Thursday, December 31, 2009

12 hours or so and counting....

Hello dear readers!

As I sit here thinking about the past year, I can tell you it's been one of mostly joy with just a little bit of stress thrown in, which is the way we like it. The Christmas holidays have come and gone and I never did get in the "Christmas Spirit". I think maybe working so crazy might have had something to do with that, but all is well now. I decided to take a page from the books of some friends and pick a word for next year. They pick wonderfully cool words, but I'm just starting out on this path, so I'm picking something that I can sort of work with. I thought of many words for next year, but one kept coming back to my mind. Fit. Not like fitting in a crowd or anything. More like spiritually fit and physically fit.

My spiritual fitness has turned to flab lately and I feel that needs to change. I need to get myself back on track so I can set the right kind of example for the kiddos and all that jazz. Because I'm inherently lazy, this is going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up to it. Maybe I'll even talk the family into getting in spiritual shape with me because it's much more fun if you're pulling each other along.

My physical fitness-YUCK! Exercise? What on Earth is that? Sweat? You must be kidding me. Yes. I hate to exercise and I love to eat. You may say---but I just saw you and you look fine! To you, maybe. To me, not so much. I'm carrying 10 pounds that I don't like---don't laugh or scoff. 10 pounds is an issue for me. My clothes don't fit as they should and I feel uncomfy in my skin. That 10 pounds has to go!

So dear readers, that's my word for the year. FIT. I will get in shape both spiritually (which really is more important to me) and physically (even if I have to break a sweat-ick!).

So everyone, here's to a healthy, happy and safe New Year! I'll be seeing ya!

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A post for Connie

My DFC has written that it's time for a silly Chesley post. Here is my silly post for today, because I'm cool like that.

The Humidity Song (think O Christmas Tree)

O Humidity, humidity, how much I miss you right now
O humidity, humidity, how much I miss you right now.
Winter's cool and drier air
plays havoc with my fine straight hair.
I miss the days when it was warm outside
that way my hair would not skyward fly.
I walk across the floor
Knowing I'll get shocked at the door.
I rub dryer sheets on all my clothes,
and on my hair a hat cannot repose.
So my ears are cold at the tips
No I haven't been taking any nips (of alcohol).
Humidity, you're my hair's best friend
I hate to see the summer end.
For I know in just a few months time
I'll be shocked in a way not so fine.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Peace, love and Merry Christmas y'all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

no title

Writer's block, no time, special project rolling around in my head for Christmas. Not dead!

Peace and love y'all!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Chesleys go to Washington...

A few months ago, Mike and I decided to take some much needed time off and take our little family to our nation's capital. I had been in high school but none of the others had ever been. We figured now would be the absolute best time, not too hot, not too cold, leaves changing, everything dandy. Well, we were absolutely right! Here's a little travelogue (with pictures) about our trip....
Tuesday...pick up kids from school, hit the road. All goes well, thank heavens for a portable DVD player. We stop a few times for bathroom breaks, eat dinner and stuff. The best thing about this day is that we don't get to DC area until late at night so hardly any traffic. Mike makes the observation that the highway system in DC looks like a plate of spaghetti. We only get lost twice.
Wednesday...The first adventure with the metorail system (we all survived and loved it although Mike found out he can't ride backwards). We ended up heading to the National Zoo. If you've never been and you're in the area, go, it's so cool and free!
You've got to see the pandas! They really are a beautiful animal. I read somewhere once that they are nature's most evolutionary inefficient animal. There were a ton of school kids there on a field trip and all we heard was "Panda! Panda! Come back Panda!". Jared remarked to me "Mom, I'm sure that panda's got a name besides hey panda!" We felt like the pioneer children in the Primary song at church because we walked and walked and walked but it was a good time.

This isn't the best picture of this little guy, but he was the coolest frog! He was about as big as two keyboard keys, maybe three. Very tiny but very colorful. By this time we were just about too pooped to do anything else but say, oh look! An animal!
At this point in our story, let me digress. I had read that food in the zoo and museums was atrociously expensive and I shared this fact with my family. We took our own water (I refuse to pay $4 for a bottle of water) and snacked on trail mix (the homemade kind). But we were HUNGRY! We ended up buying a couple of cheeseburgers and splitting them (hey, we're on a budget here!).

Really, what can I say? He's Mike's son. He was super excited and all we heard the whole day was, "I want to take a picture" repeated over and over and over and over again. We decided that day to go and find him a camera as part of an early Christmas present. He actually did really well with it. He took a lot of pictures of pigeons.

The two monkeys outside of the zoo. I just want to say that although it doesn't look like it, Kiersten does actually have lips. She just hates to have her picture taken. After we got back to our hotel, we went to find a place to eat (thank heavens for Texas Roadhouse). Even one bite left Kiersten ate her ENTIRE dinner (plus a salad).

Thursday was the air and space museum... home of the Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo moon landing stuff, rockets galore and the most expensive McDonald's in Washington D.C. There is no dollar menu there folks! Mike was in charge of the camera during our trip so we got bunches of pictures of planes and rockets. This, however, is my favorite picture....

Can't you just hear the teenager in her saying, "Daddy! I can't believe you're making me do this, how embarassing!"? I was asked numerous times where the big field that they kept all the airplanes was located. Apparently some people in my family believe everything they see in Transformers 2.

We also went across the mall to the National Gallery, which was really beautiful, but we were again very tired so we just meandered for a few minutes and then back to the metro. Have I mentioned we all LOVED the metro?

Friday was tour day. We booked tours on the trolley tour (the orange and green ones, I can't remember what they're called) and had a great time. We were able to hop on and off (really that's the only way to do a decent tour) and take our time. We went by most of the monuments, even if we didn't stop. They really are quite beautiful.

The Jefferson Memorial---it really is one of the prettiest places I've ever seen built by man. We didn't go in but it's still an awesome sight just to ride by. I wanted to go to the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the newish World War II Memorial, which is what we did.

The Lincoln Memorial is just huge, and again, beautiful. While we were there, the National Park ranger played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and it was all the more powerful because you can stand where Dr. King stood and look down the reflecting pool and think about all of the people that have marched for a cause in that place. It really is a vast place. On to my favorite memorial....

The Vietnam War Memorial. It's really hard to believe that the Wall is in the middle of a busy city. It's so quiet. There were people there doing rubbings of names, a few veterans looking for lost friends or family members seeking to reconnect with a lost loved one. It really is my favorite. This is where I wonder about the stories, behind the names on the Wall as well as the stories of people that come there to pay their respects or just to see it.
We did get to the WWII memorial and it really is another beautiful place. Walking from The Wall to the WWII memorial, Kiersten and I were stopped by a squirrel. Apparently it was a tourist as well because he looked a little lost and seemed to be asking for directions.
Saturday was our coming home day, but we had one more stop to make. A few weeks before our trip, Jared told me at dinner one night that he thought we should go to the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. I wasn't too sure, but they outvoted me so we went. Let me tell you, that brought even me to tears. You're given the identification of someone who actually was in a concentration camp or lived during that time when you go in so it personalizes the story for you. Pictures aren't encouraged there, but what we saw there was seared into my brain. We saw the cattle cars, the bunks from Auschwitz, and in one hallway, thousands of pairs of shoes from prisoners that were never heard from again. Jared gave out pretty early, so I went with him into the Hall of Remembrance, where we lit candles for those that were lost and talked about why people do awful things and how we can stand up for others.
Then, we were on our way back home. It was a wonderful trip. We have to go back so catch those things that we didn't get the first time. It was a great experience to take the children---they of course think we're the coolest parents on the planet for getting them out of school for a couple of days for an educational trip.
I have plenty of other pictures, but just don't have room to share them with you. The pictures that are the best ones are really in my mind and heart of spending time with my family.
By the way, sorry if this doesn't format quite right, I'm tired and needed to get it done.
Peace and love y'all!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just a thought

Today it's rainy and somewhat chilly my dear readers. I'm getting everything finalized for our little family getaway next week and have suddenly felt the urge to pick up my knitting again. It could be because of the weather. It's probably because I've got a 7-8 hour ride ahead of me next week (Mike likes to drive and who am I to tell him no?). I've also got a whole bunch of yarn from last year's knitting frenzy that I never used. Note to self---get Heather to teach me how to make socks (again).

That's my thought for today.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Driveway From H-E-double hockey sticks...

Hello dear readers!!!
A few matters of blog business...since a squirrel fried our transformer at work yesterday and the IT people had to put in our new firewall, I am unable to view my blog there. Yes, it's a travesty I know. What do those people expect me to do? Work? So, I am not ignoring you, I'm just unable to "see" you. And if you're a FB friend, you guys are banned as well. This makes me unhappy but I'll adjust.
Anyway, on to the matter at hand. In my last post, I mentioned the driveway from hell and some of you expressed an interest in hearing about it. Well, I finally have time so I'll tell you about it. The weekend in question, the DH and I were in Chimney Rock, NC for a family wedding (which was absolutely gorgeous and fun-never laughed so hard in my life). We moseyed to the appointed place early that day so we could take in the sights and just explore. This is something we love to do, especially when we don't have little people telling us, "we're bored", "my feet are about to fall off", "are we there yet?". Anyhoo, as we were driving through the quaint little tourist trap of Chimney Rock, Mike spied a lovely covered bridge with a sign on it that said Home Sites for Sale. Oh goody! We love looking at house we would never be able to afford, so we turned in. Little did I know that we had just passed the threshold of the land of the crazy driveways. Now, let me just warn you, if you can't see the top of the driveway---DON'T GO!!!
This is a picture of the little car going up just the bottom part of the first driveway....
Do you see the incline? What is virtually invisible is that there is a turn at the top of this little incline that is the sharpest thing I've ever seen in my life. It was like this >. Yes, that symbol is what the turn (and the incline following it looked like). After much twisting and turning and praying we reached the top.

Which looked like this. It's beautiful, right? What you don't understand is that the width of this "driveway" is about as wide as I am tall (5'4" on a good day). Now don't get me wrong, the view was lovely and serene. And all I could think of was "Holy crap! We've got to go down that stupid thing!" There was much discussion and I'm ashamed to say that I was thinking about walking-it's good for you, you know. But, I would not leave my DH to fight it alone. So, off we went---slowly! All I can say is thank heavens, all the holy angels and whatever Saints you can name off the top of your head that Mike was driving.

We did end up going up another driveway that was was even worse than the first, because it lulled you into a false sense of security through not showing you the top. Even Mike the Fearless was a little worried about that one. He said once we got to the top, "I thought the car was going to tip backwards!" It's a miracle we survived. But survive we did. Here are some more pictures that were taken after our encounter with "the driveway".

All in all, it was a lovely trip. We plan to go back when we can take the childrent and spend more time hiking around Chimney Rock. This trip was like a brief "get to know you" trip. Hope you enjoy the pictures and our adventure. I don't think I'll be buying any mountainside home site in the near future.
Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bring it....

Hello dear readers!
Living in the sunshiney south all of my life has real advantages. It's not really COLD during the winter, the spring is beautiful and full of flowers blooming, summer is a time for sipping lemonade and going to the beach and fall is full of color (leaves and football abound). That being said, this morning I was looking at our Bradford pear trees and noticed an ever so slight color shift in the leaves. WOOHOO!!! I'm ready for fall to arrive. Mike and I were in the mountains of NC this weekend and the air was just a tad crisp with the wind blowing (more including pictures and a story about the driveway from hell later). I was listening to the radio this morning and the Paul Walker song "Cool nights" came on and I thought "self, you are SO ready for fall! You're thinking of sweaters and jeans, boots and the smell of dead leaves". So, in honor of my ever so slightly changing leaves, here are some things to think about:

-The crunch of leaves as you walk through them (I'm one of those people that kick them and scatter them all over the place)

-The smell of smoke as people start burning said leaves and firing up their fireplaces

-That crazy "turning the heat on for the first time" smell that always freaks me out just a little

-College football (I had to put that in there, I'm not a football fan but friends are) and all the sounds, sights and colors of tailgating and the games

-sweaters and jeans!!!!!! With boots!!!!!

-pumpkin hunting and carving

-seeing all the little ghosts and goblins on Halloween (CANDY!CANDY!CANDY!)

-Orange, red, yellow and brown

-That really cool tree on I-20 that turns the brightest yellow every year

What are your favorite things about fall?

Til next time....

Peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It is enough....

Hello all,
This has been running through my head since last week and I've finally got a quiet moment to sit down and put it down "on paper". I have phrases that I use a good bit when I'm talking to myself. Phrases like "Let go and let God", "I don't have to, I GET to..." and now I have a new one...."It is enough.". This is probably more powerful to me than anything else I can think of. Case in point, a few weeks ago, I was commiserating to my mother that I never did this or that or the other that my friends were able to do before, during and after college for some reason or another (is that vague enough?). The same day, Mike the wonder dude came home and was complaining about not having this or that or the other. Well buddy, did I set him straight and got myself to thinking. This is what I came up with....

-I may not have a big fancy house decorated all fancy dancy. However, I have a home where my family laughs, cries, fights, loves, learns and occasionally works.

-I may not have my dream car (this is something I complain about often). However, our little car is almost paid for. It gets everyone where they need to go safely.

-I don't have my dream job, but in this time of employment uncertainty, I work and earn decent money. If I had kept on track with my education, I would not have my beautiful daughter or be married to a great guy and have a precious boy.

-I may not wear cool clothes (believe me, I don't---I'm more of a tshirt, jeans and flip flops kind of gal). But, I have clothes and they keep me warm when it's cold outside.

-I may or may not agree with the politics of the season, but I live in a country where I can speak my mind freely without fear.

What I have is enough. This isn't to say that I don't WANT things, I do, I want a lot of things. But, I have what I need.

I have a loving, gentle, kind, respectful husband. I don't ever worry about what he's doing or who he's with or in what state he's going to come home. Our relationship is strong, we've gone through a lot and we've come out better on the other side.

I have smart, talented, beautiful children who most of the time think I'm a pretty good mom. They are friendly and loving, scary funny and deeply perceptive. I love seeing them in the mornings, I've memorized their faces and see little changes every day. I have friends who can't have children or have lost a child and I can't imagine the pain and anguish they go through on a daily basis.

I was raised by loving parents. We didn't have much, but we knew that we were loved. They taught us right from wrong and when we messed up, they were supporting us through whatever trial we had to face.

So, my dear readers, I'm standing up today to tell you, I don't need a big house, fancy cars or clothes. I have enough.

Peace and love y'all!

p.s.---Mike, if you read this, I still would like a Porsche convertible for my 45th birthday. Hey, a girl's got to have some goals in life :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We survived....

As many of you know, yesterday was the first day of school for my kiddos. It was also the first day that Jared would be getting off of the bus by himself at our little abode. He was under STRICT instructions to come in the door, let the dog out and call me at work-in that order. I knew about what time he was going to get home, so I waited, and waited and waited, developed an ulcer, waited, called the house, called the babysitter's house just in case, waited some more. Kiersten finally called to tell me that she was home and that Jared was also at home and alive.

When I asked Jared what happened, he said that someone had erased the numbers from the board on the fridge. Well, I had moved the numbers to a more manageable level for him---read eye level for him, right beside the fridge door handle. We talked about looking for things on the fridge and giving mommy a panic attack, and all was well. I reminded him again this morning where the numbers were and again today sat by my phone waiting for him to call---and he did! I've never looked so forward to a phone call (except when Kiersten first started staying at home by herself) all day. It seems to make the day go by so much quicker.

Anyway, a report on the first day...Jared had a blast! He loved it and was excited about going back today (this never happens and briefly made me wonder what alien race had taken over the small boy child). When he called this afternoon, he was happy and upbeat and talked about torturing me with homework. Loved his teachers and is adjusting well. All in all a great day. For Kiersten the day was great as well, she looked cute and had a pretty good hair day. Her teachers are good and she was excited about English I especially. I looked at the book list for her and told Mike that we're going to be shelling out some cash for her books, but all is well. It's all literature books, not a vampire book in the bunch but hopefully she will enjoy them. She has PE and health for related arts 1st nine weeks (she is her mother's daughter and the only time she runs is if someone is chasing her). But she has a positive outlook, she's getting them over with. She's very excited about 8th grade and I'm excited for her.

Well, that's all from my end of the world. I just wanted to let you all know, especially my western readers (big wave to papa and granma C) that the babies survived, and so did I (barely).

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Last night on the way home, Mike and I were talking to Kiersten about not growing up too fast, and how this stage of her life is seeming to fly by (for all of those who are just tuning in, Kiersten is 13 going on 20). It doesn't seem like this tiny child that was just itty bitty yesterday should be going to 8th grade today. It's even worse for Jared (who is 9 and perfectly happy not to go to school), because he's the baby that we just brought home it seems like just a few hours after Kiersten. During our own late night conversation, Mike and I realized that pretty soon (to us), Kiersten would be going to dances, driving, dating, going to college, getting married and then all of a sudden we would be grandparents, with Jared right behind her--starting Boy Scouts, dances, dating, mission, college, married and more grandchildren! Where have our babies gone? They are the teenager in her room writing a story or 15. They are the boy that is fast losing his "baby face" and becoming his own person.

I took Jared to school this morning for the first day of 4th grade. Usually these occurrences are traumatic for all involved simply because he can't stand to go to school. But today, it was easy. Of course, he wouldn't let me hold his hand, even though I needed it more than he did. I got the "mom, you've already told me this a thousand times, don't make me roll my eyes at you" look when I told him something for the 1001 time. I remembered on the way to work that first day of Kindergarten when he was excited but the closer he got to the door, you could see him walking slower and slower until we got to his classroom and he refused to budge. We were all crying that day, it just about killed us to leave him with someone we didn't know while he was crying. This morning he asked "so, you're going to walk in with me?" and I told him yes, unless he didn't want me to do that. He said "no, that's okay, I don't mind". There may be just a little bit of the little boy still in there. I hope so.

I've got to go now so I can go sit in a dark room and cry for a bit. I'll post an update on the first days for the kids maybe tomorrow.

peace and love y'all!

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's all in the attitude....

Greetings all,
As I was lying in bed this morning at 4 a.m., my mind started running over things like a hamster on a wheel (how's that for figurative language skills my son!). I've been thinking a lot lately about obedience and how it impacts our lives. Last evening, we were told that our little ward would now be joined by pieces and parts of other wards to make an entirely new ward. This means that we will be going to different services than my parents and some friends, Mike will no longer see "his kids" every Sunday and the kids will have to get used to new teachers and classmates. We are going to be going to church at 12:30, and for those who know me, you all know that that's prime naptime. It's a bit disconcerting to say the least, especially since the only people the new ward has in place is a bishopric.

Anyway, at 4 a.m a light came on in my head-this is an obedience test! We all have them, sometimes it seems that life itself is an obedience test. This test is to see not only if we will listen and obey our leaders, but also the attitude in which we do it. As I watch the children as they grow, they are given more responsibility and yes, more things that they have to do. Jared has no problem doing chores (mostly), but absolutely hates doing his schoolwork. It's a fight every night and sometimes it gets to the point where I tell him "look, you're frustrated and I'm frustrated, go take your shower and we'll finish later." He obeys (of course, it's getting him away from the dreaded homework), and after the cooling off period we both have better attitudes. Kiersten on the other hand, doesn't mind schoolwork but absolutely hates doing chores. Her attitude is a little louder-a lot of deep sighs and eye rolling, occasionally some door banging, but she will eventually get it done. The point to all of this, I keep telling them that if they didn't complain it would not only get done quicker, but everyone would be much happier at the end of the day.

It's all in the attitude. Do I obey all the time? Don't tell the kids, but no. I'm working on it, but I keep telling myself that there's a reason for what is being asked of us. Do I know that reason? Sometimes, but that doesn't make it any easier. An example: When I was 15 I thought I loved a boy, and we were "going out". I knew the rules about dating at 16, I wasn't allowed until that magic day, don't even ask. Well, said boy and I were talking on the phone one night and he asked if I would go to the prom with him (WOO MEE!!!!!). I very calmly and rationally ran down the hall and begged my dad and mom-something along the lines of "he's asked me to go to the prom and if I don't go my life as I know it will end!" Permission was granted (prom was in May). The boy said great! How about going to the movies this weekend? Once again the run down the hall thing-permission DENIED!!!! You see, it was January/February timeframe, my birthday is in March-wasn't 16. I had to explain to boy that my parents were totally uncool and were going to make me wait until I was 16-how embarrassing! But, the point is, I obeyed-not happily mind you, but I did it. Am I happy now that I obeyed? Yes. Was I happy then? Not on your life, I thought for sure that I was destined for unhappiness. Was that boy even around for long? Nope, didn't make it to the summer.

What I keep thinking about with this new change is I'm thinking of it as an adventure of sorts. I don't have to cross the plains or leave my family or do something too awfully hard. I get to go to church at 12:30. That means sleeping late and extra naptime on Saturday.

For all of you in the new ward, and the old one, what are your thoughts?

Peace and love y'all!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Picture Post

Hello all,

I have some time today (read I don't feel like doing anything), so I'm catching up sharing my pictures with you. I downloaded from my camera the other day and was amazed that I had so many pictures. Won't post all 376 of them, just the ones I like the best. I'll post where, when and who so you know what's going on. On with the show......

Savannah, GA April '09. Saw this little place while Mike and I were walking 3000 miles and thought "that's just the cutest little place!"

Forsyth Park, Savannah. I fell in love with the city of Savannah during our long weekend. The history, architecture, pralines....

Forsyth Park is really quite beautiful, lots of open space and huge trees. A lovely little oasis in the city. I think I wouldn't mind living in Savannah.

Just a little something we picked up at Bass Pro Shops. In Mike's fondest wish!

Tybee Island Lighthouse. Yes dear readers, Mike and I climbed to the top. I wouldn't mind vacationing for a few months on Tybee. Very peaceful and beautiful homes and lovely beaches.

The kids July '09. From left: Jared, Olivia, Kelsey, Kiersten and Connor.

For all of those just tuning in, Jared and Kiersten are my kids, they are 9 and 13. Olivia, Kelsey and Connor are my brother's children. They are 9, 5, and 1.

Aren't they all just the cutest?! I can't believe how grown up they all are getting.

The girls. Kelsey is such a poser! Gosh, Kiersten is just gorgeous! I'm her mother, I'm biased. It's amazing that I've watched her grow for these 13 years. How she has changed, from little baby who wouldn't sleep to this beautiful young woman ***sniff, sniff****.

The boys. Jared was so happy when Connor was born, he did a happy little booty shake that there was another boy. I don't think he realized that Connor wouldn't be ready to play for a few years. I'm sure Jared will set a great example for Connor, hunting, fishing, shooting fireworks, aggravating sisters. You know, boy stuff.

Part of the grand finale for 4th of July. Yes dear readers, those are 31 mortar tubes connected with fuse to all go off around the same time. The big boys also had 5 big boxes of stuff that went off before. Mike LOVES fireworks!

Tried to upload the video, but didn't work, I'll come back to it later.

Thanks for taking a look, I'll be posting more pictures hopefully ( I just have to get motivated and nothing motivates me more than trying to find a way out of housework).

Until next time

Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Normal? What's that?

Please excuse the recent absence of the writer of this blog. There was nothing to say that needed to be said online for fear of it coming back to haunt her. Now on to our regularly scheduled post.......

I was ruminating on the value of normality the other day and wondered what the heck is normal. What brought this up was a weeks long cruise on the good ship witchy for yours truly. I don't normally have great amounts of rage, temper tantrums, or shed lots of tears. It's just not in my general makeup. I'm normally a very even tempered person, a tad sarcastic but only to my nearest and dearest and stoic to a degree that sometimes worries my mother. After my cruise docked, I noted on facebook that I was back to normal after said cruise and a friend brought up that I am never normal. This was not said with malice and not taken with any offense because it's true. This led to my ponderings. What is normal? Is there a medical definition somewhere out there?

Let me tell you about normal in my house. Normal in my home is a 9 year old that thinks he's growing a mustache and insists on stroking his face in a rather villianish way. Normal is a 13 year old that has turned the floor of her closet into a "reading area" and has a deep and abiding love of vampire YA novels and sometimes might not be seen or heard from for hours. Normal is the 37 year old man who wakes me up talking about the number of spiders there are in the house, and although I know he's asleep it's a tad freaky because his eyes are open the whole time. I'm the epitome of sweetness and light with occasional tangents of meanness. Normal is our little family. Are we overly odd? Some might say so. Do we have slightly off-kilter senses of humor? Yep, every single one of us. Do we love to pick on each other and relish in finding something new to pick on a member of the family about? Heck yes, just ask Anita, she's such a good sport about the whole thing. That's normal for us. It might not be normal for you and your family.

I can only think of a few people that I would categorize as "normal" although I'm sure deep down they're really not.

Do you think in your heart of hearts that you're a "normal" person? What do you think of as normal? Share!

Until next time, peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Eternal Companion

Today on my way to work, I was listening the the little spot on the radio called "Life Matters" from one of the churches here in town. This morning, the Pastor was talking about his parents' anniversary and how when his father passed, his mother almost grieved herself to death. When he reminded her of the 60+ years that they had together, his mother reprimanded him and informed him that 60+ years was not enough to spend with the one you love.

I thought at that point how lucky I am to have my "eternal companion". I can't imagine being with anyone else for eternity, and I can't imagine the heartache of not having him with me. Sure, we might bicker (not very often) and argue (hardly ever) and even make fun of each other (only in a loving way), but we have fun and love each other to distraction. He is always running about with work or church or something else, and I'm more of a homebody. One day, he was telling me that he would be home late or something, and I said-as always- I'll be here when you get home, and he told me just how much he appreciated that, the simple act of me being home. Now don't get me wrong, he tells me-go out, go do something with your friends! Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, but it's nice to know that he wants me to be happy, whether I'm with my friends or at home reading a book. He makes time for me to go to book club, to spend a Saturday at the museum, to go to the beach with friends, to watch a Pride and Prejudice marathon if I want to.

I'm picturing him last evening going through his emails and coming across one from his dad that made him laugh so hard he was crying and couldn't breathe. He has such a wonderful sense of humor and is so funny. He teaches our son all of the stuff that his dad taught him and sets an example for our daughter of what a great husband and father should be. We've only been married a relatively short time in the eternal scheme of things (11 years), and sometimes it feels like it's already been forever. But other times, it seems like just yesterday that we were getting married and going through that whole "living together" phase. You know what I mean, that first year of getting to know the person you marry, their little quirks that you didn't see when you were dating. Some of Mike's quirks: he talks in his sleep, he has an unnatural obsession with making sure that the colander is clean after I make macaroni or pasta, thinks Christmas Vacation is the funniest move EVER, has a very short list of wants (truck, boat, motorcycle), and thinks that he did something incredibly right to be married to me and have our kids.

Because this is my blog, I don't have to share with you my little quirks, but in the interest of fair play, I'll give you a few. I have a tendency to get mean when I'm asleep and you fan or move the covers, I have an obsession with making sure the cabinet doors are closed and the toothpaste lid is on (I'm getting a little looser about that), I have a rather oddball sense of humor. He thinks that I'm an interesting person because very few people know the real me and he says I've got just about everybody fooled.

I'll probably get hounded from him about airing his quirks on the internet, but I only did to show everyone how wonderful he is. Even his quirks are easy to deal with! One thing that I definitely know is that I did something miraculous and wonderful when I married him. It's been one heck of a ride and I can't wait to see where we go next.

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Turner to Cezanne

On Saturday, DF Connie and I went to the Turner to Cezanne exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art. There were a bunch of people there (this was the last weekend) and we went fairly early. As we were touring through the galleries, we marveled at the beautiful paintings by some of the more famous names dealing with Impressionist art like Renoir, Monet, Corot, etc. I'm not the type of artsy fartsy person to discuss line, the use of shadow, what the deeper meaning of a painting is, I'm the type that will stare at a painting that captures my attention or speaks to me in some way. On our first tour through, we came across the painting call La Parisienne by Renoir.

In front of this HUGE painting is a little girl sitting on the floor. She looked to be about 4-5 years old and she had her paper and markers out and was drawing the painting. Connie and I stood and watched her for a few minutes and then moved on. I thought to myself, how wonderful that this little girl is being exposed to work by the masters at such an early age, and that she loves this painting so much that she feels the need to reproduce it. What a cool thing it would be if she grew up to be an artist and her first memory was of sitting on the floor at the museum, looking up at this woman in a brilliant blue dress.

A painting that really spoke to me was Eugene Carriere's Maternity (Suffering). This picture doesn't really do the actual painting justice. I don't know what it is about this picture, but I love it. Maybe because I'm a mom. The Monets that were there were, of course, beautiful. They had one waterlilies painting and then Connie's favorite Palazzo Dario. What a beautiful painting. I am amazed that people can paint these beautiful pictures that say so much without speaking a word. What they can convey with just a brushstroke or tilt of the head is something that I think is fascinating.

So, if you saw the exhibit, tell me what your favorite painting was. If you get to see it, take some and go, it's well worth it. I wish that I had been able to take Kiersten and Jared, just to get some culture, but didn't happen. I am glad however, that I was able to see it and spend some time with a good friend.

Peace and love y'all!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer's here!!!!

Hello all,
Summer is officially here! It's time for running through sprinklers, the smell of sunblock, fresh veggies from the garden, humidity that wilts even the sturdiest of hair and oppressive heat. Added to that, the smell of jasmine, the feel of grass under your feet(watch out for those fire ants-tiny spawns of Satan), and flip flops. Man, I love living in the South!

The kiddos were released from prison (aka school-I'm starting to sound like Jared) last week and there was much rejoicing in the Chesley household. No more "mommy, I think I'm sick" at night from Jared- who has yet to learn that unless you're running a fever, puking or bleeding out of your eye sockets, you're going to school. No more "mom, I have NOTHING to wear and my world as I know it is disintegrating!" from Kiersten-this is a tremendous blessing, as any of you who have lived through 13 year old girlhood can attest.

This week, Kiersten is at the beach with her other family and Jared is an only child until she gets back on Sunday. He's loving it. Before she left, I said to my sweet baby girl "please dearheart, call me every once in a while to let me know how you're doing." I got a call yesterday after talking to her on Tuesday to tell her about her grades. I wasn't expecting a call, but she asked me if she could call me every day. Of course! I tell her, I love to hear from you, I love you. She told me all about the goings on (she's already sunburned and they just got there). I made her pinky promise that she would not come home with a boyfriend-which probably entertained her dad immensely. She got contacts for her birthday and is doing really well but she looks older without her glasses and I'm not sure how I feel about that. She's beautiful no matter what. She's still writing but we don't talk about it much, it's just something she does. She's gotten into English I next year and that's exciting. She was very excited when I told her, her words were "that makes me feel like I'm smart!".

Jared is excited to be going to the drag strip on Friday with Mike-that's definitely a boy thing, and then fishing on Saturday. He's also gearing up for Cub Scout daycamp towards the end of the month. He LOVES day camp! He can run around like a crazy person, shoot BB guns and hang out with some of his friends. I love it because he comes home absolutely exhausted. He's been after me lately to let his friends come over to spend the night. I'm not sure about two or three 9 year old boys in my tiny house, the thought just makes me shudder. The house and dog might never be the same. He's reading Harry Potter and loving it. He would still rather be outside riding his bike or playing with his hatchet (don't worry, it's dull and he can't really hurt himself), but I still try to get him to sit down for a few minutes and read. He spent a good bit of time last weekend helping out with nana's 80th birthday celebration. He's a great helper and I'm so glad he's a friendly, outgoing kind of kid.

Mike and I are rolling along as usual. Mike has a busy summer with Scout camp in June and the Youth Conference in July. Work has picked up and that's a blessing. I've been released from nursery :-( and I know that I'm going to miss all my little children. It will be nice to go to Relief Society on a regular basis and maybe even slip into Sunday School.

That's what's going on with us, I'll write more than an update later.

Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weekend Update....

Hello all,
I have been without access to blogs, facebook and several other "must see" sites for a week now and it's been torturous! Those stupid computer servers are always doing something silly! Let's see, update, update, update....

1. I have seen 2 movies so far this summer (it's a miracle-we very rarely see movies in the theater). Wolverine was awesome! LOVE Hugh Jackman! Star Trek was also great, set up for a whole new series and Spock got some lip action woo hoo! We're actually planning on seeing more movies in the next few weeks and I think it will end up by the end of the summer our family seeing more movies than we have in entire YEARS.

2. School is winding down and all the little children in my house are beyond happy. This year has been especially tough for the kiddos but they managed to get through it with okay grades (some I'm not happy about but I'll deal). Kiersten is excited because she can sit at home and write all day, Jared is excited simply because he won't have school.

3. We went to see the Kershaw County Show Choir's performance last night. The Choir has a few of the kids from our ward involved and it was a great concert! How those kids sing and dance is beyond me, I can't walk and chew gum at the same time without serious bodily harm to myself or others. Even the boys enjoyed it, which sort of surprised me. Jared was trying to remember all the words to that Officer Krupke song from West Side Story that they guys did last night this morning while he was eating his breakfast. He also told me, "mom, we need to go to more of these things". Hallelujah, pass the tissues, he is part of my genetic makeup! Great job Tony, Sharon, Jessica and Mari!

I think that's it, nothing much going on-that I can remember. Got to be moving on!

peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quick post on Mothers Day

Hello all,
Happy late Mother's Day to all you moms, sisters, crazy aunties, etc. wherever you may be! Last week I was so busy here at work I didn't get a chance to post about Mothers Day, and I had actually written a post about the seasons of motherhood, how wonderful the women all around us are and all sorts of other stuff. However, this is what I wanted to say...

The best Mother's Day gift wasn't actually on Mother's Day, although I did get hugs and kisses and love galore. Last night, Jared had taken his shower and was running around our house like a wild child while I was reading and Kiersten was in her room writing, Mike was out in the garden and all was right in our little corner of the world. Jared comes to me, holds my face in his hands and says, "mommy, do you know how much I love you?" I answered that I didn't. He says, "there are no words to tell you how much I love you, I can't tell you because I don't know the words." I told him, "son, I know exactly how you feel because as much as you love me, I love you even more and I don't have the words either." That was the best gift I could get.

Peace and love y'all!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Everyone has a story...

I'm a people watcher (welcome to the new support group, People Watchers Anonymous), I am also nosy. I learned quite early in life that if you sit quietly for long enough, older people forget that you're there and that's when you can pick up the most interesting tidbits of news. My favorite places to watch people are: the airport (there's a lot of love at the baggage claim), in the car (apparently people think once they get in their car they're invisible), and walking around a different place. My DH is also a people watcher but we're watching for different things. He watches, I think, to see what kind of craziness will come along. I watch and try to figure out the stories behind the people (inner nosiness you know).

Last month, Jared and I dropped my mother off at the airport for her first plane trip to visit Ervins the Younger. It's always so sad to see someone off at the airport-I've done it quite a few times, being the one left behind. You're excited for them, worried (that whole plane crash thing), and in this case, J and I were thinking we would love to be a fly on the wall with mom's first flight. I knew that when mom got to her destination, there would be hugs and kisses and general mayhem at the baggage claim and that would be a good thing. Jared and I wondered where people were going and why, if they were going for fun or a "have to" trip.

Mike and I recently went to Savannah for our annual anniversary trip. I fell in love with that city! On Friday we sat for hours on the river and watched people as they walked along the river front. We saw young couples, mature couples, families, street entertainers, multitudes of dogs and a few Girl Scouts. I wondered about the stories of those couples and families. On Saturday, we took a tour-no Connie, no ghost hunting for us, and walked about 3000 miles. We watched our first rugby game in Forsyth Park, saw a bunch of Savannah College of Art and Design students, more dogs. I loved the squares, the city market, all of the stores. Mike fell in love with the candy stores and especially the pralines. We plan to go back and if I were rich instead of the epitome of sweetness and light, I wouldn't mind living there. I made the observation while there that I didn't see any jaywalkers, everyone at the crosswalks waited patiently until the light turned which was fascinating to me. Mike made the observation that we didn't see very many police cars or policemen. Savannah seems to be full of interesting stories.

As I was coming to work this a.m., I noticed a person in the car ahead of me apparently having some sort of fit. Then I realized they were just really into their music. I also saw people from out of town crossing 2 lanes of traffic trying to get into Ft. Jackson and blocking the road for everyone behind them. I also saw the people downtown, a man in a wheelchair (I made sure to watch until he crossed safely and was on the sidewalk), a lady that got out of her car at the stoplight to get something out of her trunk (what was so important I wonder). I also see people coming to my office and to the unemployment office across the street and wonder about their stories.

Sometimes I think about my personal story (from my perspective of course), and think it's not too bad.

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I need help....

Last night, Mike and I were watching CSI (the original), and the episode was about a murder at a Sci-Fi convention dealing with a Star Trekish type show. As I'm squealing like a complete fangirl when Hodges says "He's dead Jim", Mike looks at me and tells me I'm weird. What? Star Trek is one of the greatest TV series of all time! William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and all his logicalness, the contentiousness of Bones? Come on, work with me here! I also found out that my DH has NEVER watched Star Trek---any of the series or movies! Coming from a long line of Sci-Fi readers and watchers, this almost sent me over the edge. I could not believe that my hubby, the love of my life and father of my children has never seen one single solitary episode of Trek, DSN, Voyager, TNG, Enterprise, or the movies. The Horror!!! Now, would I dress up like a character? No. Some people are just a bit odd about things like that, but if, by chance there's an old episode on the TV on a Saturday, I'll sit down and watch.

I was also thinking this a.m. about other things that I love. 80's music---Jump by Van Halen was playing this morning on the way in and you can't drive slow or quietly when that's playing. Mike and I have passed that love to our children, one of Kiersten's favorite songs is by a hair band-I'm so proud! Recently we watched the 100 Greatest one hit wonders of the 80's on VH1. I only caught the top 10, but I new every video and song. The Muppet Show---yes, I'm a frog/pig 'shipper. MASH---I've seen every single episode at least twice thanks to DVR and the Hallmark Channel (some more than twice). Vampires---Edward, and all the rest. I'll read any vampire book. Pride & Prejudice (the newer one thank you)---I have constant conversations with Crystal about the pros/cons of the Colin Firth/ Matthew Mcwhatever Mr. Darcy. 4 words my friends---walking through the mist! Goodness, there's so much more, but I think that's good for now. I think I'll go listen to my 80's CD and maybe get a vampire book (or two) to read while the boys are camping out this weekend.

What are your obsessions? Are you a Trekkie?

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Did you know? And an update on the kiddos

Hello all! As many of you know, I love useless information and have all sorts of crazy facts running around in my head. This is also why the Science Channel and Animal Planet are my 2 favorite channels, the shows on there are just chock full of interesting stuff. I'm thinking it's probably a good thing that I don't have the History Channel or we would all be in trouble. Anyway, I've been sucked into the black hole of How It's Made/ How They Do It shows along with Survivorman and Against the Elements. I do learn some really interesting stuff. Do I think that I could survive in the wilderness like Les Stroud on Survivorman? Only if the wilderness has a Holiday Inn.

However, it's fascinating to watch as Les survives for a week by himself with no food, no crew, no nothing! He would be a handy guy to have around if I ever got up the gumption to go hiking in the Canadian wilderness (which we all know would NEVER happen). I have learned that having a fire is the most important thing about surviving and that I can carry a fire from place to place by placing an ember in some tinder and rolling it in bark. Then, when I get to my destination, unroll and blow on the ember a little bit, instant fire!

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to share with y'all a few interesting pieces of information that I've found out lately and have been rattling around in my head.

Did you know that glass is not classified as a solid? It's actually a super cooled liquid! Don't ask me why it's classified as that, I don't know, something about the molecules not being stable.

Did you know that a slushy machine keeps the slushy stuff at 27 degrees? It doesn't freeze because the sugar molecules in the slushy mix get in the way of the water molecules bonding to form ice. Thus, slushy. Isn't that the neatest thing?

Did you know that the bowhead whale has the largest mouth in the animal kingdom? Did you know that the huge mountain range in the ocean dwarfs mountain ranges on land put together?

Fascinating stuff! Anyway, a quick update on the kiddos as well. Kiersten has been nominated to go to Europe by her science teacher. Yes, you read correctly, EUROPE!!! Don't know if she'll be picked or if she is, if she will go-that's a bit expensive and far away. Jared has a serious entrepreneurial (I think I spelled that correctly) streak. He and a friend of his are drawing comic books to sell to their classmates. They're about 4 uncommon superheros (Super Grandpa, some lightening guy, a cow lady and somebody else I can't remember off the top of my head). The cow lady has a "sonic moo" which incapacitates evil foes. Funny! My kids are great and I am blessed to be their mom.

That's about it for this week. Peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can you speak Southern?

When I married my DH, little did I know that I was in for constant ribbing about my southern accent. You see, Mike comes from a long line of Westerners (on his dad's side) with a solitary Southern belle as his mom. Thus, the crazy western accent ended up being his accent. People are constantly amazed that we genteel southern belles can draw out a relatively simple one syllable word (take for instance jail) and turn it into a multi-syllable word that might go on for a few seconds (say it as I write it: Jayyyyy-ellll).

So, for all of y'all that don't speak Southern, I'm writing just a few entries for the Southern dictionary, so here goes------

y'all- noun, a group of people. As in: I love y'all. Also can be "all y'all" which means a bigger group of people. As in I love all y'all.

yonder-noun, over there. As in: I'm going over yonder.

fixin'-noun or verb. Noun usage: I like fried chicken with fixin's. Used in this context (which confused Mike greatly upon first hearing it) it means side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, rice, whatever. Verb usage: I'm fixin' to get up. Used in this context means getting ready to do something.

cut-verb. Oh silly girl you say I know what cut means! Oh ho!!! Cut in Southern means turn on, i.e. cut on the light. Also can be used in the phrase "cut that out" which means stop doing that or you're going to get hurt.

Bless her/his/their heart(s)-I've explained this to my cousin and western sister Stephanie that you can say whatever about whomever and all is forgiven if you say "bless her heart" right after it. An example from long ago, the following statement was actually heard by myself at some time in the distant past (I'm typing like it sounds): I cain't beleeeeve she's waring wite shoos after Labor Daaay. Don't she no any bedderrrr? Bless her heart.

Bar-B-Q-This term is still a source of endless bickering after 11 years of marriage. To me, BBQ is what you eat, depending on where you're from it could be mustard, ketchup or vinegar based and it's usually on ribs. When Mike says Bar-B-Q, he means that thing that is outside of our house that you cook on, commonly called a grill.

crick-To me, a crick is something in your neck whenever you sleep wrong. To my wonderful DH, a crick is a trickling stream of water that you can fish in (I call that a creek).

I know that there are all sorts of little Southern words and phrases that I'm forgetting, but there's only so much room and time. The longer that Mike has lived down here, his western accent has faded and he's taking on a bit of a Southern accent (or so his family says-I can't tell).

It's funny that my accent gets worse when I'm tired (pronounced t-eye-ered) or have been at my granny's or with Crystal. Other than that, what accent are you talking about?

Peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Me v. The Jeans

Dear Reader,
I have been looking for the perfect pair of jeans for some time now and have decided that they don't exist. After Sally chewed a hole in my favorite relaxed fit jeans, I had to go find another pair to go with my "going out" jeans. After searching long and hard, I thought I had found the perfect pair of Levi's. Sure, they were too long and if you tugged real hard they might just slide down, but who cares? So I bought two and washed one pair to try them out. Well, they're still too long (I was hoping I would grow a few inches but no) which doesn't bother me, but they're still just a tad loose. So, after much debate with myself, I'm going to take the second pair back.

My friend at work were discussing this the other day at lunch. There is no such thing as the perfect pair of jeans anymore, especially if you don't want to pay triple digits for denim. I'm partial to Levi's myself (let's face it, they just make my butt look better) but will wear whatever I can find. How many pairs did I try on and make Mike and Jared sit through? At least 10 to find one pair that didn't really fit (but made my butt look cute) and by that time both of them had started looking a little harassed and Jared was making let's go noises.

So, to vent- here is my list of gripes having to do with denim

-everything is too freaking long. We are not all 5'8". In fact the average American woman is quite a bit shorter. If it's a "regular" or "medium" length, make them just a few inches longer than the national height average, that's fine. The ones that I bought-almost 3 inches too long and you can't hem those! What do you do? Don't tell me to buy short length, doesn't work because my legs are actually too long and I have a normal length torso. I just happen to be vertically challenged.

-why can't jeans come in half sizes? I'm too big for this size but then the next size falls off. Or how about this sizing: Size I'm feeling cute and tiny today. Size I'm feeling pretty normal today. Size I'm feeling big as a dadgum elephant but these better make my butt look good. I think that would be wonderful!

-If I wanted to look like I had been rolling around a mechanic's greasy floor, that's what I would do. I also don't want my jeans to look dirty. Again, If I wanted jeans with brown stuff on them, I would roll in the dirt. How about faded enough to look cool but not dirty and especially not that whole dark dark blue and stiff that we all know and love from the first days of school when our parents still bought our clothes.

-Do not expect me to pay $50 or more for ripped up jeans that are "recycled". Recycled from whom? If I wanted ripped jeans, I would artfully rip them myself. But again, why am I going to pay $50 for something I'm going to tear up?

-The rise thing. I'm a mid-rise girl myself which means I like my jeans to sit just a little low. Not "hello look at my butt crack if I bend over" low, a classy low where everything stays where it should and there's no threat of being arrested for indecent exposure.

I am not a teenager any longer, I'll be 35 in about a week. I just want a pair of jeans that looks cool (not hoochie momma cool), is not too expensive, will actually fit right and makes my butt look great. Is that too much to ask?

If you have found the perfect pair of jeans, please let me know!

Peace and love y'all (and happy shopping)!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Holy Hannah!!! I got sucked in....

Yes readers, I've signed up in Facebook. Why you ask? A good question and I don't really have a good answer other than why not. Well, I'll tell you why not---it's somewhat addictive and I sit there looking at the page that comes up with so and so did this to whomever and I think to myself: Self, you're confuzzled "and &^$#" (shoutout to Michelle B). I know that I can figure this whole thing out (hopefully) with time and a great deal of patience on my part.

What else has happened this week?

Let's see, Mike is working to put in our new a/c and heating unit, should be finished today (we're crossing all our appendages) since there's apparently a chance of some snow on Sunday. Snow you say? Yes. It's supposed to be 75 today and snow on Sunday. Welcome to South Carolina-home of wacky weather. The kids received interims this week and everything was okay, Jared still has a D in math but we're working on it, it's closer to a C than it used to be. There were robins all over my yard this morning and Sally the wonder puppy had a fit trying to chase them. Speedy she may be but she can't fly. Speaking of Sally, I've scheduled her appt to be "fixed" so we're moving forward from the trauma that was doggie diapers. Mike and I have been talking about our potential garden(I'm becoming countrified, chickens and a garden, the horror!) and he's probably a little more excited about it than I am, which is no real surprise. I've got to get my hair chopped again this weekend since I'm getting way too shaggy so that makes me happy.

Well, I think I've done just about all the damage I can do here. I think I'll mosey on over to Facebook and see what I can figure out.

Peace and love y'all

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This morning, I was watching the Today show and I saw just about the stupidest commercial ever. I actually went on Youtube to find so I can (hopefully) post it for your enjoyment. As some of you may know, I'm not the best of morning people, I prefer silence to singing and dancing. If I happened to be around these people, I might have to do something illegal, like shoot them. (See example 1 below)

But, as I was thinking about all the crap that we as people watch on TV, I started thinking about the commercials, those things that people put in the middle of a perfectly good episode of TV watching just when it's getting good. Since we got Dish and the DVR, it's very hard for us to watch commercials on "live TV". Mike has started relying on the fast forward button quite a lot and gets a tad peeved when it won't skip the commercials. However, one of the favorite commercials in our house, guaranteed to make us all laugh until our sides hurt is also below (see example 2). This is the commercial that Mike and Jared will watch over and over and over and laugh hysterically every single time. It is pretty funny and just finding it this a.m. brightened my day.

After much trying, couldn't get blogger to upload the videos, so please copy and paste the links to your browser. I'm so happy to be back blogging! I missed you so!

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Here I am!!!

Hello all,
I have not been ignoring you, it's been very, very, very busy the last few weeks. I've barely had time to do some of my own work here at the second homestead (work) while I've been "on assignment". That just sounds better than "doing something stupid that no one is going to look at" doesn't it? So, here's a rundown of my month, depressed at the beginning of the month (which I wrote about), yes I'm better, thank you for asking. The mood picked up a little and then we lost a young man in our ward to a serious illness which saddened me greatly and made me contemplate the whole life/death issue for a while. What a blessing it is know that this special young man is in a better place where there is no pain and he can run and swim and do things that he was never able to do on this earth. His parents are an example of faith in Heavenly Father's plan that they can laugh and talk about him and know that they will see him again.

We've had science projects and algebra problems and doggie issues (oh my!). Let's just say this about the latter, I've never had a girl dog and never expected to find myself and my DH on a date night buying doggie diapers. I'll leave it at that. I try to erase traumatic experiences from my mind. Jared has been sick but is on the mend, I've been sick (again) but also on the mend. Kiersten is working on another book and Mike is busily putting together our new heating and a/c unit (pays to know someone in the business-we're getting labor for free!).

Other than that, it's been a regular month.

Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The light will come...

Hello all,
The last week or so I've been down in a funk and I don't know why. This isn't really a norm for me, usually I'm pretty much on an even keel as far as my emotional well being goes. However, lately, I've been sad off and on with longer periods of sadness, and irritated easily by silly things like people breathing, talking and laughing. So, I thought I would do a thankful post to remind myself of my blessings, which are too numerous to really count.

-My DH. He's such a sweetie. I know he loves me and appreciates me and the things that I do. He also gives the best hugs and makes me feel safe.

-Kiersten. She is what her grandma Breta would call "A marvelous work and a wonder". I marvel that this person is half of me and she cracks me up with her silliness and enlightens me with things she comes up with.

-Jared. He's such a special kid. He's never met a stranger and people just love him. He's also the best helper a mom could have and has the best laugh ever heard.

-Friends. I'm thankful for my friends that I talk to on a daily basis-by email, text (on their side, I don't know how) or on the phone. I'm bound to find something to laugh at even when I feel like crying.

-A job. At this time when hundreds of thousands of people are being told that they have no job, my job is running full steam ahead and I am a necessary part of what my department does.

At the women's conference last Saturday, one of the sisters putting the program on was very frank and honest about her battle with depression and her phrase was "the light will come", whether it's spiritual sunlight from Heavenly Father or just a little lightbulb from a friend with a funny story, I know that the light will come. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to reach me.
I've got to get back to work, but thanks for reading.

Peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Did you hear the one about grape juice?

Last night I made it a point to put both of the children to bed early (8ish). Kiersten, who likes to think she's grown, usually stays up until about 9 and the conversation between the two of us went something that sounded like this.....

Me (in my patient mom voice): Kiersten, I think you need to go bed early tonight.

Kiersten: No I don't. I'm perfectly awake. ( This is after I caught her yawning and almost snoozing on the couch).

Me: I understand that. However, you've been at your dad's all weekend .......

Kiersten: It's against the rules to go to bed early.

Me: Whose rules?

Kiersten: Mine.

Me: Apparently you didn't get the memo that only me and your daddy could make the rules, let me get you a copy of that. Plus, you have purple shadow under your eyes.

Kiersten: I drank some grape juice today.

Me: Pardon?

Kiersten: Didn't you know that if you drink grape juice, you have purple shadows under your eyes? There's this new study out that says that somewhere.

Me: Really now?

Kiersten: Yes. It says if you drink the purple grape juice, the color comes up to your eyes and it looks like you're tired even though you're really not.

Me: Uh huh. I'll have to look that up tomorrow. In to bed with you....

Fast forward to this morning, the grape juice drinker is standing in the hallway looking sullen. When asked what is wrong, the response is "I'm tired".

Me (in the wise mommy voice): Well scooter, you went to bed early last night and actually went to sleep because I checked on you and you were zonked.

Kiersten: I guess it wasn't the grape juice.

Me: No my love, it wasn't the grape juice, but you get an A+ for effort.

By the way, she finished her book and is editing it now. Somedays she cracks me up.

Peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Greetings all you frozen people! I'm writing from the coziness of my office after fighting my way into downtown Cola town, amidst snow drifts, blowing snow, icicles on trees three feet long and shortages of bread and milk. Yes, I'm being silly. However, we did have a little bit of snow today (which accounts for the shortages of bread and milk) and a snow day for the children. Yesterday afternoon, Mike called all excited saying that he had heard on the radio that we were going to get 5 INCHES OF SNOW!!!! Call the National Guard, bring in the firewood and don't forget to go get bread and milk!

School was called off about 6 p.m. (they don't believe in taking chances I guess) and there was much rejoicing in my home. I was hoping that we would get more than a dusting so that I could stay at home and watch the Inauguration, but no such luck, a 2 hour delay was all we got. I did get to watch some of the festivities in D.C. thanks to MSN streaming live (shhh! don't tell!) and since the boss man is away at court in Dillon, I'm caught up.

A morning funny from Jared (who inherited a sense of the dramatic from somewhere): The little man comes into my bedroom this morning while I am watching tv trying to figure out if I'm working or not. He tells me, mom, it's snowing outside! I have to go play in it! It's a winter miracle!!! The miracle in that sentence is pronounced MEEERACLE. He then proceeds to dress in five seconds flat and off into the yard he goes. The real winter miracle is getting him into regular clothes that fast. If we're not going anywhere, it's a usual occurrence for him to stay in his jammies all day.

If you live in sunny SC, what did you do during "the winter storm of 2009?" That's really a bunch of bull-it was a light dusting that didn't stick, but I bet you can't find bread or milk anywhere.

Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First real thought for this year's blog

Hello all,
I've been trying and trying and trying to come up with something profound to write about as the first "real" blogpost for the year. Connie and Jayne have these words to live by for the year and I was thinking about doing that, but then I couldn't figure out just one word. So, as I was sitting here looking at my quotes, one jumped out at me :

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Seuss

I thought to myself--- Self, this is what you need to be doing this year. I've found that some of the time, I don't say what I feel when people ask me about my thoughts. Yes, this is hard to believe knowing who my mother is, but it happens.

So, this year, my goal is to be who I REALLY am (strangeness and all) and say what I feel. Because like the good Doctor says, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind (probably because they already know how strange I am).

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lifting my head...

Hello all,
Yes, I'm still alive and well, although the last month has been absolutely crazy. Quick report, yes, we made it through Christmas, everyone got what they wanted. Work has been out of control, it's finally settling down again. I've been knitting like a crazy person (b/c of work) and finished a whole bunch of stuff. I'll be posting more often now that I've gotten some time. It's all good.

peace and love y'all!