Sunday, August 24, 2014

This Week at Our House #34

  1. Nothing, nothing, nothing from jobs.
  2. Four kids started school this last week and the three others start tomorrow. I walked to pick the elementary school kids up and that has been a good way to sneak in some mild exercise. It has also been nice for the littlest ones to either get a stroller ride or a good swift trot next to me. I particularly liked having Josh come along because he talked and was friendly and sweet. I plan to keep this up until it gets cold. Tomorrow begins the real school week with full days and homework. 
  3. Ruth went to a regional church dance last night and had a lot of fun. A couple of her friends from Salt Lake came up for the dance. Ruth seemed to enjoy her final week of vacation, and is excited and nervous to begin her junior year of high school tomorrow.
  4. I have learned that I need to do a better job at teaching my kids manners. A boy asked  Kate to dance the first slow dance at the regional church dance last night. He put her hands on her waist and she freaked and said, "Don't touch my waist". She told me that when dancing before they had only ever touched hands. (That is so weird to me.) Later, a rather cocky boy in our ward asked her dance twice and she told him no both times. Then he tried to get her to dance with one of his friends and she splashed her cup of water in his face. I am glad that she is not all flirty and out to get the guys, but I am mortified that she seems to have no manners and I feel so sad for the first boy who asked her to dance. I also think the boys like her because they know they can't get her. In fact, I am sure that is why the boy in our ward asked her to dance. I love that Kate has such a fiery strong personality. Since she was a newborn I have thought that her fire and might are well suited to be a latter-day saint, but I think it is time to temper the fire with some good manners.
  5. Johnny began the 9th grade on Wednesday at Legacy Prep. He has not had much to say about it, but he seemed happy enough. On Tuesday we went and got his schedule fixed. Apparently he had not been put into orchestra because his 8th grade English teacher said he needed to be in honors English. That surprised us all because Johnny does not like English and feels like he is pretty bad at it. We switched him out so he could continue the violin. 
  6. I got an email from Adam's teacher on Friday that said, "I just wanted to send out a quick e-mail letting you know how impressed I've been with Adam these first few days of school.  He has been on task and willing to help those around him. :)". It sounds like Adam is off to a good start in the 4th grade!!
  7. Rachel began the 3rd grade at Legacy Prep. I am so glad that all of the kids are in the same school this year. Rachel said that it is very different, but that she likes it a lot. I love picking her up and seeing her skip down the hallway. She seems quite happy and excitedly mentioned that they get to do art.
  8. Anya began the first grade, but this week was just 3 half days so she has not yet experienced a full day of school. Tomorrow will be her first full day and we will see how she handles 7 hours of school. Anya did not do very well at getting up, getting dressed, and getting ready for school. I think it is going to be a tough year where I nag her to get ready for school every morning. But she is only in the first grade.
  9. Joseph had his kindergarten testing on Friday and he did fairly well. He would not tell his teacher the letter sounds, but he did tell them to the aid that tested him afterwards. 
  10. Josh pooped his pants and I made him clean up most of the mess himself. He was very grossed out. I sure wish he would get this figured out. I am looking forward to having Josh be the oldest kid at home for the next two years. I think he needs that time being the big kid.
  11. Arwen keeps taking her diaper off so I really am going to start the potty training process this week. At this point she has no idea what to do, so I really will be starting from the very beginning. And maybe, just maybe this will help Josh.
  12. Susan has calmed way down and sleeps through the night a few nights a week. She is right where I need her to be for the beginning of the school year. Life changes tomorrow. Good bye sweet summer days. I will miss you.
This Week's Pictures
this is all she would wear all day

First day of school

First day of school

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This Week at Our House #33

First Morning at the Marriot

  1. John's sister was in town and his brother's wife had a baby, so we spent Monday and Friday in Provo. John and Ruth were working on a Manga story board for an art competition and so John worked very heavily on that every day except Wednesday and Friday. John had the job interview on Friday. They were interviewing people all week. John said that the interviewer showed no emotion, so while he felt like he did pretty well, he had no idea what the interviewer was thinking. We do not expect to hear back from them soon as they have always been very slow about getting to things.
  2. My friend Christina and her husband offered us their time share at the Mountainside Marriot in Park City. We could use it for Tuesday night through Thursday morning, We found out about it Tuesday morning, so I quickly got the two articles I was supposed to write for UFI and MWS written and took the kids. It was beautiful. We had a double room and one of the rooms was huge. It had a nice kitchen and a big living room with a couch bed and comfy chairs. We did not need to worry about spending any money because we could cook our own meals. We spent our time swimming in the pool and these huge hot tubs that are not too hot for little kids. It was so fun.The hotel had a game room and a toy room. They had a magic show and some kid crafts and a wii tournament. The weather is much cooler in Park City, so we spent a lot of time on a nature walk by the river and at a really fun city park. We also enjoyed watching cable TV and laying around a bunch too. We have been blessed with some really great friends. This was the first time I have ever stayed in a nice hotel. We all loved it. It was just the stress reliever we needed before we start school tomorrow.
  3. Ruth did an amazingly beautiful job on her Manga story board. I have no idea if she will place in the contest, but her work is really, really good. Ruth loved our mini vacation. She missed most of the first day finishing off everything she needed to do for the competition, but enjoyed the rest of it.
  4. Kate packed our family for the hotel while I wrote my two articles. She also got all of the kids ready to go and buckled in the van. I am not sure we would have been able to make it without her.
  5. Johnny actually got sick the last night of our hotel stay. But it was only one time and he was fine. I know he had a great time.
  6. Adam loved the hotel. That was the most relaxed he has been all summer. Thank you, Christina. I think he is probably the one child who needed this the most. He certainly seems to be the kid who is feeling our poverty and his father's unemployment most keenly. Fortunately soccer starts for him next week and I think that will help too.
  7. Rachel is swimming on her own in the deep water now. It's awesome to have another child independent in the water!
  8. Anya loved swimming at the hotel. She just kept going and going. 
  9. Guardian Angels protected Joseph this week. On Monday we went to Grandma's house in Provo. I looked twice to make sure the kids were all out of the car. I was specifically looking in the car seats for Arwen and Josh. John did the same thing. We both left thinking the kids were all out of the car. Then John thought that maybe Joseph would not be able to get out the car if he were left in. He went back and found Joseph sound asleep on the fourth row of the van. Later that day Johnny had gotten out of the pool and I agreed that Joseph and Josh could stay in the 4 foot pool with Adam if they kept their life jackets on. Well Anya told Joseph to take his life jacket off and put her arm floaties on. Joseph took off his life jacket and immediately sunk under the water. Adam heard him struggling and had to get to him from across the pool. Adam got Joseph out and made everyone else get out of the pool. Joseph came in to me terrified and bawling that he could not swim without a life jacket. We said many prayers of thanks for Joseph's life that night. We did not have our swimming gear at the hotel because we had left it in Provo. I worked with Joseph in the pool and by the end of our stay, he could swim 6 feet from me to the edge of the pool in the deep water. I am glad that he is not terrified of the water now.
  10. Josh is a runner and was rather difficult to keep track of at the hotel. While in the hot tub with many of the little kids, I turned around and Josh used that as an opportunity to take off running to the pool. 
  11. Arwen has been biting and throwing temper tantrums. Welcome us to the terrible two's once again! She has also been taking off her diaper all of the time, so I am giving in and will start potty training her soon. School starts full time next week. That will force me to be more scheduled and seems like a good time to get started. She will be the 4th kid I will have potty trained the four years we have lived in this house. Since she is only two, I know that I will basically be having her train to tell me that she needs to use the bathroom and then I will be taking her for a year. Of course there is always the chance that this will fail miserably and I will keep her in diapers until next summer.
  12. Susan is gaining weight steadily and mainly breast feeding with very few bottles. I think we have made it over the hard parts. My mother in law loaned me a baby scale, so I can weigh her myself now. She is up to 10 pounds and is 2 months today. Susan also slept through the night from 11pm to 7:30am Thursday through Sunday. I am glad that life has gotten easier just in time for school to start. I am sure this is a tender mercy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Especially Noble Calling

"To be a righteous woman is a glorious thing in any age. To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home—which is society’s basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

This Week at Our House #32

  1. The job interview from that one place will be this coming Friday at 2pm. So if you remember, we would really appreciate some prayers. I think they are interviewing a lot of people. 
  2. Things are getting easier with Susan. She is learning to nurse a little better and will usually sleep a good 4 hours before needing to eat at night. Then she is going back to sleep, so I have not had to stay awake for long periods of time during the night. I am wondering about what I should do to help with finances since John has had such a hard time with jobs. I am thinking about starting a business. If you have any ideas please leave them in the comments. I am not interested in child care, but I think some sort of service would be good. I've thought a little bit about a housekeeping business, an in home preschool or a tutoring service. I started exercising this week-- just taking long-ish walks. I also took the kids to parks almost everyday this week. School starts in a week and a half, and we just haven't done very much this summer. I really wish we could afford to take the kids camping. Sigh...I am trying to keep my chin up and weather this storm with cheer. I want John to have a job. I want to continue to be a stay at home only mom. I am not sure I am going to get to have what I want.
  3. Ruth spent the week working on a story board for a Manga competition. Her pictures are beautiful! I think she has a chance of placing. 
  4. Kate made whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake with chocolate pudding, and peanut butter bars because she was having womens issues. I think the kids look forward to next month when Kate is craving chocolate again.
  5. Johnny had his first year of boy scout camp. He came home dirty, tired, happy, and with a fishing pole he found covered in mud at the bottom of the lake. I am very impressed with Johnny's attitude and goodness. A couple of the older boys tease Johnny (all the time) for being a nerd. He just agrees with them. He says, "They are right. I am a nerd." He is just happy to be himself. Johnny managed to read 4 and a half books this week in addition to a week worth of scout camp, so yea, he is a nerd. :)
  6. Adam missed Johnny. He got some donuts as treat for doing his chores quickly and without complaint, and instead of eating them right away, he saved them until Johnny got home so he could share them.
  7. I went to the library and got a bunch of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for Johnny. Rachel, one of my unwilling readers spent a lot of time reading them. That always makes me happy, even when I think the books are silly.
  8. Anya went on a 5 mile walk with me in the hot sun and did not complain once. I asked Anya what she did this week and she said, "I rolled down the stairs with blankets."
  9. Joseph has been sitting by me while I nurse the baby and just gabbing. He is getting the attention he desires by just coming and hanging out. I love that! I can almost always talk, but I can rarely play a one on one game.
  10. One morning Josh woke up, ate breakfast with John and then said, "Good-bye Dad. I need to build." He then headed to Johnny's room to play with legos.
  11. Arwen is calling all bugs spiders. She saw a fly on Susan and said, "Oh no spider, get off Suie." We have this book that has pictures of vegetables arranged like the ocean with all sorts of sea creatures. She pointed to most of the fish and said they were spiders and then she pointed to some mushroom things posed as coral and said, "That stinks. The spider pooped."
  12. Susan is finally 9 pounds. She is generally happier, eating less frequently, and sleeping better. As a result, I am making dinner earlier, going on walks, and taking the kids to the park more.
This Week's Pictures

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This Week at Our House #31

  1. Well, the usual report: finding a new job stinks! He should have an interview this week. The place has been very slow, so I would not be surprised if it is another week off. 
  2. I'm tired from not enough sleep. I am emotional from the after effects of being pregnant and not enough sleep. I am trying hard to get us somewhat back on a normal schedule and am amazed how thoroughly one tiny, tiny person can throw of the schedule of 11 other not as tiny people.
  3. Ruth is my right hand man. I will be so sorry when school starts back up and I have to figure out how to do everything by myself again. But, Ruth has been spending most of the day in her bedroom working on a drawing contest. It's due on the 12th and I think she still has a way to go. I hope she finishes.
  4. Kate's been reading lots of good books all summer long. It's really cute. I always wanted Kate to learn to love reading and now she loves reading and she especially loves reading some of the more difficult classics. This makes my mothers heart happy.
  5. Johnny spent the whole week locked in his room building legos. He has his first year of boy scout camp this week.
  6. Adam had cub scout day camp. He doesn't talk much, so when I asked him to tell me about his days all he said was that he liked it and gave me a brief list of the activities. He's so unlike all of my other kids close to his age that give me details of their daily lives. 
  7. I really can't remember anything particular about Rachel this past week. Some days she is happy all day and does her chores and her reading, and other days she is fighting and screaming and trying her darndest to get out of chores.
  8. Anya is the weepiest 6 year I have ever had. I suspect she is going to be a very, very teary and emotional teenager.
  9. Joseph has been quite a jolly little boy. I am relieved that he is out of the toddler stage. He laughs and plays and spends a lot of time talking to me or playing with his older brothers. He is destroying less and I am so grateful for this, because Josh and Arwen have taken over.
  10. Josh is driving me nuts. He is disobedient. He goes to the bathroom in his pants everyday. He cries all the time. He is constantly fighting with the other kids. I miss my happy little boy. I know this is a normal stage. All little ones at some point push the limits with fits and bad behavior and every little one seems to grow out of it. I just wish I could hire this stage out. (Maybe that's what daycares are for.) :)
  11. Josh is a terrible 3 and I would say that Arwen is a terrible 2. I have had both. They usually choose one year to be difficult and eventually give it up. It looks like I am getting two for one and it's possible that this all has to do with another baby joining the family. Kids are funny. I think I will start potty training Arwen once school starts. I might as well get the hard things done at the same time.
  12. I have no idea if Susan is still gaining weight, but my mother in law is going to lend me her baby scale so we can keep an eye on it ourselves. Some nights she is sleeping well and other nights she hardly sleeps at all. But she is a whole lot happier. She loves to have you look into her eyes and talk to her. She will give you a great big smile, though I have not yet caught it on camera. She sure has an intense littler personality. I have been off of dairy for more than 3 weeks now and it seems to be helping her mood. I am surprised to find that I am not that bothered by a dairy free diet. I wonder if that will change at some point.

This Week's Pictures