Monday, March 2, 2015

It is March!

We have been looking forward to March 2015 for quite some time. My sister, Courtlin, returns from her mission! Her year and a half long service has been a great example to the boys and us, and it has been so sweet to hear my boys pray for her and ask about her, and write her letters. It has not been sweet not to see her for a year and a half. We did go long spans of time not seeing family while living in New York, but this has been the longest.

The other reason is WE ARE HAVING A BABY THIS MONTH! It is hard to believe that it is really happening. I've been worried about him, and paying attention to his kicking, and going to the doctor, and praying for him, but for some reason he isn't really real yet. Could be if he is real the worry would overwhelm me, or it's just connected to the fact that I hate anticipation and really try to avoid it at all costs (even if it is something I have desperately been wanting.) We are ready for him to come, except we can't find the Ergo. I packed it somewhere really smart during the move, and since we had little hope of pregnancy, I wasn't thinking we would need to find it easily. But, the clothes are washed and ready to be folded, the bed is set up, and the car seat is clean. I just need to buy some diapers and we are set (except that ergo)! It may be Justin's job to keep looking for the Ergo, while he has some paternity leave.

I am also getting a crown this month. I know, exciting stuff. I broke a tooth in December eating a Candy Cane Jo Jo--a chocolate covered oreo-like cookie from Trader Joe's with candy cane chunks on the chocolate and in the cream filling. I hate to waste money on stupid stuff like teeth--I'd much rather just have healthy teeth, but that is the way the cookie crumbled.

Our stake is doing a musical production called, Lamb of God. It is a musical production about the last week of Christ's life. I will admit that I think it misses a few important things, like any thing based on the book is sure to do, it has been fun to work on. The whole family is involved, me in the choir with baby in belly, and the boys in the children's choir. Justin is singing the role of John the beloved. (He sounds great, and all the ladies that know he is my husband tell me every week how much they love his voice.) We have been working on it for weeks now, and look forward to having our sunday nights back. The performance is March 13th and 14th.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gotcha Game

Simeon invented a game. It started out simple, like most games invented by five year olds. The object was to say "I love you" before the other guy thought to say it. We played the game while Justin and Reuben were at work and school, they were missing out. It was sweet.

Then Simeon noticed that it was actually a game we were playing and found great pleasure in winning, so added "Gotcha." Now if you were the first to say "I love you" you followed it up with "Gotcha." "I love you. Gotcha." If I won, he would moan and then say, "I love you, too." But I didn't win that often.

Simeon noticed that I wasn't winning often so he started giving me a heads up. "Heads up. I love you. Gotcha." By this time it was no fun to just play it with me, so the game continued when Reuben and Justin got home. Reuben started playing.

At bedtime, I'll hear Reuben yell from his bed, "Mom, Heads up. I love you. Gotcha." I hear Simeon say, "Reuben, Heads up..." and then Reuben jumps in with "I love you. Gotcha." and then they say "Jinx."

It's a great game. The only problem is, now when someone says "I love you" first. The other guy groans and says "I was going to say that."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hiatus over. January means time to brag on Reuben.

I realized that my hiatus from recording our lives should be over. No matter how plain our life has become--a thing I am extremely grateful for--if it's not written down somewhere I won't remember it. Also, I need to resurrect this so it doesn't look like the only reason I started again was the baby. 

Reuben is now 9! He is a remarkable child, and my mommy goggles don't even have to be that thick to believe that. He is an avid reader, he loves to be read to, to read to Simeon, and to read to himself. He read Hatchet, which I was supposed to read in 6th grade but couldn't comprehend or finish. He even reads his scriptures every night before he lets himself read the novel he is working on. He thinks he isn't good at math, but after he is taught principles and practices he passes the tests without a problem. He is playing the piano, and successfully practicing and improving. 

He is a pretty shy guy outside of our own home. He doesn't enjoy impressing people with his talents, and refuses to in most cases. He is a bit tight lipped about his feelings and what happens during his day--but I can't really blame him for that because he gets it from me. But as his mother I do wish I didn't have to pry so much or worry about him just because I don't know what he is thinking or worrying about. 

He wakes up each morning and comes to get a cuddle. That little bit of affection sets him up for the rest of the day, and if for some reason we sleep in and miss that it is apparent for the rest of the day. 

He is so helpful. He accepts more responsibility without question, and he is constantly concerned about helping simeon and me. We love having him home because he really does just make our life better by being here. 

We had a little glimmer of an idea that he would be amazing when he was born, but it is still a surprise how wonderful he is. 
His birthday was evidence of his sweetness. I had woken up early to finish up his birthday cake. He wanted German chocolate--I made it from scratch. He came down and sat down by me on the couch. He was excited that it was his birthday, but in the way Reuben gets excited, which is understated. He let daddy and Simeon sleep, patiently waiting to open presents. We didn't have any candles. We sang and ate cake without candles. He opened the small pile of presents with gratitude and no comment on how few there were. Then it was off to school. While Reuben was at school simeon and I went to find a present for Simeon to give him. We found some lego things and Simeon couldn't wait for Reuben to get home to give them to him. When the time came Reuben  was so happy that he didn't even take off his coat before playing with the Legos. He wanted pigs in a blanket for his birthday dinner and peas and macaroni and cheese. Then we went to the 7 o'clock showing of alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day, which was enjoyable and kept us out way past bedtime. It was a simple day and didn't seem to celebrate him enough, but he was gracious and grateful. 

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.