Ok, so I'm basically doing two weeks here, I guess. We'll see how that goes. :)
General Women's Meeting
Last Saturday was the General Women's meeting. You've probably watched it by now, so you're already aware that it's now for females ages 8 and up. I was interested to see what they'd do to appeal to all the audience and I think they did well. I totally teared up several times, especially when they had the Primary girls stand up and sing "Teach Me to Walk in the Light." And then afterwards I stayed and helped the RS pass out Costco cookies to everyone as they left. Which meant I got to bring a whole bunch home. Which means I ate way too many cookies.
We had our freezer meals group again. This time everyone came (which is rare) and we added two new people. So we had a total of 9! (We've since added one more, so the total is at 10!) Which means I ended up with 10 freezer meals this month. (Because I made two of mine. Bahahaha.) Which is super nice, because I haven't been much in a cooking mood this week. :S It was hard to make 10 meals, I'll be honest. I'm already planning a *much* easier meal next month, when I'll be nearing my due date. Or maybe I should save that one for June so I can still get freezer meals that month, even though I'll have a newborn and won't be in the mood to make anything big. :D
I made it to the temple again! This time I did it during Joy School, so I only had to find a babysitter for Abby, and then BJ could just walk to pick up both girls. That was handy. It also meant I could go later in the morning, which was also very nice. It was a really full session and I ended up sitting on the men's side. That was strange, but interesting. I also never felt overheated or suffocated, which was also very nice. I need to try to make that happen again.
I'm sure I've mentioned that our stake has made a goal to index 1 million names this year, among other goals. Stake conference talked about those goals and our stake president challenged each family to have an FHE teaching our families what indexing was in the next two weeks. So Monday BJ decided to comply. He pulled up a family tree on his computer and pushed it to the TV so we could all see. And then he showed Kessa how a family tree works, and how this person has a mommy and daddy and we know who they are. And this person too! Until he got far enough back that *gasp!* we didn't know this person's mommy and daddy! How sad is that? And we talked a little about baptisms for the dead (which we've talked about before) and asked how we could do baptism for them if we didn't know who they were? So then we went and looked at someone we did know who had sources attached and showed her how we knew that person was the mommy/daddy. But sometimes it's hard to find that information because the computer doesn't know how to read those documents, so we have to help it. Indexing is how we teach the computer to read birth records, etc. So then when someone wants to find a mommy or daddy, they can ask the computer to help find records for that name! Then we found a typed obituary that needed to be indexed and BJ indexed it, with Kessa's help. Where it was typed, she could read it, so he'd point out a name or date and she'd tell him what to type.
It was actually more simplistic than I just made it sound, and Abby mostly ran around, and Kessa only half paid attention, but she did half pay attention and we followed the council of our stake president. And BJ indexed one record! And that's all important, right? :D
We had our second monthly craft night. Is it bad that I got a little burned out on hosting it and it's only the second month? I think it was largely because I wasn't getting any feedback. On anything. Which was frustrating. And then someone else posted an idea for a craft and everyone was like, "Oh! I love that! I want to do it!" and then right afterwards we decided to finish our basement and I realized hosting here would be hard because it would be loud and messy, so I asked the girl who posted that craft idea if she would host, and suddenly everything became less stressful. Hooray! What I learned: I need to delegate more. :D Now the question is if anyone would be willing to volunteer this month... haha.
We didn't do much in the way of April Fools. Kessa had preschool the day before and came home with a card she made. On the front was a flower, but when you open it (the top of the front flap was only 2/3 the height of the card) you discover that the top two petals are really ears of a bunny. And then it said April Fools. Kessa showed it to me, excited to show me her surprise, and I made a big deal about how she tricked me and she thought it was great. So then she had to trick everyone else.
On April Fools day she had Joy School. Her teacher asked me to stay for a little bit and we told the kids that they got to teach us that day. At first they were excited, but we started asking if they had brought treats. One girl said, "Uhhh... no. I forgot." Hah! Another went downstairs to the toys and brought us back toy food. Kessa said, "No, but it's ok! We'll just eat some food from here!" We asked if they made a puppet show for us, so Kessa ran behind a chair and used her hands as puppets. But it was too loud for me to hear what she had to say. We asked if they were going to teach us a song, so one girl loudly sang "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and I tried to sing it after and made a horrible mess of the words. I guess I'm not a good learner. She had to keep singing lines over and over again. And finally one girl (who showed up late) turned to me and was like, "Uhhh... why are you here?" So then we told them April Fools and that we were tricking them. They thought it funny.
That's about all we did that day. But the best prank was discovered Friday night. There was an LDS prank going around the internet that basically announced a new Sunday evening session of conference. If you actually read the article it was easy to tell it was total bunk. But apparently my uncle did not read the article and somehow still heard about it and took it as truth. So he told my parents about it. And he's the kind of guy who doesn't really do April Fools pranks and is a Patriarch, so He Knows Things. So my parents believed him. (Later I questioned my mom, "But wasn't it suspicious that they didn't announce it, y'know, over the pulpit?!") It wasn't until I was talking to her Friday night that it came up in conversation, just in passing. I treated it like a joke and she was treating it seriously, so we were both confused until I finally said, "You know that was an April Fool's Day joke, right?" Oh my goodness. I laughed for probably 10 full minutes. I turned heads in the Walmart parking lot, I was laughing so hard. Maybe it was a "you had to be there moment" but it was one of the best pranks I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of. Even if quite by accident.
So, as BJ mentioned last week, my brother, Damian, is finishing our basement! Hooray! We had gotten some bids and there was no way, financially, we'd ever be able to even start until fall. And that was with the cheapest bid. With Damian we talked to him about it on Thursday and he showed up on Saturday. It was a very spur-of-the-moment decision. But because he's doing it for a lot closer to cost (but we're still paying him, too), he's able to put in more frills and making it look nicer for a lot cheaper. So we're getting things we never even considered putting in with another contractor. It's actually been kind of fun being part of the process, as we end up thinking of ideas along the way. I wish I had better ways to describe things, but I'll definitely send pictures when it's done. Even the framing pictures are hard to tell. We'll end up with two columns separating our family room and game room. And a built in bookshelf in the family room that wraps around a corner. And another in the office/bedroom (though it's a small one). Also in the office/bedroom will be a little nook where we can put a desk. He's going to put a light above it on its own light switch, even. I can just picture Kessa as a teenager sleeping down there and staying up, studying at that desk. Awww.
We're also getting a walk-in game closet! [squeal!] It's gonna be awesome! Also, he's going to build us shelves for our storage room. I can't wait for that part, because currently all my storage is stacked in my family room, which is no fun, sir. I can't believe how many things I've needed to try to dig out of there this past week. The worst, though, was discovering my toilet paper is buried somewhere near the bottom and out of sight... after two of our bathrooms ran out of TP. I ended up just buying more, figuring I'd use the stuff in the storage pile eventually anyway. Oh! And speaking of storage, Damian is also putting in a half door from the garage to the storage room! So when I come home from Costco and have a bunch of stuff for the storage room, I don't have to walk up the stairs in the garage, then back down the stairs to the basement. I can just open the door in the garage and push it straight through to the storage room! So excited! And the part Kessa is most excited for... we're turning under the stairs into a play house! We're even going to paint it to look like a house. It'll be so cool! And then all her friends will want to play here. Haha.
This week he got most of the framing done, but ended up having to go home early, due to his carpet cleaning business unexpectedly picking up while he was out of town. Go figure, right? :) He'll come back sometime mid-week, though, and hopefully finish framing and get started on other stuff (electrical, plumbing, heating/air, internet, etc.) so we can get our first inspection done soon. After that he'll put up sheetrock and get another inspection, and then it's mudding and taping (to get the texture on the walls/ceiling) and painting and doors. And bathroom stuff. But then I think it's probably done at that point! So exciting!
So I know you're super sad right now because you want to be our interior designer and you're like, "Wait! I'm supposed to be making these decisions!" so I'll get your input now. I'm thinking for the house under the stairs I want to paint it a darker medium blue, with white trim around windows and door. There're a few houses around here like that and I'm in love with the look of it. What color do you think I should paint the living area? (We're going to have to figure out what to call that room...) Keep in mind that downstairs is going to be the fun room. We're going to move the TV, Wii, etc. downstairs. The toys and games will all go downstairs. I plan on decorating with fun things. Rubix cubes and blacksmith puzzles on shelves. HOMER written in large scrabble tiles. That kind of thing. So what color do I do for the wall? The living area and game room are largely the same room. At least, there is no door between them. But they are definitively separate. There are half walls and a column on either side, leaving a walkway between them. Do I paint them the same? Or two different colors? Damian is trying to convince me to do wainscoting on the bottom half, but I told him to wait to convince until we're closer to that point and I can see better what it'll look like. I just don't have a designer eye.
So he came down rather swiftly, right? That meant I had to get everything out of the basement swiftly. Thankfully where most of it is storage, it's in boxes. But over two years you collect a lot of random stuff that's simply, "Oh, go put it in the basement." So not everything was in boxes. So I spent almost a full day just boxing and stacking everything. Then I posted on my neighborhood Facebook group, asking for help moving the boxes upstairs. 30 minutes later the stake RS president and her 5 girls showed up and had 90% of my basement stacked in my family room in about 20 minutes. It was insanity. I feel so blessed to know them. I hope I teach my kids to be charitable and serving like that. It meant so much to me.
I feel like there was something else I was going to tell you about the basement, but I can't think of it. So... sorry.
The Board Alumni Week
So my life was crazy this week, with the basement and craft night and everything. So of course that would be the week they did our second annual 100 Hour Board alumni week. I still found time to do a lot of writing for it, though. I managed to write 62 answers! Holy cow! No wonder I was so ready to go back to retirement when I was done. To be fair, there were a lot more questions asked than normal, since the readers knew that it was alumni week. It was fun, but I'll be happy to wait till next year to come out of retirement again. :D
So, conference was this weekend! Hooray! Saturday we stayed at home. Your mom was at Grandma Goddard's all day, and Resa was at Disneyland, so we just stayed home. We downloaded a Conference Bingo app that was anxiously anticipated (like, Kessa wouldn't go to sleep she was so excited, and then woke up WAY too early to see it) but didn't hold her attention long. We also had 4 bowls of treats (M&Ms, Jelly Bellies, white cheddar popcorn, and pretzels) labeled with topics (family, scriptures, prophet, Jesus). Every time the topic was mentioned, they could eat one of the treats. It was... a half success. We mostly told Kessa when we heard one of the topics and she soon learned that every talk ended mentioning Jesus, so she'd catch those. But Abby was mad that she couldn't just eat all of it Right Now and ended up going down for an early nap. Kessa ended up putting beads on string and making a bracelet for her friend. But that was probably the best part, because she was sitting still and not having to think about her craft too much. So she'd catch parts of the talk and pipe up with, "Mommy! He just said X!" Which made my heart proud.
I worked on crafts, too. I just do better when my hands are moving. I also am much better at staying awake that way. In the morning session I took a bunch of shabby flowers I bought, trimmed off the mesh they were sewn to, glued on felt circles I cut out, and glued on alligator clips, and BAM! The girls now have 18 new flower clips. (Or rather, 9 sets of two.) Afternoon session I figured out how to crochet with tulle and made BJ a new scrubber for dishes. He really likes those, but so far all of ours have been given to us. But they get gunky after awhile (even when we wash them in the dishwasher regularly to disinfect), so it's nice that I know I can whip one out in an hour or less. Hooray! Then for the rest of the sessions I worked on a baby blanket for baby boy! I like the way it's turning out, but at about a half hour per row, it's going to take me a looooooong time to finish. Hopefully before he's old enough to care. :D
Saturday night BJ was going to go up with the boys to do the priesthood thing, but I was going to take the girls out to have fun. And then it occurred to us that we only have one car. So last minute we made the decision to sleep at your parents' overnight. So we frantically packed, then I dropped him off at the church and drove to your parents' house. We chatted for awhile with your mom and Grandma Goddard, then went to leave to go to Arctic Circle for dinner, where the girls could play on the play place. But... my car battery was dead. So your mom jumped it for me. Then we drove to Arctic Circle, but I seriously considered turning back and ordering pizza in, because all my lights were flickering and it was acting like it was on its last breath of battery. I got there, parked, then couldn't even open the doors automatically because the battery was so dead. Yipes. But we ate and played and had fun and I prayed that the car would start and run long enough for us to get home. No dice. Luckily your mom was at grandma's, which is just around the corner, so she came over to jump me again. Except the parking is diagonal and the only space I could get next to me was on the wrong side and put my battery WAY to far away. So we tried to put it in neutral and have your mom push, but my van was just too big. Priesthood had just gotten out, so we had the boys stop by. Meanwhile the people in the car on the other side of me came out and offered to help, so she backed up her car and we started to jump it. Before we even finished getting it connected, one of the Bro. Van Den Burghe's (sp?) showed up and helped. And then another guy. And then our boys showed up. It was quite the affair. Hah! We realized quickly, though, that the battery was definitely on its last leg. So I drove back home, and everyone went on their merry way. But when the boys got home, Nick and BJ went to AutoZone (who knew they were open until 11 pm on a Saturday night?!) and bought a new battery. So now my car works again! Hooray!
Today we watched conference at your parents' place, which was fun as always. Hard to concentrate with kids, but we also probably got more out of it because there were more people to distract the kids. :D So much I could say about the various talks and messages, but I'm running out of time! So just go watch it and learn for yourself. :D
- Overheard via monitor when Abby was supposed to be napping: "I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry you bonked your head." Imagination already!
- Me: Kessa, we need to hurry!
Kessa: Okaaaay motherrrr.
- Kessa pretended to go to ballet today. She came back and told me that she learned to make kisses out of love. First, you give them a big. Then you kiss them. Then she demonstrated on me.
- Among the things I shouldn't have to say, but do on a regular basis:
“No, Abby. Yogurt is not soap! Let's go wash your hands and change clothes…”
- Abby: What does a binkie say?
BJ: I don't know; what does a binkie say?
Abby: Rah, rrrah, rrrrrrraaaaaah. Woof, woof.
- And on a similar vein, "What does Abby say?" "I wuv you!"
- I made a strawberry banana smoothie today. In requesting seconds Abby declared it to be “as good as Smokies!” (Specifically, Lil Smokies which we've had for breakfast a few times lately and she seems quite fond of.)
- Kessa: “Daddy, you already have your phone. It’s right there. This is my phone. It reminds me of you, even though it’s old and doesn’t have any batteries.”
- Kessa: Mommy, did you know this is Real. Life?
- Kessa: look at all those birds in the ski. Maybe they're going to a meeting together. Oh dear. That's weird.
- Kessa took the wrong bag at school so we had to turn around and go back.
Kessa: This is so weird! First, we drove home. Second, we came home. Third, we drove our car home. Fourth, we turned around. Fifth, we're going to drive home! This is so weird! This is not a true story. Like, in a book. This is not a story in a book.
Pictures—not inserted into the text, and in a rather random order, because you're online and I'm in a hurry. :)
|Kessa thought the noise was REALLY loud downstairs. To be fair, it was.|
|Framing looking from the living area back to the bedroom/office|
|10 spaghetti casseroles, halfway through!|
|Kessa likes me doing her hair fun ways lately. Here she requested a butterfly. I have ideas to improve it next time.|
|This was based on something I saw on Pinterest. A way to keep the headband in place.|
|Storage in my family room! We had to move the small sofa so all this would fit.|
|My contractor, hard at work.|
|Abby with her boyfriends (while I was at the temple)|
|Damian was dropping goldfish into Abby's mouth|
|A lot of wood. Damian carried it all himself to this point. BJ and I helped haul it in through the window when it started to rain that evening.|
|Abby trying to lick food off her elbow. Hilarious.|
|Kessa learning about indexing.|
|Google+ told me I had a new auto-awesome photo uploaded. Or something like that. I opened it to find this. Cracked Me Up. Thanks google, for being totally random!|
|All but two of the flower clips I put together! (Note: I didn't make the flowers.) Missing: mint green|
|The dish scrubby|
|What I got done on the baby blanket. The pattern will repeat itself. Thoughts?|
|Jax tried to go home with us tonight, but Kessa needed her seat back.|
<3 Tianna and Co.