Thursday, August 15, 2013

To my young women

I've been thinking a lot lately, about the ideals we have set for us from a young age, of the things we expect from our lives.  The Mormon culture perpetuates getting married at a young age, and having a family.  These are not bad things, not at all.  Marriage and family are key roles in our eternal progression and are to be goals in our lives.  I am not saying that they aren't.  What I have seen with those of my own age and those older than me is the disappointment, and the feeling of failure, when they aren't married by 22 or even by 30.  Guess what, it happens!  I feel like we send our young women out into the world expecting prince charming to sweep them off their feet a month into college at BYU.  Guess what, it doesn't happen like that all the time.  We need to stop giving our girls the preconceived notion that if they aren't married and having babies by their mid twenties that they have somehow failed.  I want to raise up a generation of strong girls who become strong women.  I want them to be prepared for anything.  Be prepared to have a life of your own and follow the Lord as He sees fit to guide your life.  

This month we are discussing marriage and family as our lessons and that's where this all stemmed from.  I was talking to my wonderful friend one night about this and it really struck me.  She is 30, living in Utah, and unmarried. (gasp)  I know, hard for you all to believe since it's apparently man and marriage central.  It's not, let's just get that out in the open.  Men and marriage are everywhere, if you are looking in the right places.  She commented that as she left for college someone said, "you'll be engaged by Christmas!"  She said that she didn't really believe that and she hated that that was the idea they were all sent out there with.   So what do you do when you realize that things aren't working out exactly as you planned?  Make one.  Make a plan.  Come up with what you are going to do with YOUR life.  It is your life after all, you make your choices and you get to where you want to go.  She said after she graduated she realized she had no plan.  Life wasn't what she thought it was going to be and she realized she was living with no real direction.  So what did she do?  She sat down and made a plan.  She is a strong woman, she has a career that she truly loves, and more friends and family around her than she knows.  To think that anyone would think of her, or anyone else who is yet unmarried, as less makes my heart ache.  I know more than one wonderful woman who did not find their perfect match until into their 30's.  There are other amazing women out there who may never marry in life, as no fault of their own.  But God has a purpose for them and will give them opportunities in the next life.  
So, understand this, life isn't always going to turn out the way you planned it, but it is going to turn out the way you make it.  I want girls to go into life with a plan for it.  A real solid plan that doesn't fall back on, "well, I'll go to college for something, until I get married and then who knows!"  Get an education, regardless of what age you get married, get an education.  We have been counselled by prophets, as women, to get a college education.  You don't know what life is going to hand you, you may need that career or that knowledge some day to be part of the work force. You may think it unnecessary because you want to be a stay at home mom, but what happens if your husband loses his job, or you are waiting on that said husband?  I have always wanted to be a SAHM, and that dream became a reality 7 years after I got married and 6 years after I graduated college.  I used my degree to support our family while my husband gained his degree, and I used it to keep us afloat during times of trial. 

Am I saying not to want to get married, to not expect it?  No, but I am urging you to have a contingency plan.  Plan for your life, make it a big plan, dream big.  Keep your eternal goals in perspective and dream big about your life.  Don't be a damsel in distress waiting to be saved, go out and do something, be the heroine.  Be strong, and be courageous. I can't express more how much I care for the young women of today and care about their future.  Is my young women's group ever going to read this? I don't know, but I hope to instill in them a desire to want more out of life. I want them to strive for bigger and better things than they ever thought possible because they are all capable of it, they are all strong, they are all daughters of God.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

corn corn corn

As you all know, I acquired 2.5 dozen ears of corn at the end of last week.  There is no way we can eat that much, so I finally got a day to freeze it.  We were down to 19 ears from our original count of 27, so I didn't get as much out of it as I could have.  But I was pretty excited to have gotten some done.  

 The goods and the tools. That's right, we are high tech in my family with our wood with a nail in it. You don't need anything more complex than that.

 Stuffed the pot full.  
Ended up with three bags of delicious sweet corn for the winter months.  

I was able to husk, steam, and cut (most of the ears) while the boys slept. Landon woke up as I finished up the last few ears and bagged it up.  He was very confused by what I was doing to his beloved corn.  I was shocked at how fast it went.  But then I had to remember my childhood freezing corn in the summers.  We would do anywhere from 100-200 ears of corn in one day.  By the time you have husked 200 ears of corn you are completely convinced that you will NEVER eat another ear of corn in your life.  And by the time you are done, and have all your bags full, and realize that you are covered in chunks of corn and starch, you also realize that you have been eating corn the whole time.  And the next year you do it all over again.  

I am thankful for my parents for being thrifty people and being resourceful people.  They taught me to not only be thrifty in my spending and in my living, but they passed on their resourcefulness.  I am still struggling to be a good gardener, but I put one in every year. I freeze my green beans, and broccoli, and I can my tomatoes.  We also can salsa from our own ingredients.  In the summer we make strawberry jam and in the fall we can peaches. This year I hope to add peach jam to my list of goodies this year.  Last year we added applesauce to the docket since Will was a baby and I was making homemade baby food.  We made plain applesauce for him, and the good stuff for us. It's a lot of work, and we always help each other out with the large batches.  Once the kids can wield a knife they are set to work helping can.  We teach 'em young around here.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Privacy, what???

So, I really thought that I was comfortable with our privacy level in this house.  I mean, the only time the bathroom door is shut is when company is over.  It has been that way since we got married.  We have a very open door policy.  Over share?  Perhaps, but you have to see where I'm coming from here.  

So, when I became a Mom and was constantly followed everywhere by my son, it wasn't too bad.  I found the only way to have a moment to myself was to lock the bathroom door.  This leads to wails on the other side, the doorknob jiggling.  You'd think I was abandoning the child with the drama.  

Then came child number two, oh, you wanted to pee?  Let's all go to the bathroom!  All of you who think that women go to the bathroom in groups for are wrong.  We don't want company to pee with.  Usually, I only go with someone because I can follow them to the bathroom, I hate finding public restrooms.  So the group situation in the bathroom has now expanded to include two children. 
Oh, and sometimes the dog.  I close the door to shower and multiple times during the shower the door is opened for random comments from Landon about what he's playing or what he's watching.  I leave it unlocked in case he actually has to use the potty.  And then I have to lock the door when I get out. There is only a certain age where it's not weird for your child to see you naked.  That time has passed indeed.  

So you see, I thought it was as bad as it was going to get.  Non-private showers, peeing accompanied, pooping with a three year old announcing it and turning on the fan, doing my hair and makeup while a one year old unrolls the toilet paper and my three year old asks for some makeup too.  I thought we were there.  But then Will took it to the next level.  He has taken to climbing onto my lap while I try to poo.  No, not kidding.  I guess I'm there just long enough to look like I have a comfy lap available.  I think the time has come to close the door and lock it while they are awake.  Some of you may think that we are weirdo's leaving the door open all the time, but how are we supposed to complete conversations with the door closed?  haha.  Ah, welcome to our home....
The whole crew assisting me in the bathroom. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mater munchin'

We planted a cherry tomato plant again this year just for Landon. And we got a volunteer one come up too. He is always out gleaning tomatoes and raspberries. Now Will has joined him, he really wants to learn how to pick. 
So delicious!

Notice the chipmunk cheeks. They were stuffing their faces. 
So many tomatoes!
One rolled away...
Will wanted more so he ventured into the garden. 
Playing a little ball before calling it a night. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Today was pretty awesome.  I thought it was great when we checked out of BJ's with $25 worth of coupons used.  I thought it was awesome when Landon got to spend his piggy bank money and ended up getting one of his picks for $2 less than it was marked upon check out.  

All great things.  Then we were driving home, and we had seen corn for cheap, but they were closed up.  So we stopped at a little stand outside East Berlin.  He's there every year in his little white shed, but I've never stopped.  So I ran across the traffic.  I was planning on getting a dozen if it was a good deal.  I approached and there wasn't much corn left.  This was nearing 6pm, so it was getting late in the day.  The man in the shed was obviously a life long farmer.  He had thick hands with big thick fingers, dirty and leathery from years of farm work.  He was a broad man who looked tough, but he was sweet.  I asked him what he had and he showed me.  I then asked him how much for a dozen. He eyed me carefully and replied, "a buck and a half." I said, "for a dozen?" He smirked and said, "for all of it" as he pointed to the pile in front of him.  
Me: "I don't want all of it!" all be it I said this very quietly
Farmer: "of course you do.  I just picked this this morning. You have somewhere to keep all of this,right?"
Farmer: "Good!" As he's shoving ear after ear into a plastic bag, "I guess when I can't fit anymore in that's all you'll get!" Shoving them in, even though there's no room, "there's always room for one more." 

I gave him his $1.50 and stared at him in disbelief.  It took me a minute to move.  I walked back to the car with John staring at me in amazement.  I told him my feminine wiles must have charmed him into giving me such a deal.  I came home and counted it out.  27 ears!

Check out my haul!  It's not the nicest corn I've ever seen.  It's been nibbled by bugs,
I found a few worms, and he had trimmed off some bad stuff himself, but it will still be great!

And then it got even better! It got better you ask?  IT DID!  Will got into the bathtub without screaming like someone was killing him.  He then stayed in the tub.  He SAT DOWN in the tub.  He let water pour down his face, he fell down, and through all this, he LAUGHED!  My water boy might finally be back.  It's been about a month now that he has treated bath time like it's the end of the world.  It's been pure torture for the entire household.  But I had to force him out because he was shivering!  That's right, bath time without screaming and snot topped everything!

 Landon got new water guns with his money.  They had to try them out.
See that?  See Will sitting in the tub....see him playing with a toy not red faced and covered in slober, snot, and tears?  Life is good.


A few weekends ago we went to visit friends in Danville, PA.  The kids enjoyed playing, the men enjoyed fishing, and the ladies enjoyed relaxing and chatting.  

 I got to have a little fun making girly skirts for Molly's upcoming little girl.  Thank you Pinterest for making me look crafty.

 Playtime at the park!
 The adults playing.  Where are the children?

 Will is our climber.  He climbed up the steps to the play equipment, and then up that tube that you see above the slide!  He loves going to the playground, but I have to be on my toes to chase him.

 Like father like son. Chillaxin'

 Landon and Ruby mesmerized by morning cartoons.  These two enjoyed playing together most of the time.  Their favorite thing to do?  Play "sleep".  Landon had a bed made of camping mats and they would go in there and cover up and giggle and play.  Will could be found diving on top of them too.

We went to Knoebels for our first time.  They get to go all the time because they live 10 minutes away, so they showed us the ropes.  Ruby and Landon rode a lot of the rides together.  Will even got to go on a few.  He wasn't nearly as thrilled by it.

 "Hi, Mom!"
Landon was very excited to go on the biggest roller coaster he'd ever been on.  Last year he went on his first coaster at a fair.  It was your run of the mill tiny coaster.  This one was big and jerky.  When he got off he ran up to me and said, "I laughed, and screamed! It made me nervous. I want to go on another ride!"  

 They are in the last car on the roller coaster.  You can only see John because the little guys had to sit on the inside edge.

 Driving Miss Ruby

It rained off and on all day.  But as we were getting a snack the heavens opened up and the torrents poured down.  I half expected to see Noah's Ark float by at some point.  Luckily for us we were in a large covered area.  We couldn't play on the rides so for a bit John and Landon played in the rain.  They were soaked to the bone.  Landon was loving it.  I had to force him to stop before he crashed, soaked and dripping, into another park goer.

It's hard to see how wet he is because there are no dry spots to compare it to.  But man, he was dripping.

So there we were, staring at the rain come down harder and harder.  We decided we should go home, but we were at the opposite end of the park as our car.  hmmm....and we had three kids, two of which in strollers.  So Kevin and John manned up, stripped off their shirts, and ran like mad through the park.  They had talked to a park employee standing nearby before departing, and they had directed them to where to pull in close to us.  How nice!  It seemed like they were gone for forever.  When they were able to get through the mayhem of the parking lot and get to us the rain had died down and we were able to run to the car without being drowned.  They made it just in time, the kids were restless and the pregnant lady's bladder was about to burst.  phew!  Landon had to be stripped down to ride back and he was less than thrilled.  Even though we didn't get to ride a ton of rides, we still had a great time.  Landon would go back in a heartbeat,and since we still have tickets, I think we'll definitely be back!