Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Blog Vacation....Because of my real life vacation!

This Saturday, Jake, Sadie, and I, will be starting our 18 hour drive to Vermont.  We are so excited to make our annual trip to New England and this one will be extra special because we will be meeting my mom and dad their who will be getting back from their mission!!!  We will be gone for over a month.  I feel kind of like I should be in a Jane Austin book taking off for so long-what a life they all lived back then going visiting for weeks on end! All my extended family is still up north so we always enjoy seeing everyone.  My sister will also be making the trip with her kiddos all way from the Ukraine!  Talk about an amazing family reunion.  Aaron and Nana Harmon will be flying up to spend a long weekend with us over Jake's b-day weekend and we are planning on celebrating his decade birthday in style-on the lake!  The picture I have with my blog title is one of my all time favorites.  It is of Jake last year in Lake Groton where we will be...Did I mention I was excited?!?!?

I am officially starting my blog vacation a few days before the real one starts.  My list of things I have to do is not shrinking, but the number of days to do it all is....Not to mention the fact that I just found out I have a pretty big blog project ahead of me.  I finished reading Sense and Sensibility last week (LOVED IT!!!) and I was going to change the picture on the left side of my blog to show the book I am reading next (Wuthering Heights-I am really trying to love it but it is depressing...but I can't put it down, even though it is depressing!!!) but I couldn't...It turns out I have used up all the space that blogger allows for uploading/storing pictures.  When I get back from vacation I have to start the long and tedious process (thank you Jamie over at Welcome to the Madness for explaining to me how to fix it!  She is the go to for all things blogging, homeschooling, preparedness, homemaking...You get the picture-she is a genius!), of making my pictures smaller to make more room.  Because really what is the point of blogging without pictures!  Especially when I will have 2,547,934 pictures to post when I get back from my month long trip!!!  You are jealous aren't you?  Not about the hours of fixing my blogging mistake, but of my MONTH LONG TRIP!!!  (****Just in case any would be burglars are reading this-remember my husband will be home and our house is protected by Smith and Wesson.  I have always wanted to say that. :)  But it really is so please don't try and break in.  That concludes the "paranoid thoughts" part of my blogging...****)

I will miss you all my blog friends!!!  I will have to take a whole day to read all the posts you guys write while I am gone! :)  Did I mention that Camp (that is what our whole family calls the cabin on the lake my Grampa Smith built, where we will be staying 3 of the 4+ weeks we will be gone.  Camp is the cabin's name I guess you could say.  I will post pictures of camp when I get back...and fix my blog!)  has no phone, TV, computer, or cell service?  It is a REAL vacation. :)  So, don't have too much fun with out me and check back in about the middle of September when I will re-enter the blog world!

Friday, July 22, 2011

If you only go 2 places in the blog world today GO HERE:

1. Check me out on a great blog I LOVE called Diapers and Divinity!  It is Find-A-Friend Friday and I am the friend!!!  Stephanie's blog is amazing!  You will love her great take on motherhood, beliefs, and life in general.  Thanks for having me on your awesome blog Stephanie. :) 

2.  Check out Jaime's great post on Welcome to the Madness. It is about food and  the shortage of it in parts of the world, our throw away society, and a society untouched by the world.  READ IT, WATCH THE CLIP, AND SEE WHAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD PEOPLE!!!  LOVE this blog!  It really made me think about how prepared our family is and if I am listening to the promptings I know I am getting...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A glimpse into Aaron's life.

Broken record moment: Aaron works 3rd shift.  I worked third shift last night too...8pm-6am pulling tags and putting up new ones.  I was okay until around 4:30 when my ipod batter died and I took a little break.  Bad idea-stopping made me realize my head was a little foggy.  Jake got to spend the night with our long time family friends (first time he has spent the night alone at a non-family members house.  But they really are family so I don't know if it counts or not) Sharon and Ron.  Sharon is my mom's best friend from high school and I grew up with her children.
I was excited to get home and get in bed for a nap/sleep but couldn't fall asleep.  When Aaron got home at 7:00 he gave me tip to read and it would make me fall right to sleep.  It didn't...I am at too good a part in Sense and Sensibility to fall asleep!  I finally gave up around 8:30 and slept, waking up every 15 minutes until 10:30 and I headed out to get the Jakester.  He had a great time with Sharon and Ron building with Lego's, playing Mario Kart, and using this very cool Crayola tracing thing-a-ma-gig from when Sharon's children were kids.  But he missed me and gave me about a million hugs and kisses when I got to their house. :)

Fast forward and it is almost 2pm and we have one of Jake's friends from church over until after Cub Scouts tonight.  His parents are chaperone's (sp?) at Youth Conference and we planned a couple of months ago to have him over a couple of times while they are gone so he could have a break from his 2 nieces under the age of 3. :)  Who knew it would fall on a day following my first time ever working 3rd shift.  I am glad I told BiLo I could work 2 days a week for the 3 weeks before going to Vermont (good gas money for the drive) so it could give me a glimpse into the sacrifice Aaron makes for our family 5 nights a week.  I told you he rocks.  My brain feels oddly empty and I don't feel like eating at all.  Maybe I should stay up all night more often.  I wouldn't ramble on all the time and I would have to lose some weight by not eating right?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I looked out the window and what did I see?....

...It wasn't popcorn popping on the apricot tree like in the sweet Primary song. It was Sadie playing in her little pool that was almost empty and had the hose laying in it from when we filled it for her yesterday....You see we fill it up and she spends her time splashing it all back out (then rolling in the dirt when she is all wet...).  We turn on the hose with our foot because the hose bib is behind a bush.  It has this adorable metal bunny on it rather than the regular circle knob and it pretty easy to turn on just by tapping it down with your toe and then turning it off by putting your toe under it and lifting.  Apparently Sadie has seen us do it and turned it on herself.   I looked out the window (after letting her out 20 minutes before) and saw that the pool was over flowing and she was dancing around it happily....We have created a monster.  So, the question is how so we stop her from turning it on when ever she feels like it?  Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brain Declutter...I have a lot on my mind.

Some of it important, some of it not so much....

*I went and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 in 3D today.  I have read all the books and seen all the movies.  It is so strange to have spanned over a decade in one book/movie series.  It was a really good movie.  It played out like it did in my head when I read the book.  I really enjoyed it.  It seems strange that it is "over".  I am not saying I am emotional about it or anything...Just saying it has been a long time span from when I read the first book all the way to watching the last movie...As for my first 3D movie, it was cool but I don't think it makes the movie better.

*"Perspective" has been on my mind lately.  What is important? I have been thinking about life in general every since there was a death on Aaron's side of the family.  Kirsten is Brian's (Aaron's cousin who is just a year or 2 older than us) wife of not quite 6 years who just passed a way from cancer.  They have 3 children under the age of 5, one isn't even a year old.   They found out she had cancer in the winter and she died just a couple of weeks ago.  What will Brian do?  How do you pick up the pieces from that?  He lives in Texas, with no family close by.  Kirsten was a stay-at-home mom.  Will he put them in day care?  And those are the easy questions.  How do you keep the memory of your children's mother a live when none of them will remember her?  Do you pack up your whole life and move closer to family?...I can't imagine what I would do without Aaron...or what he would do with out me.  My heart aches for them...All I can do is pray for them...Did I just say "all"?  You know what I mean right?  I guess what I mean is there is nothing I can physically do that will help.  You know what I mean?  When you say your prayers tonight keep The Wren family in your thoughts please....

*We leave for Vermont in 2 weeks!  Which means: MY PARENTS GET OFF THEIR MISSION IN 2WEEKS!!!!  Where has the past year and a half gone?  We are so excited to see them!

*I finished reading Pride and Prejudice a couple of weeks ago-did I mention that?  It was so good!  I loved it!  I celebrated my first time reading it by renting the movie (the newest version.  I was going to rent the older one to but our local video store doesn't have it...) and it was wonderful.  I already knew that though because I have seen it several times.  I am onto Sense and Sensibility and I am enjoying it so far.  Now that I am done watching Jericho I can get back to reading...

*Jake had two firsts in the past 2 weeks.  He ran a mile without stopping with Aaron on Tuesday while I was at a Primary meeting and he met me at the door to "brag" because he was so proud of himself.  I am proud of him too. :)  He also bore his testimony of Joseph Smith to me a week ago Friday as his morning devotional while we were homeschooling.  It was amazing to hear him bare his testimony and feel the Spirit and know that he really did know Joseph Smith restored the gospel to the earth.  We continued to feel the Spirit while we read our scriptures that tied in perfectly with what Jake had borne testimony of.  Long story short we both had tears in our eyes and the Spirit in our heart.  What a great way to start the day!
*My sister and her family have had a really tough week.  They have waited a long time and finally welcomed a puppy into their family last Saturday.  Stella Luna is the name that Saku (my nephew and her owner-he has wanted a dog for a long time...) gave her and he said the name just came to him.  Long story short they have spent the week wondering if she was going to make it because of a very serious virus she came down with the 2nd day she was with them.  They live in another country and the vet has been coming to their house to treat her.  In the states this very sick (in critical condition) would be staying at the vet and they take care of everything. They have had this sick, sweet little puppy at their house trying to care for her the whole week.  Just today she was taken to the vet so they could try to recoup and get some sleep...So, if you don't mind keep Stella Luna and her family in your prayers too.

*Jake asked me today (this is a conversation that comes up every now and then) what I would do if someone came to our house and offered us $500,000,000.000 (yes that is 500 billion) in exchange for Sadie.   I said I would take it...Is that bad?  Jake said he wouldn't take it.  I of course would miss Sadie terribly but I feel like she would understand. I mean dogs really want their masters to be happy right?  Since this is a hypothetical I am adding in that they are wonderful people who have acres of land with rivers and lakes, other dogs for Sadie to play with, and that we can visit her anytime we want!  Does that make me a bad person?  I mean I love my dog and she is a spoiled girl that leads a great dog life...Why do I feel bad about this when it would obviously never happen?

*Did you know that if you are making a recipe that calls for cream you can substitute milk mixed with melted butter?  I didn't know it but it works.  Google is a good thing.

That is good for now...There is a lot more very random things rolling around in my noggin but I am sick of typing and I am sure you are sick of reading (if any one is).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I can't even come up with a title for this post...

How about stuff we've been doing that I have neglected to post about and now I have to dump them all in one post so I don't get so far behind I never feel like posting again?  Yep that sounds about right.  So, here is a quick on words but not pictures post to catch up on life.

Jake is learning how to type.  He doesn't like to write very much and he has been wanting to learn how to type the right way so we are going for it.  He is in the memorizing of the keys stage....
We set up a reading tent....I mean why would you want to read in the comfort of your air conditioned home when you can sit in a tent in your backyard, when it is 100 degrees out with a heat index of 110?  We took it down today because there was a thunder storm brewing.  I think the tent bed is about to make it's appearance again soon.
This is one of Sadie's favorite things to do.  Believe it or not I had just refilled the pool about 10 minutes before this.  She likes to dip her head in it, kick as much out as she can, get completely wet and then do this...
...Roll in the dirt.  She then starts the process over again.  Can you see why the freshly clean pool water only lasted a few minutes?  She is crazy.  I think it maybe due to all the lotion she licks off our skin as soon as we put it on.  There must be something in it that is killing her brain cells.  It is a good thing she is totally adorable, cuddly, and loving other wise she wouldn't stand a chance in this world.
We have apparently been watching too many episodes of Man vs. Wild and Dual Survivor at our house because Jake has spent a couple of days this week in the backyard practicing his surviving skills.  Here is his shelter:
He even made a rope swing in a tree to cross the snake pit.  It used to be a fish pond and Aaron finally has time to fill in the hole since he is out of school until the middle of August.  Wouldn't you know it.  He has some time off (he is still working full time 3rd shift...) and it is in the hottest possible time of the year to do yard work...
I packed a lunch and made my way out to our dangerous backyard to share a meal with my favorite survivor man.  I am a germ-a-phobe but dirt doesn't bother me.  It probably should since we have a dog that goes to the bathroom out there...Okay, I just puked in my mouth a little now that I have really thought it through...Just kidding I didn't.  Still not bothering me so much.  Strange how people bathroom germs can literally make me puke (public restrooms are one of my worst fears), but dirt that our dog has possibly peed in doesn't really bother me...It really is interesting how the human mind works.  Keep in mind I did not look like this while eating my lunch...
Sadie enjoyed my apple core...
Freezer pops are a must in the summer.  He looks kind of like he could be homeless in this picture doesn't he?
We also went to the library and enjoyed seeing some exotic animals...This lady was great.  She was funny and she gave a lot of facts about the animals...none of which are coming to mind right now...

How many people can say they have seen a Bear Cat in person?  They aren't even at very many Zoos because they are endangered.
They sniff peoples/animals heads to get to know them and show affection.  She looks like she is pain in this one but she was really just talking or something...
At the end you could wait around and pet the chinchilla and we did.  It was sooo soft.  We walked out the door and I told Jake we should probably go back and thank her.  Luckily we did because Jake got to hold it.
And while he was holding it some other children asked to pet her dog so she held the dog while Jake got to keep holding the chinchilla.  He was very proud that he got to hold it longer than any one else. :)
Okay, as usual there were a few more words than I anticipated.  I am sure that doesn't surprise you.  I am caught up on my pictures-mostly because for whatever reason I haven't taken as many as usual.  I guess I better get on it!  What have you all been doing this summer so far?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Behind the times...

Why am I posting at 11 something at night?  Because I had to do a quick post to tell you: YOU MUST WATCH JERICHO...when I decided to check out a few other blogs I follow...An  hour later...You get the picture...When Aaron left for work at 9:00pm (I feel like a broken record, but just in case some one new happens upon my little blog: he works full time 3rd shift so he can go to school full time during the day.  He pretty much rocks.), I was laying on the couch with a headache wondering if I would be able to stay awake for the 2nd to last episode...Well, I did  stay awake and I watched the series finale too-AND IT WAS AWESOME.  I can't recall a show that ended as well as this one did.  I am sure there are tons of people that wouldn't agree, but I loved it.  Seriously, you need to watch this show!!!  It is so interesting and it makes you feel like if you looked out the window this could actually be happening.  It would be horrible!-but it really makes you thankful for the Constitution, those who are willing to fight for it, and having our freedoms intact.  If you are patriotic you will love it.  If you like dramas that could be true to life, you will love it!  There is some violence but nothing to graphic.  I am NOT a lover of violent movies or shows and I could handle this. There are some "worldly" moments, but they aren't vulgar or anything like that.  It is a good representation of our society and the effects of poor decisions.  Don't you love how I am giving a review of a TV show that isn't even on TV anymore?  You all have probably already seen it and are wondering where I have been.  If so, what did you think of it?  If you haven't and you are still wondering why the title of this post is "Behind the times.." than just take a look at the date on this ad for Jericho's 2nd and final season:
Returns Fall of 2007...I am a little behind the times.  :)  I vaguely remember seeing the previews of this, wanting to watch it, and for whatever reason we didn't.  We probably missed the first episode or something...That was back before we had a DVR and this is the kind of series that you must watch all the episodes to really be able to follow it.

Thank you Netflix's for bringing me up to date.  Thank you Norb and Elizabeth for introducing us to Netflix. :) Thank you Aaron for working 3rd shift and having down time so you could be bored and find this show to watch.   I am going to bed now, and plan on going to bed early for a week to make up for staying up late and watching all 29 episodes in a week and a half...What can I say? After almost 14 years of marriage it is hard to go to sleep alone.  I have no problem sleeping once I get in bed-it is the getting in bed part. :)  Have fun at work Aaron.  I think I stay up late partly out of guilt that I know you aren't able to sleep...You are the best.  But I am not going to lie:  I also couldn't go to sleep until I could barely keep my eyes open because I just had to see what would happen next! :)  Watch it. You will love it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

Over at The Gypsy Mama it is time for 5 minute Friday and I am ready to just write.  Just write with no proofreading.  Just write what comes to mind when I hear the word Grateful and a lot comes to mind!  

Grateful...Grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me.  Who made me who I am and who leads me every step of the way.  Grateful for a hardworking husband who sacrifices sleep to provide for us.  Grateful that he supports us in every way.  Grateful that he loves me inspite of my craziness.  Grateful for a boy who brings joy into my life every second of every day.  Grateful that he loves learning.  Grateful for his health and strength.  Grateful for his love.  I am grateful for the freedoms I know.  I am thankful to those who made and make that freedom possible.  I am free to speak, worship, and think how I choose.  And I choose to love the Lord with all my heart.  I choose to keep my family close.  I am grateful for choice.  I am grateful for Teva flip-flops, sleeping, cool breeze on a hot day, the feeling of dipping your toes in cooling water, I am grateful for life.
Stop.  Five minutes just isn't enough to even scratch the surface of what I am grateful for in my life.  What are you grateful for? 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy 4th of July Ya'll! This is how we do it in the South...

On the 4th of July we packed up the car and headed down to Cowpens SC and spent the day with friends and family.  We had a Redneck Independence Day as Ranee (my sis-in-law) called it.  We spent the day eating, swimming, making homemade root beer, and shootin' guns.  Aaron even got to shoot a M-16.  Who owns M-16's you ask?  Good ol' boys from Cowpens that's who. 

Aaron, just floating.  And yes that is you in the background Jake.  He was concerned he wasn't in the picture.
Riannon getting ready to try a front flip.
Jake in the middle of a front flip that kind of went sideways a little...
The big kids: Jake, Elliot, Alex, Della, and Riannon.

Don't you wish this was your backyard?  I do.
The big kids built forts out of all the rafts for most of the day.

This is just some of the arsenal...If we ever get attacked I know exactly where I am going.  Aaron saw me posting this and said we will probably get a call from the FBI. :)
Ranee and Amanda, 2 of Charlie's Angels.
Aaron shooting the M-16.  I really missed the best picture.  His face after he shoot it.  Like a kid in a candy store.
Riannon smelling the root beer.
Jake got a little too much sun and didn't drink enough water so we spent a little time inside rehydrating and letting the ibuprofen kick in.  This was their game room, fully equipped with this game, pool table, pin ball machine, air hockey and all the action figures you can remember from the 80's.  This is a almost 10 year old boys dream...
If you don't know what the South Carolina flag looks like than you should look it up.  I am not from SC but I admit it is the coolest state flag.  It was being recreated right in the backyard that evening.  A Palmetto Tree with a crescent moon.  The guys tried desperately to snap a picture with there phones...I had to take a picture of them. :)
My camera is just a point in shoot (that I LOVE with all my heart don't get me wrong.) and I couldn't get a good picture with it any more than they could with their phones!

Night swimming..
Glowing wrist bands for the big kids...
...and the little girls. 
The frog we shared the pool with that day was glad when we were done swimming and he came out of hiding.

This is a picture of the guys hurriedly moving the fireworks away so they wouldn't all light up at once.  Just a few seconds before this the fireworks were all about a foot away from the lite ones...

Happy Birthday America! I am thankful to live in the most amazing country in the world.  I am also thankful for our forefathers that through Heavenly inspiration established and fought for this free country.  I am also extremely thankful for all of our soldiers that have fought and continue to do so for all of us to be able to spend Independence Day this way.
(Sorry we didn't get to see you Nana and Papa Harmon.  We will be heading back done soon.)

400th post...

This is literally the first time I have been on the computer in a week.  There is just too much summer fun going on to be at the computer.  Not to mention that Aaron has gotten me addicted to the old TV show from a few years back called "Jericho".  It is on Netflix and I (and we, when Aaron has been home) have spent the last several nights (besides the 4th)  staying up way to late (1:30 one night...) watching episode, after episode.  Have you seen it?  It is about a little town in Kansas struggling to survive after the US has been attacked (by who, I don't know yet...) and had several major cities (including DC) obliterated  by nuc's.  That makes it sound like I am a weird-oh for wanting to watch it, but trust me it is awesome!!!  What does this have to do with this being my 400th post?  Nothing. It really just explains why I haven't been on the computer for a whole week because I usually blog at night after Aaron has gone to work ...

Jake saw on my dashboard that my next post was going to be my 400th and he told me it should be something really special.  No pressure there.  Maybe subconsciously that is another reason I haven't posted...I finally decided on the something special that this post could be about.  Or maybe this is just my way of getting out of really having to think about writing something down.  Any who...July 1st was the day we could file to homeschool because that is the day our county considers the start of the official 2011-2012 school year.  Last Friday we got on line and named (Jake decided on the name finally) and filed for our homeschool.  And because I am a picture taking fool I have pictures.  This is a big moment-I wanted to document it!  Are you bored yet with my forever talking of homeschooling?  Sorry.  The novelty has yet to wear off.  :) 

So, our homeschool is called: Harmon's Learning Academy. At first it was going to be Jake's Learning Academy but he decided it should be Harmon in case we ever have a baby. :)