Thursday, February 17, 2011

2 Hour Late Start

"Dear Kurt- Things here are worse. Now I cant go outside, apparently Mellissa is worried I will run away. I dont know why you guys would think I would run away. I LOVE it here! The noisey kids, the messes, the drama, the stress, oh its super...... okay, maybe now I understand why she wont let me outside. You should have taken me with you. Love, Amelie"

... cant let the kids out to play. UGH.

Kids entertaining themselves by playing Super Mario Brothers Wii!

Today is day 2 of 2 hour late starts at school. The kids are getting SOOOOO sick of being indoors! Amelie grows more and more needy as winter-blahs fill the house. We all need to just keep focusing on Mexico in a few weeks!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Twilight Day

Harrison has fun while Mommy watches Eclipse!

The boys show off their Valentines from Grandma and Grandpa Lyle!

Carter's new tooth! (It is on the bottom, front, left- peeking behind his baby tooth)

Carter ADORES his stuffed puppy from Kayla!

Carter shows us "Bowling Pin" - that is the puppy's name. This animal represents all things that Carter loves: Kayla, animals, and bowling. LOL!

Today was a super awesome day! I went to Jaime's house and we watched Eclipse! Well... most of it. We were so chatty we didn't get through the whole thing! Harrison came with me and played with Jaime's daughter. They were not interested in getting their pictures taken, but we managed to snap a few!

Carter and Harrison got mail today! It was Valentine Cards from Grandma and Grandpa Lyle! They were thrilled to get mail, and excited that the cards came with money! Now that Carter is learning about money- he gets a thrill out of having some! LOL!

After school, we went and saw Gnomeo and Juliet. What a cute movie! The boys had a great time! It was so windy here, we didn't play outside, but hopefully things will calm down with the weather!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! Today was our first day without Kurt- he is away on a FOUR WEEK training in California. This is going to be tough, but we can do it! Today was pretty good! This morning my good friend Jaime watched Harrison so I could relax with a wonderful yoga session. I am still working on breaking in my new mat, but it will be awesome! We did a lot of heart openers, and talked about how to open our hearts in our lives- neat session =)

Harrison went with Jaime cheerfully- he happily waved goodbye! (I think he has a crush on her daughter!) Carter went to school with NO issues- he just walked right into the classroom! YAY! This afternoon Jaime's daughter came to our house to play, so Jaime could volunteer at school- Harrison loved the company =)

Today was special for Carter. Carter has a special gift from Kayla, and he cuddles it every single night. Carter made some valentine crafts, he has been begging to send so many to Kayla, I am not sure of how we will send them! Carter also squeezed in some time to make a special valentine for Kurt- I am putting a picture of it up for Kurt to see =)

All in all it was a great day- looking forward to many more =)

OH! I almost forgot to mention, Carter is losing his first tooth! HOORAY! He is so excited! We can see the new tooth popping up behind it! YAY!

(I will not mention that the first day Kurt is gone that half of the fence blew over with our strong winds, and that one of the toilets overflew at least 6 bucket-fulls of toilet water and flooded the bathroom... /sigh)

"Dear Kurt, You have forced my hand. I am going to spend the rest of my days in a drunken state. You should have brought me to Cali with you. Never Yours, Amelie"

"I love my dad" by Carter

"Brothers love each other!"

I told the boys to make silly faces, lol!

We miss you, Daddy!

Food Storage!

No, this is not a picture of my food storage... yet.

I don't believe it is mere coincidence that the very last can of tomatoes from our food storage was used on the very same day that Kurt started his new job. Nope, cant be.

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others. We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

My mother always kept a very full pantry, something that she learned from her own mother- a bargain shopper who took advantage of every sale (having 6 kids made a big grocery bill!). My mother kept the tradition and always had a lot of food around. I tried to keep the practice in my own home, but it never worked for me. I didn't really focus on having "food storage" until my mid twenties, but by then I had no idea of how the heck to start. The idea of having ample food storage was overwhelming. Where would we keep it? How would we afford it? What the heck would we buy? Thoughts like this flooded my mind, and I found myself sitting at the back of Relief Society programs where food storage was the main topic, or just skipping them all together. I just felt too out of my element. While the other women were learning how to make "mock ground beef" using whole wheat and smiles I was looking around and wondering- where do we get whole wheat? What the heck do I make with it when I do get it? What do you mean I need a wheat grinder? Harrison and I cant eat wheat- NOW WHAT?!

I know this sounds silly- but it is something I lost sleep on. I looked at ready-made kits. I looked into canning. I looked into bulk. I looked into specialty companies, who (for a mere $6000) could provide me with what they said I needed. But after doing a lot of reading I learn that the body rejects foods that are unlike it has ever been fed, and many cases of malnourishment and starvation occurred when there WAS access to food, but it was food that the body was not willing to accept. Ugh. Bring on the headache. There are at least a dozen amazing sites that are willing to walk me through step by step food storage help- but NONE that seemed practical for what we needed. So, Kurt and I decided to take our complaints to the Bishop of our Ward (about... hm... 4 wards ago). At the time we were super young with super young kids. Our Bishop heard my thoughts, and laughed. He suggested that in order to start my own food storage, that I start slow. He asked that we add 2 items per grocery trip, to our storage. Just 2. We can pick the 2. We had no space in our small apartment, so he suggested taking the 2 items and putting them in a box under our bed. And this began our food storage.

Our food storage has never been huge, and never had whole wheat. Our food storage is things we use often, and things that we love. Our first try with using food storage was a semi disaster- but a step on our path of learning. We bought off-brand, on-sale cheap foods, that we normally wouldn't touch, but we thought would work in our storage. Kurt's company reorganized and we found ourselves using our food storage as our main grocery source. UGH. It was gross. Icky food plus depressing situation = NOT GOOD. We vowed to do better the next time. The next time we stuck to our boxing method, but because Kurt's income was so comfortable we didn't make food storage a priority. Kurt's company eliminated his position. This time, we had foods that were pretty much the same as we were used to, and I had even provided food storage treats. PERFECT!

Ever since then, I make sure to buy extras in the good quality products that we use, and always keep a few treats around. I know that by planning ahead, we are setting ourselves up for success in the event of an emergency, and at the very least, we are setting ourselves up to be able to help those in need at any given time.

So, today- as I used my last can of tomatoes. I was grateful. I was so grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the loving messages they provide. I was so thankful that my food storage helped us keep our grocery bills low while Kurt was home. I was so thankful for the wonderful family that I get to feed, and I was thankful for the comfort that having food storage provided.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prayers were answered!

The strangest thing happened...

Last August we said a prayer, and we knew that I shouldn't attend University classes that fall. I had been full time in Spring and Summer, so taking a break in the fall was not a huge deal.

At the same time, my brother's wife left and demanded a divorce. She started dating, and had appeared to have pretty much cashed out of her old life. My brother needed help with his 5 year old- so, we decided to help out. We prayed hard, but got no answer, we both got the impression that the move didn't matter in the long run. We were both kind of surprised by this- how could a 500 mile move NOT matter? But, if we had the choice to stay in Utah, or go help family in Nevada, we knew we had to go.

We moved.

Through MAJOR miscommunication, and some downright shady business, Kurt lost his job. The Walgreen's Salt Lake City district manager claimed that Kurt abandoned his position in Salt Lake, and he fired Kurt. NO ONE knew about it. Kurt moved to Reno, started working for his new district, and everything was fine. It wasn't until he re enrolled for benefits that it flagged that he had been fired MONTHS before hand! The district people here in Reno tried everything to reverse the decision. The district leader swore up and down that he had permission from Salt Lake to bring Kurt into his staff! The pleas fell on deaf ears, and Kurt was jobless.

To make matters worse. We found out that my brother's home- the one we live in- was in danger of foreclosure, and up for short-sale.

Then illness after illness hit our family.

It really didn't seem like our situation could get worse... but somehow, we never worried. Yes, there was stress, but never panic.

The state of Nevada has over 15% unemployment. Kurt applied for unemployment benefits right away, but Walgreen's claimed he abandoned his job. Unemployment found it odd that they actually fired Kurt months AFTER the termination decision, and gave Kurt no warnings, notices, or write-ups. Unemployment in Nevada fought with Utah over WHO should pay Kurt- technically he lost his job in Utah... but technically he was fired in Nevada. UGH. We never saw a single penny. That was annoying. It seemed like everyone was looking for a job- it seemed like everyone had hours cut. It seemed like no one was hiring!

Then... Kurt got a job. Not just any job. He got a GREAT job. I am so thrilled to say that Kurt is starting at Verizon- and even though Verizon told him they start 99% of ALL employees at the sales level, they brought Kurt into management. Kurt gets INSTANT health benefits! Kurt gets INSTANT vacation time! Kurt works at the District Office! And his salary is more than we hoped for!

This was more than we could have hoped for!!!! Kurt had LITERALLY applied for minimum wage hourly positions- just because he wanted to have a job! And now- he is thrilled to be working on a career path that he hopes to retire with! THIS IS PERFECTION!!!!!!!!!

Prayers are answered. They really really really are. We are in a better position RIGHT NOW than we have EVER been- in our marriage, and our lives. I am so thankful for the prayers that were offered on our behalf. I am so thankful for the scriptures that carried me through the darkest times. I am so thankful for my hardworking, professional, and amazing husband- who I ALWAYS KNEW would support our family so I could stay home. There is no way I can express my thanks enough! Well... maybe... I will go make Chicken Tikka Masala, give my man extra kisses, and hug my kids more- we made it through the storm, and now the light is shining!