Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two More Elders

This post is dedicated to Elders Harrison (second from left) and Stutz (resting on E) who became part of our family while serving here in Baltimore. We love you guys!
I don't know how to compose this post. I am suddenly filled with deep emotion as I consider things. It's funny how you can plan things one way and they can turn out entirely different than you anticipated and be even better than you could imagined. I was referring to our evening with Elders last night, but as I write this, I realize it absolutely applies to life in general.

We said goodbye to two more Elders yesterday evening. It was a whirlwind day, with much planning to make it all come together.
A little explanation: In the past when any of the Elders are being transferred or going home, we try and have both companionships over for dinner and we play the game of LIFE. (They seem to look at this as a road map for what might lie ahead. It's pretty funny.)
A little hiccup: On Sunday, two of the Elders informed us they would not be able to come to dinner on Tuesday as planned. No other night would work as Jon works Sunday and Monday evenings this month and on Wednesday they would be at the mission home for their final evening before heading home. They had a very good reason for cancelling - a baptism!
A little tweaking: After rearranging times a little, we figured out a way to get all four here, have an early dinner, shuttle off to the baptism with the help of our friend Daniel acting as chauffeur to two, attend the baptism and come back for 16-layers of heaven (see photo). All of that was easily enough arranged and the baptism was wonderful. I am grateful we attended.
Another set of hiccups: When the baptism concluded, there were not enough spots in vehicles to get everyone back to our place. There are too many little details to explain and really they are unnecessary for this story, so in the end we had found rides for everyone who needed them and in the process invited most of the people at the baptism back to our place for cake and ice cream. Love it. (I'm so glad we had cleaned the house earlier.)
A spontaneous party!! This glorious cake, below, is incredibly rich and the piece size needs to be small if you are going to make it through it. In the end, we got 20 slices out of a 9" round. Turns out, that's about the right size after all. Not a piece was left and everyone who wanted one got one. The ice cream too was completely devoured. It felt a little like the loaves and the fishes. More than the food though, we got to have good friends over to visit, the kids played until they dropped and the Elders got to say goodbye to a lot of people. It was wonderful and I loved that it was entirely unplanned and there was no stress.
In the end, we played a quick game of LIFE with the Elders and E creamed us all. We said our goodbyes to Harrison and Stutz, who were amazing, hard-working Elders, snapped a few pics and went to bed with our bellies full of cake, minds filled with happy new memories and hearts overflowing with gratitude for such a perfect day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Clothes Line

Do you ever wonder why it took you so long to do something? Something simple and easy? Especially when it was something you really wanted? Well, I have. Sadly, I wonder this too often about a myriad of things.

My thoughts wandered this direction today after I accomplished something painfully easy. What am I talking about you ask? A clothesline! I have wanted one forever and I finally went ahead and did it. I hung it myself. Took me all of two minutes. Nothing fancy, but it works. Plus, I found another use for my beloved clothespins. hehe

Two things made me finally decide to do it. The first: I was having a hard time falling asleep. This was not because of the outrageous electrical bill I got this month, although it should have been keeping me up nights. Rather it was due to my noisy dryer. You see, here in MD, we have no laundry room just a stack W/D - an older one I might add - in the hallway near my bedroom. I was only drying clothes at night for many reasons which would take too long to explain. I would put a load in before bed and if there was anything in the load that could make noise, it would - keeping me awake. Secondly, that darn electrical bill! Again, it would take far too long to fully explain why it was so big, but let me say, it made me do a double take and make a phone call it was so outrageous. Jon and I decided we needed to be more conscientious of our electricity usage further prompting me to consider the clothesline.

Why do I like the clothesline? So many reasons...
I love how the clothes smell hung out to dry on the line. I can't imagine how good they'll smell when the plumaria blooms.
It saves money.
It's environmentally responsible.
My house doesn't heat up because of the prehistoric dryer.
The clothes aren't going to wear out as quickly.
Sun is a natural bleach.
My kids "fight" over who gets to hang up the laundry with me.
It just makes me happy. Can't really explain it. I can imagine myself having a yard again with a great big clothesline, listening to the Weepies "Simple Life" while I hang things out to dry. That makes me happy.

What I don't like:
The dryer did a great job of hair-removal aka Jack's hair, which is currently attached to everything we own.
Towels aren't as soft on the first use. They're fine after that, but they are a little stiff the first go-round.

The most ironic thing... I finally have a clothesline and it's in the smallest outdoor space I have ever had. Go figure.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Three years ago, I think it was, a dear friend gave me a plumaria she purchased while vacationing in Hawaii. In the three years I have had it, it has grown bigger every year, but never bloomed. I have researched how to get it to bloom, but never done just what I it needed. It is absolutely my most cherished plant, such that when we moved to MD, it traveled in the car with us instead of the moving van.

After obediently following the regime I found, my plumaria is doing amazing well. Apparently, the healthier the plant, the more it branches. My sweet plant is sporting multiple branches at this point. Also, the more it branches, the more blooms you can expect. In a few weeks, I will post again to show-off the beautiful blooms that are just beginning to form. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New haircut for Sis

I don't know why but she won't wear barrettes, elastics, or headbands without a fight. She plays hard and by the end of the day was looking pretty scary, borderline homeless somedays. What's a mom to do? Chop it off! Problem being, I am not stylist. I cut Et's hair in the summer, which translates into clippers and buzzing it. Did that stop me? Not this time! I mustered my courage and chopped it all off, nearly five inches! Turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

Who am I kidding, she looks adorable no matter what!