Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Dream Dog

As promised, I am now going to tell you about Nikki.  As silly as it sounds, I think the difference between this dog and all our previous ones is the fact that this one is a girl.  I know that is a "duh" statement, but I really think girl dogs have a much better temperament than boys.  Plus, there isn't that whole male bravado thing that forces them to think they have to pee everywhere to let everyone know the territory belongs to them.  She is absolutely our dream dog.  She is well-mannered, she is excellent with the kids, she is highly potty trained, and best of all, she sleeps most of the day.  She is an indoor dog.  Since Bulldogs have such small tracheas and short snouts, they shouldn't stay outside in extreme heat.  Their trachea swells up and closes and they can't breathe.  So, Nikki stays inside all day.  The best way to describe her is to show you what I mean, so here are some pictures.

As you can see, she is a lot of fun and since I named her after my sister, I can't get rid of her.  Ever. =-)
Okay, three things I like about me: This morning I actually got up and went for a 2-mile walk rather than continuing to sleep.  I have a nice home.  I have lots of friends who love me for me and are always helping me to be a better person.  Love them!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Full-Grown Daughter

It has happened.  My daughter is as tall as me when we are both in bare feet.  Where did the time go?  Why is she the same height as I am at only 12?  The other night we went to a buffet restaurant and her back was turned to the cashier as she was getting her drink.  Mike was telling the cashier our kids' ages and he pointed to her and said, "She is 12..."  The lady laughed and kept looking at him as if to say, "Please tell me her real age."  He just smiled and said, "She's twelve."  Then, Audrey turned around and walked over to the cashier and the girl was like, "Oh, wow, I totally thought you were kidding!  You are so tall!"  I don't know if Audrey likes this or not.  Some girls would be pleased to be thought of as an adult at such a young age, but at the same time it prevents her from doing things she really wants to.

For example, I recently signed all the girls up to take gymnastics classes.  Audrey is 12 and very much a beginner, but she attended one class and had a lot of fun.  Last night I got a call from the owner of the business saying they had had a coaches meeting and they had discussed Audrey.  None of her teachers are tall enough to spot Audrey as she learns some of the new moves.  So, either we pull Audrey out, or we wait until the lady's daughter gets home from school for the summer.  The problem is, what happens to Audrey when the daughter leaves again?  I want to keep her enrolled in some sort of athletic activity to keep her active, but I don't really have any idea what would work for a beginning "adult".  Because, although she is not mentally an adult, she is physically the same size as an adult. 

Anyway, hopefully I will get this whole thing sorted out.  In the meantime, I am going to cherish all the time I have left with my daughter, because I have only six years left until she moves out of the house.  That is going to be a day that I will never be prepared for. 

Okay, three things I like about my life: I love the fact that I have a husband who not only is constantly complimenting me, even at my heaviest or when I'm feeling not so pretty, but is also a very hard worker and is willing to do whatever it takes to provide for us.  I love that I have four beautiful children who bring joy and laughter into our home every moment.  I love that I finally have the dog of my dreams and that the rest of the family loves her too and that she never pees in the house!  She's finally a keeper!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Son Was Invited to a Birthday Party...Finally!

I have been so worried about Dallin over the years.  He finds it difficult to make friends--much more difficult than it is for his sisters.  He has some issues with social protocol which makes it frustrating for some kids to be his friend.  I worry constantly, because kids need friends.  There is only so much validation that can come from a mom or a dad.  The rest needs to come from friends, and in the past, Dallin hasn't had very many.  He had one friend in Utah.  He has one friend here.  That's it.  He is friendly with kids in his classroom and all that, but they don't exactly want to play with him on recess, although he certainly tries hard to get them to.  Maybe a little too hard which kids are usually able to see right away.  They can see that desperation, you know? 

Anyway, we moved into our new ward back in February and I would drop Dallin off at Scouts and he seemed to get along with most of the boys.  But, he hadn't made any friends that he felt he'd want to call and have come over.  I was starting to worry again.  But, then yesterday morning, there was an invitation on the front porch for Dallin to come to a birthday party.  He was SO ecstatic!  He hasn't been invited to a birthday party (except for once by his best friend here in Texas which unfortunately was on the same day as his cousin's birthday party and at the same time, oddly enough) in YEARS.  I'm not exaggerating about that at all.  I wish I was. 

The invitation is for a set of twins in our ward.  They are actually turning 9, so they are a year younger than Dallin, but that works well for him because he tends to get along best with kids who are either younger than him, or who also have autistic spectrum issues and are his own age or older.  I guess that's part of the territory I am having to learn how to deal with, but when this invite came, I was thrilled, especially at his reaction when he got the invitation.  These boys are great.  Not only has he got one friend now, but two.  I really hope they will continue to be his friend as they all get older.  What's funny is that one of the boys is also named Dallin.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Either way, I sure am glad he's making friends. 

Okay, three things.  These are going to be quick because I have to take my boy to his birthday party!  I like my hair, I like my eyes, and I LOVE my relationships with my siblings.  Even now as adults, we are better friends than we ever were as kids.  I love that.

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Feelings of Normalcy

Well, we have been in Texas now for almost 18 months.  And I am FINALLY starting to feel like it is somewhat home.  I had no idea until now that it is so difficult for me to adjust to new situations.  But, what is funny is that I LOVE change.  I am never satisfied with any one thing for very long.  Whether it is constantly changing my hair color, or rearranging furniture--it doesn't matter how small the change or how big, I love it.  But, maybe this move was a bit bigger than I anticipated.  Either way, I am finally starting to feel normal.  As I sit here typing, I am looking around my home and I know without any doubt that a HUGE contributor to that feeling of being home is the home itself.  I LOVE my new house.  I miss my Utah house intensely and it would be great to be back in it someday.  But, since I have to be here, at least I am in a place that I feel good about showing off to people.  It's kind of nice.  I am going to put pictures up, because those are worth a thousand words.  But, before I do, here are three things I like about me.

1. I like my feet.  If they weren't so nasty, I wouldn't have any way to get attention from Mikey.  Ha ha, just kidding, but he sure does treat me well.  Sanding my feet with his power tools is just one of many ways.

2.  I like that I am crafty.  I recently cross stitched a piece for Penny for her birthday and it turned out GREAT!  I am really proud of it, and better yet, she loves it.

3.  I love that even though my body is not where it should be, it has taken me through many races, survived many bumps and bruises over the years, and best of all, it has given me four beautiful children.  What more could you ask of something?  And, yet I treat it like crap.  I'd better rethink that aspect of my life. 

Okay, on to pictures of my beautiful home.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Severe Lack of AC

I live in Texas.  It is summer.  We currently have no AC.  Put these factors together and what do you have?  A lot of hot misery.  I am trying to do what my mom did when we were kids and have fans going and all the blinds shut, etc.  That may have worked well in Oregon where the hottest it got during the summer was about 85.  It is different here in the Bible Belt.  AC is imperative 24 hours a day.  Otherwise, you roast.  Our landlord has someone coming tonight, but that means a day of sweaty armpits and short tempers.  I know that we will all be fine, but I admit, I am concerned about our dog Nikki. (She will be another story altogether)  She is an English Bulldog and they don't do well in high temperatures.  She is definitely an indoor dog.  I am sure she will probably be fine as long as I keep her water bowl nice and full and she has a fan to lie next to.  But, it doesn't stop me from worrying. 

Three things I like about myself: I clean up nicely.  I am not saying that I am yet to the point where I can say that I look in the mirror and am pleased.  But, I look at pictures of myself at the peak of my training for the Half and am happy with those.  I really am a pretty person, I just need to remind myself that just because I have an extra layer of fat doesn't make me any less pretty.  Personality plays a big part in how you look to others.  I like that I relate well to teenagers and that they are quick to become my friends.  It will help me in the future, hopefully, because my kids will want to bring their friends here rather than going somewhere else and possibly getting into trouble.  Lastly, I love that I am able to make friends and that I have come out of my shy shell over the years.  I am truly blessed to have many wonderful friends in my life and it is really great to have that support system. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My New Glasses

Okay, here they are, front and center.  They look black in the picture, but they are actually purple, which I thought was fun.  They also have some bling on the sides.  They are different, that's for sure.  My old pair were finally at their last life.  I got those just after Dallin was born and they were so scratched up and bent and bruised, I was surprised I could even still see through them.  Or that they resembled glasses still.  So, these are my new pair.  I like the shape of them.  I am still getting used to the darkness of them against my ever alabaster skin.  But, hey, I can see so much more clearly than I have in at least eight years.  So, that's a great thing.

I'll probably post a different picture in the near future when my hair and makeup are all done up so you can get the full effect.  Okay, on to other subjects: three things about myself that I like or appreciate.  I like that I am a "jack of all trades".  Usually I can try stuff and catch on to things fairly quickly.  Obviously there are always going to be exceptions to that, but for the most part, I have been blessed to have a sharp wit and to catch on.  I like that I do well in school.  That is something that I pride myself on: good grades.  Last semester, I didn't put as much as I would have liked into school and I was afraid that I would get at least two Cs and two Bs.  But, I wound up getting all four Bs, which I was pleased with.  Finally, I like my musical abilities.  I like my voice, especially when I am singing with my children, my mom, or my sisters.  There is something about the mixing of family voices that sounds so beautiful.  Everyone has the same genes or something like that which gives it a little extra mixing ability.  Does that even make sense?  So many times I have wanted to sing in church with my sisters, especially a capella, but since they are doodie-heads and are in Utah (either that, or I am a doodie-head for being in Texas) they can't sing with me. 

Okay, so those are the three things I like about myself today.  What are your three things?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My New Calling

It's been forever since I last wrote in this blog.  I am really going to try to change that from now on.  Before I start on my chosen topic, however, I am going to write three things that I like about myself.  It is part of a deal I have with my dear friend, Carina.  So here goes:  I like that I can cook just about anything and it won't taste too poopy.  Tonight for Father's Day, Mike requested Greek food and I have NEVER done anything like that.  But, I attempted beef souvlaki with a tzatziki sauce, lemon rice pilaf, and Greek salad, with Baklava for dessert. All of it turned out somewhat decently!  I was very proud of myself, especially for a first try.  I also like that I am a friendly person.  Even on my gloomiest days, I can usually perk up enough to get a laugh out of someone who may be having a gloomier day than me.  Lastly, I like that I am organized.  This is a skill that really helps me in my new calling as Compassionate Service Coordinator.  Not a bad segue, huh?

I am the Compassionate Service Coordinator in our new ward.  It has been my most challenging calling yet.  It is not physically or mentally demanding, really.  But, it is very emotionally challenging simply because getting people to give service can be a very difficult thing to do.  I understand now how all the other coordinators I have dealt with have felt.  It is a tough job!  I passed around a sign-up sheet to bring meals to people and to be with a sister in our ward for a few hours each Wednesday and Friday.  She is very sick and needs people to be with her just in case she has trouble.  It has been like twisting people's arms off to get them to be willing to do that!  It drives me nuts!  I have tried everything, and I am beginning to lose hope as well as patience.  But, I just have to have faith, I suppose.  They say that the Lord will qualify you for your calling as long as you have faith and try your best.  I sure do hope he qualifies me for this one!