Sunday, March 30, 2014

Great Lessons

The last couple of weeks the kids have had some great lesson that they have been able to participate in.

Cora:  This was a three week activity for YW.  On the first week the missionaries assigned to our ward came and taught the youth about their schedules, lessons and about their calls.  Each person got a call and a companion.  They were also assigned a mission president, one of the youth leaders, and were given a small copy of Preach my Gospel.  For the next two weeks they were ask to live as close to missionary standards as they could.  Very little Internet time and TV, etc.  During the second week they had to contact their companions, practice a discussion, make an appointment with their president, and then have dinner with and give the lesson to their presidents.  Cora was called to the Toronto, Canada mission and went to the YM President's house for her dinner and lesson.  She had so much fun.  She said the lesson went really well.  She ate everything that they gave her, even tomatoes and pineapple. Cora said that they gave her dating advice and taught her how to egg people:)  The last week they had to report on their missions.  I thought this was a really wonderful idea and all the kids had a great time.
Cora was invited to go to her friend's church (I am not sure what her church is called) on Friday and go to their youth.  She said basically is was paint balling, but with ping pongs balls.  There were a couple of different congregations from town that all got together to play, so there was lots of kids.  They played in black light, the glow of the ping pong ball was really neat she said.  Cora came home so excited.  Said it was really really fun.

Leah:  She had her last Primary today.  She finished her Faith in God, just in time.  For 11 months all she has had to finish was three Articles of Faith.  She kept putting it off.  It was starting to drive me crazy.  But she finished and is looking forward to going into YW the week after General Conference.  After her last Activity Days Girls, last week, the YW leaders gave her all the YW stuff, Personal Progress, True to the Faith etc.  She has also been invited to join them a week early since it is a two week activity and she needs to be there for the first one.

Blake:  This is the talk that Blake wrote for Primary today.  The only parts I help with were, I added in the words "and learning my Articles of Faith" and "I am excited to see were I will go"  I also helped him look up a scripture to read.  He really wrote the rest by himself.
Hi, my topic is missionary work.  My cousin is going on a mission and just handed in his papers like a week ago.  We are having a guessing game to see where he goes.  This is making me more excited for my own mission.  D&C 4:3-4.  (the he read the scripture) Some ways I am preparing for my mission is: Reading the scriptures, being good, getting up early, reading Preach my Gospel, and learning my Articles of Faith.  I myself just wanted to share a little experience.  I have been inviting a boy  named Tanner to come to church with me.  But he never says yes.  I am going to keep working on it.  I would like to bear my testimony.  I know the covenants are true.  I know it will be fun to go on a mission.  I am excited to see where I will go.  Say these things ..... 

A couple of weeks ago at a youth fireside, we were encouraged to read Preach My Gospel with the family to prepare them to go on a mission.  Dave and I already had one, and we have had a few FHE lessons with it.  Then Cora got hers with her YW activity.  Last week when we were having dental appointments we stopped at the Book Store and got Leah and Blake a copy also.  We have started at the beginning and have been reading it each morning along with our scripture study..  Blake especially is loving this and is so excited to grab his copy and read along with us.

I am grateful for our church leaders.  I know they are inspired and are helping us teach our children what Jesus needs them to know.  They do a wonderful job of coming up with great lessons for them every week. I am grateful that my children love to go and are looking forward to it each Sunday and Tuesday when they get together with those in our ward.  I am grateful to a husband that helps us get up early and make sure we read and the example he is to our children.  I am grateful to my parents for how they raised me,the lessons they taught me at home growing up, and the love and support they show us..  I am grateful to my in-laws for raising such a wonderful man and the lessons they taught him and the love and support they also show for us.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kub Kar Rally +

I am quite sure that the Kub Kar Rally and everything leading up to is has been the high light of Blake's life so far.  He just soaked up every minute he got to work on it.  Working with tools, building, and time spent with Dad are his favorite things.  Three days before the event he started counting down the hours.  Yep! The hours:)

We had no problem getting him up and ready this day.  Here he is racing back to watch his car cross the finish line.

Serious business.  Lots of people watching those lines to get the winner.

Blake had a bit of a wobbly wheel during the practice runs the week before.  Dave got it all fixed up, then said it was slower.  He thinks he should have just left it alone.  Blake still has a fantastic time and loved every minute of it.  He is already planning his car for next year.  The girls really wanted to make one also, so we think we will have a Puzey Car Rally sometime.

Saturday was great.  The girls and I hung out at home while the boys went to the Kub Kar Rally.  Cora was babysitting that night.  She had make some stuffed animals for the girls she watches and thought it would be fun to invite them here this time.  The parents said that was OK.  They had not seen Frozen yet, so Cora and the two girls sat down to watch it.  They talked about what was happening through the entire show, it was making us laugh so hard.  She also painted their nails and put stickers on them. Cora got a phone call just before her babysitting job started asking if she could watch another family.  She quickly volunteered Leah for the job.  Leah was ecstatic.  She has been wanting to babysit for so long.  In one job she made just over a third of what she needs for the American Girl Doll she is saving for.  I was getting a little worried about her, but she came home so excited and right ready to go again.  After everyone was gone the kids took all my cushions off and ran hurdles through the house.  We played a few games and then started getting ready for bed.  My kids have figured out how to get out of all bedtimes and work.  They just ask me if they can play with my hair and it works ever time.  I can't move when someone plays with my hair.  Soooooo relaxing.  We got to bed a little late.  Early morning meetings came early the next day.

Yesterday my mom and dad come in to have dinner and FHE with us.  It ended up being a great meal, even tho we were 15 min behind schedule.  Mashed potatoes, Salmon, salad, and corn.  Then I made the Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mouse Cheesecake again.  Man, that thing is amazing.  Seriously makes me want to call Mel and tell her she out did herself with that one.  We then played a Gospel Jeopardy game that I got from one of my councillors on the Resurrection.  We forgot to put a candle in mom's cheesecake but we did sing Happy Birthday anyway.  It was a fun night.  I miss the big Smith FHE's, but with every ones wacky schedules, I'm not sure how to fit it back in.

I have to admit when I first heard that the 8-11 year old girls were going to be invited to the General Women's Broadcast, I was disappointed.  Since the moment I found out I was having a boy, I have been looking forward to the time when father and son could go off to the Priesthood Broadcast together. I think that is another very special moment for them to experience together.  I have also been looking forward to the time that I could take my girls with me to the YW Broadcast.  Since Cora turned 12, in this ward, the moms were not invited.  I felt very let down. So when I heard there was a change at first I was excited, but when I heard the little girls were coming, not so much.  I know many girls that still need a snack and bring their dolls to sacrament meeting.  They just seemed to young to sit there reverently and let me enjoy the meeting.  I know, very selfish. So I am anxiously waiting for Saturday to hear what the messages are going to be.  Maybe they need instruction sooner to help them become strong in this ever worsening world.  Maybe I need the basics more.  I have not doubt that the church leaders are inspired and know what they are doing. So it does not matter one bit how I feel. All will be re veiled Saturday. But I am looking forward to taking my two girls and spending this special time with them.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Willy Wonka Day

Once again the elementary school did 'One School, One Book'.  This year the book chosen was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  The staff puts on a wonderful assembly with lots of activities for the students to guess what the book is. Every family goes home with a copy of the book to keep. Then for two weeks they have assigned chapters that we are to read as a family every day.  The next morning there are questions and prizes for the winner.  As a bonus this year, because of the book choice, the school also did a chocolate fund raiser and hide 10 golden tickets inside with prizes.  Blake and Leah have been enjoying the book.  Today was the last day.  Yesterday they watched the movie. (Thankfully the old one.  I find the new one very disturbing.) They were asked to dress up as their favorite character from the book.  Blake chose Mike Tevee and Leah wanted to be Violet.  
At the closing assembly staff challenged students.  Each team had to get into these giant balls and try to get 'candy' (big colored balls) to their factory.  The balls looked fun.  I want to look into getting one for the Smith clan get together this summer. This is the third year for this One School, One Book program.  I think it is a neat thing they do.

Leah spent another 2 hours in her room last night.  I kept asking if I could please help her, but she really didn't want me to.  After me asking a couple of times why she told me she thought I was going to throw everything away. It was getting worse every time I walked by.  Leah just kept pulling stuff out and making piles in her room instead of putting the piles away.  I was afraid she was never going to finish.
So I helped anyways.  In 20 minutes we had it done.  She decided what to throw, not me. In the end we packed two boxes, had one big bag of garbage, and one small bag of clothes to donate.  Wow I feel better.  Look she has a floor in there.  When I went to say good-night last night, I was able to walk right up to her bed without fear of injury.  The really crazy thing is she likes it better also.  She just doesn't put things away when they are in her hand so it builds up.

Two days ago I was looking out the window and thinking that our lawn was going to need to be mowed soon.  It was starting to look long and barely greening up.  Then today I shoveled walks again.  I know it is coming tho.  Spring will arrive sometime.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

That's My Girl:)

It is snowing here.  HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!  It is not too cold though only 1 degree.  Can't complain to much.  This is Leah's room after she cleaned it.  She said she was all done and she had packed up two boxes.  I saw the boxes she really did pack them up. But the cleaning....?
Leah often tells me I have very unrealistic expectation of what clean means.

Yeah.  I guess I do if this is her idea of clean. Maybe when I told her I needed sheets today, some how taking those off magically messed up everything else.  

But she did get the closet cleaned out and organized.  

My favorite is when I will specifically point out something that need to be put away and a couple of hours later I will mention it is still there.  Then she says she totally put it away.  Someone came into her room and messed it back up again after she left.  I always wonder how they put it back in the exact same spot and position.  Seriously!!!  Love my girl to bits but, what in the world am I going to do??:)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Amazing Weekend

Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I have been waiting 3 years to make this green lunch for Dave and my kids.  The last couple of years they have not had school on St. Patrick's Day.  Today they got 7 up, pear, green licorice and mint Aero balls, cucumber and celery and a green sandwich.  And chips, but they were not green just a holiday so they got some:)  This morning for breakfast we had green toast.  I was going to put a little food coloring in their milk but the kids did not think they could drink it if I did. Tonight for dinner we are having stew.  I looked up Irish stew and it is basically the same as mine except mutton instead of beef and beer.  So we will have regular stew and pistachio cake for dessert.
We have been playing this Roll-A-Leprechaun game this week.  Totally a little kids game but we had fun. 2 is put clothes on, 7 roll again, 10 put something on someone else etc.  The first one to have a completed leprechaun is the winner.

This was an amazing weekend for Cora. Crazy week for us.  Wednesday I had a high school meeting, Dave high council.  Thursday, Dave went to check out the house, I had a RS party. Friday Dave took off work and did some work on the house and then we went out with Amber and Jared for dinner.  We had got a joint BP certificate for Christmas for the farm and finally got together to use it.  Saturday Dave prepared his talk and then took the younger two to Calgary to Bowen's baptism.  They said it was an excellent day.  Nice baptism, good food, good company.  They got home so late that the kids went straight to bed.  Said they would talk to me in the morning.  I stayed home to be Cora's chauffeur.  In the afternoon Cora had a youth swimming party, then later that day they had the opportunity to listen to Elder Holland talk.  It was a special fireside for the youth, youth leaders, and bishops. 9 stakes were invited to attend.  Plus it was broadcast to two other stakes in BC and Medicine Hat.  The fireside started at 7.  Our youth decided to meet at 5:15 to get a seat.  When they arrived it was already full.  Very full.  Primary chairs had been pulled out to set up three rows in front of the first bench before the stage.  That should give you an idea of how the entire building looked.  Apparently some people had got there before 4.  Cora's group headed over to the overflow building.  Later we heard they even opened up a third church building.  Before they left Cora started talking to me about how excited she was.  I was telling Dave this and said, 'It is not every 14 year old that is super pumped about dressing up and sitting in a church building for hours waiting then listening to an old man preach to them on a Saturday.  It is moments like this that I think just maybe, once in a while we do something right as parents.'  Dave said it is no wonder we are called a peculiar people. Cora arrived around 5:30.  They were trying to get the broadcast equipment to work.  Worked on it for an hour and forty minutes.  Finally 10 minutes after it was started someone turned to the kids and they needed every one to pray for a miracle for this to work.  They said a prayer and a few minutes later it worked. She loved every minute of his talk.  Their building missed the first 20 minutes of the fireside, but Elder Holland was the last speaker.  He talked about dating, meeting his wife, answered a few questions that were written down beforehand, and talked about missionary work.  Said he would hold the boys down and sign their papers if they weren't doing it and he would sit outside their house and scratch their windows until they studied Preach My Gospel.  Cora said he was funny and entertaining and LOVED every minute of it.  At the end of his talk he said something like if there is only one thing I want you to remember tonight it is..... and the broadcast went down again.  Cora was thinking, no wait, what is it?  Broadcast came back up and he said, 'Ok I will say it one more time.  ... this church is true, the gospel of Jesus Christ is true...."  It was an amazing experience for the youth.  She came home on such a high.  It was great to see her like that.  Sunday we had another stake youth fireside with the mission president and his wife.  Also another wonderful talk.  Truly and amazing weekend for Cora.  Something she will always remember.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I like it-I like it not

I am going to end on a positive note, so I will do the like it not first.  
Daylights savings time.  Really wish the government would ask my opinion on this.  Hard to believe they haven't yet.  Especially daylight savings on the Sunday that we have early morning meetings.  My kids sure loved getting up yesterday.  (That is strong sarcasm.)  
I really don't like confrontational conversations. Needed to have a few lately.
Not having a working printer at home is annoying.  I have to email everything to Dave so he can bring it home to me. Sharing Time, recipes, FHE lessons.  I have to plan way ahead and can't just sit down and finish something.
Not really enjoying this packing.  I have to decide what we can get away with not using for the next year and a half. (Hopefully that is all, never know what is going to happen)  What we are going to need at the temp house and what we need right now to leave out.  My sister has moved a couple of times this way.  Maybe I should have her come pack it all for me.
Like its:  Snicker doodle muffins.  I can make a lot of things.  Cake, cookies,soup, main dishes, appetizers, pie, pie I am amazing at.  Said with the up most humility of course:).  I can even do souffle and creme brulee.  Pretty much anything. But for some reason my muffins always turn out......heavy I guess is the word.  But these muffins turn out every single time.  And my kids love them.  Most requested around here.  I have tried to take a picture the last couple times we have made them.  This is seriously all that was left. Cora will have me make them and bring them when I pick up everyone from seminary.  Love them.
Our last minute dinner has become hash browns with bacon bits and eggs.  I always seem to have these items in my house.  When we are in a hurry or I have not been home much that day, we fry some hash browns, throw in some s&p, green onions and bacon bits, then whisk a couple eggs and pour on top.  Fast, easy, everyone loves it.  You got protein in there.  We cut up an apple or slice an orange and there is dinner in less then 15.  
These are Cora's new favorite cookie.  Oreo cookies and cream cookies.  Pretty good.
Blake has found the distortion setting on Dave's amp.  He no longer begs to play wii or on the computer.  Just wants to play guitar.  Now we just need to teach him some cords instead of just strumming it.:)
Blake's Kub Kar.  Dave made a template for the flames and windows, then taped them down.  Blake painted, sanded, glued.  They both put on the wheels.  He is so excited to race.
Leah has been learning the ukulele at school.  She came home and taught herself to play 'Let It Go'.  I think we have another natural musician in the family.  She certainly did not get it from me.  Can't wait til the movie comes out on DVD.  Dave thinks we may be the only person that has not already illegally down loaded it.:) Anyways love the time that Leah gets to spend with her dad, tuning and playing this song.  I wish Dave had more time to pick up his guitar again.  Miss hearing that. Also Cora is learning this song on the piano, I haven't had to ask her to practice in two weeks.  She just needed a song that spoke to her.
Grapefruit smoothies are so delicious.
I am loving the warmer weather.  We may actually get spring.  Dave is a little worried the house we are building is going to flood.  There is so much ice in the basement right now.  Pretty soon it will be very muddy out there, but I got new warm rubber boots this weekend.  That will help.  
I got them for preg testing the cows this weekend.  All went well.  Only one open, which is fantastic news.  We had one jump the fence. Dave tried to get her back in.  She was just running along the fence looking for an opening to get in.  So we opened a gate and stood on the other side of the road to give her room to go in.  She was almost to the opening and took one look at me and headed across the road towards me at a full run.  I have never had a cow go out of her way to charge me.  To try to get by, to test the limits, to get to a calf, Yes many times.  Never like that.  I think she was a little miffed.  The cow went around the entire field, following the fence line.  We kept opening gates and finally Jared got one open before she got there. In she walked like no big deal.  Crazy girl! 
Natalie introduced Mom to this True Lemon and Mom told me about it.  Great find Natalie.  The first time we had it Mom sliced an apple and shook this out on top.  My kids have always liked apples, we go through a lot, but now I can't keep them in the house.  Friday I bought twice as many as I usually do for the week and they are already over half gone.  We use it in fruit salad with Greek yogurt, just a drink with hot water, can use on fish or chicken. Blake and I like the True Lime better.  But both good
Water.  I have seen lots of detox water drinks or things to add to boost metabolism.  Both things I need to do.  Natural things like cucumbers, or apples and cinnamon.   But I really just like plain water and don't want to put anything in it.
Stories that Cora brings home from school.  She really enjoys her classmates.  Has some good tales to tell.
Typing.  I know that is weird but I love to help my kids type up their reports.  Keeps my typing up to par.
Vacuum Lines.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

VERY Boring Post

I have debated writing this for a while.  No one wants to hear about my health woes.  Boring stuff.  But decided it did happen and I need a reminder to take my iron since I hate doing it.  And my great great grandchildren may want to know about me one day.  Who knows??:)  So you can all go back to your much more interesting lives and click back in another time.
New Years Eve in the afternoon we were sitting on the couch waiting to go to the movie when suddenly I had intense chest pain.  My left arm felt like I had slept on it and it had not quite woken back up.  Because of my iron levels I am at higher risk for a heart attack.  Not HIGH risk but higher than normal.  Not enough iron and your heart stops.  Too much and your heart stops.  My body does not absorb iron, so I am supposed to be on pills all the time.  To monitor I get it check every 3 month.  I don't like seeing the doctor and they always say the same thing.  Levels are almost normal, reserve is low, stay on it and see you in 3 months.  About a year ago I quite. I mentioned my chest pain to Dave, since I was a little concerned.  He didn't say much so we just carried on.  That night as I did the Resolution run I got the best time I ever have.  I was sure that if it was indeed a heart attack I would have collapsed while running.  Yet the pain and sleepy arm continued.  I felt like someone was stabbing me constantly just below my left collar bone.  It hurt to move, never mind lift things and help Dave with the house building.  We relied on Cora a lot for her strength during this time.  About two weeks later I could not stand it any more.  I called my DR and they did an ECG and other test.  Conclusion was I had a virus above my heart and it was swollen and pinching nerves.  Hence the sleepy arm.  Dave was not happy to hear I had gone to the DR without letting him know something was bothering my that bad. I was put on anti inflammatory.  Lessened the pain, but not by much.  About this time I also noticed that I was really light headed often.  I thought maybe it was the meds. I wasn't tired so didn't think about it being my iron.  One night just before my birthday, Dave was away on business and I was in the middle of a Primary meeting when suddenly everything went black.  Just for a couple of seconds, but I couldn't seem to concentrate after either.  I had a basketball tournament the next two days and was worried about blacking out while driving down the road or during the night when Dave was gone..  Finally I called my parents and asked them to please come sit with my kids while I went to the ER.  They were so good and came straight in.  After sitting for hours and doing more test it was determined that the virus was not in my heart lining as they originally thought and I had no fluid around the heart which they feared.  But my iron was dangerously low again.  And the virus was still there.  I was told it would take at least another 3 week for my body to fight it and to get back on iron immediately.  The next day I went and bought some iron.  I have been feeling much better.  It took about a week for the light headedness to go away, and once in a while I will still get a little stab of pain, but it does not last long, just an hour or two.  During all this time I did not exercise thinking I was going to do further damage.  As much as I hate it, I will probably be on iron the rest of my life.  I really really did not want to be a pill everyday person.  And I now also have to work to loose the weight I gained while not being active for 7 weeks.  But I have learned my lesson.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Another Week at Our House

Monday:  Just your typical Monday.  Basketball practice for Cora, then games for Leah, Cora and I.  FHE and bed.
Tuesday:  A month ago Dave was called and invited to attend Cubs with Blake.  They were going to start working on their Kub Kars.  Blake has been so so excited about this.  Dave forgot for a few minutes and told Jared he would take the cows to auction that night.  He quickly remembered and decided to leave work early and take one load then Jared took the second.  I was going to help him in the morning but I had dental appointments that day and piano in the afternoon, so I couldn't go up at all.  Dave meet us at the church, I had packed him dinner.  The assistant cub leader is also the shop teacher at the high school.  Every one went there to work on their cars.  Very convenient:)  Blake has relished every moment he has got to spend with his dad this week working on this car.  They browsed the internet looking for cars they liked and have been working on it a little every day.  Dave really is having him do most of it.  He said he did not want to be one of those dads that everyone jokes about.
Wednesday:  I did a ton of baking.  3 batches of rolls for Saturday, cookies and brownies for the next day.  Cora had her final practice.  Dinner, then we went to see the Harlem Crowns.  All the basketball players were required to sell tickets to this event.  (Fourth fundraiser since the New Year.  I am beginning to feel a little tapped out) We got them weeks ago.  Blake did not want to sit through yet another basketball game.  I tried to explain to him many times that this was really funny and he would enjoy it.  But not until they started did he get it.  All the kids loved it.  Blake won a water bottle.  Dave had meetings and was not able to come.  Such a great event for the school.  
Thursday: During scriptures at 6 in the morning, Cora told me that she had volunteered me to make buns for the tournament Friday.  I did not have a 2 hour span at home to make buns, but she really wanted them home made.  So I started buns at 6:15am.  Nice!  I got my house all cleaned and ready for a girls luncheon with my Mom, Kristin, Natalie, and Nicole.  Taylor and Kristin had come up for a few days.  We all had a few gifts we wanted to give her for the new baby girl arriving soon.  The boys went off to Ag-Expo (all but Ben) and the girls stayed at my house for lunch and opening gifts.  The boys got back about 2ish.  Usually my family rushes back home to get things done, but this time they were able to stay and hang out for a couple of hours.  I was so glad they did.  I really enjoyed the time we had together.  We did miss you tho Kita:(
Friday: Final Basketball Tournament for Cora, Leah and I.  Basketball has kept us very much on the run the last 4 months, but I am really going to miss it.  Can't wait till next season already.

Cora getting all taped up for her final game.

They lost the first game and won the second.

Leah did well this year.  She is fast and has got a great shot.  She is looking forward to some real ball next year.

Saturday: Dave went to the farm.  I guess between everyone they broke the water for the bulls like three times.  It was soooo cold.  The bails were frozen solid to the ground.  Cora had her final game and Blake had a birthday party.  Late in the afternoon we loaded up another load of boxes to store at my parents house and headed out to have dinner with everyone before Taylor left.  We had all fasted the week before hand so we ate and chatted.  Cannon was trying some gymnastics moves with Cora.  That was entertaining for me.  I guess earlier they had had a plank challenge and some other stuff.  I have to get working on it, we are doing it again this summer I am told.
Sunday:  A nice quiet day.  Church, reading, puzzles, and a movie.

And there you have a typical week at our house.