Well…..time for an update

Last time I posted was a while back and we were getting ready to move.  I also wasn’t riding my bike because of knee pain.  The update will probably take a few posts so just bare with me.

We moved.  Again.  Since being married we have moved 5 times.  I’ve been married for a little over 10 years.  So we move a lot.  We got permission from the company to move at the same time we took our vacation.  So we packed our stuff into two trailers.  One that was an ABF trailer and our personal enclosed trailer.  The enclosed trailer held things like my husbands tools which are hard to stack on top of each other or to stack stuff on top of them.  We took our trampoline and the outside benches to the cabin in Idaho for my in laws.  We also packed my canned food so we could keep eating it and so it wouldn’t go bad.  Then on top of that we had camping mattresses, pillows, and blankets.

This is what we knew going home to Idaho for vacation: not much.  I say not much because we didn’t know where we were moving just that we would be moving.  We knew that Pennsylvania had a project and that the manager really wanted my husband to go there.  We also knew that the company was planning to bid on a project in southern Michigan.  They had projects in California too.  Where they wanted us to go and when was the question.  If we were to move to Pennsylvania then we would need to start driving as soon as our vacation was over.  If we went to any of the other places we might have been able to stay longer in Idaho.

Anyways we moved to Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago.  We rented a house and got moved in and registered for school.  It is beautiful here and it feels like we live in a forest and so far so good.  The other thing now is not knowing how long we will live here.  Could be a year like they originally told us or it could last for up to 8 years total.  Who knows.

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Catching up

It’s been a while.  I’ve had a lot of thoughts go through my head that I didn’t type down.  I still read several blogs I just haven’t been writing my own.  A couple of things since I last typed.  I started carb cycling in March and it has helped me get my food under control.  I did really well for two months and the I struggle for a few days and do really well for a week or two.

I think part of my problem has been stress.  Not that life is never stressful but we are packing to move.  Where?  We don’t know yet.  We will go on vacation and take our stuff with us and then hopefully by the end of vacation we will know where we are heading.  Could be Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan at this point and those are only the options I am aware of.  I’ve been packing for months but just not knowing creates a stress all its own and I haven’t learned how to turn to exercise before food yet.  You’d think I’d have learned by now.

I also haven’t ridden my bike for two weeks.  After talking to my family doctor and my dad (who isn’t a dr but knows things) there is a chance I have torn my meniscus.  I have set an appointment with my dad’s doctor at home for the week after we get there.  My knee hurts when it bends and especially doesn’t like stairs.  The last time I rode my bike it hurt and not in a good way.  So I take Aleve every day and am walking.

I finally let my husband take my bike out of the rec room since he packed the only way I have of filling my tires.  I keep thinking I’ll try riding and see how it feels and then I’ll walk down the stairs and then decide I’ll wait.

Anyway, we are excited to move in a week and a half.  We are excited to go home and spend time with family.  We are excited for a new adventure.  We move every 3-4 years depending on the project and it’s time.

What is the rule of thumb?

Well, lets just say I have a bit of a dilemma going.  I finally got my act together a couple of weeks ago and things were going great.  I was running Monday, Wednesday and Friday and cycling Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and resting on Sunday.  The first week by Sunday I was exhausted and decided that the second week I would change Wednesdays jogging session into a walking/rest session.

I was woken up earlier than normal by my second daughter who didn’t feel good.  She had a fever and a cough so she wasn’t going to school.  I got the rest of the kids where they were going and I walked on the treadmill like I planned.  I also noticed that my throat was getting more and more sore as the day wore on.

Thursday morning my second daughter still didn’t feel good and my throat was hurting.  So I dropped my kids off at school and had my second daughter take a nap while I decided that I would ride my bike but just not hard enough to bother my throat.  Well that was my first mistake.  I can’t ride my bike and not try to ride hard.  I have found that GCN has some training videos that I really enjoy.  So I went through them looking for something about 30 minutes long but wouldn’t kill my throat.  I settled on a 30 minutes hill climb.  I think the sore throat was blocking some of the common sense from working in my brain.  I told myself that I would just not push as hard as they wanted but it would at least be a good workout.

So I set up the laptop next to the tv and plugged it in and started riding.  First burst got my throat burning.  Each burst after kept pushing.  Lets just say that by the end of my ride my legs hurt from the good workout but so did my of my throat than had before.  I couldn’t just not work hard….

As soon as I was done with that work out though I had to go pick up my oldest from school who had a 102.4 fever.   I spent the rest of the day aching and sick and trying to take care of my kids.  Apparently I have a cold or flu or something.

Friday after a good nights sleep I felt great except for my throat was still really sore.  No more aches and pains and my head didn’t hurt so….I ran.  But I sucked on a cough drop first which helped keep my throat from getting worse….Right thing to do?  Who knows but I did it anyway.

Saturday, I was again aching and my throat really hurt and I had no energy so I didn’t exercise at all.  Sunday was the same.

Well today is Monday and I feel great except for my sore throat.  It doesn’t hurt as much as it did last week.  I can tell it is healing but here is my dilemma.  Do I run or not today?  Knowing me and the fact that I am contemplating it all says I’m going to do it but the question is…should I?

Thoughts?

My brain hurts…..

In December of 2004 I left my home in Idaho with my family to go to Provo, UT to the MTC or Missionary Training Center.  I had always wanted to serve a mission and after I saved up the money and turned 21 (the age women were allowed to serve at that time) I got the paperwork taken care of and mailed it in.  Then comes the 2-3 week wait.  The wait where you are always wondering where you are going to be called.  You see we don’t get to choose.  I studied French for three years in high school and Spanish for one year.  I thought I’d get called to France.  Honestly, I hoped I’d get called to France.

They say that if there is someplace that you want to go you generally don’t get called there.  So every night for two weeks I tried to think of everywhere not just one place.  I wanted to learn a language and go to a different country so in my thinking of places I made sure to include states in the USA.  I didn’t want to jinx myself.  Anyway, after two weeks my packet came and when it was opened it said Yekaterinburg, Russia on it.  To be truthful, I never even once thought about Russia.  I forgot it existed.  Sad I know.

I went to the MTC on December 15th where I stayed for 12 weeks.  While there I was learning Russian and how to approach people to share the gospel.  We also have to wait for our visas.  12 weeks passed and we flew to Yekaterinburg, Russia.  Now if any of you have ever seen the movie “The Best Two Years”  then you might remember the new missionary saying “That isn’t the language I learned in the MTC” (I’m paraphrasing…I haven’t seen it in a while.  That is how I felt.  The Russian I learned was not what I was hearing in Russian.

So 18 months later I came home and I must admit that I fell in love with Russia, the people, the culture and the language.  My grammar is awful but they seem to understand me well enough and I could understand them most of the time.  I took classes in college and my husband actually was called to serve in the Kiev, Ukraine mission Russian speaking so he also speaks Russian.  We used it a lot more when we were married but we don’t like people to feel like we are talking about them when we speak in public.  So over the years we mainly use it so our kids wont know what we are talking about for birthdays and Christmas or where we want to go for date night, etc.

I downloaded an app on my phone called Duolingo a while ago to help me practice my Russian and to help rebuild my vocab since I have forgotten a lot over 10 years.  Earlier today my daughter saw what I was doing and asked if I could download it on her tablet so she could learn Russian too.  Well, of course.  I had already started working with her off and on.

Well her Duolingo doesn’t support Russian on her tablet for some reason so we went with the next best thing: Ukranian.  Why well because although it is different some things are the same and I figured “why not.”  Then I decided to download Duolingo onto my tablet for her since I use it on my phone.  So now she is studying Russian on my tablet and Ukranian on her tablet and she keeps asking me to help her with her Ukranian because she can’t always remember.

I guess I need to add Ukranian to my phone so I can keep up with her and so she has someone to practice with.  Thus my head hurts 🙂

Have a good weekend.

10 years to make one quilt!

I had grown up with a sewing machine in the house although it was never used.  I wasn’t really interested in them until I learned how to make a quilo.  That is a blanket that has a pocket on it so you can fold it up into a pillow.  I loved it.  I kept making them for family and friends for birthdays and Christmases.  Then I went on my mission.  When I came back I bought a basic sewing machine.  When I was in college I decided to take a sewing class.  We made shirts, pillows (I opted to reupholster my brother’s jeep seats), skirts and blankets. When we got to the blanket part we discussed different ways to finish quilts.  I already knew how to tie a quilt.  Every quilo was tied.  Another way to was to free motion stitch them.  So I pieced together a twin size quilt for my daughter and then started free motion quilting it.  It took me two weeks because I was doing the design so small and was still learning.  I fell in love with it.  I haven’t tired a quilt since.

 

Then I decided to make quilts for our family members.  I started with my husband’s grandfather, then his parents and then my dad and step mom and then my mom and step dad and so on and so forth.  If someone wasn’t married yet then they got a quilt for their wedding present.  If they were already married they got it on rotation for Christmas.

Quilts are not cheap and they are not easy and they are very, very time consuming.  But I love them.  Well over the years I have finally made one quilt for every parent and sibling and my two oldest have one as well.  I started working on my husband’s and my quilt probably a year ago.  It was taking forever because I didn’t have a pattern and I kept changing my mind as I went.  I started out paper piecing it and then decided I didn’t want the whole quilt that way.  The other thing is that our quilt is made entirely (except for the batting and thread) out of our old worn out levi’s and button up shirts.

Well I’ve finally finished it.  It went on our bed last night around 11:30. Saturday my husband helped me get this set up so I could pin it in order to keep the layers from shifting while I sewed.quilt-on-the-frameThis is how I work on it.  I do not have a long arm machine.  Just my sewing machine and it has to fit in order to sew it.  I have a system that works for me.  I roll it and sew straight down the middle on my first run.  Only 6 inches wide roughly.  Then  turn it and roll it the other way to quarter it and start doing quarters of it at a time.  It works for me.  The bigger the quilt the more of a work out it is to sew.  It is a whole upper body workout.rolled-up-quiltAs I sew this is what my station usually looks like.  Usually I take over the kitchen table but it was General Conference weekend for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and this way I could sew while I watched/listened.  The gloves help me get a better grip on the quilt.  I bunch it up like that to help keep it moving freely and so they edges don’t start pulling.  That is when I start to have problems.on-the-machineBy the time I get to the edge it moves much more freely.quilt-in-the-living-room-2Here it is on our bed this morning.  It looks great with the log. 🙂on-the-bed-3My sewing machine has some small embroidery options.  I can do the alphabet on a small scale.  I do not hand sew the bindings or I’d never actually finish a quilt.  I also do not so a normal line because I can’t sew in a straight line.  So I like to sew the binding with fun stitches.  This time I put our names and when we were married and then went to the fun stitch.namecornerI love to sew.  It is one of my stress relievers.  I quilt and sew clothing and alter things and well just whatever I want to do.  I’m so glad that my quilt is finally finished.  My husband commented that it took me 10 years to make us our quilt….but it is also 10 years of our lives in that quilt.

Now to make My third daughters quilt in time for Christmas…..

Modern Tech…

I have been thinking a lot over the last couple of weeks how very thankful I am for modern technology.  I don’t think about it most of the time but over the last couple of weeks I have ran my washing machine so much due to the flu today and other stuff last week, that it has got me thinking.

Thinking about my mission.  In 2004 I left on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints to Russia.  I loved it.  I loved the people, the culture, the language, etc.  I still miss it all.  Why do I bring this up in a blog about technology you might ask?  Well, every Wednesday for us was Preparation day (P-Day).  It is the day when we would do laundry, go grocery shopping, clothes shopping, go to internet to check emails from home and write emails home.  It was the one day a week where we took care of the needs that came up during the week.

In every apartment, but one,that I lived in while on my mission there was no washing machine.  So I learned how to wash my clothes by hand.  Thankfully as missionaries you have only two suitcases so only that much clothing could a missionary carry around.   The suitcases were not full of just clothes though.  They held shoes, coats, books, souvenirs, etc.  So we didn’t have that much laundry each week but still…we washed it by hand.  Some missionaries had washing machines.  It really just depended on the apartment that could be found for a decent price.

So each week at some point in the day we would take turns soaking our clothes and then washing and hanging them.  Either there would be rope hung in the bathroom above the tub or on the balcony.

My last apartment had a washing machine.  We were so excited…..at first.  Now not all washing machines in Russia are like this.  This is just what was in the apartment that we were renting at the time.  It was 6 minute washing machine.  You heard me right.  6 minutes is how long it would run.  That is as high as we could turn the timer.  No it didn’t mean that our clothes were done in 6 minutes.  It actually would spin for a minute then rest for a minute.  So in all reality it ran for 3 minutes.  So we would restart it over and over and over again until it had ran for at least 30 minutes.  Then we would spend another 30 minutes or so untangling all the clothes that were now in a knot.  Then we would hang them up and be done with it.

It was much better than washing them by hand…in my opinion.  After having said that I wouldn’t want that machine in my home now.  We have 5 people and more than two suitcases worth of laundry now.  I would never leave the house because I’d be living in the laundry room.

It is so nice having a machine that I can stuff full of laundry and walk off.  I come back when it is done and put it in my dryer and walk off.  Then I put it in a basket and separate it into piles.  My kids fold their own.  I don’t have to untangle them or wash them by hand.

I am just so thankful for the technology that helps simplify my life.

 

 

Fall colors

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At the playground

IMG_1824 Last weekend we took the kids up to Wisconsin to visit my husband’s parents.  It is only an 8 hour drive if you don’t hit road construction.

The colors were beautiful.  We took the camera and took lots of pictures of the trees, the kids and the whole family.  It was a lot of fun.  The one thing that we didn’t count on was the ladybugs.  Yes, you read correctly.  I said ladybugs. or Ladydugs as my youngest says.  There is a mountain where my in laws live that is beautiful.  So that is where we headed for the pictures.  It was a hot day and when we got out of the car we were immediately assaulted by the ladydugs.  My kids loved it and hated it.  We would be smiling for a picture and a few ladydugs would land on your neck or go down your shirt or land on your face and you couldn’t help reacting.  Needless to say a lot of pictures didn’t have good smiling faces because of this but they were fun.  We found that the ladydugs liked the sunlight so we stayed in the trees in the shade as much as possible.

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Beautiful reds

There happened to be a playground on the hill so we let the girls play for a few minutes.

IMG_1888 IMG_1890IMG_1880After taking pictures on the mountain we drove around taking pictures of the trees and then headed closer to home for some more pictures.  We found a trail that led into the trees and took a few pictures in there.  One daughter decided to lay on the ground and it made for some cute pictures.

I love this time of year.  Now if Illinois weather would just get on board and have cold enough weather to change the leaves at one time we could take these type of pictures from home.

Hope you are all enjoying you fall weather.