Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sugar Beet Factory

On Monday evening, after a hard day cleaning out the garage, we headed out for a small family outing.  Off to the Lehi Sugar Beet Factory to find a Letterbox!  

Inside each box you will find a hand carved stamp.  Look at the details!  

As well as a small notebook for you to place your own personal stamp in and the date you found the box.  We decided that it's time for us to create a new stamp for our family.  Our current one says, Just the 2 of Us.  Now that we are up to 3 1/2, we need to come up with something fun to represent our family.  Any suggestions?

It's always a must to remember to take the stamp from the box and mark your book as well.  Eduardo has a travel journal that he uses to record letterboxing, geocashing and our trips.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Flags, Flowers and Headstones

You may know that I am a different kind of person.  I like things that most people my age don't care for.  I like being unique!

For as long as I can remember, I have had a special connection with my ancestors.  I remember my mother had a huge white Book of Remembrance stored under her bed.  I remember heading into her room, pulling out the enormous book and looking at all the pictures.  I knew from an early age that they were a part of me and I loved that!

MaryAnn Stockdale Carter Martin

So naturally, one of my favorite holidays is Memorial Day.  A day that I remember looking forward to as a child.  I loved loading up the flowers and heading to the cemetery to see, remember and pay respect to my beloved ancestors. 

This year we headed out on Saturday in order to miss the upcoming storms.  Livy helped Grandma in her garden cutting flowers to adorn the headstones.  Last Memorial Day, I wrote about how we put together flowers to be placed for several dozen people.  You can find the post here.

Livy placing flowers on a headstone with Grandma.

Livy and I getting water for the flowers.   I spent a great deal of time reminding Livy not to sit or walk on the headstones.  It is very disrespectful!

We make sure to always place a flag on every ancestor who served in the military.    Someday I would love to travel to the east coast and find the graves of my ancestors that served in the American Revolution and Civil War and give them flags.  Here, my ancestors served in the Spanish American War, Black Hawk War, WWI and WWII.

Livy was very excited to put the flags on several headstones.

For several years after we leave one particular cemetery, we always wish that we had taken supplies to clean the headstones.  Many have been covered with grass, leaves or debris. This year was finally the year to fulfill that family service project.  With shovels and weed wackers in hand, we cleaned up 4 headstones in much need. This was no easy task!  We are hoping to learn how to properly clean the stone.

Eduardo scraping away at the over grown grass.

This headstone had sunk with time, but looks one hundred times better now that the grass has been cleaned around it.

A few tips to remember on your next trip to the cemetery:

*Sitting, standing or walking on the headstones is VERY disrespectful!  Don't do it and teach little ones to show that respect as well.
*Cemeteries are quiet places.  Keep the noise to a minimum.  No shouting, horsing around or playing games.
*Don't bring the family dog.  I can see if you are the jogger who prefers the quiet of the cemetery, but please do not let the dog defecate on the headstones or grass.  
* Some containers work better for flowers.  We have learned that plastic simply doesn't work and glass is usually best.  Many cemeteries will leave Memorial Day decorations up until the Monday following Memorial Day.  If you choose, you can go back and collect flags, decorations or flowers that adorned YOUR families headstones. 
*Do not take anything that doesn't belong to you.  There was a man accused a few years ago from taking the permanent bronze or metal vases and selling them.  Ending to the story is that he is serving time for it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Potty Training

I have tried potty training Livy multiple times and it seems that she just wasn't ready (or maybe I was just a little too lazy).  I think a good portion of my failure was the method that I was using.  I have potty trained multiple children in the past (daycare) and tried to use those methods on Livy and failed.  That particularly bothered me because Livy has made everything in her short two years an easy transition.  When we gave up the bottle, there was no fight. Same goes for moving her to a big girl bed.  Why did these things work out so well and this wasn't?  Perhaps the method used for the bottle and bed was the way to go.  I tend to cold-turkey Livy with these things and she did well.  Why couldn't this work with potty training?

So after researching some methods that I could do with Livy, I put together something that seemed reasonable after our failed attempts.  (Google search potty training, potty training methods, 3 day method.  I refuse to purchase anything for something that should come fairly naturally.)

What am I doing?  Simple.  Yesterday Livy and I threw away all the diapers in the outside trash can.  (I did go back and pull them out and have them hidden.  I'm not about to get rid of perfectly good diapers when I will have a second child using them.)  Next step is spending the entire day by her side.  When she starts to go I put her on the potty to finish business.  I chose for her to spend the day without a diaper or panties yesterday.  I know that for some this could cause problems, but for us I found it very beneficial.  It allowed Livy to feel everything which resulted in her using the potty.  I am proud to also say that my carpet and couch are in perfect condition after that adventure and by the end of the day, she had gone to the potty on her own without being asked to.

Today is day two and Livy is sick with a high fever, sore throat and cough.  In the past I would have put her back into diapers and tried again later, but I am determined that this is it!  Happy to say that even though she is sick, it is going just as strong as yesterday.  We have been dry all day!

Hopefully tomorrow will bring the same amount of success!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunshine on my shoulder, makes me happy

I am feeling much better today.  Perhaps it was the pregnancy hormones in overload that totally did me in yesterday!

I love this time of year!  I love that finally the sun is shining, flowers are blooming and I can spend more time outside.  It has seemed that this winter has been never ending with the cold winds, snow and rain.  

With my new found freedom to escape the house, I have been reminded once again that I have extremely fair skin that burns in 2.7 seconds of walking out the front door.  We had some friends over about a week ago. It was fairly early in the morning (not hot out) and the kids were playing in the backyard.  I didn't think anything of it until that evening when I see that Livy and I were burned.  Not just a little pink from the sun, but a full painful sunburn.  So I have had to recommit myself to applying sunblock every morning whether or not we plan to go out.  One more habit to get in for myself and Livy.  

With Livy, I want her to have good habits from an early age.  I wrote a post about this sometime ago.  This is one more thing that I need to add onto her daily routine which I need to get back into the habit of.  I have said that I can't seem to find a balance here in my new house and both of our morning routines seem to still be packed in a box. Hopefully this will rekindle the desire, knowledge and products for us to take better care of ourselves. Especially now!

I don't know about you, but when I am taking the extra time to pamper myself (like get regular haircuts, get eyebrows waxed, etc) I feel better about myself.  I have hit a slump here (probably part of my overall problems at the time) where I can't stay on top of these things.  To make it worse is that I am pregnant (I love that I'm having another baby) but nothing fits right.  I have already made the move to maternity clothes.  I look fat, not pregnant.  My hair's texture has change with this pregnancy which makes it nearly impossible to do anything with.  And my poor skin feels like a teenager with tons of breakouts.  So even though I am going through major changes, it is even more important I get back to the "routines" I made long ago and care for myself.  

Perhaps I will have to share what I have learned from several beauty books on the topic of skin care.  

I have a busy afternoon a head of me with a DUP meeting and my Grandmother's viewing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thoughts on new callings

I have neglected you for the past few weeks.  Life has been a little hectic around here with the "illness" of a computer and therefore no Internet, new callings, death of my grandmother, and feelings that I want to overcome.  

My mother tells me often, "You haven't blogged today!"  And my reply is that I'm too busy, or the pictures won't load, or there is nothing to say.  I have tons to say, but can't bring myself around to do it.  They aren't happy thoughts right now.  Because I am a real person who has ups and downs in life I need to state the bad just as much as the good. Since this is a form of a journal for me, I must get to it and record something.  This week I hope to finish the entries about our recent trip to the Grand Canyon and a few other things.

I finally have a church calling.  For those who are not of my faith, a calling is a job or a position in the ward or church group that we attend.  These positions are always non-paid.  You may think why would anyone take on something like that (including our Bishops (like a pastor) which isn't paid for his long hours of service).  The reason is simply because it gives me us an opportunity to serve our fellow brothers and sisters and to learn.  I have learned so much and have a better relationship with Christ due to the service I have given.  We do not apply for positions, but rather names are submitted and prayed about and then the call is extended.

We have lived in this house for nearly 6 months.  Usually when we move into a new house or ward we are given callings within a month or two.  Eduardo is currently serving in the Young Mens Presidency, so he is working with the boys ages 12 to 18.   I have been upset for not receiving a calling yet and at times would think that I simply wasn't needed or worthless.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to go to "my spot"  (how I miss my spot at my last house!) and cry over this.

In our last ward I had several big callings including in the Relief Society Presidency (over the sisters ages 18+).  It was hard work, but I loved the work that I was doing.  I didn't realized how much I missed it until I came here.  

So my new calling has finally been extended and as ashamed as I was, I didn't want it.  I accepted it, figuring that it would be something new and that I needed to learn something from it.  I am my ward's Music Director.  So basically I choose the music for the Sacrament Meeting and lead the congregation.  

I have very little music experience and have worried at how badly I would do.  My first day today went well, even though I messed up several times.  I love music and this will help me know it better.  My only problem, is that I am afraid of not being given anything else to do.  I like to be busy and this certainly isn't a calling to keep me busy.  I have already selected the music through October!  Also, in past wards, people in this calling are there for years.  I want to experience things and do not want this to be a lifetime or even a 15 year calling.  I feel that I am able to give so much more if only I can be given the chance.

My life has been so different here since we moved.  Much of it for the good.  I am finally able to devote myself to Livy, Eduardo and my home.  I love being a stay-at-home-mom and wouldn't change it.  I love that I have friends to socialize with. This honestly is new for me.  I never really have had friends.  I may have had a few acquaintances in past wards and neighborhoods, but I don't think I could call many of them my friends.  (No one, except for one (thank you for the play date Sarah) has even asked how we were settling in.)  I love that Livy has children to play with and love that I can go grocery shopping and run errands without waiting for daycare kids to be picked up.  

But even with all the good, I'm struggling.  I can't find a balance or routine in my life.  I still feel so lonely here and that this house will never feel like my own.  I catch myself it that horrible state of thinking about "the future" where my life will be different.  That "future" doesn't exist. (How do you draw the line between planning/hoping for things and wasting time on wishing for things that will never happen?)  I know I need to learn to be happy with what I have.  Don't get me wrong, I feel truly blessed to have a nice house, to be a mother and have a wonderful husband.  I certainly have something to learn from this whole situation; from moving here to callings. 

I think now, how could I even post this.  I don't want this to seem like a pity party, but more or less how I am feeling and why I haven't blogged for a while.