Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grape Vine

We accidentally bought a house on April Fool's Day.

We had been casually looking at houses as a favor to my cousin who just got her Realtor license. We were her practice, mostly because I was convinced that we weren't ready to buy a house. But Justin saw a house on the hotsheet and said we needed to look at it. We went up and looked at it that night, I was unsuccessful in my attempt to find reasons not to buy it. While we were leaving, Our Realtor got a call from the seller's agent.

There were two offers already on the house, and if we wanted to be considered we would have to have a final best offer in by 1 the next day (which happened to be April 1). We went at 9 AM and got the qualification letter for a loan, then wrote an offer that was what we could afford instead of what would win in a bidding war. Thinking, at least this was good practice, and we would now be ready to buy a house when one came along. We submitted our offer at 12:30. At 2:30 we found out that they accepted our offer.

We were under contract less then 24 hours after seeing the house.

There have been so many blessings along the way, and I took some convincing that we should actually follow through with it, but it was made clear to me that this was one of those times where I had to trust the Lord's Timeline. It is just opposite than my usual trial of trusting--I didn't even know I wanted this blessing, but it is time for it and the Lord wants us to trust him and do what we need to do to receive it.

I hate the idea of leaving our ward. I hate the idea of leaving our elementary school. I hate the idea of packing and moving.

I love the idea of having this house for our family. I love the idea of putting roots down. I love the idea of watching my family grow and fill this house with love and light. And throwing parties in the back yard in the covered RV Pad.

There is a front room. You can see the dining room table from the front door, but it is through a doorway. The kitchen is not tiny but not huge, but it had an appliance cabinet on the counter with outlets in it! There is a family room four steps down from the dining room. There is a fully fenced back yard. Two bedrooms, a bathroom and cold storage area in the basement, and a master suit, two bedrooms and a bathroom a few steps up from the front room. The neighborhood is lovely, with two ways to get to it, one you drive by some "ponds" and a botanical research center, and the other by a giant orchard. (My minnesotan heart loves that fact). My utah heart loves the fact that we still see pretty mountains from our street.

We are hoping all continues to go well, and we will move May 10th.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

He Hears the Prayers of the Children

On March 20th at 11:15 I threw some rotten leaves from the tomato patch in the dumpster, and I looked for my ring, because I always do that since if I lost my ring in the dumpster it would be gone forever. My ring wasn't on my finger! So I threw Simeon in the dumpster. He moved some stuff around, and then I pulled him out. Then I got a poll, and moved some stuff around again. I did not see my ring in there. So I looked in the tomato patch and the grass around it. I said a prayer.

I have decided that the reason every child has a story about how they said a prayer and found what they needed is because children don't understand the magnitude of the situation, so they don't have panic and the thought of 10 and half years, and irreplaceable, and nicest-thing-you-will-ever-own crowding out the spirit. So I tried to get Simeon to say a prayer and have him find it. He wouldn't.

I spent the next three hours looking for my ring--working backwards from the dumpster.

Then we went to get Reuben. I threw him in the dumpster and we emptied it into the other dumpster. Then he and I crawled through the yard. Then he came in and looked in the house. Then we went to the park which was the last place Jana saw me with it, and then we went to Culver's because who can resist Culver's when they are really sad and frustrated and Justin is gone (he was in Idaho on production). We went through the drive thru, when we got home and I leaned over to get the drink tray I remembered that last night after weight watchers I leaned over to get my water bottle and my ring slipped and I pushed it back on with my thumb cause my hands were full, and I thought, "I could put my ring on the straw to carry it to the house." So, I know I had it last night at 8. I checked my water bottle, just in case I did do that silly thing I thought. I didn't, but I wish I had cause the water bottle was exactly where I put it last night.

Its gone and I'm really sad.
And now for the rest of the story:
Justin got home around midnight on friday, and Saturday Morning I had to go to the General Women's Conference Rehearsal. Justin and Reuben looked while I was gone. and then Justin and I looked for two hours more when I got home. Then the family went to see frozen with Justin's work (they made it snow in the theater!) Then that night I cleaned under our bed (thinking it might have fallen while I was asleep). The bed was up on it's side so I vacuumed and listened for a clink clink. no luck but under the bed is really clean now.
Sunday, we went to church. When Sister Passey introduced music time, she said "oh wait," and then told the kids about how I lost my ring, and how she thought that if they prayed that I would find it that I would be able to find it. I cried. The thought didn't even cross my mind to ask for that kind of help from the kids. They were all so concerned and agreed to do it. Then I asked the senior primary and told them that I appreciated Sister Passey, but knew I needed to show my faith and ask them for help. 
The primary president's husband (Brett) has some metal detectors, and had offered to come over and help. She and I made plans to do it this afternoon while Justin and He made plans to do it Wednesday night. Then the wives and husbands met in the hallway and the wives won. They came over at 3:40. With their two boys and on of the neighbors. The boys were going to use the lowest grade metal detector. I was showing everyone were I had been in the yard that day. And the boys were ready so they turned on, and I was leading Tyler over to where there wouldn't be as many sprinkler heads and poles. Brett followed to go get the fancier metal detectors. and he stopped, bent over, and said, "Here it is." He is kind of joker, and Reuben and I had crawled around on that part of the yard twice already. But when I turned around he was holding my ring!
I know it was a miracle of faith.  I know because I needed the faith of my loved ones (all those primary kids...and all my friends on facebook). Brett says that he was expecting to find it down in the roots of the grass, because that is were jewelry falls too, especially with all of the crawling around we did, and it really was just laying on the top of the grass which was not expected. I know that Heavenly Father was using my weakness (difficulty trusting and having faith and asking for help from others) to not only teach me a lesson but to also teach the children in our ward an important lesson. This is what I wrote to send to the kids.

Dear primary children,

Thank you for your prayers and faith! Brother and Sister Thompson, with their boys and Jack P, came over with metal detectors.  I showed them where I was when I think I lost it. Brother Thompson didn't even get to turn on the fancy metal detector, he saw my ring laying in the grass and said "here it is." I had looked and looked but I needed help from my friends and from Heavenly Father.

I want you to know that it is a blessing that we found it. Heavenly Father hears our prayers. We need to have faith that he will grant us the blessings that will be best for us. We also need to trust in His timing. I think  I wasn't able to find it so that I could learn that I need to rely on faith and the faith of my loved ones (you). Your prayers and faith and brother Thompson's sharp eye were the tools that Heavenly Father used to show me how much he loves me. I know He loves you as much as he loves me and will answer your prayers.

Thank you for your faith, it is a great example to me!

Sister Cook

Friday, March 21, 2014

The day I lost my ring

So that I remember what I was doing that day because I still haven't found my ring. Sorry, this is where I know I won't loose it.

Last remember ring: Pushing it back on after grabbing my water bottle while getting out of the car from a trip to weight watchers. I thought I could slide it off unto the straw of the water, but didn't. Justin thinks he saw it when I was going to bed.

Slept. Woke up grabbed my phone from the second drawer of my dresser. Both boys came to my bed. We took a instagram photo. My ring finger is just out of frame. Boys got dressed without help from me. I went to the downstairs bathroom. I made Reuben's lunch. A pb and Honey sandwich. all of which were out on the counter. a baggie of baby carrots (I checked in the carrot bag). a cookie. I took Reuben to school. I may have looked in the shoe closet for Simeons shoes. Drove the van, dropped reuben off and came back home.

Looked for the preschool writing pad. white bookshelf downstairs, and the boys bookshelf in their room. and a few boxes on the shelf in the office. found it on the shelf by the door. got bananagrams and flashcards out for preschool from game closet. answered door for preschool. We did circle time. Then played letter games. I threw stuff in the toy baskets under the tv. I was over by the piano and green table and by the white couch. I made microwave pop corn for the snack. got it out of a box in the pantry. added some craisins to the the pop corn from the cupboard above the dish rack. carried it out to the boys. I sat on white couch while boys ate. We went out side. I walked around the street side of the house. The boys played and I sat in the chair on the back porch. I walked up to talk to someone by the street. Then ran in the house to get the boys drawings from the green table and back out. walked back from street to gardens strip.

pulled out a tomato plant, got the dirt off the roots, then put that in the pile. gathered some matted leaves in my left hand. went over to the pile of tomato plants and picked the up with my right hand. walked over to the dumpster. Threw grotty leaves in dumpster checked for ring-discovered it wasn't there. put pile on right hand down outside of the dumpster. threw simeon in the dumpster. moved bags and stuff to other dumpster.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Reuben's Birthday

It feels like we had a month for Reuben turning eight. His actual birthday filled with a chocolate bundt cake, and a really cool rock collection. His birthday party with friends. Let me tell you, that 8 8 and almost 8 year old boys is a whole lot more than what I was expecting.

Don't let the Christmas tree fool you. These are birthday pictures.

My baby Reuben. That infant, who just skipped new born, has always been growing too fast. He's always been more capable than I expected him to be. He is a great kid.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reuben is the luckiest thing to ever happen to us.

Today I sat in the hallway after church, and waited for Reuben while he had an interview with the Bishop. (The leader of our congregation.) They talked about being baptized, which Reuben has decided to do. I just can't believe that my baby is turning eight!

Reuben is a great kid. I genuinely like him. He is smart, always astounding us with with understanding, memory, ability, and comprehension. He is an avid reader. He downs books and stories and enjoys it. We have a daily mantra when I drop him off at school. I say, "You are..." he answers "Smart." I say, "You are..." He answers "Nice." I say, "You are..." he answers "Important." I say, "You will..." and he completes the sentence with a new goal for the day. Sometimes it is "eat lunch." But most of the time it is "don't give up." or "try hard." While we didn't make this up on our own, it helps him, and me remember how great he is.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. Couldn't fall asleep. Couldn't stay asleep. And I realized in 2006 on the night of January 11th, I was doing the same thing--not sleeping. I was nervously awaiting the arrival of the blessing that is Reuben.Sitting in that horrible bed, in that hospital room, while my husband slept on a cot.

Little did I know the blessing that he would be. He is kind. He is patient. He is loyal. He is perceptive. He makes our family better. He is strong. And, while he is no longer the out going little New Yorker who would talk to anyone like they were his best friend, he still has a great love for his fellow men.

Color: Green
Animal: Lion
Game: Skip Bo Jr.
Movie: Despicable Me
Season: Summer
Fruit: Nectarine
Vegetable: Broccoli
Food: Pizza

He wants to be a scientist when he grows up and share a lab with Simeon, but before they do that they are going to be in a band together.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013