Friday, February 24, 2017

More blogging about Braeden

He's been gone a long time.  I have catching up to do with writing about that kid.

1- I was down in Braeden's room hanging up a shirt and he. Had. Made. His. Bed.

2- I said, "Who are you?"

3- Also he will occasionally unload/load the dishwasher with zero prompting.

4- Why is he the one that doesn't usually live here?

5- Emma and Vanessa are performing a pantomime for Drama Regionals.  They practiced it for us last night.  Emma kept losing concentration when Braeden laughed.

6- Braeden told her, "That's funny so you have to get used to people laughing."

7- Emma and Vanessa smiled at each other in pleasure and sort of wonder.

8- Braeden and I looked at the BYU class schedule so I can be prepared to register for him in June.  He was looking at the kinds of classes that Adam took:  Principles of Comparative Politics and the like.  What really seemed to interest him were things like Arab-Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.

9- This is what happens when a boy grows up talking to Adam.

10- We have been using one gallon of milk per day.

11- By we, I mean Braeden.

12- Yesterday we were going to meet Adam for lunch.  I said, "Maybe we'll go in his office and he can show you off."

13- Braeden smiled and said, "I like being shown off."

14- We've always been worried about his self esteem.

15- Before leaving I told Braeden I wanted to put lotion on his dry scaly cracked and bleeding hands.  (Those poor hands are used to humidity.)  If there's anything Braeden detests, it is lotion.  He resisted and I insisted and we went back and forth.  Finally he said, "I'm grown.  You aren't in charge of my hands."  I said, "When you are buying your own lunch, you will be a grown up.  For now, I'm putting lotion on those hands."

16- He smiled and relented. And then he winced and acted tortured when I put on lotion.

17- Later he told me thanks for the lotion and his hands felt better.

18- He liked meeting all the people at work.  He shook hands and smiled and chatted and was in his element.

19-  The other day he said he didn't like being home all day.  He likes to be "out among the people."

20- I think we'll go to another museum today.  Gotta keep the extrovert happy.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A new spin

In addition to Not My Email, I think I could create a Not My Missionary blog series.

I get periodic text messages--with pictures--of a few missionaries that...aren't mine.


Both the other mothers are responding to the texts, so it's not like I'm taking someone's place.  It is a number from VA and one of them is apparently an Elder Davis, but why am I involved?

Life is mysterious.

Speaking of my missionary, he has done everything he can (doctor approval plus proved his stamina) toward getting back on his mission.  It is now in the hands of the mission department and for someone like me, who is a planner, I'm a little antsy to know what is happening. 

In the meantime, I'm dry cleaning ties and washing sweaters and replacing exceedingly worn white shirts and holey socks.

And buying milk.

Last night we went to the art museum in Springville.  When we were walking in, Braeden looked around in wonder and said, "I love art museums."

There are plenty of times when I feel like a sub par mother, but in moments like that I think I must have done something right.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Slow down

Life has been joyful and people-y and busy lately.

Last night I went to bed exhausted and with a snuffling cold.  Somewhere during the long night of tossing and turning because of my congested head, I looked out the window and saw the snow.

Lately it has felt positively springlike.  Yesterday Braeden and I took a walk with no jackets, just sweatshirts.  There have been flitting birds and I even saw a squirrel a few days ago. 

And today this.


I will take it.  Perhaps the universe is telling me to stay in my pajamas and get cozy.

(And do some laundry.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Yesterday

I feel like something of a failed blogger, because I didn't take one picture, but yesterday was a great day.  It was a jammed pack and exhausting day but also great.  In other words, I'm not doing a single thing in my housekeeping role.  How important is that anyway?  I mean maybe I truly can just stop doing laundry?  It's a theory I've never tested.

Since it was President's day, it's one of the holidays that we place flags in the neighborhood.  It was the YW turn so I took two sledgehammers, my daughter, my strong husband and my two strapping sons.  (These are tools every young women's president needs.)

I always get the worst route and it takes way longer than the other routes.  Also yesterday the other groups had more people.  Emma said, "Should we have someone else come with us?"  I compared the size of Braeden to some of the little 12 year old girls. 

"I think we're good," I said.

And we were.  Emma drove, Adam had one sledgehammer and drove stakes while I placed flags and the boys had the other hammer and they did same.  At one point Emma was driving a little lurchy (she's not the best driver in America and my strategy is to just not drive with her and hope for the best).  I cautioned her to drive less lurchy (because her brothers' long legs were dangling out the back end of the van.  She usually treats any kind of criticism with serious disdain and this time was no different.  I told her to stop being sassy or I would drive and she could put up flags.

What can I say?  It's good to have leverage.  She was as pleasant as a peach after that.

We finished well ahead of everyone which never happens.

Emma had to stay home and do homework but the rest of us headed to Salt Lake City.  We went to temple square:  the church history museum, the visitor's centers, the Joseph Smith building.  It was a nice time.  We also stopped by Maverik's "base camp" on the way home and Braeden hardly appreciated it enough.

Maybe we'd built it up too much.

We pretty much got home in enough time for flags.  Braeden and I took a preliminary walk beforehand and met the rest there.  Picking up flags with my crew was a breeze too.  Right after that we had a presidency meeting and right after that Braeden and I headed to Provo.  Phew!

Adam was refereeing, Emma and Mark were involved with "mini missions" which is a thing in our ward where the youth, with a companion, go visit a family in our ward who feeds them dinner and then the youth teach the family a lesson.  Mark's group got assigned to our bishop's family and Emma went to the stake president.  They both had a great time though, despite what could have been a little intimidating.

Braeden and I were going to meet David and Shari.  We got there a little early so we swung by the Creamery to see if Clarissa was working.  She wasn't, but her roommate was so we got to chat with her briefly.  We met David and Shari at the bowling alley in the basement of the Wilkinson Center.  Being on BYU campus made Braeden and me both excited for him to attend there in the fall. 

It was great to see the young Jorgensens.  When I was paying for bowling shoes, David said, sort of in jest, "Is there a discount for missionaries?"

The guy eyed Braeden (and the name tag) and said, "You're a full time missionary?"

Braeden said yes.

"Well then you can bowl for free."

David and Braeden speculated on all the free stuff he could possibly get on campus.  Ice cream?  I said, "Let's go bowl."

Shari confided that she was a terrible bowler and I told her I was too.  Then I bowled a strike and two spares.  Then David facetimed Janet and while I was chatting with her, I had Braeden bowl for me.  He only knocked down one pin and I guess that broke my will because after that I bowled terribly, which is my lot in life.

After bowling we went to Chom Burger which was delicious.  We had never been there before but we will go back.  It was comfortable and easy to be with David and Shari.  All those Jorgensen kids feel like beloved nephews and nieces.

As we were leaving the restaurant, we encountered a young couple whose front tire was stuck in one of the irrigation ditches that line the streets of Provo.  Tiny Shari marched over and offered help, then she gestured back at David and Braeden.  "We can help," she said.

David and Braeden went next door and borrowed a big rock from a yard.  They wedged it under the tire.  We pushed and zing!  The car was back on the street.  The grateful young man (who had been contemplating his jack when we approached) looked like he may cry or at the very least throw his arms around David and Braeden in gratitude.  Instead, he shook their hands.  It was dark but he noticed Braeden's name tag, "Wait!  Are you a missionary?"  Braeden said yes.  The guy just kind of shook his head wonderingly and we were off into the night.

You just never know what kind of adventures await when you swerve from your path.  Again, how important is laundry anyway?

Monday, February 20, 2017

The weekend

We celebrated Emma's birthday on Friday.  Emma left school early and Adam and I had lunch with the two older kids at Emma's favorite spot, Harmon's.  Yes, the grocery store.  I don't know.  She just loves the place.  We played games and went out for Thai food for dinner.  I love needing a table for five again.  Later, Grandma and Grandpa Dahl stopped by.  It was a happy celebration.


Saturday morning we continued the party and had Kneader's french toast which is all kinds of delicious but the kind of thing you can only do occasionally.

We played more games and happily received more visitors.  I didn't get pictures of everyone but here are some:

Olivia, Braeden and Edgar

Missionaries--future, present and past:  Desi goes to Hong Kong in June, Braeden is heading back to VA soon-ish, and Clarissa returned from New Zealand in December

I love how much these cousins love each other (Emma had left for work).  Most of them were looking at Marianne while she took a picture but Carolina is looking right at me.  She said, accurately, "This is going on the blog."

In between hands of Monopoly Deal and UNO and rounds of Codenames, Braeden and Mark have been spending some quality Lego time together.  I love hearing them laugh.  Saturday afternoon I walked downstairs and Braeden said, "Mom, Mark is hilarious!"

When Braeden left, Mark was his lovable and sort of pesky younger brother.  Now, they seem to be closer to the same age.  And it's true, Mark does entertain me every day of my life.

Sunday we had what I fondly refer to as the BYU Babes over, Clarissa and Desi.  (Sometimes Clarissa's roommate Hannah comes too.)  We had dinner and played Codenames.  It was Emma and the girls against the boys and me.   The boys and I lost every round.

Today is no school because of President's Day.  Every day sort of feels like a holiday though.

Table for five.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Eighteen


false eyelashes for Secret Garden--and for dramatic selfies to send her mother


1- she is extremely loyal to her friends and her brothers

2- she likes to wear bright and bold lipstick

3- she is impervious to peer pressure (which is a good or bad thing, depending on whether or not you are trying to talk her into something)

4- she is a good ally (also, wouldn't want her as an enemy)

5- she is good with words (grammar, portmanteau words, pithy texts)

6- she has a tender heart (she burst into tears when she learned Braeden was coming home)

7- she is seriously independent

8- she doesn't sugarcoat things (if looks could kill...)

9- when she gives you a hug, it feels like everything is going to be all right

10- she fills our house with music

11- I don't know anyone who can sleep in as effectively as she can

12- she likes to speak French

13- her friends text her when they need cheering up--she invites them over and makes them toast or popcorn and soon they're laughing

14- she wants to see the world

15- she has strong opinions but will listen to other people who disagree with her

16- she loves her job

17- she likes cherry cake for her birthday

18- I love that birthday girl!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How things are going

Since Braeden is still a missionary, Adam and I are his companions.  He's stuck to us like glue.  Yesterday I had to go to the junior high for a meeting with a counselor to discuss Mark's schedule for next year.  (Freshman year + my baby = how did this happen?!?)

I took my sidekick along.  Here's a truth I've discovered:  if you want to cause double takes and strange sideways did-I-just-see-what-I-think-I-saw looks, take a tall missionary into a junior high.

We sat down with the counselor and I explained the nature of my companion and she totally understood and wanted to know all about his mission.   Because Utah County.

*****

Braeden and Emma wanted to watch home movies and wondered if I wanted to join them.  I said I had some cleaning to do.  (Since things have been so topsy turvy, I'm a little behind the times on housework.)

Braeden said, "Why don't we help you?  In my day we used to have to help you clean."

(His day?)

I told him that usually I just get the cleaning done while the kids are at school, but I'm behind a little now.  He said, "Well we'll help you, right E?"

I didn't see the look she gave him but I can imagine it.

He helped clean bathrooms and Emma dusted.

*****

They exchanged Valentines in Emma's English class.  Times like that are why I struggle to enforce school attendance.  These are the valentines Emma photocopied and gave her classmates:





The one in French says, "You are my poor peanut."  I asked Emma why.  No reason.

*****

Braeden is tired all the time but I have to hound everyone to go to bed at night because everyone wants to visit.  Yesterday I encouraged sleepy Braeden to go take a nap.  He said, "If I nap now, can I stay up later tonight?"

These are the kinds of deals he's been brokering since he was a preschooler.

*****


Here they are having after school "companionship" scripture study.  They were surrounded by snacks and detritus but the sun was streaming in and I was folding laundry upstairs and it made my heart supremely happy to hear their discussion.

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