking and planning, but the next step is the actual doing.  Hmmm, that is always the kicker.

I finished another Korean drama that was so good!   It was about a doctor who gets kidnapped back in time to the year 1350 so it was so fun to be discovering ancient Korea with her and then the things they thought were strange about her.  And the romance part was really sweet.  I think in about the 17th episode he held her hand, aaaah.  They are so clean and sweet.  Everyone here thinks I've gone crazy, though.  I never used to watch t.v. in the middle of the day.  It's a bad habit.

Yesterday was the girls' piano recital.  Charles favorite day of the year, woohoo!  He promptly fell asleep and then we were wrestling with Phin and Archie for the entire 90 minutes.  It is a little bit painful, but not so bad.  Poor Ibby was super nervous and had a pained expression on her face the whole time.  Lucy was the star of the show and played her pieces last.  When she started playing, Phin looked at me and said, "This is so beautiful!  Mom!  Have you ever heard this song before?"  Matthew and I were cracking up (quietly, of course)!  She plays that song like 10 times a day!!!!  Was it really completely new to Phin?  Hahaha!  After the recital we had the sister missionaries over for dinner.  Matthew had gone upstairs to change Archie's diaper and I was in the kitchen and I hear one of the missionaries scream and then everyone was laughing so hard!  I ran into the dining room and Phin had stuck a marble way down into her rice!  I said, "Phin!  You can't do that!"  So he proceeded to stick his fingers in her rice again and try to dig it back out!  Oh my goodness!  So I yelled again, "Phin!  Just stop touching her food!!!!"  She was laughing so hard and said it was the funniest thing that had happened on her mission so far!  Later, they were talking with us and Phin wouldn't come in so we said, "They're going to show us a video."  He went and got that green velvet stool and parked himself right at her feet, but then when she started talking, he stood up abruptly  and said in a disgusted voice, "This isn't a video!"  And stomped out of the living room!  Oh my.  We are THAT family.  We tried to excuse the boys by chalking it up to having to sit through church and the recital.  They just were not having any more of controlled behavior.

I had better go.  The kids don't have school for MLK day and I hear crashing noises upstairs!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dating, schmating

We had a very nice last week of Christmas break.  Except that Archie got sick on Christmas Eve.  He woke up in the night throwing up so we had to call off all of our plans.  We were going to go to the Clark's for a murder mystery dinner and then the kids were going to get together with all of their kids and the Johnson's kids, but I knew that none of them wanted to get sick so we were all quarantined at home.  Sure enough, a few days later Phin got it, too and the rest of just kind of stopped eating in defeat.  I don't know for sure if I got it, but Matthew told me that if I hadn't eaten for two whole days and never felt hungry, I probably had something.  True!  Overall, I just felt like it was completely unfair because we just had a stomach bug at Thanksgiving for heaven's sake!!!!  Once every two or three years is okay, but four weeks???  Anyways, then it was just really cold so we just stayed all snug in the house.  I loved it, actually!  Have a turned into a homebody?  We did puzzles, played games, and watched a lot of t.v.  When Charles came home from school last Wednesday he said, "Where's the t.v.?  I am having withdrawals!"  It is obviously a very addictive device, as you well know (smiley face, smiley face).

As I mentioned earlier, I'm teaching Charles' Sunday school class.  Sometimes I just feel like the lessons don't go well at all!  And I'm sure it is my guilt of not doing well at those things.  The new curriculum is also very difficult.  There are no manuals, just vague topics and you are supposed to teach by the spirit.  That is great in theory, but hard when the kids are either in lala land or talking up a storm.   So the lessons on sharing the gospel (I'm not good at that) and being a good teacher (I'm not good at that) didn't go so well, but this last week was about listening to the Holy Ghost and I love the Holy Ghost!  So the lesson went much better because I could use examples from my life where I felt promptings, or peace, or warnings, etc.  It is much easier to bear testimony of something that we're actually doing a little bit right.

Last night, Matthew and I were on a panel for Standards Night.  I was so nervous that I was going to get questions about rated R movies (ummm, sometimes?) modesty (it's subjective?) awkwardness (I don't want to talk about porn, thank you), but it turned out to be about relationships -- finding the right one, dating, having Christ in your relationship... I was sure relieved that we love each other or that would have been uncomfortable, right?  There were three other couples and it turned out well.  Matthew just said the most perfect things!  I am so glad that he's always tuned into the spirit and says things that just resonate, you know?  One other guy talked about how he dated so much!  And he was so popular!  And that's how he narrowed it down!  And they were talking about fun dating ideas, etc.  Then dad stood up and said that it was really okay if you don't date and it made everyone so happy.  Whew!  Another buggy things was that one of the women said that she had been told at BYU I that any two righteous people could be married and make it work.  Gag!  I understand where that is coming from:  don't be too picky, once you are married try to make it work, etc.  But really?  I don't think I could be married to someone who likes to go hunting for weeks on end, plays video games every night, watches football for hours every weekend, hates foreign films, never eats vegetables, loves watching Zombie movies, thinks I'm too liberal... But some women would be fine with that!  And that is great!  Some people and personalities just don't mesh well and you probably shouldn't marry them!  Not to mention that they should smell good to you.  It would just be gross to have sex with someone you aren't attracted to.  So there you have it.  You will be happy to hear that I didn't stand up and yell that to everyone.  I kept it bottled up inside -- until now.

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