Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I LOVE to Organize!

I did it again...I started just cleaning and ended up...well, it WAS needed. You see, we have our family first aid kit (I never wanted medicine cabinets in the bathrooms...six kids, four of whom are boys...just seemed like a recipe for a disaster, or memorization of Poison Control phone number) in our pantry. I watched a presentation years ago at Relief Society Homemaking Meeting in Glendale 4th Ward (see, a looooonnnngg time ago!)during which part of their preparedness was their first aid kit in a nice Plano tackle box. I was fascinated and did my best to imitate it, albeit on a smaller scale. It worked for years, until the box broke. We got another box a few years ago at a yard sale, and the latch broke almost immediately. So, we have had this box that you have to lift the whole thing out of the pantry, and it is mixed up (Nathan simply CANNOT put a used bandaid wrapper in the trash! He must make a next of empties in the first aid kit!) So, I decided to rememdy that. Having not been able to locate a fishing box in umpteen yard sales, and since my boys' stocking gift from me last Christmas was a new box for each of them, complete with the start of fillings, I got us a fantastic box. Plus, I got a smaller box for Kayty's diabetic stuff (glucagon needle, needles, insulin, test strips, keto test strips, etc.) I labeled the contents (Nathan...look at the labels, please!) and now it is just a dream! I sure wish I could find a job as an organizer...That would be a dream come true!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Enemy!

Why do I do it? Why do I let the ironing build up? It's not as if I iron a lot of things...I only iron Dee's shirts that he wears to work. That's five per week. So, what happened. I looked at the back of the pantry door (ironing waiting area) and there were SEVEN shirts there! That's right...SEVEN! I just spent the last hour starching and ironing them. They look great, the pantry door is MUCH lighter, and I can feel like I did SOMETHING today! (I am a hopeless OCD organizer. I began by purchasing a few more rubbermaid containers after dropping Kayty at college. Then, I knew that, putting our special pulled pork rub into one of those containers, I would need more of that rub, so I stopped at Smart and Final on the way to the freeway...wouldn't you know it...out of black pepper and dry mustard! So, back in the car, on home. I began putting things away, putting stuff in the container...oops, that shelf looks like it needs some new shelf liner and a label. So, new shelf liner, label Dee's sushi shelf, the shelf with thermometers -don't know why, though, in case something happens and anyone else cannot rouse me to consiousness to find a candy thermometer - and then the Kitchenaid Accessories shelf...oops, some of those accessories are dusty, so I wash, dry and re-line that shelf. Then, I labeled the canning accessories shelf - and ran out of shelf liner. What to do, what to do? I NEED to finish vacuuming, but I could just run to WalMart Neighborhood Market...30 minutes and a trip to WalMart and Fry's, I return home with the milk Nathan complained about being out of - I am not a milk drinker, so someone has to tell me!- but no shelf liner. So, wash shelves, organize the vitamins shelf, fix up the first aid kit - adding medicines that do not need to be readily available on the vitamin shelf...and, well, I did get most of the vacuuming done. And Dee's shirts...all seven of them...look and smell just wonderful. I need to leave in 30 minutes to get Kayty, cut up the chicken and bell peppers for Chicken Creole (Fat Tuesday, don't you know, so we "celebrate" Mardi Gras with a Louisiana Dish). I have run and done a lot, but does it look like it?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lemonade Anyone?

The tough economy just never seems to let up. First, we are informed that Dee's plant will close in the next two years. we make the best of this time and begin to search for alternatives. Then, no raises...this is tough, for we only have had one raise in the last five years...but then, okay. We can tighten our belts... Smaller meals, no more clothes, crafts, etc. Then, the phone call this morning...and more good news. It seems now that, on top of all this, we now are required to take one week per quarter off without pay. So, no raise, and less annual pay. Our DJ business is virtually non-existant for the first time in 30 years...and real estate, well that goes unsaid. So, maybe some prayer and fasting is in order to see what the Lord wants us to do. Here, we thought, at this point in our lives, we would be saving for our missions, but now we will be fortunate to just get to retirement in 20 or so years. Now, I know I should not complain. We have the great blessing of warnings by our prophets, President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson. So, we have no debt, other than the house. We drive old cars, but Dee can repair them, thank goodness! We have a years' supply of basics, and a three month's supply of food. Kayty's medicine only amounts to about $100.00 a month, which is nothing to complain about!! And we all are healthy, which is a tremendous blessing. So, life is now giving us a lot of we have to find out how to make our lemonade!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Our Week...What a Boring One!

Another week gone by. I never felt so boring! But, with all our family and how large it is getting, I guess boring is good!

Dee spent another week going over engineering drawings, and attending meetings for his Honeywell project. I asked him "About how many meetings do you go to..." Before I could finish, he said "Four a day!" Wow...lots to discuss, I guess. He also met with India once this week. We got new tires for the jeep, ate a wonderful dinner out at Shanes Rib Shack (thank you Brother Humphreys...worlds best home teacher!!), got some good stuff at yard sales on Saturday (including a new food processor for me - Cuisinart for $13.00...mine wouldn't grate)He also spent a lot of time in the garden: picking snow peas, collards, and planting tomatoes, squash, basil, and I don't even remember what else. He also spent a lot of time spraying weeds...1 1/4 acre of land = 1 1/4 acre of weeds. We trimmed trees, hauled branches, and cleaned up a lot. We are still investigating solar power and water heating...good prices, good grants, and will save us a lot.

Suzzy drove kids as usual. It's not bad...I really schedule my trips so I can shop when I go...Food City on Tuesday, Trader Joes and Smart and Final on Friday, Frys and Albertsons as I drive by and need to. I got to hike twice on Monday...once in the morning (punishment for eating all those M&M's at Dorrie's Valentine Dinner) and once later with Dee. I hiked Wednesday with our ward hiking group (Liz and I this week). I finished hemming all the curtains in the guest/playroom, and am now looking for a small bookshelf to put the kids books on (so they can be used by my grandbabies)

Kayty had a good week at school. Her first solo performance before judges was on Friday. She did well and learned so much from the experience. Her other classes and school are going well too. She was asked to be a member of Phi Theta Cappa at school, so we will attend that ceremony next week. Work is good, though she isn't getting as many hours as she needs. She has decided to drive more, save more, and get her driver's license (has to pay her own insurance, so that is a challenge).

Nathan had a busy week. School went well...he is on the track team as well as training for football. We have been getting LOADS of college aps lately for him. We found out why...he did well on the PSAT test...needs to work a little more on his writing skills, but that we knew...he is a man of few words!!! Speech team is working with his schedule, so that is good. He will be going to the state tournament wth his speech...lots of work to prep for that!Also, quick note...first date on Saturday night...a friend from school went to a Saturday Night Dance (took us forever to find her house, to find the dance...the dance was crummy...and so it wasn't the best date ever, but at least the ice is broken!!)

Well, that's all...we eat, we sleep, we wake, we drive.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My lunchtime treat is reading as I eat my favorite salad (lettuce, cauliflower, balsamic vinegar), and I just finished this book...and it has totally changed me. (Now, I have tried to act on my findings only for a day, but I can tell my hubby is wondering what is going on!!!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How Does He Do It?

I stand amazed, often, at how much our Heavenly Father blesses us. No matter what we do, no matter how many times we try - and then fall short, He is always there to help us, lift us, and give us those things that would make us happy. I just got to spend the two most glorious days with two of those blessings: my little grandbabies Adam and Grace. They were here for a wedding, and though they had to endure car trouble, plan changes, and all the little things that accompany those challenges, we shared the most wonderful times. While Mike and Allison attended the wedding, we played in the yard, picked snow peas, swang, played tetherball, raced hot wheels, fed My Little Ponies, played volleyball, decorated sugar cookies, picked fruit for Nano, yoyo-ed, rode bikes and cars, played life sized Jenga, and just had the most wonderful time! And, last night, never did exhausted feel so good! Thank you, Heavenly Father, for sending these special spirits to the Wilkins home for us to love and share!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Sweetheart

I was reading a blog yesterday. They were talking about relationships and marriage. They said to write down one thing that you would never change about your spouse, and one thing that you would change. I have been thinking of that ever since. The hardest thing, is to narrow down to just one thing I wouldn't change about Dee. I thought as I sat in the car last night waiting for Kayty to get off work. I thought this morning as I ran. Still there is not just one thing that I would never change...there are so many!
First, he has such personal integrity. He is the most honest person that I know. I know beyond any doubt that he would never lie to me. I know he always IS where he says he IS. I know he is always DOING what he says he is doing. I know that, no matter where he is in the world, and no matter who is is, or isn't with, I can trust him. That means just the world to me, and I would never change that.
Next, he is close to the Lord. I see him on his knees, both morning and night, praying. It is so very comforting to know that he is always seeking the guidance of our Heavenly Father. I know he honors his priesthood and strives to be worthy at all times to exercise that priesthood. That I would also never change.
Then, he is such a hard worker. I know my kids don't realize ALL that he has had to do, all that he has sacrificed, just so they could play baseball, dance, go on trips, do scouting, play an instrument, have a job... He is always coming up with a way to do things better, cheaper, and faster, and while he does this, it usually causes him to work many many hours, just to facilitate that. We have so much, and it is because of his hard work and sacrifice that we have had a lifestyle, in a wonderful neighborhood, that we, on paper, could NEVER afford!
There are so many more things about him that I just could not ever change about him...but that would make this posting rather long. And...the one thing I would change...maybe the dental floss that just doesn't always get to the bathroom trash ... but, there again, it is comforting to have it there, to know that he is home, not away.
To my sweetheart...Thank you for all you are, and for much, much more. I love you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Not Just the Big Things

I know that, sometimes, we all feel we are not important to anyone. And yet, we are ALWAYS important to our Heavenly Father. He is always aware of us and our needs, and I had this magnified to me, just a few moments ago. Dee had a small key ring, with keys to his tool boxes and to the gun safe (the only key to the gun safe!), and it had been missing for months. We had looked, we had prayed, we had looked again, only to not be able to locate them. It was getting ridiculous, and Dee spent some time last night trying to find the gun safe company so he could possibly get another key. Bad news...looks like the company is out of business. What to do? Nothing much was said, but the thoughts of drilling out the present locks on the tool boxes was daunting, but a near possibility.

Switch to this morning. I am dusting the sewing room door jam. I do this every Monday. Nothing different. Only, this time, I look over at a house that I had tole painted years ago. It hangs at the end of my sewing cabinet. It only has one peg on it...and on that peg was a small key ring. I called Dee..."Does the missing key ring have a broken key on it?" He happily replied "yes". The keys are found. And I know, without a doubt, that Heavenly Father was aware of our need, and answered our prayers. Now, I know that this is minor, and, again, insignificant to some, but even the smallest need we have is important to the Lord...We are IMPORTANT to the Lord. He is Always there for us, and he often shows us in small ways. I am so thankful for this knowledge!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Where We Are

I was visiting my sister, Sharynn, with my mom last Sunday, so I missed the weekend update. Now, mind you, I may not do this every week anyway. If it begins to sound monotonous, I will not bore you... So, here is where we are...

Dee: Still working at Honeywell, and that is good. They are "re-grouping" the engineering department, which is what they usually do before they "reduce". (We have been with AiResearch/Garrett/AlliedSignal/Honeywell for 30 years, except for 10 months when he was laid off, so we know the pattern.) We will know more in the next 2 to 6 weeks. It is not a terrible worry to us. We KNOW we need to find something else, and maybe this will "inspire" us, but we want to make sure we have health insurance for Kayty, etc. He is on ANOTHER big project, so that has kept him busy, plus he still meets with India two nights a week. He further progressed on the outdoor kitchen and worked on planting more in the garden...tomatoes. We are harvesting tons of snow peas...we are trying to eat some for dinner tonight. And, of course, we have tons of collards and swiss chard! Truck engine progress is slow...the block he had will require too much money to get to work right, so he is still on the hunt.

Suzzy: Great to go to Utah and see Sharynn, Rollin, all the kids, the Draper Temple open house, Camilla's baptism, lots of family at the party after, and be with Becca before she left to teach pre-school in China for the next 5 months. Decided for sure that, though Utah is beautiful in the Summer, the Winter there is not for me...snow and muck and yuck! This week was spent driving, as usual, cleaning, reading (I am on the last Harry this thing intense for the ENTIRE book?)I am also making curtains for the playroom. They are plaid, so I have had to work hard to make sure each half matches the other, but it is working out. Worked on weeds, but the poison didn't get em, so next week, MORE POISON.

Kayty: Turned from kid to adult this week. Had a great 18th birthday party on Tuesday with Taco Soup, candy, cake, and wonderful friends. They played on the playground, talked, ate, talked, played "Life-sized Jenga", ate, talked and just had a good time. She had a good week in her choirs...finally found a pianist for her private voice lesson, and likes to sing in French! She worked three or four days at Party City and didn't bring home too much junk (what does an 18 year old need with a woopie cushion?) She even babysat on Saturday night right after work...wore her out totally!!

Nathan: Busy week, as usual. Day goes like this: Seminary, school, speech team practice, weight lifting, home, eat, homework, bed. He had a speech tournament yesterday. His coach decided that his speech needed to compete in a different class, so he had to rewrite, make visual aids, and then memorize all over again...and in just a few days. He didn't do as well as he wanted, but I thought it was great to just get through all that! He really likes his conditioning workouts for football. HE has a great coach. He has a regular job as a captain with the sheriff's department, but he comes before school, after school, etc. to help them. He even goes to extra activities like their speech tournaments, etc. Didn't get much done on his truck (working on that ol' speech), but enjoyed a great mountain bike ride with Doran and Morgan on Friday after school.

Well, that's it. It's raining here now, a rarity, so just enjoying the beauty of wet. Looking forward to the best thing this week: Grandbabies are coming!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our Newest Adult!

Eighteen years ago was on a Sunday...I went into the hospital to have my labor induced, and our family was blessed with a wonderful surprise (surprise, I say, because after one daughter, and then three sons, we just thought we were going to be 'boy' people) Our blessing...Katelyn Michelle Naomi Rice...Kayty! She has always been the queen of our home...she rules with an iron fist, and since she was tiny, she could keep all of us, including three older brothers, and one younger brother, in line. Kayty is just an amazing person. She loves to sing and play the piano. She loves movies. She loves volcanoes. She loves skulls. She loves "The Little Mermaid". She loves pirates. Her favorites are: anything black or hot pink, downloading i tunes, buying piano music from, snickers bars, gummy bears, and taco soup. Her annoyances: beef, touching raw meat (she will cook it, as long as you put it in the pan for her), pastel colors, people singing off key, people slurping their food - poor Nathan receives the brunt of this dislike, girly girly things, and taking her blood glucose - sorry Dr. Holland! She is simply amazing. Today, she wore a tiara to college...always a princess, and very proud! For her first official adult thing, I called her birthday in to a radio station we listen to this morning. We didn't get to hear her name, but when they drew the name for the birthday prize, who do you think they guessed it...Kayty Rice. As an adult, she can now win prizes! Thanks Kayty, for bringing fun and joy and music and song and laughter and always keeping us guessing!Our family absolutely would not be the same without you!

Finally Me!

Dee travels...not as much as he used to, but when he traveled, he would make sure to see what Church sites were in the area. So, he has seen the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith's home, and been to temples in Chicago, Palmyra, and I put these pics on my entry wall...My entry is kind of my "temple" place. There are pics of Dee and I, and Allison and Mike on our wedding days, Ethan and Doran and Doran on their missions, and our visits as a family to temples...but none of just me! Now, that sounds extremely petty, and it really is, but I wanted one of just me by a temple.
So, when my Mom and I visited Utah last weekend for my niece Camilla's baptism, my sister arranged for us to tour the brand new Draper temple that is having an open house. It was lovely, but it was dark and cold (TRUE cold is something I had not experienced before this)so, no pics. Sharynn offered to take me before the baptism...but it was too cold for me. No pic was worth freezing.
So, it seemed my quest to make it to "the wall" would not be. That is, until my sweet brother in law, Rollin, on the way to the airport, drove me, and then my sister took pics of me, in front of the Draper Temple, AND the Jordan River Temple, AND the Oquirrh Mountain Temple (sorry about the spelling, Utah least I didn't spell it like my Mom thought it should be...OKRA) What a sweet thing to do, and we still made it to the airport on time.

Thanks Rollin and Sharynn for helping me add to the wall, for letting us intrude on your family, and for being the great wonderful people you are!!!