The Watchman

The Watchman

Monday, January 28, 2013

There is No Place Like Home

It has been almost two years since we moved back into our home. . I cannot begin to explain how wonderful it is to be in a place that is ours that we love and where we feel we belong. How great it is to sit in the living room and be able to look out at the Pine Valley Mountains. The view is one of the reasons we bought our home in the first place and we have spent hours watching the storms come over those mountains, watching sunrises and sunsets on the mountains, and enjoying the snow from a distance. Over these last years, I have watched our children regain their emotional footing as they have once again put down their roots.  Even for those who don't live with us full-time, this is home.  I know it is because we have invested more in this house than any of the other ten homes we have ever lived in.

This weekend I attended my annual Women's Retreat that focuses on scrapbooking/ taking time for yourself to complete projects/ or just taking time for yourself.  It is a nice break away from the day to day that I only seem to make it to every other year.  I have posted about this event before here and here.  I went with two projects to finish.  During the weekend I was able to complete one of the albums, except for about 10 pictures that I forgot to print and I was able to get a good start on the second one.  The second album was one Rick requested that would be dedicated to the scouting experiences of his sons from Cub Scouts through Eagle Scout.  I think he is feeling sentimental since this year marked the end of our family having a son in Boy Scouts.  It is one I plan on finishing before Valentine's as his present.

I want to say that to me, scrapbooks are more than just pictures on the page.  They are the way I tell my family history.  Along with this blog, I use our albums to share with my children the stories I want them to remember.  Since the house fire and the subsequent events have become such a pivotal part of our family history, the first project I took was an album dedicated solely to this time in our lives - from fire to finishing the landscaping on our new home.  I wanted to take it so I could be surrounded by the wonderful and supportive women that attend this retreat.  I knew that I would need that emotional support as I looked back on those sometimes dark days.

As I worked on the album, it gave me time to remember all the miracles that we witnessed during that time. First I need to express my appreciation to all the wonderful people that supported us.  I reread cards and letters sent to us then and when we first moved in to the house.  Last night as Jon looked through the album, he told me he got choked up reading the things people sent us and seeing the pictures.  Emily looked at it this morning and said it makes her both happy and sad.

Next a big shout of thanks to Rob Burdick, TruMax Inc. He was the most amazing General Contractor and was perfect for us. I had a vision of what our home would look like, what would be important to help us rebuild the foundation of our family. His role was crucial in turning that vision into reality and he did an incredible job.

Then there are all the other contractors who worked on our home. There were so many others who did incredible work and some others who did not.  Isn't that the way life is though?  I am still amazed at the efforts of Sheral Construction. During some of the worst weather we had had in a long time; weather that resulted in flooding and Southern Utah receiving a disaster declaration, these men braved the elements and literally built our house from the ground up since very few preformed elements could be used.  The pictures of the main beam across the roof and their attaching the supports still leave me in awe.

We are still involved with the final stages of the insurance claim.  Who knew that it would go on for 2 1/2 years, but it finally seems to be winding down.  Hopefully that part of the experience will soon be behind us.  From this experience, my testimony in the goodness of people and the love our Heavenly Father was reconfirmed.  I also gained a greater understanding that while He wants to help His children, He needs us to serve as His hands at times.  I think Jon summed up all our feelings best when he told us that walking in the door after school on the 31st of March 2011 was the first day he felt like he was truly home in nine months. This is the story I want my children to remember.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Of Motorcycles, Batteries and Broken Pipes

Today is a day to celebrate at our house for a couple of reasons:

First, it is raining and it is a nice gentle rain, not the monsoon rain that we see in the summer or the freezing winter rain of northern Utah.  This is the kind of winter weather we have come to expect and appreciate in Southern Utah.  This is the kind of rain that is lovely to go for a walk in.  And yesterday, the moisture building in the air created one of the most beautiful sunrises I have seen.

Rain also means no more broken pipes.  Last week Rick and I were in St. George at a meeting, when I received a call from Lela telling me that when she came home from school, she found there was a beautiful water fountain at the top of the driveway.  In a panic, I called the City office and asked if there was anyway someone could go over and shut our water off  until we could get home.  Luckily they were able to help.  I pulled Rick out of his meeting just in time to receive the confirmation that "Yes, you do have a leak."

In only took five hours, three trips to Ace Hardware for parts, dinner at Dairy Queen while the glue set and Rick and I outside filling the hole in the dark and wind - him shoveling and me holding the flashlight so he didn't break the pipe again to get it repaired.  On a positive note, according to Rick, at least the ground was soft since it was so saturated.  I am just grateful that we got off luckier than many of our neighbors who had pipes freeze and break inside their homes in our unusually cold weather.

The second reason we have to celebrate in our house is that Rick's motorcycle is finally repaired, licensed, registered and insured.  Which in other words means he can start riding it.  YEAH!!!  I don't know who is more excited - Rick or Emily.

Rick purchased the bike in July knowing that it needed some work.  The motorcycle shop finally had it repaired in December.  In this case I use the term repaired loosely since when Rick tried to drive it to the local mechanic to have the safety inspection completed, he realized that there was gasoline leaking from the engine.  Luckily Brett at Roadrunner was able to diagnose the problem as hoses that had been incorrectly connected and fix the problem.

I was really in the doghouse yesterday when Emily came home from school and learned that I hadn't made it out to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  She should be happy with me today and will probably be waiting impatiently at the door for Rick to get home so they can go for a ride.  It won't matter that it is raining.  Now we just need warmer gloves for Rick to wear and he will be riding a motorcycle to work once again.


Tomorrow I head to the east side of Zion for the Annual Women's (aka for me "Scrapbook") Retreat.  I am really looking forward to two days of hanging out with all the wonderful women that will be there; catching up with old friends and making new friends.  Hopefully I will get a few projects accomplished as well.

Rick may be making a trip to Logan soon to help Hunter with the truck.  The cold weather combined with Hunter's pedestrian tendencies have done a number on the truck battery and now the battery does not seem to hold a charge.  Rick is trying to decide if once I am home, he will need to do an up and back trip to help get the truck operational.  It will also be an excuse to see his son.  I say more power to him if he wants to go into the cold, mucky air that is Northern Utah in winter.  I will just stay here and enjoy the rain.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Very Merry Nerdy Christmas from Japan

I have come to accept the fact that I have raised some very nerdy children.

Here are a couple of them on New Year's Eve:

Now I hope you noticed the Pokemon (Pikachu) shirts.  These shirts were given to them by their sisters.  You should have seen the excitement exhibited Christmas morning as they were unwrapped.  The level of excitement only increased when it was explained that one also went to Japan to the middle son.  A portion of our Christmas Day phone call was the three boys coordinating a day that all would wear the shirt and pictures would be taken to commemorate the event.

Then we received a letter from said middle child that contained pictures of what he has been up to recently in his missionary service in Japan.  A bonus was a little Christmas present for each member of the family, complete with an explanation.  After reading the letter via telephone to the oldest son who had returned to school in the frozen north, he felt strongly that said present should be posted to this blog to further confirm to each of you my family's nerdiness.  So here is what we received, complete with the explanation.  I will forego  trying to type the words in Japanese, but stick to the English translation.

Mom - Blissey: Because you're the best mom and take care of us.

Dad - Flygon: Because Flygon is a dragon and is cool.  And dad is cool.
Hunter - Alakazam: I don't know why he likes it, but whatever.

Jon - Scizor: I don't know why he likes this one either.

Lela - Milotic: Because it's a beautiful fish.  Not a Tigershark though.

Emily - Dratini: I want her to know that she got one of my dragons for Christmas.  Hopefully she'll remember how nice I am to her.  And I think the card's cute.

Nataly - Charizard: Because Charizard is awesome! And she is awesome!

Hope you all have a very happy and blessed New Year and celebrate the nerdiness!