Friday, June 27, 2014

To Live a Happy Life

Recently I've been trying to adhere to the "homework" of a blog I follow. They're things to help us live a happy life. I've shared it with a few friends, and though it might be helpful to everyone. It's been rough having Dave working so much lately, followed by sick boys (and a teething Logan). So I needed a little pick me up. My attitude with anything from the internet is take from it what you will, so this is the condensed/Amy Version:

To Do Daily:
1. Spiritual - Always make time for scripture study, prayer, etc. This helps me have a better perspective when life gets hard (and it will get hard). Some days I can only get my scriptures read while nursing or exercising, but I have really been making sure I get that spiritual nourishment.

2. Something for yourself - If you don't take time to relax and unwind, you can't take care of everyone else. Sometimes it's just 5 minutes of reading, sometimes I get a whole nap to blog or sew. But I always make a little time for me.

3. Service - Sounds harder than it really is. This is anything I'm doing for anyone (even Dave and the boys). The only stipulation is it has to be done with a positive attitude of service. So folding Dave's laundry counts, or reading 5 extra books at bedtime. But helping others helps you have a more outward focus and gives you less time to worry.

4. Consistant Sleep - Holy cow, this is the hardest of all this week, but is so important for me. I am ornery as sin if I don't get at least 7 hours of sleep. Everyone thinks and functions better with more sleep.

5. Exercize - I've never had an actual exercise routine before (just lived a very active life). But exercise helps you feel better, sleep better, etc. So for the past few months I've been working out in the basement Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and doing yard work Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (hey, it totally counts).

6. Sunlight - Yard work counts, Mondays and Thursdays we hang the laundry outside and that counts, and going to the park totally counts. Your body needs the Vitamin D from the sun, and you have more energy when you're getting enough of it. And I can use all the energy I can get!

7. Journaling - I suck at Journaling. But I'm great at writing on my blog. So I count that as journaling. I even have a "secret blog" that isn't available to the public so I can write everything without sharing it with the world. Writing about life gives you time to reflect and get a better perspective.

I'm not saying these 7 things are going to cure every problem in your life, but they help me be a little happier. It makes the days go by a little better. And I'm all about things going a little more smooth.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Calling the Cops & Lagoon!

It has been an intense week for us! I thought Dave was done working over time, but he worked some at the beginning of the week too. It's so hard on everyone when Dave works so much! He comes home at 11 exhausted, I'm exhausted, and Logan is ornery because he doesn't get to rough house with Dave.

Tuesday night Dave was working late again. It was 9:30 at night and I was packing a lunch for him to take to Scout Camp the next day. I saw a van pull up in front of our house. The windows were tinted dark enough that I couldn't see in them.

The van sits there for 5 minutes, and the guy gets out and starts walking up our driveway. He disappears into our car port for a few minutes, so I call my friend to have someone on the phone while I approach him. The guy looked nice (white button up and slacks), but you never know. The second I said "guy with a creepy van" my friend responded "I'll be over as soon as I can, do you mind if I bring my gun?"

So she brought her gun over, called the cops, and while she's on her way the guy leaves my car port and starts walking up the road perpendicular to us. By this point I'm freaked out (why would he root around in our car port and ditch his van?) The cops came by a few times and scoured the neighborhood looking for the guy. They called the owner of the van and found out he had lent it to the Boy Scouts for camp. The guy who dropped it off wanted Dave to drive it to the church the next morning, but didn't let us know. He was in the car port looking for somewhere to hide the key to the van. Oh… ok. I felt really silly for calling my friend and in turn the cops, but it was really weird.

So Dave headed off to camp the next day and we held down the fort on our own. It rained the entire day, so Dave and the boys were absolutely miserable, but I guess they got a lot done (they even went swimming in the 50 degree weather to pass off some merit badge!!!).

Thursday Dave went back to work and Logan got a little cough. It didn't seem like a big deal, and it went away by the evening. Which was good because Friday we had BIG PLANS!

It was Lagoon day for Dave's work. They pay for tickets for the whole family and a BBQ that evening. So we went to Lagoon, rode the rides. Logan had so much fun! He loved the boats and helicopter rides best.

The helicopter ride had a joystick that allowed you to control how high up or down the ride went. Logan loved putting it up and down again and again. He requested this ride over and over! The fourth time he rode the Dad of a 1.5 year old requested his son ride with Logan so he could have a "real ride that moves up and down". So we stuck them in together. 

Logan went crazy jerking the joystick up and down so fast both boys were bouncing like crazy. They were really getting air. The operator stopped the ride 3 times before kicking Logan off. I was laughing so hard I was crying, because how do you explain to an almost 3 year old not to jerk the joystick too fast? But he had fun! We went swimming at Lagoona Beach and Logan loved the water slide and splash pad! He will stay in the water until he's shaking uncontrollably and his lips turn blue if we don't watch him.

After the dinner Dave went on a few rides with some co-workers and the boys and I rode a few more rides. We stayed until 9 and the boys fell asleep in the car. When we made it home by 10 I just transferred the boys into their beds. It was a great day!

The next day Logan was coughing and hacking like crazy. I guess Lagoona Beach wasn't a great idea. He's been sick with a chest cold ever since, and now Dustin has it too. So the boys skipped church Sunday with Dave so I could go teach Relief Society. We talked about Joseph Smith after I got home and watched the Restoration DVD to get a little religion into our Sunday.

With all the extra time I've had over the past 2 weeks of being a work widow, I've been doing a lot of quilting. I cut out, sewed, quilted and bound this table runner for July. I love how it turned out, and will probably make a lap quilt size one next year. If I have the time. I've also sewn quite a few squares to finish my quilting class quilt for this year. I decided to change it up a little, so I have some extra squares I needed to add. Those are done, and now I can finish the quilt. It will be cute, although more girly than my taste. But I think it will be perfect for a spring/summer display quilt!

Logan's been picking up on a lot of random language things lately. My favorite is when something bad happens I exclaim "Great!" or "Oh Great!" Logan decided to take it one step further. When he messes up something he will yell "Great Grandma Yoder!" I guess those are the two main uses I have for the word great. I'm sure she wouldn't be happy to find out her name has become a swear word around our house, but what can you do?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

It's been a LONG week! Dave's been working insane hours (leaves for work at 7:15, getting home around 10). He got home "early" on Wednesday (8:30) and it was nice to get to see him that night. Fortunately Dave's paid hourly, so at least he'll get paid for all this extra work.

The crazy week of being a "single mom" made me really appreciate Dave for Father's Day. The boys missed him like crazy. Logan's been acting up, and I know it's because I'm exhausted by 6:30 (when Dave usually gets home) and don't have extra energy to rough house with Logan like he thinks he needs.

So Sunday we did our best to spoil Dave. I got up early and made some strawberry white chocolate chip muffins. The boys slept in to 8:20, so I climbed back in bed after the muffins were done. After church Dave was supposed to open his gifts, but Logan was so excited, he insisted Dave open the Saturday "I bought this one for you Dad! It's Licorice! You can eat some and share some with me." So we ate lunch, took a little nap, and spent some needed time playing with the boys! Dave and the boys played outside, got soaked, and just had fun.

Around 7 we ate dinner (steak gorgonzola and garlic bread). We made some sorbet throughout the week (mango and strawberry), so we had a scoop of each for dessert. The mango turned out fabulous, but the strawberry wasn't the best. The secret of the mango? I added one egg white. It helps it be creamy and not as rock solid. It was the best sorbet we've ever made!

I've been teasing Dave & Dustin since Mother's Day that Dustin had a month to learn to say Dada for Father's Day. Saturday he said it for the first time! I swear I'm not making this up. Sunday I heard him say it 3 times, so for Mother's Day I got Mama and for Father's day Dave got Dada! Talk about perfect baby.

As for the rest of the week last week Thursday we had Rea, Sara, and Auntie Alison over to play! Logan had so much fun, about an hour after they left he said "remember when my cousins came over? That was so much fun!" They played with food, blocks, stuffed animals, went on adventures scaling the Luv Sac, swords, and pretty much every toy we have in the basement. Sara would stop every once in a while to snuggle Dustin. It was so cute.

Some reflection on having the cousins over. After I invited the girls to come play I realized they usually go to "pre-school" at other kids houses. This is structured in some way so they have some learning experience. Then I started stressing out. "I should make a lesson or an activity, or at least a craft. I don't have the energy to do it this week..."

I realized it didn't matter. The kids had fun just playing with toys. As a mom, sometimes we can do the extras, but most times we just have to do what we need to in order for us to survive. As Moms we compare ourselves like crazy, and we just have to do what we do best. We are the ones called to be the Moms of these little people, not someone else. So I'm embracing my strengths and going with it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week Long Celebration of my Birth

Last Tuesday was my Birthday! Monday night Dave didn't get home from work until 10 pm, so I decided it was going to be a casual day for all of us. Started a few crafts that I've wanted to work on for a while now. Some I finished, some I didn't.

Logan had a white t-shirt that he wouldn't wear (because it didn't have anything on it), so I painted a version of the American flag on it. I liked how it turned out, and although he swore he hated it and would never wear it, he has worn it twice since I made it. So success there!

I also finished a bird house I had the supplies for for 2 months, but never got around to painting. All the supplies cost me $5 (including paint). I made it because Dave requested more girly stuff around the house. I don't really do girly, so this is the best I could come up with. It sits on the mantle, beside our family pics (for the spring/summer).

Just to put it into size perspective, here it is. I switch out what I put on the end of the mantle, depending on the season.

I also sanded and later in the week painted this picture frame (and framed the temple picture). It was a beat up frame with a dark wood finish (but with lots of dings and scratches). I love how it turned out, and have it hanging in the TV room, downstairs.

I also started collecting material to make a USA flag table runner. Well, I thought the pattern was for a table runner, but it's really a lap quilt. I will probably do the math and figure out how to make it a table runner instead. I would love a lap quilt, but don't have the time right now for another quilt (I'm trying to finish hand quilting one, and I'll have this year's quilting class quilt to finish by Saturday).

Other than that, I didn't do dishes or any absolutely necessary cleaning all day long. On Birthdays in our house you don't have to do any more work than absolutely necessary. So we played, Logan got to watch a movie, and we had Shrimp Fried Rice for dinner, with Key Lime Pie for dessert (which I didn't have to cook). We also enjoyed some ice cream and candy somewhere throughout the day. Logan got pretty grumpy towards the end of the day, but we survived until Dave got home to help out with them.

Friday we worked like crazy in the yard so we could have a more casual weekend. Dave tore out an old wooden fence in our back yard that had started rotting. We will eventually connect the back gate to the gazebo so the back yard is still fenced off again, but for now, a section of it is open. I love that I can sit on the gazebo and swing with Dustin and now watch Logan playing in the sand box. Dave also mowed the lawn and I did a ton of weeding and strawberry picking. We have been getting tons of berries this year! It's so awesome.

Saturday morning Dave went on his weekly long run (he's training for a half marathon that happens in July). The boys and I went with my friend RiKelle to a huge garage sale in Downtown Salt Lake. There were a lot of sellers, but a ton of junk. I was able to find a bike for Logan ($7), and a baby gate big enough to block off the gazebo's entry ($10) I have to figure out how to attach it to the wall so it can be removed (I don't want to leave it outside all the time), but other than that it's perfect!

That afternoon the boys and I visited my mom (who is recovering from surgery), while Dave worked on his resume and portfolio. That night Dave went to see a movie with his Dad while I had a casual night painting my toes and reading a book. It was nice, but I missed spending Saturday with Dave.

Sunday after church we spent a lot of time outside. Logan played in the sand box, we swung on the swing and played in the hammock. It was just the casual Sunday we needed. Now I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner and what to do for FHE. Oh, and clean up the house and do the laundry. I swear that's a never ending battle!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekend in Logan & Yard Projects

We had a fun weekend in Logan, UT! Dave's Brother Blaine (and his wife Angela) were having their baby blessed this Sunday, so we decided to make a weekend out of it. I figured the boys wouldnt want to spend 3 hours in the car in one day, and if we were using the gas anyway, we might as well make it fun! I found a cheap hotel that had an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, and free continental breakfast to stay at. 

We arrived Saturday at 2. We checked in and decided we needed some swimming! So we hit the pool with Grandma Linda & Papa Bill. Logan LOVES swimming, and Dustin thought it was better than the kiddy pool in our back yard.

After that we decided to hit up their cheese factory. Whenever we drive through Beaver, UT during business hours we love to stop at their cheese factory, so we hoped this one would be good too. It was bigger than Beaver's (it even had a sample bar that we indulged in)! We came home with 5 bricks of cheese. The only down size was they didn't sale sample bags (my favorite is to try to guess what kind of cheese we're eating).

After that we walked the grounds of the Logan Temple. The reason is we have a Temple book with pictures of different temples around the world. When we look at it I point out the temple Dave and I got married in (Mt. Timp), the one my parents got married in (Wash DC), the one Dave's parents got married in (SLC), and when we get to the Logan Temple, Logan tells me it's his temple. So we just had to take him to his temple.

 His favorite part was the fountain. He sat by it, threw pennies into it, and even snook his little feet in the water. He was so proud his temple had "a waterfall". He also loved running up the hill side of the temple. I tried to teach him to roll down, but he was not too impressed with that.

Dustin is so agreeable, he just enjoyed it all. He's such a happy little guy!

Logan decided his temple looks like a castle. He loved the towers and the star accents. And the windows! He kept telling us "My temple has HUGE windows! I think there are 16 of them!"

That night Dave's parents, sister Lucinda, Bro in law Aaron, cousin Morgan, Blaine, Angela, cousin Lindsay & Rachel all joined us for more swimming! The kids had a blast swimming until they were so cold they shivered. At 8:30 I insisted the boys go get a bath and get to sleep.

Trying to get them to sleep was interesting. Dustin was not excited to be in his playpen, and refused to go to sleep (crying, jabbering, etc). Logan refused to sleep because he had to make sure Dustin was ok, and when he peaked in at Dustin, it would make Dustin laugh. Finally I held Dustin and patted his back while he cried himself to sleep. Then we could convince Logan to calm down. So he beat boxed and sang himself to sleep. Dave and I wonder if he does this every night and we don't hear it because his door is closed...

Sunday we went to the baby blessing. It was sweet to hear the blessing. We only stayed for Sacrament meeting, because they go to a Spanish ward, and although they got a translator for Sacrament Meeting, I didn't want to stay for the other two hours in Spanish.

We went back to Blaine & Angela's after for a lunch and headed home.

We've also been working in the yard a lot lately. Dave finished his fence last week. We put this up because we have a wall that is 6 feet high, except for the last 30 feet of it, which is 4 feet. So the kids in the apartments behind us climb all over the wall. Since we put up the fence I haven't noticed any kids on the wall. So it keeps them out of our yard! And we get a little more privacy.

This was my project. I call it my Garbage Can Landing strip. Since we only have one car now, it drives me nuts that what you saw from the road when Dave wasn't home was the trash cans. So I dug out lava rocks, and laid these 6 pavers to put the trash cans on. It's behind the fence, so you can't see the trash from the street. It didn't cost anything, since we dug the pavers out of the yard (we had about 50 pavers buried all over the yard when we moved in, I'm not even exaggerating). I'm pretty proud of it!