Thursday, November 27, 2008

Stories at Hand

I just completed a class at Jessica It was about writing your personal history. When I first signed up, I thought it was going to be a digiscrapping class. It was more of a hybrid class as we had to build our prompt book using digital supplies she gave us. We created a prompt book that we then use to write out our personal history. Some of the prompts are things like "What was your first pet?" . You are suppose to read the prompt, then let your words flow. She encourages the use of things like blogs and digital journals, but I like the idea of it being in my handwriting. I am doing all of mine by hand. I may do some digitally on here if I run out of things to write about. I doubt that will happen with how busy my kids and life keep me, but you never know. I need to just work on posting here more frequently.

Today is Thanksgiving. We went to Emily's and spent the afternoon with Stan's family like we normally do. It was loud, but fun. The food was good, but I did my best to get just a little bit of the things I wanted and not waste the calories on anything I didn't love. I started eating some pumpkin cake, but it had a strange after taste by the time I got less than half way through, so I quit eating it. I made pies from scratch this year. I usually let Emily make the pies, but Andrew really wanted to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. We made it from an actual pumpkin and not from canned pumpkin. It was so good. It was much better than any pumpkin pie I have ever had. I will be making my pies like this from now on.

I feel totally blessed right now in my life. My MS has been under control, I'm feeling pretty good these days. Stan's mom is home from the hospital. Stan has a great job. Everyone is healthy and strong. I have a nice home, even though it is small. I have amazing children and a wonderful husband. We aren't hungry or cold. We have clothes. Most importantly, we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and cares about me and my family. I have SO much to be thankful for. Life is good, even when it is hard, it is good.

I did find out today that Stan's family will be going their own way this year for Christmas. Emily and Frank will be going to Colorado, Ben and Wendy won't be doing Christmas (that is all we were told) and I'm not sure what Richard and Michelle will be doing. It will be the first time since Stan and I have been married that we haven't had most of his family together on Christmas. I'm sure we will go to his mom's house, but otherwise, it will be a nice Christmas at home. It will be kind of nice not to have to worry about going anywhere. I'll give Grace and Jacob their present early. I'll check with Michelle and find out what they are doing. I may give Faith and Samantha their present early also.

I have a ton of scrapbooking layouts to finish up this week. I have to have an entire book worths done by Friday. I won't elaborate on it any more than that, but I have about 15 layouts to get done. Monday, Rachael and Andrew both have physicals. Rachael's is in the morning and Andrew's is in the afternoon. Tuesday is our normal crazy day, with Grace being here in the morning, then Andrew has OT, then dance and scouts. Wednesday I should be able to get a lot done, and probably on Thursday also. Friday Rachael has to get a barium swallow done and I have Weight Watchers. Rachael is having trouble swallowing at times. She will be eating, then she will gag on her food and then feel like she is going to vomit. We have her on reflux medication, but it isn't getting better. She is going to see a pediatric gastro, but her appointment isn't until the end of January.

I had to go see the gastro 2 weeks ago. For about 4 months, I keep feeling like I am going to throw up. I had an EGD done on Monday (a camera down into my stomach) and they found that my stomach is not emptying like it should and I have a red, inflammed area on my esophagus. Aparently, I have been having reflux without the heart burn sensation. I used to have heart burn all the time, but it has been years, like since I was pregnant with Jeremy, since I felt like that. I have added 2 more medications to my growing pile of pills I swallow each and every day.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and that we can all remember those things we have to be thankful for all year round.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling old

I got an email the other day from a dear family friend of mine. Her son had just become a daddy for the first time. When I first moved to Austin, I started babysitting this boy and his older brother. Danny was almost 2 and Ben was 4 I think. Jera, their mom, was in the YW program and later was my YW president. We became very close. When she had her daughter, I was so close to her. I was her second mom. Part of that was because I ended up living with them for 6 months during a time when my own family was having a lot a troubles. The Parkers were my stability. Maegan and I shared a room when I lived with them. She was just a baby when I lived there. I gave her her first real hair do. She loved for me to do her hair, even when she was tiny.

I am so grateful for the time I had with the Parkers. I learned so much being around them. Their family life was so different than mine. My mom and Eugene loved each other, but they dealt with things my yelling. Even now, I think they yell when they are frustrated with each other. I was so amazed when I lived with the Parkers that they didn't yell at each other. When I get to my breaking point, I will yell and my kids, but most of the time, I don't yell. I don't yell at Stan either. It just isn't me. It always freaked me when my mom and Gene would yell at each other. I was sure they were getting a divorce when they started yelling. I would go for a walk and cry about it. I would come back home and they would be acting like nothing was wrong. I just didn't understand it. I didn't understand why you would yell so much at someone you were suppose to love so much. I still don't really understand it, but I know that it is just the way they are. It is their way of dealing with their frustration. I guess it works for them. It doesn't work for Stan and I. He didn't grow up with yelling. His parents never yelled at each other. I never saw them say a negative thing to each other.

Anyway, so now I feel old. I found blogs for Ben and his wife. Maegan has a blog but it is private, so I couldn't catch up with her. I do know that she has 2 babies, a girl and a boy. Ben has a baby girl and now Danny has a baby girl. I feel so old. I miss them all dearly. I really wish they hadn't had to move to Colorado. For those of you wondering where the Poppy came from in my title, this is a good time to explain. When Maegan was a baby, she couldn't say Patricia. What baby can? She started calling me Poppy. Prior to that, Danny had called me ti-a. I still get called Poppy or ti-a by the Parkers. Poppy is much easier to spell and have people know what it says. I will forever be Poppy and I will think of the Parkers every time I use it. It has actually become part of my user name on several forums. Poppy is frequently taken, so I have become Poppymom or Poppymom23. The reason for the 23 is because I am Poppy, mom to 3 kits-poppymom23. I know it is lame, but now you have it. I also use it for my email address.

I started an online class this week. It is called Stories in Hand. This is a free class done by Jessical Sprague. It has been so much fun. It is a hybrid project. I put together this book already. It is full of journaling prompts to write my life history. I have always wanted to do something like this, but never really new how to start. I plan on taking the book places with me so I can just write when I have the time, such as waiting for Rachael to get out of dance, waiting for a doctors appointment ( I have WAY too many of those unfortunately). I have enjoyed it so far. I need to do better about writing here.

My mother in law is finally home. She has been in the hospital and in rehab for about 2 month or more. We have really missed her. The rehab center was way on the other side of town, which made it hard to get over there. I think we are going to run over to see her before we get started on school. I need to go jump in the shower so I will end this post. My daughter would be reminding me that jumping in the shower is not safe, especially for me since my feet don't work right. She is just like her dad-She and Jeremy both have the Hodge sense of humor. Andrew does a little bit, but not as much as Rachael and Jeremy. For those of you who know my family, do you feel sorry for me? I am surrounding by that punny sense of humor, even from my 6yo. On Tuesday, Rachael told her dad that she hadn't gotten around to it when he asked about her math. He picked up my circle punch from the book I am working on, punched out a cirlce and wrote "to it" on the circle and gave it to her. Now she had a round "to it" so she didn't have any excuses. Bad isn't it-UUUGGGHHH!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Halloween

We had such a fun day on Halloween. Stan works for Tokyo Electron. They take Halloween VERY seriously. I doubt much work got done on Halloween. They had a decorating contest between the different departments. Stan's area did a Dr. Seuss theme. His smaller area was assigned "How the Grinch stole Christmas". Stan was Max the dog. His boss, Mark Leverette, was the Grinch. Here they are in the costume contest. They didn't win, but Stan did get an award for the biggest ham. They gave him a refrigerator ham as his prize. I have no idea what we are going to do with it, but I will put it to use somehow.

Andrew managed to avoid my camera at the ward Trunk-or-Treating activity. This is the only photo I have of him in his costume. He dressed up as a ninja. He is standing in the Grinch cave they made at work as a part of their decorations. They really did go all out for this contest. I forgot to mention that they did get first place in the contest. Halloween is a favorite holiday among many of the employees there.

Jeremy went as Indiana Jones, in case you hadn't guessed. He made sure everyone knew who he was. I think he made a pretty cute Indiana Jones. My niece, Megan, is in the background. She is wearing her mother's wedding dress. I think her mom was pretty brave, especially since Megan is the biggest dirt magnet I have ever known.

I figured since Stan was going to be going straight to Trunk-or-Treating from work in his costume, then I would dress up to match him. My Grinch costume is not as good as Stan's boss costume. It took me forever to get that stuff out of my h air. I had to wash it twice. My hair was so stiff that it didn't move when I took the ponytail holder out.
Finally we have Rachael. She is Morticia Adams. We had to settle for the dress, so it isn't exactly as sexy as Morticia's dresses usually are. That's ok by me though. I don't like to see my daughter in anything sexy.
We had a fabulous Halloween. I hope you all did too.