Monday, October 20, 2014

MAGIC & MIRACLE in the MESS: Finding the good during unemployment 2


Much help and comfort has been given to us this week.

1) a fifty dollar bill left in an envelope under the windshield wiper of our van, without which we would not have been able to meet our mortgage.

2) a kind relief society president helping me get some needed toiletries from the Bishops storehouse.

3) Relief Society sisters bringing in dinner that lasted for 3 meals(saying it was to give me a break for my birthday) but I know it was just a way to give us comfort.

4) A kind 4th grade teacher helping us find needed winter school uniform items and giving us volunteer opportunities in exchange for bracelets for the kids to participate in their school's fall festival.

5) $50 for selling kittens.

6) Babysitting job for Ruth who plans to use the money to buy the kind of shampoo she likes and to help pay for her date to the school Halloween dance.

7) unemployment and food stamps.

This Week at Our House # 42



  1. It was a pretty quiet and relaxing week. John's gotten into a routine of helping around the house and helping with the kids homework and such. While I'll be relieved and totally and completely happy when he gets a job, I will miss him too.
  2. I had my 39th birthday on Tuesday, got a lot of junk food and gained 2 pounds.We had fall break this week. All of the kids had Thursday and Friday off. We laid around, watched movies, played video games, did homework, and caught up on some much needed sleep. 
  3. Ruth asked a guy out for the Halloween Dance. Instead of doing something big, she just went up to him and asked. She said that she liked that better. Now she has a date and a big group of friends to go with. They are dressing up in 50's styles, and eating out at an old 50's style hamburger place. I think she will have a lot of fun.
  4. Kate had to read more than 200 pages of an anti-Christian book for school over break. She is done now and quite relieved.
  5. Johnny played video games for 2 days straight. And he had no homework. I have no idea how he manages to do that. He even takes some pretty hard and busy classes.
  6. Adam worked real hard, like 4 hours writing his book report. Writing was hard for Johnny at the same age.
  7. On Saturday, we went to Rachel's favorite cousin, Ada's birthday party. Rachel was so excited about it. She will really miss Ada if we have to move.
  8. Anya is addicted to computer games. She spent her vacation on the computer as much as her siblings and I would allow. I think it is good for her that I generally have a pretty strict gaming rule.
  9. Joseph seems to actually like doing his homework. Instead of me reminding him about it, he reminds me. 
  10. Joshua seems to finally be mostly potty trained. He has not pooped his pants since Aug 20-something, and he doesn't pee his pants all the way. He pees and little and then runs to the bathroom. He is also finally telling us when he needs to go or just going.
  11. I brought the potty chair out again and Arwen saw it and went and put on a pair of Joshua's underwear. I haven't started her yet, but I think she is ready to try this out.
  12. Susan is all smiles and coos and just such a sweetie. She likes to lie on the floor on her stomach with a book standing open in front of her. She doesn't seem to care much for toys, but she loves pictures. And until today that was going pretty well. Today she learned to grab the book and put it in her mouth.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

MAGIC & MIRACLE in the MESS: Finding the good during unemployment



Each week for the past month I have been putting up a Facebook post highlighting the good and the miracles in our life while having to deal with long term unemployment. Since my blog is my journal, I decided to copy these same posts here. When we are not dealing with this anymore, I want to be able to go back and really remember that while things were hard, good things happen too.

First post:

My friend Ganel-Lyn's husband lost his job and every week since then she has written about he miracles they have experienced while they are going through this difficult time. Her little miracles have really helped me to see the positive in our life as we are dealing with the similar difficulties. With permission, I am going to follow her lead. So here it is:
MAGIC & MIRACLES in the MESS:
1) We ran out of trash bags and printer paper. Both are pretty important (especially with school in). I went to Costco planning to buy then with money we did not have. Both items happened to be on sale for $3 off!
2) While checking out at Costco, I remembered that I had my executive membership reimbursement check to renew my membership with and that it was more money than the total cost of the membership. I was able to renew my membership, buy the trash bags and paper, and come home with $40 cash.
One request: John is looking for a senior software position. We are willing to move out of state. So if you know of anything please message me and I can send you John's resume. Thanks (By the way. Many people responded and we have been able to get some real networking going.)

Second Post:

MAGIC & MIRACLES in the MESS-- trying to find the good during unemployment.
1) Good friends: I have some really good friends and when things are tough they are there to talk and that is just so, so, so helpful.
2) A brother in law tossing money at me when I refused to take it even though I know every little bit helps.
3) The music teacher allowing us to swap service for the money for the musical or to just pay slowly.
4) The fact that Adam and Rachel get to be in the musical even though it was very competitive and we are not exactly a musical family. I think Rachel has found her calling in life. I got to see her end her first day of practice and I think that is the happiest she has ever been just singing her little heart out.
5) All of the wonderful people who have taken John's resume and turned it in with a recommendation. Thank you, thank you so very, very much.
6) A phone interview that may mean nothing, but at least he got that far.

Third Post:

MAGIC & MIRACLES in the MESS-- trying to find the good during unemployment.
1) A big bag of delicious apples and a very nice note arriving on our doorstep.
2) A second phone interview for one place and another phone interview for another place to be scheduled for next week.
3)The nurse that was required to visit in order for us to keep the kids on medicaid had raised 8 kids and was very, very kind.
4) Sister coming to visit next week and the kids are super excited. (Amber)
5) Sister in law taking Ruth driving for an hour every week. ( Thank you so much Marie)
6)Sitting with John on the couch every morning discussing the scriptures.
7) A couple of awesome opportunities for me-- getting to see a special showing of "Meet the Mormons" and Getting sit in the media room for Sunday General Conference Sessions in a week.

Fourth Post:

MAGIC & MIRACLE in the MESS: Finding the good during unemployment.
1) A job falling through, making us sad, but helping us remember the the Lord knows best and is very likely protecting us from a job that would not be the best place for our family.
2) Blessing our sweet little baby daughter.
3) My sister visiting and my little boys in Aunt Amber heaven.
4) Lots of opportunities to volunteer and give back.
5) Parent/teacher conferences and all of my children are succeeding. And most especially all of my children are very well behaved.
6) Being able to attend the temple each week. It sure helps with hope and faith.

Fifth Post:

MAGIC & MIRACLE in the MESS: Finding the good during unemployment.
1)Some days I just have a hard time. I am glad that it is not everyday and that I can still be positive.
2) I went to open the car door after doing some grocery shopping and there was a $20 under the handle. The person who put it there was a stranger and could not have possibly known how much it would mean to us. Thank you, kind stranger.
3)Attending the Temple and General Conference.
4)Things may not be how we want them right now, but a good marriage and a crowd of loving, supportive, forgiving, smart, good children make everything a whole lot better.





This Week at Our House #41



  1. John had his 43rd birthday on Tuesday. Anya and Rachel told me that "Dad is turning into a grandpa. His hair is turning white." 
  2. I am going to turn 39 in 2 more days. I think that earns its own post. I did a lot of volunteering at the school this week. I am tired. I wrote a post for Mormon Women Stand, just on my impressions form L Tom Perry's conference talk. In the start of my article I wrote about sending my kids out into the world with the tares each day, because Elder Perry talked about that. A lot of people came onto the facebook page to say how awful my attitude was and how I should allow my children to play with nonmembers, that I should not raise my kids in a bubble, that I am the reason people don't join the church, that I have a "them verses us" mentality, and how I should never refer to anyone as tares (though I had listed things and people were not on that list.) It was a weird experience to be so bashed by saying the same thing that an apostle said. It was also weird to have people make up in their own minds what my family is like from one paragraph. So just in case you are wondering, my children play with nonmembers and have nonmember friends. My children probably know too much about politics and morality because we talk openly about it in our home. Sometimes I feel guilty for being so open with my kids, but since they hear it on the radio and get it at school, I just figure they ought to learn about it from my husband and I first.
  3. Ruth had several big exams and papers, as well as a lot of reading to do. So she spent most of the week in her bedroom studying. Despite all of that, Ruth has had a lot of fun at school this year.
  4. Kate had her second big debate team tournament. She has some pretty interesting stories from both of them. This week a girl told her and the other kids that instead of solving disputes with fighting and war, people who disagree need to solve their problems by having sex together. Kate at first stood up to her with words, but when she continued telling the other students that the only reason they disagreed with her was because they were brain washed, Kate became the first to stand up and walk away. Three other kids followed her after that. I am proud of my good Kate.
  5. Johnny was invited to a movie party on Saturday. He went and out of 15 kids invited, he was the only one who came. I am so glad that I had him go.
  6. Adam read his first 200+ page book for his book report in about 2 days. He still needs to write his report, though. I think it was a painful, but necessary experience for him. Maybe next time, he will listen to me and read a lot more ahead of time.
  7. On John's birthday, Rachel went to the fridge to find some food to give to John for a birthday breakfast in bed. I saw her heading upstairs with a container of broccoli that was cooked, left over and hid in the back of the fridge for at least a week. I saw her and told her that she was not to serve her father rotten broccoli for breakfast. She went and got him some ice cream instead.
  8. We had trunk or treat at the church on Saturday. I had not done anything for costumes since it came up so early in the month. Anya did not have a costume she wanted, so she got an apron and Ruth used a youtube video to make Anya a pretty awesome chef's hat. Then we put Susan in our old infant hot dog costume. Anya was happy about it and I was very pleased with her creativity. I was also very pleased that none of the kids complained that we were not buying costumes this year.
  9. Joseph's teacher started him on the 14th book in the series of early reader books. I am annoyed about it because I was looking forward to starting him off with "See Sam" and hardly any other words. Now I have to start him off having to sound out lots of words. The first read through was painful. The next two he did much better. I think he memorizes well.
  10. When my sister Amber left, Josh said, "Amber is still coming back." I told him no, Amber is gone back to Grandma and she will not come back for a very long time. Then Josh cried.
  11.  Little Arwen is a cutie. I love having her talk to me, and it still surprises me. 
  12. Susan is such a strong baby! She is not even 4 months old and she is rolling around and playing on the floor. When she is on her stomach she holds her head and chest up high. She is reaching and grabbing for things and even trying to scoot.
This Week's Pictures








Sunday, October 5, 2014

This Week at Our House # 40



  1. John had a job interview for a job in New Hampshire that Adam and I were really excited about. We were looking at houses with wooded land and lots of area for kids to explore, and then John did not get the job. I think Heavenly Father was probably protecting us from a place or a job that is just not right. Still, we were a little disappointed. John did have a second interview for another place and he felt like that went well, especially since it was all technical stuff that he would know if he knew it well or not. So we continue to pray and hopefully something will come up soon.
  2. My sister Amber came to visit and we took the kids on a hike to Donut Falls. At the falls, some guys came up with boxes of Donuts. That was pretty fun. 
  3. Ruth did not do well on her calculus test, so she dropped down a level before it gets much harder. I think that was a very mature decision. It really won't make any difference in her life if she has calculus as a junior in high school, but it could make a difference in her life if she gets a "C" and then cannot get a scholarship.
  4. Kate got a high score on her calculus test. So she is moving ahead of Ruth in math. I hope she is being kind about it. 
  5. I had parent teacher conferences for all of the Legacy Prep kids. All of Johnny's teachers think he is doing very well. The only complaint is that he is too anxious to answer any questions. He has the highest score in his biology class and his teacher seems to really like Johnny and all of his nerdiness. She requested that he join the Science Olympiad team. I thought that sounded good for Johnny, so he will join when he next has biology.
  6. Adam's teacher adores him. She told me that she has been very impressed with Adam and when I came in and taught about the constitution, she knew we were just a great family. That's just so sweet. I think that means that Adam has a very nice teacher. 
  7. Rachel's teacher just talked about how cute, little,and entertaining Rachel is. I wanted to talk about her reading. She is slow, but her understanding and recall is very good. That is a good thing. That means that in time, Rachel will be catching up and doing better. Rachel's teacher said that Rachel is quiet. I actually laughed out loud and said, "I did not expect that!" Rachel is the loudest and most talkative kid in our family. (It must have something to do with being the middle kid in a large family.) I told that to Rachel and she said "it is because the rule is you have to be quiet and so I am just quiet, to obey."
  8. Anya's teacher said she really likes Anya and always keeps an eye on her because she is quiet and she does not want Anya to feel lost in the crowd. Anya is ahead on all parts of reading, so she is doing fabulously!
  9. Joseph is behaving well in school. He is not testing as well at school as he does at home. Hopefully that won't be a problem his whole life. Joseph's teacher described him as "fun and energetic."
  10. Josh has loved having the attention of my sister Amber. Amber is really good with little kids and is handling his over handling of her well. Josh did really well on our hike and stayed up front with the older kids most of the hike. Josh snuck a habenero pepper and really, really regretted it. The skin around his mouth and nose was burning red.
  11. Arwen hiked the full mile and a half without any problems. That's pretty impressive for a 2 year old, I think.
  12. Susan was pretty fussy on the whole this week. She enjoyed the hike because she likes being outside. I think she is probably growing because she has been sleeping a lot more too.
This Week's Pictures















Adam is into selfies

















Sunday, September 28, 2014

This Week at Our House # 39



  1. Not a bad week. The phone interview John thought went badly last Friday sort of did. The interviewer recommended him for another position in the company, so he has a technical interview for that company this Wednesday. He has another place that has requested a phone interview. I looked up housing and cost of living in both places and I am really hoping John gets the second job and we get to move there. 
  2. My life is busy. I think it must have something to do having 10 children. I had a fun opportunity to go and view the movie "Meet the Mormons" as well as meet a couple of the cast members. That was so fun. I am a little shy, so I was glad to have a couple of more out-going people with me.
  3. Ruth is struggling a bit with calculus. She says she is bad at math, but anyone who has gotten A's in all of her math classes and has finished every course below calculus before her junior year in high school is not bad at math. She will need to study a little harder, but I think she can do this.
  4. Kate does not feel like she is struggling at all in calculus which is why Ruth feels like she is so bad at it. But Kate has been privileged in math. I taught her algebra I and II and geometry one on one and then she had an amazing and tough math teacher for pre-cal and trig with only 3 other students last year. Though, I am still proud of my girl who couldn't recognize her numbers in the first grade and has made it into calculus at the top of her class when she is in 10th grade. 
  5. Johnny had a good week. John bought a game for Johnny's birthday that he has been busy with all week. 
  6. Adam came home from school upset because his teacher took ten minutes to get to his math question and the wasted time made it so he had math homework. He says he hates school because they don't give him enough time to eat lunch and because of homework of course.
  7. Rachel came with the big girls to the General Women's Meeting. Last time she was so wiggly and bored. This time she sat still and listened. Rachel has lots of friends in school and a couple of them greeted her as we went into the Women's Meeting.
  8. Anya adores Adam. There are some things she will only do and play with Adam. I think that is very sweet. 
  9. Joseph is picking up reading at a good rate, and we can't walk into the school without someone saying hi to Joseph. I think he must be doing well. Parent/teacher conferences are coming this week. I am anxious to hear how he is doing.
  10. Joshua is calming down. I have been pretty strict with his behavior and he is getting back under control. 
  11. Arwen has been so funny. She calls John by his first name every time. She says "mom and John". She has also been singing "Let it Go" at the top of her lungs. We don't even own the song and she has only seen the movie once. But it has been really cute. It's funny the things 2 year olds pick up on.
  12. Susan is rolling over. The last two times I have gotten Susan from her bed, she has been on her stomach. I am guessing that is ok, because the nurse from the medicaid department that visited our home told me that doctors are now recommending that baby's nap on their stomachs because too many baby's are behind in their development from not enough tummy time. 
This Week's Pictures