Sunday, December 13, 2009

13 Dec 2009

This last week was hectic-crazy! But so much was accomplished! I am officially enrolled at WSU! I am grateful to my friend Jess who challenges me, and it is due to her that I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grow up!

I love Sundays! Although they're not lazy days by any means, it's the day I look forward to. I love listening to the speakers, seeing my friends that I don't get to see during the week, renewing my baptismal covenants and I love working with the youth! Today I was released as the Mia Maid Adviser and called as the 1st Counselor in the Young Women's presidency in the Auburn Hills Ward! I am excited and humbled that the Lord has entrusted me with this most sacred position. I will do my best to serve as the Lord would have me serve.

Josie is as busy as ever and with wrestling season (she's a manager) in full swing I hardly see her! She is busy studying for finals and is halfway through her sophomore year in high school. When did this happen? Seriously, I turned around for one minute and my little Pooh Bear who wouldn't leave my side has turned into this sweet spirited beautiful young woman I hardly recognize.

Dannielle gave a talk in her sacrament meeting this morning and thanks to Helen for starting my class I was able to sneak over and listen to Dan'l! I am constantly amazed at what a beautiful woman she has grown into. It is so hard to let go! On the one hand I see that she is so smart and responsible and makes good choices and is ready to go out into the world and start her life. On the other hand I am not ready for my "baby" to grow up. I am not ready for this part of my life to be over. You know, the part where they don't need you anymore. They're done being kids and I'm not done being mommy.

Part of me wants to freeze time right here in this golden hour. I would commit to memory every little detail of our lives up to this point so that I'll never forget them as they were. They change into drastically different people every day. I know I'm being nostalgic. Maybe it's just me but I have this insane fear that they'll leave home and marry and I'll be forgotten.

The other part of me is enjoying watching my girls blossom! I can't wait for them to make their dreams come true. I can't wait for them to fall in love. I can't wait to threaten their husbands with death if they hurt my babies. I can't wait to be grandma.

It all went so fast! I ask myself quite often "Michelle, if you could go back in time, what would you do differently?" I would have spent more time playing dress up, barbies, and hide and seek and less time complaining about messy rooms. I would have hung on their every word and really listened to what they were saying, instead of nodding in agreement while I was really thinking about bills and insignificant material things. I would have memorized all of their little idiosyncrasies that I only recall glimpses of now. I would have yelled and spanked less and hugged and said I love you more.

Out of all the things I could have done differently, I can say with all of my heart that being "mom" has been the most beautiful part of my life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

8 Dec 2009

My apologies! Has it really been that long since I've updated my blog? Darn that FaceBook! Well let's see...Peiling is gone. She left in October. We really tried to make it work, but since Pei left my house has returned to being my home.

The month of November left us with some sad news. Three days before Thanksgiving I was laid off from my job as a high school library clerk due to government budget cuts. Happy Holidays?!

So after a lot of stressful decision making I have decided to return to school. The question be what? I love to help people and thought about going into the medical field or becoming a teacher. I talked to friends of mine who are in those profession or started out in those areas.

First I researched being a nurse- I have a love helping and mothering people. However after discussing some of the requirements of nursing it pains me to have to accept the fact that I am not cut out for that line of work. A big thanks to my good friend Laura for helping me make this decision!

Second I researched becoming a teacher- bottom is taking a beating right now, so I could graduate and have no job prospects....not exactly an option!

So....drum roll please! I have decided to major in foreign language and minor in communications. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. It's nice to have a plan, it takes the stress and guess work out of our day and with the trivial items set aside it leaves us more time to enjoy the beautiful things in life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

13 Oct. 2009- UGH!

Rough week. Peiling is going home. I can't say that I'm sad but I do wish things had turned out for the better.

Josie had the birthmark on her leg removed, eww. I must say that when I took her in for the procedure she asked me if I would take pictures and some video on her camera so she could show her friends (Double EWW, Teen-agers). I am quite surprised that I managed to joke, snap photos, and not lose my lunch. The crazy thing is that I thought I had prepared adequately by watching Discovery Health, House Md. and various other "educational" programs that depict some graphic medical content. Firstly my "Satellite television medical course" failed to mention was that surgery makes a noise, a pants splitting kind of noise, when Dr House does this on TV all you see is the scalpel make a pristine line and little pearls of blood bead up, not so! My initial reaction when Dr. Fields made the first cut was to run down the hall screaming hysterically. Secondly blood smells! It's like a mix of copper and salt, and I could hear it dripping. At this point I sat down and turned the cinematography over to Josie and focused on stifling my screams, but as MOM, I knew that I had to stay calm and supportive for my baby girl, Yea me! It may not always be aestically beautiful, but I love my life!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

25 Sept 2009- Lesson's Learned

Teen-agers! Really? Seriously? I know I did not act like the teens of today when I was 16. Okay that's a complete and total lie, but UNCLE! If I could change the future by going back into time, I'd go to the day where my mother cursed me by saying, "One day you will have children, and I hope they are just like you!" Right. I must admit at the time I thought it was a compliment, maybe I missed the subtle eye rolling or the sarcasm implied, I must have been pretty narcissistic. Sorry Mom! Or as my lovely 15yr old would say, SOOOREEEEE! (With a huge dramatic emphasis on the EEE.)

Furthermore I would like to tell my mother, that I did not have kids just like me, they are kind and helpful (sometimes they have to be compelled), but even with the great kids I was blessed with, and all of the good deeds I have done to make up for my adolescent reign of terror, my mojo was no match for mom's kung-fu, for Mom's have a powerful magic and her curse could not be thwarted. I got my "me" in the form of my foreign exchange student.

The first month was a breeze, but as we settle into life here at the Simmon's casa, I can certainly say that now I understand the adage "Guests and fish are a lot alike, after a couple of days?weeks, they stink." Don't get me wrong Pei is a wonderful, smart, funny, lovely girl. But she is still a teen-ager. Let me also say that I am to blame for most of my woes. If I had set down guidelines and rules and priorities from the very beginning, things would have been drastically different.

So I told you I called my lovely friend Elicia and her insanely smart hubby who rode in on their white horse (okay it was a gold mini van, but for dramatic purposes...) and saved the day! And how peace was restored?

But alas, it was short lived peace. Now that everyone had internet on their own computer and could use it until their eyes popped out, we began to see less and less of Pei until I had to go to her room to see if she was still living with us. We would get up and go to school and when we got home at 3:30 she would go straight to her room and we wouldn't see her until 5:30 the next morning, She quit eating dinner with us and would sneak down after we had gone to bed and eat,
she refused to clean up after herself and was barely speaking to us. I asked her repeatedly if she was okay, homesick etc, and she replied no, she was fine. Still, attitude.

I went to a friends over the weekend to watch their three oldest while they went out of town and when I got home Sunday night, I came home to an inch of water standing on the bathroom floor. How lovely. Something had to be done.

I contacted the CR from AYUSA and told her what was going on and what I had done to remedy the situation and she told me that Pei had been calling and complaining about her living conditions. Pei's biggest complaint is that we go to church too much. So I explained to the CR that when I made the decision to host a foreign exchange student and was looking at he applications from the students, my first concern was Religion, we are LDS, so church is the center of our lives and I didn't want to bring anyone who was uncomfortable around religion into a house that is immersed in the work of the Lord. Pei's application was clearly marked that she was okay with church. So when the CR told me what Pei had been telling her, I got a little upset, okay understatement of the year, I got alot upset. After talking to Cheryl (CR from AYUSA) I wrote out a list of family priorities at her insistence.

First on my list? Honesty...if something is bothering you let me know!
Second-No more internet in the bedroom, I had it disconnected from her laptop. It's supplied by the high school and we have a computer she may use if necessary. The point in this was that she was not getting anything out of the trip if she never left her room.
Third-you are responsible for cleaning up after yourself, dishes, bathroom, laundry, you mess it up, you clean it.
Fourth- you will have chores like everyone else in the house.
Fifth- You will follow the same rules and have the same consequences as my children.
Sixth-You will eat the food I prepare, I'm not cooking two separate meals a night, I can't afford to, if the food I make is unacceptable, you are welcome to buy your own.

Tuesday night Cheryl came over and after almost two hours of mediation, some tears and a lesson learned on my part, we have decided to try again and Pei promised me that if she is unhappy here she will let me know.

I forgot in my anger that Peiling is just a 16yr old girl, thousands of miles from home and in a strange land with very different customs. How scary must that be? I just take for granted that all families run similar to mine.

I have learned so much this week and I am grateful to Peiling for teaching me (inadvertantly) that if a family is to be successful you must have alot of love, alot of patience, a fair and defined set of rules and consequences, and alot of communication if we are to have any peaceful beautiful moments in this life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

14 September 2009- No rest for the weary

Have you ever heard the phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead" ? I think that phrase fits last week to the proverbial "T". Although this weekend didn't include as much sleeping as I thought it should it was very good. I did sleep an hour later on Saturady morning than I ment to, which made me tardy to our church's Relief Society Super Saturday. Really at first I didn't even want to go, they cut out the crafts, but I took a financial planning class that was very moving, weird huh? Then I took a cooking class by this amazing lady who has written a cookbook that plans all of your meals with no repeats for a year, and factors in leftovers!The most amazing part was that in three hours we made enough food to feed 40+ people and it only costs $30.00 Now if I could just find a willing body to go do my grocery shopping.

Dannielle is up and on the river by 5:30 every morning and is preparing for her first meet on September 27 on against OSU. Of course I will be there in my WSU fan gear screaming like a mad woman from the shore. I need to reasearch the noble sport of rowing to find out what one yells from the sidelines. After years of soccer, track, and wrestling (Dan'l was a wrestling manager) I am uncertain as to what the appropriate rowing vernacular might be. Oh well if you're at a rowing event and you're standing next to some obnoxious lady dressed like a bumble bee (WSU's colors are yellow and black) screaming nonsense, please be patient and pull me to the side for some schooling, I wont mind, and Dan'l will be grateful! Go Dannielle! That sounds safe to yell? Right?

Josie started dance class with some of her friends Saturday and has found something that she loves more than golf. I understand her waltz needs some help, but for her first time ever in a dance class, I'm impressed, she wants to do competitions, oh well, so much for sleeping in on the weekends. She has had an amazing week, Tuesday September 15 she placed first in a school golf tournament. I was sitting in the kitchen talking to a friend when she called and told me about winning the tournament, it was hilarious, she was so excited that her voice hit this pitch that only dogs can hear and it took me a few tries to get her to bring it down enough octaves so that I could understand what she was telling me. She shot a 76 in 18! Way to go Josie!

This week has been just as crazy as the weekend. I decided to make the move from broadband internet to digital. Let's just say I could never be accused of being computer savvy. After getting the software to install Cox on our laptops, I realized (with the help of a friend) that I would need a wireless router for everyone to be able to get on the internet at the same time, so off to Wal-Mart. An hour later we return home with the instrument that is going to bring peace back into my life and I load up the software and manage to crash both computers. Ugh. I give. So for a few days we go on like this, thankfully the computers were okay, but for some strange reason every time one person logged in to the internet , the other person would get kicked off. We went on like this for a few days and let me tell you, I am sick, sick, sick, of the word internet, I now loathe computers and my patience with teenage girls is wearing dangerously thin. Luckily, my sweet friend Elicia and her seriously smart hubby Bryce came over. With Bryce's degree in engineering ( no clue how that relates to computers) and ability to dumb down his questions so that I could understand them, VOILA! Internet harmony! Now, maybe we can get back to our normal abnormal life...beautiful, huh?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 September 2009- Seminary

You would think that after a month or so of getting out of bed 5 DAYS a week at 5AM that I'd get accustomed to being up so early. WRONG! The first alarm goes off at 4:30am so that Dannielle can get to practice by 5:25 (AM!!!) The second goes off at 5 (AM!!!!!) I pry myself out of bed and start trying to wake Josie and Peiling (who is probably re-thinking her choice to come live with this crazy family) and from there it's the morning routine, thank goodness we have two bathrooms. My idea of getting out of bed early is 8am, so in my personal opinion 5am is just plain rude. But the blessings it brings are inumerable. This morning was one of "those" mornings where I am up and alert and ready to go by 5:20 (Yay me!) and at 5:35 I am still trying to convince Josie and Pei that it really is time to get out of bed, and no, I'm not kidding!

I'm not one that wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed and perky, I need silence and space to wander around and get coherent. I feel bad for Peiling, my kids know to stay out of my space until I've been awake for about 20 minutes, I'm not sure how they learned this but I'll bet it's because I dont look very friendly and inviting at that obscene time of the morning. Poor Pei just scurries past me as if she knows that at any moment I could snap. Eventhough I have seriously considered moving to Utah so that Josie would be able to attend seminary at school, I can't complain. Although I honestly believe that parents of children who attend early morning seminary should receive a gold star or in the very least an honorable mention at the end of the year. I am grateful to the teachers who get up at 5am everyday to be there by 6am and prepare daily to teach my children eternal principles and give them the spiritual start to their day that in this day and age they REALLY need.

I have to applaud Josie and Pei and the other teens who make the commitment to be there and learn, who get up even when they could sleep another hour, Seminary has truly made an impression on their lives that will last awesome is it when that I am learning true commitment from someone half my age? Life. Beautiful, confusing, amusing, life.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A beautiful life...

As a single mother with two amazing daughters and a full time job, life can get pretty hectic. However, even with crazy schedules, an intense work enviroment, one in college and one still in high school, the limited time we have to spend together and the millions of little ups and downs that make this crazy, mad, dreary, mixed up world that seem to pop up at every in-opportune moment I can honestly say that I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it really is a beautiful life.

5 Sept 2009 What a week!

It seems to me that when I plan things, everything that can go wrong, well you know the rest. This week my bestie Jessica and I were planning on taking Friday off and going down to Oklahoma City to go to the temple. This would have been the first time that I've been in almost four years! So it would be an understatement to say that I was excited. However, Jess's hubby Andy got sick last Saturday and by Wednesday was in the hospital with meningitis. Thursday morning one of their 3yr old twins Liz goes in with (yep you guessed it!) meningitis, now Jess who would rather suffer every pain in the world than to see her loved ones hurting, just had to sample some of this serious illness herself!

In the meantime my oldest, Dannielle, is off to the lake with her best friend of 7yrs Ash and our new family addition all the way from Beijing, Peiling. Peiling is a foreign exchange student who is AWESOME! She has adjusted so well to our lifestyle and religious beliefs that it's going to be extremely hard to say goodbye at the end of the school year. So, Dannielle and Peiling are off to Eureka. Enjoy girlies and stay safe!

My youngest Josie has discovered an amazing group of friends from the Rolling Hills ward and the Maize ward and since she has started hanging out with them I see her less and less on the weekends, but such is life.

So you would think that my weekend would have been pretty much void of activity, not so! Fortunately St. Joseph's hospital was kind enough to bring Jess's hubby over to St. Francis where Jess and Lizzie were, so with Lizzie on the peds floor and Jess and hubby on the fourth floor and in the same room (How cool is that?) I was able to have a very unusual Friday night, spent with the best kind of people, watching movies we grew up with, giggling like we did when we were young and careless. In one of the Harry Potter movies, the character Professor Dumbledore said "Even in the darkest of times, one can find happiness if they just remember to turn on the light." I can't believe that at first I was disappointed in the cancelling of the trip, which made me realize that I was being selfish, but in the end I'm just glad that my friends are well and with this life that tends to go by way to quickly that I was blessed to have spent a few hours with some of the people that make this life, beautiful.