My exciting life with a house full of boys

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Keep the Refrigerator Klosed!

Today there was black smoke in the sky.

The lights dimmed and then later went out.

Sister called, her husband was okay. Transformer blew.

Kids thought the end had come.

No air conditioning (Remember it's like 182 degrees outside in the shade)


No lunch (their excuse was that mom kept calling out, "Keep the refrigerator closed!")

No toilet

Wait - what do you mean no toilet?

Lesson about energy, water and the function of the toilet was quickly taught.

Brother in law and crew got the power back up and running in 2 hours! way to go guys and so glad none of you were hurt!

Jenny Matlock

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June @ 107

My indoor personal weather station read 107 degrees outside. Thats with the gauge meassuring from the shade. You'll notice it's 8% humidity and I am keeping the indoors a nice cool 72 degrees. Yes, I like it cold and Yes, it costs me a bundle.

So what do you do when it's this hot?

The kids do nothing. They don't want to and frankly neither do I

We swim

We keep Sonic Ice in the freezer for instant ice cold water

We try to remember to water the plants because when you don't, they look like this - oops I forgot.

We remember that it's easier to stay cool than to warm up. June, July, August and September and then the best winters ever.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Irresponsible Indescribable Irreplaceable

It began 22 years ago. My husband and his best friend had a trip planned. Our friend challenged me to come along and bring my boys, then 3 and 18 months.

"Bring a chair and sit there. We'll do everything else."

I nervously went along and a love affair was born. Every summer since that August so many years ago I have packed up our family car with gear and taken my boys to the mountains to camp. It didn't matter the age, my pregnant condition, or the weather predictions. Pack n Plays, baby swings, toys, bikes, coats and swimsuits, cooking gear, lanterns, coolers, food, sleeping bags, tents, first aid kits, and so much more have filled every tiny crevice of our car then truck then Suburban. If Bret couldn't come then I would load up the boys and we would go without him. Sometimes if work permitted he would join us on weekends but often times I went at it alone.

It was on these mountains that I caught my first fish, saw my first bear, hunted my first deer, stayed awake to listen to the coyotes yelping and elk bugle. I sound like a guy.

I overcame my fear of thunderstorms after being stuck with my children all alone in a tent in the most ferocious thunder and lightning storm that I had ever experienced. I learned how to cook on a camp stove, in a dutch oven and over a fire. I am much better in a camp kitchen than my home kitchen. I learned to love the outdoors.

I gained a confidence and independence that filtered into other parts of my life.

We had a favorite area that quickly became my "happy place". My children believed that this was where the 3 little pigs lived. And so that it what we called it. The 3 little pigs.

Every time I've wanted to run away from life, this is where I've gone. Even If I couldn't actually take the time to literally go there, my mind would at least allow me to visit.

On May 29 a fire was left unattended. That fire, or what some have described as an uncontrollable beast, has devoured my mountain. It has become the largest wildfire my state has ever had. The lookout tower that my boys all climbed and "marked" is now a tower of twisted metal. The aspens that crossed the road letting us know we had 3 more miles until we got there will no longer quiver in the breeze. The fresh scent of pine after a rain storm will never, in my lifetime, smell the same. Not in this forest.

My biggest sorrow is that I will not be able to continue this tradition with my youngers and my grands. Their memories of our trips to Westfork will be short and limited. Their adventures were few. And my grands will never know their Nana's happy place. Yes, we'll go back. But the landscape is forever changed.

One irresponsible act led to indescribable destruction that is irreplaceable in my lifetime.

BUT - I have my pictures. I have my memories. I have great family stories to tell. I have a love for the outdoors that I am forever thankful for.

Here's to you Kim for challenging me to do something that would forever change my life and My Bret, who had the trust and confidence in me to let me pack up and go each and every summer.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Gave It Up

For several years I have been dealing with physical and mental symptoms that are undiagnosable, at least accurately. I've dealt with serious post partum depression, headaches, memory loss, aches, acne, difficulty losing weight and fatigue. Major fatigue. It doesn't matter when I go to sleep or when I wake up. I get the kids off to school and lie down and fall asleep. I wake up and take a shower only to want to lie down again. Yes I've had tests and of course nothing seems to be wrong, not hormones, thyroid, etc. I've popped thousands of vitamins and nothing helped. This wasn't the kind of mom I envisioned myself to be. I didn't want to be lazy and inactive but my energy was gone. I can honestly say that I really prayed about this and didn't like or want to admit to what I was feeling.

You see, my husband has asked me for years to quit. "I'm telling you, that stuff is poison." But I don't listen very well. I'm to proud. If he was right then that would mean that I was wrong.

I realized one day that I may be wrong. I took the leap of faith and I gave it up.

And so I quit. I had tried before. Many times, but never successfully. But this time I played a game with myself. I wasn't giving up the icy cold refreshing bubbles that I so loved and craved. I could still have it any time I wanted. I wasn't giving up the caffeine that sometimes lifted me. I could still have it any time. I decided that I was going to simply give up the "poison". The aspartame. My drink of choice. Diet Coke.

Many people have different views about this chemical. Look it up on the Internet and you will find hundreds of thousands of pros and cons. That's not really what this was about. It's more about me finally following that tiny whisper in the back of my mind that said to do it. And so, it's been about 4 months since I have had a Diet Coke or a diet drink or snack of any kind.

What changes did I see? Nothing. At least not for a while. But then one day I realized that I had sent my kids off to school, took a shower and went on with my daily things without crawling back into bed. I was dreaming again. I hadn't realized that I had been missing that for a while. My mom commented on my complexion one afternoon, "your skin looks brighter, fresher" and I realized my pores were smaller and I hadn't broken out in several weeks. I have not been eating out as much. I realized that I would want a soda and go to a drive thru - every single day. And lastly I just plain felt better. Coincidence. Some might say, but I never have believed in coincidences. I haven't lost any weight but I now have enough energy to get myself to the gym so we'll see.

Giving it up wasn't so hard. Once I decided I could still have the real stuff it made it easy. Now, as far as the real stuff is concerned...I don't really like it. It's too sweet. But there are just some meals, pizza and Mexican for sure, that I HAVE to have a soda with and so it's the real thing. But I find that I don't even finish one full glass compared to the three or four refills I would have of the diet.

So is it poison? I don't know about the rest of the population but for me I think it is. But shh. Don't tell my husband he was right.

Jenny Matlock