Thursday, January 31, 2008

Miracles can happen!

Woo-hoo--we're out of school. Now, obviously this is a double-edged sword, because now we have to make up another day...but I am SO excited today. I really needed a day at home with my family. Plus, it will give me time to catch up some more on my grading...maybe I will get a chunk of it done. I got a lot done last night. I am starting to realize that a lot of why I don't get things done at home is because I take all the responsibility upon myself, which in turn, lets Cameron just do his thing. So maybe I have been enabling others in my house to put more on me than I need. Last night, I just sat down on the couch and started grading. I got interuppted a LOT, but Cameron took care of most of the bedtime stuff (even though he's working, in theory), and I was able to get a lot accomplished. I was up until midnight-thirty (most of the reason I am happy to be home--I can take a NAP!), but I got a lot done. It was a good night.

Now, since I got my call about school being canceled WHILE I was in the shower (at 6:43--I need to leave by 7:10), I am not going to be going back to bed. Levi is a human alarm clock who gets up between 6:50 and 7:10 EVERY SINGLE MORNING. So he and I are hanging out. It
is nice.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Really fast!!!

Ok, this post has to be fast. It is already 9 p.m. and I have a TON of work to do before work in the morning. I have to make Valentine's Day cards for that silent auction; I have literally about 5 million pieces of 8th grade writing to grade; I have to put the boys to bed...etc...

Needless to say, it's been a day. I am so far behind at work that it is ridiculous. I can't keep up. I really just can't! I don't get any of my schoolwork done at home, but I can't stay extra at school because I need to get home. I am late all the time because I am so stressed. I stay up late trying to catch up, but then I am exhausted the whole next day. It's crazy. I have a pile of 75 projects to grade sitting in my living room, at least 80 tests from yesterday, 50 essays, quite a few worksheets (yeah--totally just giving them a credit grade for that!).

But, I had to post because I need to show what Cameron did tonight. He broke my heart. Look at my baby!!!

I realize this is NOT a good picture of the three boys, but you just try getting three little boys who just had haircuts to all sit close enough and SMILE (or even look for that matter) for the camera. It doesn't work. Anyway, Cameron cut their hair off. This is Levi's THIRD haircut already. But, I think he is going to be bald for awhile with this one. I told Cam to leave it long on top and just straighten up the edges...apparently he thought I mean just to leave it longer than HIS hair is. Argh! It makes Levi's little face look SO fat! Actually, all three boys look very handsome. It was not on the agenda to cut hair tonight, but Sam came be-bopping in with the clippers and announced that he "need a haircut". So, since he was, in fact, correct, he got a haircut!

All to grade, create, and eat a milkshake!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hippos and Lions

Ok, so the totally random title is really just that--random. I was just sitting here trying to think of a catchy, not grumpy sounding title for today's post, and I started thinking about taking the boys to the zoo this summer and their favorite bedtime story (The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton, by the way), and it made me think of the characters in the story that the boys just have to point out EVERY time we read the book.

My one negative thing today is that seriously...I don't know what the deal is. I don't know if it is that I hang around teenagers in full-blown puberty all the time. Or if it is just all the extra stress. Or if I am just a mess in general. But really...since starting this teaching job, I feel like skin has decided to take a long break from looking good. I feel like it is constantly looking gross. Not that anyone else cares, but it is driving me really nuts lately! Argh!

Ok, past the grossness...I feel the need to be a bit more upbeat. I didn't really have a good day. I didn't have a bad day either though--it was just sort of blah. I came home from work and immediately, Cameron had to start work, and I tried to start dinner. I was attempting to make chicken cordon bleu and homemade au gratin potatoes. Both turned out ok. The potatoes needed some seasoning and more cheese, and the chicken...well, it tasted good, but it did not look all that pretty. Everybody ate it though--there isn't any left. Even Ben and Sam ate all their food. They are normally good eaters, but they did especially well tonight--they even scarfed their broccoli. ("B R O C C O L I--Broccoli, uh broccoli!" Ok, unless you have spent many MANY hours of your life watching Sesame Street, you probably didn't get that!) So dinner was good--I ended up eating mine cold because by the time I was ready to eat it, the boys were done and Levi was screaming, and I had to deal with all that first.

I had a nice evening though. The kids weren't any better than normal. But, I am back on a semi-normal medicine schedule, and that seems to be helping. I don't want to give up totally on this thing we call my life. But, I feel much more tolerant of them (even when it is 10:32 and Benjamin is laying on my arm STILL not in bed, even though I started reading stories and putting them in pjs at 7:30--and we read about 15 books!). My friend Stephanie came over tonight, and just hung out for a little while--I wish we could have done a little more, but with Cam "working" (he is so totally in there playing a game, but trying to pretend he is working hard so I don't bug him!), and the boys not going to bed, we just kind of hung out. We did go to Walmart. That was nice--it was nice to be able to talk with NO kids around--not her baby, not ANY of mine! I loved it! And I got an email from another friend. Isn't it great how those little things can make a person feel so much better?

Tomorrow I have the goal of making some Valentine's Day cards for a basket the 7-8 teachers are putting together for a silent auction to raise money for some of our students. These poor kids--ages 7, 7th grade, and 8th grade (so one of mine, whom I adore!)--got pulled out of school on Nov. 19 because their mom had been in a terrible car accident. At the time, they were pretty much told to say goodbye, and that it didn't look good. Over the course of the next several days, the prognosis was still not good. I went to the hospital to visit my student several times--just to check on him! The mom had lost control of the car on a patch of gravel, and been thrown from the car almost 80 feet! Her pelvis is crushed, her leg was ripped apart (literally, bones sticking out), her wrist was broken, and she had severe head injuries. Right now, over two months later, she is still is hospice care (ICU gets expensive fast, and they don't have insurance!), with no definite prognosis. I think they are going to go ahead and try to repair her pelvis the best they can (they did one surgery earlier, but it was kind of a bandaid fix) and her leg in the hopes that once the swelling in her brain is completely gone, she WILL recover. I pray continually that a miracle will be worked for this family. They have experienced several already, but I hope still that they get their big one. The mom is a single mom, and the benefit dinner/silent auction is to raise money to keep the kids in town until the end of the school year at least. To help pay the house costs--utilities, payments on the home, food, etc.--for someone (family members have been taking turns) to stay with the kids until school is out, at least. So, long story shortened, I want to make some cards to contribute to the basket. I love this young man, and his sisters are sweet too!

I never realized how emotionally draining it is to be a teacher. I would venture to say that it has been a bit worse this year than it usually is, but wow! The first semester, we had a young girl (9 years old) get kidnapped, raped brutally, and murdered, then her body was dumped in a cave--by her stepdad and his buddy (yeah, I know, innocent until proven guilty, but this is one of those times when I struggle with being impartial). Then we had my 8th grade boy's mom get in her horrible accident. I have been fighting sexual innuendos and harrassment from some of the students all year--it blew up the same week that we were without power for a week from the ice storm. Then, we had Christmas....ahh...what a blessed time! Now, already this semester, it has just been a series of ups and downs. I worry so much about my students, and although I am really good about not bringing it all home with me, I am there so much of my day, and it is hard to leave that worry and concern behind at school. I love teaching. I love sharing my knowledge with students and watching them get it. I do NOT enjoy the paperwork. Or being organized (I am NOT!). Or grading papers. Or dealing with rotten little punks. Or contacting parents. Or any number of tricky things when working with teenagers who haven't totally figured out who they are yet. But, I love it. And I love them! So, I can do this for a few more months until we know better what the future holds for us.

I am grateful today for quiet. I am grateful for the quiet few minutes I have right now to type this. I am grateful all my kids have gone to bed. I am grateful that I have some time to think and reflect on my day. I am grateful that it is calm and that I can go to bed without stressing--well, except for the REALLY messy kitchen! I feel very peaceful tonight--no real anxiety. And that's major for me. Good night!

Monday, January 28, 2008


I am so sleepy tonight. I have to hurry. I hate when Cameron is on-call because I don't get nearly enough sleep, and the whole week is just exhausting. He sleeps most of the afternoon in preparation for working through most of the night. But, I still have to get up at 6:30 to get to work. Then when I come home, I have to immediately be the parent in charge because Cam starts work at 5 (like right when I am getting home!). So without even a break, I have to start dinner, blah, blah, blah. It works ok, except tonight we went to the YMCA to take the kids swimming. They were so cute. Levi is such a water baby. Really, they all are. Ben and Sam both love to jump in, and they both LOVE to "swim." The problem with taking them swimming was that I didn't get any of my work done. I had to wait until all the kids were in bed before I could start my schoolwork--I had to make up a test. I just barely finished doing it, and I am sure my students will hate it. They insist that my tests are really hard. I don't try to make them hard. I just try to make sure they have to think to answer the questions. But, I finally got that done.

I am hoping this week of on-call is better than normal. I hope Cam gets to sleep and that our family runs smoothly. It is tricky.

Because I am literally falling asleep, I will save the important stuff for later. Sorry this is the most boring blog entry ever. It's just a goal of mine to help me! Anyway, tonight I am grateful for my job. I love my students. They are horrible a lot of the time. And some of them are truly difficult to like on any given day. But, overall, I love my job. I was actually excited to go to work today. I love that I get to share my knowledge with my students. I love that I get to learn new things. I love that I get to influence, hopefully positively, at least a few young men and women. They are good kids. They do a lot of things I don't like, but I hope they all know that I care about them and that they can depend on me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Yesterday was pretty much the worst day! Absolutely nothing got done, which really annoys me, too. The boys were awful--they do NOT listen to me ever. Occasionally they listen to Cameron. It makes me so angry that I can't even stand to be around them. It's not like asking Ben to pick up his shoe that is in plain sight across the room is that hard, but he manages to get completely distracted in the five feet from the couch to the wall. And Sam is just defiant--if he is asked to do something, he does the opposite, but reverse psychology doesn't seem to work either--he is too smart for that. Levi has a cold so all he has done for 2 days is cry--not sleep, not eat, just cry. Did I mention that Cameron had to work again...for the second Saturday in a row? That was just great. So, he was completely not helpful because he was working until almost naptime. And if the boys don't stop climbing onto my kitchen counter, I really might just completely lose it. That is the most irritating thing. And they do it about a million times a day--not exaggerating! Seriously, I have already had to yell at them about 20 times to get off the counter, and stay out of the cabinets (which don't have handles so it's hard to lock them), just this morning. And Sam wouldn't go to bed until almost midnight--he absolutely refuses to go to bed until there is NOTHING at all going on in the house. Even if we are in our room watching tv, he will not go to bed. It makes it very difficult to like the child. Especially because he was up at 7 a.m., ready to go. And we have afternoon church, so Sundays are always awful too. ARGH!!! I am just super frustrated--this mom thing is for the birds! I understand why many species eat their young at birth, or abandon them.

Onto other things...the house is a disaster zone. It doesn't really matter how often I clean it--which I really don't have a ton of time to do--it is still a disaster zone. Part of that is because of a lack of time. Part of it is Cameron's attitude about weekends--he thinks that he has been working all week, so the weekend should be relaxing. Umm...yeah that would be great if you didn't have three terrors ripping the house apart every day so that it gets exponentially worse each day and by Saturday looks like a bomb hit it. And really, it is hard to take care of the three non-listening kids AND get the house clean in one day by myself. Cam will help usually, albeit grudgingly, but he has had to work two Saturdays (and Sunday last week) in a row. And really, I hate cleaning. I hate it. It is completely not satisfying to me. And it's BORING! I realize it is a necessary evil, but there is no joy whatsoever in it, because I know that literally five seconds after I get the boys' room cleaned up, they will have torn it apart again. And even if it does make it more than five seconds, as soon as Sam goes down for a nap, he will tear it apart in an effort to postphone naptime. Since I have no other life though, apparently this is the course on which I am destined. It depresses me. I guess that doesn't totally matter either, since there is always something more pressing happening--like Levi in the kitchen finding a chicken strip SOMEWHERE (WHAT??!?!?) and choking on it. And since Cam is still in bed, I guess I will have to go find said chicken strips and dispose of them. Ick!

I still have to prepare my gospel doctrine lesson, which I am totally not in the mood to teach. And I have to be evaluated by my principal this week, so I have to figure out what I am teaching. Something with mythology, but since I rarely have time to plan farther than a day or two (sometimes an hour or two), I am not sure what yet. There is so much that it is possible to cover. We did the basic overview last week. I am going to do the 12 labors of Hercules on Monday/Tuesday. I had 4th hour (my longer, also ahead of the others, class) write a quick, in-class 3 paragraph essay about "What is a hero?" I told them they couldn't tell me about THEIR hero, they had to define the qualities OF a hero. Most of them were ok. They only had 15 minutes, after all. Some were not great. And a few were absolutely astounding. It always makes me happy when my students actually do something I want them to do. Then we discussed how the qualities that we see a hero having (pretty much across the board universal character traits), are a lot different than heroes in Greek and Roman mythology. I started the labors of Hercules that day with them, but the other two classes still need to do that lesson. I am going to finish the labors of Hercules with 4th hour tomorrow, and maybe show part of the movie Hercules (the Disney one) to discuss the differences between the movie and the myth that we are reading. But...what to do after that? There are three other heroes I want to discuss--Jason, Perseus, and Odysseus--and I want to cover word origins and mythology's effect on our modern world. But otherwise, I am kind of stuck. I think we are going to get rid of the mass media/advertising thing with a group project. Creating a newspaper about the escapades of the different gods/goddesses or something. We are also going to cover resumes/application letters with this unit. One of the 12 major gods is retiring, so Zeus is accepting applications for a replacement. I thought this would be a fun way to cover resumes and application letters without them having to be TOO serious about it. They are only 13-14. They can get the concept without having to actually create a boring resume they won't ever use.

Anyway, I have to narrow that down, and grade a million papers today. Cam doesn't know it yet, but he will be helping me, in exchange for the extra almost 2 hours of sleep he has gotten this morning. Hopefully today will improve--it has got to be better than yesterday at least.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I had a bit of a crazy week this week. I am really glad that it is close to the end of it. After getting everything worked out for my kids today, I got to work and had an email from the girl who was supposed to watch the boys this afternoon, saying that her daughter is sick. Suddenly I had to arrange, from work, for someone to watch the kids. Lucky for me, I have an amazing friend named Stephanie. She is visiting her family on her way from VA to move to TX. She not only was going to watch my kids this morning, but when we called and told her the afternoon person couldn't do it anymore, she agreed to stay all day. It is so nice to have friends who are fantastic and will help you out in a pinch. I really appreciate her help today.

In other news, well...there really isn't any other news.

Ok, really...I was listening to the radio on my way home from work--because let's face it, I have a 40 minute drive, what else am I going to do? I think, sing really loud, listen to the weather a LOT, catch up on my 30 seconds of news, try to decompress from my day at work, plan my evening, and again...sing really loud! Anyway, I was listening to the radio and this song came on the radio--it goes through the stages of a girl's life and at each stage--teenager, newly married, young mom--it tells what she's doing, and how she is so eager to be moving on to something else. And, the chorus says that "you're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back..." Whenever I teach Sunday School, I always give my class a challenge. I try to take these challenges myself as well. A couple weeks ago, we were discussing trials, and expressing gratitude while in our trials. As I was listening to this song, I started thinking about how much I struggle with my kids. I really do--I am so not a little kid person. And mine are awful most days. But, I really love them. I need to continue working on appreciating them even when they are being pests (like right now when one is climbing on the counter, and one is in the fridge!). Benjamin is so smart. He remembers everything. He loves to cuddle. He always wants mommy to "nuggle Ben." Plus, he is getting to be such a good helper and such a good listener (when he wants to be). He is so cute, with the most beautiful, big eyes and long lashes. He loves his brothers--is very attached to them, in fact, and frequently cries when they are gone or the three of them are separated.

Sam is the most charming little thing ever. He can charm his way out being in trouble, no matter what he did--for example, one night he dumped an entire cup of water in the floor, just to be a brat, and when I was yelling at him about it, he crawled up in my lap, kissed me, and pointed at the picture on the wall across the room, saying, "Look Mommy--it's my Jesus." Really, how could I keep yelling when he was pointing out Jesus? Plus, he is a SUPER cute little boy. He is creative--just the other day, he was making sssnnakes to give to "Nanta" when he comes on his "Nanta train." (Santa--and we saw a Christmas train in December with Santa on it.) He made about 25 of these nnnnnakes out of playdough. He is very mischievous, and is not afraid of anything--except being tossed in the air by Cameron. When that happens, he grabs Cam tight by the neck and will not let go until he is sure he isn't going to be tossed again.

And Levi...what can we say about Levi? He is the sweetest baby. He is always smiling and happy. And he thinks he is eight. He only wants to eat big people food. And he wants to only play with the big boys' toys. He only wants to sleep when everyone is sleeping--even though he is super tired. He pulls himself up on the furniture and walks around it--and has been doing so for almost a month now. He really is growing up SO fast! He has the cutest little two front teeth--right there on the bottom. And they are super crooked. His hair is completely unruly, and we've already had to cut it once--he totally needs it again! His eyes are incredibly blue, and he has the plumpest little thighs out there--but he is not really a big baby. He is just sweet and beautiful and pretty much perfect!

I am grateful today for my boys. They force me to do things differently than I normally would. They also force me to be unselfish. Plus, they are stinking cute and make me happy with all the weird, cute, funny things they do.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One thing after another.

It has been a bit of a crazy day. I went to work, taught some lessons, and then got an email from Krista, telling me that she was really sick and needed to go to the ER. So, I arranged with my principal to have another teacher cover my two afternoon classes, and I came home. Apparently, my sister has pneumonia--she went to the hospital with our Relief Society president shortly after I got home. Then, after hanging out with kids who would NOT nap, I sat down, and Krista came home. She had been home about 15 minutes when her mother-in-law showed up to take Krista and Maddyto her house to take are of them. While they were packing, Cameron came home and started trying to tell me about how he needed to fly to Utah tomorrow. Hello? Yeah, so a couple crazy hours later, I realized that we had NO ONE to watch the kids tomorrow. It took abut 8 phone calls to find anyone who could do it, but I finally got things arranged. I started grading papers, but quickly lost enthusiasm. I hate grading.

Anyway, nothing terribly thrilling going on. We are moving toward some big changes in our life, but overall, things are fairly calm right now. The boys even all went to bed nicely. I know it is because they didn't take naps. They go to bed much better when they don't nap, but they are SO cranky and naughty without naps. I NEED NAPTIME! I am trying to figure out how to work out some sort of quiet time at least.

Well, tonight's entry is going to be short and boring. I am exhausted.

My gratitude tonight is that I am grateful for my talent for playing the piano. I love doing it. It is a major stress relief. Plus, it has served as a great blessing in my life. I am able to play most anything. I have had several callings that I would not have been able to do without this skill. My current calling as ward organist is one of my favorites. I love being able to play for my family--for my children, and my husband. One of my favorite memories is of playing the piano and singing duets with my dad. He would ask me to play specific songs--there are several that when I am really thinking about him, I can pull them out and play them. It is a precious memory for me, and I am grateful that I have my piano music to help me keep those memories close.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hump Day

Ok, we are nearly over the hump this week. It shouldn't seem like such a long week, since I had yesterday off school, but it still seems long. The boys just will NOT go to bed. That makes me crazier than about anything. We had a big long talk about going to bed, and listening, and even drew some reward charts for them for every time they stay in bed. But, they are NOT getting their sticker on the chart tonight. They are being horrible.

I am feeling very frustrated in general lately. I have an observation by my principal coming up, and I have no idea what I am going to teach about--I know it is not really a big deal, but it is, you know? Also, it seems like every night when I get home, there are five million things that need done, but I also should spend time with the boys and Cameron. It would help if the boys weren't such holy terrors and if Krista could get a bit done during the day, but really that's fine. I just wish I could get a ten minute break at night, instead of going from one high-intensity job to another. It is never going to be clean here. It is never EVER going to be organized. And, as much as I want it to be, I am to the point of just not caring anymore. My diabetes has been so-so lately, which means that it is up and down, so although I feel ok (translated to functional), I am completely exhausted all the time. It is 9 p.m. and I can barely keep my eyes open. I am going to get a relax in bed milkshake and my book club book and I think I am going to go to bed. I am tired of yelling at boys to go to bed, and I am just tired in general.

Lastly, I do want to list something I am grateful for. I have had a bit of a. hard time with this today, because I feel so cranky. But, I am grateful for books. I am grateful that reading gives me a very real escape from the world and my life. I am grateful that it is an activity I can cram in for 5 minutes or 5 hours (yeah right!). I love books and I love learning. I went to a great little store here in town called Changing Hands Bookstore. Don't tell Cameron, but I bought several books. I have every intention of going back soon. I went in, looking for used copies of my book club books, and came out with some other really good ones--The Poisonwood Bible, The Kite Runner, an Anita Shreve one, and one other one that just looked good. I have a lot of books to read to catch up on reading them all, but I am doing my best. I am sure it drives Cam crazy that my books and my shoes are all over the house--I have a book in the living room, about 15 next to the bed, a couple on the bathroom counter, one in the piano room, several in my bag for school, 300 on bookshelves in the piano room, etc. So, there is my gratitude for tonight. Now, I am off to yell one more time, and go to bed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The three cutest boys on earth--there is no debate here.

Levi yesterday--Levi thinks because he has two little teeth that he can eat anything. He does NOT want babyfood at all now. He insists on eating grown up food. The candy cane was a bit extreme, and was removed from his possession as soon as he finished being adorable for these pictures. He loves food though, and if he would just learn to chew and swallow instead of just swallowing, life would be even better.

Sam's new thing is making creations out of play dough. Cameron made a BUNCH of playdough on Saturday afternoon for the boys. Sam loves it. He makes snakes, balls, and, as seen above, carrots, so he can "be like a snowman."

Ben is so ornery about getting his picture taken. He runs and hides under his bed and makes faces every time. It is really irritating to never have a great picture of him.

Levi upside-down. He was playing with daddy. He has finally started laughing out loud, although he still sounds like he is holding back. He never lets loose with the big belly laughs--in fact, Sam is our only kid who laughed out loud spontaneously.

A really bad picture of me and a really cute little boy.

I hope these catch you up on the boys and how absolutely adorable they are.

Days off school.

It is funny how something that brought such joy and immense pleasure as a kid can now make me go "BLECH!" As much as I love the days off--and I do. I wish I could stay home every day. Or every other day at least--they come with a high price, that I am not sure I really want to pay. However, I don't really get a choice. When the phone rings at 5:22 a.m. and there is a message from my principal saying, "School is cancelled on January 22, due to treacherous roads and icy conditions," I don't get much say in the matter. I just hate making days up. Yesterday we made up one of our days, which was NOT cool. We were sitting in school just knowing we should have been off school. I guess having today off made up for it, except now we have to make today up too. That is the downside to teaching in a small, rural district. The school district covers over 200 square miles (which doesn't sound weird for people not in Missouri--but here, pretty much each city is its own school district. It isn't like Utah where the Alpine school district is like half the state.), most of which is rural. So, whenever there is a lot of ice (which apparently we are getting in abundance lately) or snow or whatever (more ice than snow), we have school cancelled. If the buses can't get through, there is not school that day. I just never thought I would see the day when a "snow day" made me sad.

Next up--I am going to post some pictures of the kids later. The batteries in my camera died and have been charging since yesterday. So, they should be good by now.

We had a fantastic dinner last night--which we really needed to offset the frustration of having to drop $400 on tires and fixing our BRAND NEW dryer! We had California chicken club sandwiches on sourdough bread. They were so good! It was a grilled piece of chicken, with some bacon on top of that, some tomato and some avocado. The dressing was ranch mixed with Dijon mustard. It sounds weird, but it was fabulous! We made triple decker sandwiches and everyone loved it. Even Ben and Sam ate it--Sam was a bit pickier, but Ben even ate the avocado! We are trying another new recipe tonight--bacon chicken rolls. On Sunday we had citrus garlic shrimp pasta. I didn't love it, although I ate the leftovers for lunch today and it was way better after a couple days. Some pasta is just like that, you know?

Monday, January 21, 2008

We can't grow without change...and trials.

As much as I hate the general concept of the above statement, I must admit that it is true. When I am being honest with myself, I realize that I am happier because of the hardships I have been through. And the sad (or good--I don't know) thing is that when I haven't had a major trial for awhile, I start feeling stagnant. I start feeling like I am stuck and like there is no progression. I also feel a little anxious, waiting, I guess, for the proverbial "other shoe to drop." So, right now, things have been fairly calm for awhile. We have three healthy, adorable (albeit challenging) boys. My diabetes is semi under control (not perfect, but is it ever?). Neither of us is miserable at work. Our house is crazy and chaotic, but when is it not. We have enough money to meet our needs and occasionally even go out to eat or buy a new dress (like tonight) if we want. Anyway, we have all these securities, and things are going pretty smoothly for us. And for some reason, we feel the need to totally throw that out the window and seek out some change in our lives. I am excited about it though. I am nervous and quite a bit scared too. What if things don't work out as well as we are feeling like they will? What if this isn't the right decision?

I guess my response to that, even though I admit, I am really nervous about things, is, "Ok, what if?" It's not like it will be the end of the world. It's not like we won't survive or make it. We have been through several hardships before now--we can and will go through several more. So, let's do it!

I guess it all depends on perspective here--I think if we were normal people, it would be considered that we have had some challenges lately--nothing huge or monumental, but challenges. We had to buy a brand new dryer right after Thanksgiving (so smack in the middle of Christmas shopping!). We had a huge ice storm and were without power for five days--and had to replace a lot of food. Levi had a minor surgery. Things that might be considered challenges for some are apparently just taken in stride around here now. I guess that is a blessing. Things don't faze us--unless they are really big (which we do NOT want, by the way). I am grateful that we have had the challenging experiences we have had, so that we can look at the current challenges in our life with a bit of perspective. I am also grateful because we know we can make it through hard things. I won't go into it--anyone who knows us well at all knows some of the things we have dealt with--but suffice it to say, there have been times when we have literally had to sit down and make a real decision about whether a situation would tear us apart or bring us closer together (umm...$250,000 in medical bills??). Thankfully, we have always decided we are stronger than the things thrown at us, and we make it! Besides, it's only money, right? We have been able to grow closer together and have a stronger family because of the things we have faced, and although I might be jinxing myself by saying so, I am glad we have gone through all of the things we have.

We really are so blessed. We have a beautiful family. We have a great home. We have good jobs, and are happy together. We can buy food for our children. We can pay our bills. We have good friends. Our families love us. We are blessed! Heavenly Father really does love us--even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

I guess that probably isn't the best attitude to have on Sunday night, is it? It has just been a day and a half. I am not particularly looking forward to this week. Cameron has tomorrow off, but I still have to go to work--grr. It is going to be a long day. I know, I know--I should be more positive, but it's just not going to happen right now.

I don't actually have much to say tonight. It has been such a crummy day that I just need to vent for a second. Cam got called by work today right before church, so I had to take all three boys to church by myself. They were AWFUL. I pretty much just gave up after sacrament meeting. But, things then went from bad to worse--the boys didn't take naps, Cameron was still trying to work, I mixed up cookies BEFORE I realized the recipe made ELEVEN DOZEN cookies. So, yeah, I was making cookies with the boys all afternoon, which was nice, except they leave after the fun mixing part, and I have to do the boring oven part (not that I really want their help with that part anyway.) They were just so hyper and rotten all evening, mostly due to no naps, I am sure. I am just ready for a vacation. Is it summer yet? Or even Friday?

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I can't actually count the number of times I say that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! One of my major pet peeves, and also one of the reasons I think my kids make me so crazy, is that they WILL NOT go to bed! I am not sure why. But they won't. I have read to them, snuggled them, spanked them, done time-out, laid down with them, let them stay up, threatened, beaten, screamed! NOTHING WORKS! This is the part where I am takin suggestions. Seriously. I don't get it. How do I make them understand that in order to continue liking them, they have to go to bed and let me get some of my own stuff done--like the piles of grading that are NEVER going to get done, or the projects that have been sitting for months because I never have time, or the floors that need swept, and although they have been swept at least 3 times already today, need it again because said children are slobs. They do not need to be part of everything I do. In fact, I really want to watch my Law and Order: SVU episode that we DVRd, but I can't because they are always around, and it's not a little kid show (I know, I know, I shouldn't watch it either, but I am still going to.) I just would really like to even be able to go to bed myself without feeling like I have to barricade the doors to keep them out. ARGH! I guess I will go try to throw them in bed again--by the way, it is now 10:33 at night...and they are still up.

In other news, we got to see a man get taken down by the cops tonight. There we are, innocently filling up the gas tank so we can get to church tomorrow, and all the sudden this cop goes sprinting past our car (it was vaguely humorous, since he wasn't tiny, although he was HAULING!). At the other edge of the Waffle House parking lot, there are like 3 police cars, and I see this man running. Next thing I know, he pretty much gets tackled by a policeman. Then they kind of dogpile on him to get him cuffed. Needless to say, we were pretty much deeply intrigued by this point. We finish filling up and see an officer looking through the trash--hmm...what are they looking for? And then...we did something I am a bit ashamed of. I dug out a dollar and we decided that Cam was going to go into the gas station (where the cop had come running out of) and see if he could get the scoop. (Isn't that terrible? We are seriously the worst kind of nosy citizens!) Anyway, apparently some creepy drunk guy has been hanging around harrassing the gas station attendant, and tonight he got quite beligerant. He was threatening her and a customer. I guess after she got him to leave the store, he just hung around kind of circling the store, and a customer came in and thought he was messing with a gun. I personally doubt that he actually had a gun, but apparently that was more than enough to get the police involved.

Anyway, that's about our day. Cameron had to work most of the afternoon--unexpectedly, which was crummy--so we didn't get a whole lot done. We did take the kids to McDonald's for dinner, and that was actually really fun. Usually taking them out is the equivalent of pulling one's toenails out slowly with a pair of pliers. In fact, that is almost how I would describe our subsequent trip to Walmart. But, we survived, and if our kids would ever go to bed, we might get some sleep. At least I don't have to teach tomorrow. And at least Levi is in bed.

Today I am grateful for my insulin pump. I can't believe how much better I feel using it than I do with shots. I mean, I don't feel fantastic either way, but at least with my pump, I can make minute adjustments that quickly affect me. I am grateful for the technology behind the pump, and hope that it can keep getting better. I can't wait to actually start using my continuous glucose monitoring system. Right now it is just sitting in our front room...I am about to start experimenting with it!

Good night!

To do, to do...

"Singing a song is fun to do, fun to do, fun to do..." Oh wait! We aren't singing. We are CLEANING. I guess I could change the song, but fundamentally, I think that is a lie--cleaning the house is NOT fun to do, fun to do, to do, to do. However, I guess it does need to be done--I discussed with my students the cliche' of "A woman's work is never done." It's so true--but a dad's work, and a mom's work, and even a kid's work is never done either.

On our to-do list:
Buy groceries for the next week or so --DONE
Clean the boys' room --DONE but already destroyed by the boys
Laundry--as much as possible, folded AND put away too --AS WE SPEAK
Kitchen --WORK IN PROGRESS--always :)
Living room --WORKING
Fix the closet rod in the boys' closet
Levi's room
Bathrooms --UP NEXT
Cut up trees in the yard--still haven't done that --Sorta DONE
Clean out and vacuum the van--ALMOST DONE
Shower--oh yeah...need to do that. :) --DONE
Put another slat or two under Sam's bed
Go through Levi's clothes
Fix the swingset
Pay the bills

Ok...I know that not even a third of this list is happening this weekend. But, while I was thinking about everything that needs done, I thought I would write the other things down too--the list could go on. I could add clean the garage, organize the office and shop, clean the yard up, clear out the flowerbeds, steam the furniture, fix the lid on my piano, get the organ from the P's and get it in the house, yada yada yada.

So, wish us luck. Just don't call between 1 and 3 because that is mandatory family nap time.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's finally Friday!

I love 12 hour workdays! Ok, that's a lie. But I do think the thing I was at school for is cool--it's called Cardinal Cafe. It's a way for the students to get their AR points. We basically start reading a Mark Twain Award nominee book during reading that day, and then from 3:30-7, finish reading the book. We serve the kids dinner, sometimes fit in an activity, and they take their AR tests. It's really a help for some of the students.

In other news, it's the weekend. I am so happy about that. Samuel was so happy to see me. It has been a major struggle for me to go to work lately. I know that he is really having a hard time. He was just crying like crazy when I left this morning. He has become super awful and naughty. He won't use the potty anymore. He rarely sleeps in his bed. I am really concerned about him, but I can't do much more right now, other than try to give him a lot of extra attention. The other two boys are clearly being affected by my being gone every day, but they don't seem to be having quite so hard of a time as Samuel. It breaks my heart to see him so upset when I leave in the mornings. So, hopefully I can spend lots of time with him this weekend...and with the other two. We don't have any major plans other than to clean up our house (it looks seriously like a nuclear weapon exploded in here!).

I don't want to take a lot of time tonight, since I was gone ALL day! But I wanted to post a little. I am trying to make it into a habit.

My thing I am grateful for today is parents who taught me the right things. I see my students every day and am just devastated by the lack of direction in their lives. Although a lot of that is just their age, it is so hard for me to watch them make such poor decisions, and know that a lot of their parents have completely checked out. I am grateful that I have parents who love me. And that they took the time to care about me and teach me the right things to do, so that when I was faced with the hard decisions I see my students facing, I could choose the right.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not fantastic, but...

I was prepared to start an entire private blog just to write down all the horrible things I think and know I shouldn't say, but really have to get off my chest. Things like my hesitations about our current life plan. Things about members of my extended family. Things about how terrible of a mother I sometimes am. Just mean, ugly things. (Honestly, I still might do it, just to give me a safe place to gripe.) But...the point of telling you this is: Instead of doing this, I sat down to eat (dinner that Cameron had made--go him!) and he continued to be super-husband and we talked. So, now I am not as hesitant about our plans. I am not as irritated about my extended family. I am not thinking I am quite as terrible a mother (although I DID let my boys pretty much run wild tonight. In fact, they were eating cheese, yogurt, and popsicles in their room while watching Curious George--which they turned on themselves--when I found them.). It's nice to have support.

Also, what do we think of the new look? Not fantasic yet, but getting there. I am going to tweak it some more later, but since I have to work tomorrow, and my boys are STILL refusing to go to bed, I guess it will wait.

Little boys, Little boys...

This is the story of my life. We yell at the boys to get down, they climb right back up. I am not entirely sure what evil I have done in my life to earn such willful, disobedient children, but I must have tortured a kitten in a past life or something. Either way, I usually just blame it on their father because I know that I was an angel as a child, whereas he and Eric were total heathens. (I do have some parental assention to support this theory.) The two big boys use my kitchen cabinets as ladders to reach the great beyond--anything out of reach must be cooler than anything they can possibly grab at their level--but seriously, all the toys are within reach, I promise!

That said, aren't they super cute when they smile? It only took 37 pictures each to get one with them smiling where they don't look drugged out, mad, red-eyed, distracted, etc. So, I consider it a day where I fully accomplished a greater purpose in my life.

In other news, I was having a really difficult day at work today. I have been really discouraged for the past couple weeks with my job. I am so tired of the students not caring AT ALL about anything, especially because I really do care about and like most of them. I won't lie and say that I adore all of them because frankly, well, a lot of them drive me nuts! But, I do like most of them. It kills me that they don't care. I feel a lot better about it today though--I went and talked to my principal about some of these issues. He is a GREAT principal, by the way. He told me that I am not the only teacher having these issues (thus helping me not feel like the super crappy, first year, loser teacher.) He also said that these particular students, in general, have this attitude. I just hate that I don't want to teach them. But it is so frustrating to go each day, and try so hard to prepare, and KNOW that I completely wasted my time in doing so. It makes me not want to put forth any effort, since the results seem to be the exact same. Either way, they don't want to learn. They don't want to do the work. But, I feel much more encouraged today. It probably won't change the students' attitudes, but maybe mine can be different, at least for a day. Also, I had a fun time after school with some of the students. I helped one of them with his math homework, gave my opinions on the spring dance, and just generally got to see the good side of a few of them, instead of the attitude that I have been getting lately.

I think that Cam and I have pretty much made a decision about the next year of our life. We aren't positive that it's the right thing, but after talking with some of our leaders, we decided that the best way to get an answer was going to be to make plans, start working on them, and see how it goes. Besides, apparently we can't ever just be happy being comfortable and safe. We have to do our best to destroy any measure of security that we have built up. I haven't actually figured this attitude out yet, and am not entirely sure that I am thrilled with it, but it is what it is, so I guess I'll go with it. Despite what SOME people think, it isn't nearly so easy a decision as THEY think it is (the grr is implied here because I am so irritated with unasked for opinions being thrust upon me! But, I don't know why I am surprised by this--THEY force their opinions and superior, wonderful knowledg about EVERYTHING upon us all the time.). Anyway, I don't know. There are several things we could do.

In other news, WE WILL GET THE CHRISTMAS TREE DOWN SOON! It is in the living room, and we rarely use that room, and well, we haven't had time, so yeah, it hasn't been a priority. But, we are going to get it down before Valentine's Day--I have decided.

Today I am grateful for technology--I am glad I can use the computer to journal. It's a lot faster than writing it out. Plus, I can send pictures via email instead of the slow (translated: never going to happen) way of snail-mail. Also, I can communicate with Cameron and my sister throughout the day. My students make fun of me because I check my email obsessively, but it is my link with my real life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I think today will be a short entry, simply because I feel so awful. I just got up from a three hour nap and I still feel horrid--I think a truck ran over me while I slept. I got up this morning feeling awful, but knowing I have essentially no more days off (the diabetes thing really messes up the sick leave--I missed WAY too much first semester), so I got up and got ready, feeling like I was going to be sick any minute. I made it all the way out to the car--then Cameron convinced me to call in. Yeah, couldn't get ahold of anyone. So, I went to work. Made it to first hour (so not long), and decided to go talk to the principal about getting a sub. They were actually able to find me one, so I left about 10:45. I still feel terrible though. I hope I can get over this quickly--I really can't miss work anymore. Of course, the sour milk I just discovered in my cereal bowl is not helping the queasiness, but at least now we'll quit giving it to the boys to drink. (I guess I should always sniff the jug since I rarely drink milk.)

Well, that's been the day here. Ben went to preschool, Sam was ornery (he has some serious anger about something), Levi was cute, I was sick, Cam worked. That pretty much sums things up.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why oh why oh why

is Samuel the way he is? I love the little thing to pieces, but he is a serious trial sometimes. Yesterday, Krista and I were trying to decorate a cake--we bought some tips and decided to teach ourselves how to do it. We did pretty well, by the way--and Samuel wanted some. He likes to open the cabinets and use the shelves as a way to climb on the counter. He gets yelled at about a thousand times daily about this. Last night, after being pulled off the counter for the 54th time, he had apparently had it. So, you know what he did? HE STOOD THERE AND PEED IN MY KITCHEN CABINET! Yes, it is just as bad as it sounds. It required the washing of dishes, the cleaning of the cabinet AND the floor, AND him getting a bath, which is what he wanted all along. In fact, when we asked him why he did it, he said it was because "now I get a bath." He has serious middle-child syndrome! It's a good thing that we love him as much as we do, because between his current attitudes, and his complete lack of willingness to go to bed, he can really make a person crazy!

I was reading another blog earlier, and I realized that a lot of people are much freer with their emotions than I am. I am mostly ok with that. I am not an emotional person. I do things based on reason and logic, and although my gut feeling is ALWAYS what I go with, I don't usually talk about that with others. I do want to make sure that I get the important things across though. I want it to be clear that I firmly believe in the Savior and have a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I want everyone to know how much I love my family. I love Cameron so much! And my boys are the lights of my life--they are a trial, but I can't imagine being happy without them.

On that note, I was also thinking earlier about the idea of love at first sight. I really always said, and still generally say, that it is a load of bologna! But, then I remember meeting Cameron and realize that I am, in every way, fitting that stereotype (and dang it! I hate that!). The night Cameron and I met was anything but ideal. I had spent the weekend up in SLC at my aunt and uncle's house (including a blind date they had set up for me), and had just been home (at Gary and Vicki's) long enough to get totally nastified--ponytail, jammies, sociology homework. I was in the process of writing a sociology paper when Amie came hurrying in, informed me that I needed to get up, get dressed, and get to the car, because we were going out (Tunnel singing at BYU to be exact--it's where a bunch of local youth get together on Sunday nights and sing hymns in a big tunnel at BYU, and those who have gotten mission calls announce, etc.). Of course, I knew that Amie knew what I looked like, and so did all her friends (so I thought), so I left the ponytail, just changed the pj pants for jeans, and put on a bit of mascara. Yeah--pretty scary.

Little did I know that I would be meeting my husband that night. When I got to Amie's car and climbed in the front seat, I immediately noticed that it wasn't just the two of us--there were two other people in the back. Amie's best friend, and this guy that I assumed was dating Amie's friend. After brief introductions we were on our way, and Cam proceeded to bug me, poke me, generally strive to get my attention, the whole trip. I steadfastly ignored him. Completely. I was convinced that he was dating this girl--besides, I had a couple sorta boyfriends. The whole evening he did lots of dumb stuff to try to get me to notice him--he sang in Portuguese (he knew my dad had gone to Brazil on his mission), he talked up Brazil and the return missionary thing, he even climbed a tree barefoot (to show how agile and athletic he was???). The poor guy tried desperately, and sadly, I was completely unaware.

After being dropped off so I could finish my homework, Amie took her friends home. Then, she came to my room and the first thing she asked was "what do you think of Cam?" I remember her hysterical laughter when I told her he seemed nice, but why was she asking since he was dating her friend. Yeah, apparently he wasn't. She said he had grilled her the whole way home about me. It was the weirdest thing though, because I KNEW that he would be the guy I was going to marry, even though I didn't know him at ALL, and even though I had thought he was dating someone else. I really knew. After we actually went out once, I remember saying my prayers and knowing without a doubt that he was the right guy for me...and worrying about my family's reaction. There were so many reasons not to get married--I lived in NC and had a great scholarship; I was 19; my parents were going to FLIP!

But, I knew, and just 2 weeks after we met, while at my grandma's watching "Dances with Wolves", Cameron told me he loved me, and then asked me to marry him. Although he hadn't yet met my family, I knew things would work out. We picked out a ring, he talked to my dad, we talked to his family, I went back to NC (yeah that...), and eventually, he met my family, moved to Missouri, and we made our plans. Of course, we got married, in the Logan, UT, Temple, and three kids later, are still doing well.

Ok, well that went off on a total tangent, but that's ok. I guess I need to say that stuff too. Now I have to get back to my real life--the one where Ben is running around wearing flip-flops, underwear and nothing else, sitting on the upside-down toy bucket while Sam, who is underneath it, crawls across the floor (trapped). And the life where everything I say to my children is totally ignored. And the life where it is bedtime.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Krista and I took Levi and Madison out last night (to Hobby Lobby and Books a Million). They were dressed kind of alike, and despite the OBVIOUS size difference between them, we got asked a couple times if they are twins. Of course, I get that all the time with Ben and Sam too.

Decisions, decisions...

So Cam and I are really struggling with where we want to be in our lives. We just aren't sure exactly what the next step should be. I guess we really have three options--unless something else just comes out of nowhere. We can stay here in Webb City (actually the option that we are least serious about), we can move to Monett (sounds most logical to me, since that is where Cam works), or we can move out west (be poor, not have great jobs, me have to teach, but be close to our family). Really none of the options is jumping out at us. Honestly, in my mind, I feel like Monett is the best option. I would quit teaching and stay home. We could buy a house there (SO much cheaper!). Cam would be only about 2 miles from work (hey--he could ride a bike!). We would be in the same stake. It would be a needed change. Until Cam went to Utah last weekend, I was pretty sure this was what we would do. But, he really wants to be closer to his family. So, what do we do? There are pros and cons to all sides. Living in Utah would be a BIG step backward lifestyle-wise, because our best option right now would be to have Cam try to transfer with his current job, but they have already told him that if he were to ever do that, they wouldn't give him a raise just because HE wanted to move. But, they have fantastic insurance (which we need) and they are a GREAT company. If we live in Utah, I would have to teach, probably just to make ends meet, and let's face it--pay for teachers starting out in Utah sucks! It's worse than here--even if the numbers are close, well...$30k goes a lot farther on housing here than it does there. We would have to depend on someone to watch our kids. That would be an additional cost. And we will never have enough to buy a house out there--at least not any time soon. But...we would be close to family. Cam could be near his parents and brothers and sisters. Our kids could know their grandparents and their cousins better. My mom lives in Nevada--a LOT closer to Utah than Missouri. Staying in Webb City is also an option--it is the one we probably won't do though. Although Cam has been commuting for 4 years now, it stinks. It costs us several hundred a month in gas, too. But, we have a great house here. And we love our ward. We are familiar with it--especially me. But, I feel like I am starting to get a network that doesn't depend on me being HERE. Honestly, we don't have any friends that we just hang out with, other than at church. It makes not a lot of sense either, but it is hard for me to think of my mom selling this house. We built it. My dad built this house. We grew up here (kinda--I was 12 when we moved in). But,'s my home, literally. And it's a great house. It has a HUGE lot. The shop is fantastic--we have so much space! Our yard is wonderful. It's just nice.

So...what to do, what to do? I suggested to Cam that he ask someone for a blessing, and I guess we will just continue trying to figure it out.

Anyway, yesterday was WONDERFUL! Cam was super husband/dad. I went to my book club meeting (we planned out the next 6 months!), and had lunch with my friends there. Then I stopped back by home, and everyone was asleep, so I went ahead and went scrapbooking for a couple hours. I got home about 5:20, and we started dinner. Then while Cam made dinner (salmon and rice), Krista and I ran to Hobby Lobby with the babies. I worried that Cam would be cranky when I got home, especially since Ben threw up literally about 15 times last night, but he wasn't. He gave Levi a bath, put the big boys in their jammies, put them to bed, etc. It was so nice to have a semi-relaxing day where I was able to do a few things that I really have been wanting to do. So bravo Cam! Thanks!

Today I am grateful for weekends. I know my whole post centered around that yesterday, but I am so grateful for the time to relax with my friends and family. The boys are a little wild and crazy, but that's ok--they are like that all the time. Ok...Levi just fell--gotta go!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A few new pics of Levi

I meant to post these with my post, but here they are: Krista took these yesterday afternoon. Isn't he the cutest thing ever?

Thank goodness it's SATURDAY!!!

So, joy of joys, it's the weekend. I never truly understood the joy of a Friday afternoon until I started working all the time away from home. I LIVE for weekends. The bad thing is that we very rarely get much accomplished on the weekend because both Cameron and I are so ready to veg out after a long week of commuting and working and not getting enough sleep. As far as I am concerned, if we get the basics covered (meals, kitchen, living room, and if we're lucky the bedrooms), then I am happy. Although this weekend, we do have to do more than the basics--the bathrooms are in sore need of attention and my van smells weird for some reason. I am worried that someone (Ben or Sam--of course, not me!) dropped some food or something. ICK!!!

But, despite the normal day to day grind of life, I am super excited today. I just order 170 pictures. I am going to my first book club meeting with a bunch of girls I went to high school with--I didn't read the book though--oops! In fact, really, I should be showering and getting ready since the meeting is at noon. Then, after that we are SCRAPBOOKING! Seriously, I haven't been able to do that since WAY before Levi was born. In fact, it has been forever! So, although I am sure it is not thrilling for Cameron, I have every intention of enjoying my day. I hate the "mommy guilt" that I get when I leave and do something just fun for me...and don't take a kid. In fact, as I type, I am considering taking Levi with me. But, I really don't want to. I just don't want Cam to be stressed either. Hmm...

I have to teach the Gospel Doctrine lesson tomorrow. It is the first one that actual gets into scripture in the Book of Mormon. Although I DESPISE with every fiber of my being afternoon church, the one advantage is that I don't have to really stress about my lesson--I don't have much time during the week to devote to it, and that has been a major source of anxiety for me (especially with the letters of Paul and the book of Revelation!). But now I am going to be able to take at least a little time Sunday morning and study my lesson. Maybe Cameron will even prepare his...maybe. Church is a little crazy for us every week. Both Cam and I teach Sunday school classes. Obviously Levi is too small to go to nursery, so we still have to figure him out. Ben is going to "big boy primary" now. He enjoyed it last week, but had a bit of a hard time. When we were making such a big deal out of it, I guess we neglected to really make it clear that it was JUST him and not Sam too. So Ben was in primary crying for "his Sam", and Sam was in nursery crying and saying, "Where Ben?" Once they figured that part out, though, they did alright. When you add in the organ playing for me (counting, of course, prelude and postlude--which then requires me to RUSH to Sunday school!), Enrichment committee, Cameron's getting called frequently to help with the YM, going out with the missionaries, etc...we are a little busy. Oh yeah--we SHOULD do our home teaching and visiting teaching too. Yeah.

Anyway, I am grateful today for friends. I have needed good friends lately. It has been a little discouraging, but also encouraging (does that make sense?) to learn who I really can lean on these past few months. I know I can lean on Cam--he is my best friend. I know I have other friends too--Krista has been fantastic. I have been able to make a few new friends too--Maggie at work is so wonderful. I am so grateful I have gotten to know her. I love being able to talk with her, and know that she understands what I am going through at school, and also somewhat at home (she is VERY conservative, and although not a member, she and I really share the same values--in fact, she is probably MORE strict than I am.). I have a few others that have really helped me these past few months, and I am grateful for the blessings they have brought into my life!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Ick--we are under a boil order. That stinks, especially when one has three little kids and needs to make bottles. Hopefully it is over with soon.

What the heck is up with snotty teenagers? My students were exceptionally ornery today--I am just not sure what the deal was. They are, without question, the rudest, most disrespectful group of kids I have ever seen. I don't know that they are being any worse than normal lately, or if it is just that my patience threshhold is so much lower, but seriously! They are wearing on my last nerve! I just wish they would stop talking and being so dumb about stuff. Anyway...enough about punks that I spend 8+ hours each day with...

Ben LOVES preschool! He was so excited today about the stuff he brought home (a picture of a snowman and some rectangles he had cut out and glued on some paper). He had to show it all to me right after I walked in the door. The first words out of his mouth were, "Mommy, I went to school today!" I am so glad he likes it. He seemed a little lukewarm on Tuesday--not upset, but not loving things either. So, it is great that he loves it!

Sam is just a mess! He is the naughtiest thing ever. It is a good thing he is so dang cute and smart. Otherwise, well...yeah... Last night, he refused to go to bed until after ten! Of course, that is normal--that's the most annoying part! But he can be so good and so sweet. I wish he would do it more often. The other night we went to Walmart to buy their "pack packs" and he was all worried about his penny. I couldn't figure out why he was so concerned until we were leaving--then he ran over to the candy machines and wanted to get something. I told him I didn't have a quarter and he pulled his penny out and informed me that "I brought my money, Mom. I need canny!" I felt so bad that I didn't have a quarter to get him anything after he had been so smart to bring his own money to buy himself a treat.

Levi has been trying to get rid of his naps. I don't know why he things he doesn't need them because he for sure DOES, but he just doesn't want to sleep. He is so sweet and round though. This morning our little "human alarm clock" got up and I was able to see him before I went to work. It made me happy and sad that he cried when I left.

Ok...gotta quit--my thing that I am thankful for today is education. I am so glad that I have been able to get my education. It has been a great blessing to us--I am able to work, and I feel so much better about myself. I have every intention of continuing on and getting my Masters' Degree. I had thought I would go and get it specializing in autism. But, it looks like we are trying to make some other plans for our life (more info to come, I am sure. :)) so I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Levi--the cutest, sweetest baby ever. He is such a pleasant little thing. His new favorite thing to do is spit. I think he started out by just trying to copy us when we blow raspberries at him--but it evolved into full out spitting. It is cute unless he is eating, or right in your face, or...

Ben and Sam just "hanging" around. It was SO cold the day we got these--like 20s, with windchills in the teens. We didn't stay outside long. I really had wanted a cute, outdoor family picture, but the babies were cold and sleepy, so we didn't get one. Plus the big boys, Sam especially, were NOT cooperating at all.

Just a few cute ones taken by Thomas' friend, Curtis. He did an awesome job on our pictures--we have adorable ones of everybody and a cute family picture.

Starting out...

So I keep wanting to do one of these, if only because I am SO bad at writing things down. I just need to record the things that are happening in our family. Plus, well, I need a thing that I do that isn't school, or kids, or cleaning, or church, or whatever.

I guess I will just jump in--I am usually a big background person, but I think at this point in my life, that would just take too much time and would get redundant. Hmm...let's see...the highlights: Cameron--works with banks and computers and doesn't particularly love either, but is apparently good at is, so we love his job! Aaron (me)--full-time teacher--8th grade English/Reading teacher at a little, rural school. I love my job, the students are often a pain in the rear, but I love them too. And I LOVE my co-workers--Maggie has become a great friend! Ben just started preschool, and Samuel is starting on Monday. They were so excited to go buy their "pack-packs" and school supplies. Sam has repacked his at least 10 times since Monday. He is so proud of his big boy stuff! Levi is crawling everywhere and has started pulling himself up and tentatively walking around the furniture. He is the sweetest baby! We also have Krista and Maddy living with us until Thomas gets home from Iraq. We are hoping he comes home in May (not because we want Krista and Maddy gone, but because we miss Thomas--not to say that Krista and Maddy don't miss him the most, but Cameron is really suffering. He has a special ringtone set up and everything for his friend!), but he may be gone until next September.

Our life is always just a little bit nuts. In fact, when things start getting calm, we always start getting a little nervous. We are not used to having things run too smoothly. About a week and half before Christmas, we had a big ice storm, which left an inch and a half of ice all over everything--including power lines. So...yeah...we, and most of the rest of Joplin/Webb City, were without power for almost a week. We were actually quite fortunate, and we got our power back on after only five days. Many others were without power for even longer. It was a major awakening of how unprepared we are though--we were really strapped for money after a week of being vagabonds. We ended up staying with Krista's inlaws in Anderson, which was SO generous and great of them. It taught me a little bit more about the way Mary and Joseph must have felt, when no one had any room for them. It was a real struggle finding a place for all seven of us that would be warm and safe. Cameron and I still had to go to work each day, so it was even harder. The reason I am telling all of this is because this happened, and I didn't even look at it as a crisis--it was so minor in comparison to so many of the other things we have dealt with.

I need to do this right now, so I apologize if some of the posts get too personal. I have been struggling with some fairly severe post partum depression since Levi's birth earlier this year. I am hoping that this will be therapeutic--I usually do much better after I write things down or talk things out.

I am also hoping to list at least one thing in every post that tells something I am truly grateful for. I struggle with a lack of optimism (translated: negativity), especially when I am feeling down. goes for today: I am truly grateful for Cameron. He was gone for several days and I stayed home with the boys. It was a really hard couple of days for me--the boys were not being good, my medicine was screwed up, Cameron was mad, I had to go back to work, etc... Having Cameron come home last night was WONDERFUL! I didn't realize how much more smoothly things go and how much more calm I feel when he's around. So...I'm grateful for Cam. He is my best friend and I love him more than anything!

I will try to figure out how to post some pictures soon!