Welcome to the mayhem

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Monday, December 30, 2013

More Like Him December Update

So where have I been this year?  I have learned to take on some attributes of the Savior that a year ago I would not have thought possible.  I started with service and ended with patience.  I knew this would not be a perfection goal, but I did learn some things.

1.  How to swallow anger and not react in emotion.  I don't always succeed, but I am better.  This has helped my relationship with my son.  His absence made this a lot easier.  Someday he might take on this goal, that would be amazing.

2.  Waiting on the Lord's timeframe, even if the answer to prayers did not come to pass yet.  Like getting a principal position or additional callings at church.  It is interesting when what I thought was revelation or answer to prayers being yes, did not come to fruition.  Or at least have not come to fruition yet.

3.  Remembering to pray when things are difficult, much soon.  Instead of floundering for days, weeks, or months without asking for divine intervention.  Sometime the intervention is the trial is removed, but this year, instead of having the trial removed I was strengthen or given peace and comfort.

I am going to continue with the goal to develop Christ-like attributes for 2014.  This year's focus is two-fold to make my body a temple by eating more healthy and adding more exercise.  I'm not attaching a pound amount to lose.  I just want to feel better physically.  The second fold is to live up to the 2014 youth theme with my daughter.  "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him and deny yourselves of all ungodliness," Moroni 10:32.

One thing for sure is this is a process because as I learned "perfection is pending."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

All I Want for Christmas Is...

Is two puppies.
What?!  TWO puppies...yep we did it, broke all our own rules and got the kids each their own puppy.
But, before you judge, I am going to raise Kota's puppy when he leaves on his mission.  Kayla has been wanting a puppy for years.  She is planning on being a dog trainer as a profession, and needed the dog for her schooling.  We found when getting the cats that having two was easier on the animal and did the same with the pups.
Crazy?  Yeah, but the kids had one of their favorites this year.  Potty training is interesting, but they wanted the dogs.
Both puppies were good at helping unwrap presents.  They will be great additions to the family.  Welcoming Blair and Dixie to the house.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Dinners

We started the weekend going to mom's Christmas dinner.  She had it catered at a new place in Ashland.  It was delicious and beautiful and so much less stressful on her.

Malea helped Santa deliver all the packages.  So cute!!!

It was fun to visit with Aunt Cyndi and her children.  Lots of fun that evening.
 Sunday we ventured to Dad's house and had Christmas dinner number two.  It was fun and yummy too.
It was fun sitting with the brother and sister and watching the energy of the little nieces and nephews.  It is fun watching the little children and how their eyes shine while they get presents.  It is fun being with family.
Next year this guy will be out on a mission, so I am soaking up every jolly moment I can.
I love this time of year.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

90 Years and Counting

 We celebrated Grandpa Steigerwalt's 90th birthday on Friday the 13th--his actual birthday.  It was fun to get together with my aunts and uncles.  We don't do that very much anymore.  I sure did love talking with them.
This is the kind of guy my Grandpa is: a builder.  He worked for Steigerwalt Builders for a long time.  When he got home, he worked with my dad on the farm; we grew up on.  Grandpa was used to 14-16 hour days.  He always had time to be nice to the grandkids.  You hardly ever saw him without a smile on his face.
He was all about the golden rule of treating others how you wanted to be treated.
Grandpa would come over to our house every Christmas morning because he wanted to be around when kids were opening packages on Christmas morning.
Grandpa would help build projects for school with us and he showed us how to do things the old-fashioned way often...like butchering our own meat for the freezer.  He had sayings like "enough salt to track a rabbit" when we were making our own sausage.
I think my favorite memories are grandpa taking us ice skating.  There was a box of ice skates in his closet.  And we would try them on until we got a size that worked from the old skates.  We'd waddle from the house to the creek about a football field or so from the house.  He would take a scoop shovel  from the farm and push the youngest grandkid around in the shovel.  We thought he was talented because he could do a figure eight.  Grandpa was awesome about giving us the gift of his time.  He always had time to talk to us or tell stories.  I loved growing up in the house next door.

Now Grandpa can't remember who we are.  He is pretty healthy, except for the memory.  I think that is okay, I hope he is happy where ever his mind is, because he sure has a legacy of love all around him. 

One of my funniest memories is when Grandpa thought it would be a good idea for me to drive his standard truck in the corn field at age 15 while he was sitting on the tailgate with a hand-crank broadcaster for seeds.  His idea was that I would drive while he sowed the seeds.  I don't know how many times I threw him off the back of the tailgate before I got the hang of it.  He would smile while getting up and explain what I had to do with the clutch and brake, again.  And again... and again...

Gramps, I love you!  Happy Birthday, I hope you have as many more as you want!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still Waiting

Well, he met with the Stake President on Sunday.  Papers went to the next level.  I wonder if they will come in before Christmas?  We shall see.  This is so exciting.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We like to put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving, and this year wasn't any different.  We had the tradition for several years of going to Grandma Beninghof's house to cut a tree, but we're unable this year because she had to cut them all down this past summer.  Her land is in a government program to not farm or to let reforestication.  So we had to find a new place to get a tree.  This year we bought a tree from TSC in town.  We got a beautiful Frasier Fur for $20.

You know this is just about my favorite tree we've decorated.  We started decorating with the kids who both had to be some where else.  We ended up decorating on our own.  I think it turned out great.  It's amazing how each tree we decorate turns out so different, but we have the same old decorations.  The one the kids complain about the most is the angel on top of the tree.

I love that angel.  I remember where Kyle and I got it.  We were on our honeymoon in Asheville, NC visiting the Biltmore Estates. We went into the Christmas shop there just to browse and Kyle pointed her out to me.  We bought her.  Each year I unwrap her, I remember that beautiful day in NC and how much fun we had that day at the beginning of our marriage.  I still think she's beautiful.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

More like Him November Update

In the month of November I learned to be more patient.  Not patient, just more patient.  :)

I have been learning this lesson for years, it manifests itself in different ways, this time it is waiting on mission papers to be submitted. 

Crazy things happen to my Kota when he was getting ready to file his papers.  The state of Minnesota lost his papers for his driver's license.  We had to wait on his driver's license before we were able to send the papers on to the bishop.  We were all set up to send the papers to Kota's Minnesota Bishop.

Kota got his driver's license two days before he moved back to Ohio.  When he moved back, the papers that we filled out online did not automatically get transferred to our Ohio bishop.  When we submitted the papers a few weeks ago they went to the Minnesota bishop.  We had to wait for him to release them to the Ohio bishop.

It seems like a lot of waiting on our part.  I would normally be upset by all the delays, but I knew all of this things will happen on the Lord's time.  Maybe all the previous tests helped me endure this one better.  

Now the stake has his papers and we are waiting on people to get back from vacation to get an interview with President Talley.  Then we will wait again for the apostles in SLC to review his papers.  This has been a month of waiting.  We do look forward to the call so we know what kind of stuff to buy the kid.

I can't believe this day is here.  It seems like just yesterday he was singing in Primary, "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission."

Friday, November 29, 2013

Blessings Counted

 First blessing counted for me was that all four of us were together today.  It means more now that Kota was gone for awhile.  We had a small meal with one of my favorites, homemade dinner rolls.  My family usually makes Great Grandma Steigerwalt's recipe every year.  It makes about 5 dozen rolls.  I made a 1/2 batch.  We had breakfast out of these rolls too.  Mmmm!
Kyle brought a new tradition to me when we got married.  Homemade whipping cream, I do not recall ever eating homemade whipped cream, before being married.  I'm pretty sure I only remember Cool Whip.
 With just the four of us I don't cook a big turkey, as we don't do well with leftovers.  So we  made a turkey breast and Kyle takes over the carving of the little piece of meat.  It was so tender and juicy and delicious!
I only caught a picture of Kayla before putting the camera down and getting the final touches together.
 Kyle filled the bird feeder twice today so even the birds had a Thanksgiving feast.  We enjoy watching the local birds coming around and visiting the backyard feeder.
It was a nice, quiet day at our house.  Just what I needed. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

When I think of Kayla sometimes, I remember this.
The little girl that wrapped herself around her daddy's finger.  The girl that was so happy and brought joy to all around her.  I had stories from all her teachers about how she brings a smile to her face.  How she was always humming and singing to us, even as a baby.
My little sweet pea.
Now we  are trying to figure out what to do in the future.
My little sweet pea gets really, upset trying to figure it out.  Why do we have to make such decision when we are so young?

I'm glad that she knows how to call on the powers of heaven to help her make such decisions.  I'm glad she knows her Heavenly Father.  It is so hard to watch this decision making process, this is where I have to trust her to do the things we've taught her since she was little, but if not...
we love her regardless.

This month's lesson in being like the Savior is to trust in Him.  To know that not everything is in the power of me, but all things are possible in the power of my God.  Phew, tough lesson.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Catch up from a Crazy Few Weeks

So what happened with the clan since homecoming...where do I begin?
The girl that we have been having discussions with got baptized.  By my son.  Wow!  I love that our guys hold the priesthood. 
We did some local farm visits to pick up our pumpkins and gourds that we decorated with.  We can't beat the little roadside pick you own and pay with the honors system.  Inexpensive and gorgeous.
I had two nights of parent/teacher conferences, those are marathon days and it always amazes me what parents say.  Some are happy and excited what you do and others will pick a part a program that you spent hours on.  I understand and just keep trying to do my best.

Then I spend 3 days and 2 nights for our annual outdoor school with the kids.  This year we worked really hard at getting our common core lesson plans and new techniques for intervention squared away.  We worked so hard!  It felt good to get so much accomplished.

Kota's been home for about a month now.  It is like he was never gone.  He has grown, he listens more than he used too, I hope that keeps growing.  Maybe I've grown too.  I am slower to react to the snippy comments that we do to those we love.  I enjoy getting a Kota hug daily.  I really missed those.

We are in full preparation for the mission.  Papers are submitted, we are just waiting for the bishop to send them on.  We are hoping for the mission call by Christmas.

So much going on.  There are a lot of changes on the horizon.  I can't believe November is already 1/2 over.

Where does the time go?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Homecoming (The Last One)

 How long does it take to get ready for a formal dance?  Hmmm, 4 hours.  Yep, by the time the hair is rolled in hot rollers, then styled, bobby pinned, etc.  The end result...gorgeous.  Even better, is that our friend Brooke does it for her.  Trade used to be babysitting for free.  Trade now, take Brooke's daughter to YW meetings.  I think that is a fair trade.
We only took a few pictures and  this is the best one.  Kayla didn't want anymore.  Her date Christian took her out to Jake's Steakhouse in Ashland.  She was happy about that.  She laughed later about Christian telling her, "Don't move, I'm going to get your door."  She had fun.  I am proud of my daughter who chooses to group date and make her dresses modest.  They go and have fun, they are not worried about dating or being in a "relationship."  I think that has helped her out.  I was not the same at her age and really have learned from her what I "should have" done.

My most proud moment was her telling me about the grinding songs protest.  The kids her age like to grind when they dance.  Grinding is like "dirty dancing."  She said a huge group of students sat down on the floor to "protest" the lack of grinding music.  They were telling Kayla and her group of friends to sit down.  Kayla in all her frankness (she gets from her dad) tells that, she came to dance and not sit on the floor.  I love this girl!  She is a good example of her standards, I'm glad she can be like this, I'm proud of her.

I can't believe it is the last time we'll be getting a child ready for a homecoming dance.  It was worth the hours running around getting flowers, inserts for the modesty and of course the major hair job.  The time with my daughter is priceless.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Folger's Commerical

 Do you know that Folger's commerical they play at Christmas time, where the mom wakes up and finds that her son (who has been gone awhile) made coffee?  Well, that's what it felt like in the Crawford house this morning.  No coffee, we don't drink that, but I found evidence of a child sneaking in during the night.
 A basket of clothes....a pair of giant tennis shoes  (that he stomps through the house in)
If these weren't enough, a driver's license on the bathroom mirror confirms it all.
 Yep, he's really here.  The family is once again complete.  Boy, did I miss his presence. 
Joyful day in Ohio!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Life at the Fair

What  do you go to the county fair for?  For me this has just been a part of life to look forward to every Septemember.
  Growing up on  a small farm farm we (Dad) raised animals.  Then we got to show them at the fair through 4-H.  I loved every minute of 4-H.  Doing the projects, showing the animals, getting ribbons, it was fun.
So fun, that I always thought that we would have a mini farm of our own.
So some day, when I get that mini farm of my own,  I want to have these cows.
Aren't they just cute?  They look like they could make chocolate milk, don't they?
 This little guy was up for being petted.
Pygmy goats are so cute to, maybe a couple of these running around would be fun.
Once again, hanging out with the Spellmans.


I showed sheep for most of my 4-H experience.  But, my favorite thing to show honestly, was pigs.  I only did that one year.  Who knew?
To answer my original question.  I go to the fair for french fries.  They never quite taste the same any where else.  I eat mine drowned in vinegar. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Paul Bunyan Show

 Every October here in Ohio there is a Paul Bunyan show.  Although I don't think Ohio gets to claim Paul Bunyan, the idea behind it is a logging show.  There is a lot of tree equipment for people who have tree services.  Kyle enjoys walking around and seeing what is new.  We haven't gone in a few years and he wanted to venture down to Guernsey County to check it out.
We saw a lot of things, but one of the things were champion axe teams.  My personal favorite is chain saw carvings.
 I bet Kyle could figure these out.  I would really like to have a few of the pumpkins lying around.
It was a fun day to spend with Kyle and Kayla.  We met Dawn and Tom Spellman down there and walked around with them a bit.  It was a fun time, but very hot.  It was about 80 degrees.  Phew, thought it was October. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

More Like Him: September

Something I learned to do better was, not always saying what I was thinking with my son and his living arrangements in Minnesota.  Sometimes, he just needs to take his own lumps.  Sometimes, I just need to be there to listen and not solve all his problems.  I fear I have enabled the child a bit, but isn't that what mothers do?  They protect and guide and fix all the problems to help the child learn how to live.  I fear I do not always let him figure it out.  I have been over protective because of his learning disabilities.  I over compenstate for his weaknesses.  Instead of allowing his weaknesses become strenghts.

I have learned to watch, listen and support.  Isn't that what the Savior and Heavenly Father do?  They watch us make mistakes, listen for us to ask for help, then give us support as they see fit.  It is hard for me not to just protect his feelings; defend his weaknesses; and ask for acceptance on who he is and know that is just how it is going to be.  (I have done this for a long time.)  Dakota is an adult now (by years, not be experience), how is he going to grow as an adult if he is not put through the rigor of life?

I learned to be a quiet observer, a listener, and offered a lot of encouragement.  It hurts when your child hurts no matter how old.  But, I also know that without trials he will not become a diamond some day.  In the end when I meet my maker I want to be polished and be able to say I did my best and when I did not, I repented.  Why would I want to take that away from my son? 

So in the end, my son, I want you to be polished and learn to lean on the Savior as needed and become more like Him in your own rite.

September, I learned to support through love and not be fixing.  I also learned I will have this lesson again, as I do not always bite my tongue.  But, one thing I do know is that I will be polished often as I grow.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Favorite Sandwich Wreath

I got this recipe from a Pampered Chef cookbook.
Take 2 tubes of crescent rolls and lay them out around a pizza pan.  Overlap the larger ends.  (I went too close to the edge and had a cheesy mess in the oven.)
Layer on top your favorite luncheon meat.
I've used ham, turkey and roast beef before.
Add a cheese layer.
I used a mixture here to use up left-overs.  American, Provolone and cojack.
My favorite is roast beef and cheddar.
 Wrap the ends of the crescent rolls around the meat and cheese and tuck underneath.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or golden brown. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday Night Lights

One of my favorite things to do on a Friday night in the Fall is to watch a high school game.  We were glad to go to a Hillsdale game last weekend to watch the game.  Our friend Alyssa was playing in the opposing team's band.  So we thought we'd watch the game.
 There are a lot of new faces on the team.  After going to state for three years, this year seems to be a rebuilding year as over those years a lot of the talent graduated.
It was weird seeing your son's old number with a new name.  Falcon 74 belongs to the next generation.  I wonder how many players over the history of a school wear the same number?  It would be interesting to see, I think.
 Last weekend as well as this Friday, the weather was cloudy.  The sunset sure colored these clouds nicely.
Such a little thing to carry such big drums.  She didn't have any trouble at all.  No wonder she's so skinny!