Monday, May 24, 2010

I knew it was possible....

But really, Mother Nature! SNOW! It is the last week of May you know.

I do remember a time, long ago, when a snow storm hit after the leaves were on the trees, I remember it well because I had a Final in my Italian Diction Class and I was about to leave to go up the the University to take, aka Sing, that final. Just a few minutes before I left Little T (he was little back then because it was a long time ago) ran into my house and said, "Katie, there's a tree on your car!" I thought, wow that willow must be hanging low so I went to the window to take a look. And what did my wondering eyes behold? The Willow had broken in Half and sure enough, Half of is was on my car, limbs through my windshield and the rear window, it was not a beautiful sight. Luckily my teacher agreed to let me postpone my final by a few days, IF I could provide photographic proof that there really was a tree on top of my car. I was able too do just that. Finals week at the University is in April....but it is May now. So what is up with this snow.

So, from that experience, I really don't trust late snow and so when Ken told me this morning that it was snowing I freaked out! Our Garden is completely unprotected! We quickly went out and made a little tent for our garden out of a tarp and and I put some extra insulation of newspaper (that happened to be delivered for free to us yesterday, blessing?). Here is what my garden looks like today.
The snow is still coming, and the flakes are getting bigger by the minute. I think we will stay inside today....though I am tempted to let Little J out to play in the snow, One Last Time....


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Big Reveal

I didn't feel like I could really get a good picture, maybe because the space is kind of small, but there is the new closet.
And here is J in his new bed.
And here is a video of the entire room.


video

After we were all done J played in his bed for about an hour. I was a little afraid that he would want to sleep in it last night. Ken went in to check on him before we went to bed and he told me that J was curled up in the corner of the crib closest to his new bed. This morning the first thing he wanted to do was transfer all his blankets and toys to his new bed....nap time, here we come.

P.S. We installed a child proof door knob cover on the inside of his bedroom door....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spring is the Time to Nest

A friend of mine told me that I am not "Nesting" because I am not far enough along. Well, maybe I am not nesting, but I am certainly in the mood to prepare, and I have a few hours of energy per day that I am putting towards those preparations.

One of the most important things I need to get done before August is to move Little J into a Toddler Bed. We purchased one a month or two ago and it has been sitting down in our basement ever since. Before we could start "Training" in the bed I needed to reorganize "The Boy's Room". And that is exactly what we have been doing today. It has been lots of fun.

Our home has 4 bedrooms (3 finished), but there are only 2 on each level of the house. I don't feel like Little J is big enough to be in the basement by himself, and I also don't want to give up our guest room/finish the unfinished bedroom right now, so the boy's will be sharing a room. This means that we have to somehow fit a Crib, a Bed (we chose a toddler bed because it is small) and the changing table and dresser into the room. This might not be hard for some people but it has proved to be quite a puzzle for me. Pictures of the completed room will come later, but for now, here is the adventure that Little J and I had this morning.

I decided that the best place to put the Dresser would be inside the closet, so I removed the beautiful mirrored closet doors. Little J has always loved the mirrors in his room, he really enjoyed the company of the little boy he always found there, it is amazing, every time he looks, there he is, that gorgeous kid!

"Well Hello, funny I would find you here in the Living Room"
"OK, just a little Kiss"

"Mom, Stop looking! This is a private moment"
After the doors were removed I had the lovely job of removing EVERYTHING I had been hiding in the closet for the past year or more. J really enjoyed this, he discovered some really cool Train Slippers, and last years beach hat! He also discovered a new place to play/dance.
All that dancing really tuckered J out and I needed some "Helper Free" time so that I could put the new dresser together. (We picked up a Malm 3 Drawer dresser at Ikea last fall for $39.99, it was a bargain! But bargains come at the price of having to follow the 20+ Cartoon Steps to put them together)

I am a very smart Mommy and so I asked J if he wanted to go watch "Dee Dee". He tossed away his hat, kicked off the slippers, took my hand and led me downstairs. I put on the "Nighttime" show. The characters get ready for bed and get into bed about 20 times during the show, and they all have little beds just like his new bed, I figured he would enjoy playing along, and I was right! I went downstairs every few minutes to check on him, this is what I found.
He sleeps this way most nights in his crib as well, all crunched up in one corner. It is pretty cute but I am afraid it means that he will fall out of bed if he ever tries to sleep in the corner without the railings. (The bed is on a towel because I cleaned and sanitized it this morning. We purchased it second/third hand....we are cheap, yet we still want to be safe and healthy)
After 15-20 minutes of his show J got lonely and decided to come help me put the dresser together. He was a really good helper, once I put the screws and nails up high and out of his reach that is. He even cheered for me! I had to put 30 nails into the back of the dresser and after each one he would gleefully say "Yeah! You Did It!" After finishing the frame I placed it in the closet, and once again, J found a new place to play.
I bought some curtains and hung them on a shower curtain/tension rod that fit perfectly up in the track for the mirrored doors. This will allow me to continue to "hide" things if needed and it looks pretty cute too.
With J's constant supervision I finished the 3 drawers and put them in the dresser. The whole project took about 3 hours and by the time we were done both of us were quite hungry and tired so we took a break. Once Ken gets home we are going to finish rearranging the room. Hopefully at that point I will get some good pictures of "The Boy's Room" and get them posted for you to see. Either way, I am pretty proud of what I accomplished today.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our Garden of Dreams

Yesterday, little J and I prepared the ground for planting. Patiently J watched as I dug holes and put a little plant food and water into each of them. When we came back inside it was time for lunch, J wanted Cereal and I gladly gave him some. But he surprised me when he decided to use his Shovel instead of the spoon I had given him.
The shovel didn't last long, spoons are just easier.
So, my plan was to put J down for his nap today and then go finish planting our garden. But I have been very tired today, to the point where I have fallen asleep on the couch several times, and J has taken advantage of the fact that Mommy was asleep. On the other hand J has plenty of energy....so I made a command decision, we would both go outside while I planted the garden, J could run around and burn off some energy and I would be freed up at nap time to nap myself.

So here is my Garden Chronicle, Here are the pictures of things I plan to harvest this year.
First, I plan to harvest a sweet little Butterball! This is what my belly looks like if I look down at it.
Second and Third, I hope to harvest some Crookneck Squash during the summer and fall, and some very nice looking pumpkins this fall! I have never done squash or pumpkins but I figure I spend money on them, why not try to grow them myself. I did plant them kind of close together, we will wait until fall to decide if this was a mistake.
Fourth, Bell Pepper, a necessary item for salad and salsa, I have planted at least one Bell Pepper plant each year since moving into this house, I have never been disappointed.
Fifth, Tomatoes! That is right, Salad and Salsa! This year we are only planting two tomato plants, we got one gallon size and one smaller one, hopefully we will have tomatoes before September.
Sixth, Little J. Wait, I didn't plant little J, he must have planted himself. Lets take a closer look.
Sure enough, he has been playing in the dirt, eating the dirt everything but trying to pull up the plants that I had already planted...this is one messy kid.
So J had some extra fun, he let me plant the second tomato and the Anaheim Pepper (once again, SALSA!) and then he let me strip off his clothes and spray him down with the hose. Then I took the still slightly muddy boy and put him directly into the TUB! After 5 Minutes he was still a little dirty, but he was getting cleaner.
I hope, hope, hope that Our Garden grows. I love to watch the plants get bigger, but I love going out and picking fresh vegetables even more! This year I am going to try and keep track of what the weight of the tomatoes we produce is, I really think that in the end we will get many more tomatoes than we could have if we just bought them at the store, I want to be able to prove it. Same goes for the Pumpkins and the Squash! ( I paid $2.50 for a pumpkin last year, the plant only cost $0.99)

Well, the newly clean J, now dressed in pajamas (because that is what he wanted to wear) is really ready for his nap now. So I must go. Have a wonderful weekend.

Random Tidbits of Awesomeness....

I attended a Class/Lecture/Session (still not quite sure what to call them) titled "Finding Joy and Nobility in Motherhood". I told my companions that I already did find Joy in Motherhood, but I was really interested in just where the Nobility came in. Someone mentioned that they were going to start vacuuming while wearing a Tiara, I might try that in the future, just for kicks, I think a Tiara would look good with my pajama's.....which is my typical vacuuming ensemble. But on with what touched me from this session....

When we do the Work of Mothering, We are participating in the Lords Work. We do this Perfect Work imperfectly. God and Christ know we are imperfect and they will help us. If we turn to them in faith they will show us the NOBILITY in our work.

Elder Holland once said something like this (I think I got it down but I am not 100% sure of my accuracy, remember, I'm imperfect)
"He is blessing you and he will bless you, even, No Especially, when your days and nights may be the most challenging......Thy faith will make the whole and it will make your children whole as well"
I really like that. I know that it is not that simple, the speakers- Sandi Shields and Erin Holms- both spoke about the things we can do as mothers to help our children come to know, understand, and accept the gospel in their lives. You know, teach them, read to them, talk to them, testify to them, invite them to act on the things that they have learned. I really liked something that Sandi Shields said near the end of her talk, she said something like this-
We must do the good things, over and over and over again, until they are written on our hearts and on the hearts of our children. So I said I know that it is not "That Simple" and by that I meant I know that Faith is an action word. I can say I have faith and tell everyone I have faith but until I take action, until I step out into the darkness, until I actively SEEK that healing provided by the Savior and his atonement I will not be whole, and so I must act, I must do, I must be faithful and that faith will make me whole and I believe that it will make my children whole as well, because they will learn to act in faith as well.

The next session was called "O Lord....I will trust in thee forever" presented by Kimberly Welling and Jack R. Christiansen.

Our Savior had to do hard things. He did them so that he could understand me and what I will be going through. He understands me, I can trust that he knows my needs and will lead me safely, he will direct my paths. Look forward, not back at what may have seemed to be perfect. Trust in the Lord as you look and walk forward.

Jack Christiansen was recently called to be the mission president of the Rochester New York Mission. He talked about this as he was introducing himself and he said "Every mission in the world is the best, except all those missionaries in all the other missions are bearing testimony of what happened in our mission." That is the only difference. I thought that was pretty funny.

The Christiansen's were blessed with 4 daughters and in the late 70's they were in the process of adopting a son. Not too long before the adoption was to be finalized their son was taken from them. He was part Native American, and it had something to do with the Child Protection Act of 1976. The entire family was heart broken and they always wondered what happened to their son after he was taken from them. About 20 years later Jack didn't get the job as President of Utah Valley University, because he didn't get the job he was available to speak at an Adoption Conference where he shared his families story. A few weeks later he was out doing yard work when a car pulled up in front of his house. A woman exited the Vehicle and asked him if he was the Jack Christiansen who had spoken at the conference. She then explained that she believed that she had adopted their son. She adopted him 10 years after he was taken from their home, not much is known about those 10 years, but as of now he is very much loved and very much cared for. This made the Christiansen's very happy.

Brother Christiansen said that what he learned from this 20 years worth of wondering was that We must continue on, even if what we have asked for, in faith, doesn't happen immediately. We must continue to Trust in the Lord with all our hearts. The Christiansen family waited 20 years to know what had happened to their adopted son, they never stopped praying for his safety but they had to wait to find out that he truly was safe.

Nephi, and many other prophets, waited 1500+ years for the world to have the truths found in the Book of Mormon.

There may be times in our lives when we have to wait upon the Lord and trust that he truly knows what will be best for us, and when. Waiting doesn't mean sitting around and doing nothing until we receive a promised blessing, we must continue on with life, no matter how hard it may feel at the time.

Well, I guess these have been more than Tidbits, so I will stop for today. But coming up next week- Quench not the Spirit!, Overcoming Criticism, It is not requisite that a Woman should run faster than she has strength and Elder and Sister Kristen Oaks!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Run Your Own Race

I attended a session at Women's Conference that was called "Managing Feelings of Inadequacy". At first I told my Sister in Law Tiff that I didn't want to attend that session because I know I am inadequate at most things I try to do and I didn't want to be held responsible for any knowledge about managing my inadequacies that I might learn.....I am so glad that I eventually gave in and went to this session.

The first speaker was a woman named Christine Ostler and the first question she asked was "Who are you?" which she followed with this "Are you measured against the worlds view of who your are or God's view?" We all feel inadequate at times, we should not allow ourselves to run and hide, because when we do we refuse to see Who we are to God and What he has planned for us.

Christine told the story of her family and how one of her daughters, in her early teens, had become anorexic. She and her family struggled for years, at times the only thing they could do was have their daughter admitted to the inpatient psychiatric ward at the hospital where she would be force fed to keep her alive. She talked about how horrible that felt, to leave your child behind because you could not help them, how she felt so inadequate to deal with the needs of her daughter. How her daughter confessed that she felt inadequate as a person, but she as her mother was unable to help her see how untrue that belief was. Eventually, after many years, her husband was able to say something to their daughter that changed things, he basically told her that He loved her just the way that she was, that she didn't need to prove anything to him, if she never gained or lost anymore weight he would still love her just as much, no matter what happened from moment to moment, he loved her and there was nothing she could do to change that. Soon things started to change, their daughter began to eat, it is years later now and she is healthy and married with children.

Christine gave a list of 16 things she had learned to do during that time in her life.
1. Look in the Mirror and say something good about yourself, something you like, everyday.
2. Own who you are. You are a child of God and He loves you just the way You are.
"....we were born to make manifest the Glory of God..."
3 Attend the Temple, there we are taught who we are.
4.Let our light shine. Write down your talents, those you know of and those other see in you.
5. Take a Risk! Develop a new talent.
6. Appreciate other peoples talents. Say "Thank you for Sharing...."
7. Compliment Others.
8. Write down what you DO accomplish in a day.
9. Write down Spiritual things that happen each day.
10. Do not run faster than you have strength....."Doctrine and Covenants 10:4
11. Read from the Scriptures everyday
12. Read your Patriarchal Blessing often.
13. Serve Others.
14. Listen to inspiring music
15. "Do It!" Sometimes we have no choice but to go through a trial or a hard time, just Do It!
16. Rely on and Trust in the Lord.

The next speaker was Ellie Young. She started by telling us all something that she had heard form her Mother/Grandmother. "No one is any better than you and you're not any better than anyone else." Then she went on to speak about running your own race. In life we really are not competing against anyone, it is Our Race and no matter how fast or slow you finish, you are the Winner! I really like that thought.

Both of these women really focused on not making comparisons between ourselves and others, but it was this Race analogy that really stuck with me. Since then I have really been focused on Running My Race, with my abilities, not worrying about how if I had the talents or abilities of someone else, I could run my race better. Their race is completely different from mine, that is why they have their specific talents and I have mine.

Ellie spoke about learning to appreciate other peoples inadequacies, after all it is our imperfections that make us interesting to others! No one wants to be the friend of a Perfect Person, (well unless that person is Christ). And, Bending to your loved ones needs (aka, their inadequacies) deepens and strengthens your relationships .

We should ask ourselves, "Did you do your best?" and then remind ourselves that our best is good enough. We must understand that "Our Best" often will result in different outcomes depending on the circumstances of the day. Remember "My God is a God of Miracles" He hears me and knows my fears and inadequacies. If anyone can help me, He can. Have faith in him. Sometimes all we can do is take another step forward.

"It's my own race!" I don't necessarily have to run it like anyone else.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thursday Morning General Session- Julie Beck

"What is Your Mission?" When I heard this question I quickly wondered, Do I have one, could it be possible that my mission is to wake up every morning and try my best to take care of J and myself while not burning down the house and trying, not to well, to keep the house from getting any more messy than it all ready is? Then Sister Beck spoke about how taking care of our Families should take precedence over all other things, and I thought, yeah, that is what I do, that is my mission to build and take care of my family, am I really good at it? Some parts yes, some parts, sadly, no, but I am trying and trying counts, in my opinion.

She spoke about the Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Having the guidance of the Spirit enables us to Know and Do the will of God. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Revelation and with it we can Walk with God. How can we walk with God? We must come to know and understand what our responsibilities are. We must know how to fulfill them. We must increase our Faith and Personal Righteousness, Strengthen those around us and Prepare our children to serve the Lord. Seems like a lot to do....

So next she talked about Priorities. There are so many good things out there that we could be doing each day, how do we know which is the RIGHT thing to be doing? She gave 3 Categories.
Some things are Essential and they should be done every day, or Week or Month in some instances. Somethings are Necessary and they should be done when they need to be done. Finally some things are Nice To Do and they should be done when we have time and when the Essential and Necessary things have been taken care of.

Essential things are the things we MUST do, the things that will help us find Salvation. Personal Revelation, Reading the Scriptures, Personal Prayer, Pondering (yes finding time to Ponder) and Fasting, Keeping our Covenants, Partaking of the Sacrament and Repenting, Temple Attendance, Sharing the Gospel and Giving Service. All of these things will bring the spirit more fully into our lives and lead us closer to our Savior.

Necessary things can be even more varied. The first note I took in this sections says "Make a home where the spirit of the Lord is present- A house of Order". This is one of my secret goals. Well, my goal is to have my house in better order, I really think that the Lord will bless me for my efforts, it may not be Pristine, but when I am trying, even though it may still look like a tornado has recently hit, the Spirit is still able to be here with us, and that is a good thing. Some of the examples she gave of Necessary things were- Family Meals as they are a place to gather and to teach. Being Happy. Teaching Children and generally spending time with our children and spouses. "Lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better", become self reliant. Love One Another.

Then finally there are the things that are nice to do. Crafts, hobbies, recreation, movies, time with friends. These things won't necessarily lead us to salvation, but the lord will bless us with these things if we have completed the Essential and Necessary things too. Sister Beck said that she has come to realize that as she has tried to keep her perspective and priorities in the right place there hasn't been a time that she has not been able to do the "Nice to Do" things that she wants to do. This is important to know because we as women often don't get enough breaks.

There are 3 shifts in the work day. The Morning Shift, the Swing Shift and the Night Shift. There are plenty of times in our lives that we are forced to work all 3 shifts (i.e. new babies, sick kids). But which shift is the most important. Where do we need to prioritize our time, when do we need to be at the top of our game? We must also realize that a woman, with the help of the Lord, can work 2 1/2 shifts, but not all 3 on a constant basis, there needs to be some down time. If we Prioritize and take care of the Essential and the Necessary things we will find the needed moments of rest and relaxation and renewal necessary to do all that we need to do.

This was a great way to start of the two days of Women's Conference.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Man o'Man, there were a lot of Women....

At Women's Conference that is. In fact I think I heard that it was something like 15,000 of them, but the Marriott Center (which may be the 5th largest indoor arena in North America ) holds close to 23,000, and that place seemed really really full, so it may have been more than 15,000 Women. How do you count that many anyway. Hmmm, but this post isn't to speculate on how many women you can fit into the Marriott Center at BYU. Rather it is a Post about how much fun I had being part of that Gigantic Horde of Women that descended upon BYU last week.

Last year I got my first taste of Women's Conference. I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer there, and when you volunteer for one of the days of the conference you get to attend the other day for free. I enjoyed myself immensely, so much so in fact that I decided to actually pay to attend this year. Last year I attended alone but by some amazing miracle I found a friend who I hadn't seen in years and who, by some greater miracle, was planning on attending the same classes I was! Wonder of Wonders. This year my Sister in Law, Tiff and her Mother, Sisters and Friends all came down and I was invited to be a part of their group. It was a completely different experience than I had last year, but just as much of an uplifting and wonderful experience.

Last year I volunteered on Thursday and left right after I was done, which was around 5 pm. This year I stayed to participate in the service activities and to see the concert that they put on later in the evening. We tied the ends of fleece blankets that were then donated to local shelters, hospitals and care centers. 600+ fleece blankets were made on Thursday night. There were lots of different service opportunities, tying quilts, putting together hygiene kits (thousands of them), and so much more that I can't even remember. Aren't we cute with our blankets.
I never imagined that the Concert would be so much fun. It was an amazing amount of fun, seriously, at least 10,000 women who just participated in a full day of uplifting classes, then hours of service (plus some dinner thrown in there somewhere) found their way back to the Marriott center.....they were not quiet.

I must say that Hillary Weeks is HILARIOUS! She was the Emcee, back by popular demand, and I understand why there was a demand that she be back. Here she is introducing the whole show, the Theme "Laundry", the monologue had something to do with feeling like you are being followed around......see the 5 feet of toilet paper attached to her shoe. I wish I could explain it better, but I laughed so hard during that concert that my abs hurt the next day.
Some other things I learned during the Concert, Michael McLean is also really funny, and apparently suffering from some weird hormonal issues that make him pretty much understand everything a menopausal woman is going through, so he fit right in there at Women's Conference (his words). Alex Boye is seriously HIGH ENERGY. I took some video of him that I will try to post at a later date. The Fab Five (from America's Got Talent) were there too, they also have way too much energy.

On Friday Morning as we were waiting for the morning session to start I looked over and this is what I saw.
It was kind of dark but can you make out the 4 sets of hands, all busy making little "Pocket Hearts" and Crocheted Slippers? Busy hands really do make for happy hearts. I decided that in the next year or so, I want to learn how to Crochet. My Grandma Turner was very willing when I was young to try to teach me how to crochet, but I never got past the "This is my very very long string" phase of the process. I want to learn now, so that in future years I can make slippers too (and so much more, for some reason I really want to make Afghans, you know, blankets?). I made some pocket hearts this year, they are little fleece hearts, we used the blanket stitch around the edges of two heart shaped pieces of fabric and then stuffed them, they were amazingly cute and apparently they get donated to Senior Care Centers and places where people might feel forgotten. The nurses or volunteers at these places can keep them in their pockets and when they feel the need, they can give them to one of the people they are helping. If I don't know how to crochet by next year I will definitely be making more pocket hearts.

I want to go back. It was an amazing experience. I missed my sweeties while I was gone from home, but I felt so good and heard so many things that I needed to hear. Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the things that touched me the most, they are not necessarily big spiritual enlightening things, but things that I know will help me through the next year and maybe they will help you too. So check back soon.


The ThermWise Home Energy Audit

A few months ago Ken went to an informational meeting at work, that had nothing to do with work. It was a Questar Gas Representative that was explaining all the things you could do in your home that would help you save energy, and thus, save Money. Ken's interest was peaked, especially when he heard that you could have a Home Energy Audit done that would tell you the most important, best and easiest things you could do to make your home more energy efficient. It cost $25 to do the audit, but if you make any of the changes they recommended, and submitted a form to Questar, they would refund your $25, plus give you any rebates associated with the changes you made.

Ken wanted to be here for the Audit but we didn't realize how popular those Audits were and we waited too long to call and make the appointment, and the only appointments that worked for us were on weekdays while Ken was at work. Poor Ken, he missed out.

Today was the day. Bright and Early at 8 AM. If I had remembered this earlier (I realized that a Questar employee was going to be showing up Monday morning, on Sunday night) I would have done a better job at cleaning the house this weekend. But I couldn't go back in time and so as I welcomed the nice Man into my home I apologized for the state of my home, but told him that I felt the need to let him see exactly how we live, "Who knows, maybe the stuffed animals all over the floor of the front room help to insulate it!" I said, He laughed, I inwardly cringed. But all in all it was a good Audit. We are apparently doing quite well on our own to keep our costs down. (This is because Ken is good at keeping the Thermostat between 60 and 65 during the winter and I seem to have become oblivious to the house temperature, I just put on more clothes or cuddle up in a blanket.....I really don't even look at the Thermostat, weird, I don't know how or why this has happened, Ken must be saying his prayers)

I was most interested in our Attic Insulation, I really didn't think there was enough, and considering all the other ways we know our builder cut corners when building the homes in our neighborhood....lets just say I felt my suspicions were well founded. I was surprised by how many other things I learned.

1. I block too many cold air intake grates in my house. Looks like Ken is going to have to move the furniture in the front room all around again. :) Thanks for putting up with me and my furniture rearranging needs, Sweet Ken.

2. If we had a programmable Thermostat it could be set slightly warmer during the morning and cooler at night, thus lowering my extra clothes/blankets usage and possibly eliminating a load of laundry every week or two..... interesting, plus they pretty much pay for themselves.

3. Our Water Heater is 10 years old in should be replaced with in the next year or so, plus it is positioned in a weird place and doesn't have a blanket or pipe insulation (who knew water heaters liked Blankets? Not me? Well, it sounded vaguely familiar...) I also didn't know that water-heaters life span's were only about 7+ years long.

4. The Attic is amazingly under insulated, At best it only has 8 inches of insulation and we probably should have about 13 inches or more, the worst spots only have 4 inches, this explains why it gets SUPER HOT up in the loft during the summer, and supports my theory that our builder was not the best...or his contractors. Luckily there are those nice government rebates out there for people who put in more insulation, so we will be taking care of this problem as soon as we can, hopefully it will also pretty much pay for itself.

5. There is one window in our home that has some problems, so if anyone knows how to caulk around windows and other stuff like that, let me know, I need help.

There was more but those were the most interesting things to me. So Ken and I now have some work to do, and maybe, just maybe after we take care of a few of these things we will win the Award for Lowest Gas Bill EVER! Wouldn't that be nice.