Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Time for Change

Life goes on. Things change. Time to move on!

Well Jennifer has been away now for about 3 weeks. It is different with her gone. We even took a leaf out of the kitchen table. The refrigerator accumulates leftovers without her here eating them for lunch or after school snacks. It is just weird. But we are so happy for her to be out on her own and getting into college life. So glad that she was able to add the drawing class that she wanted, has fun roommates, and is having fun. I enjoy getting a text from her now and then, and so glad that I can see pictures of her posted on facebook. I had a great time being 19, and hope that she will too. I know she is in the right place.
So it is time to get settled in again. We are switching bedrooms. Jessica and Jennifer had the big room upstairs, so Jessica is going to switch with Melissa and Rachel downstairs so they can have the extra space. In preparation for the switch, we finally got the girls to agree on a paint color and spent time last week painting. There was no school on the 19th so we bought paint, pushed all of Jessica's and the remnants of Jennifer's stuff to the center of the room (and out into the hall) and got to work. Jessica, Melissa, Rachel and I painted the walls Navajo White. Then I rag rolled it with Glorious Gold. My body was sore for a day, but well worth it 'cuz the girls like it. It is very bright in there!

Jessica has been in limbo for these weeks. First feeling lonely in that big room, and getting to look across to the clutter of the Jennifer remains. Then during the painting, she slept one night on Rachel's top bunk, then the next night in the living room on the couch (she said the bunk mattress was horrible), then the next night she dragged her mattress down to the floor in the girls room, where she has been now for the rest of the week. We went to pick out carpet at Home Depot yesterday, and now will wait for the measuring, and installing. Hopefully we won't have to schedule out too far so we can settle in again. It will be good to get rid of the ugly blue stuff in their room. It is very old, worn, and filthy. We didn't bother covering it when we painted, and laughed when we saw blue paint on it from when we painted 11 years ago when we moved in- saying we'd get new carpet, but never did get around to it. It is a big room - 18' X 18' and the pricing of carpet reflects that! Jessica has been a good sport in all this. My goal is to get her settled in someplace soon. Do you think we'll have it all done by the time Jennifer comes home in July?

On another note, a couple of weeks ago, Kevin wasn't feeling so good. He complained about his leg hurting because of a big zit. When he got a fever and chills and came home from school sick, I questioned him more and connected the two. We got him into the doctor on Monday the 12th, and sure enough he had an infection. The Dr. put him on some aggressive antibiotics and had him stay home from school. The next day when we went back in, the Dr was happy to see the infection had gotten smaller- it was now only the size of her fist! I was shocked to hear that it was that huge- the redness was only a fraction of that size. No wonder he was in pain. She OK'd him to go back to Winter Percussion practice if he took it easy, and offered to write him a note to get out of anything he wanted. He did go to school to take a test, and prepare for finals. When we went back on Friday the 16th for another check the infection had shrunk way down and he was cleared for normal life again. It was a little scary when we thought about it, and how it was a similar infection to the one he got when he was in 3rd grade, which resulted in a bone infection, hospital stay and surgery. (It always hits very close to home when I hear the story of Joseph Smith and his bone infection and operation.) Anyway, I am so thankful for modern medicine, and a doctor that knows what to do.

Jessica's ballroom dance class had a Dance Showcase last week. She performed the Tango, Waltz, Cha-cha, Charleston, and Swing. Her partner's didn't show up, so she found another partner and practiced in the side wings between numbers. Thier teacher died over Christmas break, so they did it with out her, and dedicated it to her. Here is a clip of one of her dances she did. She is in the polk-a-dot dress.

One more bit of information: I get an email feed from LDS living and they had asked for people to send in their favorite soup recipes. Well I sent in my favorite- Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup. I got an email back saying it was selected, and today I found in my mailbox the the Jan/Feb issue that they sent me free. On page 93 you can find my recipe with my name! (Well actually I got it and adapted it from!)

Well, that is it for now. The kids all just got back from a stake fireside.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Season is Now Officially Over

Well, the snow really mixed things up around here! School was closed for a week, concerts canceled, church cancelled for 2 weeks, and schedules where almost non existent.

Now with the snow melted, and school back in session, things are getting back to normal.
I got all the Christmas stuff packed away and in the attic- all except the nativity set from outside, and the snowman my folks brought up. Unfortunately after the snow thawed the ground was extra wet and mushy. A section of the fence just tipped over - cement on the post included! This was the fence section that the Nativity was set up in front of and the fence fell right on top of it! It was covered! It is now a little squished and bent up and in the garage sitting in a mess waiting for my attention.

January 7th was the Westview High School Winter Concert. It was a great concert, always my favorite of the year. Jessica and Kevin sang beautifully (I know this because I'm their mother and can pick out their voices from the group.)

Enjoy these songs from the concert:

Now that the concert has been performed, and the decorations are put away, I feel that the holiday is complete and officially over.

The Transition into 2009!

Wow, another year has gone and it is now 2009! Things keep moving on.

We had a very nice Christmas. It was a little different this year, I'm not so sure why though. It could have been the snow, or it could have been that our family is now mostly made up of teenagers. So it was quiet and nice. We got up at 6am, and enjoyed giving gifts to each other and lounging around. Jennifer got a camera (so she could document her time at BYU-I), Kevin got a computer game called the Orange Box, Jessica got an ipod, Melissa got the British version of Harry Potter (although she had to wait until yesterday when it finally got here), Rachel got an Nintendo DS, Dad got a new computer chair, and I got Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.

We had a big breakfast, and ate leftovers from our Christmas Eve Dinner (so sad that the Wiseman's didn't make it, but we enjoyed eating their portions!)

Before sending Jennifer off to college we had to get some family photos taken. So on the 30th we met Sarah Kang at Pacific University in Forest Grove. It was cold, but we survived by sitting on plastic bags, and kicking snow out of the way. Here a picture that she has given us for a sneak peak:

New Years eve was also quiet. Jennifer was busy packing up, Kevin went to a friends house, Jessica went to the tri-stake dance, and Brian and I went to some friends home for some soup then stayed up late playing Life with Rachel while Melissa read a book. We cheered in the new year with poppers, then headed to bed.

New Years Day, the kids loaded up the suburban and Brian and I headed off to Idaho with Jennifer. We made it to Boise at about 8pm and were able to go to the last minutes of a Kinney get together at Deanna's home. We then met up with Dave, Jennifer, Jessica, and Aurthur Wiseman and went to Lynne's house for the night. Jessica W. and Jennifer L. had a fun time seeing each other and talking college stuff. On the 2nd we headed towards BYU-Idaho. We stayed in Idaho Falls, and the Wiseman's went on to Rexburg. On the 3rd we got to BYU Idaho and Jennifer did all the Freshman get connected stuff. We hauled all her stuff into her dorm. Her dorm door faces out to Jessica W's dorm room. We did a couple of shopping trips to get her all settled in. We met one of her roommates: Venessa Carulla who was also moving in. Their other two roommates weren't there, but are both freshmen that started in the Fall.
We went to the parent/new student Luau that evening. Then we said our goodbyes, and headed off to our hotel in Idaho Falls.
Her address:
Jennifer Leete
Barnes Hall
Rexburg, Idaho 83460 0033

It was cold in Idaho!!!! The next morning it was Zero degrees. Our water bottle froze solid in the car. We had some car trouble - one of the rear brakes was sticking. But to find a place to fix it in Idaho Falls on a Sunday wasn't easy. The first place that we found open, said they couldn't get the brake drum off- and if they did it would mean it was broken, and because it was Sunday they wouldn't be able to get the parts they needed. We made an appointment for 12:30 the next day. So to spend the day, we went to the temple visitor center. The Sr. Missionaries were very happy to tour us around and we watched a 2 hour movie about Joseph Smith that was very good. After that the missionaries had lots of ideas of where we could go to get the car fixed up so we could get on the road home. We ended up at Sears at the mall. We had to wander around a while killing time until our 2:00 appointment. We ate some lunch, and found a couch in the mall to rest on (Brian snoozed). The car was fixed in a jiffy, and only cost us $19.99! A spring had gotten loose and was sideways. They put it back in place and we were off!!!! So we made it to Lynne's at 8pm and had a yummy dinner. Deanna called later to ask me to if I would teach an art lesson in her class the next day- since the roads were closed because of an incoming snow STORM! Brian was up early the next morning monitoring the road conditions on the internet. As soon as they opened we took off and were on the road at about 2pm. Lynne made sure we were properly equipped for the storm with candle, newspapers, blanket, water, and snacks. The roads were pretty snowy- only one lane open most of the time. We saw one car upside down on the side of the road, and a truck that had jackknifed in the middle section. We went slower after that. But we made it safely home before 11pm and it was great to see our kids again! They did well on their own, getting to church and to school on Monday.
It is so good to be home. We miss Jennifer, but know she is in the right place.