Thursday, November 8, 2018

tender mercies/favorite things

Some of my favorite things:
Looking out my bedroom window when the moon is bright. Feeling the brightness in the darkness. Seeing our beautiful palm trees that I like picking through. Loving that we have a pool and use it. Seeing green grass although it's neglected and gets played on not so gently. I like looking out of my 2 story window and loving it lit up.

When the Les Mis medly comes on at work, or a hymn plays at work.

Eating a frosty thin pepperoni off of a frozen pizza while the convection oven pre-heats.

Finding more connections when I'm thinking about something.
My latest was when I was asked to give a spiritual thought for ward council and was thinking that I could keep it short like the verse, "O be wise. What can I say more?" But since we were asked to do many weekends of Hurricaine Michael clean up, I figured I could use the Mosia 2:17 verse which was about service. And it talked about being wise in the beginning too! And that reminded me that the email about going to serve said we should use common sense. So yea. Be wise. Serve and don't be dumb. Full circle.

Those are a few of my secret happy things for which I'm thankful that I've probably not before shared. Happy November!

Last Sunday, Sister Maribet Martin mentioned a Bednar talk on tender mercies not being coincidences and I have already believed that so listened to that talk and it made me happy like I figured it would.

(And I know I could go back and make sure I didn't end on a proposition or be redundant but I'm writing this quickly.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

a good weekend and one reason I'm inherently thankful

In October, I feel super thankful. I'm in the mood to write thank you notes and send thank you amazon gift cards. I want to buy little things for people and fill cute cup measurers with candy to take to neighbors with some sort of note about borrowing a cup of sugar and how I appreciate them. I know November is the designated thankful month, but I feel it early. I don't always do the things since I don't have money to blow, but I want to!

I asked a question once about if anybody else ever feels like doign something nice for somebody because you appreciate them letting you do something nice for them? It doesn't make sense if you logically think that through, but I feel it often! And you know what? Maybe it's because of my parents. They are amazing. I have 3 and they have each taught me things with their various teaching methods. Yesterday, my local parents watched Julia and Tyler for 2 nights and a day while the rest of us Fegers went to help pick up sticks in Tallahassee from the Hurricaine Michael mess. When I was walking out their door with the last asleep kid, Don handed me a loaf of home made bread! They had already had some of it, but he gave me the rest as a thank you for him already serving me! See?! That doesn't make sense - I should have been the one to have made him dinner or something for watching my kids and feeding them and bathing them and combing through their tangled curly heads, but he didn't let me leave empty-handed. It's just in him to be selfless and if he has something he can give, he does so.

Last weekend was like my utopia. On Friday I helped Steven with the lawn and it looks so good. He edged and I weeded and it really looks like we could have people over for pook party it's so good! Julia had her last soccer practice (there're no games at her level) and she invited my parents who went. Her cousin Clara was there and the two are so cute! I love that they're cousins and they're in sports together. They did ballet together a year ago too like Kat and I did with our cousins. We did family photos with Alicia Johnson at the University of Tampa then went to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. We took the little 2 kids to my parents then drove to sleep in a high school parking lot so we could get to work with Don's chain saws at 7:30. (I wish we had set up the tent or not left until the morning but I found a way to lay flat in the back.) Working with my family and seeing how good of workers they were and even that they knew when to take a break and get water and how they played with friends was so satisfying. My kids were running, lifting heavyl logs, and were so wonderful. We made an impromptu stop at Manatee Springs to jump in the cool clear water and I went in up to my head which I usually wouldn't do since I'm not fond of cold water. We listened to Rich Dad Poor Dad together in the car so the drive didn't seem long either way. I wasn't worried about my little kids since they feel right athome with my parents.

The Crews are over now so my kids are all in the tree out front or under it playing capture the flag and I'm happy.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

1st day of no school. Yay for summer!

I stayed up super late last night getting little things done. I'm slow so it wasn't a lot of progress or anything, but I blogged for fishy face photography and posted to some social outlets. I probably should think about what time of day my target audience would be on those platforms, but I honestly just want content there.

My plan for Fishy Face Photography is to keep it steady, not diminishing in quantity or quality, but not growing for now either. I have a good handful of regulars and some who go to other photographers too which is great! I'm more expensive than I would probably pay too, but that's because I need to work smarter, not harder. I bought a blogging program last night that sharpens and does collages and watermarks and is connected to my blog so it will help streamline my business. Lightroom has helped a ton too. I'm behind-the-scenes learning and building to stay up to par in the industry. Photography is not a top priority though so I can not spend too much time with it. My clients appreciate quality over speed which is against everything else in this world right now. I want to keep it for the people who appreciate me. I want to keep it for my fall-back if I can not do dental hygiene for some reason. I want to do more of it when Julia is in school. I thought that I would do more this fall, but she will only be in school half days, so maybe I should spend that time going into my other kids' classes or cleaning the house or working out. I'm aging and need to work out.

Today was so fulfilling. Once the sun was up, I was sleeping and got to sleep in. That's starting the day off on the right foot for me! My triceps are sore from a swingset work out and that's motivational in itself to do it again. Ron Crew had invited us to go jump with his grandkids so we went to Altitude until about 1pm. I gave the kids the option of fast food and those sweet kids wanted to get home instead. Julia napped in the car then sadly there was too much movement/stimulation/talking once she got inside to bed. She was up. Happily, she went downstairs and, to me since the door was sorta closed, was quiet. The boys were quite content playing their new Fortnite game on the Playstation4 that Steven got them for the last-day-of-school prize yesterday. What?! Yes. He's the favorite parent for sure. It want from me saying absolutely not to the tooth fairy saying yes when she was offered two Isaac baby teeth for it. It didn't work on the old iPad and now it's a whole gaming system! Anyway, they were happy while I napped the afternoon away. I went for a run in a swimsuit pushing Julia and it rained on us some. The daily rain isn't cold and we've been in it a lot. It isn't getting me down because I appreciate it so much. I had been watering the dry stip of grass where our sprinklers don't reach daily so the rain gave me time back. The rain went away and it was perfectly sunny for Julia's pre-preschool beach graduation last Wednesday. And it stormed when I napped next to Julia in her room the other day and it made me so happy that I could be sleeping in the downpour sounds-- perfect napping weather.

After the jog, I saw our neighbors and gave him the violin to fix I've had for over a week that I was supposed to give him. The other Dylan was out and we haven't seen him for over a week either so he came over and we swam in our pool after I skimmed it. I put chicken cordon blu in the auto-shut-off little oven before runing so Steven had a hot dinner while the rest of us were able to play in the pool. I invited Jayda and Jocelyn over but they came and invited the boys over there! That was so perfect since I had just asked the boys to stop jumping in (making waves) so I could give Julia a swim lesson. So they exited and Julia lerned how to swim! I'm not kidding, she seriously pushed off of me with her face in, did arm circles, kicked, and got to the side happily! We had Steven come watch and she did it without a fuss and although she didn't push off that well that time, she swam! She made forward progress all on her own and was proud. So we went to the neighbor's pool to show them and she did it again for them as well! She's stubborn and will do what she wants when she wants and she is excited to swim and I'm so happy. We came in and I heated sweet potatoes, assembled the bag of salad, and we had a real meal (outside standing by a table). We had had those things for at least 2 weeks each. I'm feeling like I'm catching up and am going to re-gain control of some things.

I considered cleaning up inside a little but Steven was going to play catch with Tyler so I was going to trim palm trees and scrub a screen but he said he'd take the kids to the park to hit baseballs! How fun! I had to call my mom to tell her about Dylan's first scout camp dates and told her we were headded there and that Don could go although it's possibly going to rain and it was already 7pm but Don went and it was beautiful out! The kids showered and played Fortnite and we said a prayer and they played more and I opened up the Russia 2018 World Cup sticker book we got from Ron and Julia and I put some players' stickers in it. I did headstands rubbed Tyler's back then played my first (and quite possibly my last) game of Fortnite to share Steven's enthusiasm for it. He's so good for taking the kids' interests on as his own. He loves watching them in their sports. He is such a good daddy. His Instagram posts are pretty much exclusively daddy brags about our silly active kids.

I just ordered business cards for a friend because I had the idea, there was a sale, I need address labels anyway, and I want to be that kind of person: One who sees a need and fills a need. I go through spurts where I think that I should snuff out my excitement to fill a void for someone. I see how it can see as passive agressive. If I get somebody a kleenex when he is sniffing, he may feel that it was my way of letting him know I don't like the sniffing. But if that wasn't my intention, then I should communicate my intentions and not stuff my good idea! The other day my friend Roseann asked me to go help her move. I have helped her move a couple times before (at least thrice. Don't ask.) and was expecting a fast paced up-and-down the stairs sort of move. But she just needed help clearing her interim furnature before her POD comes with her real stuff. She was ready to toss it all into a dumpster. I could've helped her with that. But I asked her if she wanted to try to sell it. She did not want to do Craig's List or Let Go or anything and said she had heard that thrift stores were picky so wanted to just trash it because her things were coming in 2 days. I could have either not offered those options or could have stopped there. But I asked about if she had thought about our ward free-stuff Facebook group where our mutual friend holds stuff then finds a place to donate it after the monthly Seminole Swap. She said that she had tried but couldn't figure out how to post to there. I could've said okay. But, possibly annoyingly, I asked her if she wanted me to help and she agreed. In a couple of minutes, all of her things were spoken for! People wanted it and I helped and she was actually really thankful that we not only didn't have to take things apart to fit them into a dumpster, but she felt good about helping people! So that's one long winded example of how I think it's okay to do things for people when I get the idea to do so. So I made the hashtag ShalynnasCookies business cards. I'm going to call it an early birthday present so that way she won't feel like she needs to reciprocate or something. (She's a person who feels that even = fair.) She doesn't want to swap kids unless it's even then she feels she owes me when I do nothing. She's too kind and crazy :)

So now I still have energy and will clean the kitchen and clean the bathrooms because my kids don't need business cards, they need a mom who doesn't wake up stressed that the house is a mess! I'll nap tomorrow with Julia - hopefully in the rain again. And so today ends on a good note and today set the standard for the rest of the summer: Productive, intentional, and fun.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Irma thoughts

Julia and her cousin started "ba la lay." Yes Julia screamed at first. But then she loved it. 

And I have seen posts of what are you glad you did/wish you did for the storm. Here's my boring list. I don't recommend reading it all except for mowing your lawn. 

Glad we have been advised by prophets to be prepared and we have church classes and support there to help remind us. Glad Steven mowed the lawn, makes raking much easier. Glad we trimmed our trees and cut the dead palm frawns and burned it all in the fire pit. (We burned our storm debris already too! It dries quickly.) Glad the kids have a sand box to make more sand bags which made the doors feel secure even though there was no flooding. Glad we (Steven) put all the deck tables and furniture in the garage. Glad we keep the cars at least half full and that we topped them off. Glad about having a portable fireproof safe where we had our passports, recent photos, and birth certificates etc in big zip locks. (The cash had been long gone. Wish we had not spent it!) We got some cash back to have some. Glad we had our 72 he kit and we had days to switch out the expired food. Glad for the opportunity to bake a cake and make a casserole in my sun oven ☀️. Glad we have a pool for cooling off and could have used it for toilets etc. Glad I have water stored for that though. Glad we cranked the air cooler in anticipation of loosing power and put extra chlorine in the pool. Glad the kids have a million flashlights and we keep lots of batteries. Thankful for car chargers. Glad for a hot pot so I could wash dishes with hot water (plugged into neighbor's generator for a while.) Suoer thankful we know and love our neighbors. Thankful I live near my non-evacuation zone parents!!! đź’• Glad we boarded windows. Our siding got dented! Glad we have a rake and trash bags and clippers and a chain saw and gloves. Glad we stocked up on ice and froze lots of containers of water as we ate our freezer food. Glad we had a cooler to transfer some things to my parents. Thankful to have a grill and a big tent and blow up mattress all for That first hot night. Glad we had big extension cords. Glad we are relatively healthy so we could help ourselves and others. Glad we unplugged everything. Glad photos are backed up. Thankful for that room A/C and generator from my parents. Not sure if we want one for ourselves. We may just prep the house, clear the fridge, and go in vacation next time! I did think CB radios or something would have been cool but only if all of my friends had them too. I was thinking I was glad we still have a potty chair in the give away pile because I would have taken it if we had driven away. Glad for our Yeti cups we were gifted for ice water in the car even after lots of yard work. Glad my mom made lots of ice and froze zip locks of it. I kinda want an ice maker now. Glad my husband got an extra day off to prepare our home and that he stayed up so I could "sleep when the wind blows." 

Monday, June 26, 2017

twitter miracle

The day Twitter (the bird Steven got for his birthday [month]) flew out our front door. 

A week ago, before Steven left for work, he warned the kids to be extra careful with Twitter because he knew we would have a lot of kids there that day. Twitter, formerly known as Little Donald Trump, had landed in our neighbor's yard a week or two before and after they tried to find the owners, we became its parents and Steven got him a cage etc. Because of how we acquired him, we know he is a flight risk, that's how he escaped before! Scroll through the stack of photos to see we had 9 kids over playing mostly in the front yard. When I was opening a baptism thank you card from my niece, somebody yelled "the BIRD!!" He had flown the coop. Gone. Over the house and near trees and out of sight. The mail dropped to the driveway. Dylan climbed on top of our fence and tried following him with his eyes. I climbed the back fence. Is "Prerty bird" he bird call for a house bird?? Dylan was whistling like for a lost dog. Gone. So many birds were chasing around. Gone. I had the kids except for Dylan go in to put swimsuits on. I cleaned bikes up a little. Devastated. Then the Holy Ghost who never fails me, made the impression on me to kneel and pray to find the lost bird. I knelt down at the dryer in the garage. Prayed, walked out and looked around. The look out, Dylan, spotted him! I took a photo. I had the prayer in my heart reaching out to Twitter. I had faith he would know it was home and he came to me! He landed on my head!! A miracle! Yes I said a thank you prayer. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I love to see my kids see the temple

Julia's first trip to the Temple since she was in my big belly. #springbreak
She got dressed in a fancy purple dress from. @Corrie Crew so she could be like Sophia the First at the princess castle and even had me make her a crown. But when we were boarding the minivan, she had switched into another of Ivy's old dresses and insisted on a white one so she could go IN the temple. So we took both. She went in in her white one and went potty and saw the pretty paintings. We all did. (Not in white.) Then shThis is a "skate park" according to Yelp. Um, it's a sidewalk. We chose it because it is outside, had a playground, and was free. The Orlando Skate Park was not outside too, but the kids chose this one. Oops! Yes I updated yelp with photos.e changed so she could be a princess. She was sad she missed seeing Princess Sophia even though I told her that she was prettier and was the princess is this pretty castle. Oh. And she did NOT want to leave the temple. She wanted to hang out inside. Thinking back, maybe she wanted to wait for a princess. Oh well, she will have to keep going back to check!

I took the kids to a skate park afterwards there in Orlando. This is a "skate park" according to Yelp. Um, it's a sidewalk. We chose it because it is outside, had a playground, and was free. The Orlando Skate Park was outside too, but had paid admission and strict rules. The kids chose this one. Oops! Yes I updated yelp with photos. Julia had fun.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dear Isaac, You're almost 9!

Dear Isaac,
     You're almost 9 years old! You're an awesome little kid. Well you're not that little. You're about the same height as your big brother Dylan. People ask me if you two are twins sometimes. You two do a lot of things together like go to the same school, both play soccer (but on different teams finally,) both have soccer practice 2 nights/week at the same fields, both have viola lessons at the same time, have piano lessons along with Tyler, and share a room with Dylan. You also share some clothes. You both like the soccer jerseys including the Rowdies jerseys Aunt Hollie made you boys.
You got baptized a year ago and continue to go to church. Last Sunday your Sunday School teacher told me that you have thoughtful answers and didn't participate in the disruptive behaviors of a couple of others. You know when to be crazy silly fun and when to be calm and respectful. You also gave a talk in primary last Sunday and I didn't help you at all except to hold your visual aids. You delivered it from memory!

     When my friend Shalynna asked Julia who her best friend was, she said you! I think you might be her favorite brother. You read to her, play with her, let her climb in your bed and play with stuffed animals with her.

     You like to eat and are okay with being a messy eater. I don't like to sit across from you unless I'm in the mood to laugh at your silly faces and messy hands. You are independent so you make your own lunch. You like healthy foods, but enjoy getting to eat snacks and treats when you get the chance. One day, I had to take you in to my work and there was a bag of assorted Hershey's miniature candy bars from a patient. Dr. Phane had told you and Dylan that you could have some. Dylan's pile of wrappers was small, yours was quite large! You're a growing boy. The other day, you were blowing your nose going through boxes and boxes of Kleenex at Grandma's house. She reported that you might have a cold, but still have your appetite. When we got home after Church, you ate like 3 lunches all at once! You're still growing!
on a mommy date, grilled cheese donut sandwich

after a viola performance


     You like Cub Scouts. You started about a year ago when you turned 8. You had been going as a tag-along since Dad is the cub master, so it was an easy transition.

 You like animals and are good at finding them and bringing them to me. Sometimes I'm grossed out and make you leave, but other times I take a photo. You're good at letting others see what you have.

 You are good at skim boarding and boogie boarding, and you sometimes skim on a boogie board or boogie on a skim board. You sometimes pull Julia on your boogie board too. You love the beach and could stay there all day with your friends.
 Your best friend is Noah. He's been your bud since before you two were born. Everything's better when he's involved. You did Vacation Bible School together and are on the same soccer team too. I think you and he have always been on the same soccer and football teams.
 You love to have fun and I absolutely love your laughing smile. You don't like me to get it on camera much though, so that's annoying for me. You do silly faces instead usually. But that real smile - it's the BEST! I love how you can hang out with people of all ages. You really do have fun with uncles, grandparents, little kids, kids in other grades etc. I think that's important to be able to be friends with lots of people.
 You're brave. You have tried roller coasters and surprisingly don't like them. But you're up for almost any other adventure and dive right in! You're not afraid to bite off more than you can chew. (Literally with food AND figuratively with things like starting a huge puzzle.)


Running the Oral Cancer 5K

1st time riding the go carts at the Grand Prix 

Hatching a baby Alligator

JustServe.org clean up

finished puzzle
 You like school and have great friends there. It is wonderful that you can have some of the same friends you've had since Kindergarten, both boys and girls. You're good at helping teach them the many skills you have such as working the rainbow loom, computer/ipad games, finger tricks, climbing skills, soccer fun, etc. You play hard and work hard. You have a ton of homework and it's hard to fit it in when you have so many other activities and want to be able to find time to go outside when it's day light then read when you come in. You do well in school and like your wonderful teacher, Ms. Perdisatt. She and your other teachers and coaches help you thrive by understanding how you think and work. I told you that your report card said you're excellent in everything except for handwriting, because I think you need to care about that!

 We had passes to Busch Gardens this year and you got to go with just Daddy once and with the family more. You like the climbing areas the best - and not just the designated climbing areas either!


     You're a climber. Anyone who knows you probably knows that. You climb the walls, the trees, poles, barricaides, the house, whatever. You're a little monkey!

This year you boys decided to transform our tree into a colorful climbing swinging base. You borrowed tools and old Tae Kwon Do belts and have the time of your lives out there.



 We went to Washington D.C. and you climbed so many stairs and trees and scurried up so many walls and structures and we walked for days. You didn't complain once. At the end of the day you mentioned that the escalators were your favorite parts because your feet were tired. Ha! We would've never known. You had a good attitude and it really helped our whole family.
You're really into scooters now. You and Dylan have been playing in our driveway with the other Dylan who lives across the street. I have taken you to two skate parks and you now would like to go every Friday after school. You watch YouTube videos on how to do tricks on the scooters then go outside and try them. You want a new scooter and a ramp for your birthday. We'll see...


 I love you my silly sweet smart soccer-loving Isaac! You're a leader who plays by the rules while thinking outside the box. You're creative and successful already and I'm happy to be in your family.
love, Mom

Friday, November 25, 2016

D. C. Day 3

Sunday's happenings: Bagels from the Einstein Bagels in the lobby at our lobby level dining room table, Metro pull ups (I can only do 2), cold and windy weather as Steven predicted and planned for our Smithsonian day, no nativities at the visitors center or other gift shops, Air and Space, McDonalds and a Julia nap while my phone recharged, National Archives, Natural History, Metro, Dinner in the underground at our place, pack and showers. 
Gloves from Doe and Michael in front of the visitors center. 
Windy walks. 
Kid par core. 
Real live portraits. 
"A spider" -Julia
Highs and Lows 

Lows: 
Steven- Dinner at King Street Blues. He had a quesadilla Thursday and it was delicious but tonight's Nachos were gross and he only picked at them. Potato chips for the chips and fake cheese. 
Tiffany- the stress of waiting to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and leaving the National Archives right afterwards. And Julia stressing me out with her whining. I took her out of the DNA lab and wanted to cry. I told her. She hugged me and said sorry and we had a fresh start. I was going to take her to the little kid Q area. We found it but it is closed on Sundays. We looked in the windows then went back to the boys. And that we didn't get a family picture with anything cool except this flag as we waited for the Smithsonian to open. 
Dylan- (None)
Isaac- leaving the Insect Zoo before he could see everything. (We were leaving and Isaac was looking at stuff still and it was so crowded and we didn't know if he was ahead of or behind us. I found him still in there. I told him to come because we were looking for him and Dad was waiting.
He wanted to look at something else on the way out and I said no because Dad was standing ahead of us. I said sorry. Just now, when saying highs and lows, he told us this and Steven said he could have just told us. Well he did. I guess I could have said yes and answered to Steven myself or told him he could ask Dad. 
Tyler- looking at the cockroach in the bug exhibit. Dylan pet it! Tyler held a caterpillar. 
Julia- She said "the kid place was closed." 

Highs: 
Steven- the gem exhibit
Tiffany- listening to the tour guide talk about the Wright Brothers and getting to hear about their real flight where they did a coin toss to see who got to go first and they aternated and each went further than the last one. Their actual plane is there too! 
Dylan- Natural History Museum 
Isaac- Air and Space Museum
Tyler- Mummys in the Natural History Museum 
Julia- Seeing a scary bear