We spent the 4th of July weekend at the Cabin!
Wynn and Heidi came up and played (YAY!).
We had a yummy barbecue.
We played at the lake.
Wynn and Everett got a billion fish!
We went to the Rodeo.
We went to a movie (Despicable Me 3).
We had so much fun!
The next week (the 4th was on a Tuesday this year) –
We went to another movie (Smurfs).
We had a barbecue at the Enghs.
We blew up fireworks with the Enghs.
(And I forgot my camera!)
One big problem that I haven’t figured out the solution to yet is busyness.
How do I not run every day from one activity to the other while still providing opportunities for my children to grow, memories to bind us together as a family, and keep our household and lives running smoothly?
If you know, please tell me.
In the mean time – we’re roughly 3 weeks into summer. Here are a few memories so far:
Our sweet puppy, Maverick, got very sick. We figured he ate something (he was always eating socks and other things on the floor) and was having trouble passing it. We waited for a few days to see if he would get better. Finally we took him into the vet. He was really so sick.
At that point they x-rayed him and found that he had eaten a screw. They wanted to watch him for 24 hours, get him hydrated, and see if he could pass it on his own.
The next day he still hadn’t passed it, and now his internal organs were beginning to swell. They needed to do surgery. But the vet also thought that Maverick would likely do it (eat something he shouldn’t that could cause problems) again and again.
We decided to give him the surgery and then adopt him to a new family (a single woman who is also a vet, and friend of the vet who took care of Maverick) so that he would be in a home where there just wouldn’t be anything on the ground.
It was such a hard couple days for our family. And now that it’s been a few months, I’m still so sad when I think about him. I know he’s in a great home where he can be watched over, but we sure loved our little Mavi!
We limped most painfully along to the end of the school year.
On the Sunday before Memorial day ( two weeks before the official dismissal of school) I told the kids that if they didn’t want to go to school I wouldn’t make them.
No one took me up on that though.
I just never felt like I got my feet underneath me after the move. Our stuff may be settled in the new home, but life is still very unsettled.
I didn’t even get a picture of the kids on the last day of school.
We read scriptures and I shooed them out the door one last time. “No, I won’t drive you, you can walk.” And off they went. And when they came home, a picture didn’t even cross my mind till long after they had scattered to play.
So that evening I made Olivia let me take a few pictures of her (she was very annoyed). If nothing else, I needed a picture of Sunshine –
for it was . . .
her last day of Elementary school.
And during those last two weeks when I could hardly catch my breath with the annoyance of trying to finish out the year, I would stop myself, and try to remember . . . this is the end of the era.
The end of my baby Olivia.
For next year she will brave the malodorous halls of middle school, and her life will change forever. And my life will change too. And the tragedy of it really does rip my heart out. Why are these years going so fast?
Here’s a sampling of the chore charts I’ve made for the summer, as well as “Cleaning Cards” that will get framed and put in each room so the kids know to what standard I expect things to be done. The kids are pretty darn good at picking things up, and even vacuuming and sweeping. But we’re going to kick things up a notch this year! 😉
On the 15th of May I received a text message from my mom: Uncle Bob had a stroke the evening before.
Things looked good though. They were able to get him to the hospital fairly quickly. She’d keep us up to date, but there was little we could do but wait for the time being.
On Tuesday I thought about going to visit, but with small children I determined that Wednesday would be a more likely option.
On Wednesday things took a turn for the worse though, and we were told no visitors. My mom came up from St. George.
On Thursday they decided that life saving measures would prolong his life, but never return it’s quality. It was likely he would need high amounts of care. His wife, Robin, decided it was best to let him pass.
On Thursday afternoon I went and said goodbye. He passed away early Friday morning.
The whole thing felt so very surreal – the whole week. With the first text I thought all would be all right. He was only 59 years old. I thought surely he’d have a road of recovery – but that recovery was imminent.
When Robin decided to let him go, I had mixed feelings. Cognitively I understood her position. I understood his, for it was his wish to not have intervening measures when quality of life would be so greatly diminished.
Still, it felt calloused to simply let him go when there was more that could be done. I wondered at the sanctity of life, the very sacred nature of that gift. When I went to say goodbye to him in the hospital his breathing was labored and thick . . . rattling. They said because without intervention he was basically slowly drowning in his own fluids. I wish I hadn’t seen that. Inside I felt a panic that I should do something for him. But there was nothing to do but watch.
And so I didn’t stay.
His funeral was beautiful, just like his life. Stories were told of his wild and mischievous youth, of the adventures, and the development of character that brought him to be a disciple of Christ.
My favorite line from the funeral was the statement: “Do not mistake meekness for weakness.”
I think I did that to him sometimes. I thought his kindness, his never ending supply of patience, perhaps were evidence of a weaker soul who wouldn’t stand for right. I realized at the funeral that it was never weakness, it was trust in the Lord and His timing with people’s souls.
In the days since the funeral I’ve thought a lot about Uncle Bob. It’s clear I never really knew him. I feel bad about that. I hope I will get a chance someday to remedy it.
It is painful to watch the world change. As I’ve seen the morning light on the mountains, or the hot summer weather return, I’ve thought about how this is now a world without Bob. It feels suddenly less secure than it did before – the things I’ve always counted on, things from my childhood, like the Herzog Family – those things I never considered would ever change. It brings me back to Jacob every time:
our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream.
This spring we got itching to get going on something. Since the house is a bit more involved of a process, we decided to set to work on the yard.
Unfortunately it’s been a really cold cold wet wet spring, and things haven’t exactly gone smoothly. Still, we’ve been able to get a fair amount done in the past several months.
- Tore out all the big bushes that had completely overgrown and overrun the yard,
- Poured concrete down the back of the garage
- Built a garden box along the wall we put in last fall with left over cinderblock
- Planted 10 trees –
- 3 Chantaclear Pear
- 3 Autumn Blaze Maple
- 1 London Plane Sycamore
- 1 Rose Marie Magnolia
- 1 Kwanzan Cherry
- 1 Pink Flowering Dogwood
- 3 Chantaclear Pear
- Diagnosed, fixed and modified the sprinkler system.
- Painted the pillars along the property in preparation for a fence.
Still to come:
-Build a bed and plant lilacs
– Build the fence
-Put in the Garden
-Put our sights on the deck.
A couple years ago (when Calvin was in the thick of his “Presidents” stage) Cal asked if we could go to Mt. Rushmore. We both kinda brushed it off until we were on a big National Parks kick. We realized it’s not too far of a drive and easily broken up into two days. So last year we were going to try and go. But we never made it because of the move.
So this year we decided to carpe diem over Spring Break. It goes against everything that is culturally right to go NORTH over spring break. But we broke the mold, set our GPS for South Dakota, and turned up the road trip tunes.
It was SO MUCH FUN! SOOOO SOOOO MUCH FUN!
We had the whole park pretty much to ourselves (seriously, there was an afternoon where we had the entire huge amphitheater that’s attached to the visitor center, right in front of the monument, completely to ourselves for an hour, and the kids made a game of bouncing their bouncy ball down the amphitheater). The weather was great. We saw the monument, plus the Crazy Horse monument, and went on a tour of Jewel Cave. We swam in the hotels, and hiked. We saw Independence Rock and stopped at Martin’s Cove. We had such a fun time. It was really a great spring break!