Friday, May 28, 2010

Lesson learned from a redneck?

The other day I was working in a rather remote area when I came across a questionable place. The property was very open with a few trailers along the sides and a large garage in the middle surrounded by quite a few vehicles. I pulled up to find geese coming up to my van. I tried to get my stuff together as fast I could before they reached my side of the van and out I was! I made my way to 2 guys that were outside of the garage. It was a little bit of a walk as I yelled out, "Hi, my name is Alisa and I'm with the Census." I said it about 2 times, as he just stared at me, when I realized that he had a bloody knife in his hands! I think any normal human being would have been at least startled by the sight but I was amazingly calm. As things unfolded and by the time I was back in my van, I had no doubt that the Lord was the one calming me. This man immediately had a wall up and did not want anything to do with the government. The first words out of his mouth were something like, "What are you doing here?" Yeah, remember bloody knife in his hand! But still not scared. Weird. Anyway, I told him I was with the Census with which he replies, "That don't tell me anything!" I was kind of at a loss for words so I confusingly said, "Um...well, my name is Alisa...." with which he says, "Yeah, well that's my sisters name but that still doesn't tell me what you're doing here!" So I tried to explain to him that the Census wants to count heads in the state of Oklahoma for funding and such. He's walking away from me at this point and amazingly enough I follow him. This is where I see about 10 or so catfish on the ground awaiting their fate of being sliced open while I ask him all these Census questions. It's a good thing that I like fish so much because anyone else just may have puked! He continued to give me a hard time as he lied to me in telling me that he had 9 children living in this trailer I was trying to get the information on. All the while I am being as nice as I can be. I think this is where the lesson begins in what the Lord was trying to teach me. I think I can handle people one on one really well - crowds, no - but I can usually see things pretty clearly with just one person or maybe a few. But given how odd the situation was and add on top of that it being a very humid day ( I DON'T do well with humidity!) I should have really gotten scared or irritated by this guy. But it just came so naturally to be kind to him even though he was being anything but the same to me. I continued to ask him questions where he slowly started to open up to me. He never would give me his name or his daughters name (in his words, "I ain't runnin from the law or nothing...I ain't been in trouble in a while I just don't want the government in my business.") but amazingly enough he never kicked me off his property and even answered some of the questions that other people have problems with; like getting his phone number. At one point in the interview I actually got him to laugh. By the end of the interview he asked me if I saw the turkey under the trampoline. I told him no, where he immediately told me he was going to walk me to my van because that turkey was a "watch turkey" and that he would attack me. Here is this same man who had all these walls up around him when I first pulled up - this same man who was being somewhat protective now as he, his bloody knife, long hair, tatoos and all made sure that I made it to my vehicle safely. I drove away and said a prayer of thanks. How grateful I was that the Lord kept me calm. That he let me learn a very important lesson that day. Everyone wants to be loved. We all want to laugh and be loved. Even the hardest of hearts can be softened if you work and work on loving someone. I've been really grateful for that redneck man this week! He has no idea what he taught me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Camping at Spavinaw State Park

On Friday, David and I made a last minute decision to take the boys camping. I'm not really a last minute type of person so I'm still surprised that I was excited to do it. A few weekends ago David, Levi, and Brigham went out on a father/son camp out with some families from church. The Wilson family were wonderful to us and let us use a lot of their camping stuff since we didn't have much. I think that camp out gave David the camping itch and has been trying to get us to get camping equipment... and trying to talk me into sometime going. Yes, I'm the typical girl who doesn't like bugs and all that but really I think my biggest reservation was taking Hyrum. Taking a little one just doesn't seem very fun to me. But Friday came, Nanny was sick -which meant no Nanny and Poppy night - and David was willing to get everything ready while I worked....and amazingly enough I was excited about it!David was such a good Daddy and let the boys help him with pretty much everything once we got to the campground. Here is a picture of Levi and his fascination with catching sticks on fire. He's usually a pretty cautious boy so I was a little surprised that he wanted to be that close to the fire. Hyrum is the same way and as the night went on I watched as he got closer and closer to the fire. In fact, one of my friends from High School and her family came by for a couple of hours and he scared us both as he tripped over one of the pieces of wood that was not yet burning from the fire. Though Marlana and her family didn't stay the night, it sure was nice having another pair of "mommy eyes" watching over my boys and that fire!
Our campsight was close to the Spavinaw Spillway Dam. It was nice listening to that water run off all night long. And believe me, I listened to it pretty much all night long. Starting just after 1:00 a.m. I woke up with major stomach cramps. I tried to ignore it but it was soon clear that diareah was very much in my future for the next 12+ hours. NOT FUN WHEN YOU ARE CAMPING! And David didn't have a of luck that night with sleeping either since Hyrum started crying early in the night and went off and on from then on. Hyrum ended up sleeping in his car seat in the van while Daddy laid back the passinger seat chair to stay in there with him.

So my conclusion is this. The evening of our camping experience was really great but after that night of trying to sleep in a tent...well, I'm not planning on doing the camping thing any time soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ma and Pa day

I love this picture; capturing how happy Hyrum was that MeMaw and Pa were taking him for the day. Since the Census started back up again (the end of last month) Hyrum has been seeing a lot of the Day Care lately. He likes the day care but he is in love with his MeMaw. So when we take that turn off to Monroe street coming into Jay I will often hear little whines and sometimes cries because we didn't go straight....leading the way to MeMaw and Pa's house. On Wednesday of this week I made that turn off and he absolutely threw a fit! He cried (the mad cry) and started kicking his feet...having a tantrum in his car seat! I guess later at the Day Care he made Auntie and Nanny pay for it for the rest of the day! One of the things that made what he did that morning so interesting was that when we made that turn off he started crying "Pa!" He started calling Poppie "Pa" a few months ago and we all thought it was so cute that he did that on his own. So when he cried out for Pa and not MeMaw I had to call my grandpa to let him know! I left a message and by the next day Grandpa had called to let me know that he and Grandma wanted to take Hyrum for the day while they were running their errands in Arkansas on Friday. As you can see, he was in Heaven!

Friday, May 14, 2010

How do you like your mushrooms?

Tonight was Brigham's date night with me. Like we usually do, because of his Book It certificates, we went to Pizza Hut. He only wanted a salad even though his "coupon" was for a personal pan pizza. I don't know how in the world I got such a healthy eating kid! In fact, this is the same child that I remember trying to hide his vegetables in other pieces of food because he wouldn't eat them. The same child that I punished at the dinner table for not eating his vegetables. Actually, I was kinda mean about it.....honestly, I'm surprised that I didn't turn him completely away from vegetables when I look back at how anal I was about it all. But somewhere along the way he turned into this veggie loving boy! I can only hope the same will happen to Hyrum.....
Though I have changed some eating habits lately, I still didn't follow my sons example in getting a salad. Yes, I ordered the fattening chicken alfredo pasta....but hey it did have broccoli and mushrooms in it.....which brings me to this post.
Brigham saw a perfectly round mushroom in my dish and said, "What is that?" I told him it was a mushroom. He immediately said, "EWWWWWW!" Before I could respond he asked me, "Is that a real mushroom or did it come out of a log?" As I was laughing and trying to hurry and write what he said on a piece of paper in my purse (for the blog of course!) he asked again, "Where did they get that mushroom?" I don't know if I ever even answered his question....guess it is time to get off this blog and talk to my child about the mushrooms we buy in the store and the ones that grow in good ol' humid Oklahoma.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hyrum's Rectal Biopsy

Today we got up at 3:30 a.m. so David, Hyrum, and I could be in Tulsa by 5:45 a.m. this morning. Given the circumstance, Hyrum did really well and didn't complain much. This was our first time in the Children's Hospital and immediately I was impressed. It was so cute and colorful! It seems we were pointing out cute things everywhere to Hyrum. We were soon brought back to one of the many rooms we would enter throughout the morning. They gave him some "loopy medication" and the fun began! David and I laughed and laughed at him as we watched his head start to bob every which way and laugh at the T.V. Uncle Rob called at one point and David told him what was going on with Hyrum and then the best part of the loopy medication happened...

...Hyrum lifted up David's shirt and just started playing with David's bellybutton! We don't know what was so entertaining about it but he was fascinated with it!

Lots of nurses and the doctor, Dr. Li, came in and before we knew it they were ready to take our drugged up baby to surgery. It all went by amazingly fast and then we were back in the recovery room waiting for him to wake up.
He woke up several times only to fall right back asleep. I wasn't too surprised about this though because he is such a good sleeper anyway.
Here Hyrum is with one of his many nurses. She took him down stairs in this wagon as we waited for Daddy to pull the van around to pick us up. I can't express how thankful I am to all the kind nurses that were so sweet to Hyrum and how confident we were in the Doctor and her knowledge. As you can see from this picture, he was still pretty out of it and it didn't wear off until probably 5:00 p.m. tonight. He did a lot of sleeping today!
All in all we feel very blessed that everything went so smoothly. We won't know for a few days whether he has Hirschsprung's Disease. We were warned that because of the small piece that the doctor took out of his large intestine that he could bleed a bit when having a bowel movement. I'm glad to report that he has already had one and there was no blood!
While we were in the recovery room there were other children and even a baby in there who had also just gotten out of surgery. Some had tubes put in their ears, others had their adenoids removed, but listening to a nurse talk about the young boy next to us who had CAT scans and such done on him because of brain seizures really made me grateful that thus far in our children's lives that we have not had any major things to deal with. Thank you Lord for watching over my baby today.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Today really has been a wonderful Mother's Day. The week leading up to it has been absolutely crazy but I think because of that I am enjoying Mother's Day more than usual. Last week was "Teachers Appreciation Week" and since I am the homeroom parent in both Levi and Brigham's class it was hard donating my time at the school since I am working full time with the Census and the flower shop (between the two). Probably knowing that it all is temporary helped me get through it, I'm sure. The Census will last only a few months and I only work at the flower shop on busy holidays and when the other girls at the shop needs days off. All in all, I think all the teachers were spoiled last week (and they certainly deserve it!), I really love going door to door with Census and meeting interesting people, and I had "friend" moments with the girls at the flower shop....and of course, who doesn't love to get flowers! Really, delivering flowers is the best job in the world! On Friday I ended up putting in 16 hours at Annie's Garden Gate! But I really do love working with those girls. I got emotional at one point as I opened up a little bit with them about how hard it has been for me emotionally since getting pregnant with Hyrum....since last year. Going through your own personal hell and back really makes you see things so differently. So many little things get to me now. Like Denise at work. My crew leader from the Census needed to get my time sheets. I knew I wouldn't be there when he showed up to get them so I left them with the girls. Denise, though, didn't know he was coming by. Doug- my crew leader- is a bigger man, with a deep voice and lot of facial hair. He could come off as scary to some people. Anyways, he came in and asked Denise if I worked there. She told me later that she immediately got defensive and was wanting to know what he wanted! I guess that in some ways I am really grateful for last year. I really don't think I would have thought much before last year about her getting defensive over me. So many more things like this pop out at me now and remind me of just how blessed I am.So today was nice and relaxing. David made breakfast and the kids went with him to church while I got a few things ready. David got released from his calling as Elders Quorum President and I think the relief of that helped the mood in the house as well. He had some amazing experience as EQ President but he was called as the branch mission leader a few weeks ago and with me working so much, Hyrum and all his tests, our trip to Wisconsin and starting back up in school (he is working on his MBA)....yeah...he is grateful to be released! Anyways, I went to church for a little bit until I needed to get back home to get ready for the lunch everyone in my family was coming over for after church. I gave myself a mother's day present by not putting much effort at all in it! I was so tired last night when I went to Wal-Mart to try and put something together for today's lunch. I decided on premade Pizza, a fruit tray, pop, and cheesecake from the bakery! I'm not a cheesecake fan but I knew the the ladies in my family love it so Happy Mother's Day to us all!
Here are a few pictures of the cousins and our neighbor Jewelia who found a baby bird this afternoon in our back yard. When they first started squealing that they had found a baby bird I went to immediately get them away from the poor thing. The old saying of never handling a baby bird or eggs in a nest in fear that the mother will abandon their young came to mind. But through confirmation of information on the internet and an experience of 2 baby birds that we found in Utah a few years ago led to letting the children have an experience with the baby bird. Mother's will not abandon their young unless a preditor was in it's nest and even that is rare. And the scent of human on a bird making the parent reject the baby bird is a myth also. We didn't let the kids stay to close to the bird for too long though, because I wanted the momma bird to be able to keep track of the little guy. And of course there were a lot of little hands being washed or washed down with disinfecting wipes afterwards!
And good day....yes, it was.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our trip to Wisconsin

Me, David, the boys, and my Dad made a quick trip to LaCrosse, Wisconsin this weekend. Some of my Dad's side of the family lives there. David nor my boys have ever met any of them so this weekend was very special to me. This trip all started because of an interest in the Beck side of our family history. Many stories later, told by my grandpa, and an offer to give me an old rocking chair that was used by his grandmother (Beck) led us to this long but worth it trip. We brought Dad's GPS to guide us on our trip. Around Bethany, Missouri we were ready for a car break. We found a "Becks" on the GPS so we thought we would stop there.....a picture opportunity but his is where it lead us!
David was nervous about me getting out to take pictures but I talked him into it. As Dad said, "It's only a shotgun away...." Yes, exactly! Luckily we didn't run into any! I may not be a "drinker" but this location and sign were too picture perfect to pass up.
As we were leaving we found this! There is nothing like a trailer.....with a house add on!
My Aunt Brenda lives next door to my Grandma and Grandpa Beck. Her daughter JoAnna lives in her basement. This cute dimpled girl is JoAnna's daughter....I'm so grateful she was there to entertain my boys.
Here is my Grandpa Beck with his son and great grandsons. When we pulled up in the van and Grandpa came out, he looked exactly as I remembered him 13 years ago - when I saw him last. This was a much needed trip!
David kept busy with Brenda's boyfriend, Jay, relearning some guitar moves. Ronald has taught him a few things in the past. I'm hoping he keeps up with it this time so he can have a different "out" to fall back on when life gets crazy.
When Aunt Brenda came over I immediately saw my Grandma Beck. That face was the face I remembered growing up in Washington...the face of Grandma Beck. When JoAnna came over and then I saw her daughter, Madison, I just couldn't believe how much they all looked alike so I had to get this 4 generation picture.
And I'm saving my favorite for last! I love this picture because it caught the true feelings of the moment. I wanted a picture with my cousins. The last time I saw JoAnna she was much shorter than I and Nick certainly didn't have all that hair on his face! We got together and he made some comment about the butter stain on his shirt. Earlier he was eating corn on the cob and juice ran all down his beard and onto his shirt. I pointed at it for the picture and we just all cracked up.
On the first day that we were there JoAnna asked me why I was so interested in our family history. I told her that I didn't know. Maybe it was because of the church and how much we try to do our genealogy. Maybe it is my age. But one thing I do know; it fascinates me. I think it is because I don't know my Dad's side of the family like I do my mom's side. It started with me really wanting to know what my Grandpa Beck did in the military. Before I knew it I wanted to know about his childhood and so forth. It is interesting to me that once you know certain things about a persons childhood, you start to understand the person they are now as an adult. This all has been such a good experience for me. I'm just so grateful that Grandpa invited us up there and that Dad made it possible that we could financially get up there. I love you both very much!