Saturday, April 29, 2006

In training for girls camp

Matt and Zoe had their first campout together last night. They canoed to their campout spot from the stream I dropped them off at near our home . Zoe has been canoeing several times with Matt this Spring and she really enjoys it. Matt says she's a good paddler.
They cooked ham, potatoes, and baked beans for dinner on a camp stove, which they say was very good.
They built a fire to sit by during the evening. I haven't heard all the details of what they did last evening, but Zoe did mention she got bored.
Zoe slept good, which surprised me because it gets cold at night, but I guess she didn't inherit my "can't sleep when I'm cold" genes.
They saw 3 beavers.
They ate pancakes for breakfast this morning, which was Zoe's favorite part of the campout.
I'm glad they had this daddy/daughter time together. With Matt as their dad, our girls will be old camping pros by the time they head to girls camp when they are 12 :-)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bike riding

My dad bought the girls new bikes for their birthdays...Zoe's birthday was in March, and Emily and Eleanor have birthdays in May. I hate to admit that Zoe is 7 years old and this is her first "real" bike (she got a tricycle when she was 3). So, the bike that fits her has no training wheels, and she doesn't know how to ride it, so the learning has begun. Her balance has already improved in the short amount of time we practiced today. She got mad at me this afternoon because I didn't stay outside long enough to help her. She claimed that I never let her have any fun...I think this was a result of her staying up too late last night from the new bike excitement, I hope anyway.
We've never had bikes because our driveway is not bike friendly. It is a dirt driveway, it's on a hill, and it has a lot of ruts in it. We live on a road that is not bike friendly, no sidewalks. So, I need to find a place to take the girls to ride their bikes where the ground is level and tarred, and I need to clean out the back of our Yukon XL to fit the bikes in...that could be an all day project!
The bikes came from the store all assembled, but Eleanor's scooter came in a box. I am proud to say that I put the scooter together all by myself...yes I have a hard time following assembly instructions, yes it took me longer than it would have taken Matt, yes I took it apart and redid it many times, but I did it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My little helper

Zach has grown to love the hose of our vacuum cleaner. He used to cry when I would start vacuuming, but now he tries to help. He follows me whenever I get the vacuum cleaner out and then when I put the vacuum cleaner down, he grabs for the hose. It's a challenge trying to vacuum with him hanging on to the hose, as he tries to go in the opposite direction that I am going!

Spirit update

Matt questioned Emily last evening about her seeing spirits. She told him they glow, she can walk through them, some are scary looking, but some look like Heavenly Father and Jesus, they wear clothes like we do. It's freaky to me that she claims to have gotten out of bed when she saw them and walked through them to get to our room to wake me up, but I didn't wake up so she went back to bed. This is consistent with her telling me in the past that she has tried to wake me up when she has been scared, but I stay asleep so she just goes back to bed, she just never mentioned seeing spirits. She said she sees the spirits by the computer in the living room (which she can see from her bed), they walk down the hall pass our room, and go into her room and stare at her. I just don't know what to think about this. It doesn't seem to freak her out. She doesn't have a problem going to bed and she doesn't get scared when she talks about it. She does watch a lot of Scooby Doo, and she did say at one point last night that some spirits look like sharks, so maybe she is just imagining things...or maybe not.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Our own Sixth Sense

Eleanor fell asleep last evening around 6:45pm on our way home from my parents' home. We put her to bed as she was in her dress, tights, and coat. At 3am she woke up and wanted me to take her coat and tights off and she wanted her binkie. At 3:30am she needed a tissue. Emily had woken up this time and told me she was scared because she could see spirits in the hall and she could hear their footsteps...since she had freaked ME out, I told her she could come sleep with me. On her way into my room, she told me that she sees spirits all the time and she doesn't like it. I'm asking her about it now and I asked her if she had a dream about spirits and she said "No, they were in the hall." I asked her what they looked like...she said "they look like all kinds of people and they came into my room, I could hear their footsteps"...okay I'm getting goosebumps here.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Never too old for sleepovers

My kids and I stayed with my mom last night while Matt went to a Priesthood campout. We had a FUN time! We watched too much tv, ate too much food, and I wish I could say got too little sleep, but we're not THAT much fun...although I did try to convince Zoe that we were going to play Phase 10 all night long, but she pointed out to me that we HAVE to go to bed and get our rest (duh mom!)...oh I'm sure that answer will change in a few more years. Mom and I tried to watch "Reba" last night (Mom has the DVD of the second season), but as soon as we got the DVD in, the children became was bored, the other needed a drink, Zach got mad because we wouldn't let him play with the remote...we barely got through one episode and then went to play a game of Phase 10 with Zoe.
When I was getting the children into their pajamas for bed, Emily got mad because I had packed matching pajamas for her and Eleanor without realizing it. I had packed Eleanor's pajamas in my bag and Emily packed her pajamas in her suitcase so I didn't know which pajamas Emily had packed...Emily HATES to match with anyone, so she refused to put on her pajamas...and she fell asleep while she was pouting on the couch...1 asleep...Eleanor watched Dora while we were playing Phase 10 and then she fell asleep on the couch...2 asleep...Zach wandered around, climbed on the stool, ate snacks, and stayed awake. We were all in bed by 10:30pm...such party animals!...that is way past Zoe's bedtime though.
We went to a restaurant for breakfast this morning. Eleanor fell over with her chair (no injury occurred), Emily didn't like her chocolate chip pancake, and Zach ate his breakfast along with everyone else's.
I helped my mom with her decluttering the garage project today. If you need help getting rid of clutter, I'm the nagging voice you need. If you find something in a box and I hear you say that you're going to keep it because you MAY find a reason to use it in the're going to hear me sigh, see me roll my eyes, and say "get rid of it!" My mom has a hard time parting with things. I on the other hand tend to throw away everything, and then I wince when my child says to me "have you seen my _____(fill in the blank) and I say "no, sorry I haven't...I figure it's okay to lie if it prevents one of my children from bursting into tears or whining at me for getting rid of something like... a McDonalds toy wrapper! So anyway, when I left my mom's house, she had a trunk full of things in her car to take to Goodwill...I just wonder if the minute my car left her driveway, she went running to her car to check to make sure she REALLY wanted to get rid of this...and this...and this...
The kids and I stopped to get ice cream on our way home to reward Zoe and Emily for doing their chores this past week. I praised them for doing their chores...and then asked them if it would be possible to do their chores next week with a little less whining. That's not too much to ask is it?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A little of this, a little of that

Eleanor made my morning when she said "I love you" as I was cuddling with her.
I put new batteries in a few toys this morning, so it was like Christmas all over again with new toys to play with!
Zach had his first adventure outside for a few minutes this afternoon. He is walking in his sandals now.

Zoe, Emily, and I went to see "Ice Age 2" at our local theater this afternoon.

Emily ended up on my lap soon after it started and said she wished she had stayed with Eleanor and Zach at our friend's house. She was scared of the water creatures. She said something about going to sleep, but she watched the movie and even laughed at the funny parts. I didn't think I would like the movie at first, but it got better toward the middle and I liked the ending. Zoe enjoyed the movie.
Zach had his first walk around the park today when we stopped to play before going home after the movie. He climbed up some steps and went in a tunnel. He just loves to be outside, and I love the fact that I don't have to carry him or push him in a stroller at the park anymore!

I've been tagged by Kristen to do this meme:

4 Jobs I've had in my life
1) Nanny
2) Summer Camp Counselor
3) Receptionist/Billing Clerk for a Chiropractor
4) Full-time Mother

4 Movies I could watch over and over
1) Return to Me
2) The Wedding Date
3) How to Lose a guy in 10 Days
4) The Wedding Planner

4 Websites I visit Regularly
1) Drudge Report
2) Dr. Laura
3) FlyLady
4) All Recipes

4 Favorite Foods
1) Lobster
2) Fried Shrimp
3) Cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate milkshake
4) Chicken Caesar Salad

4 Places I would rather be right now
1) Asleep in bed
2) Pizzeria Uno with Matt
3) In the temple
4) Utah with Matt's family

4 Books I could Read over and over
1) Book of Mormon
2) Anne of Green Gables Series
3) A Walk to Remember
4) An Emotional First Aid Kit for Mothers

4 Songs I could listen to over and over
1) Born to Fly by Sara Evans
2) Vacation by the GoGo's
3) Count Your Many Blessings
4) Scripture Power

4 Reasons Why I Blog
1) To keep my extended family and friends updated
2) To keep a record of what's going on in our lives for myself
3) I like to write
4) I'm blogging that is.

Now if you have read this and you have a blog, consider yourself tagged. If you don't want to play...well fine, I won't be your friend anymore! (I've been hanging around my children too much.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Paper craft day

Zoe and Emily have been wanting to make paper animal models for awhile now, but they would always want to do it at inconvenient times for me, like when I had just laid down to rest or 10 minutes before their bedtime, so this morning when I was writing on my blog, Zoe asked if we could make the animals. Yes! She finally asked at a good time, but she would have to wait until I was done of course. So we started out our day making a paper horse and a paper sheep...with tape instead of glue because I didn't have glue, which didn't make the animals look as nice, BUT we were making them and everyone was happy...which is why the sheep spent most of the morning laying on the kitchen floor...abandoned. The girls are going to realize eventually that they do not have a crafty mother, and then they will stop asking me to do crafts with them, but for now they still insist. Lucky for me, Zoe is getting to the age where she can do the project by herself, and then she can blame herself if it looks weird or not good at all.
After making the animals, they were inspired to make a paper castle. And then came the princess, and a prince, and a step-mother, and a mean girl, and a dog, and a chicken...they spent most of the morning creating and playing. And I did laundry. At one point when I checked to see how everyone was doing I saw this...

Zach asleep with the girls playing around him. The picture makes it look like there was no mess, but there was paper everywhere. I have to remember...children learn by making messes, but I need THEM to learn that messes need to be cleaned up when they are done.

Going outside to play

Zoe is on school vacation this week. My girls went outside to play yesterday at 12:30 and they didn't come back inside until after 5pm! I was surprised they stayed out so long since it was an overcast day, windy, and cool. If this is an indication of what they're going to do all summer then I'm ready! It's fun to be at the stage where the children can go outside to play together and I can stay inside with Zach to play with him and get things done around the house. The girls get along well together when they are outside, which is so nice. It's cute to see Eleanor out there doing everything her older sisters are doing. Zoe and Emily are good about pushing her on the swing and letting her play with them.
The fun began when they came inside and I had 3 baths to give, 3 hungry children to feed, and 2 children to nag about doing their chores in a few hours before bed by myself since Matt was still at work. But I just kept reminding myself about the peaceful, productive afternoon I had and I got through it.

Here is Zach taking advantage of my "it's late and I'm not thinking" foolishness by putting the stool in front of our food storage container. None of our children have been climbers...until Zach came along!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

85 million dollar bridge

For the past couple of months I've wanted to take a picture of the new bridge that is being built near our home to replace the existing bridge(which is behind the new bridge), but I never had my camera with me in the car. But I finally remembered to bring my camera with me one day last week. I wish you could see better how the bridge is being built from each side and is not connected in the middle yet. Maybe when I remember my camera in another couple of months, I'll post another picture. We should be driving across the new bridge(which does have a name, but it has been changed recently and I don't remember what it is) in December. The left pylon that you see will have an observatory deck to go up to and see the beauty around. I plan on going up sometime, but I'm not sure if I'll get any of my family to go up with me. It's weird to think that Eleanor and Zach will only know this new bridge since the old bridge (hancock/waldo bridge) will be taken down when the new bridge is completed. I'm glad we'll have some pictures of both bridges together to show them.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

The Easter Bunny came! Eleanor thought there would be a rabbit in her plastic egg, but the chocolate she found was much better!

Zach loves his new toys

It's hard to take a picture of a moving target, but not impossible

Future model? Emily was eager to pose when I told her it was time to take her picture.

Stake conference is over, time to take some pictures...

When Emily saw this picture she said, "It's perfect! Look at me."

Usually we have a friend take the kids' Easter photo, but this year we ended up doing it ourselves...and this is as good as it got. At least no one is crying!

We survived our busy weekend, and I must admit it was a good, uplifting one. Our meeting this morning, the one at 8:30am with Elder Callister was excellent. I would be at the church at 6am next time if the opportunity was there. Elder Callister is fun to listen to, and I learned a lot from him. We talked with him for a minute before the meeting, we were trying to find out where the childcare was that was promised, and he asked which of our children he could take home with him. Matt of course said all of them. Elder Callister promised the children ice cream for breakfast every morning and they liked the sound of that! Then Elder Callister asked Zoe if she would mind parting with some of her hair to give to him. She wasn't too sure about that. He was very kind and told us that if there was no available childcare then we could bring the children in with us to the meeting...he doesn't know our children very well does he?! We did find the two sisters in charge of babysitting and Matt and I went to our meeting where our cups were filled.
Zoe sang in the children's choir during stake conference and she did a great job of singing and sitting for 2 hours on the stand. I'm sure it was the longest 2 hours of her life!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

2 for the price of 1

This post will include my Easter madness weekend AND my 6 wierd things meme...

My morning so far has started out with "plummer boy" (Zach) coming into the living room carrying the toilet plunger and smiling from ear to ear.

Eleanor danced a jig to the sound of me mixing her chocolate milk.

Emily called me an expert after I got her applesauce out of the box...hanging around my children can make me feel so good sometimes!

Now onto the busy weekend we have in store...we have stake conference this weekend. I asked Matt who's idea it was to have stake conference on Easter and his reply was, "The Lord"...well, I can't be mad at the Lord...can't I blame someone else?! It wouldn't be so bad if Matt and I didn't have to be at the stake center at 8:30am for a meeting with the general authority, Douglas L. Callister along with the other Bishops/Branch Presidents and their wives. Zoe needs to be there at 8:45 (lucky she'll already be there 15 minutes early) to practice with the children ages 6-11 who will be singing during conference. So, to make Easter morning run smoothly, we started preparing last night. After datenight, I went over to my mom's to get the plastic eggs to fill with candy, which Matt and I did last night. I didn't want to put it off until this evening because we have the adult meeting for stake conference to attend this evening and we won't be home until 9pm or so. We'll be putting the kids to bed, wait until they are asleep, and let the Easter bunny work his magic (some of you may think of the Easter bunny as a girl, but it's a boy for some reason in my mind). Then we'll go to bed and wake up before the sun to be at the stake center which is 30 minutes away, at...did I mention that we need to be there at 8:30AM? The morning will be chaos for sure, but hopefully the children will awake quickly in anticipation to find their goodies and they'll be anxious to put on their new dresses. We can only hope.
Today I need to give all the kids a bath, go get ice cream in the rain (I'm trying to convince the girls to wait until the next sunny day, but I have failed so far), practice the songs Zoe will sing tomorrow, iron my clothes for tonight and tomorrow, pack up the diaper bag for the babysitter tonight, and pack up a diaper bag and snacks for conference tomorrow. It's all about being prepared!
I took a break to change Zach's stinky diaper and I gave him a bath, so now 3 baths to give.

I was tagged by Lei (I didn't even know I was playing tag!) so it's my turn to participate in the 6 wierd things meme...only 6? I'm sure I could find more. Here they are:

1. I HATE brushing my teeth. And I take forever brushing my teeth. I like to brush my teeth as early in the evening as I can to get it over with and I feel more relaxed when they are brushed before bed.

2. When Matt and I go to eat at Pizzeria Uno, I like to order a cheeseburger with the mayo on the side so I can mix the mayo with ketchup (known as fry sauce in the west) to dip my fries and burger in. I just know people watch me and think I'm wierd, but it's just too yummy to care. This only tastes good at Pizzeria Uno for some reason.

3. I'm happy living in our condemned trailer with 3 doors(two doors leading to the outside and a bathroom door), windows that are nearly impossible to open in the summer(it's a good thing I like it hot), a plant of some kind growing in my shower that I didn't plant, and very little storage space. Before you call my local human service department, we are in the process of getting out of debt to afford a "real" home.

4. The older my children get, the more I enjoy them. It's a happy day for me when my babies start walking and get more independent. I look forward to the busyness of school, sports, friends, church activities, carpooling, ect...

5. I like my home to be at least 70 degrees at all times! This is easy to accomplish living in a small home...that's why I'm so happy here :-)

6. It's wierd that I've decided to have this blog since I don't like people reading things I write, but one of my goals this year was to do things that make me uncomfortable, so here I am.

Tag, you're it!
Constant Gardener
Mom of all trades

Friday, April 14, 2006

Going back in time...

to the 1950's. Zoe had a performance at school last night where she sang a few songs with other 1st-4th graders, and her class sang "The Peppermint Twist" and did a little dance. I wish I could show the short video I took, but just picture 1st graders twisting to one side, then the other, twisting as they turn around in a circle...too cute! We were a little late getting Zoe to her classroom at the time she was supposed to be there because she couldn't get her hair EXACTLY the way she wanted it. I've stopped doing her hair because she is just too picky about what it has to look like. She has gotten really good at doing her own hair, but last night she wanted it perfect and it was not cooperating! Here is a picture before the hair crises began...looks good to me.

Zoe was nervous before the performance as I think you can tell in this picture as she waits for the music to start.

As I was watching other classes perform before Zoe's class, it dawned on me that I was at a school performance for MY child. This was a first. Wow! my baby is growing up.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Learning to walk all over again

The good news is that I finally found a pair of sandals that fit Zach. He has fat little feet and I've had a hard time finding shoes that fit him. The bad news is that he won't walk with his sandals on. He either just stands where I put him or he'll sit down. Here he is at the park...right where I put him.

Eleanor is attached to her winter coat. I keep forgetting to put it away, so everytime we go somewhere, she insists on wearing it...even if it's 60 degrees outside! Check out the video of Eleanor and Zach swinging. It's not the best quality, but it's the best I have right now.

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cookies anyone?

For Family Home Evening on Monday nights, Matt, Zoe, Emily, and I take turns picking out the treat to eat after we have a lesson, read scriptures, and play a game. It was Emily's turn to decide what treat we were going to have last night and she chose cookies. I told her we would make the cookies together sometime yesterday and she was excited. After going to the park in the late morning and eating lunch, all three of my children went to was a miracle! I decided to make the cookies since we were running out of time to make them because Zoe had a dentist appointment after school. Well when Emily woke up and noticed I had made the cookies without her, she turned into a grump...sitting on the kitchen floor, arms folded, scowling at me grump. She informed me that we would NOT be eating the cookies for our treat...there would be NO treat. There has to be a treat, what is FHE without a treat?!...okay it can be successful, but we LIKE the treat. I racked my brain for a solution to this dilemma and suggested that we make another batch of cookies when we get back from the dentist and that perked Emily up (fortunately these are super easy cookies to make). So later on Emily and I made the cookies and for FHE...we ate the first batch of cookies I had made. The second batch got left in the oven too long. I heard the timer for the cookies go off, but then got distracted and forgot about them. Thank goodness Matt was in the kitchen making dinner and he took them out of the oven when he smelled them burning. When I saw the cookies I thought, I'm so glad we took the time to make those cookies!...but it was worth it to spend time with Emily and to keep the promise I had made to her. And of course everyone was happy when we sat down to eat our delicious treat!

Monday, April 10, 2006


The girls in this picture are old enough to dress themselves...

I wanted to show this picture of Zoe to show off our great find on Saturday...her $1.99 skirt!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Imaginary Friend

Eleanor LOVES Dora the Explorer!
I was in the bathroom yesterday morning getting ready for the day and Eleanor came bouncing down the hall to see me.
Eleanor: "Hi, I'm Dora!"
Me: "Hi Dora, I'm boots!"
Eleanor laughing: "You're not boots, you're Mommy!...this is boots (as she points to nothing beside her)"
Me: "Sorry Boots, didn't see you there!"

She is the first of our children to have imaginary friends. Zoe and Emily may have had a one time imaginary friend, but Eleanor talks with Boots and Diego frequently. I enjoy watching her play with her friends...that only she can see.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Just five more minutes?

This is what Zoe and I wanted to do this morning...sleep, anywhere, just sleep!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Coexisting Seasons

Last night before bed, I looked out our window and discovered it was snowing. I noticed the tree by our window was starting to bud and the green buds and the white snow on the branches with snow still falling looked so pretty.

I thought Zoe would have a snow day today, but nope, she is on her way to school...with her snowpants, boots, 3 coats(she was determined not to wear her winter coat, so she put on 3 light coats), a hat, and mittens. Yes, that is what we call true Maine Spring attire!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Oh dear...Emily admitted to me yesterday morning that she has pretended to be asleep the past few mornings so she doesn't have to join our family prayer before Matt goes to work and Zoe goes to school. She said she doesn't like to pray. I thought I had at least 10 more years before this would happen with her! She WAS asleep this morning when we said our least she seemed to be, and she said she was...the lying wouldn't start now too would it?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

will work for ice cream

Yay, it is that time of year again when I can bribe Zoe and Emily into doing chores by rewarding them with ice cream from our local ice cream shop (I'm not quite sure shop is the word I'm looking for, but I'm tired and I can't think of a better word so it's the word I'm using). They earned their ice cream today by doing dishes, making their beds, and cleaning up toys all week. It's great because they are famous for whining when they are told to clean up, but when ice cream is involved the only thing I have to say is, "do you want ice cream on Saturday?" and they hop to the task to be done. I'm already thinking of a bribe to get us through the winter. Matt suggested McDonalds and he might be on to something there. Our children love's a great motivator. What is that you say?...the "experts" say we shouldn't reward our children with food?...well I disagree. Using food is getting my house cleaned...and not by me :-)