Category Archives: Jordan

Changes & Routine

Back to School 2012

We are officially Back to School – both my public schooled stepchildren, ages 12 and 9, and my homeschooled daughters, ages 4 and 2. Jordan is entering seventh grade in his first year at middle school, Rebecca has started fourth grade, Nicole is doing Kindergarten at home with me, and little Abigail is doing Tot School!

I’m incredibly grateful to be back to a routine. Granted, I’m tired (haven’t quite gotten that school night bedtime down for myself), and I have less help during the day. I actually hate the responsibility behind a routine, but we all do better on one, especially if I can keep it up. The laziness of the summer–and the awfulness of this summer without having a car for a month and even without TV for a bit–is officially behind us.

The biggest change to our routine is that Rebecca and Jordan are no longer going to school clear across town. It was a decision that we reached after a lot of prayer, but we’ve removed Rebecca from her Spanish dual immersion program. My husband and I are sad that she won’t continue in the program, but we also know it’s the best thing for her right now. Not the deciding factor, but a huge benefit, is that I will save approximately 8,000 miles on our car and over an hour a day!

Check back tomorrow to hear more about what Nicole, Abigail and I are doing at home! I’ll share my curriculum choices as well as a recap of our week.

Are your kids back to school? Do you like the routine, or do you dread this time of year?

Anxiety & Answers

Gary's "please stop crying so I can leave" smile. :)

Wednesday, I blogged (whined) about my husband and son’s four day hike up King’s Peak with the Scouts. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly as we had assumed for my husband. His company suddenly had triple the work they needed done, and it all had to be done before he could leave for the trip, and everyone is yelling because it isn’t being done fast enough. A small family business, he has no option of taking time off and letting someone else fill in for him. Work must be complete before he can leave.

Typically this isn’t much of a problem and results in some late nights and an all-nighter or two before a vacation. Not ideal, but c’est la vie. As the trip approached I had been feeling increasingly anxious about his lack of sleep. Finally, Wednesday came, but he was still madly working away at his projects. Jordan left on his trip, knowing that Dad may be late meeting them on the mountain.

Finally, Gary was able to get his work done at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Due to the all-nighters and the long hours before Wednesday, the man had met his limit with exhaustion. He fell asleep in his office chair, even falling back asleep repeatedly after I called him, woke him up, and asked him to come home. He came home at one a.m. on Thursday morning. Apparently his office nap had energized him and he started packing to go. At three a.m. I stumbled into the kitchen wear he was gathering items needed, and I declared this whole trip to be stupid. After all, the Scouts had already hiked seven miles on Wednesday. His plan was to leave the house around 4 a.m., drive three hours to the trail head and hike the seven miles in time to meet them for the next leg of the trip. At that point, he would then hike another seven miles. The fear I had of him hiking with almost no sleep and alone with no communications made me sick. I yelled at him telling him it was impossible and dangerous. He threw up his hands and crashed into bed, mad at me.
At 10 a.m. I woke him up. I realized he had to carry in dinner for the Scouts on Thursday night!  I apologized for being so rude and told him I thought he should go. He resumed his packing, and it dawns on me that by the time he meets up with the Scouts, he will now need to hike fourteen plus miles all alone. By fighting and arguing with him, I have only made his predicament worse! I cried like a baby as he prepared his bags and was finally able to leave the house just past one p.m.

He called me from Evanston, Wyoming, and again as he prepared to leave the highway towards the meandering dirt roads on the way to the trail head. At this point, there is no way he will make it to bring the Scouts their dinner. (Um, sorry, Scouts, that’s my bad- though he assured me they would have enough food to not starve the Scouts. I hope.) There is no way he can hike all fourteen miles in an afternoon, not before dark. There is no way to let the Scouts know he is on his way, and there is no way to let me know if he even finds the Scouts.

 My afternoon consisted of panic, crying, anxiety, and complete and total fear for the safety of my husband. Finally, I pile the girls in the car. I had to get out of the house before my head exploded with anxiety. I figure we can go to Ikea and wander around mindlessly. They will overwhelm distract me, my non-napping toddler will sleep in the car, and I will be a little more sane. Possibly.

The Ikea plan backfired the second one of our wedding songs came on the radio, and within seconds I’m a sniveling mess. I start a mental prayer, pleading with my Heavenly Father that my husband will be safe and will find the Scouts. A complete anxiety attack is building, and I can’t not think about all the terrible things that might happen. As I drive, crying, I glance at a freeway exit sign, and notice I’m close to my sister in law’s house. She experienced this same anxiety when her husband, Lee, went hiking last year, leaving her with two young girls, a newborn, and no communication. A thought pops into my head: go to Savannah’s house. It’s immediately followed with: ask Lee for a blessing.

I’m not hugely good at asking for help, or appearing on someone’s doorstep sobbing. It took me a moment to even sort out if I had passed the exit to her house, but as soon as I exited, I texted at a stoplight, “r u home?” I begged Heavenly Father to let them be home. I knew I needed a blessing, I needed the comfort of the Spirit. I’m so grateful that I chose to act on that simple thought to go to her home. I’m so grateful that the Spirit spoke loudly enough to my anxious heart to know exactly where I needed to go. I’m grateful for a sister in law who immediately took me in, and her husband who was ready to give me a blessing with a moment’s notice.

The blessing comforted me in a way no human-crafted words could. The reminder that my Heavenly Father is watching over me and my sweet little family was priceless. The insight that everything will be okay calmed my frantic soul. After the blessing (and some deep breaths), we joined Savannah’s family as they went to watch Lee play Ultimate Frisbee. Then we took our rambunctious children to my other sister in law’s house, and the women talked while the children played.

As we drove home, I took note that my heart was still calm. No desperate what-if thoughts plagued me. I read scriptures with my daughters and then tucked them into bed. Another miracle–all of them instantly closed their eyes and went to sleep. I knelt down and said a prayer of gratitude to my loving Father in Heaven, and fervently asked Him that I might remember the calmness I had felt since the blessing. I don’t want to doubt tomorrow morning, I don’t want to yield to the temptation of worry. I want to have faith in the things I have been promised.

These things I share are the thoughts behind an intensely emotional day and are hard for me to share. I don’t share them to brag or whine. I feel the need to share them. Maybe someone out there will read this and remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and cares for your worries and fears the same way He does mine. Maybe I need to write this to remind me of that–tomorrow, next week, or next year. Or maybe someone is about to send their own husband out into the world, and needs to find a measure of peace–or know from whom they can seek that peace. (If you are looking to know more about God who knows you so well, this link will help you get started.)

What has brought peace into your soul lately?

Woe is Me…

Source: [sic]

Hello, and welcome to my pity party!

Source: [sic]

{It’s a roaring shindig, as you can tell.}

My hubby left me.
I should clarify…
He didn’t leave me leave me. He just left… for four days.

Four days! And he took Jordan with him. Jordan, my best helper. My right hand guy. They’re going hiking, of all things. Hiking. To the top of Kings Peak, which happens to be the tallest mountain in Utah.

Gary’s going to die.
{No offense, sweetie!}

I’m not too worried about Jordan. Jordan is 12, has gone on a few small hikes to prepare, and has youth and eagerness to make up for any deficits in actual hiking ability.

Gary has an artificial hip.
For real.

So while they’ll be flinging themselves off mountains, I’ll be home with the girls, Rebecca, Nicole, and Abigail. All day. Every day. No break. Abigail doesn’t even nap anymore.

Yup. Break out the chocolate.
It’s pity party time.

Join my pity party. Care to whine? Comment below! 

Serenity Now!

The Internet guy should be here sometime today between 9 am and 6 pm to repair my Internet. Fortunately, I have no car, so waiting on the repairman isn’t a big issue. Unfortunately, I still have no car.

My mom surprised the kids and I with a fun trip yesterday to our local amusement park, Lagoon. Getting out of the house was a huge help to my sanity. Only my oldest, Jordan, had been before, so everyone had a great day.

Now we’re back home, waiting for someone to repair our Internet and consequently, our TV service (Netflix). Today we’ll clean the house. Watch Disney Pixar movies. And pray that the Internet man will come ASAP. As nice as my mom was to loan me her iPad, which I’m affectionately calling “Serenity Now,” I miss my computer and the mindless hours I spend surfing the web.

Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now!
Serenity now… Insanity later.

I Spy Nature!

I Spy Nature

I’ve been in a slump this week. Not depressed, just not a lot of energy to do anything beyond what I already promised the kids we would do. When I came across this Nature Scavenger Hunt (on pinterest! of course!), I knew it was something my kids could do easily without my help. Which is nice, because I have some… web browsing to do. Very important stuff, you know.

The thing I didn’t love about this nature scavenger hunt was that you were supposed to collect stuff. I could just see little bits of “nature” working its way in my house and refusing to leave. Plus I wanted a fun little twist to make it more interesting for my older kids, Jordan and Rebecca. They’ve been somewhat couch potatoes this summer, and they’ve been struggling to get along.

I came up with a fun activity called “I Spy Nature!” It’s a list of items that you print out, but rather than collecting items, you just take pictures. Nice and clean, see?

This worked out brilliantly. My twelve year old was surprised that he had fun doing it. I was surprised that they didn’t fight while doing it. {I send my kids outside and ten minutes later, they are inside tattling. I ask you, what is the point of tattling when you’re just as guilty as the person you’re tattling on??}

Any activity that doesn’t inspire arguing is a winner in my book. And just look at the fun things they found
{pictures courtesy of Jordan and his crappy cheap cell phone and used by permission}

a seed:

something straight:

and something they consider a ‘treasure:’

Now we have some fun pictures to keep, and I had an hour of peace. What more could you want?

Linking up to The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions!

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