Saturday, July 31, 2010

The End Of Summer

It has been an "interesting" Summer. Nothing I wanted to do really came to reality. We knew it would be difficult with Nathan playing football ALL Summer long, except for 7 total days. That means we were up at 5:15 (I'm up at 3...but I had to hurry, hurry exercise and run), off to school at 5:30, back home to quickly get my daily work started, leave at 8:30 to get him, and make any stops on the way home, before the Phoenix Oven heated. As it is, we got NO vacation (except for the quick birthday trip Up on Sunday Back on Monday Las Vegas Trip), no camping, no cool weather (except for the last two days...upper 90's is heaven in July!). I ended up getting him No Sports Physical...which means I get to take him to some poor soul after I pick him up from football practice for that...Oh, the smell!!! Kayty was having a hard time with her diabetes, so I am up every few hours all night, every night, checking on her...and that also meant no getting away at all. Also, Kayty had car trouble that led to her engine freezing up, so the entire Summer was spent seeking a car she could afford (Hooray for son Ethan who loaned her is jeep for work, and for son Doran and his wife Danyel, who over and over took her looking, and finally found a car last week!).

And then, there's me. It's been so hot, but there is no excuse for the fact that I haven't even started my Christmas ornaments...I had the pattern last November. I even had a little wood, though I still don't have enough. I just have lost my umph to do it. Then, I have added chicken care and pool brushing to my repertoire daily, so more to do in less time. I have driven and driven. I didn't re-do the pantry shelf I wanted to re-do. And then, I had a shocker: the dental appointment I thought would be a cake cleaning ended up being a "you need a wisdom tooth pulled" one, and that has taken way longer to get over than I ever imagined! I am still in pain, and still having some issues, though the pain is not so severe I cannot relieve it with Ibuprofen. It's just I cannot eat without constantly thinking about what I eat and where it is in my mouth, and if I have to swish with salt water much more, I think I'll puke.

One positive: I have been working on my bread baking skills. I make a loaf every week now, and it even looked almost normal! I even have worked on cinnamon rolls, though that is still a work in progress. I have worked on my Christmas Stocking project for a future grandchild. I have read the Book of Mormon (almost done with time number 4). I have tried many new recipes and have worked on a meal plan, but I never take pics or record the recipes...

So, Nathan starts back to school on Monday. It will be a break for him: he gets to sleep in till 6:30. I will be driving 2 to 3 hours a day, till the time we break down and get Nate a license. Summer is gone for the Rices. Not much fun, but I guess we survived...

Only good thing: Fall is just around the corner, and I LOVE Fall!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

A friend shared this with me this morning. I sat, and listened, and often do I carry a grievance, anger, offense...for something much less serious and life altering than this dear man has endured...and yet he forgave. What a lesson to me about how important it is to truly follow the example of Christ: to forgive all.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Political First

 We watch politics, and study the candidates before making any decision, but this was the first time we actually got off our keesters to listen to them, and it was so worth the swim. (A rare monsoon rainstorm hit one hour prior to this get a the bottom of the Thunderbird Hills...It was nice and cool, though very humid. Rain was falling, water was rushing, I am sure many people could not get there due to street flooding, but we were within two miles, so we had no excuse but to go)

We had the chance to listen to the candidates for U.S. Congress (John Shadegg, our current congressman, is retiring). We had already studied the weekend before and had selected Pamela Gorman as the one that, we felt, best represented our ideals and our thoughts for the future of our nation as a whole, and we were fortunate that she made the journey across town in rain and flooding to get there.
 We also heard from other candidates for national and state offices. To actually hear them, to understand their understanding of the issues, was so helpful. Plus, this get together was a celebration of sorts, for the right for citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit had been legislatively restored. I am so thankful that we did this, and I encourage all to take a chance to go and listen. The people we heard were not slick like some of our presidential candidates have been. They were REAL, and that meant a lot.Thanks goes to Senator Jack Harper, who now is running for our state legislature, for pushing this legislation, and for putting this event together.

Even if our selected candidates are not successful in the primary election, I do know that there are good people, with good ideals, running for office. In the present situation we face, that seems totally refreshing!!

How About Hanging This In His Crib?


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Friday, July 23, 2010

A Thought..

Ever had a really bad night, little sleep, a crummy morning, bad traffic, work just doesn't go right...on and on and on...Well, I think I have a solution: play giggling baby sounds... You know you just can't help but smile too.

I am recovering from a very trying wisdom tooth extraction yesterday. It is difficult to discern whether the pain I am experiencing comes from the actual tooth removal (came apart and had to be cut out in small pieces) or the myriad of Novocaine injections he had to give me to finally get me numb...I lost track at 9! Anyway, I had a not so good night, only did half of my exercising, ran-but rethought my decision at the halfway point, but decided I couldn't just live on the street-I had to come home), a ton of work outside this morning (not my regular stuff, but stuff others should have done, but didn't - cleaning out pizza oven, gathering pizza oven fuel, and then loading it so I can light it up this afternoon for our dinner guests - brushing the pool - feeding the poultry - cleaning out the dog's baby pool of roof runoff and mud - yes, we had RAIN yesterday!!! - cleaning up blown palm fronds in the yard, and now facing a ton of work inside...I sat down to eat my regular breakfast apple (cut in many small pieces) and look at a few blogs and my email. I got to - Three Cheers For Babies- one of my favorites, and decided to take a moment and play the video. My oh my...Did my day change, just from listening to the sweet sounds of pure joy and happiness...and laughter. I am gonna finish this post, and get back to vacuuming, dusting, mopping and laundry, but instead of thinking pain, I have a smile...well, sort of a smile. I do look like a lopsided chipmunk (don't remember dear dentist telling me about ice) and it hurts to smile too big, but I can and will make it.

Maybe, just maybe, we should play this in airports, in grocery lines, at the Motor Vehicle Division...just to give us all a chance to stop...and giggle...and smile.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baking Wednesday

Today ended up being a baking day, and, since one of my goals for 2010 was to bake better bread, I ended up baking a loaf of whole wheat bread, and a batch of whole wheat cinnamon rolls. I got my recipe here. I just love this site...they have awesome tutorials and that sweet young thing doing the demonstrating is just so real, so approachable! Now, my bread taste is good, but today's loaf was, let's just say, misshapen on the bottom. I guess that is where practice comes in. And, it still does taste good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Dad...Happy Papa

We have the best Dad around! I have repeatedly said how he can do just about everything. He makes, he repairs, he designs, he cleans up, he paints, he...well, I think you get the picture. Fathers' Day gets hard to celebrate, for, when you get a little older, you don't need as much as you once did (though he will NEVER turn down a tool!), and when you need something, and you can afford and justify it, you get it. So, in our house, we celebrated with morning foot rubs, food, rest and relaxation, visits and phone calls. He ate fajitas for dinner

Doran and Danyel came by later and gave him the most gorgeous purple tie...
He was texted by Ethan as he traveled to...I think it was Wichita, Kansas...

And he talked to his sweet son...and his daughter on the phone. And, that sweet daughter gave him another gift...she had a desire...and our Dad/Papa is nothing but thrilled when help is needed...He kinda reminds me of Underdog...You remember, when he would say, "When _______'s in trouble, I am not slow. It's hip hip hip and away I go!"

And so, Dad/Papa did go. He had a student desk that belonged to our dear Grampa Ethan. He and Nathan filled the holes and sanded and readied it, and got it in the car to transport to Vegas (no small feat in a Crown Vic). He also saw that she had no bicycle, so he spent days piecing together one that would work AND not be too much a loss if someone did "decide they wanted it more". He patched and cleaned and oiled, and then put it guessed it, the Crown Vic trunk. He was so happy he did it. Disappointment set in when, upon arrival, he saw one tire was not holding air, but, thanks to Mike, and Adam's sure help, that one was taken care of. And, to make the experience even better, he got to show Adam how he fixes a bicycle.

It was such a treasured time for him...helping and teaching. What a Dad! What a Papa! And what great kids and grandkids to give him just the gifts he LOVES to get.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday To ME!

You would think that someone who shares a birthday with the signing of the US Declaration of Independence, and who has the nation celebrate with fireworks, would be really in to having a big party to celebrate her 50th birthday...yep, you might think that, but that's not my thing. I do parties for those who want parties, but I have never ever liked that kind of attention. So, this year, in order to accomplish my desire, I celebrated quietly, both at home-the night before....AND, in a land far, far away, with my favorite little people... You guessed...I birthdayed in Las Vegas! Mind you, though, I certainly am not what the Las Vegas Tourism Board wants: no gambling, no hotels, no shows, no dinners out - we only spent 33 bucks for gas to replace the stuff we used coming up). My Vegas is full of bright smiles, bike rides, books and songs, WII games, and hugs and kisses. Certainly, for me, the best part!

Saturday afternoon was filled with cryptic phone calls and sneaking. Kayty was the first to come home from work, and she "gifted" me with...
I do love the knee high nylon...and there is a spray bottle for Dirty Old Man Repellant! Too cute...and matches the one she got dad 3 years ago.

More cryptic phone calls...then Ethan and Cameo came over. Wondering ceased when I opened this: My Very Own Ipod Nano! I can hike...and no more cheapies for me! I get "the real McCoy" and Kayty spent the evening loading it! The visiting that lasted for hours was even better than the wonderful gifts. I just love watching my kids together now that they are all adult/almost adult. They are just so great together and to each other. They would do ANYTHING for their brother/sister. Sure makes all those arguments that six kids had in a 15 passenger van way worth it, for they have learned to love and serve one another. What more could a Mom want? ('cept for a few more grandbabies) ;)

On Sunday, we set out on our journey across the desert. I drove for half the trip because Dee had a dance to play late the night before. We got there just as they returned from church (knew I would NEVER be able to get them out the door so I could actually go to Church with them!) I was greeted in typical Wilkins' Birthday fashion (after hugging and kissing, and reading the wonderful card Adam had made): a great birthday sign on the door...
and red and blue streamers adorning the walls! Such fun. Mommy and Grace made special star cupcakes, and the family decorated them with cream cheese frosting and wonderful sprinkles.
After Daddy grilled a yummy dinner, we enjoyed a great fireworks show that he put on.

Then, we went inside for singing, blowing out candles, and eating yummy treats!

Gracie said it best last year, and, this year, I totally concur: "This is the best birthday EVER!"