Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Me and my dilemma

So, for those of you who don't know, shortly after Dave died I went back to school set and intent on getting my bachelor's degree in Psychology. I will actually walk away with 2 degrees; an associates in business and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

That sweet, sweet moment is fast approaching...only 3 classes left! And I've managed to keep a decent GPA, around 3.6. That's lower than what I knew as typical in my younger days, but I also didn't have 4 kids and 3 jobs when I was 18.

Although I'm excited about finishing this project, a degree in psychology is basically useless in the psychology field without a masters. So I'm left with this decision...to proceed or not to proceed. And if I do proceed, where should I go?

I'm leaning toward proceeding, and I am really interested in the school counseling area of the field. I love psychology and counseling, and teaching is actually a natural part of who I am (it may be genetic...my parents are both educators and even with a PhD in something medical my brother Rob is also looking to become a teacher/ professor). This seems like a good blending of much of what I love to do and actually do well (only writing and music has been left out...but those two things are never completely out of my life anyway).

I looked around and found a fabulous program in Muncie, IN. My initial thought is that I would commute everyday the hour to and fro in order to attend classes. Then I thought about the legitamacy of actually doing that, AND being a mother, AND earning a living.

I don't think that will work well.

I've loved the convenience of the online learning environment,but since school counseling requires liscensure, which means face to face classes and field work and practicum and 600 hours of interning... online seemed an unlikely possibility.

Then I found Capella University, on the Ohio Education website under school counseling requirements nonetheless, which makes it all the more promising.

The first year is all online course work. Then you attend 2- 5 day seminars of face to face instruction and arrange your own field work with approval.

I think this will work! That gives me a year and a half ot set my life in order :)

The Answer to Everything

Yesterday, I had promised Conner and Ashlyn we could go to the park in the evening after I was oden with work and lessons. Well, when that time arrived...it was raining. And Conner was significantly upset. He was yelling and whining about how much he wanted ot go to the park and I had promised (I'm sure you've all heard the routine in person before). I pointed out, not to gently I admit, that it was RAINING and that is why we couldn't go play. Conner insisted, "But I want to go! I don't want it to rain!"

Well, okay Conner, what do you suggest I do.

He thought, only for a split second, and replied. "Pray."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer School

Conner was invited to take part in 2 weeks of morning summer school. His "in-betweeny kindergarten and 1st grade" teacher is Mrs. Schmiesing, who you may recall was Maryn's 3rd grade teacher last year. He was kind of excited, and wanted to come home and call sissy so he could tell her.

Which we did (come home).

Which he did (call her).

Except for one small thing; When he called his sister, he proudly announced, "Guess what Maryn. I have Mrs. Sneezing!"

I wonder what jobs the other dwarves were able to find when the economy affected thier work in the mines?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Secret Life of Missionaries

Have you ever heard that saying that if the church weren't true, the missionaries would have destroyed it with their teen and young twenty something idiocy a century ago. I give, for your approval, solid evidence of this claim:
Elder Wallen (on the right) came over the night before he went back to the mission home to leave us forever. So we had smores (at his request), and then since he left his camera at the Bisseggars after taking pictures of burning his suit (whatever), he asked if I would take a picture and send it later.

Here is the original picture I got, and the evidence I speak of when referring to the aforementioned claim.
And here's everyone.
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Summertime Outside

I sometimes wonder about how my kids brains work. Conner and Ashlyn were hauling all of this stuff outside. Tables, chairs and assorted random food like frozen peas and pineapple. Knowing someone was going to have to clean this up, I was naturally curious as to the goings on.
"We're having summer outside!" exclaims Conner.

I have to admit, I'm a little unclear on how taking a Tinkerbell table, a Spongebob chair and a pink plastic stool from the Little Tikes play salong out onto the lawn and sitting there makes it more summer outside then it would have been inside with the same stuff that I wouldn't have to then put away.
But whatever.
Maybe it's the frozen pineapple?
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The Kulakowskis

So over the 4th of July weekend, we had some out of town visitors. Adam Kulakowski (the one actually looking at the camera in the picture to the left) was a missioanry here almost 2 years ago. He was green in St. Mary's, and has been home (Cache Valley) for a year. He brought a majority of his family with him, which was a lovely treat.

We had a BBQ on the 4th, and then enjoyed more of their company at church on Sunday. After church we had a little get together with other memebrs of the ward. Sharon Yingst was the driving force behind that idea!

On Monday, Sharon arranged for their family to take a ride on a pontoon on the lake. Mel and I met them with our kids and some food at the east end of the lake. The pictures you see is of the picnic we had together.

Here are the kids taking a little walk over to the pontoon to check it out.
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Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have never, ever experienced such a range of emotions as I do as a mother. Motherhood brings you the greatest joys and drags you down to the most desperate depths of low. I’ve been at both ends, I assure you. Sometimes in the same hour. But there was never a clause in the mothering oath that told me about the strange emotion where you experience the best and worst feelings in a single moment; that mood known as bittersweet.

I guess part of me knew this, but I never realized there would be as many of those middle of the road moments in the process of mothering as there actually are. Today, I had a few.

One was the 5th birthday of my baby. I found a picture of her cradled in my arms, close up, binky in her mouth, cheek against my shoulder. It was at her daddy’s funeral. It had been a very long day. It feels like eons ago, but it seems like only yesterday.

Part of me is so happy that she’s growing up…becoming more independent, stronger, smarter. And the other part of me is sad because it signifies the end of an era for me. My toddler years are done with. I’m moving into a new part of my life.

The second was the departure of my oldest daughter to Utah. She was so excited, and I was excited for her. Plus, I get a break from the daily mother daughter sass battle. But I also realize how much she helps me, and how much I’ll miss her while she’s gone. I know she’s old enough to do this, and handle it beautifully…but it did get a little hard when Ashlyn threw herself into Maryn’s arms sobbing, “I don’t want sissy to go! Stay home sissy!” Maryn gathered her up, tears on her own cheeks and told her she loved her and she’d be home in 3 weeks. It was a beautiful moment for me as a mother, twisted with the sadness of sending my daughter away for such a long time.

And now, I’m simply tired.

Party People in the house

So July 2nd was Ashlyn's 5th birthday, so she got her very first friend party ever! We had about 15 kids of assorted ages from 3 to 9 gathered at our house. We kept it simple, and had so much fun!
First, we all went into the livin groom and played a game called musical bump. It's liek freeze dance, but whenever the music stops, the last persons bum to bump the floor was out. They loved it!

Then we sang some game songs like "Dum, Dum da da" and "Little Bunny Foo-Foo". Again, the kdis had sucha blast. It was a real eye opener for me; fancy isn't always better. Often, simple gets better results.

Then of course came presents! It was a lot of fun for her to open some fun gifts from others. She got a lot of fun stuff.

Mel helped me out and made cupcakes; chocolate with M&M's. All she wanted was a number 5 candle, which took a pretty good chunk out fo the frosting on a cupcake. But she was happy. We also had popsicles.
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A little adventure is good for the soul

So last Monday (the 29th) we took some time as a family and went on a mini adventure. There is a nature area over in New Bremen. I wanted to check it out for the magazine, and took the kids along. The whole area is really quite primitive, focused mostly on preserving the natural wilflife in the area. Since they've focused on making sure the native wildlife is well in place, they've done very little to the byways throughout the preserve to make it easier to travel. So the road we took was not only less traveled (like in the poem) but also not paved. For some reason, my kids were freaking out!
"No mommy! We can't turn around, go back! Don't drive into the lake! I'm scared!"
Keep in mind, the road-path was 20 or 30 feet from the glorified pon-lake. Sheesh!
Heck, they would have never survived in Wyoming, where the truly dangerous roads have sheer rocks cliffs on one side and dead drops on the other.Believe me, I've been there.
But at least we made a new friend (see below).
Here's the "dangerous" road.

This is the sign at the entrance to the preserve.

On the way bakc, we saw this deer in someon's yard.

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Little stories...

So, over the past few days, my kids have said some funny little things that I tell myself I will never forget. I know I will eventually…they’re fading as we speak. So I thought I would write them down so I can have them always.


So, for her birthday, I gave Ashlyn something she hardly every gets; bubblegum. Later that night, she was chatting with me about all of the great things she got. She brought up her cool bubblegum, and I pointed out that one of them was watermelon flavored. She perked up and said, “Really? What does it taste like?” Uhhh…watermelon?

She then proceeded “Do you know what flavor of gum I think would be good? Grape cantaloupe.”

To understand the next story, you must first understand that today has been the long awaited 5th birthday…the day in her mind, when she becomes grown up and “big”. She came out of the bathroom, and had her wet hands held up to show me. “Mom,” she exclaimed, “My hands are still small! I thought they were supposed to be big now!”


So yesterday we were watching the movie “Follow Me Boys”. There’s a part in the middle that shows boy scouts hiking, and to scoot the passage of time, several different years flash over the screen montage like…1932, 1936, 1940, 1944. Maryn’s eyes get really big, and she tugs on my arm, “Did they really walk for THAT long?”

Then today, our sitter Erica stopped by our house to pick up my empty water bottles before heading over to Melanie’s to help her with cleaning. The empty jugs aren’t heavy, just awkward. So I told Maryn to go help Erica. Well, moments passed and Erica left, and Maryn didn’t come back in. I called for her, and looked around…and couldn’t find her. I finally called Erica, and she was with her!

“Doesn’t she have permission to be here?” she asked.


Evidently Maryn had told Erica I said it was okay for her to go. I then gave her permission to go to Mel’s. It wasn’t worth Erica turning around.

But, lo and behold, 5 minutes later the blue suburban is back in my driveway and my daughter comes bopping through the door.

I told you you could go. Why did she decide to bring you home?

“Oh, she didn’t. I told her I wanted to come home as soon as I found out we were going over there to clean.”