Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unrealistic Expections

     I always look forward to school holidays and summer vacations, because in my mind I build it up to be this great, fun, carefree time, but it never turns out that way. This Christmas vacation for instance, I have my one daughter that lives in California here visiting and I had visions of all of us sitting around, while Christmas goodies baked in the oven, watching Christmas movies on TV and putting together a 1000 piece puzzle, I love doing puzzles, and having a grand time, it's not happening. Mostly we've watched football games and basketball games and I won't mention who's fault that is, but they know who they are.
     Last summer, I had visions of reading all kinds of books and going to the Roy Pool with the kids several times a week but that didn't happen either. Life just gets in the way. At our house shopping for food is a full time job. If I added up what I have spent at Walmart in the last month it would make you cry. I know this because it makes me cry every month and December is the worst.
     I know what the problem is here, I have unrealistic expectations. I am a see-the-world-through-rose-colored-glasses kind of girl and when the reality doesn't live up to my dreams I have to adjust. And I have to adjust a lot.
    You would think I would learn, but I just keep on hoping for that perfect time when I can do all the fun things that I plan on doing and none of the day to day responsibilities get in the way. Like I said, unrealistic expectations. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

     I know I am late blogging today, but I have been busy with funeral arrangements. Who knew it was so complicated to pass away? We can't find a copy of Grandpa's birth certificate and we can't file the death certificate until we do. I have my poor sister-in-law searching her house frantically for her copy. Grandma and Grandpa didn't have plots picked out here in Utah, so tomorrow we are going to the local cemetery to pick out two of them. The only problem is it is supposed to rain and snow. I don't want Grandma getting any sicker (she's getting over bronchitis) so I may go with my son-in-law, the funeral director, to pick them out for her.
     Thank goodness for David. He has taken care of so much, I don't even know where or how to begin to thank him.  It's funny the reaction I get from people when I tell them my son-in-law is a funeral director. People usually say, "That's one job I could never do." All I can say is that goodness for the caring men and women who do take care of grieving families in the most stressful of times. What would we do without them.
     And, of course, all the friends, neighbors and ward members who have offered their thoughts and prayers and everything else you could think of. Their are so many good people out there and sometimes we forget that when we are watching the evening news. So to all of you thanks for your support, it means the world to us. We love you all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Few Thoughts On Life And Death

     I want to let you all know that my father-in-law, Robert Stefan passed away last Friday evening. He was here, at home and we were with him and my mother-in-law. It was a very peaceful and spiritual experience and I am grateful that I got to be a part of it.
   As a society we have insulated ourselves from two of the most important experiences in life, the act of birth and death. Most families, for centuries have been around when the women in their lives gave birth, even if the children weren't in the room, they were well aware of the magnitude of it. We have taken that away from our children by sending them to grandma's while mom has another baby.
     We have done the a same thing with death. Most people today die in hospitals or retirement homes, if they live that long. Sometimes, family is there and sometimes not. If you look at history, for generations older family members, or sick family members died at home, surrounded by people that love them and have taken care of them since the day they were born. 
     Life is a circle of birth and death. If you are born, someday your body will die, it is one of the truths of this world. I am grateful for my belief in life after death. It is comforting to know that someday we will be together as a family once more. I know that the bonds we form on earth are the most important relationships there are and they continue after our physical bodies can no longer go on.
     Bob was the first grandparent to pass for my children and it has been a positive experience to explain to them that we are sealed in the temple and we are an eternal family. Someday their other grandparents will pass and then it will be time for my generation to go.
     Life is a gift and I think we have lived it well, so miss us, but don't mourn for the wrong reasons. We will be on a new adventure and awaiting the arrival of the next generation.

Friday, December 23, 2011

About Chapter 30

     It was my intention to post chapter 30 today, but we have had a stressful week with sick family members and visiting family. I hope to have it posted on Monday. Sorry.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Big Day Is Almost Here.

     We're getting down the the finish line here. Are you ready? I think I am getting close. I have two more gifts to buy and I'm not sure what to get. I have to hurry, because I don't want to be out and about on Christmas eve and I have tried to get everything done so that I won't have to be, but there will be something, one tiny little item that I have forgotten and I will be running to Walmart with 800,000 other people on that special day. Oh, the Horror!!!!
     Did mention that I have gifts that I ordered on line that haven't come yet? Did I mention that I ordered new checks, because I am totally out, that were shipped on the eighth of December that I haven't gotten yet? Did I mention that I think I'm going crazy worrying about all 1,890,000 details that must be attended too? And to make it worse I still don't know if my brother-in-law, his wife and son are coming for the weekend. They can't seem to decide. If they come that means more gifts, if not I can save the money. (You can't not give them gifts when they are here on Christmas morning.)
   As much as I love the holiday season it is so stressful, that I am a little relieved when it is over. Do you guys ever feel this way, or is it just me?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Good Mom Or A Bad Mom?

     I have often wondered what the definition of a good mom really is? The reason being, I can't quite figure out where I stand in the motherhood derby. For instance there have been times when my kids didn't like what we were having for dinner, so I let them eat cereal instead. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom?  There have been times when I just wanted them to go to bed and I didn't care if they had brushed their teeth or not. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom?
     There have been times when my kids have chosen friends that I didn't think were a very good influence, yet I let them reach their own decisions about that. Sometimes I was sorry and sometimes they were. I have never been a mom to stand over my kids when they did their homework because I wanted them to take responsibility for it themselves. My kids haven't always gotten the best grades due to that decision. I have always been against strange piercings and tattoos, and yet, my daughters, not my sons, have pierced tongues, ears, lips and bellybuttons and one even has a small tattoo. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom? 
     And right now my two youngest are sleeping on a mattress they took off a bed and raised one end of it by stuffing, who knows what, under the foot part, so it's like they are sleeping on a slant board with their little knuckle-heads at a weird angle. They will probably wake up with massive headaches. Yes, I should have insisted that they put the bed back together and sleep properly, but I didn't. Does that make me a good mom or a bad mom? I wish life came with an instruction manual, because I'm not sure where I stand sometimes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Variety Is The Spice Of Life.

     Today, I hope to get some of my Christmas baking done. I bought a bunch of the ingredients yesterday while spending a small fortune a Walmart. Last night while talking about this with the fam, I had to laugh, because it was just like when I ask everyone what they might like for dinner.
     "I had two people saying, aren't you going to make the Reese's candies?"
     "No, don't make those I hate those, make the little Russian Tea Cakes.
     "No, I hate those. Make the green things, I love those."
     "What about sugar cookies with frosting?"
     "I want the cashew brittle"
      And so it goes until I am making ten different goodies just to make everyone happy, just like at Thanksgiving. We had two turkeys and a ham, two different kinds of potatoes, two different kinds of vegetables and eight pies, in addition to all the other stuff. When it comes to food, the Stefan's like what they like and no ones going to change their minds or cheat their tummy's.
    Is it any wonder that I have had to take up exercising as a hobby?
    I hope your holiday baking is a little less complicated than mine is, but if you have a great recipe that everyone loves feel free to share, I can always had a new to list.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How Was Your Day?

     Well, it's going on seven as in PM and this is the first chance I have had to blog today. This time of year is crazy and I didn't even Christmas shop today except for a few food items I picked up in my massive shopping expedition today. I got up took the boys to school came home and did the dishes I was too tired to do last night. I'm talking two full dishwashers full of dishes and their were still a few big pots that I had to do by hand. Yes, I have two dishwashers in my kitchen. And before you think I let them go for a few days let me set the record straight, all the dishes were from Sunday.
     After that I exercised, showered and then ran to take my daughter to an appointment, went back home to get Kaelyn and we ran off to Walmart. I needed reinforcements. I spent over four hundred dollars and the only reason it wasn't five, was that our carts, yes, we had two, were so full we couldn't fit one more thing in them. Then we ran home unloaded and for good measure we dropped a full gallon of milk in the garage and had it split open all over the floor. Then I jumped into the car to go and get my daughter, who was now done with her appointment. Came home spent an hour putting everything away and then made dinner, while watching three of my grandkids while my other daughter went to Walmart to grocery shop. And now here I am. How was your day?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Permit Day Here In Utah.

     Today is a day that puts terror in the hearts of parents everywhere. Our daughter is taking her drivers permit test today. You would think I would be used to this by now, after all, I have six adult children and they all have their licenses. She will be number seven.
    It's not like I don't think she's a good driver, because she is. It is the thought of all the other drivers out there speeding, and texting while they drive, and driving with friends in the car, and the snowy, icy roads that we have to deal with on occasion, that scare me.
     I think every parent lives with a secret fear when they reach this poin they will get that dreaded phone call that your child has been in an accident. We have already had that phone call with her when she was a passenger in a car that was in an accident and I don't want that to happen again.
    So if you are driving in northern Utah any time in the near future, please go the speed limit, pay attention to what you are doing, don't text, and look out for a girl with blonde and brown two tone hair. That's one of my babies and I want to keep her safe and sound for a long, long time. Eventually, she's going to find the right guy and get married and is going to give me five or six grandkids and I want everyone of them. And I want to see her grow older along with her babies and face the day when they go and get their permits and we can talk about the worries and anxiety of thinking that her baby is going to be turned loose on the highways of America.
    It's a vicious cycle.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My New Jeans, I Don't Think So.

   Warning: If you are offended by the word, butt, don't read today's blog.

    I don't know why I do it, but I did it again. I went shopping with my daughters. Now if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know I hate to shop, unless it's Walmart or Home Depot. The mall and I have never been good friends. Yesterday however I had to take my daughter to get a new pair of jeans. A friend had told her about a great sale and I am all for sales at this time of year. We went, we found, we bought.
     And then they took me down to J.C. Penny's to look for jeans for me. I have lost a little bit of weight and my old jeans are really baggy. That's the good news. The bad news is my daughter talked me into buying cute jeans. They really are cute, but, after wearing them for the day, I don't know how the girls today do it. The jeans are cut lower on the hip and they fall down all stinking day long. Every time I bend over I have to hike my jeans up. I suppose if I wanted my butt crack to hang out it would be fine, but let's be realistic here. I am a married, for a lot of years now, mother of ten. No one on the face of this earth wants to see my behind, in all its heinous glory.
     I bend down to plug in the vacuum, pull up my pants, bend over to pick up the candy wrapper the vacuum won't, pull up my pants. Get in the car, butt crack gets chilled, it's winter here and it snowed all day. Get out of car, pull up pants. Walk two feet, pull up pants. I feel like I need to walk like the gangsters on T.V. when they are getting arrested and they have to walk with their legs spread really far because their hands are in handcuffs and they can't keep their pants up.
     Is this really the best the fashion people can do? I am a grandmother for goodness sakes and I want pants that stay on, with full coverage and I'm not going to settle for anything less. Who's with me?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Kind Of Christmas Is This Going To Be?

     I don't know what it is about this Christmas, but I am really behind and starting to panic. I have only purchased a couple of gifts and the big day is less than two weeks away. It's not that I am procrastinating, I have asked the kids several times to write down a few things they might like and I am still waiting. Even the little kids, who usually give me a list in October are stalling. What is up with that?
     I keep trying to think of something I would like under the tree and all I can say is, I have a stupor of thought. Can it be that we have everything we want? Could we have possibly realized that there is more to Christmas than getting stuff under the tree? Why is it you can always think of things you could really use until now? If you had asked two months ago, I could have handed you a list, now nothing, nada, zilch. What kind of Christmas is this going to be?
     On Christmas morning I will have my hubby by my side, nine of my ten children here, along with their spouses and all of my grandkids and the in-laws who are healthy and happy for now, so I have to say it's going to be a pretty darn good one, gifts or no gifts.
     I wish this same Christmas morning for all of you and your families.
    Now I have to go shopping and get something to put under our tree. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Koda's Date With The Doctor

     Today is a big day in our house, or a sad day if you happen to be our dog, Koda. He's getting fixed today. The hubby and Karrah have already left to take him in for his date with the knife. I have to admit a little bit of sympathy for the little furball, as someone who spent her entire adult life with her OB/GYN I know how fun it's not.
    It was not an easy decision, but something had to be done. He's been trying to rock the world of every stuffed animal, pillow and small child in the vicinity. It was becoming a problem, not to mention the way he takes off when the door gets left open. Maybe if he isn't looking for a girlfriend he'll come back when we call him.
     So if you happen to think about our Koda today, send good thoughts his way. Poor dog.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Makes Christmas Special For You?

     I have long felt that the Christmas season was getting way too commercialized and we should try to remember the true reason for giving gifts during the holiday season, to symbolize the gift that the Savior, Jesus Christ, was to the world.
     We have always been so blessed at the holiday season. No matter the circumstances we found our selves in, we always had good Christmases. This year will be no different, except we won't have as much money to spend. The economic downturn has combined with rising expenses in our household to make us reevaluate what we are going to give this year. And I have to say, before anyone feels sorry for us, that it is a blessing. It makes you really stop and think about what is important in life. We have so much already, we have our family, which is really all that we need, we have our health, we have jobs, we have a beautiful home, we have the church in our lives, we have wonderful grandkids that we adore. We live in the greatest country ever and in a state that is a scenic wonder.  Like I said we are so blessed.
      How could a few store bought gifts even compare with all of that? Still, it is Christmas and the kids need something to open on Christmas morning. With all of that in mind I want to give gifts that are from the heart and not just the latest toy or item they have seen on TV. I want to give them something that will be special to them for a long time. I think this Christmas will be the best one ever.
    What kind of Christmas are you planning for your family? Do you have any special traditions that you could share that help make your Christmas about Christ and not the presents. If so please share them. I would love a few new ideas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Facebook and Pinterest

     Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook? I do. It's great. I have reconnected with friends that I love, but who had drifted away because of how busy life can get. This makes me so happy. I can chat with relatives in California and other places near and far, in the blink of an eye. We can share happy events and challenges. We can offer support and love, all while not being inconvenienced with a phone call at a bad time. How many times has someone I really wanted to talk to called right as I am walking out the door to pick someone up? Hundreds. Facebook makes it easy for everyone.
     And as if that wasn't enough, now there is Pinterest. I love checking on the new pins friends and family have pinned several times a day and before you non-pinners think that it is another waste of time let me say, Not So. I have found and tried several great recipes off of there that I pinned onto my Yumm! board. I have found inspirational quotes that have made me try harder and feel happier on a daily basis.  My Living Healthy board has all kinds of stuff on it that makes me think it really is possible to lose a few pounds and to eat healthy. There is home decor and cute outfits, crafts, wedding ideas and so much more. And when you pin something on your board you can follow the link to the original website and find all the instructions for what ever.
    So if your Facebooking and not Pinteresting come join us and get inspired. Find me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tiime Flies, So You Better Have Wings

     How is it that the days seem shorter and time is going by quicker than ever before? I can't believe that 2011 is almost over. I am so unprepared for the holidays. I have only bought a few gifts and Christmas is fast approaching.  Time goes by so fast that I feel like I have to run to catch up. It makes me wonder if I am spending these precious moments doing the right things.
     I have added exercise to my morning routine and I am reading my scriptures daily. It feels pretty good to be doing something positive for body and soul.  However, it does take up a lot of time. By the time I am really ready to start my day, it's like the day is half over.  To be more productive I have pretty much given up watching T.V. and now that The Walking Dead is on hiatus until February there isn't anything on that I am dying to watch. Besides, it's football season and now basketball season is heading our way, not to mention the NBA is starting up on Christmas day.  This limits our T.V. choices even more. Try wrestling the remote from a group of rabid sports junkies, it's not easy.
     I guess the point is, time is a precious commodity and I want to spend mine doing things that make me happy, healthy and a better person. After giving it some thought, if I had three months to live, I would do just what I'm doing now, be with my family and do the little things that I do every day. That's when you know you are making the right choices for you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let's Torture The Kids With Christmas Carols

     One of the best things about the holiday season is the Christmas Carols. I love, love, love them. I could listen to them all year long, but the fam. would have fits, so I try to control myself until Thanksgiving. After that its a free for all. I listen while I bake Christmas goodies. I listen while I do housework. I listen in the car where the audience is held captive to my enthusiastic sing a long efforts. Hey, if they don't like it they can walk to where ever I am hauling them to.
     This is my time, baby. Tis the season where mama sings and ain't no one gonna stop me. How could a person resist tapping your toe along with Rockin Around The Christmas Tree or Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. And I have a hard time not getting a tear in my eye when I hear, Mary Did You Know or Silent Night. Then you have the transnationals, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Oh little Town Of Bethlehem, Oh Come All Ye Faithful and all the rest, that bring back memories of when kids were allowed to have school plays and programs that reflected the true meaning of Christmas.
      There are a whole lot of new favorites to enjoy, Just Put a Ribbon In Your Hair, It Must Have Been The Mistletoe. And the song that I love to torture my kids with, Let's Be Naughty and Save Santa the Trip. I like to sing that one to their dad and watched them all start pretending to gag and vomit. It's one of the best traditions of the season so I am breaking out the iPod and plugging it in.
     Merry Christmas From My House To Yours.