Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grampa Smith

Where do I begin?  Grampa is one of the most remarkable men to walk the planet.  I guess that is as good a place to start as any.  I have been blessed to have been born into a family of amazing people-the head of which is Grampa Smith.  When I think of Grampa, I think: hardworking, loving, generous, honest, fun loving...etc.  I could go on and on.  The thing that stands out the most is the amount of memories I have that revolve around him. 

  My childhood memories of summer are at Camp.  My childhood memories of winter are being pulled on a toboggan behind Grampa's snow machine. The best part is that all my memories have come full circle and I get to share them all with my Jake. 

It is an amazing experience to watch Jake make the same memories.  He has grown up spending time at Camp almost every summer.  It is our favorite place to be and we owe all those memories to Grampa.  Not many, almost 12 year old boys, can say they have a relationship with their great grandfather.  We are the lucky ones.

  Since I was little I can hardly remember a time when we suggested doing something and Grampa said no.  From being pulled behind the boat or snow machine one more time, to playing domino's.  He has even gone geo-caching with us!
I remember one time when we were early teenagers that Denise, Tina, and I tried raising Grampa up in the air with just our fingers, doing that so popular 90's game "lite as a feather stiff as a board".  I remember a picture of it but couldn't find it.  How many people can say their Grampa is that cool?

As an adult I remember being in Vermont, after a wedding I think, when we got word that Tina was in the hospital with complications from an eptopic pregnancy.  Mom flew to Utah to be there and help.  I got to spend 2 whole days in the car driving home to North Carolina with Grampa. Just the two of us.  I don't even remember what we talked about, I just remember how Grampa listened to everything I had to say.  Not many people can say they road in a car for 18 hours, with their Grampa and cherish it as a wonderful memory. 

  I can barely walk through a room in my house with out thinking of Grampa.  In the living room our TV is sitting on a piece of furniture Grampa made us. 
On our cocoa table (Jake pointed out when he was little that since we didn't drink coffee it was weird to call it a coffee it has been the cocoa table ever since), I have White Birch Tree candle holders that Grampa made.  In Jake's room is an jewelry box that Grampa made me. Jake loved so much I gave in and let him use it as his treasure box.
  The hope chest he made me won't fit in our small bedroom so it is in the guest room....I could go on and on.  Touches of his talents are all around us and will be for generations to come.  I am on a kick of painting and distressing furniture but a paint brush will not be found touching the pieces Grampa lovingly made me.  They are perfect the way they are.
  Jake and I just finished reading a book called "Little Britches" and the authors father reminded me of Grampa.  He was always fixing things and making them work better than they did before. 

 Everything he said and did made you want to be a better person.  That is the way Grampa is.  There are few people that have walked the earth that you can truely say you want to be a better person because you know them.  Grampa is one of those people.

We are all blessed to have you in our lives Grampa!  Thank you for all the lessons you taught us, without even trying.  Thank you for the memories you are a part of.  Thank you for creating a place that we all want to come home to, no matter how far away we are.

{Mom does is doing a newsletter about Grampa and asked everyone to gather pictures and write something to give to Grampa on the 4th of July since the Smith clan will all be together.  My Grampa just turned 89 last month.  I thought why not post it. :) }

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Frustration is...

...finding out your old landlord never turned the utilities back into his name like he said he would and we just found this out nearly 3 months later.  Our friends that moved into the house the middle of May (not quite a month and a half after we moved out), came back from vacation to no water today and the gas is going to be turned off on Monday.  And we now have it on our credit that we didn't pay our (not really ours but the companies don't know that) utilities for 3 months.  Awesome. Okay, I vented and now I will get over it...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I love this post...

Every now and then you get the chance to make a wonderful friend that you have never meet in person...thanks to the internet. :)  A couple of years ago I meet a brilliant lady (that I am sure was a great friend of mine in the pre-existence), randomly through blogging.  She is one of those amazing people that I am sure never sleeps because she does amazing things like making soap, raising a small farm, and homeschooling all at once!  Whenever I am on the internet I check to see if she has posted anything, because she never ceases to amaze me!  Today she posted this post called Family.  She had me in tears and that was before I was surprised and totally honored to see the picture of my family!  Read this post and it will make you happy.  It is a great reminder to me of our Heavenly Father's plan for us and how important family really is---whether it is blood relations or someone you have never met in person. :)

One of the Best.Books.Ever.

Last Friday, Jake and I had a Lego & book day.  That means we pretty much just played with Lego's and read all day...but you probably already figured that out...
Jake was taking a lot of time rebuilding a several Lego houses he had, that had crumbled.  After he rebuilt them we played with them.  They really are amazingly detailed!
While he built, I read to him.  We almost always have a book going that I am reading aloud to Jake.  We love doing this.  It isn't just for little kiddos you know!  The book we just finished has been added to my list of favorites. 
Little Britches, Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody is an amazing book that begins a series in which Moody writes about his life.  I heard about these books 3 years ago and bought a few of them.  I was told they are the boy version of Little House on the Prairie...If you know me and my love for Little House, than you know I was sold immediately upon hearing it!  We just got around to actually reading it a couple of weeks ago and it was well worth the wait.  We laughed out loud.  We reread parts to understand the explanations of how Father fixed things to work amazingly better.  We I bawled like a baby at a part I can't say with out giving it away.  We both LOVE, Love, loved it.  In fact Jake wanted to immediately start the next book,  but we decided to wait until after out New England vacation.

If you have boys you MUST read this to them.  If you don't have boys you still MUST read this book to whoever will listen.  It is about hard work and family and life...and it is moving.  It will make you want to be a better person.  It will make you think about your father and what he taught/teaches you.  It will make you wonder if any part of your childhood would make as good a story as Ralph's did.  It will make you feel good and warm inside, just like a cup of cocoa when you are cold in the winter does...Need an example of what I mean?  Here you go:

"A man's character is like his house.  If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes ruins."

"Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least.  Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government."

"You know, a man's life is a lot like a boat.  If he keeps his sail set right it doesn't make too much difference which way the wind blows or which way the current flows.  If he knows where he wants to go and keeps his sail trimmed carefully he'll come into the right port.  But if he forgets to watch his sail til the currents catches him broadside he's pretty apt to smash up on the rocks."

See what I mean?  READ.THIS.BOOK.  I promise it will make you a better person.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So long, farewell...something in another language!

I love the Sound of Music and I plan on actually knowing all the words to that song someday...But that will work for now.  We are taking a trip to NH and VT.  Have I mentioned that already?  I can't remember...Jake left for the trip with Nee and Papa.  I won't be leaving for 13 days...The longest I have ever been without my little bug.  Poor Aaron will have to wait a whole month to see him again because he isn't going up North.  I of course had to take picture to document Jake's departure with out me...

We swung by McDonald's for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.  It was one last chance to spoil him so he would miss me more...
This is Jake on Nee and Papa's doorstep...I just had to take another picture, so this seemed like as good a place as any...
Me and my boy...
See how good Jake is about letting me take his picture?  Aaron take notes....
Okay, so they are really leaving and I am wondering how long the next 2 weeks are going to be...

Jake has been so excited to go, but while we were packing he kept saying: "I can't believe it is already time to go."  and "I am really going to miss you."  But the thing I have to document the most is this conversations:
"Mommy, I feel like I need to tell you this since I don't have a Will.  If anything happens I want you to have all my stuff.  All my Lego's.  And I want you to take the money I have been saving and put it toward a Kindle Fire for yourself."  My child is such a little adult.  He is going to be such a great husband when he grows up.  I am not worried that anything is going to happen, but I am going to miss him like crazy!!!...But sleeping in will be AWESOME!  Have fun buddy!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

I am a picture taking kind of person.  Aaron is not.  He is a PTPP (picture taking party pooper).  For Father's Day I gave him the gift of only taking 2 pictures the whole day (we also gave him a Star Wars t-shirt, because you can never have enough of those.) 

Picture #1:  A special breakfast that Jake and I made for Aaron before he had to go to meetings before church.  Have I ever mentioned Aaron is the ward clerk (If you aren't LDS: the Ward Clerk takes care of all the records-births & deaths, where people live and where they go when they move so that there next Ward has their info., budget...I am sure there is a better way to explain it...and there is more to it than that, but you get it right?)?  We had sausage and gravy biscuits, scrambled eggs, and grits.
Picture #2:  Aaron leaving for church before us with his tissue paper boutonniere Jake made him.  We made them in Primary (children's Sunday school, music time, and devotional time for children ages 3-11) for all the men in the Ward.  Have I ever mentioned I am the Primary President?
We got to church early to give the men their flowers.  They all seemed so proud to wear them and the Primary children were proud to have made them. Primary sang sweetly and were surprised when the Priesthood stood up and sang back to them.  If you are Mormon than you know the song...I can't remember what it is called but it says: "Teacher do you love me?  Teacher do you care for me?..."  We changed the "teacher" to "father".  In the song the children sing to the teachers and the next verse the teachers come in with: "Yes, my child I love you...."  Well my genius chorister in Primary had been practicing with the Priesthood so that when the children performed they would then be serenaded by the men singing back to them...{Tears!}  It was wonderful and the kiddos faces were adorable.  They went from huh?, to shock, to smiles.  We have the best chorister ever!  Thank you Gidget. :)

We all had dinner at Nana and Papa's (I should have had my camera to take pictures of everyone but Aaron but I didn't...No 3 generations pictures for both the Harmon's and the Graves'...I will just have to keep my mental pictures...).  The men shot guns-at which point Jake said he felt like Little Britches (more on that in a couple of posts...) and the women chatted.  It was a very good day.  Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Did you eat a doughnut today?  We got a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme and of course a dozen to take a home with us.  I am sorry for those of you have never had Krispy Kreme because they are ridiculously delicious! 
Jake, with his buddy Carter, checking out the doughnut making process.

 The boys were excited to meet state Senator Glen Reese and owner of the Krispy Kreme's in our town. 

This is the old Krispy Kreme that is across the street and is pretty much a landmark.  Look at the amazing old sign....
Go celebrate this amazing national holiday by eating a yummy doughnut. :)  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our dog chair...

Way back in 1999,  Aaron and I went set out to buy some furniture.  We had been married for 2 years and the only furniture we had bought up to that point was a kitchen table and chairs for $150.  Aaron wanted leather couches and we settled on forest green.  Yep, we were totally styling (that was popular then I swear). 
They matched our kitchen counter tops, which was perfect for our very first home that was little and had an open floor plan.  I feel in love with a chair (also stylish for it's time...not so much now)...and sense Aaron spoils me, we got it too.  When we got this furniture we had one dog.  My Daisy...She was a Basset Hound that didn't know she was a Basset Hound.  Example: she would jump over the back of the couch.  Yep-crazy.  She was my first baby....but Daisy is a story for another day!  She was allowed on the couch.  And she loved this chair.  Several years later we got Emily, she was my 3rd baby (Jake came before her, and he of course was my first real baby).  She was allowed on the couch and chair until she became full grown (an 100 lab-she wasn't fat, she was just big), at which point Aaron kicked them both off the couches.  But they were still allowed on the chair.  Long story short I have not let Sadie get on my chair because she is different than Emily and Daisy were.  She is a little shall I say this nicely...less bright?...
No, that isn't true...She is less responsible....That is as good as it is going to get!  I didn't think she could remember that even though she was allowed on the chair, she isn't allowed on the couches.  Turns out she can. :)  Sadie really is a very smart dog, but she held onto to her puppy phase longer than our other dogs.  I really noticed she was an adult about a month ago.  She started sleeping the morning away and seemed more relaxed.  She is a very good dog.  A little neurotic about squirrels, but good.  But, I still didn't let her on the chair until Jake reminded me that she knows she can get on his bed, but not our bed.  So yesterday, at the age of 2 1/2,  Miss Sadie has graduated to the dog chair.  It is such a comfortable chair and some day I will will recover it and banish all dogs from it, but for now it is back to being the dog chair.  Today Jake and I were in his room playing with Lego's and guess where Sadie was?  All the way on the other side of the house in the school room, sleeping in her chair.  That makes me happy.  She is no dummy... :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Found in a fern...

My mom got me this beautiful fern for our front porch.  I water it every other day, but lately when I do the water kind of falls over the sides.  Not to mention that every time we leave the house (or come into the house) a bird flies wildly from it....
So, we took it down yesterday to investigate the inevitable....

It is so lovely!  I couldn't get a great picture because I was rushing, but they are beautiful.  It is amazing that they are different sizes and that the larger ones have a lot more speckles.  There is a dilemma that comes along with this little miracle...Make that 3 dilemma's.  First is the watering.  I have no idea how they haven't been washed out yet or how to water the fern now that I know they are in there.  I am going to have to take it down every time to make sure I am not watering them.  I also wonder how the little nest isn't soaking up some of the water itself and how it effects the egg.  Second, there is the matter of all the poop that will come if /when the eggs hatch?  Have you ever seen what the surroundings of a nest looks like after the eggs hatch?  The poop is every where, and I am not sure, but I don't think that is going to be very good for my fern.  Last, there is the fear that a snake will find their home and try to eat the eggs/babies.  I have known people that have seen a black snake crawling up into their bird houses to eat the baby birds...I already had a snake hanging over the back porch and I don't think I would survive one on the front.  I would have to move to far, far away to a place where there are no snakes.  Not sure what to do...Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Brain Declutter: On being far...

  *Today was my 37th birthday and I am feeling kind of blahhhhh...Not because it is my b-day and I turned an odd number (which I am not a fan of), but because I am having my period. I am sorry if that is too much information but it is my blog and if you are here reading this than you are most likely used to me "keeping it real".  I feel yucky.  I have for the past 2 days.  Lower back pain and cramps.  Heating pad and Ibuprofen, and it only helps a little kind of pain.  I have to admit I had to work really hard not to be really grumpy today and even then I am not sure I was doing
 "happy" all that convincingly.  Having PCOS is a strange thing.  I feel like I complain when I don't have my period and then I really complain when I do. 

*I am back in the having a hard time falling asleep phase again.  Some sorry, sad, soul told me I could be going through "the change".  I admittedly wanted to punch them because I am not that old.  I just can't relax.  I cannot turn my brain off when I get into bed, which is interesting because I am sure there are a lot of people who
wonder why I don't turn it on during the day. 

*We went to the library today to sign up for the summer reading program.  Jake couldn't sign up downstairs in the kid section this year.  We had to go upstairs to the teen section...?  He is 11 going on 12.  Downstairs they had a "tween" sign up.  I figured 11 would fall into that category.   Apparently, the definition of teen has changed to rising 7th graders.  I am not sure I was ready to here that I have a "teenager" on today of all days: my period pained, odd numbered birthday....
 *As I was trying to sleep fall asleep I started to formulate my plan.  I am going to try REALLY hard to lose 10 pounds every month until my b-day next year.  I am not giving any more details than that, because inevitably people trying to be helpful will say things like "I made dessert, but I know you won't want to eat it since you are on a diet", in front of other human beings that already know I am fat and that I should be on a diet.  There is a very fine line between helpful and hurtful when you are fat and trying to lose weight.  I want everyone to ignore me and let
 me do my own thing on this journey.  When I am ready I will say more.  Until then, carry on as usual...

*Our mouse trap caught 2 more mice in the past 24 hours bringing our grand total is up to 7.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  And I wonder why I can't sleep, as I think about the fact that if a mouse can get in, so can a snake that is stalking it.  I am afraid to go into the kitchen and now laundry room.  I try to make Sadie go with me and Jake is the official filler of the washer and dryer.  He brings it to me in another
 room and I fold it.  I am not going to lie and say I put it away.  That is a downfall of mine.  Aaron asked why we didn't just get rid of our dressers and get a couple more laundry baskets.  I know he said it out of frustration while searching for socks, but I think he is on to something there...

*While I am 37 I am going to try to not be so deathly afraid of snakes.  I have been praying for it, but I have to admit I have been very specific with Heavenly Father that I DO NOT want it to happen through having to have an encounter with a snake...or snakes.  I want to
just feel comforted that there are no snakes when I am out in the backyard-or if there is it is okay because they aren't going to come near me (unlike the dumb snake in the tree over our porch or the one in the big lake that choose to swim right by us--RUDE!!!).  I want to not have to think about them every time I go outside.  I want to get over this fear/obsession that has gotten worse lately.  I have been praying and letting Heavenly Father know that if I don't see a snake for a really long time (or ever again, if that could be arranged) that will help a lot.  This isn't like praying for patience and having to be patient-I don't want to get over it by seeing them all the time.  I am 100% sure that that would not help at all. 
 Aaron keeps joking about moving to Alaska because he likes a couple of shows about it.  I tell him there is no way I could go and live completely off the land (I wish I was that person so badly, but I know I am not), but I bet there aren't a whole lot of issues with snakes in Alaska...Is this the answer to my prayers?  Not a chance...

*I had to go on Facebook today to thank a ton of people who filled my email inbox with birthday wishes.  It is so nice of everyone, but I really don't get the appeal of Facebook...
 ...AT ALL!  And I keep wondering why everything is "# this" or "# that".  Can some one please tell me what that means?  Why does #, formerly known as "the number sign", go by "hash tag" now?  I don't have a smart phone so maybe that is why I don't know...

*It makes me sad when I am in public and I look around and everyone is looking at their smart phones.  Our society has now gone past always talking on there cell phones.  Now everyone stares at them....ignoring the people they are
 supposed to be friends with.  I don't get it.  I missed the Internet (because I couldn't vent, journal, or capture memories with out it) when we didn't have it but I survived.  People can't even survive from the car to door of where ever they are going to with out checking out the Internet on their phone.  What is so interesting? Is there really anything more interesting than watching your child run around at the park?  NO!!  Whenever we go people are on their phones while their 4 year old is trying to get their attention as they play.  It is pretty depressing. 
 *I took a Melatonin and keep expecting to get drowsy, but it isn't happening....

*It is a really good thing I love our dog because she is shedding like never before.  When we brush her we fill up a grocery bag.  Then we vacuum like crazy.  No matter how much we brush, there is fur coming out of her all.the.time.  No matter how often we vacuum, there is fur every where all.the.time.  I keep thinking we should be seeing bald spots, but it is as thick as every.  She is part Lab-a dog that can hold it's
own in the shedding department...And part whatever dog that sheds the most in the history of the world.  Seriously it is every where, at all times.  I am also starting to wonder if she is part cat.  Tonight I was laying on the couch and she laid down on the floor beside me.  I pet her for a few minutes and then she picks up her head, and does the groany, growly kind of thing, stares at me like I am really annoying her, and walks away and lays down somewhere else.  She was done with me petting her and left like a moody cat.  And she left a big ole' pile of her fur on the rug to boot!  It is a good thing I love her...

*Maybe I will be able to sleep now since I cleared out my brain...