Tuesday, June 30, 2009

C'est Fini!

I have to be my own cheerleader so I am reminding myself that I have done something other than dinner, dishes, laundry and traffic control. So here goes...

At long last I have completed the desk and kitchen counter projects. The desk I wanted from Pottery barn was going to cost us around $800. Instead, I bought the filing cabinets I liked from Fred Meyer and I created the top with a couple pieces of good plywood a couple pieces of trim and a really sturdy oil-based enamel black paint. So far so good--it has held up to the three kids playing at a time problem. And for the bargain price of $195...

AND--I have to mention that I tackled something I didn't know how to do. I wired a new telephone line to the outside access box and I ran the cord around to the wall I wanted and fed it in through the exterior and interior wall (Rustin has to help me pull the wired through). I wired it to a new phone box inside. I had to try two different boxes before I found one that worked with the computer but it is all up and running! (Thanks Spencer for talking me through it!)

This kitchen dining counter took three tries to get the pour-on-epoxy finish right but it looks like glass and it holds up GREAT to all the abuse dished out by the little ones. At least so far. This wouldn't have cost quite as much if it hadn't taken three boxes of glaze but even with the mistakes this project cost $95. I haven't quite got the bar stools and height figured out yet. We're getting there though! There are also some tiling and window trim things that need to be figured out. I can do it though. It's kind of fun.
.Last but not least we finally unpacked and sorted and put away all the toys into our designated toy cupboard. We have thinned them out quite a bit to the things Jen and Ben play with most. And of course we still have at least thirty swords and other lovely weapons. And we have a "Joshy box" for when the younger cousins and friends come over. Can't get rid of that!

We still have lots of organizing and finishing and putting away to do but we are getting there. And I am finding that I am happier and happier as I keep myself busy and when I am proactive about the day.

I have decided that I need to pull out my creative hat and come up with some fun things to do at home. Maybe we'll have a StarWars week or a treasure hunt week or something. It would be fun to plan the meals and some fun activities to go with those themes. We'll see. If anyone is more creative than me and can give me some ideas I'm all ears!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer catch up

To remind us that we've done more than move and move-in--here are some pics.

We went to a great Family reunion at Heber Valley Camp. I am always pleasantly surprised to meet my aunt and six cousins who also inherited the trademark Patterson telephone-cord-curls. I should clarify that I actually have 55 first cousins (and counting) on that side of the family but we girls are in the minority. There are lots of curly boys, but they aren't as noticeable!
**Okay my sisters have corrected me--we actually have just over 70 first cousins...and still counting! I may be off on the curly hair count too, I'll have to check that one. But, I am sure that the girls are outnumbered 3:1. No wonder I have 4 boys and only 1 girl--Patterson's are to blame! The original family has 10 boys and 3 girls. hmmm.**

What's even more reassuring is that the way we look has almost nothing to do with the family bond. My cute cousin-in-law from Korea (who has two sets of twins!) feels as much a part of my family as all the curly haired girls. That's because we are family. It has nothing to do with blood relations and everything to do with spiritual relations.

We repelled down trees and canoed on beautiful lakes and ate really good food. And of course the kids would add that they got to play DS together. What could beat that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who needs a linen closet?

You can't tell from the picture that there are actually five children sleeping in that giant tent. It lasted two days before we needed our living room back.
Rustin and I spent Friday night up in Sun Valley in our friends' condo (thank you again!). Of course (see previous post) it rained so hard the power went out all night. But the hot tub was still hot so all was well!

We actually LOVED the peace and quiet and the smell of wet pine trees (with a front row view of the lift and baldy mountain out the window!). Everything was very quiet and deserted in the 'non-skiing' season. It was really nice.

The boys are busy with swim team every day and scouts, lessons and Chores (I can hear the moans...) in the mean time.

We still have a set of missionaries living in the basement which means all four boys are sharing a room. They are doing really well but I constantly have to make sure no one drops their clothes on the floor. They'll get it without me pretty soon. I hope!

The missionaries are helping pay both mortgages until we get the other house sold. We have shown it a few times this week and had a big group of realtors come tour it even though it is for sale by owner. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Maybe it's because my house looks like this--
(you have to try to walk over the nails and thistles to get the true effect...)

The tiniest bit of progress is being made despite the ever present downpour.

Or maybe because the weather forecast looks like this for the entire remainder of the week (and last week). Please note the roof picture above--not a good mix.

Or maybe the chaos of the past three months has hit home and now that there isn't a crisis or a looming deadline I don't know what to do with myself.

I made the kids a list of things to do when they feel out of sorts so I decided to do the same for myself. I'm starting with 'read a book.'

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How do I love thee?

Fourteen years. I am aware, now more than ever, that a fulfilling and life-sustaining relationship requires divine intervention and the willingness of two souls. Thankfully we have been the benefactors of both for many years. I look back at my naive, just-married self, and I realize that I cannot even begin to count all the blessings we have received. Here are just a few--in no particular order...

14--Crow's feet--I wouldn't trade those crinkly smiling eyes for a million dollars! I really mean that.
13--broken picture frames--only the children of my Rustin could love to play with the level of enthusiasm that threatens the well being of my home. I wouldn't change it.
12--sock-nagging. that is to say, Rustin fills the gaps in my rough character--in many ways. He reminds me to pick up my socks and he does it for me if I forget. How many girls are jealous of that!
11--the perfect grilled chicken. It's more than just food. It's the comfort of partnership in all things that warms my tummy.
10--the sweetest kiss--even when this grumpy wife doesn't realize that the kiss is exactly the medicine to cure what ails her. How does he know? When will she learn?
9--Giant pile of stuff race--Rustin's method for teaching the kids to work--turn it into a game. Brilliant. It sure beats my grumpy method. I am trying to learn.
8--Nightstand piles--Reminding me that there is nothing cleaner--in many ways--than a pile of scriptures and talks next to the pillow.
7--Pillows on the floor--Truly an example of conversing with the Lord. Every night, without fail, this man kneels by his bedside. It's probably the most important thing that leads the spirit of our home. I don't think I've told him that. Thank you.
6--Chickens--Do you know that Rustin found himself a job working in the chicken coops at the tender age of 11 because it paid a whopping $1.25 an hour which was more than his paper route? You must see Napoleon Dynamite to appreciate this (filmed in his home town!). Character building starts very early--I need not shelter myself or the kids from all things difficult. (big thanks to Darren and LoaLee here)
5--Mistakes. Being willing to have both the Lord and my husband love me through my many short falls because I know that they both understand my soul without judgment.
4--Red Gingham flip-flops. A birthday present. He reminds me that I am worth the little details.
3--Fingers in my hair. He loves my curls and my dimples. Both things that have caused me anxiety and insecurity in the past but now help define who I am.
2--Singing. Strange that it would be Rustin who would initiate the singing for the family considering my background. I can't believe I used to drag my feet for morning scriptures, song and prayer. And Christmas carols. You know what I mean Rustin--thank you.
1--Weakness. The Lord shows us our weakness so that we may become strong. Rustin reminds me of that and we love each other even more because of our weaknesses. Together, our weak things can become strengths. I'm so thankful for the perspective of eternity. Fourteen years is but the beginning.

Let the games begin!

We had the talk this morning. All of you who have children home for the summer know exactly what I'm talking about.

I thought maybe I'd give everyone a day off for the first day of summer vacation. But only took until about 10 am this morning until I couldn't take it any longer.

I made everyone sit down in the front room to assign chores and rules and, possibly most important, the car seating chart.

We resurrected the method that has worked well for the last two summers. We had to add Jenna in the rotation this summer so it changed a bit this year. But not much. We have a wheel that has four quarters. Everyone gets one meal and one room that they are in charge of for the week. I added a snack person this summer. Not sure what I'll do when Ben is ready to join in... Right now he just gets unload silverware and set the plates on the table.

Dallin and Landon will be doing their own laundry for the first time this summer. hmmmm... I hope laundry ability is not genetic.

Anyway, the kids all know pretty well what each room cleaning job entails and I must say they are quite good at it. They are actually very capable helpers. Here's the catch this year: the older boys have learned the power of money. Oh yes. Nearly every request is followed by "how much will you pay me to do it?" I had to take them on a field trip this morning to show all the kids that those beautiful green trees in the yard do not grow anything other than actual leaves. Which need to be cleaned up every now and then. Sorry. They were thrilled to hear that.

Landon especially is the banker of the group. He is completely enamored with the thought of a zero degree sleeping bag that can pack down to a mere 8 inches. And it only costs a bazillion dollars. Thanks a lot scout troop 106 for the field trip to Sportsman's warehouse. You have created a monster!

So of course they wanted to know what they get paid for. We made a list of jobs that are pay worthy and we also agreed that the consequences of breaking the rules involve doing a "pay" job for nothing. We made a list of rules.

1-No video games or TV before 12 noon
2-Do your own chores every day with only one reminder and do your best
3-No teasing
4-No complaining even if someone is teasing
5-do something nice for someone without letting anyone see you

I also get to be the judge of whether the jobs are done well enough.

#3 and #4 are obviously tricky but it was their idea. We'll see.

Once we got things settled I remembered that I actually enjoy having the kids home. When I can gather them up they are a lot of fun and very helpful. When they aren't fighting or complaining. And depending on how many neighborhood kids are over as well **big deep breath**

Monday, June 1, 2009

Life continues...

We are here! This has been a crazy couple of weeks. But lot of fun too! Our house is, of course, completely organized with not a single box to be unpacked. Not really, but I am amazed at how much easier this is without a nursing baby or a big pregnant belly! Rustin was able to take a couple of days off to help too and we've actually had a lot of fun.

I am still trying to find the perfect spot for everything and am constantly discovering another category of stuff (ie. extra linens that I forgot were at my parents house... A bunch of them--dang) to find a new home for. I'm also still trying to revamp our budget and finance which is always my favorite task. And we are going to be overrun with laundry if I don't get the dryer up and running pretty quick!

The outside is getting a major face lift with a new roof and a gorgeous porch (at least I hope...). I can't wait. I have been sketching drawings with the builder for weeks now.
The beautiful iris plants are surviving the onslaught of roofing materials and the rose bushes are blooming beautiful fire and ice, lavender and yellow roses. I love being able to pick my own flowers. The yard in general needs a lot of work. All five kids put in a good four hours with us Saturday morning weed-whacking and cleaning up flower beds. I think it will take a couple of summers to get it all just right.
Dallin and Landon love their big packs they got the their twelfth birthday. I need to post about the great experience of having our oldests ordained to the priesthood. Very special.

Two more days of school and we are off to the summer races. We have Juli and Shon and their kids here this week which is a blast. We can't wait to see everyone this summer!