Friday, October 30, 2009

Invisible Cabbage

Today as we were driving, Kian says
"When I get bigger I am going to build a building that is so beautiful--when I am like 25 or something"
I say,"Really? OK that's a good idea".
"It's going to be big and I'm going to call it Invisible Cabbage".
"Oh..." A little stumped, I admit.
Then he clears it up for me,
"That means that you can buy like food and games for like zero dollars".
Sounds good to me!
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you--
Invisible Cabbage!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Most days are great, but every now and then I get a glimpse into the heart-breaking world of being in Kindergarten.
Kian and I have been trying the "drop-off". This is where I pull into the front of the school and he gets out and goes into class all by himself. Many of the kids are doing this so he thought he could too.
Today as we pull in he says, "Mom can you come in with me?"
Right! The day I haven't showered and I have had 4 hours of sleep? What for??
"No, honey, you can do it all by yourself".
"But Mom, please?"
"What do you need me for?"
"So you can help me take off my backpack but not my coat".
"Sweetie, you can take off your coat too".
"But I don't want to, I want to leave it on".
"Because I can't put it on by myself when we go out to recess".
"Well, can't you ask one of y our friends for help?"
"no" such a small voice.
In that moment, he seemed SO little and I wondered h ow I could possibly be sending him out into a big world where you can't ask for help?!
I pray that he has a good day, but I will be worrying all day that he is somehow lost. I'm not sure he knows how to ask for help because he never has to at home. Someone is always too eager to help him...he's so cute :-)
But he is in the real world of kindergarten and he can show no weakness!
Poor baby...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mystery Dinner Theatre

Also tonight Mackenzie went to the Mystery Dinner that was put on by the drama council at Provo High. It was set in the 1920's and since we could not find a flapper costume for less that $50 we got a couple of accessories and improvised the rest.
I think she looks beautiful!

Autumn Days

This is my favorite time of the year. I used to think it was only because my birthday is in September! Now I realize there is SO much I love about Fall.
The temperatures are usually cooler and I hate to be hot.
The air seems cleaner somehow and it smells wonderful.
The apples are delicious, the stars are lovely and everyone is calm as school is back in and the holiday rush hasn't started yet.
The first time I fell in love, it was Fall.
My first baby's birthday is in October (as well as two others!)
While I hate Halloween I sure can't complain about the abundance of those delicious "Fun Size" candy bars so I don't have to get sick of one flavor, I can have them all! And clearly I do :0)

Today was one of my favorite Fall activities--leaves!!
This is how our yard looked this morning...

And after a couple of hours and all hands on deck we had 20 leaf bags full!

Before the day turned to this...
Just one more reason that I love this season...the dark clouds and the windy rainy days when hot cocoa and a book or old movie are the best way to spend the day!
Autumn in Provo is wonderful :0)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bathroom Blues

I don't mean to be too graphic, but this is part of life. Admittedly, the part I hate the most!
Someone has been vomiting in my house for 3 days!! First Kian, then me, then Mackenzie and almost simultaneously Vanessa and Calah. We were SO scared for Doug because he starts work tomorrow!! I wish there was a Clorox button for the bathroom where I could just close the door and spray it down!
So far Vanessa and Calah have had it the longest and Doug may have it but thank heavens for small favors, it is light. Typically it has lasted about 10 hours, but the amount of laundry that can accumulate...Iy yi yi!!
So if I owe you a response for anything please know that it is is just buried under 6 feet of laundry!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Enough about some good news?

Yay!!!! Yesterday Doug was officially offered a job! And today he snatched it up like it was free money!!! ;0)
He will be working (and traveling :0( boo!) for a company called Test Out located in Pleasant Grove. It is small but stable. They have been around since 1991 and are completely debt-free. They have company dinners and Lagoon day and they pay 100% of our medical insurance premium!!
Now our challenge will be making this work with one car, but at least it will be a new challenge and we will be getting money to get a new car eventually so that I can handle.
Thank you to all of my wonderful friends who I know were praying for us, I know that it is how we made it through.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dirty Little Secret...Bishops' Storehouse

So in an attempt to share some of the last year of our lives, I will let everyone in on a dirty secret--it's the Bishops' Storehouse. This is an amazing facility where members of the church who are hurting for work and money can get a shopping list from the bishop and go in every 2 weeks and get all the food you need!! For FREE!! Well, by "FREE" I mean it has been paid by member's fast offerings and tithes.
The following principles are used to help measure the success of the storehouse:

  • Patrons and volunteers feel uplifted by their experiences in the storehouse.
  • The storehouse has sufficient volunteer labor and hours of operation to meet patron needs.
  • Inventory is managed to fill bishop's orders and avoid waste.
  • The facility meets safety, sanitation, cleanliness, and maintenance standards.
  • The storehouse's operations adhere to requirements specified in finance, operational, and safety reviews and audits.
  • New missionaries and volunteers are trained in a timely manner.

Since we moved to Provo (and a few times before in the past 5 years) we have been "shopping" at the Bishop's Storehouse. Now I grew up doing this more than a few times in my life and in high school in fact our family worked on the welfare potato farm in Michigan as a way to h elp out for all the help we had recieved. So for me this was only challenging at first---I now have no shame and my point is that on one who utilizes these resources should either. Yet, there does seem to be a hesitancy to disclose the fact that we "shop" here.

What I want to say is that I'm sure there will be many more of us before this economy (and Americans) gets back to working and I do not think we should be at all ashamed. We did nothing wrong. We had "the perfect storm" if you will and we were knocked off our feet in a big way. We lost our infant daughter totally unexpectedly, we lost a great job and eventually we lost our house--all in the span of 3 years. We had no job for 10 months and then we were under-employed (code for under paid) for another 2 years. All this time we are trying to raise good, responsible and caring kids who are not bitter and disappointed by life. Many of us are just rying to get by. My dream is to one day just be able to pay our bills, have 2 cars again, get the kids shoes when they need them and be able to go out to dinner or a movie once in a while. I would love for my kids to have music lessons or be in sports, but all of these things have been gone from our lives for now. But we move on and have faith and trust that the Lord will indeed carry us. Please don't be ashamed of circumstances that you did not create. We are all just doing the best we can...It is not easy to be so honest and I know it is so much harder for Doug. First of all because he has never been homeless and he has always had enough to eat. Second because he "is the man and he is supposed to provide". But I know that just as my Dad did, Doug is a good man, a hard worker and is not responsible for things that are out of our control.

Today we went and low and behold, there was a guy volunteering who Doug knew in high school and had just seen at his reunion. He was mortified--I was like "Can you pass me that Cream of Chicken soup?".
To me, it is what it is.
When you are getting $1400 a month in unemployment and your rent is $1200, well, even I can do that math! So we are getting food. Not gourmet food by any means and we have had to change our expectations about how we get to eat. There certainly are no snacks at the storehouse. Surprisingly (and much to my dismay) not even popcorn!! Wait a minute, doesn't that grow on a tree??! ( a little humor for my Primary friends:0) Though here we can get ice cream.
The chicken is not boneless and skinless breasts and the salsa is not Newman's Own peach. But the Cream of Chicken and Tomato soups are delicious and are in bigger cans than Campbell's, I love to use the brown gravy mix, there is SO much more of it and the Strawberry jam is seedless, just like Smuckers.
Here in Utah you can even get things like fabric! And we have gotten Kian several pairs of socks because his are still in the Orcutt's garage in Indiana. They have sweats and parkas and linens and more things, all brand new.
It strikes me every time how much the Lord loves us. He has provided for us and in such an efficient way!! Our church provides relief and food and clothing and medical supplies for people in trouble all over the world--I am proud of that. We have a system that is totally voluntary and yet we are able to help without regard to race or religion.
I know that this is temporary and I know that when we are making money again we will be even more appreciative of Chocolate chips and Cheetos and we will be more willing to give more generously on that Fast Sunday when the envelope arrives.
I am proud in a good way of how our family has adapted to these difficult circumstances.
We have even gotten a strange joy out of shopping at the D.I. (the Goodwill for my non-member peeps) and are wearing clothes that you would never think had not come from the mall.

I am grateful. I am So glad that we made the decision to move back to Utah even though I know I won't see my Michigan and Indiana people like I did, it just feels so great!
My point is that if you have never had to use these or any other social services you may not understand and I hope you never have to, but if you do own it for what it is...
I know without a doubt that our Father in Heaven loves us and knows us and wants the best for us--even if He doesn't provide Chocolate Chips!