And, today we went back on the spur of the moment and picked raspberries. I must say, much better picking. I came home with about seven pounds..I think I ate three!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
As the day has progressed, he has gotten even better. Dad was on the phone and Charlie opened is eyes, looked around, and asked about Mike's mission call. When Dad told him where it was, he said, "Wow!" and went back to sleep.
After a while, he opened his eyes, looked around, saw Mom and said, "Hi, Mom."
Later he was awake and talking to Dad. Dad asked how he felt and he said he hurt and was hungry. Dad asked if he had any questions and he asked, "What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" For those of you who aren't familiar with the question, it is a Monty Python line famous in our family.
And later, a family from our ward came down to visit. Katie went to a Spanish-speaking mission, and she and Charlie had a conversation in Spanish.
Oh yes, and the medical part. Charlie had surgery done on his hand last night. He now has four screws, two on each side of the break, and they are screwed to the next bone over. He will be in a soft cast for two weeks and then in a hard cast for six weeks. He will have to wear the collar for six weeks because of some stretched ligaments in his neck.
I don't think I can tell you how pleased I am. We were (and still are to some extent) concerned about the head trauma Charlie received. John warned me that he might have some problems with planning, memory and organization. However, I don't really think Charlie had any of those skills to start with, so it won't be much of a change really.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The below is a picture of his car after the accident taken from our local paper. I am including the picture only so you can see what a miracle it is that Charlie was not more seriously injured. A state trooper called me today trying to positively identify Charlie. When I talked to him, he said that the paramedics on the scene did not expect Charlie to last the night. He was amazed when I related Charlie's injuries to him, he was sure they would have been far more critical.
I have to, one more time, thank all those who have called and offered help and sympathy. It has been wonderful to feel such love at this time. Thank you for your prayers, I know they were answered.
We went to pick raspberries today, and on the way home, they were re-routing traffic because of an accident. I think I was probably there very shortly after it happened, because they were just starting to turn cars around. I didn't think much of it until this evening when my brother Mike called to say that Charlie was in a hospital two hours away. Mom and Dad are both gone (Mom in Nevada with my sister who is getting ready to have her baby, and Dad at Scout Camp with my two youngest brothers) so Mike went to work. After a while, he had called Mom and started the search for Dad. I called my friend Becky, and within minutes I had several calls from friends in our ward volunteering to help. Within the hour I had the kids in bed, and Chivaun, Laurie and Katie at my house to watch them. They were doing dishes and cleaning before I left. Becky came over a little later to stay with the kids (it was 8pm when we left) and field phone calls. You don't usually find out how much people care, but I feel it now.
When we (John, Mike and I) got to the hospital, I was prepared for a shock. We were told he was in a head-on collision going 55mph, and that he had head injuries and assorted breaks. The shock was how good he looked. They had him hooked to a ventilator because he was sedated to keep him from ripping tubes out, but the reality was, he looks great. He had some stitches above one eye, a compound fracture in his pinky and a broken wrist on his left arm, he has a broken disc in his neck and a bruised lung. But, the break in his neck seems to effect only that bone. He is in miraculous condition considering the severity of his accident.
How grateful I am to have a Heavenly Father who was watching over Charlie, and great friends who were watching over me. I will post more as we find out more of how he is doing.
Monday, July 21, 2008
2. What makes mom happy? "when I obey her" - she's right on that one!
3. What makes mom sad? "when I don't obey her"
4. How does mom make you laugh? "tickling"
5. What was mom like as a child? "a helping child"
6. How old is your mom? "(giggle) she's 31"
7. How tall is your mom? "Woah, I don't know that! 33" long?"
8. What is her favorite thing to do? "play outside with the kids" Hmm, hers must be mine, right?
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? "that's a hard one, play with my brothers"
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? "being such a great mom"
11. What is your mom really good at? "being a really good mom" I promise, I did not coax her on this!
12. What is your mom not very good at? "okay, that's pretty hard, I've got to think for a little while. Sleeping when Dad's around." When I asked why, (I was perplexed) she said, "cause he snores"
13. What does your mom do for her job? "be a mom"
14. What is your mom's favorite food? "egg salad sandwhich"
15. What makes you proud of your mom? "for being such a great mom"
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? "a dancer" We don't do many cartoons at our house, so I am not really sure she knew what I meant. However, me as a dancer is definately fictional!
17. What do you and your mom do together? "play"
18. How are you and your mom the same? "brown hair"
19. How are you and your mom different? "blue eyes, brown eyes"
20. How do you know your mom loves you? "for being such a great mom, that's how I know"
Joy tags Gabby, Kara, Francis, Maira, and Brady
Sunday, July 20, 2008
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I was cleaning the car out today, and decided it was time to replenish my car kit. I am quite fortunate to own a van with space under the seats. Just pop up the floorboard, and there is all this nice extra storage space. So, a couple of months ago I decided to start utilizing the space. Under one seat I have:
- A sweatshirt for each member of the family (yes, we live in the Pacific Northwest, they are essential even in JULY!)
- A Moby wrap
- A change of pants and underwear for the three boys
- Juice boxes
- Snack bag - nuts, granola bars, fiber bars and fruit snacks
- Quaker Oat chips
- Monkey backpacks (leashes) for Paul and Brigham
- Antibacterial wipes
- Changing pad and
- Bags for dirty diapers, wet clothes, etc.
When I am really on top of things, I replenish the kit every week or so. I find that having all of this stuff in the car saves me a lot of hassle. When it is time to go, I can usually pick up and go without having to take an extra 15 minutes to get stuff together. And, having the stuff I need keeps whining to a more manageable level. I wish I would have thought of this years ago!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I am the group leader for the Prep Rally Enrichment group in our ward. We do preparedness topics in this group, and this month the topic was Cooking Without Power. Since I have a good in (what dad can resist when their daughter asks them to teach?) I volunteered to coordinate. Dad came over and came up with a great outline for the class, involving cooking using four different methods of powerless cooking. One was baking using a box oven. Never heard of it? This is what it looks like:
Monday, July 14, 2008
If you leave his bangs alone, they cover the spot pretty well. I guess I will put his haircut off another couple of weeks...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
- Each day has a column and is divided into 13 hours, 7am to 7pm. Each hour square is 2.5".
- Activity pieces are sized according to time. Activities that take about an hour are 2.5" squares. (nap time, lessons, art time, etc.) Activities that take a half hour are 1.25x2.5" rectangles. (get dressed, eat breakfast, do dishes, read books, etc.) There are a few activities that take 15 minutes (set table, snacks) and they have 0.75x2.5" rectangles. But, usually I stick to 1 or 1/2 hour increments. This gives us leeway time for set up, pack, clean up and life in general.
- On the far left side of the board are the hours, with clocks showing what the analog time looks like, and a digital font underneath showing the time. I have an analog clock hanging on the wall just above the clock column. I want Joy (and the boys eventually) to learn to read analog clocks, so this is a tool to that end. And, although we aren't usually completely on time, it does help a bit.
- Down each day column is a strip of Velcro. On the back of each activity piece is another piece of Velcro. This allows us to move things easily, but they stay pretty firm, unless Hyrum gets them.
- The arrows are time extensions. Instead of printing a million of each piece, I just made hour and half hour extensions that can be used to lengthen activities.
I have found that this really helps. We get up in the morning, have breakfast, and plan our day. When I am really on the ball, we put the big things up for the week at Family Home Evening. Here's how I have found it helpful:
- I am more intentional about what we do in the day. Since it has to be posted, I think about what we are doing. It looks bad when there are big chunks of "watch a movie" every day.
- The kids are involved. They have input as to what happens. They understand a little better that I have to do dishes when they see the dishes piece on the chart. They learn time better, not just on the clock, but what things take what time, and that things actually do come to pass.
- It saves countless hours of, "When are we going to ___?" I simply refer them to the board.
- I am more accountable. The kids know what to expect and are free to hold me to it.
- There is flexibility. The kids learn that sometimes things change. It happens almost daily that things don't go according to plan and we have to make changes. So, we look at what is going on, and figure out how to adjust. Great lesson.
- One of my favorite pieces are the kids' time. There is "Joy Time", "Paul Time" and "Brigham Time" - 15 minutes each. These pieces have the kids' pictures on them, and they know that, during that time at least, they get Mom's undivided attention.
- We do more fun stuff. Because we are planning, we get more done.
- I also have free time pieces. It is important to have unplanned time daily, and we've got that too.
Now, if this sounds like bragging, I am only bragging about the idea, and I have to admit that it is FABULOUS! But, our lives aren't perfect. We still have most of the normal problems. However, when I come across an idea that works, mine or someone else's, I want to share it. So, I am sharing with you. If you are interested in trying something similar, I would be more than happy to share what I have done. The activity pieces are all on a Word document, I just don't know how to link it to the page. Leave a comment and I would be happy to send it on.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I was out doing some shopping the other day and came across a tie-dye kit on clearance. I did tie-dye once or twice as a kid and really enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a whirl. The box said the Mega set I got would do up to 20 shirts - we did 18 things. Not just shirts, but underwear and onsies too. If I do one, I do 50. And, it was a LOT of fun. Back when I was in high school, homemade tie-dye did not come out bright and with lots of colors. Times have changed. We got bright colors and lots of them. The shirts came out looking like something you would buy, not something you did on the back porch. However, there are a few tricks I learned, so let me share with you.
So, basically the process works like this: You prep your shirts according to what you want them to look like. Then you mix your dye and put on your gloves. Take your shirts out back, apply dye, stick them in a plastic bag for 6-8 hours, take them out, cut off the rubber bands, rinse under warm water, and wash in as hot a water as is appropriate for the fabric type. Don't wash them with anything else for a few more cycles, because they are said to run. Today, Joy took off the pair of dyed panties she was wearing to try on a bathing suit, and she had blue, pink and purple dye on her skin. It was pretty cute, but considering they were washed before she wore them, I would guess there will be more dye coming off in the wash. This is our mess immediately after being removed from the bag:
So, if you want your shirts to look like this:
Choose the point at which you want the burst to start, pinch that point, and lift the shirt up from there. Use your rubber bands to section it off, and apply colors to each section. These are the tube-y looking ones in the pictures.
If you want swirls (obviously my favorite):
Lay your piece out flat and choose your center point. Grasp the fabric there and twist it around that center point. Try to keep your fabric lying flat so that eventually you have a swirl and a circle. Use your rubber bands to enclose that swirl. Squirt your dye on the shirt as if tracing and then filling in pieces of a pie.
Lay the shirt out and pull up sections. Wrap a rubber band at the base of each section. Squeeze one color on the rubber banded section and another over the other areas. Pretty simple, but pretty cool.
If you want a design to show up, don't use something little like underwear!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Anyone who is local who wants to go some day next week, just leave a comment and we will all get together again. Bells said they would have berries for a couple more weeks, and it was a lot of fun for all!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I have been looking for some kind of a surface for the kids to do art work on that is big enough for a massive piece of work, or several small pieces. I wanted it to be vertical, because a vertical surface is more conducive for kids to learn proper pencil grip. And, I wanted it to be weather-able and inexpensive. I love plexi-glass. I went to Home Depot and bought a sheet of plexi that was 48"x36" for about $20. I drilled a set of holes in the top and bottom corners and used some heavy string to tie the plexi to our back porch.
So, we pulled out the finger paints and went to work. A word to the wise - DO NOT USE FINGER PAINTS THAT ARE NOT WASHABLE! Aprons are no match against small children with finger paints. What I did not anticipate was the kids stepping in the paint. I finally had to remind myself that the paints are expendable. It really isn't going to hurt if Paul mixes bright yellow and purple or if Brigham dumps the gold on the porch. Joy wasn't really impressed when the boys started painting on her paper, but she quickly got over that when I told her she could paint on theirs.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I was humbled today.
As we were walking down to visit with my family before my mom leaves for Nevada tomorrow, I talked to one of the ladies who live on the way. She was sitting on her front porch, and one of her little girls was calling to her from in the house. She explained that her daughter was a momma's girl. "You must be a good mom then." I told her. And, Joy said, "You're the best mom in the whole world." I appreciated hearing that and told Joy that I appreciated it.
"No, I said you're not the best mom in the whole world. You're a good mom, but not the best mom in the whole world."
Good to keep these things in perspective.
Friday, July 4, 2008
We went to the parade with my brother Mike and his girlfriend Allison. They were really a big help with the kids. On the way, we ran in to our friends the Wrights, so we stuck with them. I find the kids do much better at these kinds of things when they know the people they are sitting beside. And, people who we know don't give me as many dirty looks. Anyway, we stopped by the Wells Fargo (our friend manages) and got a family picture with Jack the Dog. Okay, everyone but Paul who was not about to buddy up to some strange person in a dog suit. While there, we saw Joy's primary teacher across the street saving places for his family. Fortunately, he didn't mind us sitting with them. He was also a big help with the kids. Hyrum is not pictured because he was on my hip for the whole event (thank goodness for Hotslings!) He fell asleep after about 30 minutes, and that was good for everyone involved. The parade was not bad, but too many cars and too much politics for my taste.
It was during the parade that my alter-ego came out. Mean Mom said no to allowing her children to be plastered with campaign stickers. She refuses to let her kids be turned into billboards for candidates whom she does not support. And, since she is unfamiliar with local politics, no stickers were worn. Fortunately, the kids know better than to argue with Mean Mom, so there wasn't too much grumbling. Besides, who cares about stickers when there is candy to be had?
We parked several blocks away from the parade, so the wagon ride back to the car had Joy about to die. When I informed her that if she died I would have to leave her body on the side of the road, because I couldn't carry it, and I couldn't leave the boys in the car alone to come back to get it, she decided that she could make the last two blocks. That is why she looks surly in the van.
Also, I have decided that glow sticks are a great alternative to fireworks for small children. Mean Mom also said that kids whose bedtime is 7pm cannot wait until 10:30pm to do fireworks. So, I picked up a couple of packets of glow bracelets/necklaces/sticks at the dollar store, and the kids got to play with them instead. What a hit! They had so much fun, and no one came close to a spark. Sometimes, I amaze even myself with my brilliance!