Monday, March 16, 2020

Visitors on the Farm

Sunday evening, Adam, Angie and their family joined us on the farm.  They were on their spring break, but we still had digital learning and work to do.  So we set up our office upstairs in the attic and got to work first thing Monday morning.

We were able to plow through the kids work within the first few hours of the morning and everything seemed to go off without a hitch.  I struggled, though, to complete my work at the pace that I was typically accustomed to at the Church Office Building.  I had gotten so used to having three screens open at the same time, high speed internet connection with very few glitches and a wide desk space to spread out on along with access to all of my files on my hard drive.

My boss, Jason recommended that I come and get my hard drive as soon as possible, because it sounded like they were going to limit the number of people allowed in the Church Office Building, so Todd and I quickly threw our things together, left the kids with Adam and Angie on the farm and drove to SLC to get my hard drive, a monitor from my dad and a few other things from home.

What a blessing to live in this digital age that allowed us to get away from so much chaos...little did we know how much more chaos was about to hit.

On Wednesday morning around 7:50am there was an earthquake that hit Magna, and it was felt in our neighborhood.  Our neighbors, the Svendin's checked on the fish and there was some water that had spilled over the edge, but it looked as though everything else was ok in our home.

However, when Ken and Tonya went over a few days later after some aftershocks, they let us know that a framed piece of art that was on the ledge above the bathtub in our master bath had fallen and the glass had shattered.   And a few pictures were crooked on the walls.

We missed it all.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sacrament Meeting

On March 14, The Church suspended Sacrament Meetings and encouraged family members with the Priesthood in their home, to administer it to their own families in their own homes on Sunday.

The first Sunday we were able to partake of this sacred ordinance from home, we were on the farm.  We hadn’t packed any Sunday clothes, so Connor rummaged through grandpa’s Riches' closet and found a white shirt, tie and pair of pants.  The pants were too short and too wide, so when the belt was tightened they were all bunched up around his skinny waist and you could see more than just his ankles at the bottom.   It was a sight that made us all chuckle.  But Connor quietly continued to gather the things necessary for us to partake of this sacred ordinance.  We had to make do (like many others, I am sure) with the standard drinking cups on hand and a plate instead of a tray for the bread and even used a folding TV tray for the table.  I had gone to another room to collect a white pillowcase for Connor to cover the sacrament with and when I turned the corner from the hall my eyes caught him reverently placing bread on a plate, and an overwhelming silent pronouncement of “The Priesthood is true.  It is in this home. It is on the earth and will never be taken away.”  It struck me so powerfully, I had to turn back around and allow myself a moment to absorb it.

A few moments later, we joined around the dining table as a family and opened up to the Come Follow Me manual and reviewed the lesson for that week.  It was a very poignant lesson for what seems to be going on in the world today.  We discussed what it means to be unshaken and that we need to have our trunks so thick with a testimony of this gospel that when life throws challenges at us, we will always turn to our Father in Heaven first to help us through them, and not to the world.

Then it was time for Todd to bless the sacrament.  There was an immense amount of reverence in the room.  No silly feelings.  One of respect for what was taking place and it was apparent in each of our children's faces as they partook of the bread and water, that this moment was different than past sacrament meetings.  We were taking full advantage of the Priesthood in our home.  It was incredible.

I will forever be grateful that we had this opportunity, and will continue for a little while, to participate in such a sacred ordinance weekly in our own homes.  And because of that,  we will try to make our homes a place worthy of such a special sacrament to take place in.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Farm

I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but the farm holds a very special place in our hearts.  It was there that Todd kissed me for the very first time, making me realize that this relationship might actually BE something.

The moment we get into the van on our way to the farm, I can start to feel the stresses of life release their grip on my chest...usually by the time we hit Spanish Fork the breathing gets easier and I can feel my eyes well with tears of relief but the moment we pull into that rocky entry my heart is overjoyed that we have made it and we can escape and my whole soul smiles.  Little did I know how much our family needed this escape and the special bonding moments that would come with it.

That Friday we hit up the grocery store, went for a windy walk, watched a movie and slowed down.  It has become tradition that we go bowling in Richfield every time that we come to the farm and our kids are getting quite good at it, so on Saturday we went bowling.  The boys won, so they got shakes and we girls settled for ice cream cones.  Some of our other favorite things to do when we are on the farm is to paint our nails, let the kids run free outside, color, do puzzles, play games and watch lots and lots of movies.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

March Madness

On Thursday, March 12 around 9am, I received a phone call from my dad.  I was inside of Target in the bedding department with my coworker doing some shopping for one of the condo's we were prepping for a new tenant.  My dad called to ask if I needed him to pick up my kids from school.

Confused, I asked why, and he asked if I had heard the news.  I told him I hadn't and he proceeded to tell me that a student in the Murray School District had come in direct contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.  I assured him that I wasn't worried.  It was likely in another school, my kids were strong and healthy. If there truly was something to worry about, I was certain the school would reach out to me and let me know.  I told him to go ahead with the regular plan and pick up the kids after school.

Then the texts started pouring in from the moms I carpool with.  Todd started getting texts from Connor and then Todd called and said he was on his way to pick up Connor and Abi from the Junior High.  He offered to pick up the other carpool kids at the same time and then he told me why.  It turns out that the student who had direct contact with a COVID-19 patient attended the same Junior High.  So I agreed.  Todd picked up the Junior High Kids and Jenny Murphy brought home the elementary school kids.

A part of me thought this was all over-reacting and a part of me thought that it was okay.  Better safe than sorry.  My coworker was there for the whole conversation and encouraged me to call our boss when we got back to see what I needed to do.  We had no idea when this student had made contact with the COVID patient or if he had contact with Connor.  My boss told me to pack up my things and work from home for a minimum of 2 weeks.  So I did just that.

I forgot to tell my dad that the kids had all been picked up from school.  He called me at 2:40 wondering where they were.  I felt terrible.  He was the first one to tell me about it and offer to rescue them and I completely forgot to tell him that they had been rescued.

That evening we had a family council and discussed what was going to take place for the next 2 weeks and agreed that it would be nice to escape the chaos and go to the farm.  So on Friday morning we cleaned up the house, packed our bags and after the kids completed their first full day of digital learning, we loaded up that van and went to the farm.  Our oasis.

This put into motion a rolling stone that knocked out a whole bunch of activities our family had planned:

-That very Thursday night thru the following Monday, Abi was going to portray Little Red in the school's musical, "Into the Woods."

-Dakota, Abi & Carly were supposed to share a musical number in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, but lucky for us, they first performed it in Tammy's ward Relief Society Activity that week, so I stole a video of it

-I had a listing appointment

-Dakota was supposed to share a leprechaun trap for Activity Days

-Carly was going to miss out on Piano Lessons for a little while

-Dakota's tap lessons were put on hold

-Dakota also didn't get to finish out his Volleyball season (he had successfully completed 2 lessons)

-Carly Belle doesn't get to start her next season of Basketball in April as originally planned

-My roots are going to start showing my true color, because my hair appointment keeps getting pushed off

-NCIDQ examinations will not be held in April, so I will not be able to take them until October

-By postponing the NCIDQ Exams, this means that we had to cancel our trip to England in October

But don't worry, as you soon will read, we turned that stones direction and forced it down another hill that, thus far, has proven to be very productive and beneficial for our family.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Aquarium Addition

When 2015 began, we had hoped to begin construction on our master suite, alas, plans change.
Todd's dad has had a salt water aquarium for the past 15 years.  During that time, we lived with the Riches for a while and Todd enjoyed the weekly water changes and cleaning of the tank as well as testing the water and all the maintenance that comes with having a beautiful salt water tank.  Ken first offered it to the bachelor, Isaac, but his bachelor pad didn't really need a fish tank, so then he offered it to Todd while we were enjoying our quite simple Christmas on the farm.

Todd asked my opinion.  I hesitated.  I didn't know where we could possible put it.  I had two ideas, one would be in the unfinished basement, the other was in the closet of Todd's office.  Todd thought the office was a perfect location.  Little did I know that his architectural mind was in full swing and his idea of the closet was VERY different than mine.

Here he is hard at work.  NOT in his office...but you can see his office from the hole that used to be the wall in our living room;)  I have below, some pictures of what our living room once looked like.  You see, the good thing for me was that now that a fish tank was going to be a focal point of my living room, the whole decor had to change!  What is a girl to do!?!

Everything had to go.  The frustratingly durable green carpet that was always too good to even think about replacing.  The white tile in the entry way with the thick dark grout lines.  The greatly appreciated but free paint throughout the upstairs.  And the old worldish look with family antiques and treasures needed to find new homes.

And here it is now.  Everything brought into this space has been perfectly placed and is the most enjoyed room in the house.  Maybe that is because it is the only room in the house (besides the office) that is completed and has a soft carpet to relax on.  The rest of our home will come to a finished state when we take a break from working on other people's homes ;)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Picture Hanging at the Right Height


Have you ever wondered if you are hanging your pictures too high or too low?  Watch this video to learn how simple it is to know what height is best for YOU to hang your pictures at.


Tools needed:
  • Pencil or pen
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Monkey Hook

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pop Out Pictures

One of my most favorite walls in our home has been this one:
Each year, I update it with the most recent pictures taken of our four little treasures.  Do you see how those pictures are layered one on top of the other?  Due to a recent addition in our family (no, not a, I had to change the location of my wee ones' pictures.

Are you interested in seeing how I get that layered look?

It isn't rocket science.

It doesn't take some amazing contraption, like these super cool Frame Risers, that you can find at Pottery Barn (although, if I was super wealthy, I would really prefer these).

It takes a long screw, a light picture frame and a ruler.

 Those, my friends, are 3" dry wall screws.  I measured down from the ceiling where I wanted my frame to be, then measured the space on the back of the frame that I needed each screw to be at, and then drilled them into the wall, leaving 1 1/2" out so that it would allow the top frame to "pop" out on top of the other one.  You can kinda see the screw in the picture below:

 Here they are, the children updated and popping out in all their colorful glory.