"I feel like discouragement is not from God, but humility is." I do believe you're absolutely correct there. There's actually a line from my patriarchal blessing that tells me to be wary of discouragement as it's one of Satan's main tools. So if you're discouraged, it's time to mentally kick Satan in the shins and change your reaction to humility.
I need to remember this, too. haha.
This gets long, so we're going to break this into sections.
- I finished planting everything! Hooray for last frost to be past! Not so much hooray for 90º weather. What the heck is up with that? Ok, I haven't actually planted everything. I still need to get one more tomato that wasn't ready yet, and two more bell peppers because I accidentally got a 2-pack instead of a 4-pack which put me two under. And then outside of my garden area I have stuff to plant. I want to put a pumpkin under my deck again, and then around the deck I want asparagus and raspberries. But I think it might be too late for asparagus (plus I'll need to amend the soil and maybe build a box and I'm running out of money and energy for such projects). And I'm not sure if I'll do raspberries this year or next. Hopefully this year so they can get better established.
- I planted blueberries again! I worked a lot harder on getting a good spot for them to begin with. I'm sure you care a lot, so I'll give you the details of the hard work that went into them. First I dug a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the plant. Then I put vermiculite on the bottom. (For drainage. Blueberries like lots of water, but they don't like to sit in lots of water.) Then I took all the dirt I dug up and mixed it approx. half peat moss (to hold in water so the blueberries can have more to drink) and half dirt. Then I mixed in some soil sulfur, which helps acidify the soil, because blueberries are acid-lovers and our soil and water is very alkaline. Then I buried the bushes in the amended soil. Whew! Most time-intensive planting I've done!
I got two different varieties (because they need two to pollenate). I don't remember the name of the one… (but I can look it up) but it tolerates less acidic conditions, so it's much better for this area. And it's already got dozens and dozens of blossoms, so maybe I'll get lucky and get blueberries this year! And the other one I got for funness. It's called pink lemonade and the berries are a bright pink! I'll definitely send pictures when they grow. (When. Not if. I'm being positive here.) Do you think naming them would help? As one is pink and one is blue, I'm considering naming them after the fairies in Sleeping Beauty. Let's find out their names. [googling] Flora and Merriweather it is!
At first I was a little disappointed. The three fairies are named Flora, Fauna and Merriweather. And I thought, "How funny would it be if I named my blueberries Flora and Fauna!" So when it wasn't Fauna, but Merriweather, I was sad. But then BJ pointed out that Fauna means animals, so now I'm fine with keeping Fauna out of my blueberries. No animals in my blueberries, please! So it all works out well in the end. Flora is pink and Merriweather is blue. Hooray! They have names! Now they have more will to live!
I also planted them right next to an established drip line. I need to actually set up the lines to come out to the blueberries, though. That was one reason I believe they died last year. No consistent water. I think I'll put two drips to each bush. Because they loooooove water. My dad told me that I pretty much need to drown them daily. So that's the plan. I'll just let my sprinkler system take care of it. :)
- We got our climbing dome put in! It took all evening Tuesday, and half of it with both Abby and Kessa running around out back. (And when Abby doesn't have the road to taunt her, we're in the back yard where our neighbor is in process of burying their trampoline and thus has a giant hole in their backyard. It's like an Abby-magnet. [sigh]) But we had to finish tightening all 130 nuts and bolts, and putting on 130 covers to keep kids from bonking on nuts and bolts, after the girls went to bed. So no one has played on it yet. At least, no one except BJ. I get the feeling this new toy is going to get BJ outside playing with the kids more than any other. It's bringing out his inner-child-climber.
- The neighbors got their play set all put together. The last two days Kessa has spent every spare minute outside playing on it. She adores it. But after watching all the work they put into it to set it up… I'm glad they got it instead of me. :D I'm pretty sure Abby will go down the slide by herself before Kessa does. lol. Ok, maybe not really. But Abby is definitely far less cautious than Kessa ever has been. Kessa is even coming out of her shell and being more daring. But she still doesn't hold a candle to Abby when it comes to No Fear.
- We still don't have a pressure reducer, but I'm happy to report that we also have no new explosions to report! Hooray! Theoretically the guy is coming out to do it this week, but if it doesn't happen soon, I'm going to start begging neighbors to come help and bribe them with apple pies.
- I think we're going to put a hammock under our deck, if I can figure out how to do it. A stand? Hooks in the deck? Just not sure… But it's the only place that receives consistent shade. Or really, any shade. Except the sides of the house. So, in the back yard anyway. It's just the perfect place. And then I can lay there and read a book while the girls play on all the toys. Perfect!
- I also planted a bunch of flowers out front. On the bottom of the rock garden I put in Asiatic Lilies and African Daisies. They're gonna be so pretty! (I'm pretty sure African Daisies are currently my favorite flower.) I also planted a clematis at the top. It's a vining flower, so it's going to cascade down the rock garden, right on the corner. It's thick green foliage with vibrant purple flowers. It's going to be amazingly gorgeous. I can't wait until it's mature so I can send you pictures. Right now it's just a little weakling. :D
|We got the climbing dome set up late last night! Hooray!|
|My African Daisies and Asiatic Lilies! [squeal!]|
Family updates: Non-kidsI finally got sustained on Sunday! I have one counselor (who was the secretary for the stake primary in the stake we split off from) and a secretary (whom I've never met, but apparently my 1st counselor used to visit teach her and assures me that she'll be great. Seriously? Small world!) My choice for second counselor was interviewed tonight, so hopefully that goes well. I hope to find out tomorrow if she accepted or not. But I've officially been released from YW (and I had to try SO HARD not to cry while I was standing up in sacrament to be sustained. I even had one friend find me after and comment on how she thought I was going to lose it. I'm just going to miss the young women so much. I'm so glad I got to be part of it, if only for a little while. I'll long for that calling again someday). No more mutual. No more meetings. Time to go back to Relief Society. Though, I'm still going to work on my Personal Progress and try to earn a second medallion. Especially as I have no idea where mine is…
BJ's coworkers finally found out about him leaving, so hooray! Neither of us are living lies anymore! He starts working from home on Monday. We've already brought a spare desk down from your dad's office to put in the basement. It's a large corner desk, so that'll be nice. I think we're going to hang BJ's Star Wars mosaics down there, to make him feel nice and nerdy. He thinks I'm putting the hammock just outside his window in order to taunt him. "Haha! You're working while I'm out in a hammock in the shade reading a book!" He then suggested that we get blinds for downstairs. Party pooper.
My dad had some tests done. He hasn't been feeling well lately. They were afraid he had bleeding ulcers again (that's why he had half his stomach removed long ago). But turns out that since his triple bypass he's been producing too much alkaline bile and not enough acid to counteract it. So it just sits in his stomach and has been eating the lining away, so apparently his stomach looks like ground hamburger. Ewww. So they're deciding on if they should do surgery to have the bile just bypass his stomach or if they should try to heal it with more natural means. Keep him and us in your prayers, if you will. I think God pays special attention to missionaries' prayers.
Ellie turned 7 on Saturday. We (my family, Mom and Resa) all went down to the party. It was fun and it was really good to see Bonnie again. She's hanging in there. She's got the picture of you with their family hanging up on the fridge, as promised. It's super cute. :)
Field Trip: The Zoo!
|Kessa riding the carousel. |
I'm pretty sure that's her favorite part of the zoo. :)
Anyway, so we went to the zoo on Friday and stayed there for, I think, 3 hours. We were exhausted by the end. But it was so much fun! Were there in the morning and the animals were so active! We were in the primate house and the gorilla apparently felt threatened, so while we were standing by the window he grabbed a PVC pipe he had in there and ran at the window with it. It was a little scary! I wouldn't want to meet a threatened gorilla in the wild. Poor Audrey, Kessa's friend who is almost 3, jumped back and ended up tangled in someone else's stroller. Then the gorilla just sat there and stared at us for a long, long time. We also had a leopard pacing as close as he could get and snow leopards sleeping really close. The polar bear put on a great show for us. (I got a video, but can't send those to you. Sorry!) A brown bear came right up next to the window when were there, too! Seriously. Morning is the time to go. It was awesome. It'll be even more awesome when our babies stop taking morning naps. They were all quite grumpy by the end. :D But they really did very well for most of it. Abby took her morning nap on the way up there, so that helped a lot. And she was content to stay in her stroller for the first couple of hours! It was great. And then when she got fussy I just put her shoes on and let her walk around, which she thought was the greatest thing ever.
And Kessa, being like her daddy, at one point was way too interested in a little waterfall to look at the monkeys! It reminded me of BJ when he was a kid and went to the zoo and was too interested in sprinklers to pay attention to animals. Haha.
Speaking of animals, we were at a neighbor's house the other day and there was a very friendly cat walking around. All three of us girls loved it. And it was such a nice cat, too. It didn't mind when Abby pet it and pulled its tail. And it cuddled. Now I want it. :)
Family updates: The kids!
Speaking of Abby, she just loves her shoes now. She used to hate them and would cry when we put them on, or wait for us to turn our heads then rip them off. I don't know what changed, but now she'll go find her shoes and bring them to us so we can put them on for her. Today she tried to wear Kessa's shoes for awhile, but got frustrated when she couldn't go from sitting to standing with them on, or when she couldn't walk well with them on. So she went and got hers instead and was content to leave Kessa's alone. She's also really good about saying doggy. And her hair is now long enough that I can do one ponytail on the top of her head! So cute! Kessa couldn't do that until she was over 2 and Abby got it at 15 months! Maybe she's focusing on growing hair instead of height? She's still picky in what she eats. She has to have a specific sippy cup to drink her water. She won't try new things most of the time. Except at dinner. She's really good about eating whatever we put in front of her at dinner. So I guess I need to work on introducing new foods to her then. I wonder if she'd try milk at dinnertime..
|Abby wearing Kessa's shoes|
|Abby adores grabbing Kessa's sun hat |
and wearing it around everywhere. It's adorable.
She loves, loves, loves to play with friends. Especially Izzy next door. I think she would classify Izzy as her best friend. She'll be playing with anyone else and if she gets bored at all she'll ask if she can play with Izzy. She begs to play with her All. Day. Long. It'll be nice to be able to just let them go out back and play whenever. Lately the neighborhood kids have been playing Bad Guy. But Kessa doesn't really love it. Like the other day when she was the bad guy and the good guys tied her up and she cried because it hurt her wrists. Or yesterday when she came up to me and said, "Mommy, they want me to be the monster. But I don't want to be the monster." So we had an empowering conversation where I taught her that if her friends want her to play something that she doesn't want to play, she can just tell them no. So she did. "Sorry guys, but I don't want to be the monster!" And they seemed to be fine with it. Then an hour or two later she came back up. "Mommy, they want to play Bad Guy, but I don't want to play Bad Guy." So I told her that she had choices. She could tell them she didn't want to play, then recommend a different game, or play by herself, or to play Bad Guy with them. So she ran back over and told them, "Sorry guys, but I don't want to play Bad Guy. I just want to play by myself." And then she did. I was very proud of her. But I have to admit, it's really hard being a mom and not stepping in to solve all her problems with her friends. It's hard to see her get pushed around sometimes. It's hard to watch her be mean or push others around. I guess it's just hard to let her grow up. It's hard to not be the main influence in her life all the time. I'm learning, but it's still hard.
Kessa had her Mother's Day program with preschool. Your mom came down for it, too. It was really cute and fun. She was so excited about it all week long. "Mommy, are you so excited to come to my school and listen to me sing?" Awww. I'll put the video on my blog (all but the last 30 seconds because my phone ran out of space) and you can watch it when you get home. (Mama Lovell, Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Sorry I missed the last little bit. We still love you!)
Kessaisms (with a little bit of Abby):
- Abby was playing with a cowbell we have for a game.
Me: Do you have a cowbell?
Kessa: What cow does it go on?
- Abby likes to pretend to pick up something from the floor with her thumb and forefinger, then hand it to me. I pretend to take it. She giggles. Then I hand it back. She giggles. Sometimes it repeats several times. Sometimes she really does find something on the floor. She rarely gets that back. :)
- Kessa: Do you know Mama Homer? … She's my favorite aunt. Mama Lovell is my favorite aunt, too.
- Kessa: Mommy, did you check to see if there were lots of ladybugs to eat the bad bugs?
Me: I didn't see any.
Kessa: That's bad news.
- We got in our hot car and Kessa put her fingers in her nostrils. We asked what she was doing. “I don't want the hot to get in there.”
- Flowers like to climb on trees. (Kessa looking at her fluffy spring dress.)
- Kessa: “unglis” means no in Spanish.
- Kessa, picking up my journal, “Ok, you go do that. I'm going to read this.” Then she plopped herself down into a chair to read.
- BJ was supposed to go get Abby up from her nap, but I kept holding his hands and wouldn't let him go.
BJ: Mommy doesn't really want me to go get Abby up.
Me: [pulled BJ over and kissed him.]
Kessa: Mommy, you're just jealous! You need to let Daddy get Abby.
That last one is probably my favorite. "Mommy, you're just jealous!" Hahaha. I don't know where she comes up with half these things. But they're great.
And now that I'm about to fall asleep at the keyboard… I'm going to bed.
<3 Tianna and Co.