Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April

I downloaded my pictures tonight and realized it's been a while.. and a lot has been happening.. This post is all about catching up.

Two weekends ago we took the family and participated in the Boise MS walk. It was a really nice experience. I think children are pretty oblivious to the suffering a lot of people have to go through (as they should be) so it's nice to be able to introduce them to challenges and hardships in a situation where you can also say that our efforts will help.



The MS walk went through the Boise Zoo, and past a new Safari exhibit. The kids were enthralled with the Giraffes. But what I'm wondering is, "hey... what everyone looking at?" Cause, seriously.. there was nothing over there.



This is one of my neighbors. He's a nice guy, but I can't help posting an anonymous picture of him using his grass trimmer to hack dandelions out of the center of his lawn. This guy provides a great deal of humor for me all summer long.



Last Friday was Vincents birth/death 1 year anniversary. We picked up some beautiful hydrangea blossoms, ranunculus (white, rose-like flower), and red rose sprays to take to his grave at the cemetery.


When we got there the sprinklers were on over his grave site.

So we waited...

While we waited we decided to drive up to the lookout at the veterans cemetery. The view is very pretty, and windy.




We waited and waited and waited for the sprinklers to turn off. After an hour and a half we gave up. Andy and Noah held two of the sprinklers in place while I dodged two more sprinklers to put the flowers we had brought on his grave. Then we stood by the side of the road watching the flowers get sprayed down by the sprinkler.

Pretty disappointing for his first anniversary. I had gone to the cemetery the Sunday before and spend hours writing in my journal so I felt okay. I had my time to meditate, and contemplate, and come to terms with how much time had passed.

Honestly, I'm doing okay. There were a few days where I considered self medicating and going back on anti-depressants, but I didn't. To be perfectly honest, dealing with Vincents birthday has been much easier than I had anticipated. I seem to be having pretty good mood swings. I'll feel really really great, and then I'll crash and burn for a bit, but I'm having mostly ups now.


Last Saturday Noah had his first "1 mile fun run." There was road construction and parking was a bit of a mess, so we got there about 5 minutes late, and the run had already started. We had no idea where he was suppose to go, but luckily there was a guy there telling all the kids to just start and join in the run.. so off Noah goes.. for about 1/10 mile.. then he gets to all the cheering fans and is handed his medal amidst claps on the back and calls of congratulations.




Oops.

So next year I guess we'll be on time.


On Sunday we drove out to my parents house. While we were there the coolest thing happened. My parents home teachers came by.

Now who do you suppose could have everyone captivated like this with a religious lesson??

I'll give you a hint...

Neil Decker. Who else.

For those of you who don't know, Neil taught LDS Seminary for something like 100 years.. Seriously. Oh, and he's the king of object lessons. He didn't know we were going to be there. He brings object lessons with him just for my parents. It completely warmed my heart to see him teaching my little children.


And this next picture is here for one reason, and one reason only.


To say that Ali's right.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Vincent Andrew McClelland -April 24, 2008


Happy Birthday Baby. I miss you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A year ago

A year ago I learned that the baby I was carrying was dead.

Last night I was thinking about how very nice it would be to go to sleep and never have to ever wake up.

I was surprised that instead of finding the idea appalling, it was appealing.

Very appealing.

In the back of my mind I knew I would not ever take it upon myself to never wake. Equally weighting on my mind was the eternal damnation of my soul, and how horrifying it would be for my children. It's just the very idea of never having to stress about all the things in life that stress us all out was so appealing. The idea of ending my life was not appealing, just the idea of never having to stress... to be at peace forever... is so appealing.

Then one of my living children kept waking up crying and all he wanted was for me to hold him and too be with me, solidifying my life.

I'm not going to do anything. Please don't worry about that, but to pretend like the feelings and thoughts are not there would be to pretend like everything is peachy and swell. This is how losing a baby changed me. I know I'm not alone.

Sometimes life really sucks, other times it's downright crappy.

I can't decide if I want to post this. I'm really not at risk of taking my life or doing anything harmful. I'm worried some of you might get the wrong idea and try to have me committed, or start calling me all hours of the day and night just to make sure I answer the phone. It's not like that.

It's just before Vincent, death seemed so scary. The very idea that someday I would die was horrifying.

That my body would rot.

The unknown of exactly what the next life would be like.

Now, when my time comes I will be ready. I will embrace death with open arms. Who I am is made up within my soul and not my body. When my body dies, my soul will still exist. There is nothing to be afraid of. There is so much more to fear in life than there is in death.

Sometimes I can't help but think about how lucky my baby was.

Stop freaking out.

Really, what's the big deal about desiring a long and happy life? Isn't a short fulfilling life just as rewarding? Maybe it's the ones who live the long life who really got jipped.

I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud.

Consider it in this light. Two people enter college at the same time for the same degree. One is a career students.. It takes him an especially long time to graduate. The other carries a full load and graduates early. Both graduates left with a degree and everything they went to college to receive. One was just prepared for life after college much sooner than the other.

Was the early graduate jipped of their full college experience? What would that entail exactly?? More student debt? Parties they missed? Waiting? Maybe his college friends are bummed becuase they will miss him?

Maybe the career student didn't get it. Maybe that student kept failing tests and needed to take them over and over and over.

and over.

Both fulfilled what the need to fulfill. Nobody got a free pass. No one dropped out. Both completed the course.

Now, I say I'll see you when I graduate. I'm not worried about it. I have things to look forward to after graduation. If you graduate before me or after me it doesn't matter. Sooner or later, we're all going to graduate.

It's late and I'm tired, which probably means this post isn't going to make a lot of sense.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do you have Pet Insurance?


I know. Silly huh?

Who would have thought we'd come to a time that medical costs for our pets would become so high that it would be necessary to have pet insurance.

Most people, when they hear there is such a thing as pet insurance, still have a little chuckle.

But the reality is, money is getting tight for most Americans. If something happened to your dog or cat, most people are faced with two choices, take on substantial debt to pay for the medical cost necessary to save the pets life, or two have the pet put to sleep. Heartbreaking. Especially when pet insurance starts as low as $19/month.

If you love your pets. If the idea of putting him or her to sleep if they developed a curable, but expensive, condition is unthinkable and unacceptable. If you think pets are people too...

Then you should check out Pet's Best. The owner of the company founded the pet insurance industry back in the 70's. He was a Veterinarian and he was tired of putting down a family's pet because they could not afford medical treatment.

Call, 1-866-929-3807, ask for Andy. He's been with the company for a while and really knows his stuff, not to mention all the awards he gets for his customer service... Or you can get an online quote here.

Once your pet has already gotten sick, it's usually to late to insure them.

Yeah, it's my sales pitch for the day. Why am I bothering?

Well first off, Andy's my husband.

Secondly, I've had several friends who had to put their pets down recently, and all I could think is, "my husband sells pet insurance... I wish I would have told them about it earlier... but I didn't because it sounded like a sale pitch." And after they have already lost their dog, or have told me their dog is sick and they are going to have to put him down, it would be incredibly insensitive for me to say, "Well, it's too bad you didn't have pet insurance!"... not to mention it would already be to late for pet insurance to help.

So, if you refer to your pet as your "babies"...

If you're pet is a pure breed that cost a pretty penny and you'd like protect your investment....

If you think it's inhumane to put down your pet if he develops something like a Ligament tear ($2600)... pancreatitis ($3200)... or cancer ($2500+)... etc..

At least look into Pet's best. (Oh, and make sure you ask for Andy, or put his name in the Promo code box on the online quote tool. He really is the best.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Egg Wars... It's all about winning.

On Saturday our neighborhood had it's annual Easter egg hunt.


It's a blast, and really popular in the neighborhood. The sidewalk was lined like this almost all the way around the park.


The spoils...

On Sunday, we have church Bright and Early at 8:00am. yeah.

So after church we stopped at the park to take some pictures. The family ones didn't turn out very well because the kids where so busy watching the camera timer flash that they usually forgot all about smiling.



Now.

It has been brought to my attention by my husband and my sister in law, that apparently, "Egg Wars" is a Serra thing. And that not everyone does it.

Dude, what?

If you are not sitting down on Easter afternoon, with your family, and your hoard of personalized dyed eggs so you can smash them together and see who comes out unscathed.. well then... You are totally missing out on the whole point of hard boiled eggs.


With that said, let me introduce you to my leeeetle friend.


Who is ready to forgeeet himself and go to battle!


This is the path of destruction he carved. Enlarge the picture if you must, but use good judgement, the carnage may be too much for your eyes to behold.

Children may run screaming from the room.


Here's how it works.

Hard Boil your eggs. My favorite way. Put the eggs in the water, heat the water to a good strong boil, cover, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the heat. Set the timer for 15 minutes. After the "egg" timer goes off, drain the hot water and add cool water to the pot.

After the eggs have cooled use a wax crayon or a paint marker to write your name on the egg. Then dye the egg.



Next, Get together with your family, after dinner but before dessert. (This is because the kids who did not eat their dinner and bound to be hungry and the eggs look tasty.. so they end up eating something before they are filled with sugar... well okay, MORE sugar.)

You get one of your eggs, and you challenge someone close by to an egg war. You each hold one egg and smack them together, end to end. Whoever is holding the unbroken egg wins and goes on to challenge someone else. The loser get a second change with the other side of their egg. You keep going till only one person is left with an unbroken egg, and they are the winner.

Seriously. Doesn't that sound like fun?

That's how you play...unless you are underhanded and sly, and you know that sometimes in war ethics and integrity have no place. And sometimes winning is important no matter the price.

Then you prepare your egg like this:


Make a small hole in the shell and drain the egg. Rinse inside and let dry.



Next prepare plaster of Paris, pour into egg, and let dry.


Use sandpaper to smooth out the dried plaster. Seal the plaster, and dye the egg.



I freaking rock at egg wars. (BTW, the cracks are only drawn on... to intimidate the other eggs.)


Noah totally wanted to rat me out. He wanted to be a double agent. I bribed him to keep quiet by promising to make him a plaster egg next year.

The family did figure out my little secret... when they tried to make me eat my egg.

Then we went outside for a (plastic) Easter egg hunt and pictures.

This is Emily and my grandma

Sariah and Grandma

Johnny

Justin and Cruz

Alex... entertaining the kids with his Kangaroo whip.

All the Single Ladies... All the Single Ladies....

Noah

Seriously. He's a third grader. And that makes him cool. (Do you like the shoes?)

Sariah. Yes, she's single. NO YOU MAY NOT HAVE HER PHONE NUMBER.

Jennica and Johnny. Jennica loves her little nephew so much. She loves to play babysitter.

The lovely Courtney...

Trying to get her husband out of the tree.



Aaron
Huh?

Cruz. He totally had a bite of food in his mouth.



We tried to take a picture of all the children.... Here's what happened.




video

Here's what we ended up with.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring.

So, I really have no idea what day spring actually started. Have you seen my calendar?

This is what my little Aaron does to my calendar. Every year. I don't know why. Maybe it has something to do with the dotted lines on the coupons at the bottom of each page, but he goes crazy with the scissors.



I am, however, getting hopeful. Not hopeful enough to actually plant a garden, because I have learned from experience, that it's one surefire way to get freezing temperatures to return.

Hopeful enough to remove the snowing feature from my blog. See, no more snow.

Now... If we could just get those numbers up into the 70's or 80's...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our FHE Picnic

On Monday we had beautiful weather so we packed a picnic and went to the park. Our favorite park is just a couple blocks away, so we packed up the cooler with home made fried chicken, grapes, chips, and sodas and walked over.




Andy and I decided to throw the football, and it very quickly became a game of "Fight Noah for the ball."
He's a pretty tough kid, and I hate to say it, but we're getting more evenly matched every day.
It won't be long before he can best me physically and in height.

Not only that, but he talks smack, in the most loving way, to his mother. Always telling me things like...

"...You're crappy at catching the ball.."

"oh... NICE throw...pffft"

"I can beat you any day..."

It's okay. I tackle him to the ground and tickle him till he takes it back.