The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: June 2012

What? Me worry?

The dreaded mammogram. Ugh. Yes, we hate getting it done. And I seem to put it off just a little bit later every year. I made myself go in mid June. I went on a Monday. On Thursday my doc called and something like, “It says here you recently had a mammogram. Do they usually contact you with results?”
“I usually get a postcard,” I said casually.
“Well, you’ll probably get more than a postcard this time.” That got my attention.
“Now is not the time to panic,” he said, “but they said the reading was questionable and they will be calling to schedule another mammogram and possibly and ultrasound.”
“Don’t panic,” I repeated.
“It’s probably nothing, but with all the crap that’s going on right now in the neighborhood, you don’t want to put this off,” he said. And he should know. He is himself going through chemo for colon cancer, as is another lady in our neighborhood.

I decided I was not going to think about this appointment and the repercussions until AFTER my huge bell weekend. I was just getting ready to leave for the convention when I got his call. I would make an appointment for the next week sometime and I would NOT PANIC. While I can’t say I didn’t think about it at all, I really was so busy with other things that I didn’t have much time to ponder and worry except very late at night, and I tried to push it from my mind.

As the day of the appointment approached, I found it harder and harder to make myself not worry. I am, by nature, quite a worrier. When we were building this house, for example, and Ryan would stay here late working on wiring and things and I couldn’t reach him, I would sometimes get myself worked up in a panic, sure that he was dead. Then to calm myself down, I would always have to think through how I would spend the insurance money. (Don’t tell me you don’t do this!) So, yes, I worry. I worry about stuff that matters and stuff that doesn’t matter. Even though I know it does NO GOOD and I am just wasting my energy on worrying, I don’t really know how to stop doing it.

I kept it together pretty well until the day of the appointment. No deoderant plus worrying equals sweat. The stress was literally exhausting me. I kept praying that I could be calm and strong and that I would be able to get through this…whatever ‘this’ was.

I had to check in at the registration desk, and answer the same exact questions I had just answered the week before. Try not to get irritated at the nice lady, Paige, she is just doing her job.

I went back to mammography and checked in. After a few minutes, they called me back to change into the lovely gown. I had only a few minutes to read about half an article in Entertainment weekly on stars ‘coming out’. What? That cute guy from White Collar is gay? WHAT? And then they called me into the little room with the big machine. The lady was very nice and trying to put me at ease, but I’m sure I looked as nervous as I felt. She explained that they would take a few pictures and that the radiologist would read them right now, so they would know if I needed the ultrasound or not. Two more squishes of just the left side to get different angles and I was done. She sent me back to the little dressing room to wait, and I got a chance to read more of that article. Yep. Matt Bomer Comes Out As Gay: ‘White Collar’ Actor Thanks Partner Simon Halls, Kids At Awards Ceremony. And she was back. I held my breath and listened, bracing myself for whatever news she had for me. “The radiologist read your mammogram and says it looks fine. Whatever they were worried about before doesn’t look like a problem now.”

Big exhale.

I do not have breast cancer. You don’t know how wonderful that sounds. The technician went on to tell me that she had cancelled my ultrasound appointment, and I was good for another year, until next year’s mammogram. Just like that.

I got dressed, wishing I had brought some antiperspirant WITH me, since it was definitely needed. I quickly sent off a text to Ryan that said that it was good news, they didn’t see any irregularities on the scans today. He replied, “Awesome. I could have told you they looked fine….;)” Thank you so much, Ryan, for that expert opinion. It made me laugh, though.

Since I had been moping around this morning, I decided that we needed to do something fun this afternoon, so I took the three kids who were home out for Snowasis and went to the fun park with the splash pad in Alpine. And it was nice to enjoy a worry free afternoon.

If you haven’t had a mammogram–do it. If you’ve put it off longer than you should–call them. While I don’t want anyone to have to go through that stress, I understand that it’s good that they called me back for a second scan. Better to be safe than sorry and all that stuff.

And I can be blissfully worry free.
Until about next week when I’ll probably find something else to worry about.

Handbell convention

I have been meaning to blog all about the fun convention I attended last Thursday-Sunday, but honestly, I’ve been trying to get back into the routine of life, since I was SO TIRED after the long weekend.

It was a wonderful experience.

It was so much fun to be with bell people all weekend, and especially fun to be with the other four ringers from our choir who attended the convention.

We bought these shirts for our Saturday night “concert”, since all the other groups were wearing their choir shirts, and we don’t have choir shirts. They say “Eat. Sleep. Ring.” Which is really what we did all weekend. I think I rang for about 12 hours (including our Bells on Temple Square on Friday night).

We even had lunch at the Grand America Hotel on Sunday.

I wrote this note to my choir mates:
After hanging out with bell people all weekend, I feel like a rockstar. SO MANY little ringing ladies came up to Linda, Liz, Janeen, Ryan and I and asked if we were a part of THAT TEMPLE CHOIR, and then they had all kinds of wonderful things to say to us about how WONDERFUL the program was and how animated our faces were, and how much they enjoyed the concert. It’s a good thing the convention ended today because I was starting to get kind of a big head listening to their kind comments about ALL OF YOU. One lady even asked if you had to be a member to audition for the choir. I told her that, yes, you did, and told her she could move to Utah, join our church, and THEN audition for the choir.

We had a marvelous experience with the convention, and I just wanted to let you know how much they enjoyed the concert.

p.s.–My in-laws said it was the best concert they had EVER been to (not just a bell concert, but ANY concert–EVER). Of course, they are getting up in years and have probably forgotten many a concert in the past, but still–what a complement.

I have to just include this picture from the concert. I love how our director is singling me out! Just kidding! She’s not gesturing ONLY to me, it just looks like it there. Makes me laugh.

One of my friends summed it up perfectly when she wrote:

It WAS a wonderful weekend. I learned so much! Yes, we did receive a lot of compliments. I spent a lot of time talking to other people about their choirs.

People were surprised that we only practice once a week and are able to ring the way we do and with the level of difficulty that we do.

One of the comments that has probably stuck with me the most was from a cute little lady I was talking to on Sunday. She was asking about my bell experience and how long I had been in BoTS. I told her I had been in our group for 7 years…”and prior to that?” “I rang in high school for three years,” I responded. She paused waiting patiently for more of a reply and then said incredulously, “THAT’S ALL!!”

We continued to talk. I told her about our audition process and she told me she had been ringing for 30 years and couldn’t imagine life without bells.

As I consider that conversation and many others I had, I am reminded of the privilege that it is for us to be part of BoTS. We don’t have to worry about fundraising to maintain equipment and purchase music. We don’t have to be concerned because we don’t have enough ringers to continue the choir. We don’t have to worry about our fellow ringers giving a full effort, or being kind and gracious. We don’t have to worry about our performance clothing. We don’t have to think about maintaining or moving equipment. We don’t have to think about whether our conductor will be dedicated to our program or will direct in a professional way. We don’t have to worry that when we come to rehearsal that it will start and end on time and be productive and meaningful.

I think the greatest privilege and blessing of being part of BoTS comes from ringing for the Lord. If you think about the experience we have as bell ringers, it really pales in comparison to the majority of the bell ringing world, but because we are called and set apart as missionaries and because we are on the Lord’s errand, he has multiplied our talents and abilities exponentially in order that we can share His light and gospel. I am so grateful for all of you and for the absolute privilege it is to be part of BoTS.

Crazy week

It is the week of CAMPS around here.

Cole had his scout camp last week, Wed through Saturday, so that’s nice that he’s around, at least.

Jenna went to Clearcreek, which is a camp run by the school district. 5th graders can sign up to go for a half week or a full week. We signed Jenna up for this week because it was the best week for her friend, and then the friend ended up changing weeks at the last minute. So, when I took Jenna on Monday morning, we weren’t sure who she would know. She got a little teary in the car, in fact,and said, “I’m just going to miss you all so much!” She’s such a nice girl, such a good girl, and I sometimes forget that she’s only 11. I gave her a big hug and told her I was going to miss her very much, too. And then I got teary, as well. But as we were getting her badge, a friend from school came up and happily said, “Jenna! I’m so glad you’re here!” That made me feel better. I know she won’t have any trouble making friends, but I don’t know if she knows that. She will be gone until Friday, and she’ll come back dirty, happy and exhausted!

On Monday we went bowling with Robin and Jacob. It was kind of a ‘smaller’ group, since only John, Cole and Natalie were home to go with me. The 6 of us had fun. And then, we went out to dinner that night.

Megan left for girls’ camp on Monday. She is a Youth Leader this year, (we used to call them Adventurers) so she got to go up one night early and stay with the stake and have oodles of fun without her sister being there. She’ll be gone all week and come back Friday, too.

Natalie left this morning. I was scheduled to drive a bunch of girls up to the campsite at Mutual Dell, which is just about 15 miles up American Fork Canyon. But when they started to load everyone up, they had enough drivers, so I went home. I was lucky to get a hug from my daughter before I sent her off. She was excited to be with her friends.

Quiet week, right?
Well, right now it’s pretty quiet. John is over at a friend’s house, and Cole and Jacob are playing some computer something in the other room.

But the week is just getting started for me, as well. Because I have a concert on Friday, that means I have rehearsal tonight and Wed night, then before the concert on Friday.
BUT WAIT, there’s more. You may remember that a few months ago I mentioned I had signed up for a Bell Convention and would be gone for a few days. That’s this week. I leave on Thursday, for a Handbell convention. Yes, that’s a real thing. Seriously. You can read about it here. I’m signed up for a 2 hour “Fun with Rhythm and Theory” Class, Four hours of an “Organizing and Directing a Handbell Choir” class, and 10 hours of ringing with a new choir.

Add to that the Bells on Temple Square concert (which I will be in) and the Festival Showcase Concert (where we perform for each other all that we have rehearsed this week, etc.) a couple of meals and a some sleeping, and that’s my weekend.

What was I thinking? That I wanted to be on my feet for the entire weekend? I am going to DIE, I’ll be so tired. Forget the kids who will drag in from their camps and need to sleep all day, I will drag in on Sunday afternoon and need to sleep until roughly Monday at 6! Eek!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I just remembered that I have to sew up a whole in some black performance gloves and figure out meals for my family.

I hope YOU are having a fun week, too!!

Ryan and his ‘garden system’

My husband likes to automate things. We have remotes for the garage, the sprinkler systems, even the lights and fans. A lot of that comes from working for a home automation company, I”m sure. But I think it’s just in his nature. This year, his latest fascination has been building a new gardening “system”. I guess the garden boxes he built me a few years back aren’t good enough.

First, he had to find enough buckets. He eventually settled on 3 gallon ice cream buckets from the BYU creamery. So our little veggies have yummy names on their buckets, like Pralines and Caramel, Chocolate Vanilla Swirl, and bubble gum.

Without getting too technical (ME? Technical? Don’t make me laugh!), the buckets sit on a trough made from a raingutter, and they each have a little basket on the bottom of them, which sucks up water from the trough (that’s the technical term, you know) and is supposed to give the plant all the water it needs.

But when I planted a bunch of seeds in the buckets, I was disappointed when nothing sprouted for about two weeks. That was when we realized that they need more moisture at the top in the initial weeks, and then he covered them with plastic wrap to keep the water in. And look at how many little sprouts we have now! Not those tomato plants, mind you. I bought them as plants. I did, however, plant some tomato SEEDS in my other garden, and it looks like they are actually starting to grow! Probably not grow fast enough to yield any tomatoes, but a girl can hope.

The idea is that your garden should just water itself. And you would never even have to get up off the couch or leave your air conditioned house. Ever! Except to pick the lovely vegetables from the plants come August.


But if it gets my hubby excited about the garden, then that’s a good thing. In the past, he’s just let me pretty much plant what I want and take over.

Now if I could just find a way to get him excited about finishing the basement.
(Love you, Honey!)

I’ll have to post pictures later on and let you know how this method compares to our PLAIN old fashioned garden boxes. But we have planted about 12 tomato plants, a couple of giant pumpkin plants, chard, spinach, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, zucchini, chives, mint, lettuce, watermelon, honeydew melon, and peas. So something better grow besides sunflowers, right?

A new home for rooster

As our little black chicken got bigger and bigger and looking more and more roosterlike, we had to start considering what we were going to do with him.

It was time to stop kidding myself that it was just an “early developer” and admit that we really did have a rooster on our hands. He was starting to get aggressive with the hens and even with us as we went out to feed them. And while I hated getting rid of one of those chicks that we had been raising for the past 3 months, we really didn’t want a rooster.

I decided to put an ad for a rooster online, and see if there were any takers. I was really hoping that someone would WANT a rooster, and not just for dinner. I soon got an email that said,
“We’ll take it if you want to bring it over to us. We don’t need it, but we have plenty of room in our flock if you need a home for it.”
Flock! That sounds better than Freezer! And the address was quite close to us. So, before our first baseball game of the night, we loaded up our little Oreo face and took him over to his new home.

That box held all five of those chicks when we first got them, and now it could barely hold this one!

We drove over to the address, and I told the kids, “If I don’t see or hear any signs of chickens, I’m not leaving him there.”

But as we got farther down the street, we saw horses and even heard a cock-a-doodle-doo as we pulled up to the house. That’s a good sign! There was no answer at the door, but then the guy I had been emailing drove up. “Oh, that’s a beautiful rooster,” he said. He Took Oreo and asked if we wanted to see the chicken area. What a nice man! He led us through the back yard to a field, and there were about 6 hens and a couple of roosters out there, just happy to be pecking around. Oreo, when confronted with other roosters, had to immediately prove he was manly, and the squabbling began. “He’s bigger than our other roosters,” he said, “He might just end up being the one in charge around here.” Oh, that would certainly make him happy. They let their hens go broody, too, so he was pleased at the prospect of ending up with some black chicks (maybe I could get some chicks back from him someday. Some female chicks, that is.)

I felt very happy to be sending him off to such a great home!

Now we have only 6 hens. Three that are a year old, and these three that we got as chicks in Feb. Six is a good number for us right now, and we are happy to send Oreo off to his new happy home.

Car keys

Since the 16 year old now has her license and is driving a bit, it would be helpful if she had keys to the cars. The old junker cars, I mean.

So I took her to Ace Hardware with both the keys to the old truck and the old camry to make copies so she wouldn’t have to constantly ask her brother if she could use the keys. It went less than smoothly. First of all, the guy couldn’t FIND the key to use for the ’88 Camry. Yes, I said ’88. I know some of you weren’t even alive in ’88, but that’s the year of this car. Finally the girl who was working there (who we happen to know) came over to help him find the right key, and then he worked on making a copy. He managed to copy the key for the ’90 Nissan truck ok, but that Camry key was giving him trouble. He finally turned the job over to the girl.

Meanwhile, my daughter and I had roamed Ace Hardware looking at paint colors, looking at seeds, looking at plants, and they STILL didn’t have it done. I went to go pick up my other daughter from her friend’s house, and came back.

“Is she done with that key, yet?” I asked.
“DANG,’ said the clerk, and threw another key into the trash.
It wasn’t going well, as the key was slightly bent.

“You know,” I said, “it’s a really old car, and it probably doesn’t have to be exact to start it. Why don’t you just give us one of those that you messed up on, and we’ll try it.”
Glad to be rid of us, she gave us one of the failure keys.

Turns out, it’s good enough. It seems to work in the car.

But whey my daughter took the truck today, she says her key turns the car ON, but the radio, and windsheild wipers don’t work with her key.

What? We’ll have to look into that.

So, in honor of old cars everywhere (and specifically one old Camry)…

Linking up with Jenny Matlock for the letter C.
Jenny Matlock

Let the summer begin

That’s one big wind storm!
Just kidding.

Well, it really WAS a big storm, but that’s not what brought the limb down.

Hubby took them down with a chainsaw.

Those Russian Olive trees are so big and ugly, with huge thorns on them, they are really a junk tree. But, since we don’t have any other trees that are nearly that tall, we do appreciate the shade. But he decided to cut them down a bit so that they looked more like actual trees, not just huge bushy things.

Also, they were cutting down on the sunlight for his little gardening buckets that he had planted. I don’t have pictures of those yet, but I’ll post about the bucket system soon.

Cole and Megan have already taken two trips to the green recycle center with our little truck LOADED with tree branches, and we still aren’t done. Sometimes it would be nicer to have a bigger truck.

But the silhouette of the trees looks SO much better now that they are trimmed.

What a BORING POST! Here I am rambling on about trees! When I should be telling about our wonderful summer vacation! Well, I’m just glad that school is over. We can be done with art projects spread out on the counter for many many hours.

And I hopefully won’t be tripping on the many backpacks that seem to litter the floor and all other surfaces of the kitchen and family room during the school year. I’m banishing the backpacks to THEIR rooms, out of my way.

I like that we see a lot more of this. The kids have time to read, and not just for school. They can immerse themselves in books, and enjoy the lazy summer reading days. I am also enjoying some extra reading time, and I’m halfway through the book 3 WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER by Nicholas Sparks that I started yesterday.

We also get to work on projects. Here is Natalie cutting out fabric for a quilt she is going to be working on this summer.

And here’s Jenna working on some cartoon drawings for friends she likes to make.

Summer. Bring it on.

Batter up

John has been playing baseball again this spring. We love coach Garry and honestly would put him in any sport as long as Garry was the coach. Not only is he a wonderful coach, but he’s a neighbor of ours, and he’s a wonderful coach. He played college and pro football back in the day, and he’s patient, kind, and a great coach. John’s little gang of neighborhood boys is all on the team together and it’s really fun to go to the games. This season has been especially nice. The weather has been perfect! We remember all too well last spring, when we would watch games huddled together under umbrellas, wrapped in blankets and jackets to keep warm.

While he hasn’t always WANTED to go to his practices and games, once he’s there, he enjoys the game.

While he started out a reluctant player, he’s gotten so that he can hit that ball, and he’s a GREAT runner. We still need to work on catching and throwing a bit, but he has scored quite a few runs. There he goes….

And he scores! I love this picture of him running to home, with his coach waiting.

His team has now entered the tournament, and they won their first game last week. Hopefully they can win again this week and stay in the tournament, but even if they don’t win, it’s been a GREAT season, and John has had a lot of fun.

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