Friday, October 29, 2010

Vermont...Seriously it was in August...I think I will finish NOW!

I am going to finish our Vermont trip posts now! I have tons of pictures and I can't post them all. Here are a few (hundred) that I just had to post and some words to go along with them.....
Driving down the railroad track (it used to be a railroad bed a LONG time ago and we still call it that.) We always roll down the windows and now we are almost there...Just minutes away from Camp...
It was chilly the first day-perfect sleeping at Camp weather. Jake actually slept in this. We slept on the Screened in porch. It was heavenly....
One of my favorite pictures ever....
Some of my Favorite People Live in Vermont, Part 4 (for Parts 1-3 go back to Aug. and Sept posts): Aunt Shelia...Where do I begin? As a child I LOVED the sound of her silver bangle bracelets and her fashion sense. She is one of those people that uses their hands to talk and I remember thinking that I wished I could make my hands look that cool. I would watch the way she held her glass and try to do it that way too. Do you know what I mean? She was (and still is) one of those people that you just love to watch because they are cool without trying to be. Aunt Sheila is an amazing person. She tells you what she thinks and laughs while she does it. She works hard and enjoys life while doing it. She always makes time to see us when we are up North. With Aunt Shelia, you feel loved because she listens and cares about what you are saying-you just know it by the way she looks at you. Did I mention how cool she is? Seriously cool. I love her. Always have, always will. This is Jake and Aunt Sheila posing with the bird feeder she brought to Camp for Jake to make. Love this picture...That is so Aunt Sheila-not looking at the camera but looking to see Jake's reaction. It is a classic Aunt Sheila shot. :)
Sm ore's (didn't know that is how you wrote it, but that is what spell check said.) Had them at least a million times. ;)
Some of my Favorite People Live in Vermont, Part 5: Aunt Sandy and Uncle David. My Aunt Sandy has such a great laugh! One of those laughs you just can't help but laugh along with. She is-get ready for this-the person who taught me: when you are sick at night and just can't make it to the bathroom-you should throw up in a pot. At our house, my mom would put a towel on our pillow. At Aunt Sandy's house she gives you a pot to throw up in. Once you puke in a pot you never go back to the towel on the pillow. :) Crazy memory-but I think it explains the kind of relationships we had with our family-present in our lives for everything. I love Aunt Sandy. I love the story about her that she once saw a snake (she hates them just like me) in her yard while she was mowing it and chased it until she ran it over. That is courage people. I would run the other way like my life depended on it! Can you see why some of my favorite people live in VT?! I love the memories I have with my cousins Dwayne and Denise. Having such an awesome extended family is a good thing. Another memory I have of Aunt Sandy is when she married David (he is a great guy-I love his view on politics. He is a smart guy.). I was in my early teens I think. It was in her back yard and she wanted me to be the one to cue the music as she was walking down the aisle. The song was Bryan Adams-Everything I do (I do it for you...), from the Robin Hood movie. I felt so important that she choose me to do it. :) It was so awesome to see you guys and make more memories! I love you!! Hopefully we will get to see my cousin Denise and her growing family (it grew by one new baby girl while we were there), next time we are up!
We went to the dam while we were there and played on the rapids. Jake named one "the soda pop" when he was little, because the bubbles at the end look like soda. We kayaked down and brought a picnic. It was a good day.

I took one shower in Camp the whole week. We swam so much that we just grabbed the soap and scrubbed up! This is me taking my bath for the day. Look my face was kind of tan"ish"!
Jumping in for the 1,000,000,000th time! We totally kept track...All the wood and things on the dock are the treasures we dug up from the bottom.
The traditional towel pose.
This is my view while laying on the dock trying to tan the back of my legs. :) There are a few more shots I took while trying to lay there (my flip flops, the goldfish we were munching on...etc..but just I choose the best one), I have a hard time just laying there so I experimented with my camera....Love the freckles.
Tubing-that's me and Jake on there...I think...We both went and then he went by himself.
Almost time to go-just a couple of days left. Time for a photo op. Jake in his VT t-shirt...
Some of my Favorite People Live in Vermont Part 4: The Smith's:Uncle Dave, Aunt Robin, Big Jake, and Dylan...Last day at Camp and we went to church with out even leaving. I didn't get the camera out so I don't have a picture of Uncle Dave, but I have some words about him. He stopped by the Sunday before we left and we talked. While we talked we laughed, cried, and shared spiritual feelings. It was awesome. That is Uncle Dave in a nut shell. We talked politics: he is a Conservative. It is so much easier to talk politics with someone who is on the same side of the issue as you-or should I say the correct side. :) We talked about spiritual events in our lives that changed who we are as people. Jake listened. After Uncle Dave left Jake said "Uncle Dave is a Mormon." I told him although he believes a lot of what we believe but, he isn't a Mormon. To this Jake said "No I mean he gets it. Some people say they are spiritual but he really gets it Mommy." To which I agree 100%. Thanks for the visit Uncle Dave. We missed my Aunt Robin (she was headed out of town for a trip with her girl friends) but every time we head to Vermont I bring a purse I am willing to trade because I know Robin will have one ready too. :) We share a love for bags and it is a tradition I love. I love Robin too. I remember meeting her for the first time. She came with Uncle Dave to deliver me a b-day gift. It was the coolest shirt ever. Black with a purple design. It was made from that fabric that is supposed to be wrinkley (what is it called?) and it had beads on thread that hung from the corners of the V-neck. It was my favorite-my hippie shirt. Weird the things you remember...I remember thinking how I should probably be just like her when I grew up. I miss you!!! Big Jake is one of my awesome cousins. He was dubbed this after my Jake was born of course and he is probably as cool as my Jake too. He snowboards. Enough said. Little Jake thinks he is pretty cool. Dylan-the baby of the cousins on the Smith side. He is a fisherman (not by trade just for the love of it) and Grampa Smith says if Dylan stands on the dock and throws out a line with an empty hook he would probably pull out a fish. Again, this makes him one of the coolest guy ever to Little Jake. Not to mention Jake caught his first 5 fish with Dylan. Jake even brought up the lucky "bobber" that Dylan gave him last time we were there and he caught another fist with it. :) We missed seeing you guys-we are coming next year so be ready to be idolized by my Jake. :)

I could go on and on, but lets face it, it is the end of October-it is time to finish. We love Vermont and all the memories we have made (over my whole life time) there. Thanks again Grampa Smith for making those memories possible over 50 years ago, by building our Camp on the lake. :)

I accomplished something today...

Republican. (Picture me saying "Period" after that, not just typing it. I am trying not to talk politics because I am...lets say, passionate about it and I have a hard time stopping, so that is all I will say about that...)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This face....

...Makes me so happy. :) I am so glad after days like the one I had today (Picture me being grumpy while telling Jake to do his homework, while also cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, and living room...again...for like the 20th time this week....), my sweet Jake still says good night to me and as I am walking down the hall he calls out: "I love you Mommy!!! I could never live with out you!!...Well, I guess could but it would be really, REALLY hard and I would never want to!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bobcats

Aaron and Jake went to the Bobcats open practice with Norb last night. They had a great time and Jake was even able to get a picture with Coach Larry Brown, who is in the NBA hall of fame. Aaron even got an autograph on his Bobcats t-shirt (the one he got free at the first ever play off game in Charlotte for the Bobcats) from Stephen Jackson (one of their star players, I even know who he is). Jake got a whole sheet of autographs and thought it was great. They had fun and I did too. I was going to got with them and then decided to let it be a guys night. Instead, I got to hang out with one of my amazing friends Betty White and just talk. We laughed, we cried, we had a great time! A guys night and a girls night...I would say it worked out perfectly!

Jake and hall of fame coach Larry Brown. These are Jake's newest glasses-the free ones.
Jake's autograph sheet. The LC stands for "Lady Cat", one of the...dancers, cheerleaders...what exactly do you call them? Jake got a kick out of the fact that he was pretty much as tall as they were! I don't really know who the other autographs are.
Stephen Jackson signed the other side. At least we think it says Stephen Jackson...It was the autograph that looked the most like the one Aaron had on his shirt.

This is how my morning is going...

Drop Jake off at school. Come home and eat a bowl of cereal while checking emails. One from Jake's teacher....reminding us it is picture day today...!!!!!!!....He has on his tie dye shirt from his old school and I neglected to send in the picture form...I am about to jump in the shower and head back to school with a better shirt and the picture form before I head to work....Hope the rest of the day doesn't go this way. :)

Update: I didn't get better. I ended up throwing up and feeling like I was going to pass out at work because the cramps and back pain from my period were so bad....Tomorrow has got to be better! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yard Sale (and a quick update of life in general)

Here are the pictures from our impromptu yard sale last weekend....This is Jake dancing by, trying to drum up some business.
The next picture is from Jake's popcorn and kool aid stand. He is wearing his ear muffs (for potting...oh shot what are they called? The little screaming creatures in Harry Potter...if I was doing this post I could tell you right now....what they are called?..Mandrakes!! It just came to me. No I didn't go look it up-the books are in Jake's room and I am not about to wake him up. I am so proud of myself for remembering), scarf, and that is his owl Roger, all from the awesome Harry Potter party the night before. (If you haven't checked out the pictures on "Little Larson's" yet you really need to. They are awesome!)...Funny story about Roger the owl. Jake came home with his owl and said his name was Pecker. I of course said nothing, but then Jake told Daddy. Aaron couldn't stop laughing. I won't go into why, but those of you not as innocent as our sweet 9 year old may have heard that word in a crude context before...We explained it to Jake. He laughed (such a boy!) and promised to never use the word in that connotation (upon threat of hot sauce to the tongue. He wouldn't any way. He still thinks the "s" word is stupid), and renamed his owl Roger. Roger is a much better name for his owl. :)
Look at all these clothes!...I really spread everything out so it looked like we had more to sell than we really did. We had enough to make almost $100 bucks, donate a trunk load to Goodwill and set aside a bunch of clothes for the cousins. Not to mention de-cluttering. There are several things in the picture I couldn't bear to part with...I would have sold them, but I was not giving them away...So, it is not as de-cluttered at it could be...

I still haven't taken an updated family picture yet...Oh-Jake got his 3rd pair of glasses last week (He is on Medicaid right now and it takes a while to get them in. We were lucky it only took a month! That is why we went ahead and bought some for him....It usually takes 8 weeks for them to come in!), and I was going to take a picture of him in them but it hasn't happened yet. I still need to finish our Vermont vacation pictures and of course the pictures from when the guys went to the Panthers (who finally won a game today by the way. I only know this because Aaron told me...I was taking a nap trying to get rid of a pounding headache) game...I will eventually do all that...

This weekend flew by, just like they all do. We had our Primary program today and it was wonderful. I need to post Jake's mini-talk from it. He did great....I will get to that too. We had a pancake breakfast yesterday and practice for the program. We also had the kiddos make the front of the programs by gluing words and pictures that were cut out of the Ensign, Friend, and New Era (church magazines for all ages of the family). They came out so great! Jake had 2 buddies come over after that and play. I made them play outside, while I used the opportunity for some much needed house work. Aaron was of course studying. He pretty much sleeps, works, or studies poor guy... But tomorrow he is taking a break and we are going to watch the Charlotte Bobcats (our NBA team for anyone who doesn't know) practice. It should be a lot of fun. We are hoping to catch a game this season-Jake has never been and they have really great family package deals.

I decided to do an experiment. I stopped taking my Prozac about 3 weeks ago. I was feeling good (apparently because of it!) and thought $30 a month was too much to "waste" for happy pills. What happened you ask? It was like turning off a light in my brain. I went from forgetting things here and there, to forgetting everything important that I had to do. I went from losing weight to gaining some of it back. I went from happy and tired, to grumpy, mean, and tired. I went from functioning happily, to barely functioning at all. It is really amazing how much more irritating people are when I don't take it. :) Oh wait, maybe it's me?! Yep. It's me. Yep-my hormones are still screwed up and making my brain all fuzzy. The worst part for me has been feeling like I have Alzheimer's disease... I asked Jake if he thought I had been grumpier lately (you see I did this without mentioning it to my family. I was convinced they would never notice), and before I could even get the sentence out he answered "YES!". I here ya. Aaron of course felt the same way. I asked why they didn't mention it to me. Aaron's response was "I was to scared to mention it. I didn't want to make you more grouchy." Enough said. I am going to refill it ASAP. Lesson from this: Planners don't work, but Prozac does.

I feel like I am posting mostly "stuff" here recently. Life is busy and I am glad to just be staying on top of it. Plus the "stuff" is our life and I don't want to forget that it happened. Lets face it, in 20 years we will remember the big vacations and birthdays, but the little tiny, everyday things will be forgotten. Sometimes they are the most important moments to remember. Those little things that remind us life is good, we are blessed, and love is all around us if we just let it in.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Brain Declutter: Random thoughts...

**If you need a laugh (and I mean a loud and obnoxious belly laugh) watch The Penguins of Madagascar. It is one of the best cartoons ever-seriously!

**I am starting to think I may throw away my "Fix It and Forget It" cook book. Every recipe I have tried out of it (and I mean every. I date it when I try it and write something about it.) has been gross. Today we literally stopped eating and switched to cereal. Nice waste of food, I know, but it was inedible. Today's flop was Italian pork....don't ever make it.

**Why is it so hard to keep pantries and linen closets organized? The ones in this house are deep so that is my excuse...but if I really think back the only times my pantries or linen closets have been HGTV worthy, have been when our houses have been for sale...

**One of our regular Bi-Lo shoppers (a sweet homeless man) asked me how I managed to always keep that pretty smile on my face. Before I could reply he said my life must have been good to me. It has. It is, even though it is stressful, hectic, and flying by before I can cross off my To Do list. It made me realize (...again...a lesson I have yet to master.) that I always have smiles and kind words for strangers. Sometimes it isn't the same for the people I love the most. Glad they love me any way. :)

**I am so glad it is fall. I love the chill in the air in the morning. I am starting to shift my favorite seasons list. Fall will always be 1st, but I think winter may be 2nd. It was summer...but now I am thinking winter...

**I think everyone should be made to work at a grocery store so they can realize all their bad behaviors. These bad behaviors are common courtesies that don't even cross most peoples minds. You know, doing something rude, but not realizing you even did it because you are so wrapped up in...well you! I look back at my poor shopping manners of the past and cringe. I have reformed. Ever talked on your cell phone while you were checking out? Used to do it on occasion. Never will again. Ever left your shopping cart right at the register because you don't need it any more? The person behind doesn't like that, neither does the cashier who now has to deal with that annoyed person. I hope I never did that, but I may have....Ever changed your mind 2 aisles after you picked up the cookies (chips, ketchup...whatever!) and just laid them on an open spot on the shelf? I am so guilty...I will never do it again, because guess what: you are not the only one doing it. There is stuff left EVERY WHERE. Ever changed your mind about that block of cheese while in line to check out and laid it on the basket of bag candy that is on sale, right before the belt? Happens all the time...I was actually grocery shopping on Friday evening and standing behind a lady (who obviously didn't remember I worked there, I have seen her a million times, but lets face it I look different in real may be a compliment that she didn't recognize me...), who asked me to put her cheese, crackers, cream cheese, coffee creamer (etc., there were like 7 things...) back on that basket for her. I told her it would be better if she would just hand them to the cashier so nothing goes bad. She looked at me like it had never crossed her mind. I am telling you 3 days is all it would take for people to notice all the idiotic things they do on a regular basis (and for the most part not to be rude, just because they are in a hurry) at the grocery store. I know that I used to do so many things that I now try not to get annoyed at. I didn't do it to be rude. I did it to save me time. We (cashiers) always like to do as many annoying things to each other as we are checking out. It reminds you to chuckle rather than fume. :) Just 3 days is all it would take...Maybe 2.

**I am not a great writer, but I love it. I have several "books" (I use the term loosely), that I started writing when I was a tween (think Baby Sitter's Club or Sweet Valley Twins). It is obvious that while writing them I had not plot or main idea (sounds familiar doesn't it...), I was just writing. In my adulthood I have realized I really prefer kids books. Not just chapter books, but little kiddo books that rhyme and have awesome illustrations. I LOVE the Berenstein Bears (have been known to turn the TV onto PBS Kids (whatever the all PBS cartoons, all the time is called...not regular PBS...SPROUT! I think that is what it is called...), and watch the cartoon. Seriously, does it get better than an actual tree house (the house is carved into the tree not just up on the branches.), with pink shutters? I also LOVE "Bear Snores On", "Bear Stays Up for Christmas", "Bear Makes A New Friend"...etc. I can't remember who the author is. They are in Jake's room and he is asleep (I started this post earlier and forgot about I am back). Have you read them? You should. I love the pictures and characters. They are amazing! I secretly dream of writing children's books. I am thinking of practicing on my nieces and nephews. I have practiced on Jake and he loves it. I started a book for him that I still need to finish. I read him what I had written and he keeps asking me when I am going to finish it because he can't wait to see what happens. That's a good sign right? Maybe some day I will be brave and do it.

**I can't get over my OCD issue of always leaving one room in our house messy. What is the deal? Our bedroom is still a mess...even without the big yard sale pile...I need to stop blogging and go work on it.

**Melissa, you requested a post about my dependencies. I am going to do it soon. Maybe it will be like therapy. :)

**We have bathrooms in the back of Bi-Lo for employees. One for men and one for women. Well, the women's was being cleaned the other day so I went into the men's. They are just single bathrooms so it's not like any one else was in there. Theirs is wayyyyy better. The women's has the bag of soap that used to be inside the pump that makes it foamy, but it broke. The men's has soap, foamy hand sanitizer, and hand sanitizer wipes! I haven't used the women's since! Yes, the toilet seat is usually up in the men's room, but that is okay because I never sit down. I squat in public restrooms. It is perfect...

**One more thing...I am back on the Biggest Loser wagon. I walked/ran 2 (pitiful, I know) miles today. Jake and I are having a competition to see who can run a mile with out stopping first. Lets see, who is going to win? The fat girl who stopped exercising about a month (...okay maybe 2...Or maybe I never got back into a good routine since coming back from August...) ago and has a fear for it (it, being running). Just realized that today. OR the 9 year old. That is all I have to say. HE IS NINE. Jake is going to win. But I am going act like I don't know that and think positive. :) I am not going to post my weight, my loss, any of it. I am going to take a picture of myself now, an then in a month in the same thing, to see if you can see the change. I may weigh myself every day. I may not weigh myself for a month. It will be my secret. I am going to focus on what matters. Eating right, and exercising. I scale will have to play nice if I do (I mean REALLY do it)...right?...Now instead of going to bed, like I really want to do. I am going to stop blogging and go work on my room...I wonder which room will become a mess when it is all picked up?'s 11:33 and I am still not in bed...So, here are three more random thoughts before I really clean my room and then go to bed...

**I finally watched "Letters To Juliet". Have you seen it? It was predictable but cute. I like a cute chick flick. Rent it. But only from Red Box so it will only be a dollar. It is definitely worth a dollar to see. Tell me what you think of her fiance...Why was she engaged to him any way?

**Am I the only person who feels the need to drink (not alcohol, I don't drink that stuff...I am addicted to Dr. Pepper, I can only imagine if I actually drank the hard stuff!) right before going to bed? I do it almost every night and have to get up to pee in the middle of almost every night. Why do I do this?

**What was the third thing?...Can't remember but it did just make me think of something else. Well, 2 something elses (yes I know that isn't a word). I some times wonder if I have ADD...and do you remember the book from the early 90's "Simple Abundance"? You are supposed to read a page everyday and it helps you have comfort and joy and you find your true self? Remember that one? I think I am going actually read it in 2011. I have made it through the middle of January several times (and then other days here and there, but they didn't make sence because I didn't know what I missed that the author kept referencing) ...Kind of like making it through the middle of 1st Nephi (in the Book of Mormon for those of you who aren't LDS)...I am going to read at least a page of that book every day in 2011 too. I have a feeling I will get more out of the Book of Mormon :) ...but I have heard some time later in the spring (in Simple Abundance) you are supposed to make yourself a treat box or something. That could be interesting too....Which reminds me!..I am also supposed to be reading the Book of Mormon along with all the other Primary leaders in the Stake before Jan. 1st...I am on chapter 11 of Nephi...I need to step it up people. Actually right now I need to go to I better go fold the clean clothes that are laying all over it so I can. That was a gift from Aaron. He said "I did some laundry to day!" To which I said "Really?". His response was "Yeah. You didn't see it on the bed?" Thanks Aaron :)

**One more thing...I had a dream the other night (I have strange dreams every night) that we lived in a house with a HUGE glass wall, which by the way would NEVER happen(I am a "close the blinds before it gets dark and people can see in" kind of girl) and that we had like 6 dogs of all different sizes (one was of course Emily...but Daisy wasn't there...what does that say about me? I am a bad dog mommy if my 1st dog baby doesn't even make my dreams). I told Jake about it and his response was "Did I have to scoop all their poop?". Strangely that never came up in my dream...So, I think my dream is telling me since I would never have a huge glass wall in my house, I probably don't need 6 dogs...I probably don't even need one (sigh). I want one SO bad, but wants don't really happen too much when your husband goes back to school. It is a great way to put things in perspective and humble your self a little (or a lot, which ever you need. Mine was probably more on the "a lot" side). I am doing the mature thing and deciding a Christmas dog just isn't going to happen. Maybe my birthday would work...Growing up is so hard. :) Good night. How much clothes did he wash any way...I wonder if I could just push them to one side...Just kidding...kind of. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Where exactly are the days going?

Seriously???? Another week has flown by! It was a good week. Productive. I am happy to report that the huge pile of stuff in the corner of our bedroom is gone and our pockets are $97.50 (including the $2.50 Jake made at his popcorn and kool aid stand...I actually made $1.oo of that when he gave up and went inside to watch cartoons.) fuller (that may be an exaggeration. Less empty may be a better way to put it...). Not bad for a last minute yard sale that I put the signs up for last night at around 6:45 and my goal was only $50. We loaded up the car and brought the rest of it (minus Jake's clothes that are going to cousins) to Goodwill. Clutter be gone!!!....Now to tackle the laundry and all the other stuff...But the rest of the house (including Jake's room that we fully organized on Monday) are still clean and tidy. That has got to be a record, 6 days (make that 7. It is Sunday night now) straight. The living room looked like a tornado went through earlier while setting up for the yard sale, but it is back to tidy and clean. Thanks to Jake's help. He is really starting to get that if he helps we can spend time together while cleaning (we were pretending to be Batman and Robin while cleaning. I am trying to reclaim my title as coolest mom. Tiffany stole it from me with an awesome Harry Potter party on Friday night that Jake was lucky enough to be invited to. Check out the pictures on her blog "The Little Larson's" on my blog list) and even more time after. He used to know this, but seemed to forget for a little while...I probably shouldn't even be saying this it might jinx it. Usually I get the "okkkkk" sigh and eye roll. We have an attitude jar that seems to be helping. :)
I of course had to take some pictures of our last minute, thrown together yard sale...but our rechargeable batteries are no longer recharging so I can't get the pictures off my camera. I have been trying to charge them off and on all day...So, I am going to post this now and add the pictures later. I have to stay caught up!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An update...on not much really

We are getting into a routine. I have only been working for, what like 7 months now?... and we are just now figuring it out. Some days it is more fun than others. Some days it just seems like the routine is all we did. No fun thrown in there to make it memorable. Its kind of been one of those weeks so far...You know what I mean right? The house is clean. Except for our bedroom that is a disaster. It is buried in unfolded clean laundry and a pile I have started in the corner for a yard sale...or maybe just a large bonfire...Depends on my mood. And in the middle of the mess I decided to change out our summer to winter clothes...

We didn't take our family picture like I was hoping this past week, but I did manage to get the camera out for one picture. Want to see it? Pretty sad:

This is a picture of what 3 boxes of Mac & Cheese look like on a Friday evening when Jake had 2 friends over to hang out. This is after the bag of chips was all but devoured after school. We have entered the eating us out of house and home phase. Don't worry I made them eat some mandarin oranges too, to get a some nutrition. Don't judge me people. I needed to go Grocery shopping. Now back to the routine...I have 10 minutes to get ready for work!!! I better go and dig out my work clothes from the unfolded clothes in one of the laundry baskets in my room...I will actually post something good next time. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's been going on this week...and then I am staying caught up!

I am supposed to be getting ready for Cub Scouts right now, (I am filling in for the Cub Master while she is out of town, and she was teaching the Webelos tonight), but I couldn't resist starting this post. I am going to catch up and try to stay caught up. So, here are a few of the things that have been going on around here lately...

*Aaron and Jake got to go to a Panthers game (not this weekend but the weekend before it)-a first for both of them. The best part: it was free. The worst part: the Panthers are pitiful so they lost, but they still had an awesome time. Jake documented it by bringing Aaron's old work camera (I love him, but I couldn't bring myself to let him take my beloved camera) and I will post some pictures soon. I can't find...actually, I haven't looked for...the cord that lets me down load them to the computer. I will search for it soon and have Jake do a Panthers Post.

*Conference weekend was great. I took tons of notes. I know it comes out in the Ensign next month but it keeps me paying attention. And there was so much to pay attention to. I feel spiritually feed and this week has been great because of it. I am working on keeping the feeling with me!

*Saturday morning we were supposed to meet at the church to clean at 9. We got there, waited until 9:15 and headed out, because no one showed up and we don't have a key. On the way home we saw a yard sale sign and decided to check it out...and then we saw another one. We scored some AWESOME deals. Jake ended up with 3 books for $1, a tree house and beds for his action figures for $2. I am know declaring this a yard sale Christmas. Any of our family avert your eyes because these are the "before" pictures of your gifts...I have some great ideas....

I got this basket for $1. We have very little storage in the bathroom so I thought this would help and it fit perfectly!

*We are still looking for a good pretzel recipe, the one I had was only okay. But we sure had fun making them! (We didn't get to do it during Conference so we ended up doing it for family home evening on Monday.)

They were a little hard...But still yummy. We will keep trying.

*As I walked into work yesterday morning I said a quick prayer in my heart to keep a positive attitude and look for the good in everyone. About 5 minutes after walking through the door I didn't have to look far to see the good I was hoping for. There is a 84 year old grumpy old man that you can't help but love that comes in regularly. Well, not as much as he used to. You see he had cancer and lost part of his colon and one kidney last year. He was on the mend when they found out a couple of months ago that it had spread to his liver. He is back on chemo and we see him every couple of weeks now. He used to complain about everything, but lately he just says there is no use complaining and he doesn't say very much at all. Well, yesterday I turned on the U-Scan and went to help the cashier bag while I waited for a customer. Guess who was in line? The sweet, grumpy man was, right behind a lady that I swear was an angel. I was able to witness this sweet lady take the roast and can of soup he was going to buy and pay for it for him. After some fussing and arguing, he hugged her and left with a smile on his face, saying that he felt blessed today. This wonderful lady then told us how she felt she needed to do that because that man was blessed before, but didn't realize it. We talked for a few minutes about the Savior and our beliefs, hugged and went on with the day. Did you know things like that happen at grocery stores? They do. Not every day, but just when you really need it. In fact that is the 2nd time this week I have seen some one pay for an elderly person. Miracles happen all around us if we just look for them.

*We got to babysit Morgan and Cole while Norb and Elizabeth went to a wedding. Jake had a ball playing hide and seek, and chase with them while I weeded some in the yard. I don't usually like to weed, but it is amazing how much you enjoy it while listening to joyful kiddo squeals in the background and thinking about the amazing Conference talks that I had been listening too.

*Aaron had 4 tests last week and he has gotten back 2 of them. He got A's on both of them. Way to go nerd! :)

*Jake's teacher sent him a post card that made me realize I really need to let go of some of my worries. I don't know her well but she is obviously a wonderful person because she thinks Jake is awesome. :) She gave Jake a special assignment because she knew he could handle it. He is the book buddy to an autistic boy. She sent him postcard praising him. I needed to see it more than Jake did. I am going to stop listening to other peoples past complaints about her and give her the benefit of the doubt. Jake said school has been awesome the past few days. The problems seem to be dissolving and I feel sooooo much better. I wish we could home school him, and I feel like we should...but now is not the time. I know he will be home schooled at some point. I always have felt that. I am being patient and trying to follow the path the Lord has for us, rather than the one I want.
*Jake is headed to Hogwarts and he can't wait! A friend from church (Makena...spelling?) is having a birthday party and her mom is the queen of parties! I am going to have to step up the birthday celebrations after this one, I can tell already. (Especially after this year being a no party year...)

This is a picture of the "after" from last night. This is when the fire was put out! I didn't think Aaron would be very happy with me if I took a picture instead of getting the water (we have no baking soda! Add that to the grocery list..) to put the fire out...Luckily our kabobs were saved but it took awhile to put the fire out. The food wasn't on fire it was something under the grate...
*I usually put on a head band or put my hair back in some other way for work because it always gets all messed up anyway...Today I actually pulled out the flat iron and wore it down and it didn't go too crazy by the end of my shift. When we got home, Jake asked me if I got my hair cut. I told him I didn't. Then he asked me if I dyed it. Nope. I asked if this line of questioning meant it looked good or bad...He said "It looks beautiful!" And being that he knows me so well and knew I was thinking wow, it must look really bad normally, he added " it always does!", patting my arm and smiling sweetly. He's good...Too good. Where did he learn to say what a women wants to hear?

*I am making progress with my chap stick (not the brand necessarily, that is what I call all lip balm, and I have tried them all! That could make an interesting post....My version of Good Housekeeping's seal of approval.) dependency. I went about at least 7 hours with out it. To some that is no big deal-for me it is a triumph! I forget to put it in my pocket when I went to work. On my break I checked the car and there was none to be found, and I had my wallet in the console so I didn't have my purse which usually contains no less than 3 different kinds. I could have bought some I know, but I had done that a few days before when I forgot it. I did it. I survived. That is progress one step at a time.

And score! We ended with only 6 boys at scouts, so we roasted marshmallows with the Bears. Much better than what I had planned.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

First session on General Conference...Wow

So far (as usual) Conference is the best ever! Here are a couple of things that hit me and I want to remember in 20 years....
*The Prophet thanked my parents and Jake declared he was going on a mission (he has said it before of course, but I think he really knows it now.).
*I feel like the speakers were close friends mentioning things they know are important in my life right now.
*It is official, I don't have to be busy. Thank you President Uchtdorf! I always knew it was true.
*Jake is listening when he is laying on the floor playing with legos and action figures. He really enjoyed Elder Costa's accent, especially when he said murmur. That is what Aaron said he said at least. :) I loved his talk, especially: The Prophets teach us what Gods priorities are. Love that.
*I re-learned that attitude is what matters most when teaching.
*I remembered that I am going to make a point everyday to feel the way I do when I listen to Conference. I always say it but this time I am really going to do it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A positive post I promise!

Life is good...Really it is! This post started out small and...grew. Sorry, but I love it. I am wordy. I am a rambler. You know that by now.

School is school...Thanks for the advice. We have a regular "first term is over" conference set up for 10/12. If anything happens again or gets worse we will go in before that. The biggest issue for Jake at school (I have a few more...) is that they are being told to be responsible for themselves, but they are being punished collectively. Jake's class has had silent lunch all week (except Monday) because a few boys won't stop talking. That is really bumming Jake out. Last year his teacher didn't like to go outside, so they hardly ever had recess. This year they don't get to talk at lunch. The fun is getting sucked out of it. Kids need to socialize. I feel like people are forgetting they are kids. But, this is supposed to be positive!!! Jake came home today and said school was awesome, besides not being able to talk at lunch. Great! And some other high points are how Jake is mastering the whole project thing on his own. He comes up with the idea and I let him go with it. (As much as humanly possible...Making posters is fun and I have some pretty good ideas sometimes...) I did help him with the glue on his latest and in his words his BEST project ever. I think it is pretty awesome too. Here is the 3 regions of NC, in macaroni, blue and green glass stones, and rice:
(Elizabeth remind me to give you your container back..See it there with the blue cap? It has been sitting on the counter for a while now, but I always forget to give it to you. This is proof that it is in good condition and waiting for you. :) You probably forgot we even had it didn't you? Boiled peanuts were brought to our house in it.)
How cute is Jake? His "summer do" is starting to grow out...Fall is here (YIPPPPPEEE!)!!! We have been just cutting the sides and back to grow out his "winter do".
This is the collage I couldn't help but put a few more stickers and words on after he went to bed (he told me I could). I am a HUGE fan of a good collage. Jake said he his teacher wasn't happy with a lot of kids collages because they only put a couple of pictures on it. She held his up and asked "Who's is this?" (really?..there is a picture of him on it and his name...) and he was worried (it says something that he expected something bad rather than good...Okay that was me being ugly. Pretend I didn't type that...but I am not going to delete it...) He raised his hand and she said "This is what a collage is supposed to look like!" That's positive right!?! It is pretty awesome and it really is soooo Jake.

There are several dogs on it. Remember Aaron we ARE getting a dog for Christmas!!! :) (I will have you convinced that it MUST happen by then. Jake needs a dog. We need a dog. I NEED A DOG.) The robot is perfect. For as long as I can remember Jake has said he is going to build a robot when he grows up. He said he will make me one to clean the house. What a sweet boy. It will be our house because he says I (Daddy can come too) am going to live with him forever. He's 9 and he still says that. I am a lucky mommy...

*U-Scan is...well it is U-Scan. I needed to vent. 98% of the people that come in the store are lovely. 2% are mean and grumpy. I feel lucky because my old grumpy cussing man wasn't so mean I cried. The same week another cashier was brought to tears. People are sometimes rotten, even to people just trying to make their day simpler. Maybe they just don't have anyone else to be rotten to. I LOVE getting paid to talk to people I really do. And I am mastering the art of finding the humor (rather than extreme annoyance) in watching otherwise intelligent people do totally ignorant things. The other day a very nicely dressed business women was trying to swipe her debit card in the crack where two parts of U-Scan are put together...She didn't notice the regular card swiper you see at the register, just a couple of inches to the right... :) I am seriously thinking about bringing my camera and reenacting some of the crazy things people do. Maybe my manager will let me have some of our regulars pose for me...And speaking of regulars: I feel as though I made a difference in someone's life this week. We call him "Chocolate Milk Guy" at Bi-Lo. He comes in every week day morning and buys a chocolate milk. He doesn't have a bonus card. He just pays at U-Scan and goes. Then Tuesday (the last day of the weekly sales. Wednesday starts the next week of sales), I saw in the sales paper that was coming out the next day, that his chocolate milk was going on sale! Chocolate Milk Guy hadn't come in yet, so when he did I told him to get a card because he was getting ready to be able to save a whopping 9 cents a day! He thought it was funny that we have nicknames for the regulars, but the next day he came through U-Scan happy and showed me his brand new bonus card. Seriously people I am changing lives here! He will save 95 cents thanks to me!!! :) But seriously it is nice to be remembered by random people right? I get to be that random person for a lot of people! Isn't it great when people remember you for things that you don't even realize they realized? There are several people I know by name now that shop at Bi-Lo. People ask me about my son, and how my husband is doing working 3rd shift and going to school. The coupon machine was spitting out coupons for a free Shutterfly photo book-it was a $29.95 value. I wanted one SO BAD! But we aren't allowed to take the coupons that people don't want. I had to throw a way 4 in a matter of an hour!!! (GASP!) One lady that is a regular, uses coupons, and has kids got one and was going to throw it a way!!! I told her all about it and she was so excited. I saw her today and she asked me if I had gotten one of the coupons yet (one of the baggers got one when he bought a soda and he gave it to me!!! I buy all my groceries there and I never get one. He buys a soda and a $30 coupon pops out...go figure!). I told her I had and she said "good, because I know you can't take them from us, but I got another one the other day and took it home, put it in a envelope and put your name on it, just in case you didn't." I wanted to cry! How sweet is that???? People are good. One of the managers in charge of hiring came up to me all excited and said "I am getting ready to interview a great lady for a cashier. I am so excited about her! I told Mr. B (I am not putting his name since he has no idea I have a blog and am mentioning him! The store manager), we've got another Carrie!" Wow, that felt good... Am I just bragging now or what? :) It just made me feel so GOOD! I am starting to realize it is okay to feel good about myself. I am not typing this to toot my own horn, I PROMISE. I am typing this so in 10 years I can look back on a bad day and say I did something little that made a big difference...There is a very quiet, gentleman, probably in his 50's that comes in a couple of times a week. I knew he was a diabetic (he told me one day) and was really getting worried about his health. I didn't see him for a while but when I finally did he looked a lot thinner, I commented on it and he was thrilled that I noticed. He said he noticed I had lost weight too. (I just wanted to hug him!!) He was in the other day again and looked even thinner. He has lost 61 pounds! I am resolving to get going again with my weight lose. I am a slacker and I have no idea why...It really is fun being one of peoples random kindness for the day. :)
I could go on and on...but I have rambled on long enough. Too long actually. Just one more thing...I have got to get ready for General Conference! We have big plans to make cinnamon sugar pretzels (like the big ones they sell at Sam's Club) as a treat to eat while we watch it. I love Conference. I need conference. I have been praying all week to get answers to some questions and I know I will get them, if I just listen...And so I will. :) For now I am going to sleep. Life is good. We learn from trials. Mine are simple compared to others. I vented the other day and it felt good. I feel much better. Thanks for caring and loving me in spite of my many weaknesses...and ramblings!!! I am stopping now!...But just for now. :)