The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: February 2013

Flush! We can flush!

When we came back from our little California trip, Ryan and I got busy doing the grout. Seriously. Ryan did most of the work, I washed behind him with a big old sponge.
Later he told me I’d been doing it wrong, so I’m not sure how much good I did, but I worked for two hours, so it must have been SOME help, right? The next day we were set to have our baseboards finished and then carpet the day after that! Because of the radient floor heating, it took the carpet guys two days to install the carpet instead of one, but that’ fine. No worries, we are getting CARPET!


So by Thursday, things were looking pretty good down there. 018

Of course, we have to fill in the nail holes in the trim, and do some paint touch ups, etc, but progress is being made, my friends! We put in the vanity I had bought, and then Saturday Ryan and I went shopping.
WE first went to Lowe’s, where we picked out a toilet, sink and countertop and fixtures. Amazing, right? It’s not too hard to pick those kind of things out, actually. Ryan picked the toilet he wanted, I said ok. I picked the countertop I liked from the vanity tops in stock, and then we picked the faucet fixtures together.


Of course, we had to get those items home and down to the basement, but luckily we have a few helpers around.

Megan even helped Ryan install the sink!

The toilet has a cool “no slam” feature where the lid closes slowly. Kind of like those self closing cabinet and drawer doors we were admiring at the Home Improvement store (drool).


After our shopping trip for the bathroom, we went quickly over to Knight’s furniture to show Ryan the bed I was thinking of getting for Cole’s room. He approved, and while we were there, we went tover to take a quick look at the couches. What do you know, we found one for a GREAT price, AGREED on it, and picked it out right then. My goodness, when we are in the mood to shop and buy, we don’t waste time. The couch was in stock and ready to take home that day, but we were in the suburban at the time, so we had to go home, unload the toilet and sink, and then I could take the truck back to the furniture store to pick up the couch.

I don’t have things all arranged yet to post pictures, but we’ll just say there was a lot of couch moving, and taking things downstairs over the weekend!

It’s official

On Wednesday, we were waiting for a mission call.
Of course, we were also driving to California.

We left at about 6 am with four of the kids, and started our drive. Megan and Cole stayed home to get in a couple more days of classes, as it’s not easy to miss class when you are in High School or College. When Megan got home from school at around 2:30, she had strict instructions to go check the mail, and then text me if there was a nice big envelope for Cole. We were eating lunch at the train McDonald’s in Barstow at the time. She sent a text, and said there was nothing in the mail for Cole. WHAT? Then I texted another missionary mom in the ward who had also been told that he was “assigned” and should get his call on Wed. They didn’t get THE letter, either. In fact, her son said that he only knew one Elder who had been expecting his call who had actually gotten THE envelope that day. Ugh. Well, nothing we can do about it.

The next morning, before we headed off to Disneyland, Megan called from home and said that the mail delivery lady (who is in our stake) called from the post office to let us know the call was there. Hooray! They delivered it to the house, and Megan picked it up that afternoon. Cole and Megan headed to the airport that night, and flew to California to join us. Now, after a full day at Disneyland, Ryan headed to the airport at about 9:30 to pick them up. They all got back at around 11:30 California time (which felt like 12:30 to us Utahns) and woke us up so he could open his call.

We took some pictures, but they are not uploaded yet, so you’ll just have to imagine us all sleepy eyed and in our pajamas and Cole opening his call.

Elder Cole Spencer Erickson, you have been called to labor in the West Virginia, Charlotte mission.

West Virginia?


Honestly, we were expecting something a bit more exotic, foreign, or far away. Although I hear that West Virginia will be pretty foreign to a white boy from Utah. Cole didn’t express much surprise or excitement or anything, but that’s Cole. We all told him Congratulations, gave him big hugs, and then went back to bed.

The next day, while hurrying off to Disney’s California Adventure for our early morning entry (which came WAY too early, I tell you), I asked him what he thought of the call. “It feels right,” he said, “If I had a choice, I was secretly hoping for Japan, but this will be good.” Oh, how I love that boy! He understands, even better than his mother does, that WHERE you serve isn’t the important thing, it’s HOW you serve.


He reports to the MTC on May 22, which is pretty close to his availability date of May 1st. It’s just a short 13 weeks from today!

So follow us on our adventure as we prepare our son to serve!

Only in my mind

There is a great ferver of missionary excitement going on. We’ve got a nephew and a niece out in the field in England and the Dominican Republic, with another niece and a cousin leaving next month, going to Puerto Rico and Virginia. Elders and Sisters are getting their calls right and left, some of them to the strangest places. Our neighbor got his call last week to Australia, speaking Mandarin Chinese. What? Another boy in our ward is in Boston, Portuguese speaking (but he’s currently in a Spanish speaking area). One of Cole’s good friends is leaving this month for Texas, speaking Spanish. We had their family over for dinner last night. We spoke of missions and the MTC and missionaries. It was a great evening.
(We tried this recipe for ribs, by the way, and even though I didn’t splurge for baby back ribs, they turned out very yummy!)

However, when I go to bed, the dreams take over. For the past week or so, I’ve been dreaming about Cole’s mission call. His papers are in, you see, and his call is expected to come this week. I’m anxious. Yes, I am. This is my little boy we’re talking about, and I’m excited and thrilled and worried and nervous. Ok, let’s just admit it, I’m kind of wreck inside. I’m sure I’m not the first mother of a missionary to stress just a bit. When I ask Cole where he thinks he might go, or where he wants to (or doesn’t want to) go, he just says calmly that he will be going wherever the Lord wants him to be. So, I’m dreaming about it. I’ve dreamed that he was called to some island in the Philippines, but he was going to be a select District that would be speaking all four languages. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s a DREAM. Last night I dreamed that we were together and he opened his call to Phoenix, Arizona. No offense, Arizonians, but that’s kind of a downer mission call when you are from Utah and have been to Arizona to visit family and friends in Arizona multiple times. As he read down in his call, it said that after a time, he would be transferred to some super secret assignment. DREAMS, people–they don’t make sense. I remember when I got my mission call, I just didn’t want to go to California.

I love this video of kids opening their mission calls, but of course it makes me cry.

You don’t see any of them saying, What? I HATE that place! Even the girl who was called to Los Angeles was really excited. So, even if it’s not a really ‘cool’ place to go, it’s where the Lord wants him. But what if the Lord wants him to go somewhere scary and icky that will just make the missionary mother even more nervous?

Stop thinking, Paige.

Maybe I’m just stressed because my firstborn is preparing to leave us, and go who knows where in the world, and it’s scary.
Maybe I’m not quite ready to know where in the world that may be.
Maybe it’s the fact that we won’t really be home this week when the call is supposed to come. You see, we scheduled a trip to Disneyland, and we are leaving on Wednesday morning. Well, MOST of us are leaving Wed morning, while a few of them stay to go to school a few more days and then are flying down to meet us there. Kind of complicates the whole opening of the mission call.

Big deep breath.

So, I need to just calm down, enjoy this experience, and it will all work out. Right? Easier said than done.

Hang in there, baby

Remember those old posters that we had at about the jr high era of the cat hanging in the tree that said, “Hang in there, baby”? Now with the internet and facebook, it seems pictures like that are shared all the time. This is how we found the kitty the other day. She looks like she’s just about given up.

You may remember that this kitty ‘joined’ us last July when she just started hanging around the house, and when Marie, our exchange student from France was worried about the cat that had been there for 3-4 days, we fed it a little bit. Well, now I guess we have a cat. A 3 legged cat.

I have been a little worried about her this winter. There’s been a LOT of snow, and so MANY nights WAY below freezing. I just wondered how she could survive when it’s so cold. I bought her a little cozy bed and put the heated pet mat below that, and gave her an old wool blanket. But more often than not, when I see her outside, it’s not in her cozy bed. I brought the heated dog dish out of the chicken coop (they were just making a mess of it and I got them a new water dish) and plugged that in on the porch so that her water won’t freeze. I guess she does ok with the cold. The other day when we had SO MUCH snow, and I spent many hours shoveling, she padded out through the falling snow to say hello.

Her feet left little paw print melt marks in the snow, and she was happy to play in the snow.

After that snowstorm, by the way, things looked like this.

With snow up to the swing, I don’t think anyone felt like swinging.

Or jumping on the trampoline.

And that sidewalk that I had shoveled twice already looked like this.

But we made it through January with it’s inversion and it’s really really really cold temps. So, hang in there baby, it’s only a couple of months until spring, right?

Valentine pin up

It seems like there is not a day that goes by that I am not at the elementary school for some reason. This week, for example, I will be at the Book Fair twice, parent teacher conference on Thursday, I’m subbing on Wednesday, and I am always there for chime choir twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was there subbing last Friday, too. So, today, I was kind of excited that I didn’t have any reason to be at the school.

Oh darn. That bulletin board.

I guess I signed up to do the bulletin board again this month, and today was really the only day to do it. Another trip to the school it it.

I did this bulletin board.

Except that I have three LONG rows of hearts, because it’s a pretty wide board. On the back of each heart, there are valentine’s jokes. Extremely corny valentine’s days jokes that third graders should just love. So, when the month is over, or on Valentine’s day, or whenever, she can take down a heart and read a joke. Kind of a bonus because it’s such a simple board.

While I was up there standing on the counter to take down the last stuff and put this stuff up, it was fun to “sit in” on John’s class and listen to his teacher. I wish I had that kind of classroom control, I will tell you that. She was teaching them about division and every student had a handful of cheerios to make groups and divide the numbers, etc. I’m glad I can help out a little bit in the classroom, and I’m glad John has such a great teacher.

And I’m glad that bulletin board is done and that I don’t have to do it next month.

Waiting for the call

With the new lower missionary age, there has been a fever of missionary excitement around these parts (and everywhere there are LDS teenagers, I am sure). Since Cole was already into his freshman year at BYU when the announcement came to lower the age when young men and women could serve missions, we decided to just stick with the plan, and he would do two semesters at school, then leave shortly after his 19th birthday. When school was out for the semester, we used that time to get everything ready to submit his papers. My goal was to have everything in by mid January. With scheduling being what it is, and the Stake President is surely busy with all kinds of kids submitting their mission papers, Cole didn’t have his interview until almost the end of January.

Tuesday he had an interview with the Stake President. Because of some last minute changes and a reschedule, Ryan and I also had our temple recommend interview with the Stake on Tuesday night. So, Cole braved the huge amounts of snow (that we had been shoveling ALL day, by the way) and drove to Highland. We had dinner together, and then the three of us dropped the girls off at the church for YW, and went over to the Stake Center. It was cool to all go together. I went with our old bishop, Ryan went with the other counselor, and Cole spoke with the Stake President. When we were all done, the Stake President shook our hands, and said he would submit the papers and we would hear something within a few weeks.

Yes, I am FREAKING OUT, just a little bit.

We’re in kind of a state of limbo right now. I know there will be SO MUCH to do once he gets the call, but we can’t really do any of that yet. So, we’ll just wait.

So many of Cole’s friends are getting their calls right now, every week more and more calls go out. He told me that in one BYU ward a couple of weeks ago, there were 40 something mission calls that week. I love to read the letters and experiences from other missionaries and their testimonies and love for the gospel. Wow! Talk about flooding the earth with the gospel, these are the young people who are going to do that. It’s such an exciting time!

I love this Called to Serve video, and yes, it’s a bit dated (back when families could still go to the airport with their missionaries), but it shares the feeling of excitement that these missionaries have.

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