Sunday, December 14, 2014

This Week at Our House # 50



  1. John had a job interview on Monday that went well. But we are still waiting. The kids have been quite sick this week and they are still sick. John has spent a lot of time caring for sick kids.
  2. I used the money my friends gave me for Christmas and so I spent two evenings away shopping. I took Josh with me one night, and Ruth, Arwen, and Susan the next. Josh knows about some things, but I told him that I actually did not buy them after all, so he would have to ask Santa. And he believed me. Josh really needed the one on one time with me, so making Christmas a compete surprise became a secondary concern. 
  3. Ruth was sick a couple of days, but just took medicine and went to school anyway. She had her friend, Desi, come over Friday and they went to Ruth's home school friend's party. 
  4. I could say all of the same things about Kate that I said about Ruth. Kate refuses to miss any days of school, and she had a lot of fun at the party too.
  5. Johnny came down with the fever and cough Tuesday at school and missed the rest of the week. He is still coughing pretty hard, but he will have to get back to school and get everything made up before Christmas break that begins after school on Friday. Tomorrow, I plan to give him medicine before school and then go to the school to give him a little more.
  6. Adam missed the entire week of school, including his Christmas concert. He had such a bad cough, I just couldn't send him to school. He seems to be better now and only coughing occasionally. When I went to get his make up work, his teacher and classmates all said they missed him.
  7. Rachel did not get sick until Saturday night. She was hoping to be the only one to stay well, but now she has a fever above 104. I think we have influenza.
  8. Anya has had a fever between 101 and 104 for 11 days now. I am going to take her to the doctor tomorrow.
  9. Joseph was sick by Tuesday morning and he is still very sick. I am going to take him to the doctors tomorrow too.
  10. Josh was sick for a couple of days, but now he is just coughing a little. When I took him Christmas shopping, I went to Toys R Us just for him. He loved it there and wanted just about everything he saw, but behaved himself very well.
  11. Arwen was sick for just a couple of days too. She still has a pretty runny nose, but is otherwise fine.
  12. Susan had the fever for just a couple of days, and like Arwen still just has a runny nose. This illness seems to affect the middle kids the worst.

This Week's Pictures




Sunday, December 7, 2014

This Week at Our House #49


  1. Everything we were waiting for and hoping for has fallen through. John has 2 new interviews this coming week. John's brother and parents took us to the Utah Symphony and then out to dinner. It was so lovely. We have not been on a date since our wedding anniversary in June. The symphony was amazing! They performed Beethoven's 9th.
  2. I am having a hard time staying positive. I hope and I pray and I hope and pray some more and nothing seems to be going our way. I know that I need to continue to have faith in the feelings I have had while in the temple and in the blessings I have had. I know that faith proceedeth the miracle and that faith has the power we need. I cannot let fear overcome my faith. I know that more than anything, we need to use all of the power from Heaven that we can.We have been given so much help. More new, nice things came in the mail this week. The love and generosity we have been shown is beyond measure. The new washing machine has been such a blessing. I did not even recognize how hard the laundry had been until suddenly it wasn't. When I feel most discouraged, I go into the laundry room. The new washer keeps reminding me that God is watching over us and that things will be okay. Oh, and one more piece of news: I had a job interview for a part time job that would work out well. I should know by Wednesday.
  3. Ruth had homework, homework, homework. I get annoyed with how much school takes out of my kids. They are gone like they have a full time job, and often they have homework like it is a second, part time job. And my kids still help plenty around the house. They could really use some more down time.
  4. Kate had two big debate tournaments this week. After the second, she came home feeling quite sick. She still plans to attend school sick because she doesn't feel like she could do the make-up work along with all of her regular work. By high school age, I pretty much let my kids decide what they need to do about school and attendance. 
  5. Johnny has been my number one help. He just cleans and cleans and takes care of the kids all of the time. Before he goes to bed every night he makes sure the doors are locked and all of the lights are out. Then he will get John and I a snack and a drink of water.
  6. Adam had a book report that once again he waited until the last minute to get started on. He read about 100 pages on Monday and Tuesday and then on Thursday he stayed up past 11 doing the report. I did remind him every day for two weeks that he needed to be reading extra for his book report.Oh well, at least he gets it done and takes his deadlines somewhat seriously. He's pretty sick now too. I am not sure if it is influenza or just a really bad cold. I guess we will see how long it lasts.
  7. Rachel, my songbird, has been in love with the song, "Glorious" sung by David Archuleta. She practices singing it and likes to listen to you tube videos of girls singing it. When she feels like she has it down, I will record her and put it on Facebook.
  8. Anya came down with a fever on Thursday. She was the first to get sick, though it is hard to tell she is sick because she runs around a lot and gets really excited about missing school and church.
  9. Joseph is just my very active boy. He goes and goes and goes. He is reading very well. He finds spelling and math quite interesting. We can ask him how to spell simple words, he sounds them out, and then spells them. We can also ask him math problems and he will usually figure them out. But his favorite subject in school is art. That is a first for my kids. All of my other kids, like recess best.
  10. Joshua is extraordinarily disobedient, so John and I have become much stricter with him. Hopefully, that will help him know that we mean what we say. In big families, it is a little too easy to let the younger kid's behavior slip through the cracks. I try to remind myself that the older kids are doing so well in part because they didn't get away with a whole lot of mischief when they were little, and they got lots of playtime. I try to do both things for the younger kids, but life is different now and I really need to be on top of things to make that work. 
  11. Arwen was pretty easy going this week. She didn't sneak into the medicine and or sneak out the front door, or try and flush a kitten, or any of her usual shinanagens. (She keeps her guardian angels busy.) She did try and change her own poopy diaper, though. Ruth told her she needed to tell Dad that she needed to be changed and instead she just went and changed it. I saw her walking around with a dirty wet wipe and a naked bottom.
  12. Susan can sit up now. She loves to play on the floor and she is getting pretty good at going where she wants us to go. She surprised us by popping out her first two teeth. We didn't even know that she was teething. She is 5.5 months.
This Week's Pictures






The pretty and new kitchen aid mixer generously bought for us.

She fell asleep on the computer desk.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

MAGIC & MIRACLE in the MESS: Finding the Good During Unemployment

The Miracle Washing Machine. It works to well that I have actually enjoyed doing laundry

First I just have to say that all these magic and miracles are not magic. I know that it is real people with their own real problems often making some real sacrifices to help us out, to make us happy, and to make us more comfortable. To all of you, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart. I have been so touched and so blessed by so many. You have brought light into what could be a very dark time for our family.
1) I am still in awe at this. Friday afternoon, while my house was a huge mess and I was napping on the couch while the kids watched a show, we had a knock on our door. The kids answered it and debated about whether or not they should wake me up. I just woke up. I looked down at the strangers at my door and was worried about how to send away another sales person. They weren't sales people. They began to explain that a newly purchased washing machine would be delivered to my home the next day and I needed to be home. Feeling stunned, it took me a few minutes to comprehend what they were saying. Their family got together and bought us a new washing machine, a new kitchen aid mixture, new pans, a new griddle, some glass cups, and a great basket the dishes all came in. Along with the kitchen aid, will come a rebate visa card with $50.
2) My mother called me on Saturday. she had bought and then cancelled the order for a kitchen aid mixture. But she is still sending along some more pots and pans and glass cups.
3) We had a very lovely Thanksgiving with John's brother Jeremy and wifeRosanne.
4) I did not get the job at Target and I have not heard back from many other places I have applied to. But I am starting to write for a branch of the Deseret News called Deseret Connect (anyone can do this). It will not bring in the immediate money we need, but no one seems to want to hire the 39 year old who has not worked in 17 years.
5) My dear friend, DeserĂ©t, sent along a check for $150 which will help us make our car payment due in a couple of days.
6)Chatting with John's cousin Julie who has been there and done that and has made it through just fine.
7)My heart is just full. Sometimes it seems like much is wrong in the world, but actually while there is heart ache and evil abounding, there is just as much love and kindness.
8)$200 from Jer and Rosanne

This Week at Our House # 48



  1. I really thought we would hear back from one or two places and didn't. We are still just waiting. Though, we had a really nice Thanksgiving with John's brother, Jeremy and his family at our house. And then on Sunday night, we went to Jeremy's house for a fun chocolate dipping party.
  2. I did not get a job that I applied for at Target. I am still looking and applying for part time work as John has run out of unemployment benefits. I am trying hard to have faith and to be positive about everything. Sometimes that is easier than other times. I was sitting on the couch feeling a little anxious about my life until I looked around me. I noticed Rachel, Adam, and Anya sitting around me singing The Meet the Mormon's song, "Gloria", and then John sitting on the other couch helping Kate with her math. Suzy and Arwen were lying on the floor under the Christmas tree, and Josh and Joseph were nearby peacefully building with blocks and I just had peace. My family is good. My kids are happy.
  3. Ruth had so much homework during Thanksgiving break, I feel like I hardly saw her. A neighbor has hired Ruth to help clean while his wife is pregnant. She goes over on Saturday and is paid $10 an hour. It's the perfect arrangement. She is too busy with school to have a real part time job, and she would not be paid as much if she did.
  4. In school before Thanksgiving, the high school had a little thing where the students could send "thankful grahms" to each other. Kate got one from a boy she is always having debates with during chemistry. He thanked her for debating with him. I think that is kind of cute.
  5. Johnny had the whole week off. He really enjoyed Thanksgiving and all of the food. Which is quite unbelievable because he was the 4 year old that told me that Thanksgiving dinner was "the most disgusting dinner" I had ever made.
  6. Adam loved his week long break. He wore his pajamas and only his pajamas every single day except Sunday. And he never went anywhere. He just enjoyed being home.
  7. Rachel stayed up late every single night during her Thanksgiving break, but she does not like to count it as staying up late unless the kids younger than her are all in bed much earlier.
  8. Anya never went anywhere all break and combed her hair only on Sunday and Thanksgiving. I enjoyed the days off where I did not have to battle with Anya and a hair brush myself.
  9. Joseph likes to read. He found some of Rachel's old first grade books and sat and read through as many as he could. I love when something hard is easy for a kid.
  10. Josh loves toys. He plays with his toys all day long. He loves to build with blocks, legos, and duplos. He also loves to build his train tracks and drive his cars around. He can be really fun to watch play.
  11. Arwen is just talking so much! 
  12. Suzy is a silly little thing. She laughs and laughs and loves to play. I put her pacifier in my mouth. She pulled it out and just cracked up and laughed long and hard. 
This Week's Pictures







Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MAGIC & MIRACLE in the MESS: Finding the Good During Unemployment



Last Week:

1) Christmas for my children has been provided for by 6 of my friends who got together and pooled their money. I am keeping it a secret from the little kids. Thank you, dear friends. You know who you are.
2) Still getting job interviews. One "no" coming from a job that we knew was wrong after the second interview.
3) I'm finally really learning to pray.
4) I may be able to get a seasonal job at Target with odd enough hours that it won't be a big problem for the baby.


The Week Before:

1) 2 interviews, both went well
2) 2 upcoming interviews and asked to complete step I for a 3rd.
3) Quiet week and happy kids


Everything Breaking

It seems like an inordinate number of household items have been broken since John lost his job, as well as a couple big items just wearing out.


Broken by Human Negligence:
  • Lawn Mower (broken by an adult).
  • Kitchen Aid mixer (that belonged to my grandmother) still functions, but is painful to use. (knocked off counter by a young human who does not know his strength.)
  • Big Beautiful Glass Mixing Bowl that was a given to us as a wedding present, shattered in the sink when stacked sloppily on top of too many dishes to dry. Also by a young human.
  • My bigger than 9 X 13 pyrex casserole dish that I etched our names in shattered on the floor when a small human walked across our island counter top. 
  • Pretty much all of our mugs and any glass cups we had. Mostly broken by young humans.
  • The Blinds in the living room, which those small humans have been working on destroying slowly over time can hardly be considered blinds anymore.
  • The glass on the fireplace. grrrrr (will be replacing)
  • My snow globe.
Broken from Wear and Tare
  • The brakes and ball joints on the van. (replaced)
  • The fuel pump on the minivan (so we sold it).
  • Several Towels
  • My washing Machine is slowly giving up. I can only wash about a half a loud of laundry in it right now.
  • The Large Flat Grill that I cook pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches and all sorts of things on now only has 2 legs.
  • My stainless steal frying pan.
  • My medium-sized stainless steal pot.
  • My large skillet is starting to drop teflon in our food, but I use it almost every day still.
  • 2 toilet seats wearing out. (replaced 1)
  • Hair clippers (replaced)
  • The heating unit in the dryer (replaced)
  • The flash on the camera
I am sure there are more. But there it is. I have no idea how we are going to afford to replace so many items when we can. I think this is supposed to make me more grateful when something breaks and we have some means to replace it, right?

Monday, November 24, 2014

This Week at Our House #47



  1. He had 2 big interviews on Friday. One was terrible and they did not give him the job, though the interviewer was so antagonistic, we had already decided that it would have been a bad idea to move our family all the way across the country for. The other one was a test that he completed early and did well, but we have not heard back. He has at least one more interview this week.
  2. I have been called in a for an interview for an unloading the trucks and stocking the shelves at 4am at Target interview. I have that tomorrow and absolutely plan to take the job. John will have to drive me in and pick me up so that he can take the kids to school. But, we are out of unemployment and must do everything we can.
  3. Ruth is working on self-confidence as well as not criticizing herself and other people. She has been feeling happier since we had the talk on how to help those things. She is making an effort to give at least one person a genuine complement each day that she attends school.
  4. Kate has been wrestling with the little kids a bunch. It's cute. She is a very fun, big sister.
  5. Johnny's just been his usual good self. He hardly has any homework, so I have him take care of more around the house and he hardly ever complains.
  6. Adam has just grown so much. I am amazed everytime I look at him. He is just bigger and stronger and even more handsome.
  7. Rachel and Anya seem to think that if I say that they can stay up late and I let everyone stay up late, then they actually didn't get to stay up. 
  8. While looking through our old photos, Anya came to me surprised and said, "You were skinny when I was born." Then she pointed to her waste and said, "Just like this. Isn't it funny?" 
  9. Joseph is reading very, very well. I am surprised. I probably shouldn't be because he had a couple of books that he had memorized last year and it always seems like the kids who memorize to read pick it up faster.  Anyway, it's nice to a one more child that reading is coming easy for. I don't expect that at all with Joshua.
  10. At tithing settlement after the Bishop finished bearing his testimony about tithing, he asked if we had any questions. Josh shouted out, "That's disgusting!!!" There was a moment of stunned silence before we all laughed. Then Joseph said, "Am I the only one who has a question?" The Bishop asked him what his question was and Joseph answered, "I don't know what my dad said, but I do know his name." Years ago, I may have been embarrassed.
  11. Arwen snuck out the front door and no one knew she was missing until we heard her screaming at the front door. That is just terrifying! I am so glad that she is safe. She has been quite the little two year old. The Lord is definitely looking after her.
  12. Suzy is so strong. She loves to just go off and play now. She is darling too. I'll hug her and then check to see how she is feeling and she always just has a big smile on her face. I am just so grateful for my youngest little kids. I could have so easily chosen not to have them. In some ways, I didn't even want them. I just never thought I would have 10 children. Once I started having children, I only ever thought about having 8 children. I am eternally grateful that I made the choice to be pregnant some more and get to be the mother of Arwen and Susan. They are blessings. I love them so much.
This Week's Pictures