Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wow

It has been a day already. Krista left this morning. Then I had to get myself and the boys ready and out the door before 7 a.m. I then dropped Levi off at his sitter's, then dropped the big boys at their sitter, then had to race to work. I ended up only being about 5 minutes late, which is about normal for me anyway, but man...it is going to be a hard month. I am currently sitting in school and although this website is generally blocked, for some reason it is letting me on today, so I am taking advantage of it. Anyway, I am totally falling asleep here during my plan time. I am so tired. Trying to take care of the kids, the house, not fall horribly behind at work (too late!), and pack up our house so we can move is starting to really wear me down. I am exhausted! If I had one wish right now, I would be very torn between wishing it were all over with, and just wishing for a couple hours to take a nap. Augh!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fast update...

First of all, a big thank you to Josh from my ward--I had some mower issues again tonight (the belt came off the mower I borrowed to mow my FIELD of a backyard) and he came over and fixed it...then he mowed my entire yard for me. I REALLY appreciate it a LOT! It was becoming a huge trial for me, and he totally saved the day.


Second...I haven't updated for a few days...but...WE GOT OUR HOUSE!!! I am so excited! We had been involved in the offer/counter-offer/offer again process for a week and a half. Finally, last Friday, we reached an agreement (that we are thrilled with) and we are getting the house we really wanted. It is in a great neighborhood (says Cam) and is beautiful! We are supposed to close on May 27, which is super scary, since I don't get out of school until the 21st. But, currently, I am hoping it works out. I have scheduled the moving truck to arrive the 22nd, and plan to leave Missouri on the 24th. We will drive Sat. and Sun, and hopefully have Monday to sort of relax. Then, on Tuesday, the house will be ours! Our stuff won't arrive until probably Friday, but still...Anyway, this is a picture of the house that will soon be ours. Hopefully it's ok for me to post this. The house is in Lehi, and we are SO EXCITED!!

Beyond that, not a lot is happening. Krista is going to be leaving on Wednesday morning, which is going to be really hard for all of us. She has been here almost a year. The boys are really going to miss her. I am really going to miss her. And Madison. But, we are really happy that Thomas is coming home and that they are going to be together as a family.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh no...ANOTHER SAM!!!

Levi is too stinking smart. He found (I didn't even know there WAS an opened can of formula in the cabinet) a can of formula that wasn't sealed shut (Krista thinks she put it down there). Using his teeth, he popped the plastic lid off. Then, he dumped it, and began the party! First he played in it. Then he started licking it off the floor (eww!) and his hands. Finally he went for the big guns and started using the scoop. Formula is remarkably STICKY and it took a long time to get it all cleaned up...and it took quite the bath to get him all uncovered. By the end of his bath, the bathtub water resembled watery milk. Bottle anyone?

This is exactly the sort of thing Samuel is always doing. He sets his mind to something and doesn't quit until he has it. No matter what it is. That is why he never goes to bed. Why he is currently trying to get into the playdough. This is why Sam is who he is...but I am not sure I can handle two like him! Levi definitely has a personality all his own, but he is most assuredly leaning toward the naughty side of the spectrum. At least he still snuggles.

As a side note: Today was the LAST day of MAP testing!!! That is fantastic--we have been testing for THREE weeks. It has been horrible! The students are pretty much going to be awful from now until the end of the year (what's new?) but at least this nightmare is over.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why I hate afternoon church

Every week this is what happens...all three kids fall asleep on the way home from church. Half the time, they fall asleep on the way TO church. Having church at 1 p.m. is horrible. It is right in the middle of naptime, so all my kids are horribly tired and cranky. It just makes the day really long and hard. Argh!

Of course Levi, who got up at 6:15 a.m., is the only one who woke up...he didn't really take a nap all day. I wish the child would sleep. I put him to bed a few minutes ago, and he is in his bed fussing, but hopefully he will go to sleep soon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

EWWwwww GROSS!!!!


Ick! is all I can say. Eww gross disgusting nasty R.O.U.S. I think possums are seriously the foulest creatures...they are so horrifyingly ugly. This one has been digging in my trash for the last couple weeks--I have caught it in the act and had to scare it off several times (seriously--it hardly even acts scared anymore.) Apparently it was helping itself to something in our trash last night (which is interesting since the trash got picked up yesterday and there really wasn't much for it to eat this time) and it fell in the trash can and couldn't get out. I went to throw some stuff away tonight and pretty much had the crap scared out of me! It actually hissed at me. However, I summoned up my courage/got past the grossness and dragged the trash can to the very back of our huge yard (there is a wooded walking trail and a bunch of trees back there) and then just kind of kicked the trash can over. Hopefully the stupid thing is smart enough to get out of the trash can. My boys were thrilled with the whole experience. Ben was adorable about it--we called Cam's mom and told her about it. He grabbed the phone out of my hand and ran out the door yelling to grandma that "grammaw needa see the possum!" I chased him down and saved grandma from the stimulating conversation, but it was super funny. He was so intrigued by the whole thing. Sam thought it was pretty cool too, but not like Ben.
Otherwise, we had a really good day. It started out kind of rough--I got a nasty letter from the state of MO saying we never filed our taxes in 2006 and owe $800. I actually DID file my taxes and was owed a refund, so I am hoping a few letters and phone calls will straighten things out. Then the boys and I stopped at Walgreens to get some pictures (which they didn't even have ready) and my van wouldn't start. I have no idea why...it has started fine several times since then, and hasn't had any problems up to this point either. So who knows? After that, I worked in the garage awhile while the boys got filthy playing outside. On the upside, I totally found $10 in a card from our wedding in a box in the garage...so I took the boys to McDonald's for lunch. Then it was glorious naptime. All 4 of us took naps. It was fabulous! After that, I went and picked up Mallory and we all went to Walmart. Then dinner, and bathtime, and jammies, and now we are watching a movie, and it will soon be time for bed. Overall...pretty dull day.

Morning person? Or not?





You decide...
OK...so anyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a morning person. In spite of that fact, I have started waking up at 6:15ish every morning, in anticipation of my alarm. That doesn't mean I get up, however...usually I roll over and fall back asleep, making myself late every single day. I would much rather stay up super late than get up even remotely early...of course, sleeping in would be 8 a.m. around here. I do NOT enjoy waking up...although if pressed, I will admit that I LOVE the atmosphere of early morning...when everything is crisp and being lit up with the sun, and the birds are chirping, and everything is waking up. I do love that.
Levi is DEFINITELY a morning person. So much so, that it makes me crazy! He is like a little human alarm clock--7 a.m. EVERY day...in fact, if he sleeps later, I start worrying about him. He is pretty good though--he'll wake up and play in his bed for awhile, so usually on a weekend I can stay in bed until 7:30 or so.
Sam is pretty much a morning person too--he always has been, even when he was younger than Levi. He would wake up early and be so happy and cheerful! Now he is split about 70/30 on whether he will be cranky or not (70 not, 30 cranky), but he is still happy usually. I guess I can't really say he is a morning person though--he is my biggest trial in the evenings! He will NOT go to bed either. Seriously, it was almost 11 when he finally gave up last night. I started bedtime at like 8:15. It is making me NUTS! Any ideas?
Benjamin...well...as you can see, he was still sleeping when I was taking pictures. If allowed, he will pretty much consistently sleep until about 8:45 or 9. And he always ALWAYS crashes before Samuel does. Ben likes his sleep. I like that Ben likes his sleep. He is still the crabbiest one when he wakes up though...although he is being really cheerful this morning. Hopefully it stays that way.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A MUCH better day...

I thought I would post a couple cute pictures...I haven't really posted any this week. This one is Levi and Madison in the bath. They are so funny. Maddy is such a little priss. She just sits and daintily picks up a toy to chew on, and gets very upset because Levi splashes. Levi, on the other hand, is a water baby. He splashes, sticks his face in, crawls around, etc. In fact, if he is somewhere else in the house and hears the tub turn on, you can bet he will be to the bathroom in about two seconds flat. He loves the bath!

Sam has quite the sense of style--he is missing his tie in this picture, but otherwise, this is fairly typical Samuel...something with Spiderman, his blankies (not one, but TWO), his "gwoves" (in this case one glove and a Halloween toe sock), slippers, and sitting in the Bumbo seat. You gotta love it!
Ben is such a sweet boy. He loves to just sit and snuggle and watch a movie with mom. I love how cuddly he is.
On a side note...we put in an offer on a house today! Hopefully it will be accepted, or at least countered in such a way that we can be happy with the situation. I am really excited. The house, although I haven't seen it, sounds fantastic. Cameron loves it. And Tobin really likes it too. I really hope it works out.

I am in a MUCH better mood today--first of all, it is Friday, so I don't have to go to work for two days (hallelujah!!!). Second, we weren't testing at school today, so my students had an AR day for reading, and then we made collages for their 8th grade portfolios. That was kind of fun. Since I got home, the boys and I picked up, and have pretty much just been lounging around (although I did sell Krista's baby swing for her).

I need to express my appreciation for Cameron. He is working so hard to make sure that things are nice for us when we get to Utah. I am so appreciative of that--this move is really stressing me out. I am so glad that he is being supportive, and that this doesn't have to last forever. I need to remember that this is hard for him AND me, not just for me. I think that will reduce the tension that has existed. This is just a hard time. But I want everyone to know that Cameron is doing awesome and I am so grateful for him!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cranky

I am pretty much having a crummy week. I am in a terrible mood, and have been all week...this week has sucked. A lot. Cameron is a seriously grouchy, defensive whatever (can't think of a good enough word for it right now), my students are being completely dumb and whiny and rude (I know, nothing new, but it's even worse than normal), my kids are being demons from hell (seriously, they have been pretty much AWFUL this week), I am sick, my ward REFUSES to help me (yeah, I am trying really hard to not be upset about it because I am afraid I might say something not friendly to someone on Sunday), I am tired of being here alone and having a cranky husband...and, the topper...it is supposed to storm tonight. Again. And I didn't get my lawn mowed (see ward REFUSES to help). Anyway, we are still MAP testing also. So yeah, this week is crap, and I am pretty much done...but unlike certain people who shall remain nameless, I don't get to just decide to not worry about it for a weekend...I still have to take care of the kids without a break. And while that is mostly fine, I am just cranky about getting griped at by a grumpy husband who is NOT helping with the kids and the house and moving...because he isn't here.

Ok, rant over. I am just so seriously over this. Oh...and to top things off...I am sitting here on the computer trying to regroup after a HORRIBLE day at work and an AWFUL week and trying to gear up for yet another evening completely ALONE with the boys...and my sister's mother-in-law leaves the front door open to put something in the car. Anyone with kids knows that, of course, my kids all head for the front door. Ok...I am not a spastic mom...pretty much at all. I let the kids go outside. I have a huge yard on a dead end street. And our house is like a quarter of an acre away from the road. I can see them! Anyway, so Levi crawls out the front door (he is still on the porch, mind you, and I can see him perfectly) and said mother in law gives me a dirty look and offers yet another one of her judgmental, belittling comments to me (I had already gotten two from her in the fifteen minutes since I came home from work)--she says, to Levi so of course, I shouldn't be upset because she wasn't talking to me, right?, "I think your mom needs to get up off her computer and actually take care of her kids for once." Ok, seriously...it was all I could do to not let her have it. I actually told my sister that I was going to just try to keep my mouth shut...but I am really irritated about it. I could see the kids. I don't, frankly, care that they were outside. It's supposed to rain for the next two days. Who cares if they go outside. yeah, I probably shouldn't have been sitting here on the computer, but I also don't think it's any of her business, nor do I think there is ANYTHING wrong with my taking 15 minutes to relax after driving 40 minutes from work and after spending the entire day with a complete bunch of punks. My kids weren't in any danger. They weren't hurting anything. She doesn't live here anyway. Grr. I am so tired of people telling me that I am not good enough and that I am not doing enough. I am doing my best. And I'm really sorry if that isn't good enough for some people, but this is MY life, not theirs, so they just need to butt out anyway. It's not like my kids are being neglected. Argh. I can't even think about this anymore. I am so irritated.

Why can't I just have one good day? Why do I have to have stupid 8th grade smartmouths making sexual comments to me and telling me that they don't have to be respectful because nothing is going to happen to them anyway...and, oh by the way, why am I failing your class? Umm...yeah. Cause you're dumb and lazy. Ok, not all of them. I actually really love most of my students. But there is a handful that I am so sick of that if they never came back to school, I would be ok with that.

Anyway, I am too cranky to post anything nice, so I guess I will just quit.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do you ever feel...

like someone or something has been brought into your life for a reason? Even though you don't know what that reason is, or have any idea how things will happen or work out? I feel that way right now about a young lady that my sister and I are getting to know. I feel really blessed to be able to get to know her and hopefully help her while she goes through some difficult times--I don't even know much about her, but I really feel like this is one of those divine moments in my life where there is a much higher purpose...even if it is simply that she needs help and we can be part of helping her. I don't want to be too specific because it is not my business, but I do feel grateful for this opportunity to look outside myself and my own problems for awhile.

After that introduction, anything else I say seems like it would be a little trite. Tonight we tried to have family home evening. Basically, the only thing that was really accomplished was that I was able to spend some quality, extended time with all three of my boys, without feeling like I had to do ANYTHING else. We sang some songs (you haven't seen cute until you've seen Sam singing 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, or Ben singing about the wheels on the bus), talked a little bit about Samuel the Lamanite (I have been trying to get the boys interested in the scriptures by reading scriptures about people with the same names as them--we read about King Benjamin the other day, and also about Samuel the Lamanite.) and I showed them the pictures from the gospel art kit. Then we talked about how Samuel was telling the people that Jesus was going to be born and come to earth to show us all how much he loves us...then I showed them a picture of Jesus and some little children and we talked about how much Jesus loves us all. After that, we played with the little file folder game I made earlier today (with Mallory's help!) of the monkeys swinging in the tree, and then we colored pictures for Cameron. The boys dictated little messages and I wrote them on the back, and then we put the pictures in envelopes and sealed them to mail to daddy tomorrow. Overall, it was a really nice FHE. Obviously it didn't go as smoothly as it sounds, but it was good.

I am grateful for little moments that remind me how grateful I am for my children and how glad I am to be a mom. Sometimes I forget exactly what a great blessing I have...when I get caught up in work, and stress, and worrying, and life...and then I have to step back and remind myself how blessed I am...I have a great life. My kids are healthy, and smart, and curious, and fantastic. My husband loves me, and I love him. We are doing ok for ourselves. Not rich, obviously, but making it. I can't ask for much more. I hope I can remember to be happy more often.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lots of thoughts

First things first, I HATE ANTS! And every spring, especially when it gets really wet outside, the ants flee to the comfort and relative easy eating in my house. I held them at bay last year, and I hope to do so again this year, but I pretty much despise ants. Any bugs really. But ants especially because they seem to travel in swarms, by the bajillions!

Ok, now to more important stuff...I am really having a hard time. Since I am choosing to assume that no one actually reads this every day, I am just going to lay it out--I hate the way things are in my life right now. I hate transitions, and I hate that Cameron is gone and I feel STUCK here on my own. I didn't really want to do it from the start, but I especially hate it now that I've been doing this for a couple weeks. Maybe if I didn't have to go to work all day every day, or maybe if the boys didn't act like human atom bombs every single day...I don't know...maybe then it wouldn't be quite so awful. But right now, it is crap. Cameron is supposed to be finding us a house, and I suppose I am being quite impatient about it, but I wish he would hurry up and find something. It is driving me crazy that I am supposed to be moving when school is out and right now we don't even have anything to move in to! Besides that, I have to get everything packed up...Cameron wants me to just hire a moving service (his dad thinks I should too) but really, I don't know that we can afford to hire a moving service. We can hire someone to drive the truck, but I don't know that I can have someone do all the packing, etc. It sure would be nice though, wouldn't it?

I haven't even mentioned the kids yet. Sam, especially, is having a really hard time since Cam left. He is being so rotten. And Levi is super clingy. And Ben thinks he needs a binky, despite the fact that he is FOUR! It is making me crazy! I guess we'll survive, but I feel like I am being pruned--not just plucked, or digged, or dunged...but PRUNED! Chopped off. Forced to completely start over, with just the basics to provide the foundation. Left on my own for a season or two to grow--ick.

Can you tell that the Sunday School lesson was about Jacob 5 today? I taught the lesson. Of course, that was after I played the organ, did a special musical number, cleaned up our mess from the trial that is sacrament meeting, took my kids to primary and nursery, arranged for Levi to be somewhere while I taught, put my insulin pump on, etc...I pretty much ditched Relief Society. I need a few minutes that were quiet!

Does it make me a bad mom that I don't want to have big parties for me kids? Does it mean that I love my kids less if I don't make a huge deal out of their birthdays? My brother in law commented that because he really loves his daughter he feels it is important to do these things. Does that mean I don't love my kids as much because I don't feel like it's super important to have a huge gathering for my TODDLERS? I don't know. I am probably just being oversensitive, but I am just feeling particularly cranky and irritated with people today. I just get awfully tired of being expected to do what everyone else thinks I should--but when I express any opinion whatsoever, or do NOT want to do the same thing as everyone else, I am apparently failing somehow. Grr. I had some annoying encounters at church along these lines as well.

I am just tired. My house is a disaster. My son is being naughty again (guess which one? If you guessed Samuel, you're exactly right!). I still have research papers to grade. I have to deal with two more weeks of map testing. Argh! I'll try to be more positive later.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tagged

Tagged--I was reading another blog that I saw linked off of 2peas, and thought I would do the survey too.

You're feeling: Lonely and quite a bit stressed. Cameron is currently househunting, and I have to teach tomorrow AND play a musical nuber.

To your left: A marker colored sofa cushion that is never ever going to be the same because dry erase markers do not really wash out.

On your mind: Houses...and thinking about all the stuff I have to do before I move across the country

Last meal included: Fabulous kabobs with steak, chicken, peppers, onion, pineapple, squash, and zucchini...potato salad...cantelope...and brownies.

You sometimes find it hard to: be patient with my boys. They are a serious trial some days, although I am starting to realize that in order to be the mom of boys, I just have to be laid back, and it's ok if things aren't perfect.

The weather: Kind of chilly--it is even supposed to freeze tonight. But fairly clear--hopefully no more rain for awhile, so my yard can dry up enough for me to mow.

Something you have a collection of: Willow Tree figurines...otherwise, lots of books and several smelly little boys.

A smell that cheers you up: banana bread baking, bread baking period...Cam's pillow (is that gross?)

A smell that can ruin your mood: Stinky meth at school

How long since you last shaved: Last Sunday (gasp)

The current state of your hair: Pulled half back and NOT looking fabulous

The largest item on your desk/workspace--not computer: Right now I am using Krista's laptop, but at school, the largest thing is probably my gradebook or textbooks.

Which section you head for first in a bookstore: Bargain

Something you're craving: Chocolate milkshake...it has been like two weeks since I had one.

Your general thoughts on the presidential race: I don't love any of the candidates...in fact, I can't stand any of them. I think this election (and this probably sounds too drastic) is seriously the beginning (well, the continuation, but the BIG step) of the end

How many times have you been hospitalized this year: 2008? None and hopefully it stays that way.

Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: Yeah, that would be the bathroom...and even then it's rare. The boys have a tendency to suddenly need something as soon as I close that door.

You've always secretly thought you'd be a good: editor

Something that freaks you out a little: Being home alone late at night...I have too active an imagination. That and I HATE having stuff on my hands...anything. Ick!

Something you've eaten too much of lately: School cafeteria food.

You have never: Drunk or smoked or done drugs...even though my students have a hard time believing that.

You never want to: Run a 5k--ick. Seriously, why run if it's optional?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sam and Ben rocking out...and some fantastic finds!

Check out these fantastic finds that I discovered in my fridge! Ok, the pictures were on a roll of film that has been sitting in my fridge for a couple years obviously...Walgreens did a special for a free roll of film development. I convinced Krista to take one and I took the other, and we got two rolls developed! One was a bunch of pictures of us and the boys just playing outside, and the other was just random pics of the boys being cute (obviously this is pre-Levi), and OF MY GRADUATION! I was so excited about that! So, enjoy us looking a little bit younger, skinnier, and sweeter (in the boys' cases, of course!).
Look how scrawny Cam looks...he looks so young, and serious. Hmm...what happened? Now he is so goofy!
Sam is pretty intent on pointing out SOMETHING, but who knows what? I know they had been playing in the neighbors' sprinkler, so that is probably it.
Happy graduation day to me! (Check out Sam's thighs!) I was so happy to finally get that diploma and be out of college! It was a long, hard road.
Just a shot of fatty Sam. Just cause I thought it was cute.

video

Samuel marches to the beat of his own drum...in every way...except for here. Here he was rocking to the beat of Ben's drum. Note Sam's hard-rocker attire and dance moves. I especially love the high kicks.

Levi...making me a liar

video

Levi's babysitter insists that Levi tries to walk at her house, but he doesn't even attempt it at home. So I really didn't totally believe he was even trying...especially since he has these little bitty feet. (Well, they are fat, but small--he is just barely outgrowing the size 2--3-6 mo--shoes!) Anyway, he will pull himself up on stuff here, but he doesn't even TRY to take steps. But, Krista caught him in this video making us all look like idiots--now we know that he CAN stand up and balance...he just chooses NOT to. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

MAP...

So I have officially concluded that administering a state achievement exam is THE MOST BORING POSSIBLE THING to do! It is horrible. It's not like they are able to ask for help. I just have to stand there. The thing that's so annoying about it is that I am not even supposed to sit down. So I can't get any work done. I am supposed to walk around and "monitor". Ok, really? They don't need to be "monitored" by me walking around more than they need it with me sitting 10 feet away at my desk. Plus, there is ANOTHER teacher in there...seriously...let me get some work done. It's not like I have time to do it at home. :) Did I mention that the MAP is lasting for THREE weeks?? ARGH! This week is comm. arts, next week is math, and the week after is science. It is excruciating, because I just feel like I am a glorified babysitter right now. We aren't really supposed to be covering new material, just reviewing and focusing on keeping the kids motivated (I have other opinions about THAT, but I guess I will keep them to myself for now.) for the tests...it makes the other 5 hours of the day AWFUL, but whatever.

On the home front, we are alive and well. I am going a little nuts without Cameron--I actually rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned the carpets and the couch on Saturday. I also mopped the floor, cleaned all the bedrooms, cleaned the kitchen, and folded/washed a bunch of laundry (yeah, there is a still a TON of laundry to do)...all in between conference sessions. Yesterday I scrubbed and sanitized my kitchen garbage can. Um...yeah...that doesn't happen very often. But, like I said, a little nuts here without Cameron. I am probably more productive with him gone, but I am most definitely happier with him here. There are reasons that I married the guy! It's because I LIKE HAVING HIM AROUND! :) He is fabulous and I really miss him. A lot. I get out of school on May 21, I think, and hopefully I will be able to fly out once before then to look at/figure out the housing situation.

Anyway, it is only 9:30 and everyone is in bed. I am still up because I keep hoping that fabulous guy Cameron will remember to call me back, but I am not counting on it, since his phone keeps going to voicemail, which means A) it died because he forgot to charge it, B) he doesn't feel like answering it at all, or C) other (You always have to have an other!). He was with his mom when I called, so I told him (and he wanted to) go ahead and hang out with her. She is having a hard time. I am so excited to live closer so we can get to know her better, and she can get to know us and the boys. We had such a good time when she came out after Christmas. It made me want to fly her out here every other week. Anyway, I think I am going to give up on Cameron, because between the dead phone and the time difference, I am not counting on a call.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our living prophet...

This weekend I had a very powerful experience. I was able to truly, and without a doubt, gain a personal witness that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet on the earth today, and that he holds and has the power to use all the keys of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am normally fairly cynical and I usually don't just KNOW something. But after sitting and participating in yesterday's solemn assembly, even from my home, rather than actually being there, I had the strongest confirmation from the spirit that we were truly sustaining a prophet of God. I cried through the entire process. Then, everytime President Monson started speaking, or one of the other apostles or leaders spoke of President Monson as a prophet, I started crying again. For those of you who know me, that is HIGHLY unusual. I am not a crier. Period. But there was no mistaking the power of God that was present in this conference this weekend. I feel more uplifted than I have felt in months. I am glad that I was able to watch all of the sessions, at least most of them--I still had kids and a house to care for. But I was able to hear the words that Heavenly Father knew I needed to hear.

I actually spent a lot of time crying this weekend as I watched conference...and not just because of President Monson. There were several talks, and even more little pieces of talks, that I know I needed to hear. M. Russell Ballard spoke about young mothers, and the challenges facing us, as well as the honor that it is to be a mother. I needed to hear that. I have really been struggling, in general, with my job as a mother. I am struggling even more now that Cam is gone. I want to be a good mother, but I feel like I fall short. To have an apostle of the Lord tell me that I am doing ok, and that there is no one way to be a good mother, despite what those around me are telling me, brought me immeasureable comfort.

Elder Bednar spoke of meaningful prayer. Let me just say that this is REALLY something I need to work on. The way he spoke gave me a renewed desire to prayer to my Father in Heaven, because he reminded us that meaningful prayer requires effort on our part too. He reminded us that we have to go and do BEFORE we can expect to see the blessings we are asking for. That was a good reminder for me, because I have been really struggling with prayer. I just feel like my problems are too small for God to need to bother with. But for some reason, the idea that meaningful prayer includes effort on my part makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I CAN pray for help, and still be independent and do my best. I know that I need to work on aligning my will with Heavenly Father's will. But, it was still nice to have a reminder that I have accountability in the process.

There were several other talks that were wonderful and brought me much comfort. I feel so blessed to live in a day and age when I can hear God's chosen apostles bear witness of Jesus Christ so frequently. That I can read their words. That I can feel so strongly that the Savior is at the head of this church, and that we are truly striving to be more like Him and to live with Him again. I know that the fullness of the gospel has been restored to Earth, through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of Christ's gospel. I know that we have a living prophet today. I miss President Hinckley, and it was strange not to see him speak to us, but I know with absolute surety that President Monson has been called of God to lead and guide the Church today. I am so grateful for the confirmation that I was able to receive of that. I am so grateful that my family can be together eternally if we endure to the end, and strive to keep the commandments of God.

This is what I know.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Horton Hears a Who...or...Adventures with Whooligans



I got brave tonight...or had a momentary lapse in sanity. I am not sure which. Either way, I did something a little nuts. I decided to take all three boys to the movies. By myself. Did I mention that I also took them all to McDonalds? Yeah. It was an adventure, to say the least.
We started out our lovely little outing with me trying to get all the boys into the car. The big boys ran into the backyard to "pay". It has been raining a lot lately (understatement of the year!) so our yard is a little boggy. Of course, the boys had on clean clothes when I sent them out the door, but by the time I got them in the car, they had all gotten dirty. Even Levi. The phone rang right as I was walking out the door to put them in the van, and Ben left the door open. Levi saw his opportunity and crawled right out the front door, down the steps, traveled the sidewalk, crossed the driveway, and plopped his little rear (and sock feet) right in a muddy puddle and started eating some rocks. Yeah, so twenty minutes later, I finally got them in the van. Then it was off to eat.

We got to McDonalds, and other than Levi being not satisfied with the food I gave him, I thought we would make it through the excursion without a hitch. However, Levi had other plans. (I am starting to realize that LEVI was the entire difficulty tonight--the other boys were pretty good, but man, Levi was a STINKER!) First, Levi felt the need to grab everything, so I had to constantly monitor him. Then...I tried giving him a drink of my water. The straws at McDonalds are really big though, so he kept getting mad at it. When I wasn't looking, he grabbed the whole cup and tried to get a drink, dumping quite a bit of ice water in his lap...but I caught it fast. I refilled my drink and finished my food, while holding a slightly damp Levi. Unfortunately for me, well...he hadn't quite had enough to drink. So, he grabbed the cup again...dumping the ENTIRE contents of my newly refilled cup of ice water INTO MY LAP. Seriously, all I could do was laugh. I was so irritated and struck by how this is totally my life that I just started cracking up. The people at the booth behind us probably thought I was nuts...what with Ben and Sam wandering around, and me covered in FREEZING cold ice water. Needless to say, we had to make a pit stop at home so I could change my pants.

After changing (and having to run back in, because I left my money in my FIRST pair of pants), we headed to the movie theater. Sam had insisted on carrying his stupid Happy Meal toy into the theater with me, and stupid me, I had let him. Little did I know, there were parts on the toy that came off...in the MIDDLE OF MAIN STREET! So, after dragging them across the street (with Ben holding Levi's foot, and me dragging Sam), Sam has a MELTDOWN! I had to go back into the middle of the road to fetch this dumb little flag for his boat toy. We FINALLY made it into the theater though. This theater is really pretty old, and only has like two or three showings per week of one movie. But, it is fairly cheap, it is kid friendly, they don't charge for Sam, and it is close to home. We waited in line and I got the kids a kid combo snack pack (yeah, I never do that kind of stuff...I must have REALLY been in a good mood tonight--that and the kid combo is $2 and has popcorn, a small pop, and a piece of candy). Then, the horror started...

The boys apparently have major issues with sitting. All three of them. I spent the entire movie either trying to sit them down, or trying to keep Levi quiet. It was crazy! I think the boys liked the experience overall, though. I am glad we went. The movie was pretty cute, and I know the boys had fun. Ben got in the car and said he needed to call Krista and Daddy and Grandma to tell them he saw the elephant movie. It was our first trip to the movies, so it was exciting. Now we just have to get to bed...Levi is down, and the big boys are headed that way (even if they don't know it yet!).

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Life as a teacher

There are a lot of things I could say about this first year of teaching. It hasn't been fabulous. It has been pretty crummy, in fact, But, I think some of the worst parts about it are that I have been totally disillusioned. I realized that all those things that people say about teaching are true. I still love teaching. I really love it. But I am totally ready for this year to be over. I had a student (a young man) get very upset today. He tried his best to hide it. But I called him out in the hallway and talked to him. Apparently he is failing all his core subjects (which wasn't really a surprise since he is failing both of my classes), and he doesn't think he is going to be able to pass 8th grade. It broke my heart to see how upset he was...even though I totally know that it is due to his own laziness and lack of effort. Still though...I feel like I have to try to help him. So, I told him that I will stay after school every day and help him get his missing work caught up. Today we worked on math. We will probably work on math tomorrow too. I feel like if he is willing to work for me, I am going to give my time to help him. Still, though...it is so frustrating. Besides, it is frustrating to me how much all those issues that I hear about on the news (sexual harrassment cases, kids accusing teachers, and vice versa) are a reality. I get inappropriate comments made toward me every day. That sucks. It stinks that it was pouring rain today and when I finished working on math (in my classroom with the door wide open, even though band kids were practicing their solos, making it nearly impossible to effectively work, but I didn't feel like we could close the door, despite repeated requests from my student to do so, since he didn't really get why we couldn't close the door) and my student couldn't get ahold of anyone to pick him up, and I didn't want to leave him to walk in the rain...and I was afraid to take him home...even though I knew it was only about 3/4 mile away. That bothers me. It bothers me that there is absolutely NOTHING possibly inappropriate that will EVER happen, but I still have to be afraid and be concerned, because he is a teenage boy, and I am a young, fairly cute teacher--not to mention that I am a new and inexperienced.

I don't really know what the point of all that was, except that I am a little frustrated by all the little things that you don't really know until you are actually teaching...and it is disheartening.

In other news, I am doing ok at the single-mom thing, but I have to say that Krista is a lifesaver. She is keeping me sane! She has kept the kitchen mostly clean, so it is super easy to clean up after dinner, and she has started dinner each night, so there is very little work to do once I get home...we can just eat. Other than the boys not going to bed, and Cameron not ever seeming to want to call, things are going well. I am just exhausted. But, that's normal. So, good night!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tired.

That's about all I have to say. Ok, I am sure I can say a ton more, but tired would completely sum things up.

Things have been really busy since Cameron decided to take his new job in Utah. Really busy. He left last weekend, as you know, and things haven't really slowed down. We have been trying to get into a better routine, but right now, this is kicking my butt. I am exhausted. I am way behind on my grading at school...like have TONS of papers to grade (literally hundreds!). There is a mountain of laundry to fold, as well as a lot of other housework to do. Bills need paid, things need cleaned, boxes need packed, kids need fed, school needs taught, lessons need prepared, appointments need to be made...the list goes on and on and on. Oh well. It's only temporary. Besides, I figure once we get the hang of things (and I figure out how to either get my kids OUT of my bed OR to hold STILL while they sleep), that things will be fine. Still...we miss Cameron.

In other news, Benjamin is being awful lately. He is just doing every possible thing to go against what he should be doing. I am seriously concerned about his impulse control/emotional development. I think he has some issues with those things...but I haven't been able to get anything set up as far as an evaluation. Part of that is because I haven't taken the time to do it (since I usually sit on my butt anyway), and part of it is that I don't know who to call. Argh--I need to go stop Benjamin from banging the door into Levi's head--apparently it makes a cool noise (and Levi hasn't freaked out yet, but he will!).