Monday, June 30, 2008

Settling in

There are extreme times when I feel like a horrible mom. These last few days have been some of the biggest extremes. My children have had a very hard time going to sleep and to bed ever since we moved in with my in-laws. We had just gotten some semblance of a bedtime routine down when we moved out of our house. Now, the kids keep asking if they can go downstairs and sleep with Grandma. That's hard, but it's fine. The hard part is that the kids do not have any of their own toys to play with because large amounts of toys had been confiscated to my closet at my house. I told the movers that I did not want them to pack up the garbage bags of toys in the boxes. I wanted them left out. The movers apparently didn't listen to either Rob or me in that regard because there are now four garbage bags full of toys in the storage unit in who knows which boxes buried somewhere towards the very back at least four boxes down in the stacks. Therefore, my children do not have any toys upstairs in their room. The only toys in the house are downstairs in Grandma's play room.

Don't get me wrong. Grandma's playroom is lovely and well set up. The only problem is that it's also all the way downstairs and I can't hear or watch the kids while they're down there, and I'm upstairs trying to unpack. The result is that I still have all my boxes that I planned on unpacking here piled in our half of Grandma's garage, and the entire bathroom/kitchen (yes, they are the same place) in our little upstairs is also full of stuff that is unpacked. On top of that, I'm feeling very guilty for the huge amounts of digital entertainment (read television and movies) my children have sat mesmerized by for the last two weeks minimum.

In the end, I'm really praying for Jackie to get some good birthday presents from her friends this Saturday. We got her a bike, but she won't be able to ride that upstairs, so I'm hoping that she gets some good loot. Then, maybe I'll start getting to put my house in order and my children will be tired enough at night to start sleeping.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Moved Out

OK, well we're mostly moved out. We have two boxes of cleaning supplies to remove and we only have the master bathroom, kitchen floor, and laundry room left to clean. Other than that, everything is completely out of our house, and our house is looking more beautiful than it ever has since we moved in. I wonder if there is some way that I can just live in my house the way it is without any stuff. It might stay clean. . . However, along with no stuff, the kids don't have any toys, and there are no writing utinsels in it, so the kiddos can't draw on the newly painted walls. Now that we're at Mom R.'s house, the upstairs already looks like a tornado hit it, and I've been working on getting it organized, so we can keep it better. Good luck to us. But hey, at least our sink is shiny! :) We only have the one sink, so the bathroom sink doubles for the kitchen sink, but it's alright. We're working on it. Well, if we can just get moved in, things will be good. The realtor is coming today to take pictures of our house, so we can get it up on the websites. I'll leave a link when we get a chance. You can all see my beautiful house, and if anyone is thinking of relocating, I know a good house! :) Good luck to all of your with in your summer endeavors. I'm starting to both dread and get excited for school to start.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Movin' Out

"Is that all you get for your money? And it seems such a waste of time, if that's what it's all about. . ." OK, so I'm a HUGE Billy Joel fan, but honestly, moving out is hard work. We've been working for two weeks just about as hard as we can and hiring people to help out to see if we can get out of our house. Our goal is for the real-estate agent to list our house on 21 internet sites after taking pictures of it Friday night. She wants to have it on the market by Saturday when people will be looking for it. Rob and I are still working hard. I think that we can have all the stuff out by tomorrow night *crossing fingers and praying hard* and we can have it all cleaned by Friday night or MOnday. But we're hoping that it will be on the market and people will start looking at it this weekend. We really really really want it to sell this summer. The sooner the better, really. In the end though, really, what I want is for Rob to reach his dream. Also, I just want this new baby to be born healthy.

Yes. I said it. I'm pregnant again. This makes preganancy #5 and hopefully child number 3. I'm 10 weeks today. But I got to have an Ultrasound on the 13th, and I got to hear the heartbeat then. My next appt. is the 28th of July. I'll keep you posted. Good luck to the world and hopefully postive changes for all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Copyright v. Public Domain

I know that there are a whole bunch of people out with really great ideas, and they want to use those ideas to sell a product. I think that's great. I also think that patents, trademarks, and copyrights are great. However, I have been looking online for some sheet music. I know that this music is pretty old, and I have a pretty good idea that some of it, if not all, really should be in the Public Domain. Therefore, I want to find this music in one of the online download sections. If it's in the public domain, maybe I should pay some company for preserving it for me, but I shouldn't have to pay the price for the rights to the royalties or to the publishing company anymore.

Anyway, that said, I also feel very strongly about preserving people's copyrights. For awhile, I used to download songs off Kazaa on the internet. Then, I thought about it. I really like these songs. I really like the composers. If I copy their music and use it for free, I'm taking away their resources to produce more songs like these. People who produce music, books, patterns, or any other copyrighted material for a living have to have those copyrights. Also, their families deserve to have some consideration to be helped by the copyrights. The thing is, that copyrights were meant to expire. When the very first copyrights were being made, they lasted for 14 years. The most current legislation is for personal copyrights to last 75 years past the author's death. This most current legislation is the Sonny Bono act. It guarantees some corporate copyrights for 120 years. Many people believe that this act passed largely due to some 6.3 million dollars in campaign contributions by Disney. Mickey Mouse and his friends are very profitable to Disney. The problem that I see here is that Walt Disney is gone. Also, Disney is no longer owned by or run by Walt's family. Now, it's solely profitable to Disney Corporation, and society as a whole loses out because of that.

What if Mickey moves into the Public Domain? How is that any different than the great works by Mozart and Beethoven? It would be great to have some of Disney's characters move into the Public Domain. We could use those characters to teach art, animation, and other things just like we use Mozart and Beethoven to teach piano students about Classical music and the enjoyment of aesthetics. There is a great value to the Public Domain. The Supreme Court is going to rule on a decision about whether the Sonny Bono act is actually constitutional or not. As of tonight (5 am after studying this since about 1:30) I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for this case.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why do we change?

Well, due to internet problems, I had this post 95% written, and it's all gone now. . . Yippee. However, Over at Julie's blog there's a great Hump Day Hmm this week. The subject is Next week's Hump Day Hmm topic: this is "How far would you go for your kids/family/loved one/self?" I vary the who it is because really, that's up to you, as is the interpretation of the question. Maybe it's 500 miles through a hot and crowded zoo. Maybe it's a move to another country. Maybe it's setting aside something you do. Maybe it's a life change, such as getting sober.

Julie's topic really made me stop to thing. Why do I change? I don't really think that we change for other people. When we start acting different for other people, we don't really change. We just act different. Inside, we're still the same person, and if we feel like we have to act different for that other person, I think that we start to resent that person. Somewhere inside ourselves, we all want to be loved for who and what we are.

People do change though, and changes are almost always brought on by some outside influence. I do some things differently just because I know when I do somethings, Rob will probably smile. Did I make him smile or happy? No. I can't make him happy. I can't make him sad or mad. If he gets mad at something I did, that's up to him. It really is. If he does something, it's up to me to decide whether or not to get mad. I'm in charge of me and he's incharge of himself. At first when writing this post I thought, "I moved out to GA for Rob, and before that, he moved out to Idaho for me." In reality, I moved out to GA because that's where Rob got a job, and it's where he needed to be. I did it for myself because I wanted to be where he was.

Now, I feel like both of us are holding hands with each other, and each of us has a child in the opposite arms. We're racing for a cliff, and we're all going to leap off together. We have some ideas of what Rob wants to do and where he wants to go, but in the end, we have absolutely nothing solid to go on. Both of us just feel that Heavenly Father has a new plan in mind for us right now, so we're going to jump and know that he will catch us. The landing may hurt, but when He catches us, He'll put us where He needs us to be, and we'll go on from there. I think that this may be one of my family's refiner's fires.

In the end, I really want Rob to find his dream. Am I doing this for him? Would I do it for him? Probably not. Why? Because somewhere in life, I have learned that doing things just for other people and hoping for a reaction doesn't always get the reaction we want. I want Rob to be happy, with all my heart. In the end, though, that's not up to me. It' s entirely up to him. I can't make Heavenly Father happy either. He's always happy or sad by His own choices, too. We all have our agency and our choices. The only in control of my feelings is me, and I have to be responsible for them. In my old post, I had written something about an idea, and I think that it helps to sum up my feelings about why I change and how pretty well.

Jackie is generally a happy, well behaved, friendly child. However, she has somehow decided that biting, hitting, and kicking are really good ideas. When she gets in time-out, and I persist until she actually stays in the chair I put her in or the corner that I put her in if she gets out of the chair, then she tells me, "Mommy, I don't like it when you put me in the corner." I respond with something like, "Jackie I don't like to have to help you stand in the corner. You chose to bite. Biting is not an acceptable behavior. When you choose to bite, you choose to go in time-out. If you don't like to go in the corner, follow the rules." I want her to learn that actions come along with the consequences. I don't want to put her in the corner. I'm not trying to make her unhappy. I don't get to choose her feelings about the corner or the chair. However, she doesn't get to choose my feelings about biting either. She would like it if I didn't care whether or not she bites Ben or me. She doesn't get to make that choice. Also, I don't get to choose whether or not she's going to go willingly into time-out or into the corner.

We don't do things for other people. We do things because we like the rewards that come with decisions as a whole. So, really, we do things for ourselves.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jackie's See Saw

We went out for Mexican food yesterday for lunch. Jackie started playing with the eating utensils while we waited for our food to come. She made herself a "See Saw." And she really had the idea figured out. Here is a picture of her her see-saw.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Crazy days

So, I had all sorts of intentions of making a follow up post to "If ye are prepared." However, life this week is full of blog fodder. So much blog fodder, that this post is all you're going to get. (Not that I have so many readers who will be disappointed though.)

So, sometime last week, I talked to the realtor who sold us our house just to see what we would need to fix if we wanted to sell our house. I figured that we would just start now and fix things little by little that way. We learned several things from the realtor. 1) We learned that our house will sell best in the summer. 2) Moving out this summer would almost double our chances of selling our house. 3) Fixing our house isn't going to be as huge a deal as we thought it would.

With all of that knowledge, Rob talked to his dad about things, just to talk things out. The new plan is for us to move out of our house. Rapidly. That way, we can put our house on the market and get it sold. Then, if we move a year from now, so Rob can get his Ph.D, then we won't have a house payment here killing us. We talked to Rob's parents tonight, and we got some stuff ironed out. It looks like we may be moving in with them at least until our house sells and maybe for the whole year. We'll see how things turn out.

I know that it's probably tacky to ask for other people to pray for you on the blog, but I'm asking anyway, this is sort of scary for me, and I'm not sure how I feel about living in the same house with my in-laws. I love them, and I like them, and they love and like me. I want it to stay that way.

Monday, June 9, 2008

If Ye are Prepared, Ye Shall Not Fear*

Hebrews 11:7 states: By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became the heir of the rightesouness which is by faith.

When Noah built the ark, how crazy do you think his friends thought he was?

When Noah built the ark, was there any rain? But he had been warned that there would be rain. So, he set out, and cut down one tree at a time. After working hard one day at a time, he had an entire ark.

How would you feel if you knew for certain that your area would be hit by a hurricane three months from now? Would you get food for an extra week? What about a month? A quarter? Or a year? I'd start on the week (just like Noah's first tree) and move as quickly as I could to do as much as I could. What else would you gather as quickly as possible.

Here are some suggestions that I have gathered for this.

1) Keep your car filled up above a quarter tank in case you have to evacuate, a half tank is even better.
2) Get yourself a kit with all of the supplies that you family needs for three days. The main point here is that you can be ready to leave in 10 minutes, so keep this some place accessible, and also keep your important papers in a water proof tub or bag, and keep that available too. For more information on any of this stuff, There is also a link on there where you can order cans of food all prepared to be stored. But if you choose to order wheat, then you also need to consider getting a wheat grinder. It's better if your family's body is used to eating whole wheat before you're forced to use it. If you get a wheat grinder and use a little bit of fresh ground wheat with your white flour, then you can do more and more and finally, you can use the whole stuff, which is better for you anyway. There are many more suggestions, and they may come in another post soon.

*D&C 38:30

Friday, June 6, 2008

LSAT and tonsilitis

So, ever since before I went to high school, I wanted to be a lawyer. Well, Rob went to get a GMAT prep book from Borders, and I told him to pick me up an LSAT prep book. I need to take a practice test and then see which questions I get wrong. After that, then I can start studying the types of questions I missed and see how to read the words better to answer them correctly. I plan to take the LSAT in October. Some of you may be saying, so, what are you going to do with it after you take the test? Well, Rob is thinking of returning to school to get his GED. I'm thinking of applying wherever he gets into his Ph.D. program and seeing if I can get into law school at the same time. I think that this may be my only chance until my kids are fully grown. Rob and I have talked about it, and we're better off with me going to law school while he's in school too than if he had a full time job in corporate America. The other option is for me to go to law school wherever he teaches. Anyway, I decided that I may as well take the LSAT and see how I do. If I do well, I'll start applying. If I don't, then we'll see how that goes.

The tonsilitis part is for Ben and me. We went to the Dr. today, and we both have tonsilitis. Our throats are red, swollen, and there's nothing to do for them until the virus goes away. Good luck to us!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Comfort Zone or The Discomfort Zone

In the book Finding Paradise by Michele Ashman Bell, there are two main characters. Morgan, the heroin, lives her life as a responsible, predictable person who never does anything different than the norm. When her roommate decides to get married in Cancun and asks her to be the maid of honor, she feels like she should go. She plans on spending the week just sitting by the pool and reading magazines, and she feels like she may just go home early. She lives her whole life inside her comfort zone. However, she meets Justin, a fun loving guy who sees life as one big adventure. In fact, a comment in the book is, "He seems to spend more time in his discomfort zone than in his comfort zone." He helps her see that some of the things we're scared of can really be fun instead of scary. Even if they are scary for awhile, they are actually truly fun in the end.

When I look at my life, it's hard to recognize where the comfort zone ends and where the discomfort zone begins. When I first moved to the south, I viewed it as an adventure. I love to see new places and things. However, once I was here for a while, then any place outside of my house became the discomfort zone. Going to Wal-mart where I couldn't understand people was uncomfortable. I was extremely uncomfortable any time someone called me ma'am. Instead of addressing people by Mr. or Mrs. and their surnames, people are addressed by Mr. or Miss and their first names. No matter how old I get, I'll still be Miss Ellie in the south. I'm starting to get used to that, but in the west, if people say "Yes, ma'am," it's like calling someone a little old lady. If you want to get a lady's attention in the west, "Excuse me miss. Can I ask you a question?" The only times you use ma'am is in sticky customer service situations. Now, however, I have grown used to the way things work here, and I'm now comfortable walking around the south. I'm looking forward to some new adventures this summer still. I hope to find a couple chances to enlarge my comfort zone.

This post is part of the Hump Day Hmm at Julie Pippert's Blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Last Lecture: A Virtual Book Club book review

I'm sorry that I didn't get this up in time for Melissa's book club last night, but I still wanted to do a book review post on this book. It's a wonderful book.

This book is called The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, and it's excellent. I recommend that anyone read this book. It's about a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was asked to give a "Last Lecture." What would you say if this was really the last lecture you could give? Right after he was asked, he found out that he had terminal pancreatic cancer. Although this sounds morbid, the book is not about dying. It's all about living and how to make the most of each day. I would write some of his anecdotes, but I think that you would benifit more from the surprise.