Friday, February 29, 2008


My Mom came over this morning to watch Eleanor, Zach, & Kate while I went Visiting Teaching. It was very sweet of my Mom to give up her sleep- in time to help me out. :-) My Mom had taken the day off since my sister, my sister's fiance, Doug, and two of her kids (Philip & Aly) were arriving today for a week's vacation and my Mom picked them up at the airport. My Dad brought Aly over to play with Zoe this afternoon and then I brought Zoe, Emily, & Aly over to my parents' home for dinner this evening. We picked up pizza on our way. We met Doug for the first time this evening and he had Emily laughing all through dinner, so he has nicknamed her "giggles". Doug reminds me of my Uncle Phil. He is very nice and he fits right into the family.

I completed my goal for the week of exercising 3 times. :-)

I spent most of the day reading. That's the trouble with me starting a book, I just read, read, read and I neglect everything else. I'm not done my book yet, so there is more reading to be done.

The brakes got fixed on the Yukon today. It is so nice to apply the brakes and not hear any scraping!

Matt is waiting for me to watch "We are Marshall", so I will "talk" to you tomorrow.

Insert your own title here.

It wasn't snowing when we got up this morning, so Zoe & Emily had school. :-)
Thanks for the boy names to consider!

This morning Eleanor asked Zach if he loved her and he said yes. Then Emily asked him if he loved her and he said, "No, I love Eleanor."

We got to listen to Eleanor & Emily fight this morning. It had something to do with one of them standing on the other's chair and drawing pictures with their fingers on the windows behind their chairs in the living room. I wasn't paying much attention, but I noticed Eleanor standing on a chair so I told her to get down. Matt & I laughed when she yelled, "No! She's ruining my life!"
Then a little later Emily was annoyed with Eleanor because Eleanor kept coughing everywhere, including on Emily. Emily couldn't resist telling Eleanor that she was annoying and gross. During Emily's prayer, she prayed that Eleanor would learn to cover her mouth when she coughs!

Eleanor said her prayer the other day in a song. She started out saying her prayer, but by the end of it she was singing her prayer and Matt & I had to laugh. She is such a character! Tonight Matt told Eleanor that he hopes she becomes a cheerleader (I don't think he expected to say that to any of his daughters). But she has such spirit and energy that the cheering squad could definitely benefit from her enthusiasm. Eleanor thought being a cheerleader was silly since it is just a costume (Zoe was a cheerleader for Halloween, so cheerleader=Halloween costume to Eleanor).

Eleanor & Zach were playing with a baby doll this afternoon that can cry, coo, and sleep. The baby doll was crying, so the obvious thing to do according to Eleanor & Zach was to scream at the baby to GO TO SLEEP! After yelling this a few times, the baby DID go to sleep and Eleanor exclaimed, "Hey! It worked!" Well a sleeping baby is no fun to play with so then they tried to wake the baby up by yelling, "Wake up Steve!" (which I think they got from Blue's Clues) and when the yelling didn't work, they threw the baby around and when that didn't work, they went back to the yelling. No luck, so Eleanor said to Zach, "Let's not try to wake up the baby anymore." And Zach replied, "Okay." If only Kate would remain asleep through all that yelling, she would have definitely woken up.

We looked at scrapbooks that I have done over the years today and Eleanor kept noticing toys in the pictures that we don't have anymore. She wanted to know WHY we didn't have all of these toys anymore. When it was explained that we live in a small house and we don't have room to keep every single toy that was ever bought or given to us she replied, "We need a BIG house so we can keep all the toys we get for Christmas!"

Emily had a dentist appointment this afternoon, so my Dad came over to watch Zoe, Eleanor, Zach, & Kate and let me use his car. Thanks again, Dad! On the way to the dentist, Emily asked me if they give shots in high school. I wondered where this question came from and asked Emily why she was concerned about this. One of the episodes of "Saved by the bell" that they watched last night while my Mom was watching the kids was about the students receiving a shot at school. She was quite relieved when I told her that she would not be getting a shot at school when she went to high school. Poor thing, I think she was really stressed about that. I'm glad she brought it up. I didn't mention the tetanus shot she'll get when she's 15...she really doesn't need to worry about that for the next 8 years!

While waiting for Emily at the dentist's office, I started a book that my grandmother gave me called "A Tradition of Pride" by Janet Dailey. I've never read anything by this author, but my grandmother loves her and I think it's going to be a good book.

While I was gone, Kate practiced walking to Zoe on her own! Matt & I each walked with her a bit yesterday while holding on to her hands and already today she has decided to try it on her own. She walked a bit by herself this evening too. She walks slow and cautiously, but it's progress!

This afternoon was Emily's turn to wash the dishes after school, but we left for the dentist soon after she got home, so the dishes were still dirty. When we pulled into the driveway she observed, "I can't do the dishes because the sun is setting." Interesting, does that mean I don't have to do the dishes after dinner anymore???

This evening Kate ruined the glasses that Eleanor made yesterday. When Eleanor noticed her ruined glasses, she immediately set out to solve the mystery of who ruined her glasses. When Matt offered a hint that it was probably a younger sibling, Eleanor replied with no doubt, "It was Kate, she's always ripping things." Good thinking Eleanor.

I went to the grocery store this evening to pick up a few things and I was once again annoyed at the dimming of the lights an hour before closing. I'm sure they do it to save money since not a lot of people shop there between 8 and 9pm, but it annoys me every.single.time I am there when the lights get dimmed. I heard one lady ask a worker if the store was closing. It does make you feel like you need to rush and the store will be closing soon, although since I am in the know that there is still an hour left to shop I don't rush, but I still get annoyed!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who is Big Bird, Bert, Ernie...?

It has been suggested that we come up with a K name for our baby boy since we have 2 Z names, 2 E names, and 1 K name. Zoe is all for a K name, but we have yet to come up with one that we like and I'm not determined that it be a K name. I think I'm procrastinating naming this baby because we never finalize the name until right before the birth anyway and it will give me something to think about those 10 days or so that I am overdue and wondering if the baby will ever decide to come out. So out of curiosity, what boy names do you love?

I opened a package of diapers last night for Zach and they had Sesame Street characters on them. I showed them to Zach and realized that he probably had no clue about Sesame Street. Who doesn't know about Sesame Street??? I really don't think he has ever seen Sesame Street. He may see the characters on the PBS website that he plays on from time to time, but I doubt he could name them. I think it's time to get a Sesame Street video from Netflix. He needs to be exposed. I'm not sure why this is important, but it is.

It snowed through the night last night, but had stopped early this morning, so the kids had a one hour delay instead of a snow day (which we were anticipating). Usually Matt waits for the bus with the girls in the morning and then heads to work, but since the bus came an hour later and Matt had left for work, I waited with the girls. They entertained themselves by sliding down a snowbank on their bottoms. I have noticed Spring-like weather on several blogs out there, but it will be a few more months before those posts appear here.

I have set a goal to have Kate walk everyday while holding onto my hands. Maybe this will help her to want to do it on her own. I used to walk all.the.time with Zoe because Zoe insisted. We called it her "big belly walk" because she would stick her belly way out when she walked.

I finished putting together my 2006 blog book today. Now I want to double check with my on-line blog posts to make sure I have them all printed out. I know I'm missing the ending to several posts, so I need to print those out as well.

Eleanor printed out this mask (she called them glasses) to color and then I cut them out for her. She was quite proud of them.

I set a goal at the beginning of the school year to work with Eleanor each day to help her learn her letters, numbers, and other things. I printed off a letter each day for us to color at first, but I think that lasted until we got to the letter D, so 4 days. Eleanor has little desire to sit down and do paperwork and life is busy, so the goal was soon neglected. After Eleanor printed out her glasses and colored them, I dug out a folder that has other paperwork activities and asked her if she wanted to pick one to do. She picked a feelings sheet where she had to determine whether the child in the picture was doing something that made him/her happy or sad and circle the face that showed that emotion. She had fun doing the activity and I think she would be willing to do more if I leave the papers out where she can see them. I used to have a preschool activity book for Emily and I'm thinking we should buy one for Eleanor. I think she would enjoy having a book of her own to work in and I wouldn't have to take the time to search the internet for new worksheets.

The kids went outside to play in the snow this afternoon after homework and chores were done. The boys from next door came over to play and the kids had a great time together. It ended on a sour note for Zach though as he had either taken off his mittens or they came off and his hands hurt from being so cold. I went out to get him as he was crying and we put his hands under cold water when we got inside until they felt better. He was so upset and he couldn't understand why his hands felt the way they did. It was so sad. During this crises, I was making a few grilled cheese sandwiches and getting ready to leave for Branch Council. My Mom arrived about the time that Zach's hands were feeling better and I left him and the other kids in her care. My Dad has a new calling as the High Priest Group Leader and counselor to the Elders Quorum, not to be confused with a counselor in the Elders Quorum since he is a Hight Priest, but he will assist the Elders Quorum like a counselor. Anyway, he was going to the meeting as well so I rode to church with him. It took a few tries to get out of our driveway, but we eventually made it out and were on our snow showers that were becoming quite heavy on our way home. I checked the site and it says we have a chance of snow showers until noon tomorrow. It looks like I'll be checking for a school cancellation in the morning before waking up the girls.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eating dinner=Torture

I forgot to show you these pictures of Zach yesterday. While I was preparing dinner, Zach entertained himself in the bathroom. First he wet and combed his hair.

When I went back into the bathroom to check on him he was washing his hands. He was having lots of fun playing with the soap bubbles. After rinsing off his hands and making sure the soap bubbles were gone, I went back to preparing dinner while he brushed his teeth. Do you think he'll be this cleanly when he's older?

I can't believe I forgot to mention Eleanor's tortilla experience. We frequently make chicken fajitas for dinner because Matt & I love them, but the majority of the kids would rather die than eat them. Last night we told them that they each had to eat one little piece of a cheese tortilla before they could have the treat during Family Home Evening. Emily, Zach, & Kate had no problem with this, but Zoe & Eleanor acted like it was the end of the world as they knew it. Zoe claimed she would throw up if she ate it and Eleanor tried a tiny bite and screamed "I hate it, I hate it" over and over again. Eleanor was in tears and refused to eat it and eventually left the table very upset. Zoe eventually ate her piece, but not before trying to trick us into thinking she ate it, but really didn't. I got a kick out of Matt's comment to me that in the future when we are at Zoe's home for Thanksgiving dinner, he is going to throw a fit like Zoe and claim he will throw up if he has to eat the dinner. I actually look forward to that day. :-) We saved Eleanor's uneaten piece of cheese tortilla to offer to her later after the song, prayer, lesson, scripture, and game. It was her second chance at getting ice cream for the treat. She was encouraged for awhile by our chanting "Eat it, eat it!" and claimed at one point to actually LIKE it, but as soon as our chanting and cheering stopped, she wasn't so sure about liking it anymore. She was taking very tiny bites, so Matt tore the piece in half and encouraged her to stick a half piece in her mouth. She did and she drank some water to go with it and then she wouldn't swallow it. She ended up spitting it out and she went back to eating tiny pieces from the other half, which I told her if she ate that half then she could have her ice cream. She finally got her ice cream, but it was a painful experience for all of us!

We were discussing baby names this morning and Eleanor kept calling Taco Bill..."Huckle Bill." She loved all the silly names that Matt came up with like "Soft Taco Supreme". With every name he mentioned Eleanor would yell, "Yeah!" with lots of excitement. I'm glad Eleanor is not naming this baby.

Eleanor & Zach have opposite reactions to a dog. Eleanor LOVES dogs and wants to pet them and doesn't care if they maul her. Zach wants nothing to do them and stands frozen until the dog is out of sight. This exact scene happened this morning as a lady walked by with her dog as we were walking to the mailbox. Eleanor got all excited to see the dog and Zach stopped dead in his tracks and wouldn't move until the dog passed.

Zach has been going outside to play about once a day the last few days. He doesn't mind going out by himself and he'll stay out there for 10-20 minutes and then come back inside. Eleanor stayed out with him for 5 minutes after walking to the mailbox, but somehow her boot came off during their play and she didn't have any socks on, so she came into the house with one very cold bare foot. I looked out and Zach was carrying her boot to the house. I have no idea what happened and neither does Eleanor, but I know she was not happy about the experience!

I read Emily's Fish book to Eleanor & Zach today, which went well until we read about the eel. The eye of the eel WAS scary looking and it really freaked Zach out. I tried reading about the other fish after the eel, but Zach kept saying to skip it, so we stopped reading the book and moved on to a Dr. Seuss book.

Zach's new pastime is to take hats and mittens out of the hat & mitten box and fling them over his shoulder. He finds it quite amusing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Matt had us up at 5:30 this morning because he didn't change the time on the alarm clock from Sunday morning. I could have stayed in bed for another 1/2 hour. I will be checking the time of the alarm tonight!

Zoe & Emily both made it to school today, although Emily almost stayed home because of a sore throat. But I had her get ready for school and by the time it was time to catch the bus, she wanted to go to school. When she got home she said she was glad to be back at school and sounded like she had a good day...even with the sore throat.

Eleanor was stuffed up a bit this morning and when she was drinking her chocolate milk, she claimed it kept going in her nose. Emily didn't believe her and told her so. So Eleanor told us to watch her as she took a drink of her milk, blew out her stuffy nose and said, "See!".

I exercised today. I couldn't help myself. I caught the exercise bug at the activity, so I have set a goal to exercise 3 times a week. I am using a pregnancy workout video that has a 20 minute salsa dance segment, a 20 minute yoga fat burn, a 6 minute labor & delivery prep segment, and an 8 minute prenatal stretch & relax segment. I did the 20 minute salsa dance segment today. I am taking your advice and exercising only a little bit. I had fun exercising and I felt so good after. I tried to get Eleanor to exercise with me, but she chose to sit and watch. Matt reminded me that Eleanor used to like exercising. When I exercised when I was pregnant with Zach, Eleanor would copy me. It would crack us up because she would stick her belly out because she was used to seeing women with big bellies exercising! How could I forget her exercising in the middle of Sacrament meeting in the aisle? It was so funny!

Emily has library on Monday, so she brought home a new book today. It is a book about fish. She loves to bring home books that have real life pictures and facts about the animal. We have learned about snakes and panda bears and now we look forward to fish.

Matt brought home money today, yay! I was in the bedroom putting away laundry when one of the children brought me a wad of cash, and then minutes later another child came in with more cash, and then a few minutes later another child came in with even more cash. Sweet! A little while later Matt asked Zoe to set the table, which she replied, "No thank you", but Emily happily volunteered, so Matt jokingly gave her a wad of cash for setting the table. Emily immediately ran down the hall to put the cash in her piggy bank. And I immediately called her back because I know that child and she can have something in her hand one minute and then not know where it is the next. Sorry, we have not raised the price of chores THAT much!

Since I don't have a car during the day, I have been asking my Dad to deposit money in my account when Matt gets paid. So I went over to my parents' home this evening to give my Dad some money to deposit and of course to play a game of Phase 10 with my Mom. It is always nice to play a game in the evening with no children to interrupt, insist on playing too (Zoe), or sit on our laps and try to steal our cards (Kate!).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vacation has ended

Matt took the time this morning to adjust the straps to Kate's "new" car seat and I found the straps to Zach's "new" car seat, although there seemed to be a piece missing to keep the straps in place, so he is now using the shoulder belt. I was concerned that Zach would refuse to use the shoulder belt since he really liked the harness straps and whenever he would say he wanted to sit in Eleanor's seat when Eleanor wasn't in the car, he would decide to sit in his own seat when I would try to put the shoulder belt on him. But all went well this morning and he was happy to switch car seats and the way he was buckled in. Zoe was funny when she got into the car after church because it was the first time seeing Kate in a forward facing car seat and then she noticed that Eleanor had a different car seat and Zach had a different car seat AND was wearing the shoulder belt (Eleanor ended up using the car seat that was in the shed and Zach is using the seat Eleanor was using). We also moved Zoe from the back to the middle so she would have more room. And then we get to rearrange everyone when the baby comes! Kate did great in her "new" car seat, although she doesn't fall asleep like she did in her infant seat. Usually she falls asleep on the way to church, but this morning she didn't and on the way home she didn't give in to sleep until we were almost home.

The brakes on our Yukon are in bad shape. On the way to church this morning while Matt was pressing on the brake, Eleanor asked, "Do you hear that train?" Yeah, we hope to get our train sounding brakes fixed soon. I hate stopping when people are walking nearby because I always get funny looks from them.

Our Primary President was at church today, yay! It was so nice having her there and I'm glad she stayed for Primary. I still was basically in charge, but Primary felt complete with her there.

Zoe & Emily had a great time with Patti yesterday. They rented "Miracle Dogs 2" and "Scooby-Doo" to watch after they went swimming and ate lunch at McDonald's. Then they went out to dinner at "Wendy's" with Patti and her husband, Mike. Zoe & Emily have definitely gotten their fill of fast food this weekend! Although I was impressed when Zoe told me she ate a baked potato at Wendy's and Emily ate a baked potato and a salad.
They were quite tired when we got home from church and Zoe was a bit of a challenge this evening. She insisted that she wasn't going to school tomorrow and I really hope a good night's rest changes her mind in the morning.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Love is in the air

We had a Primary activity this morning that I was in charge of. The theme was "Love" and we had 4 different classes. In the first class "Love the Savior", I was going to show the movie "Finding Faith in Christ", but last night I decided that would be a good sharing time for tomorrow since the song we're learning is "Tell me the stories of Jesus" and the movie shows a lot of the stories about Jesus...perfect. That eliminated preparing a sharing time for the older children this afternoon. Our primary president's Mom is dying of cancer and she hasn't been to church for about 3 weeks now and she isn't sure when she'll be in full swing in Primary, so I have been in charge of Primary. Things are working out, although we miss our President dearly, so when I get an idea to show a movie during sharing time, I go with it, especially since I have spent the last few days getting ready for our activity. Which I will now get back to. We started with "Love Your Neighbor" where my Mom had written up ways to serve and show love to our neighbors, like rake their leaves, walk their dog, etc...and the kids played pictionary on the chalkboard with those ideas. They had a great time! Then we moved to a different room for "Love Your Family" where the kids made coupon books which included different chores the kids would be willing to do for their families. I found a 100 piece puzzle titled "The Life of Jesus" in our Primary closet, so I had the kids put that together for "Love the Savior" in a different room after they were done their coupon books. That went well although Zoe wouldn't let Eleanor put the piece on that she wanted to, which caused Eleanor to cry. The last class was "Love Yourself" where the kids decorated sugar cookies and treated themselves. Emily's teacher, Patti made the cookies and brought the frosting and sprinkles, which was a huge help to me. We had a small turnout for our activity, but I think everyone who was there had a good time and was glad they came. I got this activity idea from The Idea Door website.

After the activity, Patti took Zoe & Emily to the video store to pick out some videos, then they went swimming at the Y, and then to her house for a sleepover. I'm glad they're having a fun ending to their vacation.

Eleanor & I were looking at a photo album earlier when we came across pictures from a Stake Youth trip to the Hill Cumorah pageant in New York that I went on as Young Women's President and Patti went as my counselor. Patti looked different in the photo with longer hair and no bangs. And Eleanor pointed out that her hair wasn't painted gray! And the same could be said about me.

Matt called Eleanor Emily this evening (which happens often).
Eleanor: "My name is Eleanor!"
Matt: "Whatever." (This is his typical response)
The two E names do get mixed up a lot and the same thing happens to me and Zoe, so get used to it Eleanor because it will happen many more times. We do know who you are...really we do.

My goal this afternoon was to get Kate switched to a forward facing car seat. It's funny how switching Kate's car seat has not been anxiously awaited like it was with Zoe and probably most of the other kids. This is a big deal. No more infant car seat, which means no more taking the seat in and out of the car, we get to see Kate's face instead of the back of her head, and she'll be a big kid in the car just like her siblings. But this transition of seats has barely been on my mind. Maybe because it required digging a car seat out of the shed, which first would require tromping through a lot of snow, and then finding the straps to go to the seat, taking Zach's seat out of the car to adjust the straps to fit Kate and adjusting the seat that was in the shed to fit Zach. There's a lot of work involved here! Well I did tromp through the snow, found the car seat in the shed, and brought it inside. I brought Zach's seat inside. Matt took the cover off the car seat that was in the shed and washed it and it is now drying by the heat vent. That is how far we have gotten on my goal and I doubt more progress will be made in the morning, so Kate will have to take one more ride to church facing backwards and we'll have to put Zach's car seat back in the car for him to use, then we'll take it out again to adjust it to fit Kate later on. At least we're making progress.

If only the living room would stay clean

It has been a different kind of day, which was nice. My Mom came over in the late morning to play phase 10 with me & Zoe before taking Zoe to a basketball game at the Bangor auditorium. It's tournament week for the high school teams, which is a big deal around here. Zoe loves to watch basketball games, so she is a fun one to take to the tourney games.
Emily & Eleanor left just after Zoe & my Mom to go swimming at our local university with Emily's friend from school who has a younger sister who is Eleanor's age. Eleanor had never met this sister before, but she was more than willing to make a new friend and she had a great time. Her new friend has short hair, which just baffled Eleanor because Eleanor is in favor of long hair. Eleanor told me when she got home that her friend looks like a boy...but talks like a girl...she looks like a boy...but she IS a girl. Hairdos can make you question sometimes.

Kate slept all afternoon while Zach played on the computer and I vacuumed & dusted the living room. It really needed a good cleaning and this afternoon was a good opportunity to clean without too many interruptions and messes being made while I cleaned. It always feels good after I clean something, but it gets done after a lot of procrastination and dread.

Zoe & Emily are sleeping over at my parents' house tonight, so after getting Eleanor, Zach, & Kate to sleep, Matt & I watched "Martian Child" (my free Movie Gallery rental :-). When I was at the store and saw the preview for this movie and saw that John & Joan Cusack are in it, I had to rent it. And it was good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sleepy family=not a lot of patience!

We have been a tired bunch today. Not far into the morning, Zoe & Emily took a short nap on my bed. I've been dragging most of the day and by this afternoon I was ready to send my kids somewhere so I could be alone, but I have survived another day of mothering...and everyone is still alive and well. Matt & I have a couple of movies to watch and I was willing to watch one of them tonight, but Matt voted for an early bedtime, which is really what we need.

I spent the morning finishing our 2007 scrapbook while the kids had their computer time. One section of my green folder is empty! Only 6 sections to go.

I made boiled eggs today and Eleanor decided she wanted one. I was skeptical she would eat it, but I started peeling one for her. She got all excited and said, "I wonder what's inside! Do you think there's a chicken in there?!"
Me: "No, there's no chicken in here."
Eleanor: "Mom! Eggs have chickens in them you know." Duh!
Even while she was eating a tiny bit of the egg, she wondered if she would find a chicken. No luck.

Zoe asked me today if I thought Eleanor is going to be an artist when she grows up.
Eleanor: "No! I'm going to be a mermaid."

Kate was trying to take possession of Emily's blanket this afternoon. Emily tries to convince herself from time to time that she is ready to give her blanket to Kate, but it hasn't happened yet.

And here is Zach wanting to get in on the fun of having his picture taken. Note Emily & Kate "wrestling" in the background.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

To blog or not to blog

For the day that is. We just got home from a church activity and it is late, but if I don't write about the day than by tomorrow it will probably be forgotten or seem too unimportant to write about. Zoe had achievement this evening and we also had a branch winter health fair. We talked about diet and exercise and we learned different exercises that can be done at home. I liked the emphasis on working out at home because a lot of us don't have the time or money to spend going to a gym, and I prefer to exercise at home anyway. Part of me would like to start exercising now (I had planned on waiting until after the baby is born, probably a year after), but the one pregnancy I exercised, which was with Zach, I had a super fast labor and almost didn't make it to the hospital before he was born...and I really don't want to repeat that experience...and I do believe it was the exercising that progressed the labor so quickly because I didn't exercise while pregnant with any of the girls and they were all 20+ hours of labor. So do I exercise and confirm that was why I had such a fast labor, or do I continue to use pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything I want and put off exercising for another year or so? I do enjoy exercising and I like putting a video into my DVD player to work out to, but finding the perfect opportunity to exercise without interruptions is a pain.
Eleanor had a great time on the bouncy ball this evening and she made some new friends. Zach slept through most of the activity and when he woke up and saw that he was at church, he insisted on going to nursery. Zoe and Emily had fun playing with the hula hoops and their friends.

I was cleaning an area in the kids' room this morning when Emily saw me and said, "Oh, so it's YOU who cleans our room. (I've been cleaning their room in the morning while Zoe & Emily are at school).
Me: "Did you think it was the cleaning fairy?"
Emily: "No, I thought it was us...because we do clean up you know."
We have different standards for clean, so I've been cleaning to my standard in the morning and letting them clean to their standard in the evening.

I was cleaning out a drawer this afternoon when Eleanor asked me what I wanted to play.
Me: "I want to play "clean this drawer".
Emily laughing: "I've never heard of that game before!"
She thought it was so funny that I called cleaning out the drawer a game. While cleaning out the drawer I found a sealed envelope with a $1 bill inside. Weird. Why did I keep a $1 bill in a sealed envelope? I had no idea (and still don't), so I opened it and spent it this evening.

The kids went outside to play this afternoon and when I looked out our kitchen window, I saw Zach swinging all by himself. He wasn't going very high, but he going enough to be content. It is so nice when the children are able to swing by themselves...although I know if I had been out there he would have insisted that I push him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More blessings

When Zoe & I went shopping last night, she "bought" (she still owes me $1 and so does Emily) a nail art kit and we decided to pick one up for Emily too. First thing this morning they were asking for help to put on their nails. Of course the nails didn't stay on for long, but we did manage to get a picture of their "fun, but hard to do anything with these on" nails. Emily's hand is on the left and Zoe's hand is on the right.

It was a nice day out today, so the kids spent some time outside this morning. They picked a good time to go out because Kate was sleeping, so it was extra quiet while they were out and Kate was able to sleep in peace.

Zoe & Emily worked on their math-a-thon books today. Participating in this program to raise money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has become a February vacation tradition for Zoe and now for Emily too. When they were getting bored later on this morning I suggested they work on their books (thinking they would say no) and they thought it was a great idea. They both finished their books today, so now we just need to collect money (which involves having my Mom take the pledge sheets to work, and once again I have waited until the last minute to give her the sheets and now she only has a few days to collect the money...sorry Mom!).

Movie gallery called today to let me know that I have a free rental waiting for me. It is so nice of them to give me a free rental every month for not renting videos at their store anymore. I never pass up their free rentals, so I welcome the phone call every month.

We went the entire day today (until now) without turning the computer on! Every time the kids asked to get on the computer I told them they could as soon as the living room and their bedroom were clean. And every time they decided to do something else instead. It was nice to have a computer-free day, but I was exhausted by the time Matt got home!

Zach was acting like a boy during lunch today. He was blowing raspberries with his mouth and trying to spit on the girls. He thought it was hilarious and of course the rest of us found it annoying.

Kate stood on her own quite a bit today. But whenever Zach saw her, he would rush over to her and insist she walk with him. And every time Kate saw Zach coming toward her, she would plop down on her bottom and whine.

Zoe went to her first school friend birthday party by herself this afternoon. They jumped on her friend's trampoline a lot, ate pizza and cake & ice cream, and had lots of fun.

I think we have received another tithing blessing. I paid off a credit card several months ago and then closed the account, but I received several more bills with interest payments owed. This bill has been on my list of things to pay, but we haven't had extra money to pay it, so it hasn't been a priority. Last month our balance was $61.35. The bill I received today says that our balance is now $0, which is weird because I didn't make a payment and neither did Matt. This may be another case where we are considered a lost cause and they just decided to write off the account or something. I'm not disputing it! I have felt that this is going to be a good financial year for us. Having these bills disappear is definitely helping. :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Work, work, work

Last night I forgot to mention Kate's computer time. She was so happy to be able to push all the keys on the keyboard and she even found the monitor button to turn the monitor on and off. I was just waiting for her to push a button that would lock us out of our computer or something, but no apparent damage has been done that we know of. It was just so funny to see her so happy to play on the computer like the rest of us do on a regular basis. Now she tries to push the buttons on the keyboard when we are on the computer and she gets very upset when we won't let her.

Writing about Kate's computer play reminded me of Zach the other night who was playing on the computer when Matt got home from work. We sat down at the table for dinner and told Zach it was time to get off the computer, but he didn't want to. Matt went over to the computer and clicked on the x to close the program Zach was playing on and Matt sat back down at the table. Zach clicked on the start button, found internet explorer, and went back to play on Nick jr. which is the homepage. This surprised Matt, so Matt got up and shut the monitor off and sat back down. Zach turned the monitor back on and started to play. Finally Matt shut the program off and logged off, so Zach was stuck because he doesn't know the password to get back on, but it was funny when Matt said, "He doesn't know the password too does he?"

I also wanted to mention on Friday Eleanor's interest in watching me make macaroni and cheese. She watched the entire process from boiling the water to adding the cheese and was quite interested. She was even excited about having some macaroni and cheese after it was made, but changed her mind soon after because she really doesn't like it. However Zach loves it and eats it every chance he gets. It was fun to show Eleanor all the steps to making Zach's favorite meal.

And I haven't mentioned Zoe's awesome basketball skills that she showed off Saturday during her game which she played with girls and boys. I didn't get to watch her since I was on my way to the temple, but my Dad was there and he was very impressed. Zoe knows a lot of the boys from school, so they were passing to Zoe and Zoe was passing to them. She got a rebound and positioned herself so she could make a shot and made a basket! The parents in the crowd were talking about how good she is and they enjoyed watching her (which has also happened in the past). She is a basketball player and I'm looking forward to watching her play throughout the years.
Emily played well in her game too. She is becoming more confident the more she plays and her dribbling has improved since last year. She is more comfortable with her coach this year and practicing and she's not afraid to get on the court to practice dribbling and shooting before her practice or before Zoe's practice. She almost didn't play basketball this year, but I'm glad she changed her mind because I think she is enjoying it more this year than she did last year.
Zoe and Emily had double practices on Saturday because they are finishing up their session in Orland and their Bucksport program started, so they are overlapping for a few weeks. Usually the Bucksport practices are during the week after school, but this year they are on Saturday. Which actually works out better for me because I don't have a car during the week. The girls are going to miss their practices this Saturday because we have a Primary activity, so they only had to endure one Saturday of double practices.

Kate usually says "Oh" for "uh oh", but this morning she said "uh oh" and Emily said, "Oh my gosh! She said her 1st word!" It was cute how excited Emily was for Kate.

Kate waved goodbye to Matt this morning for the first time and then she leaned toward him and said "mmmmm" for a kiss. It was a morning of firsts for Kate. :-)

After telling the girls to make their beds this morning Zoe claimed that she sleeps better when her bed is not made. That girl will do and say just about anything to get out of work. It's funny when she gets Emily to be Cinderella and Zoe is the wicked step-mother. Of course Cinderella does all of the work. It's funny that Emily goes along with it. Tonight when Matt told the girls to clean up, which means put away the toys that are in the living room and bedroom, Zoe asked me, "What if I don't clean up?" I told her she would be doing the dishes after dinner, which got her cleaning up. I hope she can afford a maid when she grows up because she is going to need one!

Zoe and I just got back from Target to buy a birthday present for her friend. We had fun looking around. The summer items are out, so we looked at all the fun outdoor toys that we could buy. They had a Dora bat and ball set that I think Eleanor would like for her birthday. Zoe and Emily have never showed an interest in softball, but Eleanor loves to have me throw her the ball so she can hit it. We lost our bat and ball last summer, so it would be fun to get her a new set. But it would also be nice to have a t-ball set so she could put the ball on the stand herself and hit it...less work for me. :-) Okay after reading that sentence, maybe Zoe takes after ME in getting out of work when she can. I guess I can't judge her too harshly.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Be prepared...has not sunk in yet

My trip to the temple yesterday was just what I needed. It was fun to visit with the "girls" on the way there and being inside the temple was so peaceful and it felt so good to be of service. I know I am of service to my family every day, but serving strangers REALLY feels like service. My cup has been filled and I'm trying to convince Matt that I should go to the temple 3 more times before the new baby arrives. For some reason he is not as enthusiastic about this plan as I am.

The kids and I have been singing in our church choir every Sunday before church and we sang in Sacrament meeting for the first time today. All of our kids join the practice, but only Zoe and Emily sang during Sacrament meeting. My Dad came to the practice this morning and sang with us also, which was nice. We sang "As the Shadows Fall" which I had never sang before, so it was nice to learn a new hymn. Zoe and Emily each recruited a friend to also sing during Sacrament meeting. The poor girls didn't know the song, but they got up there anyway. Later the choir director commented on our growing choir (meaning the friends) and he thought it was great...although he said it annoys him when adults come up to sing when they haven't practiced and frankly it annoys me too.

Zach & Eleanor are staying with my parents tonight. They left church happy and very willing to go with my Mom. Zoe & Emily have been enjoying time at home without their younger siblings to ruin their fun. And Kate has enjoyed playing without an older brother bothering her.

All of the families in our branch and I think in the stake received a letter today that was to be opened at 5pm with all family members present. So we opened ours and it was a mock emergency situation, a chance to evaluate how prepared we are for an emergency. Not very I'm afraid. We are in the process of switching our one huge box 72 hour kit into individual backpacks, which means we have thought about it. Clothing was an issue tonight since the clothes I have in the kit are not maternity, so that's not going to work, I think there are clothes in our kit for Zoe and Emily, but I doubt they fit them anymore, there is nothing in our kit for Kate, Zach has diapers, but I don't think he has clothes because the diapers in there were originally for Zoe I bet and they just happen to fit Zach now. It was definitely a reminder to us that we need to be working on our kits. I've used the excuse that we need backpacks and we don't have any yet, but really we could be collecting things and putting them in temporary bags. I am so bad at being prepared.

Matt loves black beans and rice and he keeps trying to encourage the rest of the family (including me) to eat them and like them. This afternoon Emily said she would eat them and Matt gave her some. We were all a bit surprised when she said "sure" to Matt's question, "Black beans and rice anyone?" or something like that. Surprising because Kate is the only one willing to eat them, she actually LOVES the black beans. Zoe couldn't believe that Emily was eating the black beans and rice and kept talking about it. Emily shrugged it off like what's the big deal, its rice with some stuff on it. Zoe's reply, "Well, we all have different taste buds and mine do not like black beans and rice." I don't thing Emily's do either because she didn't eat much before saying she was done.

We let Emily stay up until 8:00 this evening with Zoe since there is no school tomorrow. They have this week off and then they get another week off in April. And then they'll probably be in school until the end of June from all the snow days we have had!

Zoe has been sweeping the floor at night lately because she keeps losing bets with Matt. She claims she is not betting, but Matt always tells her before he gives her a brain teaser to answer that if she gets it wrong she has to sweep the floor. But he also always says that it will be easy, so Zoe agrees. She was not happy when she had to sweep the floor this evening and it became an issue. After a lot of threatening to send her to bed early, Matt starting to sweep the floor himself, Zoe claiming the broom and sweeping, Zoe claiming she didn't know how to use the dustpan, my sweeping after she made a mess with the already swept up dirt, Zoe using the dustpan in a panic, and Matt putting the chairs back where they go, the floor was clean.

And here is the end of another peek into our lives. Fun, fun!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Go away ice!

I watched all of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" last night and enjoyed it so much. I was happy to discover that this movie was based on a book that is the first of a series and I look forward to reading the series.

Zach has been playing with Zoe's Webkinz stuffed cat lately. He's often asking, "Where is Zoe's cat?"

Zoe & Emily had a half day of school today and now they are on vacation until the 25th. It got a bit chaotic around here at about 12:30 when the girls and Jenn's son, Hayden walked through the door. Jenn arrived before Hayden got his coat, snow pants, or boots off, so he left and I talked with Jenn for a minute. She gave me this very fitting plaque to hang up on my wall. I love it!

Zoe had checked the mail for me and Eleanor was quite anxious to open the Netflix movie that I told her was coming today, "Dora: Shy Rainbow" My Mom called and while I was talking with her Zoe asked to open the package from Matt's parents (which may have arrived yesterday, but we didn't check the mail), so she did and discovered that there was a card for Matt & I and a card for each child...very exciting, which created a lot of noise, shouts of joy as they discovered money, counted the money, and wanted to show me the money. Zach hands over $2 to me and keeps $1 for himself. I keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't lose it, which isn't hard since he has plopped himself down in front of the tv to watch Dora. Then poor Jenn comes to the door and tells me that her van is stuck in our driveway, she'll be back later with her husband to get it. I'm still on the phone with my Mom, Eleanor has abandoned her job to feed Kate, so Kate helps herself.

She would love to be able to use that spoon sitting on her tray, but the coordination is just not there yet.
I think about the e-card I was working on before the kids arrived and wonder when I will get back to the computer. A little while later things calmed down and I was able to finish my to-do list of things I wanted to look at/do on the computer. I had to make a list because I often get on the computer and get side tracked or I forget half the things I wanted to do. I looked over at Kate who was sitting in the chair next to the computer and had to stop to take pictures of her play because it was so cute. She was playing with a Littlest Pet Shop game. First she would push the buttons to make sounds.

And then she would put it to her ear like a telephone to talk.

So cute!

Jenn and her husband came back over to get their van unstuck. I felt so bad because Jenn's husband was about to leave for the weekend with some friends and he was spending his goodbye time with Jenn in our driveway getting their van unstuck. Ugh.

Eleanor asked me several times this evening for a tuna fish sandwich(as I was getting everyone what they wanted for dinner). She kept asking, so I finally said, "I KNOW you want tuna fish." And she replied, "No, tuna fish on a SANDWICH." Got it.

And with all of this going on I have been getting ready to go to the temple tomorrow with my Mom and 3 other ladies from church. We'll be heading to the Boston temple in the morning, a 4 hour drive to get there, spend 5-6 hours there, and then travel 4 hours back. We'll leave our meeting place at 6:30am. I've been looking forward to tomorrow since it has been over a year since my last trip to the temple. So everyone, wish Matt good luck tomorrow with the kiddos. :-) My plan of going to bed at 8:00 this evening since I went to bed late last night has not been realized. It is now 10:08. Good night!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

The kids woke up to a candy treat on their chairs in the living room. Eleanor and Zach ate theirs for breakfast and Zoe and Emily waited until they got home from school to enjoy theirs. Zoe and Emily had Valentine parties at school and they brought home lots of cards, some with pencils and some with lollipops. Emily made this cute Valentine for me and Matt.

I had a pretty low-key day today besides doing 3 loads of laundry. When Eleanor saw me getting clothes out of the laundry basket to wash this morning she asked in disbelief, "You're doing laundry on Valentine's Day?...and there's school?" She just couldn't believe it.

It has taken me all day to spend my Christmas gift card from Matt from Lands' End on their internet site, but the mission has been accomplished. I've had fun shopping! Zoe wants a gift card for her birthday (hint, hint Grandmas). Eleanor and Zoe both enjoyed watching me click on different items and they thought it was so neat that you could see the items in different colors and styles with a quick click of a button. I enjoyed it, too.

I settled down in my chair to watch "The Sisterhood of the traveling pants" this afternoon on our portable DVD player while Eleanor and Zach had their computer time, but Kate ruined the fun by getting upset because I wouldn't let her play with the DVD player. I figured then that I would watch the movie this evening, but then I decided to put Kate down for a nap and I watched most of the movie at the kitchen table while I ate lunch. I like the movie. Matt had already seen the movie on a bus back from Boston and wasn't too impressed, but of course that would be the case since it is a chic movie. I like the story lines of all the girls and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the movie in just a little bit.

Zach hurt his big toe this evening. I'm not sure how, I just know that he was dragging his body pillow which he uses for a bed and his pillow down the hall and then he started crying. He'll walk on it, but he tells us that it hurts from time to time.

Matt stopped at the grocery store before he came home and I almost asked him to pick me up some peanut m&ms, but I talked myself out of it. So I was pleasantly surprised when he came home with a bag of peanut m&ms just for me for Valentine's Day. Sweet!

Too tired to blog, but here I am

This is Matt's answer to his sister's question about what he was using to shoot the mouse last night. I'm glad he wrote this because it gives a glimpse of Matt and I had no clue what he used, I only know that his low power ammo is loud in the house when the kids are asleep and I'm sitting right next to the gun!..."Kris I use the .22, but with pretty low power ammo. The bullet didn't even go through the floor, just put a little groove in the vinyl and then bounced up into the wall, and then off the wall into side of the washing machine. I think what I will miss about the trailer is being able to shoot guns indoors." The mouse is still on the loose and showed itself today. I was making our bed this morning when I saw the mouse start to dart into our room and then turn around and head back to the living room/kitchen area. Zoe saw it and screamed and tried to find it. As she was looking for it in the living room, I saw it in the kitchen heading for the washer. "Our" mice seem to like chocolate, so Matt put chocolate in the mouse trap (that just catches the mice), but this particular mouse doesn't seem to care for the piece of chocolate in the trap. Maybe it won't be so picky tonight.

It was a snow day today and we were all up at 6am. I took advantage of some free time when I would normally be getting snacks/lunch ready to check out blogs. I had planned on having the kids play in the morning and then let them have computer/tv time in the afternoon, but by 8:30am they were driving me nuts with their fighting. They requested a tent in the living room, so I made them one and then ended up putting "The Little Princess" starring Shirley Temple in for them to watch in their tent. It kept them happy for awhile and the fighting stopped.

I dug out my overstuffed scrapbook folder and started to work on our 2007 scrapbook. This folder has a section for 2007, 2008, previous years, the kids, and school papers. My goal is to empty this folder and get rid of it because it is all stretched out now and the snap on the top broke.

I made a small, very small dent in it today.

Zoe and I taught Emily how to play crazy eights later on in the morning and she caught on quickly. The game went on forever, so we finally quit. They were ready to watch "Saved by the bell" on the computer from Netflix. Since my plan of having them play all morning didn't work, I decided to let them use the computer/tv every other hour, so they had to play for an hour when a show or movie was over before they could watch another one or play on the computer. It always amazes me how loud and chaotic it is during play time and then how quiet and peaceful it can be when they are zoning out in front of a movie or show or playing on the computer. I think that's why it is so tempting for us moms to just let them zone away, it is so much easier!

When I put my boots on this afternoon to go check the mail (in the rain), I discovered a little red ball in one boot and a binkie in the other. I had to laugh. Kate loves to put things in our boots and shoes.

I searched the internet for heart coloring pages this afternoon (during play time) and found this blog, Fun 4 The Children. I think it will be a good resource for different activities to do with the kids and to get information about miscellaneous offers and websites. I thought the free 2 year Lego Magazine Subscription post was interesting. I haven't checked out how to go about getting the free subscription yet, but I would like to. So anyway, the kids colored for awhile and the house is now decorated for Valentine's Day tomorrow. Last night I was telling my mom how Eleanor doesn't get into craft activities like Zoe and Emily do, and it was confirmed to me when I asked Eleanor if she wanted to color and she said, "no thank you" in her sweet, teenager way, that she would much rather play. She was dressed in her pretty flower dress with Zoe's church shoes and sunglasses keeping her hair out of her face. Too cute!

She did end up coloring eventually and ended up picking a page to color that Emily told her not to pick because Emily was coloring that same page. I asked Eleanor if she was picking the page just to bug Emily and she sweetly replied, "Yes, I want to color what Emily is coloring."

tagged me to do the ABC's of me, so here they are.
A- Attached or single: Happily attached
B- Best Friend: Matt & My Mom
C-Cake or Pie: Both. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from our local grocery store or the chocolate pie I make with graham cracker crust.
D- Day of Choice: Friday...Date night!
E- Essential Item: Computer
F- Favorite Color: Navy Blue
G- Gummi Bears or Worms: Gummi Bears...although I could do without either of these.
H- Hometown: Milford
I- Indulgence(s): Eating out, Computer time, and Reading
J- January or July: July, although this July is going to be CRAZY!
K-Kids: Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, Zachary, Kate, and "Taco Bill" expected around the 4th of July.
L-Life is incomplete without: The gospel...being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
M- Marriage Date: December 10, 1996
N- Number of Siblings: 2 older sisters (one who died shortly after she was born).
O- Oranges or Apples: Apples, although I do like to eat tangerines around Christmastime.
P- Phobias or Fears: Getting stung by a bee or hornet.
Q-Quotes(s): Zoe to Emily when Emily was about 1 and into chewing on books..."Don't eat it, read it!"
R- Reason To Smile: My kids getting along, cute kid sayings.
S- Season: Summer, although Fall is a close second.
T- Tag: Grandma Dawn
U- Unknown Fact About Me: I have an extra bone in my foot.
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: Oppressor of Animal...I just had a tasty cheeseburger last night. :-)
W- Worst Habit: Focusing on the past and future instead of the present.
X- X-Rays or Ultrasounds: I've had both, but pregnancy ultrasounds are much more fun!
Y- Your Favorite Food: Lobster
Z: Zodiac: Scorpio

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A mouse in the house

Zoe was not sounding like herself this morning. Matt, Emily, Zoe, and I were talking about our future house and Zoe brought up the fact that she will miss this house and asked if we would miss it. My immediate answer is no...but maybe I would. She mentioned that she would miss stubbing her toes all the time...I doubt it (we all frequently stub our toes on furniture and things because there is stuff everywhere and little space to move in). And she said she would miss sharing a room with Zach.
Will she miss the mouse I just saw go under the stove???
Matt is now shooting at the mouse. No luck. He is now preparing the mouse trap.

Kate had her 1 year check-up today. She is doing well. She has a slight umbilical hernia that the doctor was not concerned about and said would heal on its own. I will have them check it again during her 18 month check-up. She weighs 22 pounds which puts her in the 65th percentile and she is 28 1/2 inches which puts her in the 25th percentile. Maybe Zach won't be the only short child in our family after all.

My deep cleaning urge has passed and now I'm in the mood to scrapbook. I finally typed up Kate's blessing today, which happened March 18th of last year, and I put it in our family scrapbook. It felt good to accomplish that! My mom and I went out this evening and she bought some paper for me, so now I can finish our 2007 book and start 2008. :-)

Eleanor and Zach imagined our hallway was water this afternoon and dragged out boxes from their room to use as boats. Kate had a great time crawling from "boat" to "boat".

And I took a few more pictures of Kate standing on her own this evening.

It was like Christmas today when I found Emily & Eleanor's Littlest Pet Shop toys in the diaper bag. I should hide toys more often and dig them out when the kids are craving new toys. I think they would be just as excited and it would save me money and space. Speaking of the diaper bag, cleaning it out is on my list of things to do since there are a few baby girl items in there that I don't need anymore and can pass on to someone who does. It's weird to think that I don't need baby girl items anymore, that I don't need to hang on to them, but it's fun too. I like to simplify, so it's nice to get the clothes we don't need anymore out of the house, and to know that they won't come back. It's also weird to think that Kate is our last girl, so I am soaking up the remainder of her baby days. They will go too quickly!

There is a good chance that tomorrow will be a snow day. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where's Kate?

Zoe had a stomach ache last night and this morning, so she stayed home from school. She wanted me to play cards with her this morning, so I taught her how to play crazy eights. Eleanor wanted to play too, so the three of us played a game. At one point, Eleanor had to draw lots of cards until she could lay down and it was so cute when she said, "I'm going to lose." I was impressed that she knew that having a lot of cards was not a good thing. Then at the end of the game when I announced that Zoe won, Eleanor used her favorite phrase, "Darn it!". And then went on her merry way.

This afternoon I walked into the living room to discover Eleanor wearing my long, black boots with her black pants hiked up to look like shorts. I told her she looked like Barbie and she could be Barbie for Halloween. That made her smile and she said, "Yeah! I could be!...Nah, I want to be a cat for Halloween." Having her mention made me laugh because that was exactly what I was thinking about when I saw her outfit...she has been playing on too much!

Seeing the backside or bottom half of Kate under or in something has been happening a lot lately. Here she is in her "jailbird outfit" under our bed.

There is so much to explore around here!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who has time to mend anyway?

One of these Sundays I need to break Zach's habit of taking two pieces of bread during the Sacrament. Each Sunday I remind him to just take one, and each Sunday he takes two.

I gave the Primary children Valentine goody bags today and one thing in them was a little wooden teddy bear craft. Eleanor was looking at the pieces near our heat vent when we got home and it sounded like she dropped something in the vent, so I asked her if she lost one of the eyeballs. She replied, "No, it was a handball". Matt and I got a kick out of that. We never know what is going to come out of Eleanor's mouth these days!

Kate decided to practice her standing while we were saying our family prayer this evening. She was standing nice and tall and steady, and she was as proud of herself as could be. She started clapping for herself and then we all joined in. I haven't managed to get a picture of her standing steady and tall, but here are some shots I took the other day when she first started letting go of her toy and standing.

And here is Kate tonight as we tried to reenact her standing. I can't tell if Emily is holding on to Kate in this picture, but she did stand for a few seconds before sitting down.

And yes she wore her pretty birthday dress to church today and managed to rip it. I'm sad that I won't be able to pass on this cute dress without someone having to fix it...since I only mend when I absolutely have to and the dress barely fit Kate, so she won't be wearing it again, therefore it is not absolutely necessary for me to fix it. I'll pass it on to a more experienced mender and one who probably doesn't mind mending such a person out there? I don't think my children have noticed that clothes they insist I mend and that get put in the mend pile, never actually get mended and the clothes magically disappear. Out of sight, out of mind.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday is a special day...

Matt & I went to the Worldwide Leadership Training this morning while my Dad took Zoe & Emily to their basketball practices and my Mom watched Eleanor, Zach, & Kate. I like going to these extra church meetings because I always come away uplifted and I gain new insight on different topics. The topic that was mentioned this morning that I enjoyed was the phrase "Family First". What does that really mean? It was brought up that making family prayer, family scripture study, and Family Home Evening a priority is putting "Family First". It was also brought up that church and family need to work together and church programs need to be scheduled with families in mind. With less church programs being scheduled, families need to make sure they are using this extra time together wisely (putting "Family First") not scheduling this time with other activities and/or using up the time watching tv, playing video games, and playing on the computer. In our families, we need to make sure we are taking advantage of every free moment we have together to actually spend time together and engage in fun, uplifting activities that will bring us closer together as a family and that will bring us closer to the Lord. That is putting "Family First".

Zoe enjoys playing with Kate, and Kate loves the attention from Zoe. Here is Zoe making Kate look adorable in Zach's sunglasses.

I took Kate to Walmart this afternoon for her 1 year old birthday picture. I took some pictures before we left of her cute outfit and smile. :-)

Kate was very good for her pictures. When I was doing some shopping with her after, a lot of people commented on how cute she looked in her Valentine dress. When Kate & I got home, dinner was made and ready to eat, which was so nice!

While Zach was playing with a balloon this evening, he ran into the living room wall and bumped his cheek. He has a little bruise there now. When you're not paying attention, those walls will get ya!

Eleanor's favorite phrase lately when she is mad or frustrated is "Darn it!". She shows signs at times of really being a teenager trapped in a 4 1/2 year old body. When we were next door this past week and I told her it was time to go, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "cool" in the laid back teenager way. I had to chuckle.

We are improving on using our Saturdays more wisely to get ready for Sunday. It is making our Sunday mornings so much more relaxed, but of course Saturday night is busy, busy, busy. I must admit that there are Saturdays when I look forward to relaxing Saturday evenings AND Sunday mornings as an empty nester, but then I'll get bored of that and want some chaos to spice things up, won't I...maybe.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Eye makeover

The other day Eleanor said to me, "Mommy, look at my new eyeball!"

Cute. And then before we knew it, she had two new eyeballs.

And then Zach had to join in the fun...monkey see, monkey do.

Although he wasn't willing to go completely over the eye. It's hard to see that way!

Emily had a field trip yesterday to our local grocery store. Her class has been learning about nutrition, so the other day she asked me if I would stop putting junk food in her lunch box. I agreed and then a minute later she said, you can put one junk food in. Okay. She has been looking forward to her field trip all week, so I thought she would come home happy yesterday, but instead she was very sad and said she had a bad day. The field trip went well, but she had trouble with a girl on the bus who insisted on sitting with Emily and then wouldn't let Emily change seats. This same girl hit Emily in the nose with her lunch box earlier in the week. When I asked Emily if she'd like me to talk with her bus driver about this girl, Emily said, "NO!" in a mortified voice. We'll see if this girl gives her anymore problems. She also said that no one would play with her at recess. It was so sad to hear her say that. I hope she is having a better day today.

We had fun officially celebrating Kate's birthday last night.

Who doesn't love Magtastik?!

There's a glimpse of Eleanor here encouraging Kate to open the beautiful heart paper present! And here is Kate trying out her cute shoes that were in that pretty box that squeak when she walks. Everyone loves them!

And here is Kate wanting to play with her new stuffed dog that Jerry & Judy gave her, but Zach has decided that he likes it too, so too bad for you Kate!

Let's get to the good stuff.

And then my camera battery dies...right before Kate blows out her candle. We managed to get the battery charged enough to capture the aftermath.

And then Matt gave her the traditional 1 year old bath that comes after the fun cake eating.
You can click here to read Matt's post about the fun birthday celebration. We had fun celebrating with you, Kate!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Taco Bill"

Matt always comes up with a name for our baby in the womb that is never seriously considered. So with this baby it was "Taco Bill" for a boy and "Taco Bell" for a girl.
I'm glad we are having "Taco Bill", especially since Zoe said she would run away if we were having another girl. The thought of being in a room with 4 sisters and Zach having his own room in the new house was not acceptable!

See you in July!

My ultrasound appointment went well. It was snowing yesterday and my mom came over to watch Eleanor, Zach, and Kate and to let me use her car. With a lot of determination and a prayer, I got her car out of our driveway! It was a stressful drive in the snow, but it was worth it. We knew within a few minutes of the ultrasound that our new baby is a boy, he was very cooperative that way. :-) But he wasn't positioned the right way to get good spine shots, so I may have to go back, but hopefully with the pictures they did get they'll be able to see what they need to and I won't have to go back. It's hard to make appointments these days since Matt has our car at work and needs it to get to court. I've been relying a lot on my parents, THANK YOU for all the babysitting and use of your cars!

We postponed Kate's party until tonight since Matt was at church last night, but I did let her open her gift from Jenn and her family. Eleanor insisted that Kate open a present, it IS her birthday, so with some help from her siblings and me, she got a taste of what is to come tonight.

Jenn also sent over a bunny that Kate is becoming attached to.

We're looking forward to more celebrating tonight!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's a...


Dear Kate

Happy 1st birthday!

You're showing signs already of being a computer addict like the rest of us. :-)

You snuck into our family and I'm glad you did. When I was pregnant with Eleanor I had a strong feeling that she was going to be our last girl and then we would have 2 boys and be done. I even had a woman comment to me after Eleanor was born and I was pregnant with Zach that it was so nice that I had 3 girls and it was time to have 2 boys. did she know? So, I wasn't surprised when we found out that Zach was a boy because that was the plan. But when I was pregnant with you, I started to think about a girl and that just baffled me because you were going to be our last boy, so who was this girl I kept thinking of. I've liked the name Kate for awhile now, so I secretly decided you would be named Kate if you turned out to be a girl...which you did! I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that our plan had been thwarted, but I got over it quickly...unlike your father, who has always had a hard time adjusting to the words, "It's a girl!". It was weird to start looking at pink again after adjusting to blue with Zach, but it was fun! Girls are so much fun to shop for. Daddy wasn't as set on the name Kate as I was, so we started thinking of other names and before long it was decided that you would be Madison (so if you come across writings about a baby Madison, it's really talking about you), but as it got closer to the time you would be born, Daddy informed me that he had never ruled out Kate (which was news to me), so of course from then on I wanted to name you Kate, but we had told so many people that you were going to be Madison, but in the end that didn't matter and you became Kate Mackenzie Erickson (and I'll admit that I have a hard time spelling Mackenzie and I really have to think about it before I spell it).

You were a challenging baby, but from the time you could crawl and get around, you made a very welcoming switch and have been a delight ever since. You transitioned to sleeping through the night pretty quickly a few months ago, which was so nice of you. Your finally getting your top teeth, so now you have 4 teeth with more on the way, which has made you a little more cranky than usual, but we understand. You wave goodbye at times and seem to do it more enthusiastically for your Grampie. Just like you took a step for him while I was gone the other day. But you made up for that last night by taking 4-5 steps over and over again. You'll be walking before we know it. Grammie & I thought you would be walking by now since you have been cruising for awhile now, but why walk when crawling is so much faster! You say "ow" for meow and "oh" for uh oh when you drop something. You have discovered the fun of balls and you love to put toys inside a bucket and take them out over and over again. You learn many new things every day as you watch your siblings and copy them.

No, you are not a boy, you are a delightful little girl who we love very much. Happy Birthday!