Monday, September 1, 2014

This Week at Our House # 35

  1. John was contacted to set up a phone interview for a company in Maryland for this week. I hope it goes further than that. That would be a very big move to a pretty intimidating place, but it would put us close to DC, Philadelphia, NYC, and my parents in NC. I think I could like it there.
  2. What a busy week! Ruth, Kate, and Joseph started school and everyone had full days. Kate turned 15 on Monday, her first day of school, which was pretty busy, but she had a nice birthday all considering. I walked the elementary school  kids home 4 of the 5 days. They liked it the first three. Then I drove one day and they complained about walking the last. I am still planning on walking everyday. I need the little bit of exercise and so do they. John and I made it to the temple together this week and that brought me a lot of peace that I have not felt in a while. 
  3. Ruth started the 11th grade. I only have two more years with my first little baby at home. Ruth is like me, when she graduates, she will happily move on to the next part of her life.  Ruth enjoyed her first week of school. She has a history teacher that has already called a student an "A-hole" (exactly that. Not the actual swear.) But that is a bad omen. I may go in and see if there is another section of the same class the same period she can transfer into. Ruth comes home from school each day and gives me details of what happened in every class, at lunch and before and after school. She is such a fun teen.
  4. Kate is 15! She is such a fun kid. She has a great sense of humor and just knows and loves each of her family members. She is the tie that holds her other siblings together. Everyone loves Kate and Kate makes a conscious effort to pay attention to each of her siblings even down to little baby Susan. I think Kate had a disappointing first week of school. She had high hopes for starting at Bountiful High and has discovered that it is just school with all of the same difficulties. 
  5. Johnny hasn't said too much about school yet. He has had a paper in English, so he complained about that. He talked about a get to know you activity in seminary where he learned he is the youngest and has the biggest family-- big surprise. 
  6. Adam wants to try out for the 3rd and 4th grade school musical. I said that he never sings and I did not think he would like it. Adam told me that he is a good singer and that it is a talent he has that he just never uses. So I said ok. He auditions on Thursday. 
  7. Rachel is trying out for the school musical too. She has been practicing and practicing. She has such a strong voice. It really sets her apart from the rest of our family. She has a much smaller chance of making it, though, because there are lots and lots of girls trying out and only a couple of boys.
  8. Anya had her first week of full days of school. She seems to be doing well. Her reading is amazing, which is a nice relief to have a child who I do not have to spend a lot of time teaching reading to.
  9. Joseph liked school quite well. I will have to ask his teacher if he is behaving and sitting down. He comes home happy and always tells me about recess. I will probably have to work with him steadily for reading because while he memorizes well, he is only just figuring out how to sound out words. I like Legacy Prep a lot, though. On Monday he could not put two sounds together and by Thursday he was sounding out 3 letter words.
  10. Josh is the big kid home in the afternoons and he has been my walking buddy to pick up the four elementary school kids. He is so sweet and I have really enjoyed the time walking with him to the school. But on the way home with all of the kids, he gets fussy and attempts to run off.
  11. Arwen has been putting herself down for naps in the afternoon. It's really rather cute. She will disappear and I will find her asleep in her crib.
  12. Susan found her voice this week. She looks you straight in the eyes and starts to coo and smile. I love how she catches your eyes and then tells you something in her little baby coos. I love babies, and she is just so intense and so sweet. 
This Weeks Pictures
Ruth and Kate's first day of school

Joseph's First Day of School ever in his life :)

My 3 non-school kids

Kate opening presents


She's finally starting to grow some hair

my 4 oldest

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