Friday, July 30, 2010

Admittedly not my best day!

So last Sunday I was released from my church calling with the young women. As a matter of fact all of the leaders were released and an entirely new presidency put in. It was a good change and definitely a much needed change but it's still a little emotional because I have really loved working with the girls.

The only kink, however, was that this week was our annual girls' camp. The new leaders hadn't had time to get off work or arrange child care or plan anything, so we were asked to go ahead with what we'd planned for camp. I had wanted to go up all week with them, but with my mom out of town & my in-laws both having to work I didn't have a dedicated place for Gideon plus Cub Scout pack meeting was Wednesday night anyway so there was just no way I could swing being gone that long. Instead I went up early Thursday morning, which actually worked out very well because one of the other leaders had to work Friday so she was leaving Thursday afternoon and they were down a leader anyway.

It was a good couple of days. Girls' camp always is. Sure with teenage girls you're always going to have a little drama, but getting them away from their computers and cell phones and boys, making them pitch tents and cook over a camp stove is actually a really good for them. So many of them bond together and really begin feel how loved and appreciated they are by both their peers and leaders and their Heavenly Father. For our baker's dozen (yes, we had 13 girls this year) it was a great experience. I think they all grew spiritually and some of them even emotionally. We had a fantastic devotional & testimony meeting last night where many of the girls cried and talk about how wonderful the week has been and how much they loved the Gospel. As outgoing leaders, we all took our turn to tell them how much we loved them.

The last night of camp is always the craziest and last night was no exception. The older girls' took the younger ones on a snipe hunt, many pranks and practical jokes were played all around. (The bats someone hung in the latrine didn't even phase me. I went through half a dozen of these camps in my own teenage years, I know what goes on.) By the time the other leaders and I went to bed (if you can call a foam pad and sleeping bag a bed) somewhere around 1:30, there was still laughing and craziness in some of the other camps, but our chicks were all safely tucked in.

We had to get up at 7 to have breakfast and start breaking camp before the 9am devotional/closing ceremony. Afterward we finished breaking camp so that we could head home. There was only one little problem.

My keys were locked in the truck.

Travis took the jeep to Utah this week so save money on his commute, and so I took the truck up to West Piney. (It's about an hour from here up in the mountains.) I packed up all my things this morning and threw them in the truck, locking them in when I went back to camp for another load. Only realizing about an hour later that I didn't have the keys. We looked all over, but I really don't think I dropped them anywhere. I'm quite afraid they're in my purse which is sitting on the front seat of the truck, locked up tight. Poor Trevor Thomas (a neighbor and friend) tried for more than half an hour to jimmy the lock with a coat hanger, but it's a new enough vehicle that it's quite resistant to that kind of break in.

Finally we decided that I'd just ride back down to town with everyone else, get the spare keys and get a ride back up to camp for the truck. (Actually Trevor and his wife, Wendy are absolute gems and offered to take me back up as soon as we could get the keys and they could unhook their trailer.) So with no purse, wallet, cash, phone, house keys or anything else vital, I left camp with them. I explained to the care taker at the camp what was going on and he gladly agreed to keep an eye on things and make sure the truck didn't get broken into (by anyone but me.) Then I got to find out en route that the spare keys to the truck were in Utah with Travis. Why? Don't ask me!

Soooooooo, Trevor and Wendy dropped me off and my in-laws house where I at least got to see Gideon. Fortunately they have a spare key to my house and were kind enough to bring us home and let us in. When I walked down the block to the bank I ran into another friend, Lori, who, upon hearing my plight, was really worried about me not having a phone (she knows that we don't have a land line so a cell phone is really my only phone) so she gave me her cell phone for the rest of the day. She promised she was just going to be home and wouldn't need it because she does have a land line.

And so now I'm just waiting for Travis to get home, so we can load up in the jeep and head up to rescue his truck. Did I mention I'm exhausted?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Apparently the Raspberries are Ripe!

It's about all Gideon's eaten for the last three days. I have trouble dragging him away from the bushes some days. Today he had some help since Braxton was over for a little while. Oh well, at least I know it's fresh and healthy!

PS - Is it just the hair cut, or does Gideon kind of look like Uncle Cody?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Well it's not the beach, but it's the best we can do!

So today Gideon and I drove all the way to Pocatello just to play at Ross Park's Aquatic Center. We went with some friends who have kids around his age, so it was a fun group outing, even if we adults didn't get to socialize much with each other. We pretty much stayed in the kiddie pool & the lazy river (Gideon loved both and kept running back and forth between them) so it was a busy afternoon.

One of the best things about Ross Park is that they let you take in your own food and beverages so we packed up a picnic lunch and enjoyed the entire afternoon. I didn't really get many pictures because HELLO WATER, but I got a few. The munchkin had a great time and completely wore himself out. After about three hours he just marched out of the pool and announced "Done!" So we changed clothes and headed home.

It was supposed to be 95 & sunny today, but it never got that warm. Still it was mid-80's and partly cloudy, so not too bad for a day at the pool. I got to wear my floppy sun hat and wish I was at the beach. So I'll consider it a success.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

And to think, we got the show for FREE!

So today was the big air show at the IF Regional Airport. You seriously can't believe the traffic! By 8am you couldn't get out of our little nieghborhood without going around the long way and hitting the lights.

We had thought about buying tickets, but we figured we'd save our money and do that when Gideon is a little bit older and will appreciate it more. Plus, living less than a half mile from the air field, we knew we'd get to see most of the cool stuff anyway. Besides, we've been getting sneak peeks all week long as they've been buzzing the house while they warmed-up for today.

My dad came down and most of the neighbors were doing exactly what we did, standing out the street watching. We saw a C130, B2 Bomber, P-51's & MIGs.
But of course the headline act was the Blue Angels. I remember going to see the Blue Angels several times as a kid because my dad loves air shows.

My in-laws were here for the Blue Angels.

I know the pictures seem far away, but cameras are like the mirrors on a car, objects are actually closer than they appear. They were so close the house was shaking and you could read the writing on the wings. By the time I snapped the picture though, they were usually on their way past.

Still, you get the gist of how close we were, when you realize this is my roof and our trees you're seeing in most of these pictures.
Gideon loved using daddy's binoculars.
It was actually kind of nice being able to just stay home and watch. While the 33,000 ticket holders were fighting each other in traffic and buying over priced food at the show, we threw some steaks on the grilled and watched from the shade of our yard.

I'm actually glad we didn't pay to go. Gideon's attention span is still that of a two year old, so after about 5 minutes he lost interest. I mean, once you've see one plane, you've seen them all, right? Don't worry though he found something to do. Mom, I'm sure you'll be glad to know that your tire has been fixed. (Bet you didn't even know it needed fixed did you?)

Anyway it was fun and the best part is, we get to see it all again tomorrow. They're doing a second show tomorrow afternoon because this one sold out so fast.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Hate This Part!!!!!

I absolutely love adoption. To me it's such a miracle. These birth parents and their families who place children are heros. They're so strong and selfless. I feel blessed to be associated with so many of them.

When we first found out about this baby, our caseworker told us that it would be a very streamlined process since they were just considering it an update of our existing file. He said he'd probably even skip the home study and fingerprinting and stuff because he has an established relationship with us, he knows us, he's been in our home and he felt fine about letting all that go. So he gave us a little bit of paperwork to do and sent us on our way. We got all that done months ago and have been feeling really good about everything.

Imagine my surprise when we get a phone call a couple of weeks ago from someone we've never met or worked with before wanting to schedule a home study. It turns out that they're now using a 3rd party to compile adoption profiles and apparently this guy is very (how do I put this nicely) "letter of the law" oriented.

So now, not only do we have to do the home study and the fingerprinting and everything we thought we weren't going to have to worry about, but we have to hurry up and do it within the next three weeks because Trav's company is sending him to Alaska on August 15th up until the baby gets here. (That's a whole other story, don't get me started!)

I HATE THIS PART! The part where someone has to come into my home and decide if I'm fit to be a parent. It wouldn't seem so bad if it were our caseworker or someone we had worked with and felt comfortable about. The first time we went through this it wasn't so bad because it was our worker's little intern who came out and did our home study. She was thorough and friendly and we felt good about it. She was honest with us that she'd let us know immediately if she saw anything that might cost us getting approved to adopt a child so that we could fix it. She (and our caseworker both) were very open about the fact that they wanted us to get approved to adopt a child, so their job was to do everything they could to help us make that happen. I feel that same way about our current caseworker. He wants this adoption to happen to the benefit of everyone involved.

But I don't know about this 3rd party guy. He's just someone they pay to come in and mark items off on a checklist. So if one of our smoke detectors isn't working or the childproof latches on the cabinets (which Gideon figured out how to work a year ago anyway) aren't up to his standard, we could actually get a big red strike on our paperwork. A strike that could cost us an adoption. So now I feel more compelled than ever to make my house absolutely perfect before they come. But how can I do that when I have to two year who just this morning wet the bed, spilled an entire half gallon of milk and dropped an egg on the floor (he was trying to get his own breakfast rather than come up and get me. I only found him because I heard the crash when he dropped the milk and came running.) I'm just trying desperately to keep up with him!

I can't even put into words how crazy this is making me! I spoke with the guy yesterday and we scheduled the visit for August 14th (the day before Travis leaves) which is actually another item I'm worried about. When I explained to him all of Travis's travel for work he said, "Hmmm...well that's a situation I'm going to need to discuss with you while I'm there." Seriously, our birth mother knows, our case worker knows and they all see that it's working for us for now, but now what, this random guy can come in and decide it's not a healthy situation and potentially keep us from getting this child?

I'm losing it. I'm really losing it. Our baby girl is due 2 months from today and right now for the first time in the process I'm actually questioning whether or not we'll be able to get her. And it's all because of this stupid 3rd party doing the home study.

I HATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the part that's just not fair. Anyone can have a baby and take them home to God only knows what kind of situation and environment, but it's up to someone else to determine whether or not our home is a fit place to raise a child and whether Travis and I can be parents. I really hate this part!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do these meet with the Mimi stamp of approval?

So these didn't turn out quite as perfectly as I had hoped they would. I guess I'm still getting the hang of it. Anyway now all I need are some alligator clips to attach them to.

I was thinking these would be so fun for pigtails! (When her hair gets long enough I mean.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

went for a nice little ride with Randy, Marcia and their sons, up in the mountains by there house

Who needs toys?

When you can just play with band-aids?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Daddy's Surprise

So we know Gideon is probably a little young for a bicycle yet, but when Travis found this one at the D.I. for $8, he couldn't resist. Gideon actually LOVES it! He hopped right on and wanted to ride. Obviously he's only 2, so we're still working out the whole pushing the pedals with his feet thing, but even so, after just a few trips up and down the sidewalk and around the driveway, he's starting to get the hang of it.

And he loves it! He just kept saying "Bike, bike, bike!" Over and over then. Then he pointed to the garage (where my bike is kept right up front by the door) and kept saying "Mom Bike, Daddy Bike." He wanted us all to be riding together apparently.

And safety was his priority. I didn't even think to put a helmet on him, because well, I just didn't. But when he spied Travis's hard hat he went after it. I guess he's seen cyclists around because he wore it the rest of the time and then hung it on his handle bars when he wasn't on the bike.

And last but not least, this is what happens when you have to call it a night because the boy needs a bath and bed and the bicycle can't come in the house.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What I'm Thankful for Today!

In an effort to shift my attitude this evening, I decided to employ a little trick I learned a decade ago while I was serving my mission that I've always used to help pull me out of a funk. (Well, you know, besides the usual hot bubble bath and lots of chocolate.)

I actually stole this idea from a companion who got it from a well known hymn. Have you noticed that it's impossible to be unhappy when you're counting your blessings? So tonight I just started making a mental list of all of the things I'm thankful for. I was really just hoping that it would calm me down enough to let me get a decent night's sleep.

While I'm not going to say I feel 100% better (I still have a killer headache & obviously there are some larger issues I still have to deal with) I can say that I do feel a bit calmer right now and not like I'm caught in the middle of a panic attack. (The vise that was closing in on my chest earlier today feels like it's loosened just a little.)

I won't list all of the blessings I counted today or the wonderful friends, family and things I'm thankful for in my life. I just want to tell you the one that I thought of that actually made me smile tonight. I was at church earlier this evening, helping the girls with some first aid stuff for camp and you know what occurred to me? I really do have great legs! (Refer back to my post of May 15th this year if you've forgotten already!) The ridiculous thing is that this thought popped into my head as I'm watching the girls learn CPR on a dummy they nicknamed "Vegetable Stew" it was so hilarious that I had to stifle a laugh. What an odd time and place for such a thought to occur. But seriously, I'm really thankful for my legs! They're tan from being outdoors so much and toned from all the running. And (if my husband is to be believed) they really do look pretty hot in a skirt and heels. So many people I see in my daily life don't work out, never get enough sun or have to deal with unsightly veins and discoloration. I've been so blessed in the legs department and I didn't even realize it!

So today I'm thankful for my legs. They're strong enough to run 20 miles at a time and carry a 30 lb. toddler when I'm "resting" from running. They let me keep up with ten 9 year old cub scouts and a dozen teenage girls several times a week. And to top it off, they're not even bad to look at!

On that note I'm going to take a very heavy pain killer & head to bed. Because I can't afford to lose another day to this headache or this stress. I've got way too much going on!

Trying not to Let it Get Me!

So it's been a long time since one of my overly long rants. Those of you who frequent the pages of this blog will be no stranger to this type of post. As always, you're welcome to skip it.

You know life has been really good lately. For months I've felt good, been sleeping better & have felt like I've just been skipping through life. I mean sure, Gideon is a typical 2 year old who enjoys pushing the boundries and at times makes me want to pull my hair out, but for the most part he's a very loving and sweet boy who makes me laugh with his antics.

But for the last week I've started to feel the pressure. And now I'm not sleeping & getting headaches again. We're getting a new baby in just over two months and suddenly it seems like there's not time or money to get everything done before she gets here. Plus the agency is sending in a 3rd party to do our home study and for some reason that makes me super nervous. I've got such a great relationship with our case worker and the people I work with at the agency that it doesn't worry me at all. But a 3rd party? Who knows what they'll be looking for or judging us on. It's just very intimidating and right now I don't dare schedule the home study because I haven't had time to get my house in order to a degree that satisfies me, let alone someone sent out to judge our fitness as parents.

I think the main problem is, I just feel spread really thin at the moment. My two jobs at church are very demanding. I work with the young women (girls 12-18) and this month we have our annual girls' camp as well as our usual activities and a temple trip. Plus I've been asked to teach more lately, because several of our leaders have been given other jobs, so we don't really have a fully staffed presidency at the moment. And since last August I've also been working with the cub scouts. For those of you who've never worked in scouts before let me just say it's the busiest job I've ever had! It's not just the weekly activities but the scouts have more meetings than anyone! Weekly den meetings, monthly scouting committee meetings, round table & pack meetings and additional trainings. There are some weeks I don't get to spend a single evening at home between the youth and scouts!

I don't want to sound like I'm whining or complaining, but I'm tired. And for the last two days I've had a severe headache that I'm sure is partially from stress. I've really been trying not to let it get to me, but as of today I feel so overwhelmed that I'm very tempted to tell someone tonight I just want out. And that's so not like me. I've never turned down a job or opportunity before and I've never asked to be released from one. It's just hard because I feel like everyone wants a piece of me and I just want to go into hiding until I can work out all the stuff I need to do for my home and family. I know I'm supposed to be Super Woman, and typically I feel like I'm Super Woman. But right now, I don't even feel like an adequate wife or mother or daughter or sister. So how can I be Super Woman?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An Old Fashioned 4th(ish) Celebration

Since the 4th was on Sunday this year, the city of Menan decided to hold their annual Independence Day celebration on Monday the 5th. It actually worked out well for us because it gave us the opportunity to spend the weekend at the cabin and still be able to enjoy the festivities.

Daddy & I started the day at 8:00am with the 5K Fun Run. I'm glad it wasn't an official race because we were both about a minute off our pace from Saturady. Then again perhaps our bodies were still fatigued from 2 races in 3 days. Either way it really was a beautiful morning for a run and we both had a good time. Since it was a fun run there were no timing chips, or bib numbers or prizes. Just a big group of people of every age, shape and size out for a morning jog. Teenagers in super hero capes shouting "Geronimo!", Moms pushing strollers, Old couples holding hands, Kids everywhere. It was great. And it made it so much easier to justify eating all that junk food later in the day!
And I felt great. Honestly at the end I felt I could have kept going for about 3 or 4 more miles. The reason I look like I'm dying in the picture above is because I was talking to Travis, telling him to put Gideon down and let him run to me. I was motioning and shouting, but apparently Trav didn't hear me over Gideon's screaming. Oh well. He calmed down once I finished.

And then on to the annual pancake breakfast!
The dark haired girl sitting by mom is Amber, one of Cody's friends from Georgia. She's going to school up here and needed a place to spend the holiday, so mom & dad brought her along. After the breakfast, we went home to shower and change and then headed back to the park for the festival

The festival is fun they have games and booths, food & entertainment. Mom was actually asked to be part of the entertainment and in fact was the first performer of the day.
They set up a big semi-trailer with a sound system & get everything from singers, fiddlers, cloggers, and even a harpist to perform throughout the day.

Mom sung a bunch of old show tunes and did a great job.

Gideon's very favorite thing at the festival was the fish pond. We probably had to go there 7 or 8 times (I lost count.) But I think he figured out pretty quickly that you can't lose at the fish pond, you'll always end up with a prize of some kind.

His second favorite stop was the bouncy castle. He played in there 4 or 5 different times throughout the day. And we always had a hard time tearing him away from it. Lots of weeping and wailing!

Grandpa thought that Parker should have something fun, so he bought this darling blanket (with matching bib & burp cloth) from one of the craft booths! Thanks daddy!

And of course Gideon and I went on the "train" ride. It was very bumpy, but he loved it!

Grandpa & Gideon shared some snacks while waiting for the parade to start.
There were more people out at the Menan festival this year than I've ever seen before. It was borderline ridiculous!

BTW - Thanks Cody for letting us use your truck. It made a great place to watch the parade!

Gideon loved the fire trucks most of all. He especially got excited when they blew their horns and turned on their sirens.

Okay I was really taking a picture of the old herse, but this kid in the orange shirt was on my nerves all through the parade. His family was down the street from us, but he ended up more and more directly in front of us as the parade went on. I mean we all want to catch candy, but seriously where were his parents! He's in a ton of my pictures!

OKay I had to get a photo of this because it reminded me of something my brother Cody would do to his bicycle just for fun.
This little dresses were made out of newspaper. I thought it was a terribly clever idea. I only wish you could see them better, (thanks again to orange shirt kid!)

After the parade it was definitely nap time! (The kitten thought so too apparently.)

I bought this bow at one of the craft booths. Can anyone tell how excited I am to be be getting a girl!

Staking out our spot for the fireworks. Idaho is the only place I've ever lived where you have to bundle up like an eskimo to watch the fireworks! It's pretty much ridiculous! Plus, because it stays light so late here, they don't start until 10:15, so you're out late anyway and completely freezing!
And that was our evening. Gideon fell asleep about half way through the fireworks (and it was a pretty good show) but we managed to make it home happy and healthy and in one piece. Today Gideon and I are both a little sore, tired & slightly sunburned, but we had such a fun time, we won't complain.