Friday, December 12, 2014

There is still time for Panic

 This dog is hillarious.  He loves this stupid squeaker toy that Santa brought him last Christmas.  It's really hard to take him seriously when he is squeaking like crazy.  The kids (and Lane) love to throw it for him to fetch because he can't stop (or start) very well on the wood floor.   He slides into stuff when he can't stop or looks somewhat like a cartoon character when he tries to go fetch: his little feet are moving wildly, but he doesn't go anywhere.  It's so much fun to watch.  The dumb dog has now decided our wood pile is his personal chew toy and has dragged wood all over the yard to gnaw on.    Well, I guess that's better than digging.  He gets upset when I'm in my sewing room and barks at me through the window.  I think he's freaked out because I'm underground.  Who knows?  I think our dog has serious mental problems.  We've already established he has some degree of separation anxiety.  And then there's the whole cowardly thing which I've addressed at length.  Its also fun to put Taylor on the speaker phone.  He can't figure it out.  He must be thinking, "Where is she?  I can hear her, but I can't find her.  And I need her to pet me."  He looks all over.  Stupid, cowardly dog.  But we love him.

 The week before Thanksgiving was the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert in SLC.  Sadly, Taylor couldn't get away from school to come with us.  We went up early enough we had time to visit the City Creek Center and Temple Square.  They had some lights on at Temple Square.  We took Trax up and back, which is so much better than trying to drive around downtown this time of year. 

The first 2 years we went to this concert they did the same story and music, albeit with different backgrounds.  This was a different program altogether.  I liked the story better.  The other one was a little bit depressing, even though it ended happy. This was a happier story and the music was amazing.  Of course there are always some familiar favorites thrown in, and they always end with the wildly popular Sarajevo (their version of Carol of the Bells).  Hearing it on the radio or Spotify just isn't nearly the same as seeing it live.  For anyone who has never been to this concert, I would highly recommend it.  We enjoy it so much!  It's a perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

 After Thanksgiving we got our tree decorated.  I didn't get as many new ornaments this year as last, to Lane's delight.  There was brief speculation we were going to add another Christmas tree, making 5, but that didn't work out.  Again, to Lane's delight. 

I got a "Texas" ornament as my souvenier from my trip to Texas last July with Jack for FCCLA. 

 I fell in love with this one, the game Sorry, when I saw it in the Hallmark catalog that gets mailed out in July.  Yes, July.  Yes, Hallmark catalog.  It's one of my favorite pieces of mail in the year.  I spend waaaayyyyy too much time going through the catalog, dog-earing pages and making careful notes. 

Another Hallmark special: Olaf.  I loved the movie (although it's no Tangled) and Olaf made me laugh ("I don't have a skull.  Or bones.").  So it seemed a good addition. 

Although I have taken on quite a few sewing projects this year, and it is December 12, I have paced myself better this year than in years past and am on track to finish up on time as planned.  I may even have time to squeeze in one or two more things, as long as they are small. 

No Full-Blown-Christmas Panic this year.

Well, not yet.

But its only December 12.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Family Pictures

Isn't she cute?

Taylor was home recently for Fall Break and so we got some family pictures done. Thanks so much to Brandon and McKenzie Clark and Nanette Clark for sparing some time on a lovely Sunday afternoon to get this done for us.

Brandon was falling out of a tree while trying to shade the sun for the picture. It provided for excellent entertainment.

 She's so pretty.

I guess this is his official family picture shirt.  He's worn it more than once.  We're so proud of him.

Lane finally, FINALLY, finished up his degree.  It has been a long road for him, but now its done.   Which means he can't use "I have homework" as an excuse to get out doing stuff he doesn't want to do anymore.  That came in handy for him.   But what a relief for both of us to have that out of the way and done.  Now we are hoping that the degree will open up some new doors for him.

The Marching Band season is finally winding down.  The Band leaves for their Tour this week. This year they are going to Disneyland.  Since we are terrible, non-Disney parents, this is Jack's first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, and he is super excited to go.  In their last competition of the season, the drumline took First Place against 9 other bands.  The Marching Band took 3rd place overall.  He was beyond thrilled with the 1st place win.  Winter Drumline starts up in November, so he will have a little break before he's back at it again.  But thankfully, Winter Drumline doesn't take up nearly as much time.  3 of his school classes are band stuff:  Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Percussion.  So yeah, music is a big part of his life.  He is really enjoying the independence that a Drivers License brings, and so am I.  Its so nice not to have to drive him around so much.  In fact, now I make him drive me around.

Addie is turning 12 at the end of this week and had her last day in Primary on Sunday, which happened to be our Primary Program.  What a nice week to have be the last one.  So she is off to Young Women starting on Sunday.  Then at the first of the year she will be part of our Sunday School class.  She wasn't too happy with that realization.

Taylor is busy at USU with 18 credits this semester.  She got a job at Kohls up in Logan and started this week.  My hope is that she won't spend her entire salary on boots.  Sadly, the job will prevent her from being at home as much over the holidays, but we are grateful she found a good job, so we will just enjoy whatever time we do get to spend together.

It is now time to start making Christmas plans.  I did very few projects last Christmas, and with my chauffeuring hours cut way down, and no longer being in Scouts, I think I might be able to take on some projects this year.  I have been pinning away like a crazy person on Pinterest, finding ways to use up my piles and piles of scrap fabric. I always prefer to make gifts rather than buy them, as much as possible.  I'm not sure the receivers have that same preference, but I guess that's the price they have to pay for the joy of knowing me.  Unfortunately, everything comes with a price.  But this price, for my poor loved ones, may be too high.  Well, at least they are kind about it.  To my face, anyway. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm Only Human

There is a Murphy's Law that says "If everything seems to be going well, you obviously don't know what the heck is going on." Knowing this, I've been waiting for some sort of catastrophe because things have been going really well lately.  Really well.  Unbelievably well. 

Scary well.

I knew it when I went to Stake Conference on Saturday night.  A member of our stake presidency gave an amazing talk . . . so amazing it touched my very soul and made feel a "hmmmm. . . . "

I knew it when I went to Regional Conference on Sunday morning and Elder Scott spoke on prayer. 

The details of my trial don't matter.  What matters is the following:

1) The Lord knows me so well that one of the ways He manifests His love is by sending little events in preparation for what is looming.  Sometimes they are subtle, but sometimes, like now, they are huge and hard to miss. I am grateful for my knowledge and testimony of this Gospel so I could recognize the preparation and warning that was given to me, and hopefully be that much more ready to deal with the fallout.

2) The Lord has blessed me with a tremendous support system in the way of a loving family and compassionate friends.  They bear me up when I am weak. 

3) The Lord sends tender mercies to help me cope.  One of those tender mercies came this week in the form of  2 songs that played on the radio as I drove to work one morning this week:

 by Christina Perri

'Cause I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
 . . . .

I can do it
I can do it
I'll get through it

It may sound stupid now, but that song was what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it.  It reminded me that because I am only human, I need to rely on and put my faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

"I'm Already There"
by Lonestar

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there

And this song was to remind me that He is always with me, His love surrounds me.

So while I work my way through this current course of events, I am praying.  A lot.  And I am learning some important lessons along the way.  Lessons about pride.  And about love.  And about patience.  And most definitely about faith.  I guess those are all things I need to do some serious work on.

In the meantime, I'll just take it one day at a time, and hope that each day will be a little better than the one before.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Love of a Good (but cowardly) Dog

Despite our best intentions we haven't gotten out for our Saturday morning hikes this summer.  We finally made the time for it the last 2 weeks and went up in the PG foothills, taking Rex along.  The first time we went, Lane got brave since there was no one around and let Rex off the leash.  I expected the dog to bolt.  But I was once again wrong with regards to this dog and he stayed right in line.  He meandered off the trail a to explore, but always stayed close by.  He insisted on being the leader of us and he would always look back to make sure we were still there and safe.  In some places where the trail is narrow and we can't walk side by side (that means I'm in the back because I'm slow), Rex would walk all the way back to me to make sure I was still safe too.  It really made my heart fill with love to know that he cared.
 Me and Rex

North Utah Valley from the foothills

But this week I remembered that our dog is not brave. Not even a little bit brave.  So I have decided that instead of Rex looking back to make sure we are safe, I think he is actually looking back to make sure we are still there to protect him, perhaps even from his own shadow.  Our dog is a bit of a coward, but he does love his People.

We took a longer hike this week, about 2 1/2 miles on this favorite trail of ours.  Rex was still so well behaved I was more than a little bit shocked.  Once again I'll have to credit Lane for knowing what he's talking about.  He's done a better job of training the dog than I thought he did.

We got the good news - the very good news - this week that Lane only has 2 classes to go.  Each class lasts 5 weeks so he should be done by October (fingers crossed for no surprises!).  What a relief it will be to have that journey complete.

We are gearing up for the start of another school year.  I got the fees paid and the clothes bought. We got the kids rooms cleared out and all the old stuff tossed or taken to DI.  We are moving into my favorite time of year, which means I had better start gathering my jars for all the applesaucing and tomato souping/saucing that is coming.  Oh, and grape jamming and juicing.  I have done several batches of berry jam over the summer to replenish that supply.  Its still shocking to me how much jam we go through in a year.  I somewhat suspect that Camaron is breaking into my house and stealing jam.  He knows the garage code.  Its a reasonable assumption given how fast we go through jam.

So here we go back into the busy time of year, after a mostly relaxed summer.  I have started filling things in on the calendar and its filling up quickly.  Sadly, the Legacy Music Alliance where Jack has been taking his trombone lessons has indefinitely suspended the music lessons due to lack of funding.  Although this will be one less thing on the schedule, it has been so beneficial to have those extra lessons.  I'm sad to see it end.  And Addie will be turning 12 in a few months so she will be a little busier as she starts participating in the youth programs.  And of course I'll go back to missing Taylor desperately.

Soon it will be just me and Lane and Rex rambling around this old house.  We'll have to invest in some rocking chairs for the porch so we can really live it up.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I found something to say

I have nothing to say.

No  really. I have nothing planned to post here today.  So we'll see where my meandering thoughts take me.

Its just that I finally unwrapped my July issue of the Ensign and was reading through it today and there was an article on keeping journals.  Kinda hit home because I'm truly sucky at journal keeping.  Well, maybe not as sucky as some; I write in my journal sporadically.  I will be really good for a period of time, and then it all falls to pieces until I get the yen (read: guilt trip) to write again. 

I was super good at it when I was a kid. I started around 8 years old and wrote nearly every day.  And wrote just about the same thing every day.  I was still pretty good about it in junior high, except all my entries are dumb things about dumb boys, which makes 44 year old Lari really frustrated and annoyed with 12-15 year old Lari.  Things started to wane some in high school, even more so in college, and turned non existent when I got married, except for the aforementioned periods of feast preceding the famine. 

My blog would be an excellent journal, if I would just post in it.  But I get busy.  Or I forget.  Or (and seriously, this one is the biggest problem) I can't get my hands on a computer with all the other members of this household.  I refuse to attempt to blog on my phone.

So in the spirit of catching up, here goes:

Lane is finally, FINALLY on a day shift.  Its been such a long time coming.  Its been nice to have him home, mostly awake, and especially nice to have him coming to church with us every week.  And speaking of church, we are no longer Webelos leaders, but have been moved to 12-13 year old Sunday School teachers.  They boys are our former Webelos and we are really enjoying the class.  The kids actually participate rather than staring off into space or writing notes to friends like we did in youth  Sunday School.

On an unrelated note, I would like to apologize to all of my youth Sunday School teachers, one of whom is our current Stake President who walked out on us once for behaving so badly.  I'm grateful he signs my temple recommend in spite of that.

Why do summers always fly by so fast?  It hard to believe that July is nearly done and the kids are back to school around August 20.  Jack is finally done with the big FCCLA trip and all his scout camps, but now its time for Marching Band to really get going, so there is no let-up with him.  Plus we have to try to fit in the remainder of his driving hours so he can get his license close to his birthday.  Bad mom that I am, I refuse to spend any more time than is necessary chauffeuring him to all his stuff.  And naturally, as my luck would have it, now that Jack is at the high school, marching band has been moved back to the junior high because of construction at the high school.  Seriously, can you believe the timing?  So he will need almost daily chauffeuring to the junior high, plus he has early morning jazz band, his music lessons, and hopefully some sort of job that will fit in with all that.

Taylor is anxiously anticipating getting the heck outta here and back up to school. She is living off campus this year and is hoping to find a job in Logan, which means she is likely to come home even less than she did Freshman year, if that's possible.  She has changed her major from elementary education to secondary (English and deaf ed).  We've enjoyed having her home this summer, but I think she is not a huge fan of living at home again after the freedom of living away.

As for Lane and I, we are both just muddling through this parenting thing, trying not to do anything to really screw our kids up too much.  Some damage is done, we know that.   Jack is a butter snob.  I turned Taylor into a soda addict. And all 3 are under the impression that pancakes is a typical American "Sunday Dinner." 

Well, looky there.  I found something to say after all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Don't go in July

 Another Strawberry Days parade.  Jack was with the marching band again, but this year he is in the percussion section (tenor drums) rather than the trombone.  He had such a blast with the drum line last winter, he decided to stay with it for marching band this year.  The drums weigh about 45 pounds, so it was rougher than carrying his trombone.

Taylor was off work and was able to join us for the parade.  We haven't seen too much of her this summer, and its hard to believe that in just a month she'll be going back to Logan.  :(

Jack and his friend Derek won the FCCLA state competition in Entrepreneurship (Junior Division) and earned themselves a trip to the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in San Antonio.  I went along for fun. 

Here's everything I knew about San Antonio before this trip:
1)  San Antonio is in Texas.
2)  It's hot there.
3) The Alamo is there.
4) It's hot there.

It was VERY hot there.  Although I really liked San Antonio, and I would totally go back, I wouldn't go again in July.  It was sooooo hot and humid.  Our last full day there wasn't so hot, and we did spend a lot of time inside the convention center, but still . . . . so hot.

Jack and Derek on the plane as we left from SLC.  We flew on Southwest.  I hate Southwest, only because they don't assign seats.  Seriously, in this age of technology, how hard is it to assign seats?  When I book my own flights, I rarely even bother to look at Southwest. I  would rather pay for my luggage than not have an assigned seat.  

Shortly after we arrived in San Antonio, we headed for dinner and the Alamo.  I really liked the Alamo, but it's much smaller than I had imagined.  It also looks really out of place just plopped down in the middle of a busy, modern city.  The line to get in was very long, probably because all the other FCCLA people (there were 7500 FCCLA people) all had the same idea.  Since we had to walk every where we went, we passed the Alamo many times, and I never again saw a line like there was when we went for the tour.

 We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, but the Conference didn't actually begin until Monday.  We spent part of Sunday at the Schlitterbahn just outside of San Antonio. I spent the day sitting in the shade while the boys had all the waterpark fun they could fit in.  Somehow even with sitting in the shade, I managed to get sunburned. I haven't figured out how that happened.

 We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe one day as part of one of our tours.  My opinion of theme restaurants remains unchanged: overpriced "meh" food, small portions, and mediocre service.

 Jack and Derek presented their STAR event on Tuesday morning.  This is right after they finished.  I attended a lot of the meetings with our group from PGJHS.  It made for very long days, but I'm glad I did.  I learned a lot about the FCCLA organization that I didn't know.  I even got to judge the Nutrition and Wellness event on Monday.  That was a great experience!

 We went to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and the Guiness Book of World Records Museum on Wednesday.  Here is Jack as the Fattest Man Ever.  (the lighting was terrible in both museums)

 Thursday morning was the Recognition Ceremony.  Jack and Derek were awarded a silver medal.

 Dinner Thursday was at the Rainforest Cafe  (sigh - theme restaurants).  Jack got so full . . . "food coma" full.

 The San Antonio Riverwalk

 Thursday night we finally had time to take the boat ride on the river that goes through town.  It was really fun and I was glad we were able to fit it in.  After the boat ride, we went back to the hotel and went to bed early; everyone was exhausted from such a busy week.

One last selfie at the Alamo on our walk back to the hotel.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Finally . . . Officially . . . Ceremoniously . . . An Eagle Scout

 I come from a long line of Scouters.  I'm not sure who came before Grandpa Calvin Walker, Scout-wise, but I do know this:  Grandpa Walker was a big-time Scouter.  And all of his 5 sons, to the best of my knowledge, were also big-time Scouters.  One of the things I remember best about Grandma and Grandpa Walker's house here in PG - besides the saloon doors on the kitchen and the white rug that we won't discuss because it still hurts - was a photograph hanging near those kitchen saloon doors of Grandpa and all 5 of his sons all Scout-Uniformed-up.  I wonder who inherited that photograph?  I wouldn't mind having a copy of that.

Anyway, growing up a Walker in Pleasant Grove is a unique experience.  Every year on the first day of school as the teacher (or teachers) would call roll, and come to Lari Walker, I would inevitably get the question: "Which Walker are you from?"

And I would answer, "I belong to Jerry, who belonged to Calvin."  And then the teacher would sigh, and say something like, "Oh yes. Calvin.  He was my bishop/principal/scoutmaster."  Being a descendent of Calvin automatically set the bar high, and I knew I had to measure up.  Plus my mom, who is not native to Pleasant Grove like all those Walkers, but might as well be, was the editor of the town paper and seemed to always be in the know about daughters who were up to mischief.  Luckily, it was usually my sister Sabrina who was up to mischief.  I was the good child.  I can say that because Sabrina doesn't read my blog.

But back to the Scout thing.  We finally got to have our Eagle Court of Honor (yes, I do mean OUR). So now Jack can carry on the tradition of Scouting in the footsteps of his Great-Grandpa Calvin, his Grandpa Jerry, and his Uncle Calvin Walker.  We rare so proud of him.  He worked really hard to achieve this goal, and although he didn't quite make it by his 14th birthday (my goal, not his) he did by his 15th birthday.  And now I have a full set of BSA pins on my Scout shirt, because it is, after all, all about me.

 Jack's Uncle JD (also and Eagle Scout) gave the Eagle Charge

Lane (not an Eagle Scout, but my family is nice to him anyway) presented the Eagle Award

 Dressing him up in his Eagle neckerchief

 Getting my Eagle Mom pin!!
(I worked REALLY hard for this one)

 Lane getting his Eagle Dad pin

Jack selected his cousin Henson for his Mentor Award.  Henson (also an Eagle Scout) has been an excellent Scouting example for Jack, and he is also responsible for introducing Jack to Timberline.  Jack spent one year as a Timberline participant, and the last 3 years on Timberline Staff.

We are so proud of Jack!  And at the end of the day - I'm really glad I only have one son.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cruise 2014

Due to some strange (meaning, strange to me) Ultimate Music Festival, there were no hotel rooms available in the area of Miami beach I like to stay.  So since we flew into Fort Lauderdale, we just stayed the night there and then went down to the Port of Miami the next morning.
We stayed at a Hilton in the marina area of Fort Lauderdale, which was lovely, and you can't really go wrong with a Hilton, right?  Well . . .
Our flight left SLC on Sunday morning at 1:00 am (what was I thinking??).  We flew from SLC to Detroit (a surprisingly nice airport), and were only in Detroit for less than an hour and then off again to Fort Lauderdale, landing there at 10:30 am.  I had requested an early arrival (noon) at the Hilton since we were coming in so early, and I also requested a tower room.  So we took our taxi to the hotel, only to find that the lobby was a madhouse for the people checking out of the hotel to catch their cruise out of the Port of Fort Lauderdale.  We got to the hotel around 11:30, and they told us our room wasn't ready, and they didn't know when it would be because they were so busy.  I asked about my early arrival request, and they said they would get to it as soon as they could.  Would I rather wait for my tower room or take the first available room?  Since we were on very little sleep, I asked for the first available room, which wasn't in the tower. I shouldn't complain, I wasn't charged for a tower room, but it was disappointing nonetheless.  We got something to eat at the hotel restaurant, which was still serving breakfast, and then went right to sleep as soon as our room was ready.  It was a nice enough place, but not nearly as nice as the South Beach Marriott, to which I've become accustomed when in Florida.  Also we were pretty much forced to eat all meals at the hotel restaurants because there was nothing we could find within walking distance of the hotel. Kinda annoying.

The hotel was right at the marina so there was lots of fancy yachts around, but no beachfront.  :(


So finally on Monday afternoon we were happily on the ship.  We sat here on the deck for about 45 minutes, which it turns out is exactly the amount of time I need to get a good sunburn going: farmer sleeves and capri pants legs.  When I did put on my swimsuit, I looked extra ridiculous.

BTW- Blogger won't let me put my pictures in the order I want, so ignore the out-of-order-ness.

Grand Turk.  Lane and I don't snorkel, so we took an excursion on a semi-sub.  The lower deck was all glass windows so we could just sit all nice and dry and lazy and look at the fish.  We even got to see a tiny (about 5 foot) shark.

 Grand Turk.  He just has to be silly in pictures.  Always.
 On the ship, in the lounge, waiting for the comedy show to start.

This is where my pictures get out of order, due to some being on the camera and some being on the phone, but whatever.  We flew home from Fort Lauderdale through JFK in New York.  I've never been to NY before, so I thought maybe I could see some skyline or something.  No.  Nothing.  I have no geographical knowledge of where JFK is in relation to NYC so perhaps I was expecting too much.  Now, I don't claim to be any kind of world traveler or anything, but of all the airports I've been to (and there aren't that many), JFK is the weirdest, most non-sensical airport I've ever been to.  And I was stuck there for 4 hours.  During that 4 hours, our connecting flight gate changed 3 times.  There was hardly anywhere to plug in a cell phone, and really - 6 bathroom stalls for the whole area?  I expected something completely different, not to mention it didn't look anything like the airport on Friends.

Plus, what's up with the pigeon?  No one seemed to notice or care that it was there, but I thought it was more than a little bit disgusting.

So we flew out of JFK at 8pm, and I did get to see the lights of whatever that is.  They went on forever and ever.  It was pretty cool, even if I never did see the skyline I was looking for.  Yes, I'm waiting for someone familiar with that area to mock me.

Back to the cruise.  This is Half Moon Cay. We did a hike and bike here.  Last time I came I did the bike ride with Jack, which was fun, but now they only offer the hike and bike.  It's not much of a hike.  The high point of the island is 60 feet, or 61 feet if you stand on a rock to take a picture.  It was a good walk though, and the bike wasn't quite the deathtrap as the bike I had last time.  This one at least had brakes that worked some of the time.  Not that brakes are needed that much, its pretty flat.

Starfish and stingray at Half Moon Cay

Some beach time at Half Moon Cay.  We sat in the shade since I certainly didn't need any more sun.  We went in the water for a minute, but it was much colder than when we were there before (September 2011)

Still out of order, back to Grand Turk.  This ship was pulling up alongside us at the dock. I thought it was amazing how they can steer those huge ships right into place.

So now we are back to the real world, which is always disappointing.  Especially due to the fact that I lied when I said Lane was switching to days.  Yep, they pulled the rug right out from under him despite what had been promised and he's still on nights for the next 8 months.  Then he'll go on days for a year or so.  Of course, this is all contingent on no further changes, which I am unwilling to bank on.

Things seem to be winding down, at least for a short time. Jack's winter drumline finished up on April 5. That was a huge time commitment on his part, which paid off well since they took 1st place in all their competitions except one, when they took second.  Not bad considering this is PGHS's first year participating in winter drumline.  So Jack now gets to come home from school every single day at the normal time.  Until the 28th, when he starts drivers ed after school.  Then Marching Band starts up again early in June, so I'm enjoying the downtime while it lasts.  I keep telling myself he'll be driving in September, which will be a huge burden lifted.

Taylor finishes up at USU sometime the first week of May and she'll be back home for the summer to work to pay for her sophomore year.  I'm thrilled at the prospect of her coming home.  Her?  Not so much, I think.  She wanted to stay in Logan for the summer, but an empty bank account changed her mind.  She has done well her first year up there, although I have missed her desperately.  She doesn't come home often enough for me, but she is better about texting more often or using Google Talk to check in. Or to ask us to send money.

So here I find myself on a Thursday evening with nothing to do.  It's a delicious feeling considering how evenings around here usually are.  I cleaned my kitchen, and even mopped the floors.  My little plants are still growing, but some have died so I got the dead ones tossed out.  I have the windows open and am enjoying the fresh spring air, while watching the dog chase a bird, hoping he doesn't get it.

 My job is going well, things at home are going well, my kids are healthy and happy, and Taylor will be home soon.  Its quite a beautiful life.