Monday, April 30, 2012

Hot Tub from a Hot Spring

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finding joy in Homemaking

(This is something I sent to my family in an e-mail and I thought I would share it on here as well.)
Yesterday I taught the Young Women lesson on Homemaking.  As usual I’m sure that I learned the most from my reading and preparing.  I really loved one particular talk by Susan W. Tanner called Strengthening Future Mothers.  The reason why is that I learned something very important which we’re taught all the time but it hit me in this instance when thinking about our Mom.  And that is the power of example. Sister Tanner shared how the 3 most important things in teaching our YW is our example, example, example.  Well, I started thinking about this related to Homemaking skills and how we are to teach our children to desire to have them.  Another thing that happened that help me realize this even more is I was making bread to take for my lesson and Liji asked me how old I was when I learned how to make bread, then he said were you 10, 11, 12?  He thought, I guess because I’m so good at it now;), that Mom must have taught me all about baking and cooking from a very young age and that’s not the case.  I didn’t learn how to make bread until after I was married, which he was very surprised at.  How could someone like me who loves baking, cooking, sewing, decorating, ect. and above all else since as long as she can remember has only ever wanted to be a homemaker/mother not have learned to bake bread until after she was married? 
            Now I don’t remember mom teaching me how to do that but I do remember sitting on the counter talking with her while she worked and the same thing while she was using the sewing machine and the same thing while she was cooking dinners, I watched her a lot.  I remember her always cleaning up after everyone and making huge plates of food for Dad or special dinners for him or other families that I didn’t get. I remember her waking up in the middle of the night and cleaning up my throw-up and then getting me medicine or whatever I needed to help me feel better, clear through High School.   And most importantly I realized that I most remember her never complaining about any of these things and I even remember that she always seemed happy in doing these things.  This example of joy in homemaking is what I believe gave all of us children such an appreciation and love for this most divine role, including the boys and their desires for the wives now.   That is why I was the girl in YW or in her school class who when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and all the other kids had said all these famous and “glorious” professions I would slowly raise my hand and rather shyly say, “A Mom.”  It wasn’t teaching us the skills necessary, that eventually I know we have all gone to her to learn anyways, but teaching by showing us of the joy in this most sacred, holy and satisfying calling. With that knowledge we later all sought on our own to acquire all the skills necessary through going to her, or our classes in school or our jobs because we knew that is where true joy lays.  I know I did cook dinners and bake in High School, I don’t want it to sound like Mom didn’t  teach us any of these skills, she did, I just remember being able to do it though and I don’t specifically remember the teaching part, I think that went on through all the watching I did while she was working.  But I just wanted to point out that knowing how to do those things wasn’t what gave me the desire to be a homemaker, it is the example I have talked about.  
            I’m sure many of you have already realized this by now but I just thought I would share it with all my wonderful sister and sister-in-law mothers who want to teach their children of the importance of a homemaker’s role and hope that you realize how profound of an impact your little displays of positive or negative attitudes about fulfilling your role in the home does make a huge impact on the views your children will have on it in the future.   I have already seen all of you do a wonderful job at displaying such a positive attitude.  And I wanted to thank Mom for being such an amazing example so that I can have this strong testimony of my role as a woman today and share that with others, when it seems that there are becoming less and less of these woman who know.
            This is a little quote from Sister Tanner about her Mom’s example to her that I loved.
            “My best and most consistent example in learning the joys of homemaking and mothering was my own mother.  She told me many times every day how much she treasured being a mother and homemaker, and then she lived those words in every action.  She sang as she folded laundry, she exulted over the clean smell in a freshly scrubbed bathroom; she taught me how to read and write, sew and cook, love long-suffering, and temperance, I felt it and I wanted the same things in my life.”  
            She also said this, “Serving families is a way of covenant keeping, and covenant keeping reaps the promised blessing of having the Spirit in our lives.”  That is where the joy comes from.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Break = Fun, Fun, Fun

 Christmas Break we had such a Blast.  Liji got out early on the 16th and he didn't have to go back until 
Jan. 3.  It was so much fun to have him home with me.   The plan was to go to Oregon for Christmas and New Years but we took the first few days of Liji's break to spend time together and to finish up some projects.  Here's Liji out front with 2 of 4 of our neighbors dogs.
 He somehow talked me into sleeping outside to watch the stars with him 2 nights in a row.  Can you see the frost that is shaped around my head circle on my pillow?  But we were actually nice and toasty in the warm bed Liji put together for us. 
 (Liji) A month or so ago I bought about 50 square feet of birch wood at the construction thrift store for $20 (birch is normally about $7 a foot so that was really good deal).  I was planning on making something for Christina, but I hadn’t started when she showed me a piece of furniture online that she really wanted.  It was a three sided narrow set of shelves that rotated, on one side was a mirror, on another a cork board, and on the last side a chalk board.  When she said she wanted that, I decided that I would make it for her.  I only needed the piece of hardware that allowed the shelves to spin.  Luckily we found a spinning bar stool at the thrift store for only five dollars.  It didn’t match any of our furniture but Christina let me talk her into buying it.  I took the spinning hardware off of it and Christina never even noticed.  I asked the building trades teacher at school to help me cut the boards to the right length and width on the table saw at school and then I spent a couple weeks working on it in our living room.  I told Christina that I was working on a set of shelves for our living room.  She never caught on. 
Once I had it completely assembled (but not stained) it was too big to hide anymore and I needed to stain it inside where it was warm so I decided to surprise Christina by having it set up in the garage and then asking her to come out and give me her opinion on how I should build our work bench.  It was set up right in the middle of the garage and it’s seven feet tall so I figured she would notice it right away, she didn’t.  After we had talked for a minute or two she finally got around to noticing her Christmas present.  We will finish staining it together (unless she gets impatient while I am at work and does it on her own).
 Liji also had fun building himself a worktable in the garage. 

 Wednesday night we took off for Oregon to spend Christmas with Family.  9 our of 10 of Liji's siblings were all able to make it.  We played A LOT of games; my kind of holiday by the way.  
 They took their traditional 7 brothers picture of their big ;) muscles.

Some of Liji's siblings built up a bunch of tumble weeds at the bottom of the bluffs behind their parents house.  We had a lot of fun jumping off the bluffs and sinking into the weeds.  We only got a few scratches. 

The 27th was our 5th anniversary.  Luckily it was the day the family planned for all the couples to go to the Temple together.  So we got to spend the morning doing sealings and a session and then we went out to eat with everyone.  It would have been nice to have a little more alone time but we got that before we went to Oregon so it was Ok. 

I feel so lucky to be married to this man.  He is such an amazing example to me.  It was also his Birthday this week on the 5th so I guess it's a good time to brag about him a bit.  He does so good at keeping us on track doing the things that we should.  He's mainly the one making sure we're saying our prayers and reading the scriptures everyday, getting a full fast in, that we're paying our tithing, that we're fulfilling our duties in the church, volunteering us to do things all the time, ect., ect., ect.  I love that I can sign up for us to be in charge of or show up to pretty much anything and I can do it knowing that Liji will be full for it.  As long as it involves service I know that Liji will be jumping to action. To me that is such an amazing quality to have.  We have gone through some hard things and Liji has always been so supportive of me and anything I feel like we need to do.  I love him for always and forever, just in case you were wondering :)

Re-upholstering our Thrift Store Couch

Monday we started on our thrift store couch that we’re reupholstering..  I was worried that we would come into some complications but we really didn’t have any problems and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Monday night Liji helped me take it apart.  As you can see from the pictures there was a lot of staples to take out.  We had to get all the fabric off still in good shape because that is what I used as a pattern to cut out the new fabric. Tuesday and Wednesday I worked pretty much all day while Liji was gone at taking off the old fabric and putting on the new fabric.  Then Wednesday night Liji helped me put it back together.  It went a lot faster and turned out a lot better than I thought it would.  After working so hard on it I don’t want anything to happen to it and I now know why my Dad used to get so mad at me for jumping on our couches when I was little.  .  

We got a couple of oak chairs from the thrift store for only four dollars apiece.  They are really solid, but we didn’t like the color of the fabric on the seat and back so I took them apart and Christina used some of our left over couch fabric to reupholster them.  She also sanded them down and re-stained them with linseed oil.  They match our couch and rocking chair and they look really nice.  We now have all matching furniture in our living room.  We paid fifteen dollars for the couch, twelve for the rocking chair and eight for the two chairs, plus about 30 for the fabric and now we have a complete matching set of very sturdy (the couch has an oak frame) living room furniture for about 65 dollars.  We are glad that Christina has her sewing machine and that she is so proficient with it.  Since I made our coffee table and dining room table and chairs out of scrap lumber all of the furniture in our house cost us much less than $100. 
 This is all the matching furniture together now

Thanksgiving Break

For thanksgiving we went down to my parents house for the weekend.  It was really nice to see everyone.  My brother Andrew and his family are staying with my parents right now and so we got to spend a lot of time with these 2 cuties.
 This one is Jane.  My brother says she should be mine because he reminds him so much of me.  I wish she were; she certainly has quite the personality.  

 After all the adults were done checking out the Black Friday deals they were so cute going through the ads showing us everything that they want. 

Lunar Eclipse

 Liji planned such a fun date for us starting at 5 am one morning. He woke up earlier and set up a pillow bed on the floor by our sliding glass door that gave us a perfect view of the whole lunar eclipse and even made hot chocolate. Then he carried me out at 5 and we cuddled up and watched Psych on the computer while watching the eclipse all the way through until 7:30. Such a fun morning! And I am not a morning person.

Our New House for a Time

 The week before Thanksgiving we got word that we could move into the house further south in the valley, in Bellevue, that we have been wanting to move into since we first came to check out the area this last summer.  We like Bellevue because it's a small, quiet town and closer to the High School for Liji than where we were first renting.  Since we have been married we have always lived in tiny apartments where we have had to cram everything in(we're both pack rats).  When Liji got this new job and we found out we would get a rental stipend from work we decided it was time we got ourselves some space. It has been so fun to unpack and get everything organized.  It took us longer than we thought because we've never had more than one option for a picture wall, or where to have the furniture.  I swear I moved our furniture in the living room around like 20 times before I was happy.  We also like being on the edge of town and having our own space and having a garage is nice too.  

Kitchen Area

Living Room

 Guest Bedroom
Hallway to the Bedrooms 
 Our messy workroom
 Our bedroom
 Front entrance
 This is our view out the front window
View out the back sliding door