Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Snapshot of My Day

Coming back from California was such a relief - at least until we got inside the front door! The contractor hired by our landlord to do re-modeling work had begun a big project and then left the place in shambles. Plus, our kitties had been bad while we were away. So, our homecoming was a shock to our systems. Our house felt unliveable. It has taken quite awhile to get back on track, but I think we are there now (the contractor hasn't been back to finish the project...).

So, it was the first day of school Monday in our area. My firstborn began High School. My son began his first day with Utah Virtual Academy, an online charter school alternative to regular public school. It is an excellent program but requires many hours of work on my part. So, my Monday went something like this...

Early rising.
Stretching and weight training
Breakfast preparation for husband and daughter.
Kitchen clean up.
Get dressed.
Curry the kitties.
Clean the litterbox.
First load of laundry.
Wake the son.
Breakfast preparation.
Kitchen Clean up.
Start the son on UTVA, Welcome Assembly online
What the heck?! Computer problems, audio not working!
Troubleshoot with Tech Department, takes 1 1/2 hours!
Calm the troubled son.
Problem finally resolved.
Start the son on Orientation videos.
Put on make-up, fix hair.
Watch rest of Orientation videos myself.
Balance mentoring my son with family business phone calls.
Hang 1st load of laundry out to dry.
Begin 2nd load of laundry.
More schooling of son.
More phonecalls.
Before we know it, it is 2 p.m.
Husband comes home for short interim to conduct personal business on phone.
Prepare lunch
Eat lunch.
Clean Kitchen.
Put chicken in oven to roast.
More schooling with son.
Calm his troubled nerves about missing Assembly.
More troubleshooting with Tech/can't log attendance.
More important phone calls.
School is over for the day.
Bring in 1st load of laundry, folded.
Hang out 2nd load.
Begin 3rd.
More running up and downstairs.
Sarah comes home. Tells me all about High School.
Son's friend comes over.
Run an errand.
More important phone calls.
Sit down for first time and do nothing for 15 minutes.
Watch news while preparing supper.
Bring in 2nd load of laundry/hang 3rd.
Hand scrub kitchen floor/scour counters.
Eat supper/family scriptures
Make and pour brownies with daughter/two kinds, one gluten free
Try to convince son to take a walk for PE
Crying session/doesn't like how he looks
Finally leave for walk by myself
Talk to the Lord.
Return home for brownies with children.
Husband comes home.
Feed husband and discuss day.
Take quiet bath.
Bed (10:30).
Forgot to read the scriptures on my own..

Whew! Hope I can keep up the pace today!

What does your day look like?

Make it a good one!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Day in Hollywood

Dear Friends and Visitors,

Hello! and Whew!! We are finally more back to normal after returning from our trip to California to a contractor nightmare. It was awful. I would give you the details about that fiasco, but I am tired of talking about it. So, on to fun stuf...

Before we left for our trip, our family decided to take the motto: "Stay close to the Lord and open to the day," meaning that we would put aside our preconcieved notions about what we thought should happen on the trip and just go with the flo, believing the Lord would bring good things to us. Of course, this was to be a working trip, with us packing up much of my mother-in-law's house and preparing it for sale. But we did take some afternoons for fun.

One of the first places we took the children to visit was Hollywood Blvd, in downtown Hollywood.
This was one of my favorite stomping grounds when I was living out there as a single adult. I love history and in those days I loved the history of Hollywood during the Golden Era of the studio system. However, by the time I got there in the 80's, Hollywood Blvd had deteriorated to a kind of seedy place. I prepared the children for this before we got there. However...
There has been much revitalization done there now that the Oscars are held at the new Kodak Theater right next to the famous Grauman's Chinese. It is jam-packed with tourists, food carts, tour busses, street musicians...
and something else new to me, ordinary citizens all dressed up like famous characters from movies or famous stars (both old and new), there to have you take pictures with them...all for a nice tip of a dollar or more.

This interesting character sidled up to Robert...

Sarah also had her picture taken with this little cutie...

And this little cutie...
While we were on Hollywood Blvd, we saw a man handing out free tickets to the taping of a game show, Family Game Night. Hey, it was free, my favorite price! So, we accepted the tickets, which were for the very next day.

The next day, we arrived for the game show and I kept having this funny feeling that my Sarah was going to sing on it. I know that this makes no sense at all, because why would my Sarah sing on this game show that we had never heard of before, especially because we were to only be audience members, not contestants. However, half-way through the taping, which turned out to be loooooong and boring, the dear MC (God bless that man for having to keep the audience up and happy for 5 hours) opened up the stage, during a set change, for audience members to showcase their talents. Two cute little kids came up to sing funny songs and to dance and everyone clapped. Then, my Sarah raised her hand. She was called up to the stage and sang this song a cappella...

She brought down the entire house! I couldn't believe it.

After the show, the head of sound for the studio, gave us his phone number to call him about her. We haven't done that yet. Life got more complicated in California as we took care of our responsibilities there. But he was interested and Sarah still sings and we will see...


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hello!!! Again!!!

Hello, Friends and Visitors!

Hello! Hello!! I am finally back to blogging after months away and a loooong trip to California to prepare the home of my late mother-in-law for sale.  It was at times fun, often difficult, and a huge experience for our family.  I learned much, which I hope I can carry with me from this point forward.  I will be sharing a lot of the lessons, thoughts and feelings in coming weeks.

One of the our favorite places to go to either cool off or de-stress after a busy day of packing was, of course, the beach.  We went to several that between Mark and I were favorite spots for us during our single days, years ago.  The first beach we visited was in Ventura. 
We came to California during the days of "June Gloom".  It was not very hot and mornings often began with fog or overcast skies, which would then clear by afternoon.

My husband was living near Ventura when we met at a church sponsored dance in the area.  So, Ventura Beach has a lot of memories for us.
Our children loved wading in the surf, even on chillier days.
We loved picking up shells and sea-smoothed rocks.
Generally, we remained until sunset. As soon as the sun sank beyond the sea, we would pack up our belongings and head back to the house.

I am so looking forward to visiting your blogs and sharing more of our trip with you in coming days.

Hello! Hello!! I am so glad to be back.