Thursday, September 29, 2016

Plums

Yesterday, I was having a really hard time feeling motivated.

However, after dropping Kevin off at preschool and showering, I finally managed to accomplish some things.

One of the most exciting things that I did was to pick some of our wild plums. There were a lot more than I thought there were.

Here's a picture of my bucket:
They don't look like normal plums. They're about the size of cherries, and when they're ripe they're yellow. When they're purple, they're over ripe and bad. They taste okay, but they are much more tart than the purple variety.

I'm hoping to make some freezer jam out of it. It should be an interesting experiment.

We got some nice big, purple plums from my grandma the other day too. We turned half of them into freezer jam, and we're eating the rest. They're pretty tasty.

More canning. Meanwhile, our apples are starting to fall of the tree. We're about ready to start canning those too. Lots to do, and it's hard to always find the motivation. I'm working on it, though.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Decisions

Lately, I've been thinking about working from home. Yesterday, I attended a meeting that involved an opportunity to work for a company. It had a pyramid-based payment format, and after listening and asking a lot of questions, I decided it wasn't for me.

However, I have been thinking a lot about starting to teach piano lessons. I think I've about decided to go for it. I want to do a little more preparation, but I think it's going to be awesome! I'm excited, but nervous too. I've been playing for nearly 26 years, but I've had limited experience teaching.

Life is pretty interesting sometimes. Often we get taken in directions we weren't expecting.

A few years ago, if you'd have asked me where I was going to be at the age of 30, I probably would have guessed that I'd be married with four or five kids. That was my hope, anyway.

However, due to the fact that the Lord hasn't sent us anymore children yet, I am married with only one kid.

I am so grateful for him.

If I'm only supposed to have one so far, I'm pretty grateful that it's Kevin. He lights up my life and makes every  day exciting. He forces me to grow and become a better person, and he makes me laugh. Sometimes being a mother is frustrating, but for me, it's always worth it.

I've always wanted to be a mother. Whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them that I wanted to be a veterinarian...if I wasn't married. Which basically meant that I was expecting to be married with lots of kids and so I really wasn't planning on becoming a veterinarian.

I love animals, but I always yearned for my own children. I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't want to snuggle a baby or play with a child.

I was lucky enough to eventually meet an incredible guy who was perfect for me. My little brother once told me that he didn't believe in soul mates and predestined love...except in the case of my husband and me. He said that we are just too much alike.

That tickled me a bit.

I'm so grateful that I've been able to be a mother and to be able to be a stay-at-home mother. I can't imagine that anything else would be so fulfilling. Perhaps that's why it's been so difficult that we haven't been able to get pregnant again. My soul aches for more children, and sometimes it's been difficult to cling to hope.

We've really felt that eventually the Lord is going to send us more children, but we're not sure when. I've finally (after three years) admitted that something might be wrong. If we don't get pregnant this month, we're going to go see a doctor and try and figure out what's going on.

However, in the mean time, we've started considering foster care. There are a lot of children out there who could use a stable home environment. We'd like to help them, if it's the right thing for our family. We're praying about it and thinking about it.

Life is definitely always changing. We'll have to see where it takes us next.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Cutest Conversations

Saturday morning, Grig had to work.

Kevin, who had randomly woken up at 4:20 a.m. said to me, in an imploring manner, "Why can't I go to work with Daddy?"

Which began one of the cutest conversations ever.

Kevin really loves his daddy.
Kevin: Why can't I go to work with Daddy?

Mom: Because Daddy's work is dangerous.

K: Oh. There's big rocks? And sharp knives?

M: Basically. You're too little, but Daddy is big and strong, so he's safer.

K: Big rocks can hurt your toes, and you shouldn't touch the ends of knives. They're sharp.

M: Yep. And there's also bright lights that can blind you. (Grig is a welder)

K: Oh.

M: Daddy uses the light to make two pieces of metal into one.

K: And he takes three pieces and makes four?

M: Maybe. If he's cutting them.

After that, the conversation kind of petered out, and we both fell asleep.

It was super cute.

Then, at church yesterday, we had just finished primary, and one of the primary kids was standing out in the hall when an older man came walking toward him.

The child was between four and five, and the old man had a long white beard and walked with a cane. As the child caught sight of the older gentleman, his eyes lit up and he exclaimed, "Santa!"

Without batting an eye, the older man asked, "Have you been good this year?"

The boy nodded eagerly and said, "Yes! Do you have presents with you?"

I didn't hear any more of that conversation, but I was left with the distinct impression that this older gentleman was the coolest person ever.

People can be pretty awesome.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Preschool: Being a Mom and a Teacher

Last week, a couple of neighborhood moms and I started our own preschool. Every week we take turns teaching and hosting our three pupils, and this week was my turn.

It's been pretty fun so far. Last week, I really enjoyed having time to get things accomplished while Kevin was over at the neighbor's house. This week, I was a little nervous to teach, but I think things went really well. Both kids that were able to come this week were very bright and intelligent, and we had a great time.

One of the hardest things for me right now is knowing how to be a teacher and a mom.

Last week during church, I was teaching music to the children and Kevin started acting out. I can't really blame him. It was the first week back in our ward after we'd been gone for six weeks, and his mom was there, so he felt the need to push buttons.

I'm afraid I didn't respond very well. As a parent, I felt responsibility for my child, and so, instead of ignoring his behavior, I corrected him abruptly and then tried to invite him up to help me. It didn't help; if anything it made his behavior worse. I was at a loss for what to do when his primary teacher offered to take him out of the room.

When he came back in, he was folding his arms, and there was a marked improvement in his behavior. I was really grateful to his wonderful teachers.

The way I dealt with it has been bothering me ever since, and after a lot of prayer and thought, I think I have a game plan for this Sunday. I hope it works. :)

I've had a similar problem at preschool this week. Usually, the other kid has been very well behaved and Kevin has occasionally had a tantrum. The first day it was hard, but I think I handled it better today.

I've been really impressed by how well the kids have been doing though. It's been really fun to teach them, and it's been a good review of some of the skills I developed in college. Kevin's loved having more social time as well.

He's a pretty social kid and he loves playing with friends. Sometimes, because he doesn't have siblings, he doesn't share very well, but he's learning. It was fun to see the areas in which each child excelled.

I'm still learning too. This is the first time I've ever been the mom of a three-year-old, after all. My teaching classes in college never really taught me what to do when my own child is in the class. I love it though. I love seeing how Kevin interacts with his friends and classmates.

It's been challenging in ways that I didn't expect, but also a lot more fun!


Monday, September 19, 2016

Salsa, Applesauce, and Playsets

It's been a pretty crazy last few days. On Thursday, Kevin and I went outside and picked up all the apples off the ground. I then called my grandma to ask her for her advice. We'd thrown away the really rotten apples, but I wanted to make the rest into apple sauce. I didn't have an fruit juicer though, and so my wonderful grandma offered to bring hers and come and help me.

Kevin has been a great helper!

These are our two boxes of tomatoes. The ones in the bag are from our garden. The others are Roma tomatoes that I picked with my sister.
So, I cut up the apples, and boiled them. Then, once they were boiled, my grandma came over and we put them through the juicer. Kevin helped by turning the crank on the juicer. We made six quarts of beautiful applesauce.

However, as you can see from our tree, we are going to have a lot of apples this year. I'm pretty excited. We love apple sauce, and we bought a dehydrator this year that we're looking forward to making dried apples with.
  It's pretty loaded.
Then, Friday and Saturday, I worked on the ripe tomatoes. It turns out that salsa takes a while to make. We've now made about 10 quarts of salsa and four quarts of tomato juice. It took most of Friday night and Saturday evening, but I'm pretty excited to have so much salsa. It tastes really good too. :) Kevin helped me cut up the vegetables with our vegetable chopper.

 Then, yesterday, while I was working on salsa, we also decided to finally move our playset. We've been wanting to do that since we moved into our house. This is where it used to be:
However, that is the sunniest part of our yard, and we've been wanting to expand our garden. So, with the help of Grig's brothers and Allopex's friend, we moved the heavy wooden playhouse. 
This area is so much more open now, and I LOVE where we have placed the playset now. It looks so good, and, to me, it just seems to fit perfectly in the new spot. We have to make a few repairs, and then we're probably going to repaint it. It's been a pretty productive weekend. :)