Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Introducing ME!... again

Been a while since my last post.  I'm now a 35-year-old mother of 4:  D is 11, B is 8, P is 4, and J is almost 8 months.  My hubby is still a police officer of about 9 years.  We live in a 3600 square-foot fixer-upper on about an acre.  One dog, one cat, one fish.  A raccoon ate all the chickens.  I guess we're still working on getting this country living thing together.

If I'm going to be honest, there's a LOT to do as an LDS stay-at-home mother of 4.  Some of it is just life, some of it I brought on myself by my commitment to homeschool, some of it has to do with the church, and some of it is simply stuff I want to do because it interests me.  I have to do some of that last category in order to feel really connected to who I am.  Here is a partial list:
Cooking - cleaning - taxiing children - run errands - shopping - kin-keeping - laundry - diaper changing - journaling - taking and maintaining pictures - planning outings - church meetings - studying scriptures - teaching - lesson planning - baking - decorating - visiting teaching - tasks related with my calling - tasks related with the homeschool co-op - fixing things - paying bills - and let's not forget playing with and making memories for my kiddos.  D is already looking for Scout, our Christmas elf, so I guess I have to get him out in the next couple of days.  He is 11, but still believes in Santa.  I questioned at one point recently whether he really still believes, or he's just going along with it.  Then I overheard this conversation:

B:  I want a _______ for Christmas.  (I forget what toy it was exactly.)
Friend:  I don't think they make those anymore.
D:  It's okay.  Santa's elves MAKE the toys.  They can make whatever you want!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, he started asking a LOT of questions about where babies come from, so hubby had the birds-and-the-bees talk with him.  Then he continued asking questions until hubby also had to explain birth control.  So, D knows all about where babies come from, but still believes in Santa.  It may be a little backward, but I'm not complaining.  I'm happy to get another year of magic out of him 💙.

And then there are the tasks that are really JUST.  FOR.  ME.  One is this blog.  Sure, you can read it, I'd love that!  But this is for me.  This is for me to vent my gratitude for all that I have and for the blessed life I lead.  That's right.  All those tasks I mentioned above... blessings.  Every.  Single.  One.  They're a little overwhelming, but they're a product of the wonder I get to see every day in my family.  Some of the other tasks I do just for me are crafting, reading, and learning the piano.  I could really use some help with that piano one... I stink.  Maybe one day when I have more time to spend with it, I'll get better.  Reading is a wonderful outlet for me, but I guess I also do that for my kiddos.  If I expect to homeschool them, I have to continuously improve my own level of education, so I'm learning things all the time.  And one more thing I'm trying to do for myself is the Personal Progress Program.  It's supposed to be for the young women, but it's perfectly appropriate for me as well, being a convert who has never had a chance to do it.  It may take me a while.  I just filled in my first bubble in "Faith" and there are like 50 or more of those little bubbles altogether.

Anyhow, I plan from this point out to fill my blog with all kinds of randomness, which I imagine most people will find boring, but this is for me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Househunting

Learned that the Lord answers prayers.... even if he says, "no".  We found a beautiful home.  Of all the homes we walked into, this one just seemed invited and it felt like it could be ours.  We, of course, prayed about it.  Neither of us got a good, "yes" feeling, but we didn't feel "no" either.  We just loved the house.  But... something went wrong with the financing.  We worked our tails off to fix it.  There.  Now we can get our perfect little house.  But... something was wrong with the land boundary lines.  How hard can this be?  There's only one neighbor.  And the portion of "his" alfalfa field that was on "my" side of the line was about the same as the portion of "my" beautifully landscaped lawn that was on "his" side.  Two reasonable people could work this out with no problems.  We'll let the current owners sort this out real quick before we agree to buy.  But..... the neighbor is NOT a reasonable person.  He's apparently trying to make it difficult for anyone to buy the place because he wants it and he wants to get it cheap.  And.... we can't even get to the property without the use of an easement that runs through his property.  Sure, he legally has to let us use it, but he doesn't have to make it fun!

So how many times did we have to be told "no" before we finally got the answer?  This just isn't the property for us.  And now that I've accepted that, I'm extremely comfortable with that, especially since we're not unhappy in our current home.  But maybe we could stand to get a little better at listening to the promptings so that we don't have to be told four and five times!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I made it!!! ... birthday cake edition

A GREAT BIRTHDAY YOU SHALL HAVE
Check out my light saber birthday cake for little B's 6th.  I must say I don't think it's one of my better cakes since I started making Mommy-Made-It birthday cakes, but light saber isn't much subject to work with.  He had a great time with his family and friends, and that's what counts!  We had pool-noodle light sabers for them to play with, and I wore my long, brown, Jedi robe for the occasion.  Go Mom!  

Dear Telemarketers...

I just got a call from a telemarketer who works for one of the credit companies that I do business with.  The voice said, "There is no problem with your account, but it is urgent that you call us regarding...."  I hung up.  I'm sure it was an offer of some sort.

Dear Telemarketers,
     First, if you call me, TALK TO ME!  I hate answering a call and there's a recording on the other end telling ME to call THEM back.  What the ... ?
     Second, don't offer me anything!  I do business with you, and so if there IS a problem with my account or if you need something from me, then feel free to call.  If I need something from you, like maybe whatever it was you were going to offer, then I'll call you.  NOT the other way around.  I'm too busy for that crap.

That's all for now.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting spiritual LDS style... I'm GLAD life isn't fair.

House is a mess, boys are fighting, baby is screaming, dinner isn't started yet.  Life isn't fair, and I'm GLAD for it!  I must be crazy or delusional.  Maybe day after day of taking care of children has finally done it to me.  If life were fair, if I was only given what I deserved and what I earned, what have I done to deserve all the blessings the Lord had given me?  Yes, I'm a hard-working woman and I do a lot to take care of my home and my family.  In my youth I worked hard to earn my education.  I worked hard in my job when I worked outside the home.  But the blessings I have far outweigh what I've earned.
     Can we see the blessings in our lives?  Are we able to look beyond the day-to-day drudgery and focus on all that we've been given, for nothing?  Talk about a bargain!
     Is it fair that I have to clean up the same messes in the same house day after day?  I have a beautiful home.
     Is it fair that I have to referee fights over a cardboard box every day until that box finally disintegrates?  I have amazing sons.
     Is it fair that I have to listen to the screams of this little baby girl day after day after day?  Is it fair that I wish away her babyhood so that she'll learn to talk and use words and stop the squealing?  I have the most beautiful daughter in the world.
     I have a wonderful husband, wonderful friends, wonderful family.  Even my in-laws are wonderful!  My husband has a wonderful job.  I live in a wonderful neighborhood and go to a wonderful church.  I have the gospel of Jesus Christ and the influence of the Holy Ghost.
     Life isn't fair.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just saying... Albuquerque Police Department

I'm really glad my husband doesn't work for that department.  I'm not saying that our department doesn't have it's own problems, I'm sure it probably does.  But all of the negative media attention surrounding APD sways public opinion and sure must make things hard on those officers.  I wonder how many times officers receive comments in reference to the recent events during their normal course of duty.

In most instances of use of force by police I fall squarely on the side of the police.  These officers' first duty is to make it home to their family and they need to do whatever is necessary to make that happen.  However, there may have been some questionable instances involving APD recently.  I maintain that I do not have all the information pertaining to those instances, and very few people do.  All I know is what has been put out by the media.  I maintain objectivity and am open-minded to change my mind given more information.  But that's not the point.  Police are held to a perfect standard by the people they serve.  This is rightly so since mistakes on their part can have dire consequences.  It's comparable to the standard held to doctors and surgeons:  people's lives can be on the line with the littlest mistake.  But doctors, surgeons, and police officers are human and are susceptible to imperfections just like the rest of us.

It's impossible to police a city the size of ABQ without a substantial number of police officers.  In order to get the number, standards have been lowered.  Some people are carrying a badge and a gun around ABQ who probably should never have been hired in the first place.  With less-than-qualified police, they are unable to respond appropriately.  Without the numbers, they are unable to respond appropriately.  So, instead of lowering standards, how about raising incentives for people to choose law enforcement as a career?  Our police officers, the good ones, are underpaid for the work they are expected to do.  How are you going to hold a man to the standard of a surgeon when you treat him like much less?

There are plenty of incidents to site, but the one that seems to have been the catalyst for the sudden call to action is James Boyd.  All I know of James Boyd is what has been portrayed on the news.  I don't know why he was so upset, or what he wanted.  I don't even know if police ever asked him what he wanted.  He was obviously in need of something.  I know he was mentally ill, which makes him more difficult to deal with as he may not have responded to rational requests.  I don't know if any of the police officers asked him what he wanted.  Police wanted him out of the area because he was illegally camping.  Did they offer to take him to a shelter?  Did they ask him if he had family and if they could call someone to come get him?  Maybe he had warrants and needed to be arrested, but for deescalation purposes just removing him from the area would have been sufficient for the time being.  Did they offer him a sandwich or a blanket?  Did they try anything to distract him from his knives and his purpose?  I don't know the answer to any of those questions.  Maybe they did all of that.  I maintain that I do not know the whole story and cannot, in good conscience, condemn the actions of the police unless I do know the whole story, but these are questions that I'd like to know the answer to.

Yes, there are bad cops out there.  There are cops who are incapable of handling the pressure and they make bad decisions, but most of them are hardworking, honest, loyal, upstanding enforcers of the law.  But they are all painted with the same brush when we highlight the mistakes of a few.  Are we throwing out the whole bushel for one bad apple?

APD is working on some major changes.  I hope the media covers APD's success as they implement those changes as thoroughly as they have covered all of the negativity surrounding these incidents.  And know, please, that for each incident you see where a police officer has made a mistake, a dozen others have gone above and beyond to help someone in need.  Hundreds of others have deescalated situations which could have gone just as badly.  Thousands of others have kept the peace, interacting with the public in a peaceful and professional manner.

Support those who are defending you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Homeschool adventures

Today's menu... 3rd grade:  Subtracting money, picturing North America, word meanings, -ful and -less.  Kindergarten:  -ing, addition with 10, the letter J.  Combined:  Hammurabi's code.