Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The blessings of Poverty.

First of all let me share with you what Wikipedia has to say about Poverty.

Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain 
amount of material possessions or money.

According to good old Wik, I think we may qualify.  We've been here for a while.  Things have ebbed and flowed a bit over the last four years, but we have definitely 'lacked a certain amount of material possessions or money' since we lost Mike's full time employment.

While this has been hard -really hard- it's also been good -really good.  The difference between wants and needs is crystal clear, and honestly most things are wants.  And, yes, you will survive without them.  When I think about all the things my kids don't have and don't do and all the things we don't do and we don't have I have often wondered...if I had the resources to do all sorts of stuff, would I have the wisdom to choose wisely?  I think at this point the answer is Yes, at least I hope I would.  Really, the greatest tragedy in life is to have the experience and miss the lesson.

And, WoW, have we learned some lessons.  I've always known I have some pretty great punks.  Hello?  Who doesn't know that?  Well, for FHE last night Mike was giving the lesson and he decided to talk to the kiddies about money.  More specifically about what to do with money when it comes to you...like our tax return.  It will be a pretty big sum of money (by our standards) so he wanted to show them how he and I figure out what to do with it.  So we made a list.  *Little disclaimer here, the kids weren't deciding anything, this was just a way to show them how it's done.  Decisions are up to us.*  He told them we would make a list of all the things we would like to do with that money, he got out the old white board and they started calling out items.  Here's the great part, the really amazing part...

First on the list was give to the mission fund in our ward.  Next was give to Adam's mission fund (a while back Adam was feeling overwhelmed thinking about affording his mission, so we told him if he could just try to earn the money to prepare--suits, clothes, ect--we would worry about keeping him out in the mission field).  Next was fix the door handles on Mike's truck--bare in mind that this is the driver handle, not the passenger--where they ride.  (The back driver's seat handle is broken on the suburban, but they decided we didn't need to spend money on that--it could wait even though it is them that it inconveniences).  They did put a bigger TV for downstairs on the list, but removed it when we told them that if we saved up we could buy one for half the price on Black Friday.  These are just a few of the things they thought of.

And when I asked if there was anything they wanted just for them, something they needed or just for fun the answers were a new viola bow, milking boots, socks and pudding snacks.

Amazing, right?  I have really great punks.  I know it's been a hard, long road for them too, but they DO NOT complain about it.  Ever.  I'm just really blessed and awfully lucky.

*Just to be clear here: I'm not writing this to get a 'poor me' line of thinking going, nor am I judging what is a want or need for someone else.

I'm writing this to share with the world that in the midst of  hard things,
really good things can come about.

**And to brag on my stinkin' awesome, super amazing cute punks.

:o)  Peace Out.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Novel Idea.

My friends, I'm afraid I've been thinking...a dangerous pass time...I know.
In the midst of my thinking I had this thought,

"What if I ate only when I am hungry?"

Crazy, right?  Here's the story that prompted this line of thinking:
I was cleaning up dinner the other night and there was a little bit of something
(I honestly can't remember what) left and I asked Mike if he wanted it---he declined, said he was full, said he wasn't hungry any more.

Here's the thing...if Mike didn't want it I was planning on eating it. 
I wasn't hungry any more either, I was full. 
But it tasted good. 
So I was going to eat it. 
Which I did. 
And that got me started thinking about eating.
I don't think I eat because I'm hungry very often.

I eat because it's there and I'm there.  I eat because it tastes good. 
I eat when I'm happy.  I eat when I'm not happy.  I eat when I'm bored. 
I eat when I'm frazzled and frustrated.

What if I ate only when I am hungry?
It's kind of a game changer.  A novel idea, really.

Now, I'm not saying this is my plan from here on out.  Let's be reasonable. 
I don't see myself doing that.
But, what if I did it some times?
What if I took time to think about why I'm eating if it's not because I'm hungry?
I've openly admitted to being an emotional eater.
...and btw it doesn't really matter what the emotion is.

What if I got a drink and dealt with the emotion instead of feeding it?
Maybe that means I write more, maybe that means I read more.
Maybe that means I just drink a whole lot more water.

I don't know, but I've been thinking about it.
Maybe I'll give it a whirl??

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chocolates 2012

Okey doke...here we go.   

Lesson learned...big people in the back, even in a self portrait.
Have I mentioned my mom is a tiny lady and I look like a giant next to her?
No?  Well she is and I do.

 So, she's the candy maker.

 Like this.

Then we pour it out.
Like this.

And I was the candy beater, well when I was there..
as you can tell by my lovely attire I still had to go to work.
I know, hardly fair.  Chocolates should be a national holiday.

Chocolate dipping.

 Yum, warm melted goodness.
See all those hands?

That's the help.

 We have really cute assistants.

Some of the finished product.

Even when we "cut back" there's still a lot.

Mmmm...finger lickin' good.

Don't worry, I was done for the day.

Chocolates 2012.
A tasty thing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fun in the Sun.

Okay, so sure it was only 5 degrees above zero, and sure we waited until afternoon for it to even be that...but the sun was shining.  Therefore I am naming this post "Fun in the Sun".
It's funny how warped your sense of temperature gets in extremes.  It's like when we lived in the St. G and it would only be 97* and I'd gather up the kiddies and head to the park.  That's not normal.  Or really a great idea, but when it's down from 112*...eh, 97* seems real nice. 
And when it's up from -20
(that's right, negative 20 as in, 20 below zero as in, here's zero go 20 degrees less than that and that's what the temperature is, -20) 
...eh, 5* seems real nice.

There it was a balmy 5* Saturday afternoon so we decided to try out the ice skating pond.  The ice skating pond is a creek, Worm Creek to be exact, that runs through my dad's farmland.  When it gets cold enough (and -20 qualifies as cold enough) it freezes over solid as a rock and ~voila~ ice skating pond.

Most of the kids were old pros, this was a first for my little ladies.  There wasn't enough skates to go around so they had to take some turns.  Goose used to have a pair of roller blades so she caught on really quick.

 For Elsie, it was a bit more of a challenge.

 At first she was holding on to her sister for dear life.

 She took more than a couple of falls.

 But with a little help from the crowd...

Eventually, she prevailed. 
Sometimes you just gotta help a sista out.

Aunt Natalie and Grandma enjoying the fun.
Grandma sporting her super warm and toasty circa 1983 coat and super cute hat..
frankly, I'm a little jealous of both.

 Some of the little ones just got pulled around the ice on the sled,

oh wait---(that's me)---apparently some of the big ones too.

But, hey, when you have a sherpa brother willing to pull you with the kiddies--
you jump right on!

There were a few other activities going on as well...

Like discovering an ancient tractor buried in the snow to ride on.

And there was some sledding to be done. 

Unfortunately, the end of the run happened to be on the ice.
Not a very soft landing.

As demonstrated by Grant and William.

We even got a little fire going.

Me & My Boy.

I assure you Mr. Grant Delish was smiling under there.

It was a fun afternoon.

And, yes, it was a might bit chilly. 
(frozen hair to prove it)

But we stayed and enjoyed it as long as possible.
A good time was had by all.

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Peeks last week...need this for noncommentors. Lame. commenting is cool.