Monday, May 22, 2017

Masquerade Ball - Fun Way to End the Year

Princess Five had a fun 4-H event this week. It was something new that they had never tried before but it was a hit.

They had a Masquerade ball for an end of the year social.  They made it look like a mini Jr. Prom draping lights, crepe, etc to a large pole in the center of the room and used curtains like they do for convention  to separate the booths to corner off a section to decorate so the dance floor was a bit more intimate than would have been in a  large room.

The kids who could went a few weeks in advance and decorated "masks" for other to purchase for the ball. They made around $300 for activities by selling the masks and Princess Five had fun making and decorating the masks. She wanted to have decorations on her face if she took her mask off so we took a larger body art tattoo and cut it into smaller tattoos so she could decorate her face.

Her dress was light so she wanted to have one that matched so it wasn't super dark but it was still fun and she really enjoyed her night. It was a fun way for her to end her year. I am glad it was on a night where she didn't have other commitments.

You can see by her smile, she enjoyed dressing up and having a formal way to end the year. I am going to miss this beauty in a few months. I have to keep telling myself that I am happy to be done but truly, I know it is going to be hard not having anyone home to visit with. A new phase of life for sure.

I am so grateful for 4H and the friends who have included her in their world taking her places I couldn't have. We are so blessed to have people willing to put the time and effort into making such fun activities!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Grateful For Miss Charlene - Piano Teacher in Heaven

I posted recently about my girls piano situation. They took lessons for years but being a single mom, practicing wasn't high on my "get it done" list next to court, mediators, guardians, layers, visitations, and all the normal daily kids things.

Here is the post where I lay all that type stuff out. It was at her last percussion concert last week. I had no idea at the time that the piano she was playing was her piano teachers baby grand!

I guess the school with its $40,000,000 bond didn't figure in any funds for a piano for the theater / auditorium. Go figure!

The girls piano teacher passed away about a year ago and she had several pianos. She had one son and he took some of the pianos but they didn't want to spend the money it would cost to get the piano where he lives.

They chose to donate the piano to the High School as most of her students attended that school. To me, she was more than a teacher though, she was a friend. She would always ask how I was doing and give me produce and fruit from her large garden. She was so sweet when I was so crazy with lots of court dates, she would sometimes put my check for lessons in a card and tell me to use it on bills.

She gave me discounts as I had all the girls in piano at one point. She fit in my youngest before school since she didn't have any more slots to fit her in after school so I would get up at O'dark thirty and take her for lessons.

She was also a school teacher for years and my eldest had her for fifth grade. There are always problems in small towns with people forcing what teachers they want for their kids. I knew nothing about any of it as I wasn't from a small town. I remember my daughter coming home crying the first day that her teacher was so hard! I laugh about it now as she was a big softy but that was before we took lessons. In the end, Charlene LOVED my daughter, I think that is what helped us get in with her for piano.

I think she helped me as she lost her first husband when she had a son and understood the challenges I faced. We had many wonderful talks about choices and struggles of being single with kids.

It made me smile to think the only time my youngest has ever performed in public other than a recital just happened to be on her piano last week! Kinda funny but makes me think Charlene had a hand in it!

Have a BLESSED Day!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Still About Mothers Day - Sorry I'm Late

I got a great surprise for mothers day weekend. Princess Two decided to come down for the weekend.

I asked her to come help me clean out my closet. I have so much stuff in there I don't wear and it has become storage spot for court papers, family history projects, presents etc. I really want my closet to be only a closet again and with Princess Five graduating soon, I can remove all the court stuff for good! Yahoo for that!

She brought cut flowers and the funny thing is, she went to the store to get the flowers and almost ran into me! I was getting groceries for the weekend. She went to use a gift card at a clothes store so I could get home from shopping before she arrived.

I was surprised and thrilled to see her. She brought me the flowers and gave me a real pearl bracelet that is beautiful!

I found an orchid on the table with the funny note above. Princess Three was on a road trip to Mt. Rushmore for the weekend so she opted to send the live flower. I didn't know how to take care of it as I have never had an orchid. Good thing my amazing Step-Mom has a SUPER green thumb and lots of orchids. She told me how to water it using an ice cube. I figured since it was small, a half would work. Good thing I did that because Princess Five got instructions on how to take care of it and for some reason took them off the flower and put them in a drawer.

She didn't tell me about the flower or the instructions. It was several days later she mentioned putting a half an ice cube on it and I asked how she knew to do that and she told me about putting the instructions in the drawer. I thought it was so funny.

I didn't get my closet done but I got it started. We had lots of other things going on and I did get my sprinklers going and that was a plus. I hope to get to my closet at some point. Still working on my mom's stuff but there is an end eventually. 

I am so grateful for Princess Two making the drive to spend the weekend with me! Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Best Mothers Day Meal EVER Thanks to my Chin Friends

I told you a few days back that I would share more about my Mothers Day. Seriously, it was the best ever!

A few months ago, I talked to a worker at our local grocery store that makes fresh sushi. I was asking about Gluten in the sushi as the crunches on top looked like they may have flour on them.

I asked him and he seemed a bit confused as "gluten" isn't a word that is used a ton I am sure. I had to ask about flour, allergies and he finally figured out what I was asking.

As we talked, I asked about where he was from, he told me his wife and he moved here. I asked about his wife and each time we would go in for sushi, we would visit.

I eventually met his adorable wife and we were fast friends. I truly LOVE this couple. I feel like I have always known them. Even though the language is a bit of a barrier at times, we just really have a connection.

I have been trying to have them over for dinner for a few months but they have gone home for weddings, had company here, and now are moving to a larger city where they can make more money. I am so happy they were able to find a store where they can make more but I am super sad they aren't going to be local.

I finally got them to come over the night before they moved and we made banana splits which they had never heard of or tasted. They enjoyed those but was I excited when they showed up with a huge sushi platter for me for mothers day!

It was wonderful and we truly enjoyed every bite! Those that were home were sure glad they were home! It was a happy Mothers Day Meal for sure. I am going to miss my friends but they said they will come stay with me sometimes. If you ever have a chance to become friends with Burmese people from the Chin Tribes, you can't go wrong! Sweetest people ever!

Have a BLESSED Day! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mothers Day Well Wishes From Japan - Princess Four

Well well well. If it isn't the most beautiful people I know. Happy Mother's Day to all you women out there. Mothers or not, I hope this day is filled with a lot of happiness! So you go out there and treat yo self. That's what i did...... After my amazing Mother's Day Skype with my family I may or may not have bought myself an ocarina(The wind instrument from Zelda) haha Musical instruments are a big thing in this mission. Half of the shimai have ukuleles so we will see if I become an owner of that as well... anyway.... haha


Something that was hard this week was sharing a very personal story to a less active member about addictions, buying her fruit and snacks to help her quit, and then having her smoke 3 cigarettes in front of us. I know she can quit, but finding motivation is sometimes hard.. we keep praying hard, and we quit おかし (okashi aka sugar) in order to help her. My natural man wanted to grab candy, and eat it in front of her to show her what her smoking in front of us feels like, but I tried as fast as I could to push those thoughts aside, and just love her. I have no place to judge her, and my addictions just aren't as visible as hers. We are all sinners here. I am working on charity, and I really can feel Christ's love for her! Prayer works! We have so many good ideas to help her, but she has to want to change. Hopefully showing her how much she is worth will help her. She is the same woman who made me a scarf and BoM case. I really want to see her go to the temple! We also sneakily heart attacked her bathroom door, so that a good idea. Haha

Oh. We also had a talent show! I danced. This makes the second talent show I have not planned, but been required to participate in. Raise the roof! It was so fun! It consisted of Balloon art, me dancing with a hopefully soon to be  investigator who is married to a less active member. He is awesome they are the parents of three kids. The cutest kids in the world probably... there was also musical instruments, dollar store magic, and a woman dressing up as the little mermaid and singing part of your world. Red hair and everything. She deserves a gold star! The members here  are so great! We cleaned the church, ate meat, and had a talent show all in one day. Life is good here people!

The family that I danced with is seriously so cute. They aren't the most wealthy, but they always share what they have, and are willing to listens to us. There kids are all small and rambunctious, but they still came and performed in the show. They will be blessed probably... and those blessings may come in the form of us teaching lessons! 

MY NIHONGO IS GETTING BETTER! I am still so not good, but at church I was able to understand most of what was said in one of the talks. And my companion taught Japanese to college students, and yesterday she told me that she knows I have the gift of tongues.  Really I am not that good folks, but I am improving which is rocking. God is blessing me. Pray for my Japanese please, because I still have a long ways to go! 

another blessing... I GET TO SEE ELDER OAKS AND My old Companion SHIAMI ALL IN ONE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY "mommy" AND AN APOSTLE OF THE LORD!!! YOSH!!!!! YATTA!! HOOORRRRAAAYYYY!!! We get transfer calls this Sunday..... then at elder oaks' conference we are switching companions, so idk how this transfer is almost already over.. but its fine.... 

I also received a lot of free food which is happy... and my iPad storage is full, so yay memories! 

One last cool experience. I was riding my bike asking God why he even created me. I have so much fear this transfer, and I really dislike it. It has just been really difficult for some reason. I caught myself being negative, the spirt probably reminded me actually, and tried to focus on the positive. I started thanking God for allowing me to know about the gospel, and how much of a blessing that is.  I then saw a woman with crutches making her way down the street, we were in a hurry and on bikes so I couldn't talk to her, but I thought about how she probably doesn't know what the purpose of life is. Our purpose is to feel Joy. Later i was thinking about the difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is fleeting, but joy is lasting. Smoking that cigarette brings pleasure, but not joy. Being lazy brings pleasure, not joy. I then found some really needed revelation after asking God where I should study. He guided me to Jesus the Christ. Chapter 17. Long story short. Let your light so shine before men. Keep the commandments because they will bring you joy. Choose ye THIS DAY whom ye will serve. I am going to try to choose God. I may make mistakes, but that is what the atonement is for. 

I love you all! As my MTC doryo says. Stay Genki. 
Princess Four

Monday, May 15, 2017

Video Chat With a Princess - Missing Princess Four

One of the best Mothers Days EVER! I had such a great day. I know I have lots of health issues and stress in my world, but for forty minutes, I touched eternity!

For a few weeks now, Princess Four wrote telling us when she would be able to video chat with us. She shared that we would need to learn how to do a group skype and / or FaceTime with our family on Mothers Day!

I asked a few of the girls to figure it out as I have so much going on and am quite stressed with graduation coming up for Princess Five and all of the stuff I have going on in the house, yard and my mothers estate as well as some family issues with my extended family I am trying to deal with.

They figured it out and we walked through it several times this past week and we learned how to invite new people, and how to join others in and invite while on the call so we could be ready for any scenario.

In her last email, she told us what her user name was so I went in and invited her to be a contact and she also told us what time her call would be. It was morning for her but evening for us but it was nice as everyone was home on Sunday evening so everyone could be include on that call.

Princess Three went to Mt. Rushmore for the weekend so she was driving while we had the call and she missed about half of the call and was so worried she would miss it, she was super stressed until she got service but it worked out well.

Princess Four and her companion played and sang us a song as her companion plays the ukulele and so they sang us a duet for the holiday. It was beautiful and I am so glad I video taped it so I could share it with you!

Also, Grand-Princess One was so cute and sang her Aunt a Moana song, it was so adorable. I don't know the music well but the girls told me she sang the entire song. I thought for a young 2 year old, that was fairly good. I'm sharing it here. 

I don't think the call could have been any better with the babies being so adorable, Princess Four and her sunbeam smile, getting a song or two, and LOVING my family!

I will share later about the rest of my Mothers Day but I just LOVE my family. We all did well until Princess Three in her worry of missing the call got emotional so she had us all in tears near the end. Until Christmas, this will have to do!

I am SO BLESSED! I hope you all had a  BLESSED Mothers Day!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Little Victorian Settee for the Grand-Children From Great-Grandma

My mother had two little Victorian settee sets at her house for many year that the children enjoyed sitting on. My youngest sister got this little set when we moved my mother into an assisted living apartment about ten years ago.

When we cleaned out my mothers apartment a year ago after she passed a way,there was a little burgundy Victorian set that is more of a traditional set with the one large rounded back.

I was so tired and busy cleaning out my mothers apartment that I didn't make a "list" of items I wanted but had my kids make one. I took my turns choosing items for my children.

One of my siblings picked the little Victorian couch which was an exact miniature of the couches we had growing up. Since I didn't make a list, I couldn't remember what was behind the couches or stacked in other rooms.

I was super sad about not having a list as there was a few things I really would have liked but I only had a few hours sleep that week and one sister and I stuck everything out as the other siblings were busy with their families.

When I voiced that I really would have liked that couch, my younger sister told me that she had this other set I could have as long as she could borrow it for pictures. I told her how much I appreciated that.

This week, I was at her place helping with her daughters wedding and got to bring the little set home. She had it out in their work shop so it was super dirty. I was surprised at how many hours it took me to get the dust out of all the carving.

I used "Old English" furniture polish and after first vacuuming off the seats, I then wiped them down with a damp cloth to get much of the dust off and then I polished the wood.

I would warn you that when doing anything that has fabric on it, the "Old English" polish will stain any fabric so be aware to avoid making contact with the fabric or even getting close to the fabric.

I took off the seat chair which made it easier to polish the chair but the couch is permanent so I took a damp cloth and cleaned a few spots on the fabric and used a clean damp paper towel to run around the edges of the wood near the fabric avoiding putting any polish near the fabric just in case.

I hope we can get some cute pictures of the grandkids on the little "great-grandma Furniture!"

Have a Blessed Day!