Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Letter - 2008

Gibbons Family – 2008
Another year has come and gone. 2008 has been a wonderful year of opportunities and experiences for each of us. Here is a brief update of what we are up to.

Nathan is enjoying his work – being the director of the Provo LDS Family Services agency takes a lot of energy, but he works with great people and is doing a wonderful job. He plays basketball two or three mornings a week at the church. He is currently the scout master in our ward, and loves camping with the boys (good thing!). Beyond that, he has enjoyed following BYU sports closely, making it to the majority of the football games and many of the men’s and women’s basketball games.
Deborah has had a busy year. She started taking classes, working toward getting into a nursing program. If things go as planned, she will start her program in the fall. Outside of school, she has enjoyed serving in activity days, and helping on the enrichment board. With all of the children in school for a few hours each day, she has found that there really is no “extra” time, just lots to get done J She has continued to run, teach aerobics and yoga classes, enjoys teaching children’s dance at BYU, and shuttles the kids here and there.

Cameron is tall, handsome, and a great brother. He played on some great basketball teams last spring and summer, and continues to improve. Being 6’3’’ at 14 years old is an added bonus. Getting the stomach flu the day of team tryouts was disappointing this fall, but he continues to work hard. Cam has been playing ball at the church in the mornings with Nathan with other men in the ward. School has been a good challenge, and 9th grade is fun. He is looking forward to being 15 in January, and is hoping to get his drivers permit. He has great friends. He is looking forward to finishing off his eagle project this spring, and earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He is also hoping to get his braces off!

Jason turned 12 in November, and received the priesthood. He has enjoyed being involved in the Young Men program, and has done great with scouting. 7th grade is going really well, and he was on the honor roll last term. He is on track to be on the high honor roll this term. Yea! Jas is taking cello lessons and playing in orchestra. It is fun to listen to him practice. He is such a hard worker and a great brother.

Tiffany is 10, and is one busy girl. She competed in gymnastics again this year, doing really well. She was just moved up to level 5 and continues to work hard. Class is 3 days a week, for more than 2 hours each time. She also dances at BYU, and is a lovely dancer. Tiffany tested into the advanced program for 5th grade, and has enjoyed her challenging class. She continues to be a gifted writer and makes us laugh with her creativity.

Derek is 7 years old, and in first grade. He is a great reader, and has done really well in school this year. He started playing soccer in the fall, and we loved watching him get right in there, running fast, (laughing as he ran down the field) and making some great plays. He is such a happy boy, and his laugh is so fun.

Andrea is 5, and in kindergarten this year. She loves school, and has made a lot of friends. She is taking both gymnastics and dance classes, and seems to dance through each day. We enjoy her art projects, and she loves her dolls, stuffed animals and friends. She is a happy girl with a big imagination.

We had some good adventures this year, including going to Island Park and spending time at cookie Grandpa’s cabin, spending time at Grandma and Grandpa’s cabin just outside of Salt Lake City, traveling to Colorado to get Cameron’s braces tightened and visit dear friends, sledding, biking, rollerblading, running together, delivering phonebooks for a family job, repairing the house after Tiffany's heel went through the side of the FULL bathtub upstairs, mowing a huge “Y” in the front lawn (ok, Nathan did that one), playing games together, getting sick together (influenza A – nasty stuff!), enjoying family gatherings with extended family, and loving time with just our family. We feel so blessed, and are so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives! We truly feel that life is sweet, and we look forward to the opportunities of the coming year. We love you, and hope next year is a happy one for us all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chopping Down the Christmas Tree

We went to Price the day before Thanksgiving to buy a $5 tree permit. We then drove to 30 min down the road and began our search for the perfect tree. The kids loved running through the snow, and I was hoping the pick of the year wouldn't be found at the bottom of a ravine, 40 minutes of walking away from the van (yea, we've done that before). We found some options, but Andi insisted we keep looking. (I'm sure it was because of her keen 5 year old sense of knowing that we could find the tree meant just for us, and not because she just liked running in the snow!) So, with Andi as our guide, we did find the perfect tree! Nate cut it down, and then our own personal tree measurer did his job. Cam is over 6'3'' now, and before we left home we had him reach up and see how much taller the tree could be than his hand. After the tree was laying in the snow, he got to stretch out beside it and make sure we cut it to the correct length. So helpful! The tree got tied to the top of the van, and home we came. It was a great day!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Andrea and Tiffany's dance

Tiffany and Andrea take creative dance classes at BYU - I teach both of their classes. Each year, children are invited to create their own dances. They show the dances to the program director, and if the dance is chosen, the children perform in one of two evening performances at the Richards building on campus. The girls were chosen to perform in both shows. This is from the first show, and not quite as good as the second time, but still cute. They don't get a chance to practice on the stage, so it can be challenging to not get a bit turned around. It is called "Primary Jamboree", and the song is done by Inside Out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Red is not our color!

This is the view we had on the lawn outside our front door.
It says "GO UTES 11-0"
This one says "Utes #1"

Here it is - our red Y. The top part doesn't look as red in this picture, because Nate was trying to wash it off with hot water. It got rid of the frost, not the red. Nathan mowed the lawn after the game to get rid of the red, but some neighbors thought it was mowed off because BYU lost so miserably. They obviously don't know my husband very well - he is a die hard BYU fan, come what may. Just not into a red lawn. I didn't get my camera out before we threw away the 14 or 15 cans of red spray paint stacked neatly on the front porch. My children are so lucky they got to hear the "don't vandalize" talk throughout the day. They loved it, and were grateful for the opportunity to hear it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things one shouldn't have to hear in the morning...

7:43 am "Mom, I have a note that says I can't go back to school until I bring in a record of my 7th grade immunizations."
"Ok then. Let's pull out the paper and make a copy."
Come to find out, we didn't have a copy of the immunizations.
"Why didn't you tell me about this after school yesterday, when we could have gone down and picked up a copy for you to take today?"
"Well, you were busy, and I didn't want to bother you."
"Why did we only get one night to do this?"
"Well, yesterday they pulled us out of class if we didn't have the shot record turned in. One of my friends got pulled out, but his mom had dropped the form off in the morning, so he went back to class."
"So, they told you about this last week."
"Oh yea, but I forgot."
7:45 am - the time he should have left for the bus.
7:48 am - the bus has now left the corner....but it doesn't matter, because we have to wait until 8:00 am, when the pediatric office opens and we can get a print out of the shots, and then go check him in to school, AFTER giving the office the magical form that allows him to go back to class.
Isn't it nice to know that our children are safe from un-immunized children. I now have proof!

Monday, November 10, 2008

How cute!

Yesterday Andi informed me that all of her dolls had a new name for the day...Chiwawa. OK then! Perhaps this is a not so silent cry for a longed for dog. I'm ok with dolls named chiwawa, since I don't do dogs.

Champion bowling night. Jas turned twelve on Friday, and we went to BYU to eat and go bowling. We had a great time - and we LOVE the gutter bumpers!!

Halloween kids

It was a beautiful Halloween night with a fairy, nerd, cell phone and genie. Our neighborhood is fabulous! The kids went trick or treating, and I felt like it was a ward social! How often do we go door to door to say hi, and visit with ALL our neighbors as we pass on the street?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Something I like about Halloween

I admit it - I am not the biggest Halloween fan. The dressing up is cute, but I don't love the chore or stress of coming up with costumes every year. The decorations are fun, but I am not a great decorator, and it is another thing to clean up. Yes, I am a party pooper. The candy is delicious - big problem!! Who needs more candy - or any candy, for that matter? Certainly not me or my children! (Nate hates candy. Why can't I have that taste bud?) When the kids were younger it was no problem to have them all donate the collected loot to a communal bowl. I went through it and sorted it out - all hard candy got chucked, all chocolate candy went into a baggie to be frozen and either used in Christmas stockings, or chucked the next time I cleaned out the freezer. The rest was eaten slowly, and typically thrown out after a few weeks. Some of the kids still go for that, but Cam rebelled from the plan years ago. Fortunately he is now too old to go door to door, so he is out of the mix there.

What I DO like about the holiday is the fun places to go, and the creative crafts that are interesting to make. These pictures are from fall break. Kathryn brought her kids over and we painted pumpkins and made cookie spiders. Then we watched Corpse Bride. We also went to HEE HAW farms last Tuesday. We had a great time petting animals, picking a pumpkin, sliding down slides, and going through a blown up haunted house. That one wouldn't have been too bad, but it was dark by the time we went in, and it was pitch black inside. Fortunately I had brought my bag, and it has pretty much everything in there, including a trusty little flashlight. Good thing, because Andi and Emma were inside screaming, and Kaylee was crying. Kathryn and I went in after them, ran through the maze to get to them, and led them to safety. Tiffany was sure that she would have nightmares about being in a pitch black maze, and running out of air to breath. Should be good for a halloween dream, eh?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Look at my new skill

Aren't you glad that I now know how to not only upload my pictures, but you can now see the video we took of Tiffany at her first meet this season. This is her floor routine. Besides the extra movement of the camera in the middle that will make you slightly nauseated, it is pretty good!!

Some valid reasons I haven't posted a blog recently!

There are always good reasons to not blog - one of my favorites is that I would rather read other peoples writing than my own. I also have the good excuse of not having ever downloaded pictures before - my husband always did that, and I hadn't gotten around to asking him to do it for a while - OK, I know that it only took a few seconds for me to plug the cord into the computer and my camera, and let the computer do its thing. But, still...
These pictures show some of what we have been up to. The picture of Nate and his brother - one of those photos that is a true life picture of how silly they are together. I always wish we could see Eric and his family more. Tiff has been busy competing in gymnastics this season. She has had a great experience, with her highest all around score 36.05 so far. She is getting moved up to level 5 in December, and can hardly wait!! She works really hard. Andrea and her cousin are on the swings - we love the fall days! These girls always crack us up, because they egg each other on, and have a great time doing it. Finally, Der loved soccer. He chased the ball, wasn't afraid to get right in the mix and get in a good kick, and would laugh as he ran down the field. He can hardly wait for spring so he can start again. Life is good!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Great phrases by kids

Last week Derek was playing soccer. I was the only one there because of the 3 other commitments happening at the same time - divide and conquer is the name of the game. After the game I had my hands and arms full with camp chairs, school bag (I study when he's not actually playing), my bag (no, not a purse!) and the left over treats, because it was my week to provide snacks. To get back to the car I asked Derek to carry my bag, so I could carry everything else. It was hanging around his neck and down his front. He said, "I look like a woman!" He was happy to carry it to the car, but asked as soon as we got there if I could take it off of him. As soon as I removed it he shouted, "I feel like a man again. What a relief!" My little 7 year old man. I wish I had taken a picture!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The clean and the not so..

I cleaned my brother's house, and my dad's condo today. My brother is recently divorced. He is a tidy soul, but he hates to clean bathrooms. He prefers to pay someone to clean for him, and I have the job. It currently helps pay for the gymnastics meets every other week ($75 each meet), so it is worth it! My father loaned me some money to take chemistry last semester, and I pay him back by cleaning his place once a month for 18 months. He, too, would rather pay one of his daughters to clean for him than do it himself.

So, today I left home at 8:00 am, after my children all left for school. I went to my brother's house first. After turning on some music, I cleaned to my hearts content. It is actually sort of nice to clean without the added concern of organizing or rearranging. I just have to clean. When I left, the bathrooms sparkled, the floors were done, the house was dusted, and the door frames wiped clean. Then I went to my fathers place. There, too, the bathrooms were cleaned, the floors vacuumed, the dust wiped away, and the kitchen scrubed. Then, at long last (2:00 pm), I came home. MY bathrooms need attention immediately, my floors need to be done, there is dust every where, and the kitchen is cluttered with the school papers and homework of the week. I can't face cleaning another house today! Perhaps tomorrow. At least I can enlist the help of the children, so we can all get it done more quickly.

I typically write a note for my dad when I leave his place. Usually it is just a "Hello, I came and cleaned, have a great day, I love you" sort of note. Perhaps the fumes from all the bathroom cleaner I had inhaled finally affected my brain. Here is a copy of todays note...

"Esteemed Father -
I did clean, and it seemeth to me good. The bathrooms now sparkle, and do not stinketh - they did not stink when I got here, but the stink can set in rapidly, wherefore I did clean them so they stinketh not. The kitchen floor is delightsome to the senses, and could be eaten upon, though that would be a foolish place to eat. The floors are clean and free of dust, whereby you may relax and not fear the strength of the dust bunny. And many other things did I clean. And finally, dear Father, I thank you for the refreshment you gave, though you knew it not. I was faint with hunger, and did partake of the cashews, but not many did I eat. I also did enjoy one cookie, but not more than one did I eat, lest you run out of the delightsome treat, because you have only a few. I leave you with love - Your obedient servant - Deborah

(It bears knowing that he had four full, unopened packages of oreos on the counter, having just been to the store)
As a final note of interest, I got back my biology midterm score, and, believe it or not, I recieved a perfect score - 100%. Apparently, I am the only one that got that score, though many were in the 90% range. I did a little jig of joy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finding Balance...

I teach yoga. During class we always do at least one, and sometimes several, balancing poses. I remind the students that each pose is a process and a journey. We search for balance throughout the body. Balance is not a competition. Strength and balance are increased by working on them. We strive for balance in our body, and balance in our life. Always adjusting a bit, understanding that it will be better on some days than others, but balance is improved by working on it.

I am really good at finding a balance in my life, and then adding three or four projects, responsibilities, or commitments into the mix. Then I either have to pull out of something I committed to - and I detest being flaky!! - or, usually, I just cause myself lots of stress and grief, and let other things that are important to me fall apart (ie. personal time, time with the kids, house cleaning, etc.) So, I just did it again. I thought I could take 8 credits this fall and make it work. It would be great! I could finish off the nursing school pre-requisites in one final fell swoop, get on the waiting list, and feel great about my accomplishments. Unfortunately, physiology was one of those classes. The first day of class my professor informed us that her class would take a large amount of time, and if anyone was taking any other challenging courses or had big time commitments, they could be in trouble. At the end of class, every day, she reminded us that she would keep moving fast through the information, and that we needed to be spending lots of time with the subject. I sat there, and wondered WHEN I wouldn't have other big time commitments! I dug in and studied. I worked 35-40 hours a week, for 2 1/2 weeks, on that class, squeezing in a bit of biology work along the way. Then I took my first test. I bombed it!!! Miserably!!! When all was said and done, and the curve applied, the test score was probably decent. But I realized that my life was completely out of balance. I didn't want to study full time for a 4 credit class, to the complete exclusion of everything else. I dropped it the very day after my test. I was still in the window of time where I could get a full refund and pull out without getting a "W". Am I a quitter? Did I fail? Should I feel ashamed? In fact, I feel wonderful. More balanced. I think I lost 10 pounds of stress (Now why doesn't that show up missing on the scale??). I can take biology this semester - I just did great on my first test today - and physiology next semester from a different professor. What's the rush?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can I do it?

My current fun, or not fun, is school. I have only been working on this semester for just over three weeks, and it feels as if it will never end. Can I possibly learn enough to do well - or do well enough to not have to take the classes over, which seems like a fine option today? And then I have to wonder why I have done this to myself - payed a lot of money to spend time in class trying to learn a lot of stuff really quickly, and then, to top it off, I get to spend time being tested on the large amount of stuff that has been talked about in class. Who wouldn't want to spend two hours in the testing center with someone walking up and down the aisle between the desks, watching every move you make, trying to catch you making signals to someone across the room as you scratch your nose?

Then I have the "ahaa" moments, when parts of the whole come together, and I realize that I love to learn, I can do this, and it is cool to be in class learning new things in a formal education way. I sit around the kitchen table with my children after school and we all study together. My kids think it is cool that I have homework too. I even cleaned my wood floor and master bathroom today (I had to get up at 6:00 am to get that in), and am feeling like I may be able to stay on top of a few things at once. What an accomplishment!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Football Season Begins!

While I don't set my clock by the beginning of the BYU football season, my husband does. He shows great restraint, waiting to mow the big "Y" in the front yard until the week or two before the first game.

There is something about football season that I do look forward to - fall! I love rain, changing leaves, and long sleeve shirts. Nathan goes to most games, and I use the time to relax - ok, that's what I used to do, now I study. Going back to school means that when we have down time, I study. When the kids go out to play, I study. I sit on the porch swing to watch the kids ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac, and study. I never put such effort into my classes when I was younger! Not that it would have changed anything - I did fine before, and earned my bachelor degree. I didn't decide to do nursing until 10 or 11 years ago! Now that my youngest is in kindergarten, the time has come to return to school. I can't tell if it is fun or not, but I'm glad I'm doing it.
Being a mom is unpredictable. Jas had to get two big moles removed from his leg on Tuesday. One was bigger than a dime, and the other only slightly smaller. The moles were cut out and he has stiches for each one, the stiched line between 1 1/2 and 2 inches long. Yesterday Cam and Jas were goofing around, and the longer set of stiches site popped. Big gaping hole, larger than a quarter, wide open. Pretty deep to. Nate took him into insta-care to get it all stiched up again (of course, this happened on Sunday). Today is Labor Day. We went up to the family cabin for the day to relax and watch it snow! Der is prone to migranes, and got one right before dinner. He gets sick and throws up every time he gets one, which is about once a week. Fun for a 7 year old...or not. You just never know what will happen next. If we knew what to expect, how boring life would be!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Er...Was that a complement?

School has begun, for me as well as the kids. I am taking biology at Salt Lake Community College and physiology at UVU (previously known as UVSC). Yesterday was my first physiology class. I was about 10 min. early, but still had to sit in one of those small chairs with a little arm desk sticking out in front. Taking notes on such a thing is an interesting adventure! If I had been earlier I would have had a spot on the big lab tables. I will be earlier tomorrow!

So, some of us on the back chair row began chatting before the professor arrived. The subject of children came up, as it often does, and one gal said she has a two year old that she dropped off in the day care at the university. I said that I have five children, and had just dropped my kindergartner off at class too. She said, "Wow, you don't look that old!".

So, here is the rub. On one hand, it could be nice that I don't look old enough to have five children, but on the other, it made me laugh, because apparently I am "that old". Of course the conversation doesn't end there, and goes on to when we graduated from high school (what a natural thing to discuss in a place filled with people that mostly graduated 2 or 3 years ago, tops). After sharing that I graduated over 20 years ago, and earned my bachelors degree 15 years ago, the same comment with more energy was given ..."Wow, you don't look that old". So, here's to all of us that are "that old" and then some! It's a great age to be, whatever it is!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Counting our blessings

You know when you pray every morning and ask the Lord to protect you and your family? Well, we are witness to those prayers being answered.

In front of our home this evening, a 32 year old man with a seizure disorder sped left to right, across the edge of our front lawn, through our flower garden, over a cable and phone box, across the front lawn of our neighbors to the south, and smashed into a full-sized pickup at at least 40 or 50 miles an hour. The miracle? The road he was flying down runs directly toward our cul-de-sac. He hit a speed bump 30 yards up the road, which forced his car to turn with the road, and veer away from our cul-de-sac. 4 of the 5 kids were out front playing. Somehow, the 12 other cul-de-sac kids were not playing in the path which the car took, nor were the 15 or 20 other neighborhood children that are typically outside playing in the front. While the neighbor owning the truck appears to be the only person who suffered a loss, it was a blessing that pickup was in his path. The driver rammed the pickup broadside, effectively stopping him from driving right into their home. There were no skid-marks showing any braking, and an aunt of his, driving by later, confirmed to us that he indeed had a seizure disorder and that he "wasn't suppose to drive." I was there very quickly and tried to help the driver remain calm, and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. He was completely unaware of what had happened. We know the truth......God answered our prayers today. We're saying them again tomorrow - we suggest you do the same.

"The difference between God and the Devil is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy." -Brigham Young
(This post was written by Nathan, and changed around by Deb)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to School

Hard to believe that the school year has begun. My children are back to getting up early, packing their lunches, choosing their outfits (I guess that is a girl thing - the boys just get dressed), filling their backpacks, getting their hair done by themselves or me, eating breakfast, saying family prayer, scrubbing their teeth, and running out the door. It is a whirlwind! I always feel a moment of relief when the time has come for them to all walk out the door. We got it all done, and off they go. This year my youngest starts kindergarten, and will be leaving with the crowd starting next week. Kindergarten is what I like to call "pretend" school. It is too short to qualify for real school, and I have always wondered how they could get much done in class, because I don't have time to finish much at home before it is time to gather my kindergartener back from school.

In spite of all the chaos, I love fall and the beginning of school. It is another new beginning, full of possibilities for us all. We will be more organized this year, and more on top of the projects that need to be done. I have been saying that many times to myself, because I am starting classes tomorrow too. I will be taking a biology and physiology class, so I can get onto the nursing school waiting list in December. I have big plans to insure that all will be well. In spite of the fact that I have labs both Monday and Tuesday nights at 7 pm, and I will be teaching dance at BYU on Wednesday until 6:30 pm (my two girls will be in my classes), I will be on top of things and organized. I will make extra dinners on Saturday that can be refrigerated or frozen, that can be pulled out during the beginning of the week to make those days easier and less chaotic than they might be. I will get all my studying done while my children are still in school, so when they get home I can focus on their needs and not my own. I will still keep the house clean, and the bathrooms will not turn into the pit of despair. I will even still take time out for myself to read a relaxing book occasionally, or re-watch one of my favorite movies......Pride and Prejudice, or a Doris Day movie.

AND THEN...when all my resolve goes out the window, the bathrooms DO look like the pit of despair (no, I don't really know what that looks like, but it can't be good), and I didn't make extra dinners on Saturday and I am just not feeling like I can do one more thing before I run off to lab, we will have Macaroni and Cheese from a box, or the old stand by, Ramen Noodles, and my children and husband will like it just as well as they like the well planned, well thought out meals that I spent much more time on... or I may just look at Nathan and tell him that it's his turn to do dinner and the house, and he'll laugh and make dinner himself, because he is very able, capable, and happy to do it, and the children will clean the bathrooms because they can, and because it is their turn. And that will be ok too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Dreams

There is something about watching people compete in the Olympics that is different than any regular sporting event. I'm not sure if it is because they only happen every 4 years (I know that winter and summer olympics are only two years apart from each other, but the events are 4 years apart :-) ) or if it is the hype that comes with the opening ceremony and non-stop coverage. What ever it is, I am staying up every night until nearly midnight because I am completely hooked.

Last night we watched the women's gymnastics competition. Tiffany (10) was watching it with us, and she said she hopes she can compete like that some day. As an adult I look at those gymnasts and think that out of all the clubs in all of the USA, only 6 made it on that team. It cost those families untold amounts of money, un-natural amounts of time, and complete focus and motivation, to the exclusion of all else, and most gymnasts still don't get that dream fulfilled. It's a goal that will bring only disappointment. It's not practical! And yet, a child watches the team compete and dreams that some day it might be her. Oh to believe like a child again - Anything is possible, and dreams can come true!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Myth or Fact

Have you ever heard that a bounce sheet in your pocket will keep the mosquitoes away? I had always wondered if it were true, so when Nathan, Cameron and I went hiking on Timpanogos Mountain, we each put a dryer sheet in our pocket. I even did one better - I rubbed the sheet on my arms and back of my neck to make sure the scent was prevalant. It worked great.....until the mosquitoes came out in the evening. Then they began to feast on all of us. I HATE the smell of most bug sprays - I wonder if the smell is worse than the bites until after I am home and showered and still scratching :-) - but in this case I was glad for the spray we had. It helped keep the mosquitoes to a minimum, even if not completely away.

Our hike was so fun! Cameron is 14 years old, 6'3'' tall, and prone to behave like a stereotypical teenager at times. On this climb he talked, we laughed, we were able to discuss a variety of subjects, concerns, and goals in a conversational way as opposed to a defensive manner, and I enjoyed it completely. On our way back it was pitch black, and we were going by the light of flashlights and headlamps. Our one moment of excitement was when Nate saw eyes reflecting in his light. We stopped, and a bobcat stared back at us from the trail. It started running toward us, but jumped off the trail when Nathan made a loud hissing sound. We heard it run up the side of the mountain. It made the jack-rabbit that we saw a few minutes later very common place. Perhaps we saved the rabbits life by distracting the bobcat? :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Plan Away

I love to plan. My planner is a personal friend that has down all sorts of information - things to look forward to, things to not forget, birthdays of people I love, appointments I should make, appointments I should keep....and so forth. Outside of my planner I like to make lists. It helps me think about what I am going to do for the next day - you know, get focused and prepared. So my list of things to do today was as follows:

Mon. July 28th

6:00 am run 5 miles

start laundry
clean my room
clean my bathroom
make car appt. - oil change, safety and emissions inspection
make Jason dermatologist
make periodontic appt. for me
clean kids bathroom
clean and dust front room
clean and dust tv room
clean wood floor
vacuum stairs
eat breakfast / print VT message
vacuum basement
basement bathroom

10:30 am VT Jenn

balance checkbook / pay bills

go to the bank
buy school supplies
go to UVU - pay tuition, buy physiology book and parking pass

That is a copy of the real list I wrote last night. Not asking too much, right? Notice that all the stuff before 10:30 am was to be finished BY 10:30 am. OK, so I am not very realistic. I do have helpers in the form of children - they were each assigned to clean their rooms, including dusting and vacuuming, along with two of the chores listed above. They do a fairly good job when reminded!

Funny enough, it isn't all done yet, and it is nearly 3:00 pm. What happened? Well, here's the thing. I didn't include time for important things such as gazing off into space after I get back from running, because I am still tired and need to stretch. I didn't include sorting laundry, which is now in my bedroom, making it impossible to completely finish the bedroom chore. I didn't write down time to get on the computer, check emails, write emails, and check out other peoples blog. I didn't even have in the plan to write a new blog of my own. Therein lies the problem. There are many things that get done that just can't be planned for! There is the obvious time needed to get dressed and ready for the day that gets added on to the "shower" spot, and the "plan" didn't allow for helping the children get their breakfast, coming girls hair, answering the phone and chatting with my husband for a few minutes, and unloading and loading the dishwasher so I can clean up after breakfast - not to mention that each job includes other parts of the job, like wiping down walls, cleaning blinds, and working on general order before getting into the full cleaning mode. Every job is really like three jobs put into one. :-)

I guess I love lists for another reason - I get to cross things off when I finish them, and, even more fun, I can write extra stuff I did on the list and cross it off immediately. It feels very productive.

One great thing about a list is that it can leak over to tomorrow! And it usually does. Here is to making a new list!! :-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

About running

Here is my running analogy for the day. The ease and joy of running down a hill does not equal the work and torture of running up a hill. A downhill into an uphill does not give you any momentum to make the beginning of the up any easier. And, finally, going down a hill often feels like running on level ground, while running even slightly up hill NEVER feels like running on level ground. Sometimes life is like that too. When things are going well and nicely, time passes easily. Somehow that never seems to "store up" and swing me through the challenging times. I haven't had babies that keep me up at night for a long time. I don't expect to wake up and take care of anyone. I quite enjoy my sleep. And then it happened. My oldest child became a teenager that likes to stay out late. Because it is summer, he and his group of friends have spent many nights playing night games or watching old movies (sometimes at our home too!) When he does come home, he likes to putter around, take a late shower, get himself a snack, go out to the garage for a water bottle, and call friends - other teenagers that are also not asleep at nearly 1:00 am. So once again I find myself staying up late, waking up everytime the bathroom door opens and closes, and waking up to check on a child in the middle of the night. I find that the many nights I have had without being disturbed or worried because of my children and their sleep have not made the current late nights any easier, or made me less tired the days after the late nights. Up hill is always hard! I think it gets harder as I get older :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Birthdays at our house

Children's birthdays
Isn't it amazing how much goes into celebrating birthdays? My middle child just turned 10 yesterday. We try to make the day special by letting the birthday child choose the meals, the activities, and the plan of the day. She chose egg, sausage and cheese bagles for breakfast. Then we went to a movie (we bought a summer movie package at the beginning of the summer), and saw "Horton Hears a Who". We ran to the store to buy milk - we were 100% out - took the boys home, and went to get pedicures. We had hear of a place that only charges $10 because it is a school, so we went, only to find out that they are remodeling this week (of course) and not doing nails. We ended up at Wal-Mart, paid a lot more, and only Tiffy got the whole foot treatment. The toenails look cute though :-) Then we dashed home to work on the chosen dinner, which was stuffed cheese shells. It wasn't finished by the time Nate got home, so we tossed it the fridge so we could get to Jump on It for our activity. That was Tiff's choice of outings for her day. It is a building filled with connected trampolines. On Monday nights there is a family deal of $20 per immediate family, which is way better than the normal rate. Der gets migraines, and got a fierce one right before we walked out the door. He is only 6. He was crying, pressing his head into the couch, and looked pastey. We gave him some medicine and water, and brought him along. He threw up about 5 minutes before we got to the building. Usually that makes him feel better, and, sure enough, within 20 minutes he was jumping around the trampolines with everyone else. We all got sweaty and tired, and Nate caught his foot on something and ripped a quarter size chunk of skin off the ball of his foot - and he was wearing socks! In spite of the drama, it was great fun! We came home and ate dinner, talked the "bests" of the day over, and Tiffy felt that her birthday was a great success! I forgot my camera (typical for me), but my mom came and took pictures. I will add some as soon as she sends them along.With 5 children we have adopted the rule of party years. Friend parties happen on ages 5, 8, and 12. The other years are family activities. It works well except the years that the birthdays align - my oldest turned 12, my third turned 8, and my fourth turned 5 one year. So much for spreading out the parties!! :-)