InLoveBlog

I created this page as a storage spot for all the posts from my previous blog InLoveatHome (that is no longer available at that url).

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To Be Continued..

Alice

Hello to my lovely readers (new and old).

I thought that this project would last longer, I really did, but 2014 is a year for bigger and better and broader subjects.

I don’t want to be confined to writing about home and healthiness, I want to write about everything.

If you like my voice or feel like giving my writing aspirations some support, please follow me over to my new space online. I will promise you one thing: I plan to stay at my new url that bears my name alicewgold for as long as I live. (I guess that also means I promise to never change my name.)

I will also promise you, that my writings about loving home will continue forever.

Thanks for your love and support. Everyone needs readers like you. Oh yeah, you will be happy to hear that they new blog is a work in progress. I have a lot of work to do with the formatting, but for now, I haven’t turned off the comments so you can engage in an actual conversation. I hope to keep it that way, but if you crazy anonymous people find me you could spoil the party for everyone. And yeah, that’s a threat.

Can You Hear the Bells?

LG and I received a great Christmas present from his parents.
We were able to attend a Christmas concert last night
by one of our favorite gospel/bluegrass groups The Lower Lights.
I was touched by their retelling and performance of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the lyrics after suffering two terrible Christmas seasons. First his wife was engulfed in flames and died from her burns, leaving Henry permanently injured as well. Second, Henry’s son, without Henry’s blessing, went to fight in the Civil War where he also received significant injuries to never be the same.

As Henry strolled down the street in despair the words of this poem came to him after hearing the church bells ringing. “If you haven’t had to endure a holiday season full of despair, then it’s only a matter of time,” the performer said last night. Then he added some sentiment that communicated the great privilege it can be to experience a Christmas where we are broken, humble, hurt, and down-trodden because it’s in those times that we can really see God’s hand in our life. Thus the last verse:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men

As I listened again to this inspired Christmas hymn tears ran down my cheeks. I felt the power of one person’s faith. I got thinking of my brother’s family. My nephew passed away last May and my brother was just talking about how hard it is to celebrate the holidays without Braxton. I then thought of my friend Rosie who will be stuck in a hospital tending after Hyrum, her critically-ill special needs son, for Christmas as she was for Thanksgiving. I thought of Aimee who has had terrible health problems and is waiting for her entrance into the Mayo Clinic. I thought of several of my friends who struggle with a lifetime of hurt from the abuse they received as children. I thought of so many children out there dealing with the antics of their bitter divorced parents. Then I was flooded with the memories of many heartbroken wives who have lost their marriages because of their husband’s addiction. The friends who are valiantly trying to provide for their children in the midst of job loss and an unstable economy also came to mind.

There is so much suffering.  I thought, “How does God handle it all?”
The answer came, “I don’t handle it, you do.”

Wait, what? I can’t handle it! Then the answer came further,
“No, one person cannot handle it, but everyone can do something.”
And all those somethings mean everything.

I’ve heard the bells. I’ve heard them so many times. I can’t even begin to count. I’ve heard them for me. I’ve heard them for friends. I’ve heard them for family. I’ve heard them by being served and I’ve heard them by being the servant. I’ve heard them ringing for strangers. I’ve heard them in the drop of a few coins in the Salvation Army buckets. I’ve heard them in so so  many surprise packages on my very own porch. I’ve heard them in a Santa Claus across the country buying a trampoline for kids he has never met. They are ringing strong all over the world. Take a minute to really look for them….listen carefully. I promise they are there.

At this time of year you can even hear them in advertising.

The bells are so beautiful.
My wish for each of you this year is the gift to hear.

This one is dedicated to my hubby who loves his Sarah McLachlan.

Scribbleville by Peter Holwitz

After reading the book Scribbleville with Caroline I knew it was one that we needed to review. It is a beautiful story that eloquently teaches children not to be afraid of people who are different.

This would be the ideal read for a children’s lesson on:

  • scribbletolerance
  • kindness
  • the acceptance of others
  • being oneself
  • opposites (scribbles vs. straight)
  • families
  • friends
  • children’s influence (the hero is a child)
  • the parts of a good story
  • character development
  • art theory (turning scribbles into pictures)

Still Counting

When I start counting blessings I am always surprised by how many of them are categorized financially.  This tells me two things. One, I am focusing on materialistic things too much. Two, I am way more blessed then I realize when it comes to having needs and wants met. If we were to class people from poorest to richest based on how much God gives them, I believe I am royalty.

Caroline’s preschool teacher has been sharing pictures from class on her website.
Check out these gems. Each and every one put a smile on my face.
How blessed I am to have my beautiful daughters.

caroline7

caroline2    caroline12 caroline6

caroline9

 

count blessings

Right in the middle of our move when finances were super tight, I took Bella to get a tooth pulled. The baby molar had a bad cavity around an old filling that was a temporary repair for a broken tooth. The adult tooth was far enough in that the dentist decided a pull was the best remedy for the cavity pain she had been experiencing. It would only cost us $15 but it was money that would come out of our grocery budget. I got to sit and rest for 45 minutes while the dentist did his job and had a great validating chat with a friend from church who works at the dentist office. When Bella got through and I went to pay this friend informed me that we had a credit on our account and I wouldn’t have to pay. Even though she insists it was true, I still think she was pulling some kind of charitable act. Either way it was a great blessing.

After we got moved a friend from our old church congregation (As Mormons we are assigned congregations by geographical location – which can make things extra tough at moving time – especially in Utah when you only move a half mile away and now have to start associating with all new people at church) brought me my favorite of her baking repertoire: coconut bread. I ate the whole thing in less than 12 hours but it was oh so good and made me feel extra loved.

Another dear friend brought us a yummy dinner, but truthfully the comfort I felt in giving her and her husband a tour of our humble home was the best part. That goes for the friends in the paragraph above also. It really is all about relationships.

Our families aren’t really the best about birthday exchanges but my sister-in-law gave me a $25 gift-card to Olive Garden for my 40th. LG and I haven’t been there in a long time and it made for a really great date night.

On that same date, LG and I went to the cheap dollar movie and outside someone was selling kettle corn for $4 a bag. Typically I wouldn’t have given it a second look but I had $20 from my other sister-in-law (and brother-in-laws – shouldn’t leave them out…but we all know gift-giving is the girls’s job) burning a hole in my pocket. The instructions were I was only to spend that birthday gift on myself. Buying that kettle corn made me so happy and it was guilt-free. Thanks Logan Jill.

I was able to get TWO new pairs of running shoes with the birthday money I received from my mother-in-law. The money my mom sent me paid for the mirror I had to replace in the bathroom before we moved. I had bought the first one for $50 and by the time we got it installed it had broke again (right under the hardware in the same exact spot the kids had broken it) so I had to pay for a second one. The glass business took mercy on my and gave me the second one for $30 but I was grateful for that birthday money so I could afford it.

LG was able to travel to Pheonix for business and had a great visit with one of his favorite cousins and when he got home we were both extra grateful for one another. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

bdayAn old dear friend of mine sent me the sweetest belated birthday card with a $25 Amazon gift-card. Looking forward to a book purchase is bringing me happiness, but her sweet sweet validating words were one of the best gift’s I’ve ever received. I’ve worked really hard at making a lot of changes in my life and I have not a single person in my life who dishes out any sort of validation. (This is not a strong suit for my parents, husband, siblings, in-laws, or children) I wasn’t even aware of how desperate I was for it until her card arrived and brought many tears of pent up gratitude to just know that I am known and supported.

Another validation came in the form of an e-mail from a new friend in the form of a small compliment about this here blog. It made my day.

As I told you in another post some very generous soul helped us to make it during this really tight-budget month. For the first time in a year when I went to get the necessities at Costco I was able to also purchase a few non-necessities. We have been loving the grape juice and bacon bits.

When we moved I was fed up with our dilapidated vacuum cleaner that was being held together by duct tape. Instead of bringing it along, I chucked it in the garbage. We haven’t purchased a new one yet, but our commercial grade carpeting can be swept almost as easily as vacuumed. While I have been sweeping I’ve been able to clear the carpet of a lot of pesky dog-hair from the last tenant’s dog that obviously hasn’t come up with a vacuum.

JJ

My friend Kathy who has four daughters (just like me) gave birth extremely prematurely months ago. Her son JJ finally got to come home yesterday. It makes my heart so happy that she won’t have to endure all the traveling back and forth to the hospital any more.

I am grateful for immunizations. Caroline got her 4 year old shots today and she was so brave and tough. Her laugh/cry was so familiar to me. It makes me a tad bit sad that today marks an end of an immunization era for our family. I will never again hold a child’s hand while they get stuck by a nurse. I’ve also been reading a lot of family history stories and the stories of so many children dying so young make me so grateful for immunizations and modern medicine. I have two kids with asthma. I can’t imagine watching them struggle for breath without their inhalers.

I love hot chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven, and I guess I better stop counting blessings now so I can enjoy them.

I just have to draw the line somewhere. I could count every moment the rest of my life and still not get everything recorded.

Abigail The Mini-Einstein

My Abigail is awesome. She is such a great girl. The last couple of times I have watched her playing soccer from the car while waiting for practice to be over I just can’t believe she is my daughter. She is so grown-up.  When did she become a woman? She loves to taunt us about getting her drivers permit in six months. Nothing better then that to make a parent feel like they are coming of age.

I love Abigail just because she is her but lately I’ve started to stress about what it will be like when she flies the coop. How will I know what to wear or what jewelry to match with my outfit? Who will tell me which shoes look better? What will I do without her to help the younger girls with their math homework? Who is going to be throwing out the smart trivia that always brings me such joy. This girls smarts always amaze me. I just really love hanging out with my Abigail. She has boundless energy and always makes me laugh.

CA 2013 - Sunday

Two funny stories about Abigail have occurred in the past couple of weeks. First is just a silly little thing but it demonstrates her silly sense of humor. She was talking to her friend about coming over to our new place to watch a movie. This is her wording, “Hey Kaimi, do you want to come over to my half-of-a-house and watch a movie?” The only reason she could even invite her friend is because the rest of us wouldn’t be home to bug them all night. We are literally on top of each other in our half-of-a-house, but at least we can all laugh about it.

The next story happened yesterday. It is A-typical of Abigail’s ADHD. She is my little mini-Einstein. She is just like her dad (except for the sense of humor and boundless energy  and fashion sense – I’m taking all credit for those traits). She is smart as a whip but struggles with organization and motivation because of her ADHD. Although she could have taken all honors classes this year as a Freshman, LG and I limited her to two because we knew she would get overwhelmed. She picked math and science for her honors because those are her favorite subjects and are of the most interest to her.

All year long she’s been getting straight A’s and she’s told us that she was on top of her homework. We trusted her. Well, this is a pattern with her. She outright lies because she doesn’t want to do her homework. So, yesterday she texts me from school and tells me she is going to just drop honors math because her homework packet is due and she didn’t finish it. (The way they do honors math is by giving additional work to do at home to the kids that want it) I was not happy and kind of confused because I didn’t even know if she was allowed to drop it. I ended up calling the school adviser and after a couple of tries I found myself on the phone with her math teacher. I explained the situation and told the teacher I was NOT o.k. with this and would come pull her out of school right now to get the packet done. Her teacher replied, “No way, she is way too smart not to do honors; don’t worry I will take care of this. I will get her in here right now.”

Her teacher ended up texting her from one of her friend’s phones and got her to come to her class where she told Abigail that she would give her til morning to get it done.  Abigail – 0, Mom – 1.

Abigail and I laughed about it all afternoon. Then LG stayed up until 10 pm with Abigail getting it all done. Math is just not my department. We now will require Abigail to show us her work every day so we can help her manage her ADHD better, but our final goal is always to let her manage it herself. Obviously, she hasn’t arrived quite yet but lucky for us we’ve got a few more years til college.

If you want a better picture of what it is like to raise an Einstein daughter, check out this commercial. It is so my Abigail.

If Only Mileva Einstein Could Have Slipped The Genius Some Ritalin #2

Who wouldn’t want to married to Justin Timberlake or Will Smith? What if someone told you that if you married them you would also automatically get a big old dose of rejection, loneliness, feeling ignored, frustration, anger, exhaustion, and a sense of hopeleness? (Read here.) I know from experience that all of these emotions are part of being a spouse to someone with ADHD.

The first of my series is here where I share some of our story. It also explains my opinion that Mileva Einstein may have been able to save her marriage also if there was Ritalin back in the day. A lot of good people are getting divorced because of ADHD. Even this renowned psychologist/author just thought her hubby was a deadbeat. My hope is by sharing our story we may be able to help save some struggling marriages.

IMG_4170Dr. Oz says that 75% of the eight million adults with ADHD have gone untreated. He admits that there are a lot of spouses out there feeling like they are raising another child. I highly recommend his online series on ADHD and marriage.

In the beginning of the series Dr. Oz interviews a really smart doctor with an Ivy League degree who wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until after graduating from medical school. (Just like my hubby wasn’t diagnosed until after plowing through law school) I loved this quote by Dr. Hallowell when he explained why he made treating ADHD into his life’s work.

“The struggle can be turned into a victory.”

From personal experience I know that this quote is true. That is why I started writing this series. I wanted to share my experience with supporting my hubby. I wanted people to know the coping strategies not just for the individual with ADHD but for the marriage.

So, if you are having any or all of those above negative feelings, your first step is to identify the problem. You might think the problem is just laziness, addiction, trustworthiness, inability, or even just plain stupidity but it’s more than likely not any of those things…it could very likely be ADHD.

My first two suggestions, echo this great article.

1- Get educated. Go over and evaluate. One important part of ADHD evaluation is that someone close to the diagnosed also includes their opinion. Often ADHD people are not even aware of their symptoms or are in deep denial.

2-  Seek optimal treatment. There are three equally important parts of treatment. First – Get medicated. Second – Make behavioral changes. Third – Changing the way interactions occur in the marriage.  All of these parts require some professional help. Don’t think you can do it on your own.

brain on ADHD

Stay tuned for the next post in the series where I will talk about our favorite parts of the second and third leg of treatment.

Home is a Feeling.

IMG_4042

Last week I just got done with the final unpacking. While making dinner Alison Krauss was playing over the portable CD player when LG wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and kissed my neck. The air smelled like apples from my Scentsy lamp but then LG’s familiar man-smell permeated my nasal passages. I took a long deep breathe. Two of our girls were happily playing Rummikub at the nearby dining table and the other two were sitting on the couch watching T.V.

I stirred whatever it was that I cooking on the stove and then turned to LG and gave him a hug and kissed him. The kiss became a longer kiss and then a really long kiss. The girls all started to murmur in objection to our public display of affection. “NO PDA allowed.” We laughed and whispered to each other that we would finish this later in private. I went back to cooking. LG stood close by trying to be helpful but mostly just supporting the cook with his presence.

I observed, “It feels like home.” LG questioned, “Which home? The old one down the street or the one we left in Tennessee?” I thought for a minute and said, “Both.” I pondered on how the feeling was the same even though the surroundings were so different and further communicated, “You know LG, I think home is a feeling, not a place.” He agreed.

No wonder why this is one of our favorite songs.

“There is a certain kind of yearning for home we should never want to lose. Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love. Home should be where life’s greatest lessons are taught and learned. Home and family can be the center of one’s earthly faith, where love and mutual responsibility are appropriately blended. Thinking of home with its pleasant and happy memories can make us stronger during our present and future days here upon the earth….

When we have a yearning and don’t know what it is for, perhaps it’s our soul longing for its heartland, longing to be no longer alienated from the Lord and the pursuit of something much higher, better, and more fulfilling than anything this earth has to offer.

After Joseph, youngest son of Jacob, had been reunited with his brothers, he asked them to return home to Canaan to bring his father, Jacob, to him in Egypt. As the brothers were preparing to depart, Joseph said to them simply, “See that ye fall not out by the way.” (Gen. 45:24.)

Might our Heavenly Father have given us much the same counsel as we departed his presence to begin our earthly sojourn?

May our yearning for home be the motivation we need to so live that we can return to our heavenly home with God our Father on a forever basis.”

~Marvin J. Ashton, Oct 1992

Check out this inspiring story of some Mormon missionaries in the Philippines who thought they would never again go home, but were miraculously saved.

I am NOT forgotten.

A little elf arrived at our doorstep this morning. Funny, I’ve often thought of elves as Santa’s helpers. Today I realized how very wrong I have been. Elves are God’s angels on earth. Let me explain.

elves

Sometimes it’s easy to wonder why God has forsaken us. I try not to dwell in that sentiment when I feel it but I admit that I feel it often. Feeling forsaken has become a way of life for me. I think anyone who tries to live a faithful life must struggle with feeling resentment from time to time. After all, this life is a test. If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be a test.I personally always feel pretty guilty when I feel forgotten. I then try to remind myself that once Christ felt forsaken. If he can feel alone then it must be an o.k. frame of mind for me too. I am a huge advocate in teaching people to not be ashamed of their feelings. Feelings are what they are. For too many years I felt shame for my feelings and it got me nowhere but deeper into the dark and then I learned that I can’t control my feelings. I can only control what I do with my feelings.

So, I’m here to tell you that when a woman tries so very hard to live her life in a way that would be pleasing to God and keeps hitting the same brick wall over and over again she feels forgotten. In the past few weeks I’ve had to keep moving forward to keep myself from succumbing to the depression and discouragement associated with my brick wall. My forgotten place is not pretty.

What is my brick wall? I have many, but the one that gets to me more than any of the others is financial strain. I have never known a life without financial strain. I was born under a roof of financial strain. No matter how hard I work or how hard my hubby works we never seem to break free from financial strain. No matter how much we improve at frugality and income-earning it’s as if God doesn’t want us to ever have a better way of life. It’s hard.

LeGrand and I have discussed this a lot. We don’t understand it. We are good people. We are generous. We serve others. We share what we have. We are not selfish. We are not really worldly. We don’t try to keep up with the Jones-es. We don’t have a desire to impress other people with our worldly goods. We just don’t. We give 10% of our income to God’s purposes. We donate additional amounts in money, goods, and time to various other humanitarian efforts. We are honest in our dealings with our fellow-man. We don’t take advantage of other people. We don’t even like accepting gifts from others. All we want to do is provide our kids with their necessities and bless our fellow man, but so often we are left unable to do so because of our economic status.

I can’t complain because I’ve had it worse. Much much worse. I’ve had it so bad that even if I have nothing leftover but a little food in my pantry just being able to pay bills is a blessing I don’t take for granted. We pay our bills. We always have a little leftover and we never go hungry or without a home. However, moving into a basement apartment at 40-years-old with four impressionable children and a defeated husband still sucks. It’s hard. Everyone is left wondering why God gives to others so abundantly but only takes from us.

forget me not

And then a little elf knocked at my door. She said she had a gift from one of the other elves that she knows. She couldn’t tell me who.

This afternoon I opened the elves’ package to a large sum of money.  I could hardly believe my eyes. How do people always know exactly what we need? I mean EXACT down to the penny. I know how God knows, but how do elves know? How do people know? Oh yeah, because they are God’s angels and they are really good at listening and doing.

As I stood counting and recounting and crying and re-crying I remembered the drill. I’ve had this happen so many times in  my life yet I still shake my head in disbelief. How can this keep happening?

I then remembered that God allows me to struggle because He wants to manifest His power in my life. He allows other people to have more because He wants to manifest His power in their life too. He wants us to see how awesome it feels when we understand that we belong to each other . Life is most beautiful when we act accordingly. He also wants us to know the power and love that exists in caring for one another because his power and love is infinitesimally more.

I know these things. I’ve learned them repeatedly. Yet every time a miracle happens I am rendered speechless.

Along with the money, today’s elves gifted this quote along with a beautiful forget-me-not necklace that I don’t think I will ever remove from my neck. (LG said the necklace is for me and the money for him – which is true since he pays the bills.)

I am not forgotten. Ever. And neither are you. Thanks for the poignant and extremely timely reminder angel-elves. Oh, and thank you, too, my loving kind generous Father in Heaven. I’m sorry I always have to be reminded but thanks for your patience.

Homemade Paint from Stuff in My Pantry

So this pin from pinterest piqued my interest.
(Say that 5 times fast.)

I love it when I find something great for the kids to do for super cheap.
This homemade paint is awesome.
Ten thumbs up.

Desktop

Caroline and I enjoyed this activity yesterday
and when we got the paints out again first thing this morning
they seemed to be storing just fine.

If anything they are even better today.
The salt has completely dissolved making the texture more smooth
and allowing the colors to combine better.
Caroline was quick to observe that yesterday’s grey is today’s purple.

I do believe I will never be purchasing paint at the store again.