Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fruit Flake



One of the things The Natives love about grocery shopping is when we are walking by the fresh produce and you hear the sound of thunder. Because after the sound of thunder comes..........the rain.

I'm a mother of toddlers. I know what you were thinking. You think I haven't watched the movie, "Cars" a million times? You thought I was going to say lightning!

Today I gained a new appreciation for the timed rain showers the fresh produce receives as it sits on the shelf waiting for someone like me to come along plucking it off the shelf to bring home.

I used to think those little rain showers was probably close to good enough and would give my produce a quick rinse.....until......today.

I was in the produce department of the grocery store when a young man caught my attention. He was leaning over the produce bent over looking at himself in the mirror behind the produce busily doing his hair. With his fingers he was taking his hair and pushing it this way and that and all I could think of was, "I was interested in the produce you are leaning over but after the snow showers I'm sure you are giving it......I am no longer interested". The young man after much tweaking of his hair stood up and walked away.....his hair looking no different then when he started and me left looking at that produce with an over ripe feeling in my gut and a strong desire to get me a years supply of veggie/fruit wash.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Squawk



I've inherited.......the squawk.......

Growing up my mother would do what we called, the squawk. Out of the blue this horridly loud hiccupy squawky sound would come out of her mouth. "What on earth was THAT"? She blamed it on us. Said she'd never had it until she'd had us kids. Yeah right. Along with all the stretch marks, grey hairs, aches, pains, loss of memory, etc. One more thing to blame on birthing punks.

When my older sisters started having kids and started squawking I howled with laughter. "You've got the squawk"!!!!

And now......along with my stretch marks, saggy butt, stretchy belly button, grey hair, loss of memory and other faculties, The Natives have also made it possible for me to join ,"The squawking club" to which The Natives ask, "What the heck was THAT"?

If you are or have ever been a skier you will know what I am talking about when I tell you that sometimes when you are standing in line for the lift, for no reason, you all of a sudden find yourself falling over causing a domino effect as other skiers around you fall over. You're just standing there minding your own business and plop! Over you go. So stinkin' embarrassing.

It is the same with the squawk. You're sitting there minding your own business and next thing you know your head is yanked back off of your shoulders, your mouth gapes open, and this horrendous noise comes flying out from deep down within your chest sounding like a chicken that has been grabbed unsuspecting around its neck, eyes bulging, screeching its last squawky protest. I'm pretty sure my eyes bulge too when I squawk. I know they're bulging as I hurry and clamp my hands over my mouth, red creeping up my cheeks and face as I say, "What the heck was THAT"???

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year........



Every year the week before Christmas a secret box appears on our front porch.



It is chalk full of fun activities to keep The Natives busy as they countdown the last few days until Christmas.



If you ask The Natives....it wouldn't be Christmas without the secret box. It is part of Christmas. Has been ever since they can remember.



The elves are busy at work. We'll see you again after the holidays! Until then, have a very Merry Christmas aaaaand.......a Happy New Yearrrrrrrr!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Update on Levi

I am always amazed at how many people Levi has touched. So many that I had no idea until they have come and told me. It means a lot......that so many people care. And with that care, are wondering how Levi is doing.

I think Levi is doing better than his mother quite frankly. I'm still waiting until it is convenient to have a melt down.

I have spent the last few days starting with the first post I ever posted on this blog labeling all of the Levi ones. One post in particular caught my eye and it really yanked the rug out from under me. For some reason I had most conveniently made myself to believe that I had longer before Levi would hit the next phase of his disease, in fact, I had myself convinced that we were going to beat this! That Levi is different and wasn't going to follow any patterns that other AHC kids have followed. Then I read this post and what a slap in the face! I thought I had more time....Levi turns 8 in March. All of a sudden the seizures are back but it is a fluke right? He has until he's 10 or 11. But I forgot......that it was 8 or 9.

Gosh it hurts ya know? I know that our Savior Jesus Christ came to this earth and atoned for everything. Our sins, our hurts, our pains.....He already suffered for us so all I need to do is ask Him to take this pain for me. I don't have to shoulder this alone and "Come, What May and Love It"!

But...there is opposition in all things and if I don't feel the pain....I don't feel the good....so there has to be some pain right? Life isn't all roses and boxes of chocolates. Those roses have thorns and those chocolates have calories OR..... the thorns have roses....and the calories have chocolate.......?

In answer to every one's question, Levi is doing great. He's complained of several headaches since. He's had some digression mainly in the making it to the toilet to go potty area.....We can't let him out of our sight again so I type this as Levi takes a bath.....but he's as cheerful as ever and well......Levi! And for all of you that know Levi, you know what I mean by that.

Thanks for asking and for all of your prayers. Prayers are powerful.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mud. Slingin' and Sloggin'

The day after an event like yesterday always leaves me feeling like I'm slogging through mud. Can't focus, can't think, can't concentrate. Just putting one foot in front of the other.

I talked to a friend yesterday on the phone and asked her, why? Why after almost eight years of doing this......why do I still react as if it is the first?

Her answer was a BINGO! We know the "big one" is coming. Today? Tomorrow? In fifty years? Each time Levi goes down it could be the big one and each time he goes down and is still with us it is a huge relief that we've escaped once again but we're always waiting......knowing that it is lurking out there on the fringes.

I had a dream about Levi. I was running down a corridor that had doors on both sides. An endless corridor. I could hear Levi crying. All of the doors were locked. They had padlocks on them. I couldn't get to Levi. I couldn't figure out which door he was behind and so I kept running trying locked door after locked door down a corridor that never ended. I never stopped running frantically trying locked doors all the while hearing my Levi crying until the dream ended when I awoke.

In our house and many in the neighborhood for some fabulous reason the fire alarms like to go off in the middle of the night. We've lived here now for going on 14 years and I can't tell you how many times in one year those dang things will fire off and it is ALWAYS in the middle of the night. No matter how many times we've gone through this, each time the alarm goes off it jolts The SM and I out of sleep and bed and after we've checked to make sure it is just the idiot alarms mis-firing (yes, all of these puns are intended) we lay in bed for a good hour or so trying to get our hearts out of our throats and back where they belong beating a normal beat and not Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's, "Flight of the BumbleBee".

That, is what it is like with Levi. Alarms going off, wondering if the small fires are going to escalate into an out of control burning fire that we can't put out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pounding the Pavement

Pounding the pavement. Therapy. My emotions runneth over.....I pound the pavement.

I sit here in my living room writing...instead of running. I didn't use to be a runner. It wasn't until I had Levi and started running because I felt I needed to be physically strong for him. I've always exercised. Exercised hard but didn't run until exercising wasn't enough. I needed something more aggressive. So, I'd exercise and run and when the emotions became too much I'd run even more. I'd pound the pavement. Anger management. Anger at things I can't control no matter how hard I try.

This past week I have been slowly tanking. I keep telling myself, "just make it past Christmas. If I can only make it past Christmas, then I can pass out on the couch until spring. Just let me get through Christmas". Today the pain has increased enough that plans of going shopping were postponed. In jammies, pillow propping me up, quilts tucked around me, I rested on the couch. Then the phone rang. The school nurse. Levi's had a seizure out on the playground. Come quick.

I have been doing this for almost eight years now and yet, the adrenaline still pumps as if it is the first time all over again. I threw on clothes and my shoes, ran out the door, jumped in Clifford and floored it over to the school. As I rounded the bend I saw parked in front of the school the ambulance and fire truck. I knew they were there for Levi.

Levi had been out on the playground playing when he went down. One of the aids was with him and reacted quickly. Thankfully, the seizure didn't last long and the paramedics were called as a precaution. Levi is doing well. I spent the rest of the day with him at school. He was able to stay and participate for the class Christmas party.

A few weeks ago I tried running again. I made it two weeks before it became obvious that I was doing more harm than good. I miss it terribly and today.....as I sit and write instead of running.....I miss it horribly. I want to pound some pavement!

Disconnected and out of touch with reality.



Indulge me a minute would you? I feel a rant coming on. I recently received a message on Face Book that if I hurry to a certain store, I could get one of those virtual hampster thingys that is the hot item for cheap rather than pay heaps of money on e-bay for said same item.

Now, mind you I'm not saying everyone has to turn their homes into the local pet shop like we have but where is the reality in these items? Don't get me wrong. I understand that it is great teaching your kids about having a pet without having to clean up any of its messes should it 'oops' on your floors, or if your child should forget to feed these pets you don't have to worry about consoling your child and teaching them about death because all you have to do is push a button and it restarts a new pet for them to take care of. Quite a neat little package! Nor do you have to teach your child about the costs of food and upkeep with an actual..real....pet. So your child gets the pet experience without......the reality..of a pet.



May I continue my snit......I was talking to my mother recently on this thing called a telephone. I know, totally 90's huh? I admitted to her that I never talk to anyone on the telephone anymore except for her and my sisters and The SM at lunch time. With all of the fabulous technology out there for "connecting" with people I have become totally DISconnected in being "connected". Where is the responsibility in and reality of relationships gone to? We don't have to feed or nurture our relationships anymore because if they die......we just click a button and start a new one!

This morning I was reading Kristen's blog. She talked about how her horses somehow know when the cows next door have had their lives ended. It is done quietly and in the most humane way possible. The cows do not know when it is coming or when it happens. They feel nothing and no signs are left behind as to what has taken place. It is done quickly and efficiently and yet....the horses still know and they react. Why? Because they are connected.

We have had first hand experience with the knowledge that animals can reach humans where and when humans can't. We've seen it with Levi and his dog Julie. An amazing bond. Because they are connected.

My mother said one of the hardest things she had to witness growing up on the farm was when the calf (no longer a calf) was taken to be butchered. She would watch real live huge tears fall down the faces of our cow and horse. The animals would shed actual tears. Year after year.......she watched this phenomenon. Two different species mourning together.

I do believe that our spirits are more in tune with each other than "we" are but we could become more in tune and connected...if we'd disconnect from the connectors and spend more real time together.......just my opinion.....for what it is worth.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So it isn't Crackpot Tuesday......not that it matters.....my pot is always cracked.



I realize that I didn't do a Crackpot Tuesday yesterday. It was one of those days and you were quite lucky to get a post on demented snowmen with all of the running around that I did what with Levi going on a field trip bowling with the other special needs kids at the school and then my baby girl wanted me to help her while she worked in a little Christmas store that her class is doing this week. And of course since I hate going grocery shopping I have once again let things get to such a state that The Natives are gnawing on cupboard doors because there is nothing in the house to eat so getting to the grocery store was a must and like this huge run on sentence that was my day yesterday. A huge run on from one thing to the next.

I didn't do a crackpot but I DID make homemade enchiladas (is there any other kind) and they were quite scrumptious. If you've never made enchilada sauce from scratch you really ought to try. Much better than that canned enchilada wanna be sauce.

Enchilada Sauce-Red
(Serves 8)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (See note below)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
a pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup salsa
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (can use water if you don't have broth)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce.

Mix together and then stir in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
original recipe from All Recipes that I tweaked a little bit

Note: If you have a local Mexican market nearby or an aisle in your grocery store that sells Mexican ingredients get your chili powder from there. They have several different varieties and they make your enchilada sauce even better! Like Ancho chili powder for example. Mix them up if you really want to go hog wild. 1/2 of one kind and 1/2 of another. Seriously! Live a little! Step outside of that recipe box and throw in a dash of this and a pinch of that.

Serve over enchiladas, nachos, eggs, hash browns, chocolate cake.....just kiddin' on the cake part. Just wonderin' if you were paying attention.

Hello? Anybody there?.......sigh.......guess I lost ya in the aisle with the Mexican ingredients. Not a bad place to be lost in. Not that I've ever been lost..unless it's in a pile of laundry.....which reminds me, Note to self: Make like you are really busy so you can put off laundry for another day. Self to note: Better not or not only will The Natives be gnawing on cupboard doors but they'll be doing it naked.....Point taken. Top of things to do today: Laundry!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Demented. The Snowman or the children?



Y'all have demented snowmen in your yards too? Snowmen with sticks through their guts and an axe through its head....This is normal right? Go ahead lie. It'll make me feel better.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fowl Play



Note to self: When one wakes up early in the morning before the sun has wiped the gritty sleep out of its eyes and you see the full moon shining through your starry window........before you become entranced and start taking photos.....you might want to get a ladder and clean off the outside of the window where the local avian have graciously dropped their fowl excrement's.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hanukkah!



Tonight at sundown we'll be lighting this.



Eating tons of these.



Playing this game.



And engorging ourselves with these.

Happy Hanukkah!!

And for your enjoyment from our very own Senator Orin Hatch.......

Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

While the older siblings are away............

Someone heard me coming up the stairs to check on him....to see what he was doing.....he was being too quiet.......so he thought he'd hide.....and then when he thought the coast was clear.......

video

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Crackpot Tuesdays and playing in the snow for the first time this season.


Photo by Taste of Home
Aaaaa! The broccoli is infested with maggots!

It's Crackpot Tuesday and my baby picked the meal this time. Hmmmm, what does a picky eater who won't eat anything but 'peanut butter jelly plate and bread' little boy choose when it is his turn to choose a dinner?

You got it! Good ol' Mac N' Cheese.

I figured if I was going to go to all of the trouble of making Mac N' Cheese in a crackpot and not out of a box it better be at least....four stars if not better. For me, Mac N' Cheese is the go to meal when The SM and I go on a date and the kids need something quick and easy to fix or when I'm really tired......cheese in a box. It truly is a staple around these here parts.

For Mac N' Cheese The Natives said they'd give it five stars and The SM said four stars. A little more involved than the box stuff but not too much so that was a plus for me.



Yesterday was also the first day this little one was able to go outside and embrace the snow we've been receiving for the last few days. It came down non-stop yesterday which is a good thing. A very good thing...



Because now my neighbors do not have to look at my ugly yard. It's all under a beautiful white blanket of snow...unless you go in the backyard....that is where the dogs carefully place bombs and dye the snow yellow.



I realize a lot of my posts are about my baby and I truly do apologize it's just with The Natives in school it is the baby, myself, and.....the dogs.......and....well.......be grateful I take photos of my baby and not more of the dogs....because dogs do not care if they have a camera pointed at them. They do stuff like this!



I suppose I could take more photos of the sheepies behind our house.



I never see them lick their bottoms.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A package of love, warmth, and timeless traditions passed down through the generations.



Dress up! What little girl doesn't like dress up? During Thanksgiving vacation I received a package in the mail. Three boxes! Two with my name on them and one with my baby girls name.

Christmas in November! Sooo excited. We had no idea what was in them, just that they were from Auntie Jo-Jo. A friend who is battling WNV just like me except she is doing it more gracefully.

We opened the first box with my baby girls name on it and found dress up clothes! Really cool dress up clothes that were Auntie Jo-Jo's Great Aunts.

In the second box (I didn't take photos....I'm lame......I know......)were two really cool wrought iron baskets that match my house perfectly!!! And several old books that were also Auntie Jo-Jo's Great Aunts. Does Auntie Jo-Jo know me or what? I've already spent many a cozy night tucked up in bed reading them.



And...these amazing quilts there were also Auntie Jo-Jo's Great Aunts.



Not just any old quilt that you'd go and buy at the 'Marts'. We're talking heirloom quilts!



Look at the tiny stitches. These quilts were made in the 1930's. Back in the day before the nifty rotary cutters. Each of these tiny little pieces; 1 1/2 inch squares was hand cut with scissors and then sewn together by hand. Yes, you read correctly. By hand. No sewing machine on these quilts. Not only were these hand pieced but they were hand quilted as you can see.



The hours that were put into these quilts! And put together so well. Their condition is just beautiful.



See this tiny little triangle edging on this quilt? Just amazing!



I love this block. It is so bright and happy! I wonder what was going through Auntie Jo-Jo's Great Aunt's mind when she was putting this block together. Such a happy block.



"A Trip Around the World" is the name of this quilt pattern. Very appropriate as I'm not quite around the world from Auntie Jo-Jo but I am across the country and feel so honored that she would bestow me with such lovely gifts as these. Truly honored. I pray Auntie Jo-Jo's Great Aunts memory will live on as we cherish these gifts.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

You are Loved

When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

For someone. And anyone else who may need to hear this; to be reminded..that you are loved.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving break Part Two.



Sorry. I am having to do part two in two parts so when you're finished with this post you'll have to go onto the next post to get the full story. I'm sure it is Blogger and not my ineptness. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I've been trying to download a slew of photos instead of keeping it simple.

I want you to get the full experience. I don't want you to feel jipped in anyway. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I've always been a pack rat and forever will always be a pack rat not being able to throw anything of mine away.......The SM and The Natives......no problem! Their stuff is junk!

Behind Brigham Young University there is a large mountain and on that mountain is painted a large letter "Y". There is a lovely trail that you can hike to get to the letter "Y" and one of The Natives decided he wanted our family to hike the "Y" so we did and I took pictures of it all so you'd feel like you went on the hike with us and at the end your thighs and lungs would be burning and you'd feel the exhilaration of having made it to the top with us!



We grabbed our water packs and walking sticks and we headed out and up.



Some of us had walking trees....



I chose to bring up the rear. I found the view to be breath taking....sorry..



There is a rule that no matter when or where you are, not five minutes into your journey/hike one of The Natives will have to go and use the facilities.



Along the trail at each switch back there are signs that tell you how far you've gone and how much further you need to go. On the signs is a letter "Y". The first post we came to The Natives touched it and said, "We touched the 'Y'. We can go home now"!



One of the many times this one plunked himself down in the dirt and said he was too tired...only to jump up a moment later trotting up the trail after a cool rock, stick, bug....



How is it that the young get to rest at all of the switch back markers waiting for the rest of us (ahem.....me) to catch up and then off they trot off again as I continue to climb. Where's my rest? Ungrateful punks!



Apple. Check. Walking stick. Check. Hoodie. Check. Sunglasses...sorry SHADES. Check. Dimples. Check. Adorable. Check.

And now.....onto part two of two......please turn the page after you hear the little chime we aint half way up the mountain yet!

Thanksgiving break Part Two and a half!



There's a story behind this walking stick that was hand carved for me. A journey that began long before it was placed in my hands last year while I was in the hospital. One of these days I'll post a post about this walking stick. It's pretty cool. Hand carved and given to me by Grandpa Stone. I love you Grandpa Stone!



My baby girl found a stick shaped in the letter "Y". She hauled that stick up the mountain....down the mountain....and home. If you all only knew how many rocks and sticks we've hauled over the years across the country back and forth......



Some melt my heart photos.....



Melting.....Drip.....Drip........



One of the Sons of Helaman!



Someone had written, "You can do it" on this post.



Thirsty? Or realizing that if you make daddy stop and give you a drink you can rest for a few minutes........It's hard having such little legs when your daddy and older brothers are mountain goats.



"Levi, you're thirsty right? Make daddy stop and give you a drink. Mommy needs to rest".



You can't see it in this photo but I promise it's there. Someone wrote "Almost there" on this post. I was starting to think the posts were lying to me. Mr. write on posts, wanted me to THINK we were almost there. You might be able to fool my eyes but my thighs weren't being fooled!



And just when you thought we'd reached the top/the end...it appears there is more to which....you'll have to turn the page when you hear the chime for part two and 3/4s....

Thanksgiving break Part Two and 3/4's.



Trying not to have a heart attack.....We don't need a hospital visit assuming you survive if you fall over Thanksgiving break.



Men. When did those two younger ones start to become men....sigh......



And this one right on their heels......and Son of Helaman.



Oh hey look! You can see Clifford! Tiny red dot of a thing way down there.



Success! We made it. Out of breath yet?



She isn't.



And neither is he.



Awwwww, to be young again.



And not growing up so fast...



And soon in a couple of days turning sixteen.



Yay! We reached the top and I didn't have a coronary in the process. We talked, we laughed, we made faces...



We picked our noses...





We made memories...



We looked down upon the city......



We found our house. See it?



The dogs wished we'd stay and rest longer but....



There were fish to be fed at Cabella's and we needed to get going. The SM put the baby upon his broad shoulders and off we followed.....I was kinda hoping there was room up there for me too but with people looking on, it wouldn't look good to see a mom making her tired baby walk while she was being carried. Had we'd been alone.....