Sunday, March 2, 2014

Week of February 24-March 2, 2014

This was a week full of Defining Moments…

Monday: "Scope Creep" defined according to Wikipedia as "Iproject management refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful." 

Yep…sure is!

I started out, after my run, to pull a few weeds in the front yard. 

Few, meaning over 286.

I find it makes whatever I do easier if I count what I am doing. 

Dee came out to the backyard. I greeted him with my little bucket of 286+ weeds. 

I dumped them in the trashcan, along with a few dried leaves that had blown into a corner of the yard. 

I went inside. Then, I heard…the blower!

Out in the front yard, Dee had strapped on that blower and was blowing…every stinking leaf, paper, and needle that had accumulated in our desert landscape for the last umpteen years into the driveway. 

He asked me to get the rake. 

I raked…and bucketed, and hauled, and raked and bagged, and hauled and raked

Take a look at that scope creep definition…the part that reads "…It is generally considered harmful."

My back agrees. 

The cure: Ghiardelli Dark Chocolate Chips (normally only a nighttime treat…but they became medicinal today. 

Scope Creep again: treat to treatment!

Neighborhood Quarterly Pick Up means that everyone dumps their stuff that is too big for the trash can or that they are too lazy to take to the dump in a pile in front of their house. This quarterly activity is the true definition of ''one man's trash is another man's treasure." We have found pretty good stuff: lawn mowers, wood that has later become Christmas ornaments, even a tether ball pole that is in my grandkids backyard. We always look for wood to be used later for pizza oven and smoker firing up. We poured our sore bodies in the jeep and took a ride. As we went, I notice a crane at the Phoenix Temple Site. Well, Moroni is already on the spire, so we had to stop. 

(It came but would not upload! grrrrrr....)

Above this, hopefully, is a picture of the first stained glass window for the tower. It took them an hour to just get in out of the crate…and we arrived just in time to see it come out. We had no cell phones. We had no camera. However, we were right by Dave Simonson, a dear disabled man in our ward who happens to be a gifted photographer, who has been taking photos of the entire process. He said he would email us one. 

Scope Creep Note: The Phoenix Temple is using the agave as a theme in its design and decor. When we toured the Gilbert Temple, they said the agave was used as a theme in that temple. 


Dee asked. They got the plant part…we get the flower part. There is a design in the pre-cast concrete facia of the temple that is the agave stalk and blossoms (though many mistake it for a stalk of wheat.) That first stained glass window we saw had that stalk and blossoms. It looked beautiful!

Later, Dee talked to John Scott. He had a question about Nate's truck. (I recall two years ago that we stopped, on the way home from the Mesa Arizona Temple where Nathan had received his endowment, in our church clothing, and Nate worked on some truck part in John Scott's garage.)

The conversation quickly veered to Pinewood Derby and Grandsons. ( I recall 23 years ago, as I was in a hospital after giving birth to Kayty, Dee being on the phone with John Scott about Pinewood Derby and Sons.)

Scope Creep.

Meanwhile, I took the moments available and put all the receipts on our spreadsheet budget. Boy, did we spend on the gas in February! 

More Chocolate Chip Treatment is necessary. 

Too Many Vegetables in the Fridge (because Dee loves to shop, but doesn't love to put the groceries away) + too many snow peas (because Dee loves to plant seeds in the garden but doesn't realize he can't eat all that stuff) + day old rice + Hoisin Sauce = Ham Fried Rice

Scope Creep Warning!!!

I just remembered that Allison wanted the recipe for Ed's Beans. Nathan is the only person in possession of that recipe. It sits framed on a shelf…in Dad's Office (the one being re-re-purposed back to Nate's bedroom) It would be wrong to steal it from Nate's bedroom, but not so wrong to get it out of Dad's office…

So here is the recipe:

Ed's Beans (To Nathan, with love, Ed, Sept. 2004)

Fry 1 1/2 lbs. bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Slice 2 large onions (can be omitted, since onions could kill Dee) into 1/8" slices. Place in bowl moistened with bacon grease, cover, and microwave until almost brown. 

Drain 3 cans of pork and beans and set the beans aside. Place the bean liquid in a pan and simmer to reduce to a thicker sauce.

Combine 1 1/2 Tablespoons prepared mustard, 1 Tablespoon barbecue sauce, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and a dash of vinegar, and 3 Tablespoons Ketchup (1 Tablespoon Ketchup per can of beans) and add to reduced bean liquid. Stir to combine. 

Add set aside beans and heat through. 

Break bacon into bite sized pieces and add to beans. Then add cooked onions. 

Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Phew! I need more chocolate chip therapy. I am not a good thief…


It was a -tion kind of day.

suffix forming nouns
1. indicating state, condition, action, process, or result

I ran this morning. I made it all three miles, stopping only briefly to see if I could see that new window in the temple. 

Still too dark.

Made it in record time too. (I think I had too much chocolate chip treatment yesterday. It's back to a treat today.)

So, sadly, it was a dark chocolate chip reduction kind of day. 

I brushed the pool, something I have neglected for a few months. It's dark and cold when the pool runs. And no self respecting algae should grow when the water is so frigid…

And it hadn't. Until we had that huge windy day last week. And with our lack of Precipitation, there is a ton of dust (my furniture is all to aware of that!) 

Green is my favorite color…unless it is all over the sides and steps of the pool. I brushed. I dug out debris from the skimmer. I brushed. 

Then off to the garden…to harvest our overproduction.

I promise you that by the end of the season, I won't want to even be near anything that resembles a snow pea. :P

Harvested tons of snow peas, a few tomatoes, and some romaine. 

I started the four loaves of whole wheat bread in my Bosch…makes bread preparation soooo easy!

While it was kneading, I went to clean up our room and get dressed. 

Surprise! Dee had made up the bed, for which I expressed loads of appreciation!

I made up a plate of garden goodies and a note to a lady I visit teach, expressing my most sincere…apologization (not a word, but I have a theme to keep up!)

As sisters in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are assigned sisters, to visit, to care for, to help, to be a friend to. All of us. I am a visiting teacher, and I have two visiting teachers.

My visiting teaching companion has been ill…blood pressure troubles, so she can't go with me. I can only go every other week. And because of Dee's special work assignment, I never have the car. Or I rarely do, anyway. Makes it impossible to go. But, I am dropping off vegetables to Vivian. I have to see what I can come up with for Yvonne and Amanda.

Dee has taken these two days off work; they are referred to as vacation days. However, since his body is suffering the effect of yard work exhaustion, he worked with a buyer in Penang, Indonesia late last night, and now he is at his desk … a meeting online. 

For dinner, it was a celebration…of National Clam Chowder Day. I made homemade clam chowder. I was going to take a picture of it, except while I was picking some tomatoes, my husband ate the bacon decoration…and without the bacon bits, it just looked like a bowl of cream.

a·lone  (ə-lōn′)
1. Being apart from others; solitary.
2. Being without anyone or anything else; only.
3. Considered separately from all others of the same class.
4. Being without equal; unique.

I liked it when I further looked at the synonyms

 Alone emphasizes being apart from others but does not necessarily imply unhappiness: "I am never less alone, than when I am alone" (James Howell).

I think Allison and Amber understand what I mean. Alone, when you have husband and children, is precious, precious time. And when it doesn't involve a toiled and a locked door, that makes it even more precious.

Dee had a special event at work (meaning he leaves very early and doesn't get home till after 5, and spends the evening muttering about work and traffic).
Kayty had to open Jos. A. Bank Men's Clothing Store.

Which meant: I was ALONE! 

Imagine me doing a happy dance. 

Not that I am some hermit, but being alone means: 

The dishes you wash, the counters you wipe, the floors you vacuum and mop, the laundry you do…

All stays done!


You can:

Put leather conditioner on all the furniture

Make homemade meatballs and then madly look up and re-create the recipe I posted on this blog years ago that my Joshy loves

Dust everything

Make a spot for Nathan's folded laundry

Move Kaylee's food to the playroom shelf

Pull weeds (oh…sadly…weeds do NOT respect 'alone')

Upload and order all my photos from Walgreens (even got them picked up!)

Repair/Replace pergola light hooks and re-hang strings of lights (though I still haven't discerned why 2 strings stopped working. Next task)

Make "Welcome Home" signs for Elder Rice

Alone did not last for long. But, we worked on the yard. We watched 'Duck Dynasty'. 

Some things are not as good alone. 


It's been a real verb kind of day.

verb  (vûrb)
1. Abbr. V or vb.
a. The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.
b. Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, as be, run, or conceive.

Jogged (all three miles), brushed (pool), picked (peas), awakened (sleepy husband - with a smile), vacuumed (rugs), laundered (Nathan's sheets and comforter, pillow covers too), listened (no opinions, just listened), hauled (#10 cans of popcorn to storage area), tossed (old grammy day candy), emptied and filled (referring to the former Grammy Day box that now holds lots of cables and wire for electronic stuff), visited (with Nano, who came for a visit), shopped (for fresh mozzarella), I caprised (what one does when one slices the fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil and assembles a Caprise salad), pruned (the Ghost Pepper plant), Sunbeamed (made new sunbeam faces/hats for nursery singing time), chatted (Jessica came by to prep for Nate's coming home), searched (for Bondo hardener), fetched (popsicle sticks, extension cord), washed (dishes), swept floors. Then, I read and slept. 

My flowerbed full of irises and daffodils

It was a "C" kind of day:


  [kuhn-glom-uh-rey-shuhn, kuhng-] Show IPA
a cohering mass; cluster.
a heterogeneous combination: a conglomeration of ideas.

I cooked chorizo and eggs for Dee's breakfast…a favorite of his. Chorizo is truly a conglomeration of stuff I don't even want to know about. Nathan love the Chorizo at the Food City at 59th Avenue and Peoria. He loved their recipe. It will be kinda sad to let him know that they closed the store awhile ago.


  [kuhn-kloo-zhuhn]  Show IPA
the end or close; final part.
a result, issue, or outcome; settlement or arrangement: Therestitution payment was one of the conclusions of the negotiations.
3.      a reasoned deduction or inference.

I finished the last poster to welcome Nathan home and hung it in the front living room window. No, there is no cute Pinterest kind of 15 foot tie hanging out front welcoming home, but hey, this is Phoenix…not Mesa, not Utah. We just don't have that kind of time, here in 'outer darkness'. I checked out his room, and it's pretty 'de-officed'. Just a box or two to take out. I even put a couple of chocolates on his pillow. The helium tank, along with Kayty and Jessica's posters were put in the living room. Kaylee's outfit was delivered. And I even checked to make sure his plane had taken off from Korea.  

Yep. Missionary Return Prep has reached a conclusion. 

Kayty had been hounded by Gold's Gym for some payment, which she had tried many time to clear up. She used her prior adverse experiences at Party City (all those unsatisfied customers yelling at her over paper plates, etc.) and straightened them out! I heard yelling…and very firm talking. Her situation was brought to a happy conclusion, with only $3.59 required to settle everything. 

Dee's effort for Kayty's pinewood derby car for the Stake Young adult Race came to a conclusion. Here it is...

My visiting teaching came to a flaky conclusion. I would have had the car today, and had I known, I could have made visiting teaching appointments. I did get to run some tomatoes and snow peas to their houses…and I even briefly said hello to each of them.


  [kleen]  Show IPA
adjective, clean·er, clean·est.
free from dirt; unsoiled; unstained: She bathed and put on a cleandress.
free from foreign or extraneous matter: clean sand.
habitually free of dirt: Cats are considered clean animals.

Clean was an ongoing thing today. My shelves are currently clean, i.e. free from dust. I helped Dee wipe parts of the Jeep interior clean. I cleaned the bathroom after Kayty messed it up. 


 [chek]  Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to restrain; hold in restraint or controlThey built a high wall to check the tides.
to cause a reduction, as in rate or intensity; diminish: The new measures checked the 
rapidity with which the epidemic was spreading.
to investigate or verify as to correctness: She checked the copy against the original.
to make an inquiry into, search through, etc.: We checked the files,but the letter was missing.

I spent my evening checking flight status for Nathan's plane. I am a stalker like that. He is on his way…nearer to home. I remember the day he flew to Korea. I watched as that plane tracked further…and further…and further away. I was so thankful he was going…but that distance was hard. It's hard having my oldest baby four hours away. It's hard having baby number 4 over 12 hours away. It was a bit heart wrenching having my youngest baby so far away, though I knew he was in the Lord's care…and that he was safe. 

I checked my clock…it's my bedtime.


Missionary n.: Someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others can be with their families for eternity.

It was a wonderfully long night…better than Christmas Eve before your BEST Christmas ever. I did sleep. Dad did not. Morgan, Brett, Braydonn, and Brigham arrived in the middle of the night. It sprinkled…but stopped long enough for me to jog. (I needed that!) I still held back…The weather in the Mid West is cold and snowy and I knew there was no guarantee. 

Really, after this long…I just wanted him home safe! 

Dad ran to Wickenburg, after someone finally responded to Dad's Craigslist request for 1960 Ford Truck Parts…to help the missionary's truck more drivable. 

He came back, unloaded, and then ran to the grocery store…our house occupancy has increased exponentially! Chicken, an onion, and a gallon of milk. 

All of a sudden...after watching the internet progress forever...we all headed out.
Cousins Braydonn, Brett, and Brigham Moore

Jessica, Kayty, and Nate's customized truck a la sister
Jeep achieved 275000 miles on the way to the airport

Jessica drove: Kayty, Brett, Braydonn, Brigham, helium tank -purchased loooong ago- and red, white,and blue balloons.
Doran and Amber drove: Kelsie, Kooper, and Uncle Morgan
Dee and Suzzy drove alone: we were the designated chariot for the missionary and belongings. We are to call the stake president at luggage pick up and take him right to the church to be interviewed and released.

When we arrived, we were able to park near each other...and we commenced to inflating all those balloons. Thank goodness Kayty and Jessica had Party City experience...and that the TSA knew nothing of a tank full of helium in the parking garage!

We were met at the airport by Nano and Grandma Dorrie, Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee, and Aunt Marina.

And joined via Facebook with our wonderful Wilkins family. 
Sweet Sam's Welcome to Uncle Nathan. Months ago, I purchased three onesies, one for Kaylee, and one each for the new nephews...all saying "My Uncle Is The Best"

All made by our sweet Wilkins family. Adam even researched the Korean .

The plane was delayed...and delayed...and delayed...

Then, he must have been the final person off the plane...

At least it seemed that way.

And I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

 We got his luggage, called the stake president, President Martin, and headed to his office. Since it had been raining...first time in months...some family had to check their homes for flooding, but those who could went to the Stake Center.

President Martin visited alone with Elder Rice...and then released him as a full time missionary. He asked if we had any questions...and then told Nathan to go ahead and hug his sweetheart, for missionary "arm's length" was complete. Nathan could "unlock his heart".

 We went to a nearby Asian market and shopped for a few Korean foods, and then Nathan cooked his favorite meal for all of us. I don't know what it was called, but it was very, very good.

He had a game he brought home to share with the family too. 

Just so you know, I had written an awesome post when there was finally enough internet power (not sure of the word) to let my computer work, but for some reason, the save didn't save…and I just don't have it in me to recreate because I am still really exhausted. 

So… on this day…
We attended the dedication of the Gilbert Arizona Temple at our stake center where it was broadcast by satellite. 
It was an inspiring event, and it was wonderful to have so many people greet Nathan and welcome him home.

Nathan met the oldest of the newest nephews...oldest by a little over 12 hours...Kooper...

We had pizza.

We celebrated Christmas ... late...

I had the camera, so the picture wasn't captured...but Nathan gave me a large print Korean Triple Combination (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price...because I love the Book of Mormon), with his Korean...and a photo of he and his final companion...and a drawing of all my missionaries...a treasure I will cherish forever!

I fell asleep that night...late...with the sounds of cousins awake and chattering in the family room. Earlier in the evening, our dear friend, Jeff Smith, whose son is serving a mission in Pennsylvania, called and asked how it was. I told him that as Dee and I chatted earlier that evening, I had told him it was all I dreamed it would be...and more...

Now...the adjustment week begins...a week of creating a New Normal.

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