Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Week at Our House #20

  1. John had an hr interview Monday afternoon but we haven't heard anymore, do it may be another dead end.
  2. I am looking for a job too. I applied for a bunch and then lost my phone, which isn't good. But is dead somewhere in the house, so it will be found eventually.
  3. Ruth is counting down the days until graduation. Seminary graduation is next Sunday and high school graduation is June 9th. She is almost there.
  4. Kate has finished reading the Old Testament! She will read the New Testament next year for seminary and then she will have finished reading the complete standard works. I am so proud of my oldest 3 kids. Johnny and Ruth have already finished reading the standard works, so they will all have finished before high school graduation. And they all read their scriptures everyday without reminders.
  5. Johnny was mildly sick for a couple of days this week. He does so much to help around the house all of the time, so that even though he was sick, I was really happy that he just got a couple of days to do absolutely nothing. 
  6. When we first moved here we were surprised at how much electricity cost here. So I told the kids that I would give them candy for every 10 lights they turned off. When Susan started playing in the toilets, I added closing bathroom doors to the list. Adam has been a champion, getting 100 points in one week. It's made a huge difference in our electric bill. It went down by almost half. We also shut off heat and air conditioning, but I am sure keeping lights off is helping a lot too.
  7. Rachel is the other champion of turning off lights and closing bathroom doors. The kids call it "getting light points". 
  8. Every now and then Anya likes to just play by herself. I think it is cute, but it annoys Rachel because Rachel always wants someone to play with.
  9. Joseph caught a toad that croaked a lot and he really liked it. It escaped while we were at church and he just cried and cried about it.
  10. Josh spilled his entire bowl of cereal and milk. I grasped for patience, stripped off his clothes and sent him to John who was in the shower. He came naked and crying to John. John asked why he was in trouble and he said, "I don't know." John asked what happened and Josh said, "I don't know." 
  11. Arwen has formed a love of kissing and comes and kisses me several times a day. 
  12. I bought some onsies for Suzy, so now she cannot take off her diaper. I was fretting that I would have to potty train her young, so I am very pleased with this solution. 
This Week's Pictures

Sunday, May 15, 2016

This Week at Our House # 19

  1. There may be a little bit of hope in the job search or at least after months of silence, we are starting to hear things. This week, the kids caught, a frog that could jump very high and escaped several times before escaping forever, a toad that they still have, and a crayfish that they thought was nasty, but kept for two days. North Carolina is a naturally funner place for kids to explore, even in their own little yards.
  2. We went to the beach on Tuesday because it has been hot. That is always such a nice thing to do. We all love the beach. I didn't get a chance to swim much, but I had a lot of fun taking a very excited Suzy into to jump the waves and then having her fall asleep on me later as I watched John and the kids splash in the waves.
  3. Ruth went by herself to find John who was at the bathrooms at the beach and a creepy looking guy followed her. When she got up to the bathrooms the guy stopped her and said, "Has anyone told you that you are pretty?" He then asked her her age. She said 18, and then he paused and asked if she had a number. Ruth said, "Nope, but I have a dad,"and waved at John and said "hi" as he came out of the bathroom. He later found us on the beach. I was a bit stunned at the guy seeking out my daughters who were surrounded by family and wearing modest swimwear when there were very many girls there alone of just in twos and wearing bikinis.
  4. Kate is very mature. I talk to her a lot and I am always impressed with her strength, discernment and judgment. 
  5. Before we go to bed at night, Johnny always ask John and I what he can get for us. He often brings us water and snacks.
  6. Adam whistles all the time, and if he is not whistling, he is humming or singing. But if Adam is awake and inside, there is constant music coming from Adam.
  7. Rachel is such a picky eater, I have always had a hard time getting her to eat the food I am make. For a time, she could just starve herself sick until we bought her favorite junk foods: chips and ice cream. I finally got wise about it and have been forcing her to eat healthy and regularly, and now that she is 10, she can prepare food the way she wants it, so I always have her make her own breakfast and lunch and then make her eat it.
  8. Anya is a good reader. She reads out loud smoothly and quickly. But I have a hard time getting her to pay attention when I read to her. She really does not listen to anyone at all.
  9. I bought a book for Joseph for school. He got it Friday afternoon and read the whole thing. It's not a hard book, but I was still pleased that he was excited enough to read it all. Though now I am stuck with deciding what to read next.
  10. I am in the process of deciding what sort of curriculum will work best for Josh for kindergarten. Joseph and Anya learned to read quickly and easily at that age, and Adam and Rachel did not. I think Josh may be a little slower and the best course of action would be to wait a full year on reading and focus his kindergarten on simple phonics, books I read to him, and then on his talent for building things.
  11. Arwen was a little sick near the end of the week. She had a low grade fever and a bad cough. I used breathe, a doterra essential oil on her chest and feet and her cough went away after one application. I really do feel like essential oils have been a huge blessing to the health of our family.
  12. Susan surprised me at the beach. Up until this trip, she was afraid of the water and stayed away, only playing in the sand. This time, she ran right to the water and played next to it. As soon as I came near her, she screamed with delight and ran full speed into the water. I was so grateful that she waited for me. I allowed her to get knocked around a little, to give her an idea of the force of the water, but mostly, we enjoyed playing safely in the waves together.
This Week's Pictures

Sunday, May 8, 2016

This Week at Our House #18

  1. Our Utah ward almost never had a fathers and sons camp out, so John was pretty happy to take all four boys to the one our stake had this weekend. The campsite was a church-owned one and it had a shooting range, a lake with free boats, and cabins! They enjoyed shooting our 22-rifle, boating, and the campfire. The stake provided a dinner that all the boys mentioned as excellent. The one downside was that Adam and Johnny packed for the trip and they brought 2 sleeping bags and one pillow for 5 guys. John got the boys all snuggled together underneath the 2 sleeping bags and then stayed up cold all night. I said I would have just come home. But he stuck it out for the sake of the boys.
  2. I took Ruth, Kate, and Johnny to the Temple to do baptisms Saturday night. John was going to, but because he didn't sleep at all Friday night, we thought it best that he did not attempt the 3 hours of driving that it takes.Ruth, Kate, and Johnny had spent the last two weeks gathering family file names and that made the trip even more special. It was wonderful to be there with my kids. We thought about how in a year Ruth will be taking out her endowments to go on a mission and Adam will be joining the youth for baptisms. Life is still good despite the hard things, and I have been blessed with 10 really great kids a husband who is a strong spiritual leader and teaches are children the scriptures and right from wrong every single day. 
  3. Ruth got up early Saturday morning to do the laundry and clean all of the bathrooms for mothers day. She is such a great kid. I hope she has a daughter just like her.
  4. On Friday night after the boys left, Kate helped me do a super around the edges clean of the upstairs and didn't even complain about how messy the boys room was. The boys clean their room everyday, but they shove, so it needs a girl's touch every now and then.
  5. Johnny was going to write a poem for mothers day on Friday, couldn't think of anything, went and played Zelda on the wii and then neglected doing phyisics before he left for fathers and sons. But I think he had a lot of fun boy camping, boating, and shooting guns.
  6. Adam loved shooting the 22-rifle at fathers and sons. He must like North Carolina because nearly every father and son brought a gun, and he thought that was awesome. He came home with a bunch of different bullet casings that he collected to show me.
  7. Rachel stayed up until 3am with John on Wednesday night and then was annoyed that I still expected her to do her school work the next day and then thought we were mean sending her to bed at 11pm, the next night.
  8. Anya takes such good care of Susan for me. Anya takes her outside and plays with her and pushes her on the swings. We don't have a fenced in backyard, so we have to keep a close eye on Susan if she is going to go out at all and Anya is really good at being those eyes. 
  9. Joseph did not like being in a canoe apparently. John said that he almost cried. When he got home, he admitted to me that it scared him, but he had to be a tough little guy and not admit fear while at the campground.
  10. Arwen's hair seemed to grow a lot in one week, or it was just really humid. But all week long,  it was wild and curly and sticking up all over the place and I was out of little hairbands. Every time I told Arwen her hair was a wild curly mess, she would pat her head and very happily say, "My hair has grown now."
  11. Suzy has been taking off her diaper. Eventually, I am going to get to the store and buy her a bunch of onsies so she can't get to her diaper. Today we put duct tape around it and she cried for over an hour because she could not get it off.
This Week's Pictures or Johnny's Funny Faces

Mothers Day Poetry and More

Mothers Day
I love all of the homemade gifts I get for mothers day every year-- especially the little things the kids say and write. Here are my Mothers Day Poems

From Anya
Roses are red.
Vilet are blue.
Sherger is swieet.
And so are you.
I hope your day.
And I love

From Adam
Roses are red
Daisys are yellow
Chocolate is brown
So here's some chocolate.

From Rachel
Dragons are scary
cookies shouldn't be hairy
I can't rhyme with ary
So this poem is threw

From Kate

Roses are red
But theses ones are pink
Mother I love you,
At least I think

I do not think that I can be
any good at poetry.
So I drew a picture for
My sweet mother to adore.
Colors stain my clenched hand
As I create flowers rather bland.
But the only rhyme that I can find,
Is half witted and unkind.
So this trial number two,
To make a poem good for you.
Poems are hard to create
And even harder to relate.
That I think of you to say
In a silly rhyming way,
Only this, mom you deserve
Because of how you faithfully Serve
Us children, we need to,
be better children for you.

And Ruth asked each of the kids a few questions about me and wrote it down:
color: green
age: 40
food: cake
Favorite Child: Ruth
How mom met dad: I don't know. It was like a church activity.

color: green
age: 40
food: peanut butter
Favorite Child: Johnny
How mom met dad: Ah, I can't even guess that way. why do I have to answer all these questions. Why can't someone else. Hey, are you writing this down?

color: green, actually it is pink, pink, pink, pink
age: I don't know. I just know I am 5 years old.
food: what.... vanilla
Favorite Child: Susan
How mom met dad: ohm..ohm...ohm...

color: blue or pink
age: 9, my favorite color is pink
food: brown and gum
Favorite Child: me!
How mom met dad: umm sandwiches and she eats peanut butter.

color: green
age: 50 something
food: salad
Favorite Child: me!
How mom met dad: I don't know how to make sense of how people meet.

color: green
age: 40
food: chocolate
Favorite Child: Susan
How mom met dad: I honestly don't remember.

color: green
age: She is 30, I mean 40
food: I think she likes salad.
Favorite Child: Susan
How mom met dad: At school. I have no idea. Dad saw her, thought she was pretty, talked to her, didn't like her. Mom liked him and then they talked to each other for a long time. The end.

color: blue green I was just kidding.
age: 40
food: chocolate
Favorite Child: me! Oh yeah, do Susan.
How mom met dad: They talk too much.

color: green
age: 41, she is 4 years younger than me... 40!
food: Italian food
Favorite Child: I have no idea
How mom met dad: There was a ward picnic...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

This Week at Our House # 17

I can't believe I am so late on this.-- basically a whole week. I started it on Monday and then just never got back to it. The year is ticking on. I can't believe we are already in May. I really thought things would be much different for us this year. John is still job hunting. Everything is still the same, except that now we have to start paying housing for Ruth for college. We went to the Temple this week at that was very nice and helpful.

Just like with regular school, the home school kids and myself are all getting burnt out from the school year. I know I will always do a summer vacation. I just need those two months to recoup.
Ruth was just about to be hired as a waitress until she said she needed Sundays off and then they said, sorry, we won't hire you. It's pretty discouraging. She needs a job and we need her to have a job. But maybe John will be getting a job somewhere else and we will just be moving on anyway. I feel like we are gypsies. I have moved so much my adult life that I don't have any physical ties to any one place.

Kate is working on speed reading to prepare for her next attempt at the ACT in just over a month. Kate was called as the Laurel's president and has a lot of responsibility with that. I am on the relief society activities committee and am finding that is a lot of  effort too. We never had much to do in our North Salt Lake ward. In fact, in the five and a half years we lived there, I had a calling less than half of that. I had gotten used to having to do nothing for church and now I am trying to get back to not feel put out by being asked to do things.

Johnny and Adam had a scout camp out. Johnny got two tick bites. I asked if he had used the bug repellent and he said that he forgot they even had it. Adam was so excited about the scout camp out, he asked me what time it was about every 20 minutes the day of.

I took the 7 youngest kids to a nature park. There was a big board with park rules and one of the rules was no swimming. Joseph walked into the water and Rachel told him to get out because there is no swimming. Joseph just said, that the sign said no swimming, but it did not say no going into the water and he was just in the water and not swimming. Then he started to walk further and further in until there was a bit of a drop off that surprised him.

Arwen wanted a computer that Joseph was using so she tried to hit him. I gave her a warning and she stopped. Then she came up to me and told me that Joseph was being a monster and asked if she could take care of that for me. Ummm... no. So then she tried to convince Joseph, who was wearing wet clothes to go and change. That didn't work either. Poor Arwen, she did not get a chance to play the computer that day.

This Week's Pictures

I have several kids who always want fried eggs with no yolk. I think they are weird.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This Week at Our House # 16

  1. Still nothing, not an interview, not a contact, just nothing on jobs for John.
  2. I worked hard at trying to stay focused and get all the needful things done this past week. I would like the house to be cleaner. I am really good at keeping this scrubbed and shiney and dusted, but the clutter tends to get away from me. I took the kids to visit my parents on Friday. It was nice to see them again. They are a 4 hour drive and they really don't have space for us to spend the night, so it is a lot of driving to see them at all. We drive a total of 8 hours and visit a total of 8 hours. But we had a great time. My parents took all of us out to 
  3. Ruth entered into a contract for housing at BYU-I making this big change more real. She will be staying at the Colonial in an apartment with 6 other girls. We are grateful for friends who have had kids already attend BYU-I and could help us with housing choices. I suspect we would have made some pretty wrong decisions if we did not ask around first. As it stands, I think Ruth will be in a nice apartment complex that enforces the rules, is close to campus, and has a reputation for attracting faithful girls. And it was only $100 more than most of the cheaper places that apparently don't have good reputations or good landlords. 
  4. Kate got her ACT score and we immediately signed up for the next one in June. It wasn't terrible not it was not what she needs to get into BYU, where she intends to go. Kate got to hang out with her friend Elizabeth when we drove out to visit my parents. I think she needed that. She has very little social interaction outside our family these days,
  5. Johnny has been reading The Hobbit to Joseph at night. I really appreciate the time Johnny puts in to helping his younger brothers. He also reads scripture stories to Josh every night.
  6. Adam is buzzing through his school work. He has learned it well and understands what he is doing. He always wanted to graduate early like Johnny, but I never thought that would work out for him. Now I have changed  my mind. I am sure he will be more than ready to graduate at 17 in the summer and leave for a mission at 18 in the fall, which he is happy about. Interestingly enough, Adam just needed less structure and more time outdoors to get the focus he needed to excel in academics. I am very, very pleased with homeschool.
  7. Rachel is very good at taking care of herself. She bathes, gets dressed, combs her hair and brushes her teeth without being told. That is such a relief to me. Rachel's fortune from the Asian restaurant told her that she would inherit a large some of money. My sister told her that if she eats her fortune it will come true. So she did.
  8. Anya 
  9. Joseph likes to read comic books to me all of the time. He did better at doing his school work this past week because I really put my foot down and got after him. He is very smart and could be doing a lot better than he dies, if he would just sit for 10 minutes in a row. He was good in school and learned better there. But I cannot send him to school here. I just need to be stricter with him than I am with the other kids.
  10. Joshua has begun peeing his pants again. I am now back to reminding him to go the bathroom several times a day. But he does know his alphabet and sounds pretty well now, so that is a relief. He will be ready for kindergarten, even though it will be homeschooled for him.
  11. Arwen is very independent. She just does things like she is 6 and not 3. Though she is not at all reliable about chores and that is more like a 3 year old.
  12. Suzy actually went to nursery this last week on her own. She said no, but we stepped into the room and there was a puzzle that she really wanted to do and decided to stay and do it.
This Week's Pictures
Suzy climbed this tree all by herself

Sunday, April 17, 2016

This Week at Our House # 15

  1.  John has been doing yard work and he really, really hates yard work.
  2. I can say that I survived this week and even got some needful things done. I always have so much to do. I need to get much more writing down this coming week. That will be my goal and focus.
  3.  Ruth is almost done school. She has about another month and a half before graduation. She is ready. But I need to convince her to spend time studying for the permit test so she can get her drivers license before she leaves for college in 5 more months.
  4.  Kate is my little Captain Moroni. She has a good understanding of the scriptures and truth and defends them boldly, even to adults.
  5. Johnny's playing the hymns and primary songs on the piano now. He's slow, but determined to learn the songs he likes no matter how hard. This, of course, makes me so happy. I have wanted a piano player, but most of the kids have shown little interest. 
  6.  We somehow need to get Adam to understand that he must be gentler and nicer to his younger siblings. He is especially rough with Joseph. This was not the case before home school, but now Joseph is constantly jumping on and wrestling Adam and Adam is always knocking too hard back.
  7. Rachel  has gotten a lot better at getting her school work done quickly with a lot less goofing off. Rachel is reading The Secret Garden to me. It is good for her to get all of that read out loud practice and I love that story so much. I think we are both really enjoying that time together each week.
  8.  Anya is my helpful little buddy. I can always rely on her to clean her room and play with Susan. 
  9. John saw Joseph and Joshua standing in front of the toilet together and asked what they were doing. Joseph said, "Well, we kind of made up this game called pee fight." I honestly thought my boys had more sense than that. Who was I kidding?
  10.  I think Joshua needs more parent one on one time. He has just been so grumpy that he is pretty much always in trouble. I think if I can get a little personal time in with him each day, the viscous cycle of always being grumpy and in trouble should end.
  11.  Arwen has changed her clothes 5 times already today. I don't even bother washing them all the time anymore. Often, I will just throw them back in with her clean clothes because with the rate she changes, I don not have enough for her to put on something fresh and clean each time she changes.
  12. Suzy gets what she wants. She wanted a bath and no one was available to giver her one, so she took off her clothes, and took off her diaper and laid down in the bathtub singing until John came by and thought it was too cute and gave her a bath.
This Week's Pictures