Friday, October 30, 2009

Heat: its a Good Thing

Our house has ceiling heat as our primary (and only) source of heat. I had never heard of ceiling heat until we moved to Oregon. Each room has its own thermostat. Last winter we replaced all of the thermostats with new digital ones to better control the temperature in each room. The heat stopped working in the dining room, office, and laundry room. We were unsure if it was something that occurred during the remodel of the dining room or the thermostat replacement that caused it to stop working. The Alona's room also stopped working when we replaced the thermostat in there. We were just using little oil filled radiators that we bought at the store. When we found out we were moving (back in July) we thought we would be gone before the cold set in. So we gave our heaters to a friend. Well, here we are, still in this house and now it is cold. I have been thinking about it a lot. There has to be a way to fix the heat. I kept praying that it would miraculously start working again. Yesterday I realized that sometimes you have to help miracles along a little. So I started researching problems with ceiling heat on the internet. I couldn't find much, but it sounded like wiring could have so many issues. I talked to Jeff about it when he got home. He said he had reset the breaker several times in an effort to get it to work again. I asked him to turn the breaker off, completely reinstall the thermostat, and then flip the breaker back on. He was a little reluctant, but I insisted it was worth a try to get the heat working in the Alona's room. So he got his tools, turned off the breaker and started taking the thermostat off. He also took a look at the wiring on the thermostat in Ashley's room to see if it was the same (hers works). The wiring was the same and he hadn't done anything differently. He did say that when he originally installed the thermostat in Alona's room the wires sparked (yes, he should have turned off the breaker before messing with it, but hind sight is 20/20). That is why I was all about flipping the breaker- maybe reset it. Well, something worked. Alona's room now has heat. No more worrying about our kids freezing at night. We are thinking there is a fuse for the heat that requires a reset with no power for longer than it takes to flip a breaker back and forth. I know nothing of electrical wiring and ceiling heat, so I couldn't really say. Whatever it was, it now works and we are so very grateful.

As for the dining room and that side of the house (all part of the converted garage and on a separate breaker) we don't know what happened. We thought we heat the heating cable in the ceiling with a nail when we installed the crown molding in the dining room and it cut the cycle of power to the other rooms as well. We removed the nail and don't see a heat cable anywhere near it. So that isn't the issue. And if it was, you just have to crimp the cable back together to fix it. Simple. But not the issue. So we are going to try the breaker reset again and see what we can find. I guess we could have someone come look at it, but there aren't many people around who fix ceiling heat and the one guy I found charges $100 per room and he charges you to come assess the problem. If we can fix it ourselves I would really prefer that. I will continue to pray!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I finished the kids Halloween costumes on Saturday- just in time for the annual church trunk-or-treat. The kids were so excited to get their costumes! So here they are:

Ashley is Scarlet the Garnet Fairy (from the Rainbow Magic book series), Alona is Buttercup (a power puff girl), and Natalie is Cheetara (a Thundercat).

For their shoes, Jeff took them to a thrift store. Alona needed black shoes, but Ashley needed red and Natalie needed orange boots. So they got whatever they could find that worked and then we spray painted the two that needed to be different colors. Regular cans of spray paint. It works really well. They don't want to take their costumes off! We went to the mall today and got all sorts of looks with Natalie in full costume. Of course, some guys recognized her character and thought it was the coolest thing ever! Geeky thirty-something guys (and Jeff would fall into that category). That's what happens when you choose an 80's cartoon character for a Halloween costume!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Flu

All the girls at our house got the flu. Its H1N1. It is not fun. We are all surviving, though. I have a whole week with my kids! Poor Ashley is missing the 3rd Grade Program she was supposed to be in this week. She probably has it the worst of any of the kids. Due to pregnancy, I am taking Tamiflu to keep from getting too sick. I wish my kids could've taken it too! At least we will be done with this and won't have to worry about it anymore. Luckily, Jeff is not sick and we are praying that he stays healthy! We look forward to being better by the weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thoughts of Cosette

Here are comments, stories and thoughts about my mom! Most of these were comments on the blog so you may have already seen them.

NaDene (one of her best friends) wrote:
She was a wonderful Wife, Mother, Daughter and Friend Faithful daughter of God. I miss her so very much. No on can replace her.

Your Mother was the nearest too perfect I have ever seen and even My children use her as there examples in the way they are raising there children!
Your Mom truly loved you all unconditionally!

I remember talking to your Mom when you were older, I think Morgan had been born, She had been reading her Journals trying to get insights how to help her children and she read about how at age 4 or 5 (I think that was the age) of how "Laura had cleaned out the dish washer" She said I would never think of the younger ones I have now doing that at that age. ( I know she was wondering if she had been too tough sometimes which is what I wonder about my own oldest children?)

My word was Shoot and your Mother would look at me and say "NADENE" I never realized it was bad till she showed me.
PS I still struggle with it but everytime I say it I hear her.

Patients was your mother's gift from God. But even she had to work on it till she perfected it.
Why do I know that because I tested her patients too sometimes.

Your Mother was always kind and Loving even if she was busy she always a listening ear or a stool for me to sit upon to visit. The only home I felt comfortable to stop into anytime.

Your Mom often reminded me that I was a daughter of God and working with her in the Primary, every Pres. meeting she would bear testimony of her Knowledge of that for herself as well as all the Children.

I loved your Mother dearly and love all that her children are doing to bless and honor her name by the way they are living their lives.

On this 56th Celebration of your Mother I would like to share with you how much she means to me.
She was the greatest friend I have ever had or have hope to have in my life time!
 She laughed with me and cried with me, she taught me how to cook, bake, and gave me great recipes, she increase my knowledge of sewing, and how to work in a Church Pres.and strengthen my testimony.
She brainstormed with me on every calling or assignment I ever had.
She taught me how to parent and showed me by example how to do it unconditionally, 
She was the first person to introduce herself to me when we first moved here and the first person in the ward I dared called.
She taught me how to put on a wedding and to sew a bow tie and make corsages and boutonnieres.
 We sewed together and shopped at fabric stores together.
Once when Kris Harris had come to visit I stopped in and she reminisced about how when she would be pregnant and would tell the Bishop she couldn't do a calling she realized that they would ask your Mom who was also Pregnant and she would always say yes. 
Your Mom taught me many things but most importantly she taught me how to show that she loved our Heavenly Father and lived by the Testimony He had blessed her with and to Truly take the name of Christ upon her and to walk in the paths He walked.
I miss her so much and look forward to the day I will see her again because I know she will be there waiting to see me with that wonderful glorious smile of hers.
 I know she is so proud of you and the things you are doing to honor her in the way you are living your life and are continuing to progress in everything you do. I honor you for how you honor your Mother and say "Happy Birthday Cosette"

Rebecca (my sister) wrote:
Since we share the same mother I feel confident in saying that most of these things are things she DID do and thus it is an honor to try and emulate her. For example: cleaning up our vocabulary--I still remember her saying: lets come up with something else to say instead of "that pisses me off". Of course being teenagers, we immediately started listing all kinds of alternatives such as "that really chaps my hide" etc. It wasn't quite what she was hoping for. Anyone else remember that?

Maureen (one of my mom's best friends):
I loved your mom so much. She was one of the kindest, dearest people I know. I remember very clearly the week that we moved into our house that your mom brought over a yummy pan of lasagna so I wouldn't have to cook while I unpacked boxes. Through all the years, even after I went back to work, she was always there when I needed her. It has been six years that have been bitter-sweet. Every anniversary that I am cancer free I think about Cosette and wish that I could share that with her. I am looking forward to the day when we can see each other again. I know that she is very proud of you and would be thrilled about your new baby boy soon to be here. I know that she knows him now and is excited for him to come to your family. So from my family to yours - Happy Birthday, Cosette. We love and miss you.
I loved your Mom so much. She was one of my very dearest friends. It is so hard to believe she has been gone six years. I still miss her so much.

Jared (Maureen's son) wrote:
Your mother was one of the kindest and patient persons I've known. One of my mother's best friends. And a great cook!

Donna wrote:
I will always remember and admire your patience, talents and love.

These are my thoughts:
I am sure my mom struggled as she tried to find ways to help me find happiness. I know I was extremely difficult. She loved me despite all that and I could (most of time-if I wasn't just being obstinate) see that she was trying. She cared deeply for all of her children. Her greatest worry when she was battling cancer was her children. She felt that she needed to be there to raise them (my youngest sister was 5 when she passed away). Even on her last day, she seemed to be thinking of her children.
I went to girl's camp as a teen, and one year I was having a particularly difficult time (I struggled with depression as a teen and found it hard to fit in). I got a letter from her while I was there. She wrote about how much she loved me and told me a story about myself as a baby. I still have the letter. It really made me feel her love for me and I have never forgotten that.
I think I talked to her every day for the last few months of her life. Every time I asked how she was she would say "better today." She didn't want me to worry about her. Her death was a very difficult thing for me, as I am sure it was for everyone. This is the first year that I have been able to celebrate her life and not just mourn the loss. I love her dearly and miss her. I am so grateful that I had her as my mother and hope that I can teach my children about her. Thank you to everyone who shared their kind thoughts! It is wonderful to hear how she has impacted all of our lives.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will gain as much knowledge as I possibly. There are so many wonderful things to learn that can enrich our lives, make us healthier, and bring us closer together. Mom was a wealth of knowledge. She was always learning and loved to share what she knew with others.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will go out of my way to get to know people who are new. I will try to make them feel welcome and accepted.
I have noticed in the past that because my situation was different from the norm I wasn't as welcomed and accepted in new places and situations. I see people sitting alone (mostly at church) when they are new. It is probably intimidating to walk into a place where everyone else already knows each other. It is probably even worse when no one walks up and introduces themselves to you. If the person is already feeling a little less than normal or different from the rest of us, it makes it even more difficult.
Talking to new people is difficult for me (yeah, its not very obvious) but I have really worked at it and feel it is very important to make everyone feel welcome, wanted, and important- especially when they might be a little different!

Monday, October 12, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I WILL stop biting my nails! (She tried so hard to get us all to stop biting and sucking on our fingers and nails.) I know this is a little more light-hearted, but that is how I am feeling today!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thank You Mrs. Bee!

I am so grateful for all the wonderful comments my mother's dear friend Nadene left on the posts this month. I was feeling very frustrated and wanted to give up on my tribute to my mother and her comments have really brought back what I was trying to do. I would love to have comments from friends and family who have any positive things to say about her. After my final post in her honor I will take all the stories and comments and compile them into one post so everyone can read them easily. This is a great way to remember her and allow my younger siblings and other family members who didn't spend much time with her or never got to know her just what she was like. Thank you so much for your kind words and memories!
In honor of my mother:

I will try to find the positive in all things. This is extremely difficult for me at times- especially because I have suffered from depression so much over the last 7 years. I know that as I try to find the positive in things it will help me to keep a good perspective and make depression less difficult to overcome.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will be forgiving and not judge people. I don't know their circumstances or what is going on in others' lives, so it is impossible to know where they are coming from and why they do things. I usually try to think of reasons someone acts a particular way so that I won't be so upset and can forgive them more easily. That, and I really like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I am not perfect- I am still working on this.

I am doing this whole "in honor of my mother" thing to help better myself. I am choosing things that will make me a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, etc. Also, I am choosing things that my mother obviously did and I feel I can improve upon in myself in some way or really feel are important traits that I am reminding myself of and stating now. That way, I can look back and see who it is that I want to be- as a person, friend, sister, wife, mother, daughter, etc. These are all traits my mother possessed. They are traits I want to be sure I develop or improve upon. Things I have learned by watching her. As anyone who knows my mother will tell you, she was one of the most kind women on this earth. She was patient, kind, loving, a faithful friend, a loving mother and wife. She was loved by just about everyone who knew her. I still have people tell me how wonderful my mother was. If I can be half the person she was I will have exceeded my wildest dreams. I love her and am so grateful that she is my mother.

Friday, October 9, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will love all of my children equally. I will love them no matter what they may do, and I won't treat them badly when I don't agree with their decisions.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Natalie's first haircut

Natalie had her first haircut this past Saturday. She was so excited. I explained to her that only I could cut her hair- or if I took her to a salon someone there could cut her hair. No friends, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents or even daddy were allowed to cut her hair- and especially not herself! I am not an expert at cutting hair, but it touched her bottom and it needed to be done. We cut off 5 inches! She is happy with it, and she still has beautiful, long, blonde hair.

I love how she was sitting up straight by crossing her legs and being so still. So cute.

The 5 inches we cut off.

Getting the sides even. She was good at sitting up and staying pretty still.
In honor of my mother:

I will try to inspire and nurture my children's growth by allowing them to do things for themselves (even when its easier to just to it myself) and letting them use their creativity (even when it makes a mess).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will stop saying the two bad words that I just can't seem to stop saying- crap and sucks. (yeah, laugh about. but it isn't so funny when my 6 year old tells my husband that she will throw away the "crap" that he swept into a pile in the kitchen)

For Tuesday

Where, O where, did the day go?

In honor of my mother:
I will work harder at being patient.

Monday, October 5, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will strive to only say nice things about others- please remind me of this when I slip up, and I'm sure I will!

It is getting harder and harder to think of things each day, but I know there is room for much improvement. So I will keep them coming!

For Sunday

Oops! Sunday got away from me!

In honor of my mother:
I will teach my children who they are- sons and daughters of their Heavenly Father, who loves them. I will instill in them a knowledge of right and wrong so that, hopefully, when they are grown they will make the right choices in life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In honor of my mother:
I will get healthy so I can be here for my children and grandchildren. (In an effort to do so, I will be training for the Eugene Half Marathon this coming spring. Training starts a few short weeks after the baby is born!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

In honor of my mother:
I will be accepting of my children's feelings. It is okay to be sad, upset, disappointed, embarrassed, happy, etc. If I can teach them to acknowledge their feelings and learn how to deal with them it will positively affect all aspects of their lives.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

My sister Ruth and my Mom.

I find myself, once again, reminiscing about my mother. As you know, she died of breast cancer on October 14, 2003. It was her 50th birthday. So every year in the month of October I try to find a way to honor and remember her. The past two years, I wore pink every day for the first 14 days of October. This year, being pregnant, I do not have the luxury of lots of pink clothing. I think I have one pink maternity shirt that no longer fits me. Oh well. My children joined in the pink wearing last year as well. But alas, their clothes are all packed in anticipation of moving- so they are limited in options as well. They have a surprisingly abundant amount of pink in their wardrobes!

So I find myself here wondering what I can do this year. I think I will post something in her honor every day (through the 14th).

To my mother, Cosette:
I will take the time to play with my children so they will know that no matter what is going on I always have time for them.

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