Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
When were first dating the song "All For You" by Sister Hazel was popular, and in that gooey, exciting, all-you-can-think-about-is-each-other stage, I loved the lyrics that said:
Wonder if I'll always be with you
Words can't say, I can't do
Enough to prove it's all for you
Because I knew that this was going somewhere big, the word "always" gave me the chills (still does!)
When I pregnant with Emma, and not knowing anything about "mother-love", I wasn't feeling much about this thing growing inside of me. Until one day, about 6 months along, I heard Good Riddance by Green Day on the radio. I felt this big desire for her to "have the time of her life". I knew her life would be unpredictable and I just felt this huge love for her and wanted her to have a happy life no matter what. So that's her song.
Gabe's song is "Make you feel my love" by Garth Brooks. What mother doesn't feel this way about her child?
When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love
Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come was on the radio when Jane was born. It's her song to her boy. It was perfect for our little Janey.
Hush, love I see a light in the sky
Oh, it's almost blinding me
I can't believe
I've been touched by an angel with love
We went to visit the Seeleys in Arizona when I was pregnant with Seth. My mom was playing from their song book collection of the Beatles. I know Beatles songs. I just had never heard "I will". I loved it and I sang it over and over. I now sing it over and over at night when I put Seth to bed. Here he is, joining me.
Who else out there has songs for kids or spouses that they want to share?
Monday, January 28, 2008
This is why I loved him:
- he was fearless
- he was real
- he was funny
- he told us that his feelings got more tender as he grew older
- he was tireless
- he bore powerful testimony of what he believed
- he LOVED his wife and missed her immensely after her death
I rejoice that he is receiving the rewards for his life of unfailingly service and purity: an eternal family, joy, rest and approbation from his Heavenly Father. I am grateful that all will continue in this Church in the same manner that it always has, that Christ will lead it through his next prophet and mouthpiece. I am unspeakably grateful that I get to be a part of it.
But... I will miss him.
**For a personal remembrance, go here.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
and cooking: she made us Blankets-in-a-Pig on Monday for dinner (which she, despite being the chef, refused to eat) and sewing: she made this quilt in an Activity Girls' Service Project on Saturday.
Gabe's week of parties started on Monday: a few days before MLK Jr. day, he approached me with the plan to go over to his friend Ryan's house on his day off from school. "We thought we could play the Wii and some games. You know, we thought it would be so we could celebrate Martin Luther King and stuff." Gabe had a dream.
On Friday night, he went over to the Rowell's for Tyler's birthday party. It was a sleepover and we are the mean parents who don't allow them, and so Gabe returned home at 11:00 pm and then went back for breakfast the next morning (he woke up at 6:00 to be sure not to miss any of the pancakes). I'm sure he had a great time, but dealing with him the next day...not so much of a party for his parents. That kid was ridiculously tired. Here he is with both Ryan and Tyler.
Jane had a week of child-care that started on Tuesday when she got the much-anticipated Bunker Bear from preschool this week. If Bunker had been a real child, CPS would have been called, as it got left at Pack Meeting, in the car on a -1 degree day and cross-dressed in girls' clothes. Jane sure enjoyed herself, though. She even suggested that she might be too sick to go to Preschool, so that she wouldn't have to return poor Bunker.
Seth's week of injuries included a climb up this:
because he wanted the exercise ball. Notice the cement floor below. Which he fell on, after apparently hanging for a few seconds by his fingers from the top shelf. (Jane witnessed, but didn't feel compelled to stop him...remember her previously mentioned poor parenting skills?). Later that afternoon, after repeated reminders to STAY DOWN, when Mom's back was turned, he fell from the counter top and garnered a huge "Goose Bump" (as Jane calls them).
Which might have contributed to this moment of insanity: Seth had ripped a page in a book. I admonished him to, obviously, "stop ripping pages." He ripped again. So he got sent to the Not-Listening chair. When it was time to get off, I told him to say sorry to me for not listening to my instructions. He said a very sorrowful sorry and then proceeded to left the bathroom, mumbling something about saying "sah-wy a papers". He headed to the place where the sad little page remnants were lying and, in a very repentant voice, proceeded to say TO THE PAPERS, "Sahwy a wipping you." Thoughtful kid.
Ryan and Jessica had a social week. With 3 lunches, 2 parties (one was DDR party, see below), a temple date, a book club, Pack Meeting, the cannery, being in charge of all carpools, and a basketball game...I wasn't surprised when on Friday night (when I didn't have anywhere to go) Jane said, "I love you, Mom, so I'm sorry you have to go to a meeting tonight." When I replied that I didn't have a meeting, Jane said, "That's weird." We are thankful for fun neighbors and friends, but are hoping for more calm this week!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Jessica proudly displaying her persuasion abilities, last Saturday night.
Every winter the question resurfaces … whether to sweater. As Jessica and I browse for some gay apparel the inevitable suggestion comes, “What about that sweater?” A flash of the neatly folded pile on the top-corner shelf of our bedroom closet rushes to mind. That is where I keep my stash … my sweater stash. The pile is actually only 3 deep now thanks to last year’s donation to the local Goodwill. I won’t disclose how many of Spokane’s less fortunate are truly less fortunate due to their wives’ undoubtedly bringing home a recent sweater find.
I could sense Jessica’s eyes wandering to the sweaters as I rummaged through the T-shirt table. I had hoped that by somehow projecting exuberance over one of the graphic Ts, I could stave off the suggestion of a sweater. All to no avail.
I do enjoy one aspect of the suggestion. My favorite part of the discussion is how as I try it on Jessica will suddenly become surprisingly amorous telling me how good the sweater looks on. As a novice, I used to believe the sweater’s effect would be re-enacted each and every time I wore the sweater. Thirty bucks seemed a very fair price for such a commodity. Yet time has schooled me in the sad lesson that the initial sweater response is replayed at most three times and in rapidly decreasing degrees.
#1 In the store – wide eyes, big smile, lots of extra touching, accelerated breathing, it looks sexy on you, oohs&aahs, etc. etc. (this actually continues for as long as I deliberate on the purchase … sometimes I will take a little extra time and bask in the attention).
#2 Date Night – “That sweater looks “nice” on you.”
#3 A few weeks later – “Um, can you scoot away a bit, that sweater is kind of itchy".
I have also learned that the sweater is only to be worn on date night. Sweaters seem to invite taunts from male friends. This is due to the fact most men understand the psychology behind the purchase of one. Sweaters aren’t really comfortable, and they aren’t versatile. I suppose if you are cold they might be okay, but I get cold about twice a year.
This is why my stash is the only pile in my closet that remains neatly folded, because we all know that after wearing it twice... the magic is gone.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A few friends have posted about laundry and so I thought I'd share my method. (All credit for this idea goes to, of course, the dispenser of all Mother Wisdom--Heather Daines. See here and here for further proof of her all-goodness).
2. Get some empty cubby things.
If I wasn't me, I would have them cutely labeled. But since I am me, I just told the kids whose was whose and told them to remember. (The top six our the family's...the bottom 3 are holding place for towels).
3.Take dry laundry out of laundry and put into baskets.
This is theoretically where your work should end. Good luck with that.
4. Remind laundry-job-person to do his job...
which is to sort the clothes into their proper cubbies. As Ryan discussed in a previous Christmas letter, be prepared to find Strawberry Shortcake panties in your cubby. The laundry-job-person then puts his clothes away, folds and puts the towels/washrags away (ha!).
5. Call family members to empty their cubbies
Be prepared to hear them all admonish laundry-job-person about how he mis-sorted (even though they do the same thing themselves). Mother puts away her own and 2 year old's clothes (which he will pull out every day and wear on top of each other at VERY inconvenient times). My kids roll their shirts, because it's easier and makes it so they don't have to mess everything up to find one on the bottom of the pile.
Key Element: Do not care if your kids' drawers look like this (which I don't because those drawers are closed):
Those with OCD might not be able to handle this...but it has changed my laundry life. I never have huge piles to deal with and I never have to dig through laundry to find my sports bra if I haven't had time to get to it. (Of course I have to nag and, of course, certain sassy 4 year olds do a worse job than nice almost-9 year olds, but it is SO MUCH EASIER than doing it all myself.)
What great housework systems have you come up with...share in a comment or email or, better yet, POST about it!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
1. I'm older than my uncle. Which probably isn't all that exciting in Mormondom, but I thought I'd mention it. My mom's dad died, my grandma remarried and had two more boys when my own mother was having babies. Cade, see his family blog here...oh wait, they don't have one, so never mind (ahem--Stacy!), is 3 years older than me and Dane, married to the lovely Lorena, is 4 months younger. You know what that meant? It meant lots and lots of fun when it was time to visit Grandma. Here's to the funniest (truly), most creative and most loyal uncles ever!
(Cade, holding brother Sam, brother Nate, Dane, brother Matt, the lovely 7th grade Jessica)2. I have a numbers thing. It comes from the Sherrill side of the family. I could wile away the hours (and do, on the treadmill) thinking about "if I have this sort of calorie deficit today, than I will lose this much weight per week, which will translate into this total loss by summer" or "if we sell our Utah rental house for x dollars in 2009, than we can pay off our Spokane rental house and have this much leftover". I love it. I relate all things in percentages (ask my husband) and can remember birthdays and phone numbers like no body's business.
3. I eat chocolate in the middle of the night. I wake up (and have since I was a teenager) and need chocolate washed down with milk. I can be the calorie consumption Nazi all day and at 3am I will forget all of it and chow down. It's really like I can't reason at that point. I will sometimes (out of embarrassment) have to hide the following evidence: crumbs on the table, wrappers in the trash, glass with milk ring left in it, magazine out (I like to read while I eat). Ryan used to (still does?) get upset when there would be 5 cookies left at bedtime...and none when he woke up in the morning. It's bad.
4. I, with a friend, stopped a couple from pickpocketing us in Barcelona, Spain by catching them, shoving them up against a McDonalds' window, holding them till the cops came and then filing a police report entirely in Spanish. Have I not already referred to my Awesomeness?
5. I have a "keep things from getting messy" deficiency in my brain. It's like poor Ryan has 5 kids when it comes to messes. I'm not kidding. I really honestly always have drips on my shirt or am accidentally missing the bowl when pouring ingredients in, or don't realize that this action will lead to this mess. The whole problem here is...I like things neat. So making my house neat, is that much harder because everything I do makes a huge mess.
6. The first words Ryan spoke to me were: "If we are going to get married, shouldn't we go on a date?" Seriously. Our parents had been trying to set us up for so long (I'd be at BYU, and come home, and then he'd be gone, etc. etc.) that it had become a family joke. So much so, that Ryan before he'd ever met me would refer to Jessica Sherrill "The Mother of His Children". So it was that he proposed during our first phone call. Who knew?
7. I like potluck/buffet food. I am a good cook and I can appreciate all kinds of food. I love special cheeses and weird vegetables. I cook with Anise seed and fresh goat cheese. I also LOVE Golden Corral and Sweet Tomatoes. I LOVE potlucks at church. I am not grossed out by the germ possibilities. And I love variety in food so much that I think potlucks are the most fun ever. All you food snobs can laugh, as I cook you under the table, but any old time you want to hit Chuck A Rama...I'm there.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The Missionaries came for dinner
else's kids COMPLETELY spaz out when the missionaries come over for dinner! We spent the entire evening yelling over such questions as these: "What's your name? What's your last name? (that's a tricky one) What's your middle name? What's your mom's name?" Then, we asked the missionaries if they had a message to share (don't they usually?) because I was planning on counting it as Family Home Evening, and they go, "um, yeah" and then they do this little trick:
(don't show your kids, so that your elders can use it if they don't have a message and are asked to share one)
(Something about the glasses being the priesthood, revelation and prophets and holding up the gospel. It was life-changing.)
Jane's first dance class
You might remember a few months ago Jane proudly announced to everyone that she was a quitter (of gymnastics). A few weeks later, my friend said that she was getting a group of girls together to do a dance class, starting after Christmas. I told Jane about it November and she has nearly died with anticipation. The day after Christmas, she woke up and said, "When is my dance class today?" We held her off for a few more weeks and the glorious day arrived. After many costume changes, we settled on white-fluffy sleeved leotard and pink tights. She loved it. The teacher approached me after and showed me some of the steps I could work on with Jane during the week. Uh-huh. Right.
What was lost was found
Can you believe it?? Look closely... Gabe found the CTR ring! We all rejoiced together.
And the day after I paid for this library book:
Gabe found it (here he is demonstrating where he found it). I can return it, minus the processing fee. Why does that ALWAYS happen?
A Saturday with nothing to do
After the housecleaning extravaganza, we napped, played Didder (I refer you to the post earlier this month, if you are too un-cool to know what that means), had friends over and blogged. Ryan actually finished a book! And then we went out to dinner with some friends.
It was, frankly, weird.
Please take some deep breaths, we don't want the excitement of this post to cause you to overly exert yourselves! We promise to be much more exciting this coming week!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
So Ryan met us for lunch the other day. Knowing we had an eye check-up for Emma later that day, he said: "Hey, remember to find out if her eyes have gotten worse."
I reply, (slightly bugged): "Um, of course I will" thinking: what did he think check-up meant anyway?
He says: "Well, it's just that sometimes I ask you things after doctor's visits and you didn't remember to ask seemingly simple questions."
I say: "We better stop talking about this now, because that last statement really made me mad."
I continue on with my day (which was hideous, but you have the same days and you don't need to be exhausted by mine, do you?). We make it to the optometrist. Emma goes in, I supervise kids, Emma and the doctor come out.
The doctor begins to explain to me that her eyes have gotten worse, blah, blah, blah. I begin to realize I'm having a hard time focusing. And I'm really trying because Mr. Third Degree is waiting at home.
And then I realize what the problem is.
Seth is trying on all the fragile eyeglasses all over the office and not putting them back. Jane is behind the optician's desk opening drawers. Gabe is asking me how to spell a word for his homework. Emma is spazzing out all over the room because the dilation drops feel weird in her eyes. Our coats, backpacks and waiting room toys are strewn all over this nice office. There are about 6 other people watching me and my unruly kids in a tiny little space.
How in the HECK am I supposed to ask this man intelligent, forward thinking questions and understand his medical terminology answers??
So on the way home, I call Ryan to tell her that her eyes have gotten worse, what the prescription is, what her vision is, that we decided not to do contacts, when the glasses will come in, how much they cost. And I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, because AGAINST ALL ODDS, I have been thorough.
Ryan asks: "So what does this mean, long term, for her eyes?"
**cue crickets chirping**
Just give me the F for Listening right now. In fact, I'm putting myself on the "not-listening chair". It's quiet in there.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
- home decorating projects. I do them, maybe once a year, if I have to...so I don't paint, or frame stuff, or refinish things in my free time AT ALL
- have a newborn (no one can do anything extra with one of those)
- watch more than 3-4 hours of TV a week
- read anything on the Internet besides blogs
- allow my children at home to go through a day without a nap or quiet time
- work (for outside-the-home type establishments)
If you choose to do any of these things, you are eliminating your reading time. WHICH IS FINE.
I also have NO PROBLEM taking time for myself. Those Oprah shows where she urges mothers to do something for themselves mystify me. I totally understand that when I am rested, have had quiet time, and do things that I enjoy (reading, blogging, exercising, girls' nights), I am a MUCH more enjoyable wife and mother. I picked a husband who gets that, too, and supports me in those me-activities.
If you aren't like that, that's a choice you are making.
So, to answer the question "How do you find time to read", this is when I read:
- when I ride the machines at the gym
- after everyone goes down for naps for 30 minutes or so
- when dinner is done, sometimes I will sneak upstairs and let my husband manage things for a little while
- I try to take a book with me to piano, dance, doctor's offices just in case I have some down time
- before I go to bed
It works out to 30-60 minutes a day. I am a fast reader, so I get through an average of a book a week. It's been my favorite hobby for as long as I can remember. Ask my mom. This picture came from my photo album (1st birthday), note her caption:
It brings me peace, understanding of the world around me, ideas for how to improve myself, a connection to other book-lovers, an escape. I can't imagine not doing it, so I could do some of the other things above. But maybe you can. And that's okay, too.
Monday, January 14, 2008
I chose this picture because this week: Seth loves his snow clothes and brings them to me, saying "I got um, mom." the minute the big kids get home from school. Which would be great if it didn't involve me going outside with him. But he's 2 (not reason enough, frankly) and deathly afraid of the nicest neighborhood dog ever and is so cute with his snow pants, that I haul my freezing behind out there so he can enjoy the fruits of his efforts.
Here's Jane with the hair-do RYAN DID while I was gone. Pretty impressive, huh? Nothing stands out about Jane, but since every quick quote is from her, she's not really lacking on blog time, is she?
From Gabe last week:
"Mom, when you do a blog about this you can say...
Before he had a messed-up hairdo:
And after he had some rockin' style."
(Background...Ryan made an admirable effort to cut Gabe's hair. But even Gabe could tell it needed help; he kept bugging Ryan to take him to "Payper Cuts.")
Gabe and I also had a fun date to lunch (post-helping in the classroom) that was one of the highlights of my week.
Emma was not shy about her feelings this week: "Mom, I don't want to make you feel bad or anything, but I'm kind of excited for you to leave on your trip." Thanks, Em. She continued by saying she loved having the extra time with dad and also doing her own hair. It looked fabulous, by the way, when I got to church from the plane. Really.
This person is the father and husband of the year. Refer to the post below if you doubt. He also has a matching outfit with Gabe, which he wore with pride today. Gang pride.
On to me. This person:
decided she wanted to live in Argentina. She wanted to get married and live by her husband. (Whatever.) So whenever she (Adrianne, of MacGyver fame) comes into the country, we:
(Jessica, Tammy, Adrianne, and Paige) make every effort to see her (and cute new baby Gabe and husband Mario). We met at Tammy's gorgeous house in San Clemente, where it was 72 degrees in JANUARY. And ate. And shopped. And talked. And that's all, for hours. And I didn't get up once to get a child anything. And I slept till 8:00am. And came home to a clean house.
Also, I got released from Primary this week. They got a whole new Primary Presidency and I didn't make the cut, apparently. It was the first time in my life I was sad to change callings (I like change) and we all, the Prim Pres, had an emotional week. It was a blessing to see how Heavenly Father works in the Primary, to feel His love for the children, to feel their sweet and hilarious spirits every week and to work with the best women ever. I'm over 8 year old cub scouts now (which will include Gabe in 6 months) and I will love it, I'm sure. But don't look over at me in Gospel Doctrine when they start singing in Primary next week, because I will be a big bawling baby. I'm just warning you.
Friday, January 11, 2008
5:00 am. - Wake up, go swim while Jessica gets ready to head off to the airport.
3:40 - Older kids arrive home. Emma actually called as Jessica predicted at 3:25 to ask for ride home because "the bus doesn't leave for like 10 minutes". I have to tell her that Jane is still sleeping so she will have to take the bus.
- 4:00 - Play outside in snow
- 5:00 - Dinner (Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup)
- 6:00 - Get jump on Saturday a.m. jobs (I lobbied for this one)
- 7:00 - Play video games together (DDR & Monkeyball)
- 8:00 - Bedtime