Monday, April 18, 2011

January 2011

I am documenting this now, so forgive me if the details are a little fuzzy.

For Christmas Robert, Ardell and I went to Grandma and Grandpa Clement's house for 10 days.  While there with Chad and Marcia's family, little Ethan got really sick.  Unfortunately, Ethan and Ardell love to suck on their digits and fight over the same toys.  Just after we got home Ardell and then Robert got really sick.  We had Robert Carlson and his brother Allen come and give them both blessings.  Robert held Ardell for his blessing first. Then when it was Robert's turn to receive a blessing, Ardell put his hands on his Dad's forehead.  The Carlson brothers had him move them to Daddy's chin, but he left his hands on Daddy's face through the whole blessing.

The next week, Ardell got a different germ/virus and ended up with a double ear infection.  Daddy and Robert Carlson administered to him then.  But being the little sponge that he is, we thought nothing else about it for the next week.  On the first Sunday that we were all well again, Robert got a headache during Sacrament Meeting.  (Our organist is deaf and was playing the organ at a pitch that even I was uncomfortable with).  Robert left during the opening hymn and came back in the chapel after the intermediate hymn.  However, he thought he would "brave" the closing song.  Robert sat with his elbows on his knees and his fingers in his ears.  After a few moments, Ardell went and stood in front of Daddy, between his knees, and laid his hands on Daddy's forehead until the song was over.  When the song ended, Ardell removed his hands from Daddy's head and returned to his seat on the bench for the closing prayer. 

Sometimes he just surprises me.  I'm glad that it is good things that we are giving him to emulate.  I look forward to the priesthood holder that he will become.

Quilt show 2011

This last weekend was Palouse Patchers 31st annual quilt show.  I was vendor chair and admission chair with the added responsiblity of providing the food for the vendors and dealing with deposits.  It was a long three days.  Luckly there were only a few issues to deal with and I was able to put my project management class knowledge to work.  Robert and I entered 9 quilts in the show.  I also entered 4 quilts of my Mom's that Robert or I had quilted.  Several of the quilt club members commented on my numerous entries, and the fact that they didn't know I machine quilted.  I must be hiding that light under a bushel. 

Ardell was a fun addition to the show.  He would run up and down between the rows of quilts dodging our "feet" and laughing infectiously.  He never once touched or pulled on a quilt, nor did he run over other patrons.  Robert and I received many compliments on our well-behaved son.  Luckily, he waited until we got home to throw a whiney fit.  A couple of the vendors are from my life before Robert and Ardell.  It is always enjoyable to catch up and hear about their families and life in the last year. 

Now, on to the last 3 weeks of school.  Robert has four weeks, because his last final is not on the Monday of Finals Week.  He is starting his summer internship this week.  It will be part-time for the balance of the school year.  The project he will be working on is an extention of the project he has for our Project Management class.  All in all it has been a good semester.  I am looking forward to a couple weeks at home with Ardell and maybe even some potty training success.

Monday, September 6, 2010

An American hero Dies

July 2010 saw the death of an american hero and long time friend of the Sproul family.  I need to record this bit of history.  Robert and I attended the funeral in St. Maries with family and friends. The full military acolades of the funeral was something I have never seen before.  There was a group of bikers that came to be the honor guard for ceremony.    I however only heard about this man after his death. 

Fast forward to September.  I have been instructed to prepare an introduction speech for my communication class.  I realize that Vernon J. Baker would be an amazing man to introduce and talking with Mama and Papa and Robert would definately help.  I set the stage for the class.  This is a fundraising dinner for the DAV.  Disabled American Veterans is an organization for Veterans, By Veterans.  Robert is a disabled Vet.

"Good Evenings ladies and gentlemen.  It is my pleasure to fullfil my sweetheart's request and introduce his long-time friend and fellow veteran.  The last WWII Buffalo Soilder and one of the most decorated soliders of the Mediteranian Theater,Vernon J. Baker like many of you refuses to be limited by the label of Disabled Vet.

Vernon joined the Army in 1941 after several requests were denied due to his skin color.  This did not detour Vernon.  Many of his accomplishments have been noted by the NAACP.  They include being one of the first African-Americans to complete officer training after the Pearl Harbor attack.  Vernon was a commissioned Second Lieutenant of the 92nd Infantry Division when they were sent to Italy, making him a member of the first all-black unit to see combat in WWII.  And after the Army desegregated, Vernon was the first African-American commander of an all white company.  However, these civil rights steps that many of you have been able to enjoy the benefits of, pale in comparison to the courage and valor that Vernon showed as an individual.  During WWII, Vernon was honored with a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Distinguished Service Cross.  He also received an Italian Cross of Valor of War and a Polish Cross of Valor. 

Vernon left the Army in 1967, when he realized he would not see combat in Vietman.  He choose to serve one tour under the Red Cross.  Feeling that he had completed his personal code of Patriotic Duty, Vernon looked to spend the rest of his life hunting.  But the Army was not ready to forget Vernon.  In early 1997, he was invited to the East Room on the White House.  President Bill Clinton had been authorized to up-grade the service records of seven African-American Veterans to include Congressional Medal of Honors. 

Vernon comes to speak to us today as a friend and supporter of our cause.  He, however, has the distinguishment of being the only African-American WWII veteran to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor during his lifetime.  Please help me in welcoming Second Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker."

At Vernon's funeral his grandson repeated the comment he made when Vernon died.  "Since my grandfather died his picture has become history.  As soon as he died we have lost part of history."

Thank you to all who serve our nation.  May you realize your service does not go un-noticed.  Despite politics and agendas, it is the soldier that makes his stand for freedom, day in and day out.

Update of family news

I was reading my last post in October of 2009 and realized that i have not noted this last year.  Robert has still not returned to work since the car accident last September.  I have stressed and fussed about it, and yet I can not deny that we have been blessed.  I have been able to pay most of my bills, have received no assistance from our ward and still been a full time student.  Robert and I have both applied for several positions this summer and yet no job.

Robert has been working on a research project under a friends PhD thesis and I have had sporatic hours filling in at the hospital with employees leaving and the extra work load of new hires.  I have also complete a couple of baby quilts to sell and have a few more requests.  One of the quilts I took to a local quilt shop where I bought the panel and I am teaching a beginning quilt class for this quilt.

While this has all the makings of a Job trial, I am constantly reminded of my Heavenly Father's hand in my life.  It has been difficult for me to stay in school, every fiber of my being, believes I need to work to support my family until Robert can.  And yet it would seem that I should not, because I have not been able to secure a position.  Like a double edged sword, we have been blessed, Robert has basicly regained his balance and Ardell is growing like a weed.  Robert and I have completed several quilt tops, organized our fabric stash, taken embrodery machine classes and purged our paper records of excess documentation that is no longer usefull or needed.  Robert's mom (who was coming to babysit Ardell one a week) has not had the 2 1/2 hour drive to spend the day with Ardell - though she missed him terribly. 

When I stop and calmy ponder this last year, I find a peace that can only come from my Heavenly Father.  I know that we are handling this situation in a manner that is pleasing to him.  I am greatful for the reminder.

Summer 2010

This has been a crazy summer.  I know I still need to blog about our family reunion last summer and our March trip to Seaside, Oregon.  However I feel compelled to voice my angst here.  I HATE POTTY TRAINING.  3 1/2 days into this nightmare and no evidence of success.  Ardell has the whole process down.  Door open, light on, toilet lid up, Ardell seat on, underwear off, sit on toilet, wipe, off toilet, underwear on, Ardell seat off, toilet lid down, flush, wash hands, light off, door closed.  And then the request for payment of each attempt - one animal cookie.  Though he has been trying to get Oreo's - the treat for #2.

However despite his learning the steps of using the toilet we have had no bodily fluids in the toilet.  All over every surface in the house (it seems) but not in the toilet.  I am beside my self, stumped.  Robert and I have "been on the same page" about training now.  Ardell is three. We have seen success with training in other areas, and yet still not here.  I have asked all my friends with boys just older than Ardell, thinking that the memories will still be fresh.  Three day, I am told, One if I want both of us to be completely wiped out at the end of the day.  And yet no amount of book reading, one on one time, or bribing will induce my child to pee in the toilet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Freeze

We have picked all of the pumpkins and pulled out the winter clothes (though Robert is still wearing shorts).  Ardell doesn't mind shoes and coats, just as long as he gets to go outside.  Our little garden did produce about 10 pumpkins and lots of crook-neck squash and zuchini (per David Chaffee - they are weeds - noctous weeds). We have felt it was worth the effort this year, though we definately couldn't live off our produce, it did help.

We have also gotten over the first cold of the season and hope to avoid the swine flu that is plaguing the area.  The only other hiccup to the beginning of school is that Robert was rear ended on September 11, 2009 and has not returned to work because of equilibirum issues.

As we have traveled out of town, we have been taking pictures to us for a landscape quilt.  It has been a beautiful reminder of fall harvest and our need to be greatfull at all times.  May you all feel the love around you as you approach the season ahead.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 2009 - family vacation

This year our family reunion was in Island Park, ID. So Robert and I decided to leave on Friday night and get a few extra days in. First we went to Art on The Green in Coeur d'Alene and walked along the beach with Ardell. He liked the water. And like cool parents - no camera - no pictures.

Saturday morning we headed to Whitehall, Montana. (Super 8 has lousy beds). We made a pit stop in St. Regi, visited an antique store, had lunch and I lost the sippy cup. Then I slept through Missoula, so we didn't stop. We got off on the downtown business loop in Butte, MT and bought fuel for the car and got back on the highway to Whitehall. After finding dinner in Whitehall, we found the local elementary school and Ardell got to play on the playground. It is a smaller version of Fort Sherman Playground in Coeur d'Alene. Still no pictures.

Sunday morning we headed to West Yellowstone. We made a detour at Lewis and Clark Caverns and made the 2 mile hike. (Yes, I made the hike!)

Ardell was carried for most of the hike. There are several placed that were very small and others that were wet, it made for an interesting 2 hours. There is a 3/4 of a mile hike to the entrance and then you hike down about 400 stairs. My legs felt like jello by that time. The nice ranger told us that this was the last point of return. I pressed on, there was no way I could hike back up those steps.
We got to see some bats with there new young. The babies were only about 2-4 oz in weight. Very small bats. A colony of about 50 bats was a ball the size of a dinner plate.