Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Dinners

"I didn't grow up in a family with a ton of family traditions" As I wrote this, I thought to myself that maybe I did have family traditions.  I thought about breakfast every morning.  Waffles, pancakes, omelets with all the fixings.  Sunday was always fresh bagels.  Family dinner with friends.  Always lots of friends and sometimes friends of friends or maybe even strangers.  Anyone who needed a place to stay, eat or celebrate a holiday was invited into our home to eat and be a part of the family.  

I looked to Danny and said, "My family didn't have many traditions?" and he laughed.  He said my family was the epitome of tradition and mentioned all the dinners.  The little saucer plates, the countless parties, the tables set up in the backyard with matching tablecloths.

So of all the things we have carried on from my parents it is Sunday dinners.  We always went to my parents on Sunday for a feast.  We sat in the backyard, the kids played and we talked and talked.  Pete came, my sisters family came and it was a great night.  The kids would go home with their stomachs full of ice cream sundaes and a bag full of candy from the ever stocked pantry.

Somehow, in our own way, we have carried on that tradition.  We don't have the backyard they had. We don't make the extravagant meals.  We don't have an outside table but we have great friends, an awesome court, trampoline that fills our entire backyard and always enough food.  We have friends over almost every Sunday.  Since we have 6 kids and most of our friends have multiple kids, the house is usually loud and filled but it is always a good time!  We do buffet style.  Set out plates, put forks and knives upside down in some mason jars, have lemonade and water.  We make it simple.  We have a couple of dishes we seem to rotate.  Meat and potatoes, some type of chicken dish, mexican and fajitas are frequent.  People usually come at 5 and bring a dessert or salad.  We hang til 830 or so talking while the kids play. 

  It is always a good time.  There is something about having people over for dinner that strengthens friendships.  So the tradition of food and friends live on.  On Sunday our kids always wake up and ask who is coming over.  We have our close friends and then we mix in friends we want to get to know better or friends who we haven't seen in a while but want to.  It often just depends on who we talk to that week randomly.  It is usually not planned a ton in advance.  Sometimes we just talk to people that day or the day before. 

I am by no means a great host but that is the beauty of it.  It is simple, it is wonderful and always a great time!  I want to take more pictures but have been so bad at it lately.  I am trying to journal more hence the couple of posts today and last night.  This is my only journal and I have gone months without journaling.  Now I am going to try to take more pictures to remember the great times.  

Last weekend we had over the Needhams, Olsons, Nielsens and Kurz's.  Brittons dad came over with ice cream sunday supplies.  I loved it.  It was a great surprise.  Britton was sick and his mom was out of town so his dad came.  I love that people want to come.  Don't feel like they are imposing but instead feel like they are welcome and know how we think the more, the merrier.  Today we had over the Popes.  I texted Kristy to ask her husband something about work and then realized how much I wanted to actually hang out with her and talk to her instead of just a couple of minutes here or there. It was a great time!  

I am grateful for my parents and the tradition of Sunday dinners that they passed onto us.  It is a great blessing!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A new Calling

Danny got called into the Elder's Quorem.  He is with Britton, Rusty and Gordon who in my opinion are amazing men.  When I talked to Britton he said that he wanted men who were no drama and got along with everyone and that pretty much sums up those 4 men.

The church did away with EQ and High Priests.  Now everyone is in EQ.  I think it will be such a great change.  It will streamline taking care of people.  I think that it will also help unify the men to one purpose and one group.

I know Danny is going to love his calling and the men that he serves with and serves.  I am excited to see how this change helps the church and ward.  With that said, he was in his dream calling.  He was primary chorister.  I have never seen Danny shine and be so into a calling.  It truly is a calling that all of his talents work miraculously together.  He is so good with kids.  He is an amazing music teacher.  He does fun games and songs.  He has fun and it shows.  He is an amazing primary music leader.  When Britton called him he knew how much he LOVED his calling so said that he would allow him to stay in Primary so they are going to see how it goes.  For now, he really wants to try to do both.  We will see if in time that will be too hard or he feels like he needs to be with the qourem on Sunday. He might just need sometime to say goodbye to his primary calling or maybe he will be able to do both just fine. Time will tell.  It was really fun for me to see him so into his calling.  Those kids were so blessed!  Our kids were really blessed.  I am not musical at all but love music and am affected by music.  I remember my conversion and what a blessing music was to me.  It gave me so much hope and peace and am grateful Danny blesses our family with music.

I continue to be Gospel Doctrine Teacher.  This is my 4th year.  I started with New Testament, then Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and now Old Testament.  Makes my life seem to go extremely fast.  Not quite sure how that went so fast.  I love it.  I love teaching.  I love spending more time with the scriptures.  I am not able to do much during the week when I work so this is the perfect calling for me right now.  I wouldn't mind staying here forever.  This week I got to sub in Seminary and LOVED that!  Maybe that will be my next calling.  I was scared I was going to be so tired the entire day but it wasn't too bad.  It was such an amazing way to start the day.  Everyone says what a blessing it is to teach seminary and it really is.  Those kids are amazing. What an incredibly inspired program!  I am so grateful my kids will get to go to seminary in high school.  I was so impressed by how faithful and amazing those kids are.

I was so impressed by the Seminary president.  He was an 84 year old guy who had the room set up perfectly and neatly.  Chalk boards set out, binders open, hymn book out.  It was so nice to come into such a neat and set up room.  I got to talk to him briefly afterward. He retired over 10 years ago and said after a weekend that he was bored and so decided to go back to work at ACE.  He worked there for 10 more years and when he turned 80 went to his boss and told him he needed to stop punching a clock because he had a lot of things he needed to do.  He then went to remodel his daughters home which she wanted to sell.  He knocked out walls and remodeled the home.  It was so inspiring listening to him.  He was a man who loved to work and gained great fulfillment in life through work.

Somehow I want to instill that in my kids.  I am not sure how to do that but it is something we definitely need to work on.

The Perfect Saturday

We have about another month of Saturdays until swim meets start. It has been really nice to have a lot of free Saturdays.  Danny has usually worked on Saturdays and since he bought his new practice, we have had free Saturdays.  It is actually really nice!

We work hard during the week and it makes the weekend seem so nice and relaxing.  I have been working on our backyard a little bit.  I pulled out a couple of ugly bushes and it makes the backyard seem bigger.  I want to put compacted sand under the trampoline instead of dead grass and get a patio table for the concrete.  Clean and simple to maintain.  Danny has been really into buying fruit trees lately.

For a while we didn't know if we would end up in Brentwood or Walnut Creek and all of a sudden when Danny bought his Walnut Creek practice and I handed the decision over to the Lord to guide us I felt this incredible desire to stay in Brentwood.  I love my home.  The layout is perfect and the location is the BEST!!  With that said, there are minor things I want to change to make it easier to clean.  Wood floors instead of tile in the kitchen, new carpet upstairs, white cabinets in the kitchen to make it brighter and granite countertops.  I am not one to care much about the details of a home but there are a couple of things that I think will make it is easier to clean and make me happier.  My parents had white kitchen cabinets and they made me happy.  So those are the few things I want to do.  I kind of want to put in fake grass but I do love how real grass feels. I think if we had less of the grass, that will be my compromise.  I am all about simplicity.

Today we had a great Saturday.  Danny got up around 6am to help with the ward breakfast. The Elders Quorum did a great job and we had a lot of fun!


We came home and cleaned up a little bit.  Then we decided to go to the Sacramento Temple.  The Oakland Temple is closed for about a year so we loaded up the kids and went for a last minute trip.  Tyler stayed home because he has been sick all week with a headache and off we went.  Danny and Scott were able to do baptisms and then I did initiatories after.  It was the perfect day.  Not too cold and not too hot.  The little kids had a great time exploring the temple grounds.  It is surrounded by nature and was a great day for them.

On the way home we needed gas and happened to be at a circle K so of course got hot cocoa and slurpees.  The kids got along, we got home around 5pm, grabbed some chinese and came home to Tyler feeling better.

It was a great day!  I am so grateful for the temple.  It is amazing how many blessings we have because of temples.  I love doing initiatories to be reminded of so many incredible blessings and the strength of our mind and body and what we are capable of.

The past couple of months I have been so inspired to reach a greater capacity.  I feel like the Lord has blessed me with health and strength and certain talents and really want to seek them out and do what He wants.  I have realized what makes me happy and what doesn't make me happy and so excited what the future has in store!

President Nelson blessed us with time to get to the temple and I saw that in action today.  I hope to get there once a month with our family.  It is amazing that Scott is old enough to do baptisms.  I know the more we incorporate Him into our lives, the happier we will be.

Danny's New Practice

Danny bought a second Walnut Creek practice Feb. 9th.  I can't believe it has been over 2 months now.  He worked at Steve's and always thought he would buy that one eventually but timing just wasn't right.  We saw the Lord's miraculous hand and timing in buying both of his practices.  It was so amazing to see.

When he bought his Brentwood practice about 4 years ago we were ready to sign a lease to build a practice.  I think we were signing it that week when out of nowhere a practice went up for sale just down the street from us and his former practice.  It was a MIRACLE.  It didn't have many patients but was way easier, cheaper and faster than building one from scratch.

Buying this practice was nothing short of another miracle.  Danny and I have felt for a while that he wanted to buy another practice.  While associating has its perks and is easy, Danny was more than ready to start building his own practice, not commute to Vacaville, etc.  He worked at a practice since graduating that he and the owner thought he would eventually buy.  The owner wanted him to work more days so he left his Vacaville job to just work in Walnut Creek.  Within about a month it turned out that the Walnut Creek practice couldn't financially sustain an associate.  This left Danny working at his own practice 3 days a week with no associateship.  The Walnut Creek doctor said it would just be temporary until his practice recouped from time off.  It was a great motivator to start looking for another practice.  We had looked at a practice in Walnut Creek for a couple of months but weren't willing to pay the price.  It seemed like the perfect fit to run alongside his Brentwood practice.

After a couple of months of having some downtime at home.  Time he got to spend with Hanna and the other kids was so nice.  He has pretty much worked 5-6 days since graduating.  After 3 or so months of working less days, lots of garage time and kid time, Danny was ready to work more.  The practice price negotiated to a price we felt comfortable with and we bought it.

There were so many doors that needed to close in order to be led to this amazing open door.  Another tender mercy was that he sold some stocks right before the market had a correction.  Like a day before to sell the practice.  Maybe a coincidence, but I look at it is an added little tender mercy.

It has been a great fit for him.  Of course his patients and the staff love him. Danny is really enjoying it. It is the perfect practice for his personality and to run alongside the brentwood office.  I am so proud of Danny.  It is amazing to see the calmness he has in running this practice. The things he worried about with his first practice are minimal with this practice.  He recognizes staff might adjust and that is ok.  He recognizes to look at the long term and to enjoy the journey.

Everyday I feel grateful that he has a profession he loves and is good at.  A profession that he can serve and provides for our family.  A profession that gives great balance with our family.  A profession that he is able to run how he pleases.  One of the greatest blessings in our life.  Excited about the future.

Now we need to get a website and social media presence going.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Poor Mister

Poor Mister was the victim of Blake shoving him off the tramp.  First I put on some ice and tried to close the wound with some steri-strips.  It was too big for that, and I considered putting in my own sutures.  But then I would have had to drive to the office, numb him up with one of my big long needles, and that would be hard since he'd thrash around.  So we took him to the Kaiser ER.

Heidi didn't want to sedate him but the doctor and I did.  I said, "It's hard hitting a moving target."  Eventually, they sedated him and the doctor put in six or so sutures.  I thought he'd do these nice under-the-skin ones to make for a better scar, but no.

Next time I'm going to do my own suturing. 

I remember Kim Rigby saying something to the effect of, "We haven't had a year without stitches or a broken bone."  She had four boys too. 

I was less upset at the accident and more upset at Blake for pushing him off.  I try to have conversations with the kids about how their bad reactions create real consequences for themselves and others.  I think Tyler felt bad about fighting with Blake to get Blake so upset. 

Mister was back on his bike later that night. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Kira's baptism

Kira's baptism was nice.  She and Katelyn got baptized on 4/7/18 at the Antioch Stake Center.   Kira is a thoughtful, caring, athletic, good kid.  

Heather came with her family

This was our best attempt at at family photo.  Like I always say, a bad photo is better than no photo.  But whatev.  Next time. 

Grammy and Grampy came out from Utah

I don't think Dad was too impressed with the CB350, and that's fine.  It's not very powerful.  But you have to appreciate the work that went into the restore.

Rocky, the stray cat that's been hanging around our house, had babies behind the trash can! 

Grant and Shari came out to the bay area for a swim meet and made a trip up to us.  They joined us for din din.  Fortunately, I had made a huge roast in the crock pot.  It's always fun when they come.

Apparently doing this flower pattern with your tongue is a rare skill, one worthy of a post in Ripley's Believe it or Not. 

Heidi started working at Dana Hills this week.  It seems to be going well.  I like when she works but this year, with me working five full days, it seems like work is all I do.  But then when I had time off, I was going crazy.  I guess the grass is always greener.  Yesterday, even though I was feeling crummy, we had quite a productive day at work.  Lots of good cases with high profit margins. 

Okay, I gotta get breakfast going.  Bye.