Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas card pictures

This afternoon I finally took some pictures of my kids for our Christmas Cards. I know I'm way late as usual, but I really had good intentions. In October I talked to a photographer about doing family photos for us and that same night Jess came home and told me he was growing a beard starting that day (for the play). I wasn't about to pay someone to take picures of us with him in a beard. It's just not the look I like. (I promise, picutes to follow...) Anyway, here it is the 12th and I decided now or never so I quickly went through the girls closets and found some Christmasy looking dresses. It was quite the ordeal trying to get everyone to stay where I put them and look at me a smile at the same time. I feel bad because I wasn't feeling the Christmas Spirit through it all. I was way too stressed out. I took about 50 pictures, but really didn't have anything I was really happy with. I settled on one and off to Costco photo online for 150 prints to be made. My goal is to have everything done and sent by Saturday. I wish Tessa and Bridget would have been smiling in this picture because I like the position of the girls and Hannah and Emily's hair in this one.
This is the picture I ended up having printed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An Update.......

Our stake celebrated it's 125 anniversary this year and as part of the celebration they had a play that was written by someone in the stake and based off of some of the early mormon mesa settlers lives. Jess, Emily, Hannah and Bridget were all in it. It was quite the production and they had 3 shows this past weekend. They all did a great job. Emily and Hannah especially love doing things like that. They were so cute. At the end there was a waltz dance with all the young kids and it was my favorite part. I couldn't believe they did such a good job! The lady who choreographed it used to be on the BYU ballroom dance team. I was impressed with what she got the kids to do. The last night of the show on the way home bridget said to me, "Mom, I don't want to be a pioneer anymore. It's too hard." I thought that was so funny because really it is too hard to be a pioneer and all they went through. She was just worn out from all the rehearsals. The rehearsal schedule has been pretty much tues-friday night and saturdays for the last 2 months. The past 2 weeks they have been at rehearsal until 10:15-11:30pm depending on the night. My girls have been so tired for school. They have just come home from school each day and taken a nap and then gone straight to rehearsal. Jess has been even busier because not only was he in the play, but he was in charge of all the Audio/Visual in the play. He set up 4 huge screens with projectors and made a power point presentation to go along with the play. (the above picture is of him starting to take down the stuff after the play. Anyway, it was quite impressive for a stake play. They set it up as a theater in the round (I think that's what it's called) where the stage was on the floor of the culteral hall and there were risers with chairs for the audience all around. Jess grew a beard for this and I was so happy (he was too) to be able to shave it on Sunday morning. (I'll post those pictures later- they are pretty funny)Dress rehearsal
dress rehearsal
Jess and his stage wife
Emily and Hannah with their stage mom and 2 stage sisters to the right.

Bridget and her stage mom.

Hannah and Emily

Hannah, Bridget, Jess, Emily

Tonight we 1/2 way put together a gingerbread house. I say half way because the icing wouldn't hold the roof, so I told the girls we'd have to decorate the rest tomorrow after it dries. I was wishing I had ordered a gingerwood house as my roof kept sliding down. We were going to do this as our FHE activity last night, but Jess got sick and went to bed right after work. He did the same tonight, and I felt too bad to make the girls wait another day so we just did it without him. Bridget likes eating the candy and licking the frosting the best.

Here is a picture of our tree. Last week I had the box of ornaments next to the tree and we had planned to decorate as a family, but with play practice it just didn't happen. I let the girls stay home from school one day because they were so worn out and since they were home I decided to make the best of it and they "babysat" bridget and tessa so I could take a nap. When I woke up they had completely decorated the tree themselves. I thought it was a great job for 2- 7 year olds and a 3 year old.

Tessa turned 7 months yestereday (12/10/07) What a sweet baby she is!

Monday, December 3, 2007

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care....

The stocking picture was supposed to come up first. Oh well, I don't know how to change it. We got a few of our Christmas decorations out tonight. We are planning on doing the tree tomorrow for FHE. Bridget is sooo excited about the tree, decorations, santa, Christmas in general. It is all she talked about tonight. The above picture of my nativity was set up all of 5 minutes before Jesus got decapitated. Bridget was in the living room by herself when we heard a crashing sound. I saw her run behind the couch and hannah asked her why she broke Jesus. She said, "I didn't do it, I don't know how it happened." She did feel bad because she wouldn't even look up at me. I think she was playing with one of the other figures and accidently knocked it off of the table. Poor Jesus. I'm going to have to try and salvage his head. It's in 3 bigger pieces and then about 4 smaller pieces. It will be a delicate surgery.

I also got the stockings and wreath out. I got them last year after Christmas at 75% off. So what would have cost me $120 only ended up costing $30. Talk about a deal! We didn't even have a Christmas tree last year because we were going to be at my moms for Christmas and I knew they would be so much cheaper after Christmas so I waited and bought all my decorations at Target super cheap. I'll post a picture of my tree after we get it up. I still need to add names to the stockings. I'm not sure what to do yet.

I'm up again with Tessa and her cough. It always gets worse at night and wakes her up. At least she's happy. I keep having to give her cough medicine. It makes me nervous because even though the Dr. prescibed it- Walgreens refused to fill it. They said it was too dangerous and so I had to Fry's to get it filled. If that hadn't happened I wouldn't even think twice about giving it to her. So for the past 6 nights I put her to sleep without it, then she wakes up coughing and then I give her the medicine and it takes about 30 minutes for it to kick in and then she goes back to sleep. No better time to blog than at 4:00am.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My New CAR!!!

Okay, I got a new (used) car last night and I tried to upload a picture of it that I got off of the internet and it took me forever and it didn't work. I'm really not computer literate. You'll just have to look it up yourself, but I'm sure you know what it looks like. It is a 2007 Honda Odyssey. Now for the story...
I've looked a little here and there for a new car for a few months, but nothing serious because my current car is fine, but I like to look on line. Anyway, on tuesday I saw a 2007 odyssey- totally loaded with leather and everything and under 7000 miles listed for 24,500. I thought it was too good to be true because those things typically cost around 30k and peopl just don't sell them when they're that new. Anyway, I called the # just to see and talked to a guy who said that he was helping his aunt sell her car because she needed to close escrow on her house by friday and needed the cash. I asked him what was wrong with the car and he said nothing, it's just that she's a "cat lady" and that's why she's having to move. Anyway, he said that someone already had put a deposit on the car and had it inspected by honda and he thought that he'd buy it, but if he didn't then he'd call us. To my surprise he called later that night and said we could come look if we wanted. I guess the other guy didn't want it afterall because his wife heard about the cat thing and without even looking or smelling said no way.
On wed afternoon Jess and I drove to goodyear because I was hoping that the smell wasn't that bad. Well, it was. The car was perfect and if looks brand new, but the smell.... Jess quickly drove it and I didn't even bother because I knew I didn't want to pay that much for a stinky car. (the guy said that 24,500 was her bottom # because if whe didn't sell it then she'd refinance it). Anyway, after we went home Jess called the guy and offered 22k because he figured if he'd get a good deal we could pay to have the inside redone- new carpet etc- and then we'd still be ahead. The guy said no and we thought that was that.
Well, to make a long story even longer...
On friday afternoon about 2pm the guy called Jess and said that the refinance of the car didn't go through and that if we wanted it for 22k we could have it, but we needed to do it by 5pm so that she could close escrow. Talk about stress. Jess told him that we could only come up with 20k last minute like that and the guy said, I can't tell my aunt that. What about 21k. Jess said, "I'll try to come up with that but I don't think I can" and the guy just said get as close as you can. Anyway, we were totally scrambling to get the money together that quick because it's impossible to get a loan in 3 hours. Anyway, I called the guy and told him that Jess was getting a cashiers check made for 20,200 and I had a little cash in my wallet and that's all we could do and he said okay.
So we get to the bank and go to exchange the money and his aunt is all surprised at the amount (20,300) because she thought we were bringing 21k. Anyway, supposidly the guy thought I said that the check would be 20200 and we would bring the rest in cash. That's his story, and we are giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I know he knows what happened. I think he just thought his aunt wouldn't care (BTW he's her mortgage broker so he has a vested interest in the escrow closing) Jess didn't want to budge, but I felt so sorry for the lady that I told him we should just pay the rest (we did have to negotiate to pay the other 700 next month because we are broke!) Okay, so that's the story of how we got a good deal. Basically she was in distress and her car stunk, so we got a good deal (she just paid 35k for it in march- crazy)
So heres her story...
She used to run a cat rescue in Florida and would rescue, nurse back to health and then adopt out cats. But there were some 50+ cats over the years that weren't adoptable (meaning diseased and old) that she has kept. In January she moved to AZ and bought a house in Goodyear for her and her 50+ cats. come to find out Goodyear has a city ordinance that only allows 4 pets per household and she has been being fined 600 a month for breaking the ordinance. So she decided that rather than get rid of the cats they need to find a new home in Phoenix where there is no ordinance. She thought ex husband and kids would help her out financially to get into the new house, but they backed out at the last minute because they think that if she didn't get another house that she would get rid of the cats. Wrong- she decides to sell her only car to get the money. That's were we came in. So, this lady is losing 14k on a car she just bought 8 months ago, having to buy a new house (while knowing that the house she bought last january probably won't sell) and she and her 50+ cats are going to be moving. She spends $150 a week just for cat food and kitty litter. That doesn't count the vet bills and medications for the cats. Isn't that just crazy? I don't spend that kind of money on my kids. The saddest part for us is that she was crying when we bought her car because now she is carless and because she loved that car. I felt so bad for her because I'm sure she doesn't think like the rest of us (just get rid of the cats). She thinks that this is her only option because she loves those cats so much.
Now back to the smell...
I'm sure you are all wondering why I'm up so late- well, I've been on the internet researching how to get rid of cat smell. It's not going to be easy, but I want it done right because I'll be so sad if my new car always has lingering cat odor even after we replace everything. Any suggestions?
The sad part about this is that I'm not that excited about this new car (smell aside). I'm wondering if I should just keep my old one. I like it more than I realized because it's just so roomy inside. The only thing it's lacking is cargo space. Well, I better stop rambling and go to bed, but if anyone has suggestions- please help.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is for Candice

Candice keeps asking for me to post these. She came over the other night and put bridget's "stephanie from Lazytown" wig on Tessa. She kept making her put the wig on and it was annoying Tessa after awhile. She would shiver as the hair touched her. It was pretty funny.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What can I say...?

Today when I got out of the shower I saw that Bridget had been playing in my room and I had a nice mess of toys and fish crackers spread thoughout my floor. I said, "Bridget, you need to clean up all those fishies on the ground. That's not where they belong." Her reply was, "They are for my dog." (She only has stuffed animal dogs- no real pets here) I said, "Bridget, I really need you to clean those up and put them in a bowl for your dog because I might accidently step on them if they are all over the floor." Without missing a beat she said, " That's okay if you step on them, my dog likes crumbs."

So, what am I supposed to say to that?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fun Halloween

Bridget wouldn't let me take her picture. This is as good as I could get. For the group picture I had to tell her that she couldn't go trick or treating unless she got in the picture and she reluctantly agreed. I don't know why she is being so camera shy. She loves her costume and has worn it everyday for the past 5 days.

My cute baby Tessa. She is a pretty cat. I got this costume on Monday night at TCP. They had it marked down to $4.99. How could I pass that up?

Emily, the witch

Hannah, the witch

3 witches and a cat

twin witches....or Twitches. That's what they said they wanted to be.

Hannah wanted to do a "pose" picture. Emily has her broom between her legs. Where did the guitar pose come from?

Okay now for the update from last night....

I finished my cupcakes and my head was about to hit the pillow at about 2:50-yes, AM and then Tessa woke up. I thought, no big deal, she wakes up everynight, but without fail I can put her in my bed and nurse her back to sleep while I fall asleep. (I know, a big no,no) Well for some reason she woke up and was wide awake. This hasn't happened before that I can remember since she was only a few weeks old. Anyway, I thought, well surely if its dark enough and noone is interacting with her then she will nurse and fall back asleep. Well, pretty soon she was blowing rasberry's and kicking her legs and arms and talking to herself. I realized after about 45 minutes of it that she wasn't going to sleep any time soon so I got up with her and frosted the cupcakes. Around 4:30 she got tired and I was able to put her back to sleep. My head hit the pillow and it felt like 3 minutes later the alarm went off at 7:30. I was so tired!! I got the girls ready and off to school and then Tessa, Bridget and I headed over for the parade. It was so fun to see all the cute kids dressed up. I'm surprised at how many sexy costumes there are at an elementary school. What are those parents thinking?

By the time we did all the school stuff- parade and helping in the classroom, we got home just before noon. I fed everyone and then we all went down for a much needed nap until 2:30 when Hannah and Emily got home.

Tonight we went to the ward party at the Arnett's house and then Jess took Hannah and Emily out trick or treating for about an hour and Tessa Bridget and I stayed home. Bridget could have gone, but was just too excited about all the candy in her bucket that she couldn't think of delaying eating it- even if it was to go get more.

After they got home the marathon of baths and hair washing began. Washing Hannah and Emily's hair is the hardest thing. I hate it. I can't even expect them to do it because they have so much hair it is equal to washing 4 peoples hair on their one head. Trust me, they have massive amounts of hair.

Tomorrow I hope to get my house in order so hopefully Clara can come clean on Friday. It's so stressful to try to have everything in order and put away for her to come. Not that she requires it, but I just feel like I want to have everything out of her way so she can concentrate on the scrubbing verses the picking up. I need a good 3-4 hours to get everything done- so that's my goal for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Tessa's Pictures

Here are a few of Tessa's pictures that were taken last Thursday. A girl in my ward, Jenny Biggs, is a photographer and she was so nice to do her pictures for me. She does such a great job. She also did her pictures when she was a month old. I just love them! This is just a couple of them. I think they are all so cute. I am the mom though.... What do you think?
Well it's almost 2 am and I still have to make cupcakes for my girls to take to school tomorrow. Ugh! Why did I volunteer? I was at Walmart tonight at 10pm looking for pumpkins that they need for school tomorrow and they were sold out. I couldn't believe it. I then had to go to ghetto fry's and get them. It took forever because I had to take Tessa home 1st. I refuse to take my kids to that fry's because not only is it dirty, but it seems like people always corner me in the parking lot asking for money and it is so hard to avoid them if I'm trying to get kids buckled in and out of the car. I also feel really vulnerable. Anyway, Fry's was out of the medium pumkins, which is what I needed, so I got some small ones for them. Better than nothing. I need to get back on track and proactive about getting things done. I hate doing things last minute, but since having Tessa it seems that I never get caught up. Well, I better get to making those cupcakes. I'll frost them in the morning. Wait, it is morning. Well I'll frost them in a few hours after I get a little bit of sleep.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Selfish Blogger

Okay, I admit it. I'm a selfish blogger. What I mean by that is that I read everyone else's blogs. I find time to check them usually once a day and sometimes even more, but then I don't post anything for others to read. I know, it's selfish. I do enjoy sneeking away from my own life every now and then to check up on others. It always puts me in a good mood. So, to all you out there that haven't given up on me completely and are actually reading this- I'm sorry! I'll try to do better. Stay tuned for 7 things about me. I was tagged by hotmama. Now I have to figure out 7 interesting things to say. Oh-my!
Tessa had her 1st taste of rice cereal tonight. She loved it! She was so ready. I made more 3 times before she was satisfied. It was too cute!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's so late...

I have been meaning to blog all day and didn't get to it and then I didn't want to because it is so late and I don't want everyone knowing how late I am up. Oh well! First i'm going to start with my list because Cara tagged me (my 1st time ever). I think I'm supposed to list 4 things in each catagory. Here goes...
Where I've worked:
1. Mary's Hallmark Store
2. The Olive Garden (I still like the food)
3. Dr. Bladh and Boyers office
4. Washington Mutual
I've Movies I can watch over and over: I'm not really one to watch a movie more than once so...
1. Grease
2. Hairspray (even though I've only seen it once I could watch it again and again)
3. Dirty Dancing (yes, I'm copying you Cara, but your answers are so good)
4. Anne of Green Gables (it was hard to come up with one on my own- I've never seen any Bourne movies)
Places I've lived:
1. Chino California
2. Mesa Arizona
3. Rexburg Idaho
4. Yreka Califonia
Favorite tv shows:
1. Desperate Housewives!!!
2. E.R.
3. The Office
4. Ugly Betty
Places I've been:
1. Paris France (twice!)
2. Dresden Germany
3. New York, New York (I can't wait to go back!)
4. Grenoble France (the French alps)
favorite foods
1. Carnitas tacos from Rubios (always with lime and only 5 points!)
2. In-n-out cheeseburger, well done, animal style, no pickles (can you tell I've ordered it a few times)
3. homemade rolls with homemade jam-Yum!
4. pumkin bread (I know I could eat a whole loaf. I haven't tried, but I know I could)
Places I'd rather be:
1. New York city- I love it there
2. Getting a massage
3. Getting a pedicure
4. In bed because I'm getting tired now
Weird things about me
1. I wear a sock over my eyes when I sleep (it used to be a rolled up t-shirt, but I downgraded to a sock about 10 years ago)
2. I have a hard time wearing make-up because my face sweats so much. My pits can be dry as a bone, but my face will be dripping. I even went to the Dr. about it. My condition is called hyperhydrosis and there isn't much that can be done about it. Dangit! Don't laugh!
3. I have an unusually short neck that only got shorter as I gained weight. I think Tessa and Bridget have my neck- poor girls
4. My big toenail on my left foot got smashed by a gate 8 years ago and now doesn't grow out, it grows up. You have to see it to get what I'm saying, but you probably don't want to look.

I now tag mom, Taryn, and candice.

Now that that's over I need to get to bed. Everything else will have to wait because I'm tired. I know... You can't wait for all the other important things i have to say. I recently read a good book that hotmama ( let me borrow, but I'll have to do my book review later. It has just made me so grateful for all that I have.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm Back!!!

Tessa 5 months old today!

Hannah modeling my new (used) treadmill

Can you believe I'm actually posting? It's so hard because now that it's been so long I feel like I should catch up on everything (remember this is my only journal) but that's too overwhelming to tackle so I'm just going to start from today.

This morning I was supposed to go to Weight Watchers with hotmamabeads (sorry i don't know how to link her blog. We met on Monday and she's a lot of fun), but Bridget got sick about an hour before we were supposed to go. I hate my tile floors all the time except when my kids get sick or have potty accidents. Last night I got a treadmill. I purchased it from my neighbors mom for only $250. I've already used it twice. Yeah for me! I also had a Martha Stewart moment and made peach cobbler (one of the reasons for the 2 workouts today) with Bridget's help (she's been fine since this morning). I even sliced and peeled every single peach. Jess was supposed to be home tonight for me to go to WW by myself, but of course, he didn't make it home in time. Do I sound bitter? I've got a good plan though. Every Thursday Emily, Hannah and Bridget all take a class at Jeannes Dance which is just right across the street from the WW meeting. The time works out perfect because I can drop them off at 5 and then weigh in and go to about 25 minutes of the meeting that starts at 5:30. This will work out good because I'm already going to be over there and then I won't have to depend on Jess to be home in time.

Tonight Jess and the girls had play practice. They are participating in a play that the stake is doing for the 125 year celebration of Maricopa stake. Jess was so funny about being involved. I've never seen this side of him before. He's so bummed that he's not musically inclined (that's a nice way to put it) because he's so sure that if he was he would get the role of Joseph Smith. Poor guy. He'll just have to be happy to be a towns person or something.

The next 2 days Hannah and Emily are out of school. My plan is to get the house in order tomorrow and hopefully do something fun on Friday. I don't know what yet, but Clara is coming to clean so I have to have them gone so we don't get in her way. Also the longer we're gone, the longer the house stays clean and even though I'm not there to enjoy it- I feel good just knowing that it is staying clean.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

just an update............

All of us... Jess, Adam, Kati and me
the pre-game show

This week has been busy once again... I don't ever feel like I get much done or even do anything that exciting, but the days go by so fast. I wanted to update my blog because this is the only type of "journal" I keep. Thursday Tessa had her 4 month well check. She weights 13.4 pounds. She is 25% for weight, 50% for height and 75% for head. I guess big heads run in the family being that Ryan's wife, Taryn, just had to have a c-section on Monday because her baby's head was too big. Tessa got her 1st round of immunizations. I waited this long because I just hate having my little babies get shots. She has really suffered from them. For 2 days it made her cranky and she would at times just cry and cry and there was nothing I could do to comfort her. I really think I'll skip the ones at her next appt. because I hate to see her suffer and I know she was in pain.

Friday I took Frog Eye salad to Hannah and Emily's class for a snack. (thanks to Kristi's blog for the recipe and idea that came from it.)They had been studying frogs all week and I thought that would be a fun thing for them. It's funny because Friday morning I had the girls try it and they didn't like it at all, but when everyone else in the class liked it all of a sudden they did too. Hannah told me the reason for the change is that when she tried it in the morning it was only a little bit, but when she had a big amount and could taste it all together suddenly it tasted better. Emily told me that things just taste different in the morning. Anyway, the salad was a hit and I'm glad I could do it. Friday night I had my weekly massage appointment. This time with hot and cold stones- it was wonderful! I'm so addicted!

Tonight Kati and Adam invited Jess and I to go to the ASU football game with them. It was a lot of fun to go out and they are such fun people to be with. They had really great tickets from Adams grandparents. Let me start by saying that our parking space was reserved and literally the one closest to the gate where you go in. It was so nice not having to walk a mile just to get to the stadium. Our seats were in the Loge. I'm not sure what that means other than that all the food and drinks on that level were complimentary. We joked that between all of us we probably drank $50 in soda alone- just because it was free. They served fajitas, hotdogs and beans, pretzels, popcorn, peanuts and different types of cookies. It was so nice because normally we wouldn't have bought any food because we are to cheap to pay those prices. I'm so tired and have to get up early for an interview with the stake president tomorrow.
When the scheduler called today to make the appointment she said that he wanted to see us at 8:30 AM! I asked if there were any other times (who does that?) and she told me no, he wants to see you at 8:30. Then I said, well I don't know what I'll do with our kids and she said- oh, just bring them. I don't know about you, but that's the last thing I want to do. We'd have to all wake up at 6:30 to be there by 8:30- and that's just not my thing. I'm glad I have kids that like to sleep in. Luckily, the girl across the street said she'd come over and watch them while we are gone. I'm sure they'll all be asleep anyway. Well I'd better get to bed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yeah- My computer if fixed!! I think....

I haven't posted for so long (I know you've all been on the edge of your seats) because 1st, last week I was preparing for company and then with the company didn't have time for the computer, and then 2nd, when they left my computer wasn't working. I could visit websites by clicking favorties on my mouse, but nothing on my keyboard worked. It was so hard to live through these past 3 days without a full functioning computer. Jess worked on it tonight and now it's working. I don't know what he did, but I'm glad he did it!

It's super late right now, but I just wanted to do the quick update and also share a couple pictures I took of Bridget today. She got into my make-up and apparently she was putting it on hiding because she didn't have a mirror and when she finished and looked at herself in the mirror she was so distraught. She thought she would look so beautiful with the makeup and was so sad that it didn't turn out the way she had thought it would. She came into the room where I was almost in tears because it looked "ugly" and she wanted it off. I couldn't even get mad at her for the mess she made with my make up because she was so sad. I told her I'd help her get it off but I wanted to take a picture 1st. She totally didn't want to pose and was mad that I made her. So funny! (I loaded the pictures in the wrong order- the 1st one I took is on the bottom)

Monday, September 10, 2007

4 months old

Tessa with Bridget
Happy 4 months today! I tried to get her to smile, but she was too distracted by the camera.

Just a few hours old

1St picture ever taken- yes, she had a lot of that white stuff on her.

Tessa is 4 months old today. Time sure goes by fast. I wish the times I'm pregnant went as fast as the time after the baby is born. Tessa is such a sweet baby and we are so lucky to have her in our family. She has such a sweet happy personality. Really, she is so good. I'm really amazed at how good and easy she is and keep wondering when it's going to end. Hopefully this is just how she always is. She has by far been my easiest baby. When she was 2 months old she slept 7 hours straight at night. My other girls didn't go that long until they were about a year. She doesn't consistantly go that long, but will on occasion do it. But she always gives me a good 4 hour stretch at least. During the day she is just so happy most of the time. Bridget loves to entertain her and she puts up with it well. Occasionally she gets kicked in the head or something like that by her well meaning sister and she's such a good sport. Tessa is at such a fun age and loves to coo and giggle and loves it even more when someone gives her attention. I love my baby Tessa!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A nice day

Today has been a nice day other than that I'm getting sick. I think I might have caught the cold that started Tessa's problems, or maybe not, but I'm sick anyway and I hate it. I know this sounds selfish, but although I really hate when my kids are sick, I hate it even more when I'm sick.
The day started out really nice because I got a massage. It was one with hot rocks. I know that sounds like it would hurt, but it really felt great. The chiropractor that I go to uses massage as part of the treatment he gives and I'm so not complaining. This is my 2nd massage in 8 days. So nice!
At noon there was a bridal shower for my cousins fiance. It was so fun to see different family members that I rarely see (even though some of them live only 1 or 2 streets away). When I got back Jess went dirt bike riding. I know, weird. Who in their right mind would want to put on long sleeves, long pants and a helmet and ride in the desert that's 110 degrees? He loves it though, for some reason. Tomorrow not much going on except for church.

Serving or Helping? What are you doing?

I loved this article that Kristi B. had on her blog. Let me know your thoughts on it.
In the Service of Life
Rachel Naomi Remen
In recent years the question how can I help? has become meaningful to many people. But perhaps there is a deeper question we might consider. Perhaps the real question is not how can I help? but how can I serve?

Serving is different from helping. Helping is based on inequality; it is not a relationship between equals. When you help you use your own strength to help those of lesser strength. If I'm attentive to what's going on inside of me when I'm helping, I find that I'm always helping someone who's not as strong as I am, who is needier than I am. People feel this inequality. When we help we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity and wholeness. When I help I am very aware of my own strength. But we don't serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves. We draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve, our wounds serve, even our darkness can serve. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. The wholeness in you is the same as the wholeness in me. Service is a relationship between equals.

Helping incurs debt. When you help someone they owe you one. But serving, like healing, is mutual. There is no debt. I am as served as the person I am serving. When I help I have a feeling of satisfaction. When I serve I have a feeling of gratitude. These are very different things.

Serving is also different from fixing. When I fix a person I perceive them as broken, and their brokenness requires me to act. When I fix I do not see the wholeness in the other person or trust the integrity of the life in them. When I serve I see and trust that wholeness. It is what I am responding to and collaborating with.

There is distance between ourselves and whatever or whomever we are fixing. Fixing is a form of judgment. All judgment creates distance, a disconnection, an experience of difference. In fixing there is an inequality of expertise that can easily become a moral distance. We cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected, that which we are willing to touch. This is Mother Teresa's basic message. We serve life not because it is broken but because it is holy.

If helping is an experience of strength, fixing is an experience of mastery and expertise. Service, on the other hand, is an experience of mystery, surrender and awe. A fixer has the illusion of being causal. A server knows that he or she is being used and has a willingness to be used in the service of something greater, something essentially unknown. Fixing and helping are very personal; they are very particular, concrete and specific. We fix and help many different things in our lifetimes, but when we serve we are always serving the same thing. Everyone who has ever served through the history of time serves the same thing. We are servers of the wholeness and mystery in life.

The bottom line, of course, is that we can fix without serving. And we can help without serving. And we can serve without fixing or helping. I think I would go so far as to say that fixing and helping may often be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul. They may look similar if you're watching from the outside, but the inner experience is different. The outcome is often different, too.

Our service serves us as well as others. That which uses us strengthens us. Over time, fixing and helping are draining, depleting. Over time we burn out. Service is renewing. When we serve, our work itself will sustain us.

Service rests on the basic premise that the nature of life is sacred, that life is a holy mystery which has an unknown purpose. When we serve, we know that we belong to life and to that purpose. Fundamentally, helping, fixing and service are ways of seeing life. When you help you see life as weak, when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. From the perspective of service, we are all connected: All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy. The impulse to serve emerges naturally and inevitably from this way of seeing.

Lastly, fixing and helping are the basis of curing, but not of healing. In 40 years of chronic illness I have been helped by many people and fixed by a great many others who did not recognize my wholeness. All that fixing and helping left me wounded in some important and fundamental ways. Only service heals.

Reprinted from Noetic Sciences Review, Spring 1996

Friday, September 7, 2007

What a difference

What a difference 24 hours and antibiotics makes! Tessa is feeling so much better and back to her sweet smiley self. I'm so thankful that I live in a time and place where I can get medicine.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bridget's first day of preschool

I'm going to have to try and get a little more creative with my title's, but until I find that creativity I'll just have to be matter of fact.

On Tuesday Bridget started preschool at Orange Patch preschool. The teachers are 2 moms for the area (Tingey girls) and one was a teacher before she had kids. They do it at the sisters house who lives one street away from me. How nice is that! When the weather cools off I'll be able to walk her to and from school and in the mean time if Tessa is sleeping I can just run there and back in about 2 minutes in my car. (don't tell anyone that I said that.) Bridget was so excited to start school. We had a big build up to it the past few weeks as she had to be potty trained in order to go to school and although she has been completely capable for the past few months, she just didn't have the motivation. She's done great using the potty and really hasn't had many accidents (just a few by the toilet because she couldn't get on fast enough), but on the way home from preschool she had an accident in my car. Yes, you heard that- in the one minute drive home she had an accident. I was so bugged because that one little accident caused me about an hour worth of work trying to get it cleaned out of the seat of my car. I've been wanting a new car for the past few months, but was really glad that I still had my old one when that happened.

As far as preschool went- she loved it! When I picked her up her teacher said that she cracked them up the whole time. She's quite the ham! Bridget keeps reminding me how big she is getting and she sure has an independent personality. She wants to do everything herself. Yesterday she was talking about how she could do something because she was big and she jumped off the couch and stood up and said, "see mom, look how long my legs are." The funny thing about that statement is that she takes after me in the height department and really has short stubby legs.

Tessa was sick the past 2 days and I took her to the doctor yesterday afternoon. She has an ear infection and pink eye. Who knows where that came from?! The doctor got her all set up with medicine (I hate that she has to take antibiotics so young). She did a little better sleeping last night because he also gave me an RX for numbing drops to put in her ear. I wish I'd had those for all my other kids ear infections over the years. They worked great and I could tell they helped her out a lot.
(I can't figure out how to move my pictures around to be in proper order. The first one is of my sick baby, Tessa. The next one is of Bridget on her 1st day of preschool.)