Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Good Hiding Among the Bad

Today is, yet again, Thankful Thursday!  Maybe it is for this reason that I have been feeling very thankful this morning for the blessings, and the tender mercies, that are there to be found hiding with the bad things, and the nasty surprises.

The nasty surprise of our week was that something, somewhere, died in our house -- and we can't find it.  The smell seems worst in the bottom of the office closet and I was a little nervous about what I might find as I emptied it -- but I only found more stinkiness, and not anything super creepy.  So Derek, who hasn't been feeling well this week, came home and did probably the last thing he wanted to:  he went looking in the walls, and climbing in the attic.
Lots of holes, more stink, but nothing creepy.
It must be 120 degrees up there in the attic and I thought I should have climbed up there myself, but I am afraid of up high.  After a couple of attempts, I did manage to check the roof for places mice could enter because Derek found that mice have been having a party in the attic without our permission.

So what have we done about it?  Opened the windows in the two smelly rooms, closed the vents and the doors, and mostly stayed out.  We have looked in downstairs closets, and floor joists, and sniffed around everywhere we could get to.  We have worried about it some, and maybe even lost a little sleep over it.  Today we will plug up the holes we can find, and start setting traps.  If your cat is hungry, he can hunt over here, but I'm allergic to cats so he has to go home after that.

So what, you ask, is the good hiding among all of that?  Well, I watched Derek come home, still not feeling well yesterday, and have us all pretty much try to talk to him at once, while he patiently paid attention.  This morning I thought of that, his wall digging, and attic climbing, and all of the other ways that he takes care of us whether he feels well or not.  He doesn't love his work, but he goes most weekdays during the year so that we have the things we need and a lot that we just want.  I can't count the number of times I've been tired and weepy and he's helped me even though he got probably half as much sleep as I did.  Derek has been the good among the bad this week.

There are other examples too of good among the bad.  Dan being sick so much helped me get to know his very caring teacher, and has made me more appreciative of his compassionate piano teacher, who is my friend.  Countless people have asked about him, prayed for him, and tried to help me deal with the challenges that come with allergies and concussions.

Then there are my children.  All of my sons and daughters try to take care of their mother when they can.  Jake has been particularly good at jumping in to do jobs that he notices need to be done, and has not complained when I ask him to help -- again.  My kids help me a lot by loving each other and trying to help each other through rough patches.  That is a happy thing for a Mom.

So, there are holes in the wall, and a stink in the house, and Dan is hard to feed, and we don't always feel as good as we'd like, and headaches are a plague, but there are good people all around who love, and help, and smile, and laugh, and pray, and maybe even cry a little for us too.  There are people who recognize that we are trying, and don't judge us harshly if we fail.  There are so many things to be thankful for too, but today, I am especially thankful for the people.

Summer Trips

Not long after Connor's birthday Kayli and Connor hopped on a plane.  The ride to the airport had been a little tense as I drove toward a really black storm cloud that let loose with lightning and piles of rain coming down in amazing quantities. When I dropped them off, it was down to a sprinkle, and I proceeded to take the wrong exit and so I went the long way home, right through downtown Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I quite enjoyed my detour.  It was at least better than catching up with the black storm cloud and heavy rain again -- which happened eventually.

I didn't hear anything from Kayli or Connor after that and assumed they were safely in Denver waiting for their next flight.  Nope.  They had texted Derek, and were safely sitting on the airplane in Cheyenne, WY waiting for a storm to leave Denver.  They sat for about 4 hours, flew to Denver, and then made a mad dash through that airport so they could catch their next flight, which had been delayed. Thankfully, they had a really good time with their cousins in Iowa, and so it was all worth it.

Day trip to Nauvoo, IL
Taylor (I think), Bailey, Avery, Kayli, and Connor

Same cousins, Nauvoo Temple
 Since Kayli and Connor were off having an adventure, I took Jake and Dan to Idaho to be with cousins.  I didn't get any pictures of them with cousins, but Tina got a picture of us.  We were drawing at Jamba Juice while drinking smoothies. My smoothie tasted better than hers, which I know because she said hers tasted like carrots.  I'm still surprised my fabulous drawing didn't win their contest :-).  I giggled and giggled over my drawing and had a really good time visiting Tina while my boys enjoyed playing with cousins.
Sherie and Tina

Meanwhile, back in Nauvoo, Kayli and Connor were still adventuring in the hot muggy weather.
This is Kayli, Connor, Avery, Tyson, Cody (very front), Zack, Bailey, Taylor, and Aunt Tanya.
Joseph and Hyrum are there in statue form.

Iowa with cousins
Kayli and Connor got home that week on Friday, and the boys and I made it on Saturday.

A week or two later we got to have an enjoyable time visiting with Tina and Chris and their boys again, only in Payson this time.  We were trying to recapture those good old days when we lived close enough to see one another more regularly.  It was so fun to have them here, and we are looking forward to seeing them again in a couple of weeks, when we head there on our annual vacation. It is so nice to have good relatives to visit and have fun with!