Thursday, March 29, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

We have been slowly but surely filling that dumpster. The front yard is completely cleaned up and ready for the plants to grow and for new plants to fill in here and there. What a great feeling to have that part done! The daffodils and tulips are starting to bloom in their little clumps around the yard. I love seeing them come into bloom... a different clump blooming daily, almost. Truly a lovely time of year.

Our first tulips of the year

For the past two days I have been trying to get something done in the backyard. It is in a lot worse shape than the front was. I never really had the chance to put the backyard to bed before winter set in last year. There is a lot of dead growth and lots of piles of leaves everywhere. The up-side is that when I rake through the leaves and pull back the winter kill, there are little green sprouts underneath just waiting for the sun to hit them.

I plan on working most of the day in the backyard today. Hopefully I can get quite a bit done. It seems like I have weeks of work left in just the clean up process. Don't mistake that for complaining about having to do the work. I LOVE working outside. The frustrating part to me is that I just don't get the big blocks of time to do it. I really would love to be out there for hours every day, but that isn't going to happen any time soon!

I've got a lot on my mind as far as projects and busy-work go: planning a wedding reception (in my yard!) and wedding luncheon, finishing re-decorating my room, painting my bathroom, getting my bearings in Young Women and getting some activities going, sending an Easter package to our missionary in California, planning an Easter-egg hunt for our extended family in our yard, working on about 10 craft projects I have lined up, helping Whitney finish her quilt, and also getting my own quilt finished up, converting hundreds of slides of my dad's to digital, making a photo book, etc, etc. All are things I totally love to do and want to do, but I just wish I had more time, or that I didn't need to sleep as much. Oh well. As they say, its good to be busy. Keeps us out of trouble.

Bob has been out of town all week and comes home today. Can't wait to see him. He doesn't travel much any more, and when he does, he usually goes out in the morning and comes home in the evening so that he doesn't have to be gone overnight. I don't like having him gone. Its funny how through the years we have become "one" and that we both function better when the other is pretty close by. It will be so good to have him back home!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Clean-up

Beautiful spring! We have been blessed with the most gorgeous weather! I don't normally think of March having 70 degree weather, but it really has been that warm! Our Forsythia is out in full bloom. I pruned back everything around it so it can show off its brilliant yellow flowers.

On Friday and Saturday, we had some great work days in an attempt to fill that dumpster! Whitney came over for the afternoon on Friday, and she and I worked in the front yard cutting back and pruning. It seemed that as the warm afternoon went on, almost before our eyes, the flowers were opening up.

Lovely Hyacinths

It felt so good to be out there in the warmth of the sun, and see the green poking up out of the ground everywhere. Also, it was a great treat to be out there with one of my daughters, laughing and catching up on the latest in her life!

On Saturday, we pruned most of the rest of the apple-pear trees! (We still have the 7 left in the dog run, which should get done this week!) Bob was the pruner, Lindsay and I picked up the branches and hauled them to the dumpster, and Robbie dug out large bushes that had outgrown their spaces. 

Bob wielding the pruners

Robbie cutting back and digging out bushes

Linds, Robbie and Bob taking a breather

It was a good, long day and we got so much done! I am so grateful to have kids that all know how to work. Working together, we always get huge amounts of work done! 

At the end of the day, we were all a little sunburned, very sore, and I had a bruise right between my eyes where a falling, pruned branch hit me. I had to rush in and get spruced up to go to the General Young Women Meeting at 6:00, so the rest of the crew was left to clean up and put everything away. An amazing day of work!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rolling up our sleeves

Today at 7:15 a.m., we had a special something delivered to our curb. 

Now that I see that in front of our home, I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me. We had it delivered for our spring clean-up. It will probably be oodles of space for what we need, but if there is one thing that frustrates me, it is being in the middle of a good work day in the yard, and realizing that I have filled up the garbage cans for the week. With the dumpster, I don't think I'll run into that problem. I have general cutting back of lots of dead branches and stalks, pruning of our 34 pear and apple-pear trees, removal of some pretty good sized bushes, and disposing of some old, broken furniture. I guess its time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Speaking of rolling up my sleeves, I got a new church assignment this past week. I am in the Young Women presidency over the Beehives. I have to be honest... I am pretty overwhelmed with this new assignment. I thought I had my hands full keeping up with Bob's busy schedule (with his assignment as bishop of our ward), keeping the house clean (I'm not really excelling at that at the moment), having a nice dinner on the table, digitizing thousands of my dad's slides, planning Lindsay's wedding, and finally getting to some home improvement projects that have been waiting on the back burner for a while (like painting, etc.). I know I can shift things around and make time for whatever I need to do, it will just take some adjusting and getting used to. The girls I will be working with are at a perfect age: 12 and 13, so I am excited about that. I had been working in the nursery with the little ones that are 18 months through 3 years, and I LOVED that. I had been in there for a year and a half, so I guess it was time to have a change.

It seems like our lives are all about rolling up our sleeves and getting to the task -- whatever the task may be -- and doing our best at it. Some things are much easier and more preferable than others, but either way, we have the ability to get through them.  Makes life interesting, doesn't it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Walnut tree no more

I finished painting our bedroom on Thursday. It is SO good to have it done! It wasn't really difficult, but just hard to keep it in working condition as I was trying to get it painted. At one point, I had the old yellow paint, the old-new blue paint, and the truly-new gray paint all in one area:

Not exactly the best combination of colors, but I quickly painted over all of the hodge-podge of paint colors, and it is a beautiful, calming, warm gray color. I LOVE it! I will post a photo when I have the entire room done (new bedding, etc).

On Saturday we cut down a huge English Walnut tree for my mom, who lives in Orem. It grew in the back corner of her lot, and it was getting too old and large. We had a great crew of family members there, and the entire job took only about 4 1/2 hours. Not too bad. Bob was up in the tree with his chain saw for most of the morning (not something that makes me feel entirely comfortable)

Dave  (married to my niece) and Bob up in the walnut tree

and Robbie (oldest child, 24 years old) was running the wood chipper. Lindsay (2nd oldest, 23 years old) and I were cutting branches and piling them up for Robbie to chip. There were other cousins, aunts, and uncles there, which made the job go really fast! To top it all off, we didn't even have any damage done to the fence, the shed, or the home (which were all only a few feet away from the tree). Definitely a job well done!

walnut tree after we got finished with it

So, now we just need to go back and cut the stump down and/or remove it. The wood was all chipped up and spread around as a mulch, and the bigger chunks were hauled off. My mom was so grateful to have had so many people helping her out, and I know she'll sleep easier knowing that tree isn't going to blow over onto her home!

After the work project, we dashed back home to Draper, changed into something more presentable, and drove back up to Orem for a bridal shower for my niece, Holly. Lindsay and I were in charge of the shower game. We had 14 different spices and seasonings and had covered the labels with cute papers so you couldn't tell what they each were. We passed them around and let everyone smell each one and they had to write down what they thought each one was. After the game, Holly got to keep all the spices along with some other cooking pans and utensils we gave her. It was a fun shower -- fun to be with so many lovely, wonderful women and girls. What a great family!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I am His daughter (video)

Saw a great video today... I love it and hope I have taught my daughters enough that they know this through and through...


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wrong paint color

Well, I am off to Home Depot to buy more paint... I thought I had taken such a long time to pick out the paint color for our bedroom, that the final choice would be PERFECT! Sadly, I was wrong.

Our room, in its original paint color.
Not a bad color, just in need of fresh paint.
This was after we moved the bed
away from the wall.

This is after I finished painting the wall
with the blue paint.
Notice the paint chips on the bed already...
looking for the next color!

Yesterday, Bob and I moved the bed (a heavy beast) and I painted the wall behind the bed, as well as part of the ceiling. When it was done, I had to admit I still loved the color, but I didn't love it in our bedroom. It would be a darling playroom, or laundry room, or something like that. It was just too obviously BLUE, and I'm pretty sure I would get tired of it really soon. I literally spent the night tossing and turning about the paint color. I woke up this morning thinking that maybe I had over-thought it, but it still was too much blue. I texted Bob, to see what he thought, and he said he wanted me to do whatever I felt good about in the room. So, after I get my exercising done for the morning, I'll be off to buy new paint. I am thinking something in the warm gray tones, so it will still be a neutral, but I can add lots of different colors as my tastes change through the years.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring yard work and Daylight Savings Time

It was a busy weekend, but wonderful to be able to be outside in the warm spring weather. Bob and I pruned the two Bartlett Pear trees in the front yard, and did a little bit of front yard clean up. After that, we decided to get the pond in the backyard up and running. It took some doing... cleaning up leaves out of the stream and pond, cleaning out the filters, and Bob getting the pump running.

Bob working on getting the stream and pond running
(notice the snow still on the ground!)

It may or may not be common knowledge that the koi fish basically hibernate for the winter. We don't feed them, or do anything with them all winter long. We keep a trough heater and a bubbler going, and that's all they need. Its always fun when it warms up and we can get the pond running again. I love hearing it and watching the fish actively swimming around again.

So, we have a couple things checked off our list of things to do: the pond is running, and the water is on. So much more to do to get ready for our wedding reception on June 15th, but we'll get it done.

Today I started painting our bedroom. I love the color. Its a light bluish green. Really soothing and pretty. I only finished one wall and part of the ceiling, but I needed to at least get that wall done so we could move the bed back and have our furniture back to normal for the night. Tomorrow I plan on getting to the rest of it. It will be a big push to get it all done, but I'll give it the old college try.

Yesterday was Daylight Savings Time. On Saturday night, as we climbed into bed, we laughed when we remembered we hadn't changed the time yet. I hopped out of bed and pushed the button that changes it automatically on our clock. The next thing I remember, Bob woke up to his cell phone ringing. It was David Hall (his 1st counselor) asking if Bob was going to be at the meeting that was supposed to have started 10 minutes earlier. Oh boy. He jumped up and showered and dressed in record time. He missed the bishopric meeting, but was there for everything else that was scheduled all day long. Can you believe I set the clock wrong? I have always snickered at people who don't set it right, or forget to set it at all, and it turns out I am one of THOSE people. I'm pretty sure that Bob will be in charge of setting the clocks when the time changes next. Ugh. The best part about the story is that Bob wasn't even the least bit mad or frustrated with me. He was a sweetheart and made sure I wasn't feeling badly about it.

Just to update about our cat hospice care: we borrowed the cone from Lindsay to tie around his neck. He kept it on for about a day and a half, and then he was done with it. I think I'm done, too. I will just watch him and make sure it doesn't get any worse, but I'm not even sure that the vet could come up with a way to keep him from scratching his ear.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snowdrops in bloom

I finally picked a color for our bedroom and bathroom and bought the paint yesterday. I think I'll start the project next week. I can't wait to see what the transformation will be. We have never re-painted our room, so it has been the same yellow for 12 years now. I love the yellow, and its hard for me to change from that, but it will be fun to have a different look. Now to find bedding that will finish the room off...

I was going to the mailbox the other day and noticed the Snowdrops in bloom, as well as the Crocuses. So amazing to see little bits of color and life on a snowy, stormy day. The snowdrops are from my Aunt Carol's yard in Logan. My mom and Aunt Carol dug up some of the bulbs so we could start some in our own yards. They are slower to reproduce than other bulbs I have, but I love seeing them in the late winter. Makes me think of my sweet mom and my Aunt Carol.

Snowdrops in full bloom

Today is Wednesday, so Bob and I have our weekly lunch together. Arguably one of the best traditions we ever started. I can't even remember when we didn't meet weekly for lunch! Its such a bright spot in my week and a nice break to the day. I love being with that man!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cat care for an 18-year-old cat

How do you get an 18-year-old cat to stop scratching his ear long enough to let it heal?  I have tried wrapping it and bandaging it. Both were complete failures. Today I came up with the genius idea of cutting a sock so that it fit snuggly over Scout's head without choking him.
He looks pretty happy about it, right?  Just look how nicely it fits. It should have worked so well, but I turned my back for literally 3 seconds, and he had scratched it right off with his hind leg. There the sock sat right next to him. The only thing I haven't tried yet is a little helmet, but I'm not sure where I would go about finding one.

Today I have made a goal to pick out the color I am going to repaint my bedroom in. I have tons of paint chip samples, and I have stared at them every day for weeks now. I usually don't have a problem picking out paint, but for some reason this has stumped me! I really need to zero in on a color today, though, so I can get painting the room. I think I'm pretty close!

Friday, March 2, 2012

FHE Lesson

We took the bracelets that we made up to the Laurel's Retreat last night. The girls loved them. We may or may not have mis-spelled one of them to write "SHIEN" instead of "SHINE". Luckily, I was able to fix it on the spot. That's what we get for putting the bracelets together while watching TV. We were obviously distracted by the singers on The Voice.

Bob went back up to the retreat tonight to share another evening with the girls and their leaders. I stayed home to work on my Family Home Evening lesson for Sunday and Monday. On Sunday we have our kids and their spouse and spouse-to-be over for Fast Sunday dinner and FHE. Its our turn to give the lesson, so we're doing it on General Conference. Hopefully it will help us all get spiritually ready for the messages we will hear. I think Bob will give the first part of the lesson about King Benjamin and how the people turned their tents to face him for his speech.  Do we "turn our tents" to hear and focus on the words of our prophets during General Conference?
My section will be a little game about the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. I have printed off photos of each of them which will have to be matched with their name in a game of Memory. After the match is made, whoever makes the match will read a few paragraphs about the matched apostle. Should be fun!

Hopefully we can all learn a little bit more about our amazing leaders. I also have a great little video that we can all watch from Jeffrey R. Holland entitled "General Conference Has Something For You". It is a wonderfully inspiring video that makes you wish conference was tomorrow! Should be good. I need to get my lesson all figured out tonight so that I don't have to worry about it.

On Monday we get together for our extended family (my mom, sisters, and their families) for FHE. We have FHE's as a big family once a month on the first Monday. It is our turn to give the lesson for that, as well, so we'll give the same lesson that we're giving on Sunday. Definitely a two-fer.

I am working on picking out a paint color for my bedroom. It is taking longer than I thought it might. I want it to be the perfect light teal or aqua. Hard to find just what I want. As soon as I figure it out, I can start painting. I need to get it painted before spring, otherwise it will have to wait until after all of my outside work is done.