Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekend Stuff

HaPpY mAy!  And best of all, it feels like March!  The weather was perfect all weekend and I love it!!! 
Friday:  The kids spent the afternoon dumping a few things into the giant dumpster we had the city leave near our home recently.  The kids wanted to get rid of a few things and clean out the garage, so they moved several things to the dumpster.  They will move more later this weekend and more over the next week.  It will be nice once it's all done.
That evening Lexi, Kevin and I spent the evening at home watching TV and just hanging out.  Kyle took off to play some games at a game center where he meets up with his Uncle Shaun and cousin Dillin.  Curtis usually goes with him, but Curtis decided to go hang out with some friends instead.  Curtis ended up playing card games with a friend and her Mom and sister most of the night, and then went and grabbed a bit to eat.  As soon as everyone was home they all ran to WalMart to pick up a few things and then they were home for the night.  All in all it was a quiet night.  

Saturday:  Lexi was suppose to be at the church at 6:30AM to meet up with all the youth in our ward to go do baptisms at the Temple, but my alarm went off but I slept right through it.  I switched my cell phone from iPhone to Android and the alarm volume was super low and I couldn't figure out how to change the volume on the alarm.  I could change it for everything else, just not my alarms.  Needless to say, Lexi also missed her 9AM camp meeting that day as well because I slept right through that alarm as well.  Sure, Lexi has an alarm on her phone, but she didn't set it because she knew I would be setting mine.  If I was going to have to be up anyway, I might as well wake her up too, or so we thought.  Wrong!  

Later that day Curtis and Kyle went over to our neighbor's house.  Our neighbor has another son receiving their mission call and since he was one of Kyle's scouts they both went over to hear where he was going and when.  While they were at our neighbor's house Kyle ran into Kap Sikhema who is the younger brother of Vi Sikhema who use to play in the NFL.  Kevin and the Sikhema family go back a long time because they were all in the same ward together.   As soon as Kyle saw him he went up and introduced himself.  Kap then asked where Kevin was so Kyle came home and Kevin got up and went over to talk to his long time friend.  Kap and Kevin talked for some time.  Kap has been wanting to sit and talk to Kevin for a while now about a car accident the two of them were in about 30 years ago.  They were on a scout trip to the Grand Canyon and the lead car was hit by a drunk driver on their way home.  That accident killed four people, including a non-member and has haunted Kevin and Kap ever since.  Kevin luckily was not in that lead car merely because his parents decided last minute to drive up and pick Kevin up.  It's a darn good thing they decided to go because they were the first to give help and aide to the people in that first car.  There were three people in the front seat, three people in the middle seat, and one in the very back.  the passenger and the person in the middle of the front seat were killed and two in the back seat were also killed.  Kap told Kevin Saturday that he originally sat in the front seat, but one of the other boys asked him to switch seats so he could sit next to his dad, the driver.  That boy was killed.  Kap got knocked out in the accident.  He was the one in the very back alone, so he has very little memory of what happened.  He wanted to talk to Kevin because he was there and could help him piece things together.  It's hard to imagine all these years after he still hasn't been able to get all the answers he has been seeking.  Kevin and Kap talked a little bit, but it was hard to really get into it that day, so they will get together and talk some more soon.  Kevin told Kap that accident has haunted him every day since.  He said he has always wondered why he, of all people, survived that accident.  Kap said he was wondering the same thing.  Kap walked Kevin back to the house and as he was leaving Kevin let me know he wasn't sure he could relive that accident and share what he knows with Kap the way he needs him to.  Kevin wasn't sure he was up to it.  Kevin again mentioned he wasn't sure why he was spared.  I explained sometimes things happen for us individually, but sometimes it's for someone else.  I then asked, "Did you ever think that maybe his life was spared because his family would not have been able to handle the loss of a son?"  OR because of the people he would influence throughout his life??  Kevin and Kap, (Kap coaches football at the local high school) both have made a huge impact on the lives of so many young men over the years.  Kevin has watched each one of what he calls, "his boys" grow and become fine men, who have, all but two, have all served missions, and gone on to do great things and serve others as well.  Kap has touched many lives through coaching the football team.  They both love that kind of thing.  All in all, it was good for Kevin to see Kap.  He talked about how Kap dropped off a burger to him at the MTC when he left on his mission.  OR how Kap's sister stopped to say hi to him when she ran into him on Oakland California while serving his mission.  Kevin loves that man like a brother and I'm sure they will meet up again soon.  Kevin said that he planned on coming to watch a few games at the high school next season and Kap offered to get Kevin the best seats in the house on the side lines any time he wants.  So, Kevin just might take him up on that.  
Later that night Kyle and Curtis ran off to go out for pizza and play Laser Tag with our neighbor and his boys.  You see, their oldest son is getting married next weekend so they were having a Bachelors Party for him.  It's weird for me to think of someone as young as Curtis getting married already.  He's certainly old enough that's for sure.  It's just strange.  I remember when the three Carol Ave boys would take off and get into all kinds of trouble together.  It never failed, though, every time they got into major trouble Spencer's little brother was along with them.  Not that the little brother was ever the reason they got into trouble.  Quite the opposite.  Caleb was always with his brother and friends at the wrong time.  All in all, they are all just good kids doing silly boy things at the time.   I'm hoping that's all behind them now....especially for Curtis since he is our son.  

As the night progressed I got things ready so I could actually go to church this Sunday.  It's been a while and I wanted to go so I could find out first hand who our new Bishop was going to be.  I layed out my dress.  

I've laid this dress out every Saturday night for the past few weeks hoping I could wear it to church.  It's nothing fancy, but it's super comfortable and the picture doesn't do the colors justice.  I love the mix of colors in it.  Especially with the splash of teal and purple every so often.  I just wish you could see it in the photo.  Anyway, since I didn't make it to church I thought I'd wear my dress to work.  So, it's all layed out ready to go.

Church:  As soon as we heard about the soon to be changes in our ward and that a new Bishop was going to be called Kevin and I tried to determine who we thought our new Bishop would be.  We settled on four names and the one at the top of our list and the one we felt was most promising turned out to be the one the Lord picked out as well.  So, we were thrilled.  He will make an excellent Bishop.  One of the others on our list ended up being called as a counselor and then the other counselor was a surprise to us.  All in all, it was sad to see Bishop Duke released.  He is such an awesome Bishop, but it was time for him to spend a little time with his family just enjoying their company.  He has needed that for a long time now.  So, as sad as we are to see him go, we know his family is super excited to see him come home to them for a while.  And our new Bishop won't have much to do to get up to speed with all the things Bishop's do.  I'm sure it will mean a lot more, but for the most part he already knows what it's like since he has served in other Bishoprics in one form or another.  We are excited.  It's all good!  

Birthday:  Yesterday I did something that I will only do once in my lifetime.  That is, I turned 50!!  LOL!  It was a low key kind of day.  I didn't even have a cake.  Not because I didn't want one, but to be honest a smoothie sounded much better to me instead.  So, that's exactly what we did.  Smoothies.  Love them!  

As soon as church was done I heard a knock at my door and it was my neighbor bringing me a treat from all of the sisters in Relief Society.  That was very nice of her.  Her and I talked for a bit and I offered to help her in any way I could with her son's upcoming wedding reception and the family dinner they will have the night before.  She's asked to borrow a few things from me to help decorate for the dinner the night before so I offered to have the kids bring those things over to her house tonight.  That way it's one less thing for her to do.  She has a lot of cooking to do this week anyway.  

As soon as my neighbor left my Mom pulled up and was knocking on my door.  She came in with this huge present and an envelope.  Inside the big gift bag was something I've been wanting for a long time now.  A Ninja Blender!!!  I've wanted one since well before last Christmas and now I have one!  Thank you, thank you Mom and Dad!   The card also had a little cash inside.  Mom said the cash was so I could pick up a blouse of something nice to wear.  Mom, Lexi and I talked for a bit and then we walked Mom to her car. 

 As I was waving goodbye to Mom, our new Relief Society President was getting out of her car across the street at my neighbor's house.  When she saw me she walked over and we talked for a bit there on the sidewalk for what seemed like 10-20 minutes.  You see this dear sister has a disabled son who she and her husband care for.  He is confined to a wheelchair and they both do a fantastic job taking care of him.  In fact, I admire her for all she does.  Well, as I was talking with her I learned a lot more about our new Relief Society President.  I learned things that made me love her even more!  She works two jobs to put food on her table because her husband is disabled and anyone who is receiving disability or social security knows that money doesn't go very far.  So, she said if she didn't work they wouldn't eat.  There was a lot more she shared with me in that short 15-20 minute conversation but I don't feel it's my place to share that.  What I can say is WOW!  She is more amazing than I ever dreamed.  As she left to go visit my neighbor we decided that we would talk again soon.  I can't wait for that.  I learned so much and I left feeling that I knew exactly why this dear sister was called as our Relief Society President now, again.  This is her second time serving in that calling.  She says its so she can get it right this time.  I say it's so she can inspire and help people like me get through some of the difficulties I we face every single day.  I love that dear sister more than ever now.  She is wonderful!!!  

As she walked over to my neighbor's home my oldest daughter pulled up and we went inside.  Danielle had a bag of goodies full of all kinds of things from Bath and Body Works.  I now have a new scent that smells yummy, two new lotions, and some body wash to try.  So far, I've tried the new scent and the lotions.  I'll try the body wash tonight or in the morning when I shower again.  Thank you Danielle and Chance.  We all talked a bit and I opened a box that was delivered by UPS filled with a couple of things I was adding to my Mom's gift for Mother's Day.  (I'm just about done)  I wish I could tell you what it is, but I can't.  I showed Danielle and Lexi what I picked up and they liked what they saw and thought their Grandma would love it.  Then we talked a bit about what I wanted for Mother's Day and what Chance's Mom wanted for Mother's Day.  I told Danielle I didn't have any expectations or wants.  I told them all I really couldn't think of anything.  Then Danielle told me what Chance's Mom has requested.  I guess Chance's Mom has requested a letter telling her what a wonderful mother she is.  She even gave Chance specific things she wanted the letter to say.  I thought if you have to solicit that kind of letter then it really isn't coming from the heart and the real sentiment behind it gets lost when you have to request it.  BUT, sometimes families do things or think differently than I do, so I can't speak to the reason she felt she needed to request that.  Anyway, I know most mother's would love a letter like that, but I would never dream of asking my children for that.  I'd much rather them do something like this all on their own because it would mean so much more to me then.   There has been only time that I have ever asked them for something remotely like that was when I asked them each to write their testimonies down for me.  My intention at the time was to save them and keep them in a family photo album or something.  Well, my kids surprised me and gave them to me as Christmas gifts one year.  I still have them tucked away in a box they made me.  I keep them with my recipes in the kitchen now and I absolutely LOVE them.  But a testimony is different than asking my children to tell me how great I am.  That belongs to them and is personal and specific to each of them.  When I asked them for their testimonies it was like they were giving a part of themselves to me to keep and cherish.  Not boosting my ego or something.  Know what I mean?  Anyway, I think you understand what I mean.  

As the day and night progressed I received many many Facebook and Instagram birthday wishes.  It was so nice to receive all of those messages from friends and family.  They made my day even more special.  Thank you everyone.  

The weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday.  I considered the cooler weather a wonderful birthday present from my Heavenly Father.  He knew exactly what to get me that would make me happy, put a smile on my face, and let me know he was even in on all the details for my birthday.  What a blessing and I love it!!  AND what a great, low-key birthday it was indeed!  

As I mentioned before I have been making a lot of smoothies lately, especially now that I've had my braces a few weeks and the insides of my cheeks are a little raw from rubbing.  Eating certain things has become a bit of a chore and I prefer to stay away from certain things.  So, I have been making a lot of smoothies in a blender that worked pretty well, but now that I have the ninja blender I will be making a smoothie every morning.  I find that frozen fruit is best for smoothie making.  That with a little Greek, triple zero, plain yogurt, and a splash of pineapple juice makes for a really yummy drink.  My family likes them too.  Smoothies are better than ice-cream and are a perfect treat for the summer.  So, as long as we have frozen strawberries, bananas, and pineapple in the house we will be making smoothies.  Needless to say, that stuff doesn't stay in the house for very long anymore.  

Since Curtis has been home from his mission I have struggled more than ever to make meals everyone will like.  Well, I stumbled across these two recipes.  Take a look.......

There’s something innately comforting in a French Dip sandwich for me. If it’s cold and dreary, ...
Time: 5 hr 10 min
Yield: 6
Ingredients include:
  • 1 (3 lb.) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed off extra fat
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup Coke (not Diet!)
  • 2 (10.5 oz.) cans beef consomme'

Put all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on high for 6-7 hours.  

Crock Pot French Dip Roast

1 packet Au Jus Mix
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
1 can beef broth
3-4 pound Chuck or rib roast

Put all ingredients into the crock pot and cook for 6-7 hours.

I think either recipe looks amazing and we will certainly give them a try in the next couple of days.  I think everyone will love them.  

Health:  Wouldn't you know it, I STILL have hives.  I am so over it.  Thankfully they are getting much better so off to work I go very soon.  I've been to Urgent Care a couple of times, to my doctor countless times, and now I'm off to see a specialist to determine the real cause.  I'm also on all kinds of medications.  I'm sure eventually we will get to the bottom of this.  I'm just tired of the Benedryl and all the medications that make me drowsy.  I can't sleep the rest of my life away.  I've got to much to do and too many people counting on me to sleep it away.  So, I am optimistic that the specialist will find the root cause.  More to come on that.  Here are a few photos I've taken of my rash in various places on my body.  It's been a combination of all of this at one point or another.  

Braces:  As I mentioned before I go braces a few weeks back.  My daughter warned me that my mouth would really hurt as soon as they put them on, but it didn't.  I felt pressure and that was all.  It wasn't until after the braces rubbed against my cheeks, cut my cheeks, and sliced the inside of my lip that I really felt the pain of braces.  All in all, I'm glad I got them.  Here's a little photo of my brace face.  Smile!  

I know, goofy picture.  What can I say.  See all the space between my teeth.  My doctor tells me that will all change in about a year.  And then he will smooth out the bottoms of the teeth to look nice and pretty.  I can't wait!  

Ten happy thoughts I had this evening:

  1. It's 6PM and it's only 73 degrees outside.  LOVE IT!!!
  2. The pool is shocked and waiting!  I can't wait to give it a try.  (The boys did the other night)
  3. There is something peaceful about watching episodes of Escape to the Country on Netflix.  It's so pretty!
  4. Madam Secretary!  I need to re-watch it from last night.  I was busy trying to get things ready for work today.
  5. My new super hero, our new Relief Society President.  Can you say, Wonder(ful) Woman???!!!!
  6. I absolutely LOVE the option to pay my tithing online!  That is so cool.  I don't have to leave home or fret about not having a tithing envelope anymore.  LOVE LOVE LOVE that option!  AND the tithing app for my phone so I can keep track of income and donations given.  That is awesome!  
  7. I've decided to try a new study guide for the Book of Mormon this summer.  I'm hoping that will help me learn more.  Can't wait!
  8. Lexi only has three more tests to take and then she is done!  Yay Lexi!!!
  9. I might be Grandma in a couple years!  Holy cow!  That sounds so strange to me right now, but I'm sure we will love every minute of that.
  10. I need to get working on a few things around here soon.  Projects Projects.  Projects......that is, once I am back to my normal routine of course.  
Life is crazy!  Life is full of ups and down, but all in all..........Life is GOOD!!!  
Take care and we will talk again soon.

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