We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Monday, May 9, 2016

I love me a clean car....

I posted some helpful information on Facebook 
and two of my dear friends said I should make it into a blog post.

So...

Here is it...plus more...

After extensive research I have found what I think may be the suckiest vacuum in Brighton. 
Which means it's goooood!!! 
Am I right?! 
It's at the Quick Stop on the corner of Bridge and N 18th Avenue. 
Pluses: it sucks good, really good. It's a dollar for 4 minutes and if you add ONE more quarter it gives you TWO more minutes. It shows you the time AND counts down for you AND beeps when you have a minute left so you know it's time to add that extra quarter! 
It's the best!!! 
The only minus: no garbage can right by the vacuum. But there is a garbage can at the pumps AND when pull over to the pumps to throw your garbage out you can use their squeegee to wash all your windows!!! So, maybe there are no minus'?

You're welcome! 

If anyone knows of a suckier vacuum in Brighton, let me know! I've tried the ones behind the car wash on West Bridge toward Todd Creek. I've also tried 2 at the car wash on Main Street. 
Boooo! 
Those were the worst.

I just have to add that...
I love me a clean car!

A clean car makes me feel glamorous, sophisticated, organized, fancy, rich, and much more.
There is pretty much NOTHING else in my life that makes me feel even close to ALL of those things all at the same time. 

Even when my car is not glamorous or sophisticated or fancy or rich looking...
a clean car makes me feel like it is. 

A clean car has given me confidence as I drove to at least TWO job interviews.
Those are just the ones I remember.

A clean car has given me confidence on dates. 
Yeah, I'm that kind of girl.
I prefer to drive.

A clean car has made it so I can add anyone to my car, quickly, 
as long as I have a seat belt for you, you can jump on in. 

My favorite car scent is Coconut.
That's pretty much my favorite scent of all time.
It's especially yummy in a clean car. 

I'm pretty sensitive to smells, some give me a major headache.
So, I'm pretty particular. 

My first car was a gently used Dodge Neon. 
It's factory color was Iris Pearl.
Which was a light, shinny, sparkly purple.
Sometimes it might have looked a little gray.
But, I loved the name of the paint so I named my car...

Iris Pearl. 

Perfection.
Right?

I loved cleaning that car.
I used to shine the dashboard so much, when the sun shone on it, you were sure to be blinded...
if you didn't have sunglasses on. 

My next favorite car was our black Honda Accord. 
We named that car...

The Black Pearl.

Perfection, again.
Right?

I love to clean our cute gold van.
And her/his name is still under debate after owning her for 2 years. 
Wow, it feels like we've had her much longer but, we got her right before we got Lorenzo. 

Anyway, I wanted to call her...

Gold Nellie.

Cute right?

Nathan said that sounds like she's an old lady. 
What's wrong with that!?! 
A cute little gold lady taking care of our little family and gettin' us everywhere safely.

He also said she is a boy and he wanted to call her Epoufette.
That is the name of a town in Michigan. 
It's fun to say...I'll give him that.

At first we thought it was a Native name...
so we made up a Native meaning....
it's a fishing village so we decided Epoufette's Native meaning was....
Gold Fish.

Kinda lame right?

Then we did some research and found out it's actually a French word.

DUH!!!

We also found out it means...
"A quiet place to rest." 

That's a fine for a town but a car!?!?!
You don't want to be falling asleep at the wheel!??!

Also, he was afraid Gold Nellie was old fashioned!
It sounds like our van is rest home! 

I love Gold Nellie....or whomever. 

But, please don't judge her too harshly in her cleanliness....
we do have three children.

I think another reason I have always loved to clean the car is...

it's a small space. 
It's pretty easy to clean and organize such a small space. 
Even if you have a giant van...which we did growing up.
You can do it in a morning, or afternoon or evening. 
And it's so fulfilling and satisfying.
And makes you feel so good!

I love it. 

If you want me to clean your car.... 
Just give me a call...
I'll give you an estimate. 

;-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Husband is Deaf

I know, ALL husbands have selective hearing.
I think mine does too! 
But, my husband REALLY IS DEAF. 

Nathan has enough residual hearing that he "could" wear two hearing aids. 
With two aids (or maybe it's just having one in the left ear) there is too much distortion, for him. 
More sound coming in that distracts than helps.
So, he chooses to wear an aid in his best ear, his right ear. 

With no hearing aid he cannot hear.

Well, that's not entirely true....
When he first takes his aid out, it's moist in his ear (ew! right?).
Since sound waves can move the moisture in his ear... 
if I yell in his ear when it's moist he can hear me.
Otherwise, if I yell in his ear...he cannot hear me. 

So, with no hearing aid he cannot hear.

Nathan has unusual hearing loss as well. 
Most people have a hard time hearing high frequencies.
He does not.
He has more low frequency hearing loss.
When children around him are screaming it is REALLY bad for him.
Gives him a headache real fast!

Same with anyone right?
Screaming kids = headache. 
Remember the majority of his hearing is low frequency.
The hearing aid is still amplifying high frequencies. 
So, imagine with your normal hearing, hearing a child's scream, amplified, right.in.your.ear.
Ouch!!!

Speaking of hearing aids.
Little hearing aids (in the ear aids) that can hide in your ear canal, like Miracle Ear or Belltones...
they wouldn't work for Nathan.
His hearing loss is too severe.
So, Nathan has to wear a behind the ear aid.
It's big.
It's bulky.
It works.
He's grateful!

Back to hearing....

Though his hearing aid helps him hear, it doesn't help him hear like we hear. 
I think that's why they are called hearing AIDS and not a MIRACLE EAR...wait.
You know what I mean.

We can localize sound. 
Nathan cannot.
If someone is talking at our side, we can tell and turn to look at them. 
If someone is talking at Nathan's side, he can hear something, he can sometimes tell it is someone talking, but he has no idea where it is coming from and cannot tell what they are saying, or even if they are talking to him.

This makes group settings and conversations with multiple people pretty difficult for Nathan. 

Think about it...
One person is talking to his left, he is following, mostly by reading their lips, more on that later.
Someone to his right responds or adds to the conversation.
By the time he locates the person who is now talking, they are done talking. 
He doesn't know what they said, so he could be lost at this point.
But, his gaze happens to catch the next person talking (directly in front of him).
He can gather what person #2 said by what #1 and #3 said, but not always. 
He could continue following or try to follow or he could already be lost.
It's HARD!
Once multiple persons have spoken and spoken multiple times...he's lost.
Not to mention when the topic changes...that can really throw you for a loop.

Even talking to one person face to face in a group setting is hard with lots of background noise.

Even though Nathan doesn't hear like we do he has other SUPER POWERS.

He reads lips!
Sometimes from across the room!
Watch out what you're saying from across the room, when Nathan's around!!!

Sometimes he's self conscience about staring at peoples mouths.

I just keep telling him, it's a sign of listening and being attentive, even for hearing people.
I sometimes get self conscience about where I'm looking when speaking to people. 
All of the sudden I'm like, "Where should I be looking? At their right eye? Their left? Between their eyes? Their mouth?"
So, his insecurity is natural and fine...but, keep looking at their mouth Nathan!
Keep looking!

He uses social cues WAY better than we do.
Body language
Gestures
Facial Expressions
These help him, big time, when trying to follow group conversations.

At home....

There are times he is hearing something and he will start looking around puzzled. 
I will then say:
"The garbage man is here."  
or
"The neighbors upstairs are pounding on the floor again."
or
"There are sirens outside."
or
"Marley just turned the tv on."
or
"Lorenzo is crying."
or
etc. etc. etc.

I am a great help!
I can usually tell when he is about to start looking around puzzled. 
I also help him is social situations, the best I can.
 I could do better, more on that later.

Nathan, of course, takes his hearing aid out at night. 
He can hear nothing while we sleep.
He claims I snore!!!!!
WHATEVER!

When I am the only one that can hear, at night, in the dark, it freaks me out, a little.
I am a pretty sensitive sleeper, so little noises wake me up.
To help me sleep and not be distracted by noise I have a noise maker I play every night to mask unwanted sound....like, the neighbors upstairs, my children crying, and of course intruders.
That also kinda freaks me out at night.
We're both deaf!
It's better than me losing sleep.

There are times when I am reminded of what he is likely to hear and even more likely NOT to hear.
Not just in church...but here is a good example.

Last Sunday, church had JUST started. 
Someone was speaking at the pulpit and people were still settling around us. 
There was noise.
At the same time, Lorenzo REALLY wanted to scribble all over Isi's Primary talk.
Nathan was holding Lorenzo and quickly passed the talk to me and I hid it from sight.
Lorenzo lost it and started crying and grunting and then even screeched.

Nathan sat there looking toward the front and probably trying to gather information by reading the person's lips at the pulpit, but still holding onto Lorenzo.

I leaned over, poked Nathan and with my angry face (remember he picks up on facial expressions as an essential part of communication) and I mouthed, "He needs to be taken out!!!"
Nathan, "whispered", "Sorry! I couldn't hear him!!!"

He could feel Lorenzo's belly tighten, but he thought it was just part of his struggle to get away and hunt for the special, most precious, piece of paper. 

I felt bad that I had used my angry face.

I offered to take Lorenzo out....
But, Nathan put on his angry face and marched out with Lorenzo in arms.

Speaking of church....
We HAVE to sit close to the front so he can read lips. 
If he is beyond row 5 he gets nothing from the people speaking.
We always try to get to our meetings SUPER early, just for this reason.
Ok...I also HATE to be late, for anything.
I got it from my Grandpa Alger, "If you're 5 minutes early, YOU'RE LATE!"
He was a navy man.
ANYWAY....

Back to church.....
Nathan gets very little from Sunday School and Priesthood, because of all the comments from those not at the front of the room...or those who he can only see the back of their heads.
It's nothing that can be fixed....
Unless.....he had a transliterator.
It's not really a word but it comes from the word transliteration.

Have you heard of Cued Speech?

cued speech
ˌkyo͞od ˈspēCH/
noun
  1. a type of sign language that uses hand movements combined with mouth shapes to communicate to the hearing impaired.

Google it or YouTube it.

When I think about Cued Speech and using it with Nathan my heart beats faster.
It makes me excited!

Transliterator isn't really a word but transliteration is the conversion of one script to another. 

A language translator is a person who translates from one language to another, especially as a professional.

But, Cued Speech is not a different language. It is a different way to convey or communicate English or any language actually, without using your voice.

So a person listening and then conveying English by using Cued Speech would be a transliterator.

That's how I understand it anyway. 

I'm no expert.

Not even close.

I have learned Cued Speech. 

So has Nathan.

They say you can be fluent in about 10-14 days.

TWO WEEKS!!!

If you don't use it, just like anything, you lose it.

I need to practice it!

So does Nathan.

Then I could transliterate SO many things for him!!!

Anyway...

Did you learn more about Nathan?
Did you learn how to better communicate with him?
Make sure he can see you and especially your mouth.

And, I don't think I mentioned....

I LOVE THAT GUY!

THE END

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Being Overwhelmed...Finding Joy

I overwhelm myself.
I create anxiety in my heart. 
I know I do it.
Sometimes I can't stop it. 
Sometimes I make it worse by putting things off
or wasting time
or making excuses.
And it is almost always internal.

Sometimes, it's so subconscious that I don't know it's happening until I get hit with a migraine.

Sometimes I feel guilty about it because...
I know things.
Truths.
So, I "shouldn't" be overwhelmed or anxious.
At least that's what I think sometimes.
Which, only makes it worse. 
Guilt can be good.
Guilt can be bad.

Today in Relief Society our lesson was on
It's a great talk.
It was a great lesson.

It made me think that even when I am trying to live a Christ-Centered Life,
sometimes it's hard to feel the Joy.
There are so many distractions.
The worst one is Satan, himself.
His icky whispers.

He says...
you're not good enough
you messed up, why try
you've done enough, now relax
why you? so many others could do a WAY better job
it won't matter
it doesn't matter

And so on.

He's a jerk.
The biggest jerk there ever was and ever will be.
He's real.
He's a real JERK!

I KNOW this, but I have to constantly remind myself...
if we are doing our best to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
we CAN have Joy.

Sometime,
we just need to pause
look
listen
search
ponder
pray
give thanks
and then
do it all 
again
and again
and again. 

But when you're doing all that and more, remember to
pause
look for the joy
and
listen.

I also KNOW that was we strive to put Christ first in our lives...the center of our life, 
everything else becomes easier to bare and we can find Joy even in hard or challenging times.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

City Lights

Tonight I thought about my blog for the first time in a long time. 
It looks like I've been writing about once a year for the past few years. 
I used to love it.
I think I might love it again. 
I'm thinking about cleaning the cobwebs off and trying to make my blog work for me...
in the past I felt like I started working for my blog.
It wouldn't do what I wanted it to do...and that frustrated me.
I'm going to try not to let it frustrate me.
The record with pictures is invaluable. 

Tonight I got to participate in a market research opinion think tank.
I got paid to share my thoughts on innovation and technology. 
I'm sworn to secrecy with sharing specifics...but, 
I liked it.
And it made me think. 

Lately, I've been evaluating how I spend my time 
questioning what I'm passionate about,
trying to figure out what I love and why, and 
also figuring out my intentions.

I've also been thinking a lot about counting my blessings.
And I've been counting them.
That's always a good thing.
I'm going to start writing them down.
Maybe on the blog?
Maybe not? 

Tonight, I got to go to the city.
The city does something to me. 
I love it.
I love the energy.
I love the lights,
the height and depth the buildings create,
I love to be up in tall buildings and looking down on little cars,
little people,
little lights,
little streets.
I like sirens and trying to find the emergency vehicles down below.
I like to see construction cranes and new buildings going up, up, up. 
I like fire escapes...they're cool. 
I love the city. 

Tonight, I parked on the second level, but 
after my duties were complete I drove up to the top of the parking garage.
I wish I took a selfie up there,
even though I don't really like selfies.
I liked being up there.
I wish I captured the moment in a picture...
with me in it.

Tonight, I thought...
about how I love the city,
I appreciate technology and innovation.

I thought about how
I love Colorado,

(PS - I also miss Pure Michigan)

Monday, April 13, 2015

#LDSconf

Oh, how I love the Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

We watched The 185th Conference from our living room on April 4th & 5th . 

I love it for lots of reasons:

I grew up watching, so it always brings back so many great memories!

The Music! 
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

Because it's like no other Sunday of the whole year...except for the same Conference held in the Fall. 
Our Sundays are usually VERY busy. 
The first half of every Sunday surely doesn't feel like a day of rest.
Conference always feels like a break and a renewal.

Because my kids can crawl, color, play games, make nests, make forts, do crafts, spill, clean up, play, roll, dance, wander, laugh, kitty fight, eat, drink, and nap....all during the 8 hours of conference.
Some of these things we, of course, discourage.
Some of these things they will naturally grow out of...
some of these things I will miss, as they do.

These are from last October's Conference













This is the kitty fight from this April Conference.










And last, but not limited to, because it's either Spring or Fall when it's Conference Time!
NOT winter...and that's great!

My favorite talks:

Oh they were all good...so here are my top 3 favorites.

Seeking the Lord 
Elder Jose A. Teixeira
Of the Seventy

"Every day we should consider including frequent interactions with the teachings of Christ. Small and simple gestures and acts made daily will:
  1. 1. 
    Deepen our understanding of the significance of the Lord in our lives, and
  2. 2. 
    Help us share this understanding with the rising generations, who will surely feel the love of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, when they see our example of sincerely living the gospel."

  3. "Perhaps the most important lesson the Lord taught me through this process happened during our family scripture study after my sister had left the Church. Our son David was reading as we studied together Luke 15. As he read the parable of the prodigal son, I heard it differently that day than I had ever heard it before. For some reason, I had always related to the son who stayed home. As David read that morning, I realized that in some ways I was the prodigal son. All of us fall short of the glory of the Father (see Romans 3:23). All of us need the Savior’s Atonement to heal us. All of us are lost and need to be found. This revelation that day helped me know that my sister and I both needed the Savior’s love and His Atonement. Susan and I were actually on the same path back home."
    1. It's not to just copy and paste his whole talk here, but here is my favorite part: 
    2. "Because we were then born into that fallen world and because we too would transgress the laws of God, we also were sentenced to the same penalties that Adam and Eve faced.
      What a plight! The entire human race in free fall—every man, woman, and child in it physically tumbling toward permanent death, spiritually plunging toward eternal anguish. Is that what life was meant to be? Is this the grand finale of the human experience? Are we all just hanging in a cold canyon somewhere in an indifferent universe, each of us searching for a toehold, each of us seeking for something to grip—with nothing but the feeling of sand sliding under our fingers, nothing to save us, nothing to hold on to, much less anything to hold on to us? Is our only purpose in life an empty existential exercise—simply to leap as high as we can, hang on for our prescribed three score years and ten, then fail and fall, and keep falling forever?
      The answer to those questions is an unequivocal and eternal no! With prophets ancient and modern, I testify that “all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.”"
    3. And he said about Easter....

    4. I realize they are all from the same session. 
    5. I really did watch all the sessions but, this session really spoke to ME. 
    6. What was your favorite talk or passage from #ldsconf?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaBloPoMo & Jill's wedding

I think this would have been my sixth year posting everyday in November, 
for National Blog Posting Month.
But, I forgot and my blog has kind of gone by the wayside. 

Even though it's already the 5th. 
Yes, I've missed 4 whole days. 
I'm still going to try it.
Probably won't get everyday...but, I'm making a strong effort to document our family, my thoughts and feelings, pictures, and things that I am thankful for.

*********

I am so grateful for the opportunity we had to go to Utah in September. 
Nathan's sister Jill was married to her sweatheart Aaron Calderwood. 

Here are some pictures of our little family, Jill just sent me.



 












Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marley took these pictures....

June 13, 2014
 Lorenzo has the most fickle skin of my three children thus far. 
He came out with very flaky/peely skin. 
 He was also more pimply than I remember the girls being. 
And he has had cradles cap...which my girls never got.
 For a couple of weeks his pussy pimples ooozed yellowness. 
It was icky!
 The backs of his ears ooozed yellow too.
And now the insides seem to produce an over abundance of wax.
 He already seems more stinky than the girls.
 Now that I've made him sound like the grossest, dirtiest, stinkiest baby boy you could ever imagine....
he's not all that bad.
In fact, he is so precious.
 And handsome.
 And charming.
 And coy.
 And curious.
 And he is absolutely in love with his mommy.
As it should be.