Saturday, January 31, 2009

He's On The Road

Here we go...Ryan is officially allowed to practice his driving skills out there on the road with the rest of you. Watch out!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dear Grace...

This was in the mailbox today for Grace!
A letter and a CD made especially for her from her big sister.
She was so excited. Bless sweet Jillian! Grace loves getting mail from her! Two nights ago after I tucked Grace in bed I heard tiny little sniffs coming from her room. I went in and she burst into sobs "I miss Jillian!"
So I pulled out the cell phone and we called. Jill quickly sized up what was going on and chatted away frantically in a one-way conversation for about 3 minutes until Grace stopped crying and could speak. She finally managed a couple of "uh huh's" and "ok's" and they hung up.
Thanks Jill for sending the mail! The small one is feeling loved and taken care of today:)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sweet, Sweet Boy

The boy is downstairs right now teaching Grace a new song on the piano and playing duets with her. He knows that I'm stressed beyond belief and is quietly doing all he can to make my life easier. I love him so much. No baby sister in the whole world is as well-loved and lucky as this one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just Give Me Something To Blog About

Last night I told Grace "Do something cute. I need something to blog about."
She said "Ok. I'll think about it."
Seriously. We're just plodding along. Getting along. Doing the same things day. after.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tyler Finally Gets Glasses

I got my first pair of glasses at the ripe old age of FIVE. Jillian and Ryan both entered the four-eyed world at the age of SEVEN. Andrew got his first pair of glasses at the age of THIRTY. Tyler is now one month away from being 17... apparently the ocular genetic wheel of fortune finally decided to start whirling away his perfect vision.
His glasses arrived today. Sweet justice for all of those years he oh-so cavalierly lorded his perfect 20/20ness over the rest of us.
Sorry son. One more genetic folly you can blame on me. Add it to the list.
Although he is so fine, he pulls it off in style.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


My house is 15 years old. So obviously my cheap, builders issue cupboards are also 15 years old. Here is how the story goes....
Two years ago, Andrew said to me, (looking at the cupboards under the sink) "You're right. These are gross. They need to be refinished."
Now. He had, a few years earlier, refinished the cupboard in the kids bathroom. Stripped and re-stained it. It came out great! Pretty and more water-proof than ever. It's held up quite nicely.
So I wasn't too concerned when he took off the door to the cabinet above the fridge and went to work on it.
Me: "Hooray! The kitchen cabinets are going to get a face-lift and look fantastic!"
Two years later. Three cupboard doors above the fridge are stripped. I'm sick of it. So I think "HEY! THIS WILL BE A GREAT PROJECT FOR THE BOYS TO DO THIS SUMMER! IT WILL TEACH THEM THE POWER OF HARD WORK!!! GO TEAM! So we begin. They're pretty half-hearted about it. "WHY OH WHY IS OUR MOTHER TORTURING US IN THIS FASHION???? WHY?"
But we got all of the doors stripped. They looked like $@&*. Seriously. Apparently this is quite a precision process. And we just weren't that emotionally invested in it. We stuck them back on their hinges and went about our lives. Every day I've had to look at these yucky things wondering what in the world I'm going to do now. I'm not sure I can explain how un-re-stainable they came out.
After some serious google-searching I came to a decision. Paint them. I really didn't want to, 'cause once you go there, NO going back. And I like wood. But I made my bed...etc. I went for the shabby/country/weathered look.
Enter Christmas Break. Two weeks without the one year old that I babysit. I see my opportunity to GET IT DONE ALREADY.
Jillian, bless her heart, agreed to help me prime. TWO coats of primer. TWO coats of paint. ONE coat of stain, FOUR coats of sealer over the course of EIGHT days. Andrew pitched in and painted about half of the doors in the garage 'cause I was out of sheet-space in the family room.

They turned out much better than I hoped. Of course, I didn't have very high expectations. Apparently, neither did my husband. He was against painting them at all. Him, standing in the kitchen: "Wow. They actually look great!" Then a few hours later "They look really good. I'm impressed." He keeps sounding so stunned that they turned out, which is appropriate for any project of mine!
I just said : "Don't look too closely at them. That's all I ask."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I Love Extraction Work!

I became an extraction worker in 2003. Back then, the records were on CD's and you had to physically receive a disk, do the work, then sign a paper and return the disk and paperwork to the Stake Extraction Leader. I worked on Spanish birth, death and marriage was tricky.
Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, extraction work is done completely online! Anyone can sign up to do it. You download a project to work on, and within seconds you're extracting names and dates from Census records! Or birth, death and marriage records. Whatever is interesting to you.
There have been months when I've been too "busy" to work on it. In November, after a few months of not extracting, I started up again. I had forgotten how much I love it! It becomes a bit addicting for me...first thing in the morning I have to get in a couple of packets...then right before bed I have to get in a couple more :)
It's so fascinating to me to see the names, ages, immigration dates, where people come from. Extended families who clearly live together, or next door to each other...children named after grandparents...women who are widowed at scary young ages left with A LOT of children to raise.
In the past few years I have run across names I recognize...Mullens, Cutlers, and even one Ditty who was a servant in Pennsylvania!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Eagle Project

Here is where we've spent a lot of our "vacation" time. Ryan's Eagle Project is moving the temporary library at Renaissance into the newly built library. We've moved shelving and over 12,000 books. Our whole family has helped, and his troop and leaders even came for an evening of fun :)

Now all he needs are a couple more required merit badges and hurray! Our family's first Eagle since my brother Dave earned it in the 1970's!

Christmas Vacation

We've had a busy Christmas Vacation. Lots of snow, impassable neighborhood roads, too much food, refinishing my kitchen cupboards (blogpost to come), an Eagle project, and lots of time together. Here is the snowman that Grace and Jill made....
Grace played some Christmas carols for our family party....
Tyler kissed Santa Claus....
The ubiquitous in front of the tree picture on Christmas Eve....
AND Grace stayed awake until midnight for the first time!