Sunday, April 17, 2011

Conner's First Pinewood Derby

Conner had his first Pinewood Derby on Thursday night. He and Bryon (and the neighbor) have been working on this car for about the past month. Conner was so excited!

Bryon found some Pinewood Derby templates online. He and Conner went through them and chose one. They then sanded the car down. A couple of weeks ago it came time to paint it. Conner wanted to paint it his favorite colors: yellow and blue. He also
wanted somehow to tie his favorite past time of reading into it. Bryon and I racked our brains trying to come up with something. We got an idea of Modge Podging the comics onto the car rather than painting the car. Conner loved the idea. He and Sam had a blast picking out some comics to put on it. The outcome was very cute. (Can you say that about Pinewood Derby cars?)

Our ward meets with another ward for Pack Night. There were probably 15 boys there to race. Conner won his first race by a landslide. Bryon and the neighbor were pretty excited! Conner then lost the rest of the races. Conner has the best attitude. They awarded prizes to the winners. After Pack Night, Bryon took Conner to the grocery store so Conner could pick out his favorite candy bar for a prize. I was so touched that Bryon thought of doing that to celebrate Conner's efforts.

My boss at work drives Corvettes. She and her husband have a couple of Corvettes. Conner went into work Friday to show my boss his Pinewood Derby car. Bryon was giving her a hard time and told her that next year she is in charge of helping Conner make a Corvette for the Pinewood Derby. She told Conner that she was not going to help him make one, she would just let him drive hers when he is old enough. Now Conner is counting down the days until he gets his driver's license.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some Things Are Just Better Left In The Past

Have you ever done something so dumb, that you were hoping it would stay buried in the past (and secretly hoping it would soon be forgotten)? I know I have. I think probably more often than I care to admit.

My mom must have had karma today and know that the tension in the household today was getting a little thick and I needed a good laugh. Between a five year old son who decided again to check his ability to trust me and a tense morning spent with my husband trying to pick paint to finish up Sam's bedroom as a birthday surprise while he is with a friend for a couple of days (which might be a post for another day)I desperately needed a good laugh.

My mom started out the conversation by saying, "I want to read you something and see if it reminds you of a time in your life." That in and of itself told me the experience I was to recall wasn't going to be good. I just wasn't sure exactly what instance she was referring to. It only took her reading me the first paragraph to have an instance pop into my mind.

I am NOT going to go into specifics about my situation, other than I will say the writer's experience was very eerie in how similar it was to our own experience. I thought the author's words capture the experience mighty well.

The following is an article my mom found on

"When your neighbor unexpectedly shows up at your doorstep and the first thing they say is, "This is going to be just as embarrassing for me as it is for you" chances are the conversation is destined to be an awkward one.

Something that comes along with the joys of home ownership is the getting to know our neighbors, for better or for worse. Many of us have had to engage in the occasional awkward neighborly conversation, "Hey, your dog pooped on my lawn again" or "your teenager drives by my house a little too fast for comfort."

But I confidently declare that non can rival the awkwardness my husband and I recently went through when confronted by our backyard neighbor about a certain, um, concern.

In the moment Mrs. X approached me a couple weeks ago with "this is going to be just as embarrasing for me as it is for you" my mind was racing. What is she about to say next? What could we have possibly done to bring about such a discussion?

The next sentence she uttered will forever go down in family history. “I don’t know how else to say this, but the fogged glass in your shower window isn’t as fogged as you might think it is.”

Wow. Gotta say I wasn’t expecting that!

It took me a few seconds to compute what she was saying. Once the implications set in I wanted to curl up in a little ball and hide. Our master bathroom shower window to which she was referring is on the back of our house directly facing our neighbors. Our yards aren’t enormously deep, so you get the picture (no pun intended).

Shocked and mortified, my husband and I stewed over her claim for hours, well, more like days. Actually, we are still stewing a little. How long had this been going on before they finally decided to confront us?

I was too thrown off guard to ask that during the conversation and now bringing it back up would be too awkward so I may never know. (However, if that certain neighbor is reading this you can always respond with a comment because it might be less awkward than calling to talk about it in person).

Anyway, back to that night.

We wanted to test her claims, so one of us stood in the shower while the other went outside to see just how bad it really was. Sure enough, the glass looked much less fogged looking in than out. Hardly fogged at all if I’m being perfectly honest. And this had been going on for eight months! Why had we trusted the glass company? We were ready to demand for our “fogged glass window” money back!

Then my husband recalled what might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The night before the conversation he had taken a shower, with the light on no less, and had decided to clean and scrub the shower including the tile ceiling of the shower while showering. To reach the ceiling he had to stand on the bench to do the scrubbing.

Dun dun dun. Oh, our poor neighbors."

I did find it comforting that we aren't the only ones who thought fogged glass was supposed to be, I don't know, say foggy! To help keep what happens behind fogged glass PRiVaTE! All I can say we were brand new to a neighborhood and after hearing this devastaing news I was convinced we were putting the house up for sale and moving far, far away from that neighborhood. Bryon convinced me to stick it out. We went onto live about eight years in that neighborhood and some of our best friends came from the people we met there.

I challenge anyone that can beat this story to give it a shot!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What if Your Blessings Come From Raindrops?

I couldn't sleep last night. I think it has a lot to do with this cold that I have. What is there to at 3:00 a.m.? Catch up on all your friends blogs, right? I came across this song on a friend's blog. It really touched me.

'Cause what if your blessings come from raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights,
Are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life,
Are your mercies in disguise?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On the Nightstand

I love to read and I LOvE a good book. The problem is in finding time to sit down and read. At dinner group last month, we got talking about some good books to read. I came home and immediately requested a long list from the library.

When Natalie got sick a couple of weeks ago, it provided me some much loved reading time. The book I started reading was called "House Rules" by Jodi Picoult. This is a book about a boy with Asperger's that is fixated with forensic analysis. He is always showing up at crime scenes and trying to help the police in solving the crime. Then he soon finds himself being charged with the murder of his social skills tutor.

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Being the mother of two special needs children, one of them who struggles severely socially, I found myself relating to the mother in this book. While the book is fictional, I thought the author did a fantastic job of doing her research on Aspergers.

What is on your nightstand or one of your favorite reads?