Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A House of Order

The entry way in our home has bugged me for quite some time. With 6 people's jackets and coats, and the kids' backpacks and church bags and shoes and boots, the space was being overrun with a pile of CLUTTER. In fall of 2007, I had a vision in my mind of how it could be redone into organized cubbies for a better use of the space. I wrote a blueprint of my mind's image on paper for Josh to see, so that he could understand how I would like it to be built. I thought it would be an excellent project for him to complete during his slow winter months. But even after one whole year, the project had still not been started.
As we were reading scriptures (the D&C Section 109) in Family Home Evening last week, we came across verse 8 which reads: "ORGANIZE yourselves, prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, A HOUSE OF ORDER, a house of God..." The scripture got me thinking; in addition to my physical need, it is also a spiritual desire for me to have some organization in this house. The area had started to bug me so much that I decided it was time for ME to take action, and I did so the very next day.
With some help, I was able to get the project completed, using just one piece of plywood and an 8 foot-long 2x4. Using Roberta's tools, I cut the wood into pieces, sanded the edges, put it together with screws (THANKS JOSH for helping!), painted it, and Josh and our friend Jason rewired the space to accomodate overhead lighting to replace the wall sconces. I LOVE the area now! I even cleaned out the space, throwing away two bags of crap. I personally love to rearrange and organize, it helps me feel so happy and peaceful. In President Uchtdorf's talk at the Generel Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday, he talked about the sense of accomplishment we get from creating something. Well, here's my CREATION:

BEFORE: The coats, jackets, and backpacks would overflow on the hooks in the left of the photo. The boots and shoes would be scattered across the floor.

All CLEANED and CLEARED OUT: The whole area is about 4 feet wide and 1 foot deep.

AFTER: And now: A place for everything, and everything in its place!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Mom, what does CELEBRATING mean?"

Jonah and Micah turned 5 years old on Monday the 22nd. We started celebrating it on Friday the 19th. We went camping to Lost Trail hot springs & campground in Montana. We went swimming and ate cupcakes and spent the night in our trailer. The next morning we went on a nature walk & searched for grasshoppers to throw into a pond full of fish waiting for a bite! FUN!

On Saturday, we went to a Family Fun Center. We got to go miniature golfing, drive go-carts, walk in a corn maze, play water balloon wars, shoot guns in lazer tag, drive bumper cars, have fun in the arcades, bounce all over the inflatable moon jumpers, and eat gelato (yummy Italian ice cream). FUN!

On Sunday, we went to Grandma and Grandpa T's house and opened presents from both grandparents and ate ice cream-filled SpongeBob-decorated birthday cake. FUN!

On Monday (their actual birthday), I took them to go the dentist in Idaho Falls. NOT FUN. They had their teeth cleaned, and we learned they each have a cavity, and discovered that Jonah's two front teeth need to be pulled due to infection.
So, then I took them shopping for more birthday presents: flashlights, camping chairs, shoes. FUN!
Due to the extended celebrating of their birthday, there was some confusion all weekend as to when their birthday REALLY was. I explained to them that on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we were just celebrating their birthday, and that when they woke up on Monday morning, it actually would be their birthday. "Mom, what does celebrating mean?", Jonah asked. "It means like having a party", I replied. When we called Grandma Perkins on Sunday to tell her thank you for the gifts, Jonah made sure to mention "when I wake up tomorrow, I will be 5". So after much confusion and explanation, I think they finally understood!!!

As I sat there watching them simultaneously getting their teeth cleaned and x-rayed, I couldn't help but think back 5 years to that day. 5 years ago, I was in the same city, on the same road, in the hospital, recovering after just delivering my twins C-Section. (They are 1 month old in this photo)
That September day was the end AND the beginning. The end of life as we knew it before they were born. The end of our family with the parents outnumbering the children. The end of my horrible and scary pregnancy. The end of the waiting and wondering and wishing and worrying. It was the beginning of their premature-laden infancy. The beginning that was interrupted with a life-flight to Primary Childrens Hospital the very next day. The beginning of neonatologists, and nurses, and shots, and tests, and monitors, and "developmental delay". The beginning of a 2-month stay in 2 different hospitals. It was the beginning of double the feedings, double the diapers, double the oxygen and heart monitors, double the baths, double the laundry, double the care. 5 years ago to the day was the beginning of life as a family of 5, with the children now outnumbering the parents. (They are about 10 days old in this photo, which is the first time I got to hold them both at the same time)

I was never one who wished for twins. I always thought my life would go according to my plan of having a child every two years (one at a time of course), until my family was complete with two boys and two girls. So, of course, I was completely shocked when I discovered at 8 weeks into my pregnancy that I was carrying twins. I was told from my very first appointment that one or both of them may not survive. And now they are 5 years old. I can't believe it's been that long, and yet, I remember it as such a short time ago. Although my life has turned out different (VERY different) than what I dreamed of, I am happy with the results! Our family wouldn't be the same without Jonah and Micah. We are so grateful that God entrusted them into our care. We are so glad that they survived, that they lived, that they grew, that they overcame the obstacles that plagued them.

Happy 5th Birthday to our mischevious Monkey Micah and our determined Jumpin' Jonah! We love you!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Vote-O for My Photo!

I am entering a photo contest next week and want your input! I've been preparing all year by taking pictures with just the thought of entering them into this contest. HELP ME! There are only 4 categories, and I can only enter ONE into each category. Please Vote Now and tell me your favorite photo choice in each of these categories!

Category: Exotic

Choice 1:
Choice 2:
Choice 3:

Category: Rugged

Choice 1:
Choice 2:
Choice 3:
Choice 4:

Category: Tranquil

Choice 1:
Choice 2:
Choice 3:

Category: Living Creatures

Choice 1:
Choice 2:
Choice 3:

Your voice makes a difference! Thank you for participating in this crucial matter :0)!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So Long, Farewell, Goodbye Summer

The nights are getting colder, the days are getting shorter, frost is on the lawn in the morning, the garden is maturing, kids are back in school, leaves are beginning to change color... All these things can mean only one thing: Summer is now over, and Fall is beginning! I love Fall, it's my favorite season!!! But the transition can be a little difficult for me. So, before I can fully welcome the Fall, I need to say goodbye to the Summer and all of its splendor. In June, I made a list of "Top Ten Things to Enjoy this Summer", and now everything on the list has been accomplished! So, here's a summary of the Top Ten List to acknowledge and celebrate the summer's passing!

Take care of our garden
Due to the funky-weathered season, our garden only produced pumpkin, cucumbers, and a few corn.

Spend lots of time relaxing
You can never spend enough time doing this!

Enjoy evening walks
One of our favorite family activities, and we are still enjoying them!

Watch the Demolition Derby
Completed 7.5
The biggest Salmon-redneck attraction there is!

Re-visit Meadow Lake
Completed 8.30
We loved camping there, we want it to become an annual event!

Tour Mt. Timpanogos Cave
Completed 6.8
What an amazing cave and beautiful hike it was!

Host our annual barbeque with friends
Completed 8.25
This was our 4th annual one, and my favorite yet!

Go fishing & camping at Iron Lake with the Lingers
Completed 8.17
We love going to this spot & we love camping with our best friends!

Go camping at Fish Lake in Utah with the Perkins Family
Completed 7.24
Definitely one of the highlights of the summer.

Go to the Tolman Family Reunion
Completed 6.7 & 7.5
There were actually two: one for extended family one & one with the immediate family.