Sunday, July 31, 2011

Anniversary & JJ Birthday (By Hubby)

Well, we had an anniversary this last month or so.  It was great.  I think it was our 8th or 10th or something like that... :)

One thing fun Lena wanted to do for our anniversary was to each choose a book and we would read them together.  Lena actually gave me a list of books she would like and I choose one called "Heaven is for real."  A very cute, fun book.  I choose "Richest Man in Babylon".

Life has been crazy between Family, my EMT training taking 18+ hours a week, and opening the our Day Spa that we knew our anniversary would be spread out.  So with the books we just starting reading to each other in the evenings and when we were able to get away for a little while.  We just finished the Heaven one.  It took us a week or so.

We did escape a couple of times for a quick dinner. Also, during this time we decided to watch all the Harry Potter movies to lead up to the last one.  Lena and the kids watched the PG ones while I was away and then Lena and I watched the PG-13 ones.  Lena and I did escape to watch the final one though in the theater.

JJ's birthday was just kind of fit in as well.  He turned one on a very busy day at the spa.  We've been worried about finances we didn't do much for his birthday so far, so when I did get some cash at the spa, I went to the store and bought goodies and a few little presents for JJ.  Its amazing how much fun a one year old can have with a couple of balls.

That is our quick update on our anniversary and JJ's Birthday.  Even though it was nothing big, I enjoyed our anniversary.  Even if we did nothing, I would be happy because I'm the lucky one married to my love, Lena.

A Simple Reminder: Prepare! (Following Up on my Last Post)

I was expecting a few thoughts to be shared about my last post. It's a very sensitive subject with a lot of backing for our individual feelings. I posted the video directly after watching it and went straight to bed. As I fell asleep I committed myself to continuing my thoughts about WHY that video was such a help to me.

The reason is simply that it was a great REMINDER of what we have been told for years and years by our modern day prophets. Beck is a far cry from a prophet. So am I. But we can, and should, repeat what they have counseled us to do. Prepare for hard times, because they are ahead. Not just ahead, but upon us. I don't care who's fault it is that we fall on hard times! I'm sick of trying to decide who is right or wrong in our country. I will follow the laws of the land. I will pray for the leaders of my country. I will vote when given the opportunity. And in the end, I will focus on my God and my Family.

I know with my whole soul that God is real. He is in charge. I will follow Him and find Rest, Safety, or just plain Endurance from the storms. Be the storms from natural disasters, personal trials and tribulations, or other peoples choices and their influence, I will do what I can to build a fortress for myself and my family.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

WOW! This is Exactly What I Needed!

So much is happening in life right now. But there is something that has been stewing within me that I haven't known how or what to say about here on the blog. Politics and the current state of our US Government. It is such a touchy subject. But really, I just haven't written because it's so complex and I couldn't put my thoughts and feelings into words. And part of me just couldn't wrap my head around the answer to the problems we're facing.Until Now! This put it all into words for me and came up with the answer that I truly feel is right! An answer to my prayers.


Here is the Video Summary.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A HUGE Mistake!

I just made the biggest blogging mistake ever! And the time it will take to fix it is completely unavailable. I need to go back to bed. I need a good book to drown myself in. I need my kids to stay at grandmas for the rest of the day! Okay, maybe it's not THAT big of a deal. But it's very close...

I just deleted my Flicker photos, ALL 200 of them. They asked me to confirm the delete 2 times and reminded me that it was not reversible. As it was processing the delete. It occurred to me that if the photos weren't on Flickr, they won't show up on Blogger. Lovely! I am so done with the free photo storage thing. I'm going to spend the money and just get an unlimited account somewhere. Uggg! I haven't checked to see if my suspicions are true. But I think they are...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Truth Behind My Busy-ness

I feel like I've been really busy lately. Like I can't find a single moment to just lay down and maybe read a few pages in a book. However, I think that the reality is that my children have been the busy ones and I am just a follower.

Mom, I'm hungry! Mom, Caleb stinks! Mom, can I watch a movie? Mom, can we have ice cream with the movie? Mom, I need a drink! Mom, the folding tables fell on JJ! Mom, Caleb just bit me! Mom, I'm hungry! Mom, Caleb stinks! Mom, can I watch a movie? ... An endlessly beautiful round of precious requests and needs. Oh, what would I do without them?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Not Exactly the Mopping I Had In Mind...

I really needed to mop my bathroom floor. But flooding the bathroom and into the kitchen was FAR from my idea of mopping the floor. Especially since we JUST finished cleaning up from a major flood at Leif's parents home. SERIOUSLY! I was stunned when I walked into the bathroom to an inch or more of water on the floor. That was the only time that I have been grateful for a large pile of laundry waiting to be washed.

The washing machine hose had fallen out of the sink and all of the water from the load in the machine drained onto the floor instead of into the sink. I had just put Caleb into time-out for drawing all over the kitchen cupboards with a marker (washable thank heavens!) I went in the bathroom to put the washrag in the laundry pile and stepped in the water. Luckily my sweet Jakob was there to help me jump into action. We were able to get it soaked up pretty quick. But, Wow! I was drained afterwards. The thought that we could have caused major damage to our home (which is actually Leif's parents) weighed heavily on me. Uggg! What a moment! I'll use a mop next time thank you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Ripple Effect and the Power of Family

I have come to recognize once again this week what a wonderful family I married into. Leif's parents were preparing to go to a family reunion this past weekend when they discovered that their basement had flooded. Not just a little flood either, almost the whole basement was soggy and wet. The water had been there for a little while too. So they had a mess on their hands.

They called us first because we live right next door. Leif went over to survey the scene and quickly decided that this was a job for more then just us. He and I made a couple of phone calls. Those people made a few calls. And the calls continued throughout the ward and neighborhood. Seriously, within an hour we had at least a dozen people over to help.

They went straight to work! They pulled out carpets and padding, mopped up free standing water, brought up wet boxes, took dress up clothes home to wash, separated wet pictures, moved couches, and set up fans. A few of the ladies even cleaned out their carport. We were all so busy, lunch time rolled around and before we knew it the Relief Society president brought us pizza and then she brought dinner for us that evening. I had the missionaries scheduled for dinner weeks ago. I decided not to cancel the dinner appointment because I figured we could use their help before dinner. So I called and asked them to come early. They came and helped put books that had been drying in the sun back into boxes. We then had dinner and a whole lot of ice cream together.

During the initial moments after the emergency we were surrounded and carried by our ward family. The outpouring of support was inspiring and humbling.

Within hours after the flood Leif's youngest brother and his wife made it over to help. By the time they came we were realizing that this was going to be a much bigger project then we all initially anticipated. All of the things that had been brought up stairs needed a new home. Which meant that one room after the other needed to be de-cluttered and re-organized, including the rooms out in the garage (AKA The Barn.) My in-laws have lived in this same house for over 30 years. Because of this, there was a lot, a whole lot, to do.

The flood happened Friday afternoon. By Sunday afternoon Leif's oldest brother and his family had driven 11 hours to join us in the effort. By first thing Tuesday morning Leif's sister and her whole family had driven 6 hours to get here. This meant that Leif's whole family except for one brother were together. This is no easy task. It was a miracle, really. This was a sign of true love and family unity.

Throughout this week we have worked from sun-up to sun-down trying to make a difference within Leif's parents home. For their privacy I won't go into great detail. But I will say that it was awe-inspiring to see everyone (including the kids) working together and individually.

A few highlights:

  • The front yard manicure. J- Jamming to Wierd Al as he did a fabulous job!
  • The Office. "Where are those darn papers!" 
  • The barn. "I want my Mustang parked right here!;)"
  • Book shelves. Baron's love books, what can we say?
  • The sewing room. "It looks so smooth:)"
  • Thousands of photos. "I am going to get these photos into albums TODAY!" - Uh, yeah, Good luck with that!:)
  • Burning weeds. Ahh, the blow torch.
  • Boxes! "Take this out to the box pile!"
  • "Where's K!? We need to dump another load"
  • Leif's massage chair. Ahhh, yeeah!
  • Evening thunder storm, dinner, and pictures. Baron blanketed calendar pics. - "Say What!?"
  • NIGHT GAMES! It's Family Tradition!
  • A game of Dominoes anyone!?
  • Cookies, Chips and Soda for lunch. Energy Food!;)
  • Corner Store trips.
  • Where is the Insurance Inspector!?
  • "Caleb! Where are your pants!?"
  • Jakob's quarantined! Thank Heaven's for antibiotics!
  • Lena's List.
  • "There has to be a story..."
  • To Save, or Not to Save, That is the Question!

As you can see from my highlights we had an amazing time this week. One might think that Leif's parent's were cheering us on in our endeavor. Actually, they have been a little shell shocked by it all. It is extremely difficult to let people come and go through your things, throw things away, and still maintain your dignity. Well, I would have to say that for all that they have been through this week, Leif's parents have maintained their dignity and more. They have allowed their children to show their love in a very direct way even when it was extremely uncomfortable. That is very admirable.  I just pray that as time goes on and things settle they will feel peace with all that we have done this week.

The ripple effect and the power of family was so clear this week. I truly feel that this was a moment in time that was meant to be within this family. I am so grateful for the blessing that I have been given to be a part of this precious family.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The End of an Era: The Hunt Family and Hunt Mysteries

My brother, Jared, took over the family business that we grew up with. Tonight his finace' Heidi is throwing him a farewell party. Jared is selling the business and moving to Alaska. This is a good thing. However, it is a momentous step in our family life. A life without Hunt Mysteries is a foriegn concept for us. This will be good for us. I wrote the following memoir as I took a moment to process my thoughts and feeling on the subject.

July 14, 2011

Farewell to the Coal
Thank You for the Diamonds!

Hunt Mysteries became the refining and defining mark within our family up to this point. Its influence and the roles that we each played within and because of the business sculpted us into who we are today, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Family businesses often start with a small need like making ends meet financially. If they are meant to be and the dreamers are determined enough, one little need will ripen into a vision, and that vision will someday become a reality. This reality will be molded from years of sacrifice, sweat, and tears.

This brings me to the point I want to emphasize through this memoir. One family built Hunt Mysteries. It was then sustained, and maintained by the talented people willing to share and labor in our journey.

Mom and Dad gave their all to the business. They gave their time and their money. Gradually they gave most of their friendship and respect toward each other. Dad gave his civic life. Eventually, mom gave her “room mother” days up for it. Dad sacrificed relationships at Deseret News for the business. Mom sacrificed any potential friendships and outside hobbies…

Heather gave her time and efforts on the home front as she took on much of the weekend childcare needs along with Lena until we were all old enough to go it on our own.

Lena took on the mothering role like it was her own, trying desperately to fill in the missing pieces within the boys’ world that stemmed from “the business.”

Before anyone knew what happened, all of the kids had grown up and were involved in the behind-the-scenes of running Hunt Mysteries. The girls would help cut clues and fold programs. Eventually they were old enough to drive around and pick up programs and tuxedoes. Often they would go to the shows and help set up the tables. Most of the time Lena would babysit for the actors and actresses during rehearsals or shows.

By the time Jason and Jared were barely reaching towards their teenage years they were working right along side mom doing the sound for the shows. It didn’t take long for them to completely take over that department. All of the boys were born with a gift especially for this work. Jason worked in this department off and on through the many years as he struggled to maintain a sense of personal identity and social life and still fulfill his family duty and earn his dollar with Hunt Mysteries. Jared on the other hand defined himself throughout the years by Hunt Mysteries, as if he were born for the business.

Jared was born with independence and determination flowing in his blood, as well as charisma and charm. With these traits and his talents, he has stood by mom and dad faithfully as the vision of Hunt Mysteries became a reality.

Though Jared has never been friend-less, his sacrifice was the greatest of the Hunt children. He sacrificed much of his childhood. He completely sacrificed his high school years, no proms, no seminary, no choir tour… The list goes on.

Nathan. That’s what I named him. Nate. Our baby brother grew up with five parents. We all played one roll in his upbringing or another. Gradually, he followed right in the steps of his older brothers. That’s probably why we call them “the boys.” They were usually together. And if they weren’t, they knew what the other was up to… Some things never change. Nate only know life with Hunt Mysteries.

Looking back, perhaps the greatest sacrifice that The Boys made for Hunt Mysteries was their educational and spiritual possibilities.

As a family, we sacrificed the normalcy that “could have been.” However, we made “what was” work. As siblings, we were close, very close. We all had our rocky spots but somehow we came out still liking each other. We were all in the same boat experiencing the same storm, shipmates.

All of us learned how to, and how not to, run a business. We learned how to work. We learned our individual strengths and weaknesses. We learned how to act in professional settings. We learned how to conduct ourselves in fine dining settings. We learned family loyalty (as dysfunctional as it is at times.) We created our own sort of “normal”, our own kind of Love.

Somehow, mom and dad always found a way for us to travel together. Ways to make memories. Whether it was camping, parties, or great trips, we have many memories of good times together.

We all sacrificed much, sweat much, and shed many tears throughout the refining process of Hunt Mysteries and the Hunt Family. Sometimes it may feel that it was all in vain, that the vision wasn’t completely met, that all was a failure because there were failures. Truthfully, all was not lost! Much was given. But much was received. The key is to find the diamonds within the coal. For in the end, that is the reality. That must be our focus for this new beginning.

Accept the diamonds, allow the coal to be taken away, look forward, and live for Eternity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Literature Rich Home School Curriculum

My home schooling planning time doesn't look quite so beautiful or delicate as this picture. But it shows the love that goes into it anyway. I've linked to the blog that I got the image from for anyone who is interested in a Home School Planner (Personally, I use my computer. But just in case...)

I just wanted to share how things are going with my home school plans for the upcoming year. My plans haven't really changed from my previous posts. I have however added a few things. Well, more like several things. I found a wonderful website for my family and our style of learning. It's called The Best Children's Books.Org These great teachers have listed several books for every subject that should be taught throughout the year. They have also labeled them according to grade and ages levels. This is exactly what I have been looking for. We have a busy little family. I want to have a stack of books that I can pull from every day organized by subjects. This will make it possible for me to be able to include the littles in our school day. 

Books on Dinosaurs
This website also gave me a clear idea of what subjects are appropriate for each age and which topics aren't. I often feel that I need to cram everything into one year. This helped me get an idea of what to teach for the next few years. 

They haven't added The Classics yet. So I did find a list HERE that lists the classics for children. I will incorporate these as well. 

So as it turns out our curriculum will be very richly "literature based." Jakob loves documentaries. So I have gone through Netflix and found plenty of great shows mostly about science and history. I will also show him the videos based on books after we finish the books. I think it should be a lot of fun. Jakob has watched me looking at the books and he's very excited to get started! My next step is to find out what books my libraries have and don't have, what they'll order, and what they won't. So I still have a lot to do. But I'm getting excited! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Flash From the Past and Into the Present

I got a phone call this evening from a man wanting me to give a reference for a nanny that worked with our nanny agency back in the day. That all seems like a lifetime ago...  In reality it was only around five years ago. Leif and I lived in Hawaii in 2004 just after Jakob was born. I was working as a Mommy-Nanny and Leif was a Massage Therapist. I interviewed with a nanny agency on the island at the time and quickly realized that the island could use some new blood in the Nanny Agency department. Thus, Your Child's Nanny was born.

Leif and I gave our all to the agency for the next year and a half or so. Oh, those were good times! We built a great business. It had a lot of potential and was headed in a good direction. It just needed continued and constant attention and money. To make a long story short, we sold the agency in March of 2006 and from that moment on our life was never the same. That truly was the moment that the defining year of our life began. Or maybe, it was when we started the agency? Either way, I haven't really had a moment to look back on that time in my life. So I took the time tonight to look back. Such good memories. Leif and I make good business partners...

And here we are again folks, welcome to Desert Springs Day Spa. I'm amazed that we haven't done this sooner (like years ago.) But now is the right time. It feels right and things are rolling along. It takes a lot to build a good business especially in the beginning. So Leif and I are trying hard to get things in order so everyone will have a great experience at the spa. Tomorrow we will put the Spa Menu together and that is a big deal. Lot's to do! It's different this time. We don't just have one baby crawling around our feet and desks this time. We have three! So it takes more patience and juggling. But it's coming along well. Nothing would be possible without Leif's parents. We are profoundly grateful for their help!! Thank you!

Well, thanks for joining me down this memory lane and back to the present. I hope you've enjoyed the ride!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Good Day!

Today was a good day. Just one of those days where I woke up a little bit earlier than usual (on my own without a child screaming.) I was able to read the scriptures for a minute (always a nice thing.) And things never really went down hill from there. I was able to catch up with a few family members while doing laundry. I didn't fall apart at the fact that the house isn't perfectly clean. Leif took Caleb with him while he ran errands and JJ napped.  This gave me the time to finish a paper for my class.

I also had the chance to work some more on my plans for home school. I found an excellent website that lists age appropriate books for the different subjects that we need/want to cover throughout the year. It is AWESOME! It's It's gotten me really excited for the upcoming year. I feel a lot more confident in what we will be covering.

Leif and I went and set up the Day Spa that he's starting in Kanab, Desert Springs Day Spa. It was nice to get things cleaned up and organized. I think it will turn out great! I'm really excited and so is Leif.

We closed the day by weeding in the garden. It was so pleasant outside. The air smelled like rain and the wind was rustling the trees just enough to notice. The clouds were rolling around as a storm was brewing. And it was so cool with the gentle breeze. Perfect!

Friday, July 01, 2011

God Bless the USA!

I just had a really special evening with my boys and I need to share. Leif is at Fire Meeting setting up for the Fireman's Breakfast in the morning. So it was just me and the boys. I wanted to start this Independance Day weekend off with a Patriotic theme (appropriate, I know;) So, I pulled up good ol' YouTube. After I got the boys all bathed, lotioned, and ready for bed, I brought them to the computer. I turned on the YouTube video shown below and I was blown away by the feeling that was with us while we sat together watching a few of these great videos. 

JJ and Caleb sang along to the music and Jakob and I watched and commented about how much we loved our country and how grateful we really are for the men and women who defend our land. I couldn't help but wonder which of my boys will be wearing one of the uniform's of our country someday. I was weepy-eyed at the thought. As we finished up the videos Jakob was bubbling with patriotism. He asked me to tell him the story of how our country came to be. The story led us right into repeating the Pledge of Allegiance. Jakob asked where our flag was and I told him that he could think of it like he had a flag in his heart. He liked that idea.

I truly am grateful for our country! God Bless America!

Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4

From Foto Friday Banner
Busy! Busy! Busy! Leif has been working on putting his Day Spa together, fighting fires, and helping around the house and yard. I (Lena) have finished up one summer class and am still working on the other, I am planning the home school year, and just trying to keep the house and family in order and happy. Jakob has loved his swimming lessons, is LOVING the visit he's had from his cousin, and lost his first tooth this past week. Caleb charms us with his kisses, is talking more and more, and is having slight ear issues (bloody wax drainage.) JJ will be 1 year old this month, LOVES following his brothers around and mimicking the tone of their voices, and he's working on standing on his own. As a family we have taken a few drives to get out of the heat of the day (touring the outskirts of Fredonia and up to a lookout point on the Kaibab), watched the movie Cars2 in the theater, and experienced the intensity of a knowing that Papa is fighting a wildfire near by. Overall the last two weeks have been full and fast!
Party Time at the Park!
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
Good Times at Home!
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
Good Times with K!
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
Good Times at the Library!
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
Good Times on the Kiabab!
Papa's Telling about Mirror Signaling from that point as a Boy Scout
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
Fredonia Wildfire 2011
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
From Foto Friday June Weeks 3 & 4
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