Thursday, July 16, 2020

Final Countdown DAY SEVEN: Put Everything In Its Place

Well, it's DAY SEVEN of the Final Countdown to moving off the Island to the Mainland (the "Other Island" as JJ puts it.).  I've broken down the packing and Prep into seven days and I thought I'd share as I go throughout the week.  This Seven Day method will only work for a family who has lived a similar lifestyle as we have for a while and has little clutter.  Otherwise, before following this plan you will need to de-clutter drastically prior.  With that said, let's get started! 

Today I am focusing on three things. 
  • First, I'm going to call the Cable company and set up the cancellation date and the box/router pickup. Having THEM pick this up will save me a lot of stress. Hopefully Hawaii does this. 
  • Second, (Having pulled all of the bags and suitcases out and done an inventory to see if I need to purchase more/new bags) I will now go through my house just like a normal cleaning day and put everything away and in its place. Making the house tidy.  Don't forget to go the extra mile and sweep everything out from under the beds. 
  • Third, as I tidy the house I will also take anything that won't be going with us and throw it out, or put it in a Goodwill Pile to be given away about three days before departure day. 

By the time you've completed this much, you'll be ready for a reward. So give yourself permission to relax with a little treat and binge watch a couple of your favorite shows on Netflix until you have to make dinner for the troops. :) 

Puke.... Be Gone!

Poor Joshua is sick. 😭He's puked several times. Being familuar with the medical world can come in handy sometimes. We took Joshua in to the Dr

The time has come. The dreaded time when Leif's school work has become so consuming and difficult that he can't E
Sometimes I stop and ask myself "Is this for real?" Is the entire world REALLY shut entirely down by this virus? How does this happen? I ask myslef. Wht if we're being hoodwinked and its been blown completely out of porportion? But to what purpose would that benefit? No one. It's destroyed the whole world's econemires one. by one. by one. Flattening everything in it's path.

I don't even know exactly what day of quarentine we're on. Something like 12 or 14. California was one of the first mandated to completely stop all outside activities and to "Stay Home!" It took a week for people here to completly follow the guidelines. After they finally shut down all of the beaches and walking paths. So Sad!!! The first week of quarentine was absolutely poignant weather. Perfect show of how we felt as a society. Gray. Clouds. Rain. Wind. Day. After Day. After Day. But then the sun came back. Taunting at everyone to come outside and warm their souls. And many did. Too many. So we're told. At first only the naturally obiediant and medicallly and statistically educated people believed the seriousness of the issue. But now people are starting to know someone who's sick. And they see New York City in total war zone field hospital status with a thousand+ tents lineing central park.

Up to this point it was China's problem. Then South Korea. Italy, that was BAD. But apparently, we're worse. They had more deaths. We have more sickness.

So many rumors out there! So much fear being stirred up. I'm so grateful for mine and Leif's knowledge of health and medicine going in to this.
It's time for a good ol' fashioned Family Christmas Update. Our family is doing well. We've officially lived in California one year now. Three months in Bakersfield and nine months in Huntington Beach.

Leif is working in Compton as a Permanent RN, no longer a Travel Nurse. He enjoys the hospital and co-workers and they Love him! His latest Evaluation was filled with praise and gratitude from the administration. Can't beat that! He is also finishing up his final year of his Masters Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. It's amazing to think there's a see-able light at the end of that tunnel. Leif and I finally convinced ourselves, and the ward leadership, that we will truly be staying here. Leading them to give us each a calling in the ward. Leif is serving in the Primary and I am in the Primary Presidency as second counselor.  Leif is an Amazing nurse (and Massage Therapist, which he still does.) But he is an even better Father and Husband. He brings a life and light to our home that can't be compared to.

Lena, well, I'm doing well! I am happy. And I have all that I could ask for. I have a testimony of my Savior and His gospel. I have an amazing husband. I have seriously, Seriously, amazing children. Especially my sweet baby who is currently my constant companion. Which I know was absolutely predestined for this time in my life. I live in a beautiful part of the country in a place close to the ocean, sunshine, and all of the conveniences of life that a mother could ask for. I am making good friends along the way. And keep friends old and new from around the world. My cup runneth over, really. On the harder days I have plenty of good things to keep me from falling too deep, for too long into the dark. We have finally narrowed down the names and diagnosis' to my ailments. Which has been a life long journey up to this point. And we are only steps away from getting control of a lot of the struggles I face daily. I feel very very grateful and blessed!!

Jakob. Jakob. Jakob is the linchpin of the family right now. His mood and influence determines much of how the rest of the house feels. Gratefully, he is most often cheerful, helpful, silly, and uplifting. Where ever Jakob is, there will be music. He revolves around listening to, exploring, and creating music. All different genres :)  Jakob has full blown ADD. So this means that he is a constant multitasker. For example, right now he's listening to his current music, while playing or watching his favorite computer game of War Thunder (currently a Fighter Pilot), and juggling his baby brother. Honeslty, that's a small scale example for him. Most of the time he's flipping through several different randon youtube things he's researching at the moment. All while playing and listening to music. He's pretty impressive. Jakob has a "presence" about him. He makes a big impact on whatever, whoever, and where ever he is. I love to watch him interact with the kids at church and school. He's so unique. Yet, they all admire him. It's pretty fascinating to watch. ... I don't love the kid or anything, do I ? ;)

Caleb, what would we do without Caleb!? Caleb "shakes things up a bit", every day. :)  He is showing so much progress in school. He's in the 4th grade and we love to watch his writing and spelling improve as he puts his mind to it daily. Caleb still has the kindest heart.

Cultivating A Positive Social Media Experience
I have so much to do today. But I had a dream last night that has changed things in my world right now. So I am going to write about it before the sweet baby wakes up and needs my attention. As I wrote about last time, our prophet has invited us to participate in a 10 day social media fast. But… Is that truly the full intent of the invitation that was given? No, it really isn’t. We need to make sure we aren’t completely missing the point.
In fact, for me, social media (a.k.a. Facebook) isn’t a downer for me at all. That is where I find my good friends all over the world. Where I read articles and inspirational quotes from gospel following books and leaders. Where I get my laughs from daily. And where I share most of my life’s joys and sorrows with my family and friends. So, for me, “social media” isn’t a problem: ANYMORE! However, it was at one point. So let me backup and explain.
Over the years, and most recent weeks, I recognized some problems and made some adjustments to my Social Media experiences. As I realized that I wanted to pick and choose what I took in to my news feeds, I learned how to use the filter settings and choice features that the different sites have set up to help us choose who and what we see. I am able to “Follow” or “UNfollow” who and what I want to. I am able to block any person, group, website, etc. that I want to. I am able to search for uplifting subjects that I am interested in and choose to see them more often. AND, if it comes to it, I can choose to LEAVE certain groups, pages, or people that don’t bring light into my life.
Now, you better believe that I have had my share of Trial and ERROR in this regard. LOL! Like the time when I was in a terrible brain and emotional brain funk and I UNFRIENDED someone I Love instead of BLOCKING them for a short time. Uhhh, Yeah, Big OOPS!!! Be careful and understand the steps that you’re taking as you sift and change things. But DO change things as you need to. According to your ability to take things in. Sometimes, I am strong enough to read about NICU babies who have survived against miraculous odds. Sometimes, I am Not and they haunt me and my emotions for days to come. Sometimes, I am able to follow a loved one or acquaintance’s horrendous cancer journey. And sometimes, I’m just NOT! Sometimes I can handle a bit of politics. Other times, it’s just pure garbage mucking up my space. But, what I allow in, is up to me. Yes, on occasion something new and unwanted will slip through my filters. But for the most part, my Social Media experience is a happy place. Though, I am still navigating Instagram. And not as happy with it at the moment. So, I removed it from my phone homescreen. This means that I am not immediately drawn to it when i’m bored waiting at the school for my kiddos to get out. This post has morphed into an interesting direction. But turned in to exactly what was intended. My dream was all symbolism and feelings. So I won’t confuse you by writing about it. MY POINT IS THIS::: President Nelson’s Number One Plea is for us was to create an atmosphere in our life where we can hear, feel, and share, the spirit and goodness of God with the world. For me, this means eliminating NETFLIX and begin READING again. It means getting on my blog more and writing longer about more thought provoking subjects . But still following and sharing with my friends and family members on social media who lift me up on a daily basis. It means reading the scriptures with intention and purpose, and writing and sharing about my feelings and experiences.These are ways that I am able to cultivate and share some of my spiritual gifts with my family and the world. And in time, sooner than later, I intend on cultivating more of my spiritual gifts that I haven’t highlighted in years. What exactly that means, stay tuned, and we will find out together. Always remember that your faith, testimony, dedication, and relationship with Christ is your own. Commandments are exact. Following them is always either a Right or a Wrong. But an “invitation and a plea” are not commandments. So, with that said, I will shake off the potential to feel shame as I get back on to Facebook even though it is before the “10 Day” mark. And I will let judgers be judgers. As I move forward in my faith and relationship with my Savior; grateful for the invitation from His prophet to “understand (my) spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than (I) ever have. (I) will change the world as (I) do so.”

Summer trip 2018

Our July 4th was a Fantastic, yet Very Melancholy day. After spending a week and a half with family up north (SLC/Brigham City) we ended our trip with a visit south in Alton, UT. Considered Home for over a year. Home to our children's closest friends. Home to some of the animals we raised. Home to some of our dearest family members. Our People. Our Boy's Tribe.

The first picture in this album reflects the Joy our kiddos felt as we pulled in to Alton. Windows rolled down, the smell of pine and cow chips swirling around us, welcoming us home. Rolling hills covered in pine. Valley's filled with sage brush and field grass. Dotted by cows, horses, lamas, and "BUCKY!" Our little Nigerian Dwarf  whether goat we sold. I was filled with bittersweet nostalgia as I watched him eat out next to the pond. The ponds. Three ponds welcome all who drive the five mile road leading in to the town of Alton. This time though, only two ponds have water.  They are suffering from a terrible drought.

We were recognized and welcomed enthusiastically as we wound our way in to town. Should this be Home? - sigh. The familuar question settles in almost immidiately. The list of pros and cons are equal, and long.

Entering Alton is the closest thing we'll ever get to experiencing a time warp back in time 20 or 30 years. A time when the technicalities of life are simple. Everyone works hard. prays hard. and Then they play hard. Especially on America's birthday.

Pregnancy Itch

It's Hormones.
Elevated Liver Salt Enzymes
Minimize Salt and fat intake
Keep bowels moving

Joshua and JJ were playing on the stairs today. We pointed out the picture of Christ on the wall to Joshua and he said His version of Jesus.

Then we pointed out the picture of the temple, for the first time. And Joshua looked at it, pointed, and said "pray!"  This little one sees far more then we do... I pray we can help him keep a healthy balance with his gift.

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