Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Have time to kill?

You would think a mother of 5 wouldn't have time to kill, but with 1 kid sleeping and the other 4 watching a movie, no desire to do anything else, I do. So I checked out and took a few tests.

Remember the Golden Girls?
I am most like Rose.

A rose by any other name wouldn't be as sweet — or as funny. So maybe you didn't grow up on a dairy farm in good old St. Olaf, and you don't regale everyone with endless stories of back home. But like Rose Nylund, you've got a heart of gold and are a super sweetheart.

A compassionate and sympathetic soul, you're a great friend who's always willing to lend an ear and a helping hand to your loved ones, strangers, and stray animals alike. The world is a better place because of you. So keep up your good deeds and positive attitude. It's a great addition to any scene.

And I took The Ultimate Mom Test

Recipe for: Lots o' Laughs Mom
Quote: "Last one in the swimming pool is a rotten egg!"

1 ton of energy
100 giggles
1 basket of fresh ideas
50 bad jokes
10 good jokes
Smattering of silly nicknames
Zest for life (for flavoring)
If desired: pillow fights, water balloons on hot days, and costumes for the dog

Still a kid at heart, you're the Lots o' Laughs Mom who keeps the kids giggling, trying new things, and living it up. Your philosophy is that life should be a gas—most especially a kid's life! Which is why your kids' friends are probably jealous of them for having such a cool mom. And with everything you're juggling—inside and outside of your home—this is a feat worthy of the big top.

When it's time for a meal at your house, the enjoyment doesn't slow down a bit. Sure, you want to make sure your family eats right. But you love any food that jiggles, squiggles, or tickles. Playing with food doesn't have to be taboo—it just might be expected. And picnics, meals at the amusement park, or a backyard barbecue could all be part of the adventure.

You've got nonstop energy, that positive attitude, and endless new ideas. You can conquer rainy day boredom and chase down fun even in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Tip: Cook with the kids! Choose simple, tasty dishes with just a few familiar ingredients. Give each kid his or her own job (to take credit for!). Make putting together a meal part of your family's fun time together.

This Mom sounds A LOT more fun than I am. But I will agree with the juggling. Life is definitely like a circus around here! As I write this, the kids are bouncing off the walls...literally.

Never enough clothes

After dropping off bags of clothes and books to Goodwill this afternoon, I just had to take a look around to see if I could find some capri pants or shorts for Zoe and Emily. Yes I went through bags and bags of clothes yesterday, but they were mostly for Kate and some for Zach. I bought Eleanor some summer clothes Friday night and then found more summer clothes for her yesterday, so she is set for the Summer. But Zoe and Emily were in need of more (okay maybe not need, but I figured if I found some shorts/capri pants in their size, it would be fun to buy them since Zoe and Emily have the least amount of Summer clothes). And even though they insist that most of last year's shorts and capri pants still fit them, I don't believe them (as they suck in their stomachs to button them up). So I found a pair of capri pants and a pair of overall shorts for Emily and a pair of shorts that Zoe and Emily can share since the shorts fit them both...and I even found a pair of capri pants for me that I can wear now and after the baby is born. :-) Shopping for clothes is a lot more fun than washing them and organizing them!

Zach has a minor cold. He sneezed this evening and then I heard Eleanor yell, "Zach! Don't achoo on me!"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Clothes, clothes, and more clothes...and a car!

I have spent the day doing laundry (the last load is now in the dryer) and I have spent the day sorting through clothes that have been given to us, and cleaning out drawers and closets to make room for summer clothing. Today was the day for Matt to bring up his idea of each child owning 2 outfits (one casual, one for church) and I would have went along with it! I have dealt with A LOT of clothes today.

And Matt bought a new car!

A 1997 SAAB convertible. It's in Massachusetts, so Matt is hoping to go pick it up on Thursday. I am so excited to get the Yukon back! And I'm glad Matt will be driving around a car that gets better gas mileage with the gas prices going up the way they are.

Handsome Boy

Zach's first Sunday in a white shirt and tie. Doesn't he look sharp? He loves his tie and is very proud to wear it. He loves the fact that he matches his daddy. :-)

And here is Zach wearing a coat that I've been trying to get him to wear to church for the past 2 years. I guess his other church outfits just weren't good enough for this coat.

You look handsome, Zach!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's great to be a mom!

I discovered a new website this morning called Lookybook, which lets you look at picture books before you buy them. I think it would be neat to read these books to the kids on-line when they get in a groove of reading the same books that we already have over and over again. Plus, there are many books on the site that we wouldn't be able to get at our local library, so our picture book selection increases with this site. I like reading new books to the kids that we haven't read before. And as a bonus, Kate can't rip these on-line books. :-)

Zoe and I met at church this morning for a mother-daughter brunch (Achievement activity). The girls have been learning about table manners and they displayed them very well today. They also planned our nutritious and delicious brunch.
Here we are waiting for the activity to start.

And here are the girls singing to us mothers.

The songs and the entire activity were very touching and made me feel special. It was nice to have this one on one time with Zoe.
Here's a group shot of the girls and their mothers, and our primary president.

Zoe gave me this red rose at the activity. And it is displayed on our table that I cleaned off today, set at a different angle, and is now surrounded by 2 highchairs instead of 3.

Eleanor has inherited my fear of bees. Although my fear of bees has improved A LOT over the years. But poor Eleanor is at the stage of fear where she sees a bee and she runs in the house and refuses to go back out. When I heard myself say to Eleanor, "If you don't bother them, then they won't bother you" I had to chuckle to myself because I have never believed that saying. I stood perfectly still as a kid as a bee flew around me, it landed on my hand, and it stung me. I was not bothering the bee, but it definitely bothered me! We do have wasps that fly around our door and fly around the shed that need to be taken care of (if you know what I mean). And there was a time when I would have refused to go out, too!
Eleanor was talking about honey today, but she called it "bee stuff."

Matt and I watched "The Ultimate Gift" this evening and it is an excellent movie! One that touched my heart and I didn't want to end.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The day in a nutshell

8:24am: Leave the house
9:00am: Drop Zoe off at basketball
9:15am: Spend $90.72 on gas!
9:45am: Arrive at the park
12:00pm: Pick Zoe up...We survived the week of basketball, yay!
12:10pm: Drive to our hometown to deposit money in the bank
12:52pm: Arrive home to eat lunch. Zach slept in the car.
1:23pm: Leave the house again
1:50pm: Arrive at the park that is across the street from Matt's office.
2pm: Leave Matt and the kids at the park to go to my doctor's appointment.
2:15pm: Doctor's appointment. Everything looks and sounds good!
3:15pm: Meet Matt and the kids at Matt's office.
3:30pm: Leave with the kids to drop Zoe and Emily off at Patti's house to spend the night. (Patti is Emily's primary teacher.)
5:00pm: Arrive home with Eleanor, Zach, and Kate
5:10pm: Mom arrives to babysit
5:30pm: Matt and I leave for date night. :-)
6:00pm: Arrive at Pizzeria Uno for dinner. Very enjoyable!
7:10pm: Arrive at the movie theater to see what is playing. Decide to go shopping.
7:20pm: Arrive at Goodwill to buy the kids some summer clothes. I looked at the maternity clothes, but didn't find anything.
8:20pm: Arrive at L.L.Bean to buy Matt a pair of pants to wear canoeing and I got a pair of sunglasses.
8:35pm: Arrive at Old Navy to buy Eleanor and Zach each a pair of flip flops.
9:20pm: Arrive home
9:50pm: Watch the latest episode of "The Office" on
10:35pm: End blog post and crash in bed!

Friday, April 25, 2008

10 weeks

Today was a cooler, cloudy day, so the kids and I dropped Zoe off at basketball and then came home. I did a load of laundry and cleaned the bathroom and then we were out the door again to pick Zoe up. This week has thrown my laundry routine off. I hate doing a load or two a day, but that is exactly what is happening this week...and the laundry basket is still full! Plus I had to wash the bathroom rug today because Zach waited until the last possible second to go to the bathroom this afternoon, and then peed all over his pants and the rug while he was getting ready to sit on the toilet. I am partly to blame for that accident since I knew he needed to go pee, but was too tired to fight with him about going to the bathroom, so I waited for him to tell me...which in the past has resulted in accidents. I know better.

We passed a sign today about an upcoming children's fair in town and I mentioned it to the kids and also mentioned that it is on Emily's birthday. Emily asked if we could go and I said that we probably could. Then Zoe pipes up with, "But it's on your birthday!" and Emily replies, "So, I can go out on my birthday, it's not like I'm grounded!" Her birthday is looking to be quite a busy day.
Our local paper has this page about the children's fair.

Is that Zach? I say yes from the knowledge that we were at the children's fair last year (you can see more pictures here) and he was wearing that hat and shirt, but the face doesn't look much like him. It's the mouth and chin that look different. He has no chin! I'll have to look at him from the side tomorrow to compare with the picture.

The countdown is on. We have 10 weeks left before our baby arrives. 10 weeks of sleeping through the night, 10 weeks of not nursing, 10 weeks of not carrying a fully loaded diaper bag around, 10 weeks of peaceful evenings to do what I want to do, 10 weeks of an extra seat in the Yukon, 10 weeks of blogging consistently, 10 weeks for "baby Kate" to be the baby (very sad!), 10 weeks of not carrying around a carseat, 10 weeks of only having 1 baby to take care of during Primary (Kate goes into nursery in August), and 10 weeks to agree on a name for this baby!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Having a good week

The weather has been very cooperative this week, so I have been able to drop Zoe off at basketball and then take Emily, Eleanor, Zach, and Kate to the park. It was already in the 60's this morning at 9:00! Things have gone pretty smoothly, except for yesterday when I was trying to figure out how to fold up our double stroller after using it at the park. I was tempted to just leave the stroller at the park after looking it over many times trying to find the magic button that would fold the stupid thing, but then I finally figured it out. Emily wisely told me that I should remember how to do it for next time. Grrrrr!

Zoe and Emily were extra helpful this morning. :-) Zoe got Zach dressed without being asked and then she wanted to get Kate dressed. Zoe and Emily washed the dishes like I asked them to and then without me asking they dried them and put them away. They cleaned up the toys while I was in the shower and they made me this sweet card.

Very sweet!

My mom was going to come over this evening, but since our house was as hot as a sauna, I decided we better go over to her house where it is nice and cool. I went through some more clothes while I waited for my mom to get home and then we ate dinner after she got home. The kids are never in a hurry to leave "Grammie's house", so my mom and I played a game of Phase 10 before I rounded up the kids to come home. It wasn't a peaceful game, but it was still fun. All of the kids laid down to sleep at 8:30 and I haven't heard a peep from any of them since. :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A week of basketball

A couple of weeks ago, I sent in an application for Zoe to participate in a basketball clinic at a local college this week. The pamphlet said that I would receive information back stating the registration times, there would be health forms to fill out, and a sheet of what to bring. I never received word back from the clinic, so I wondered if Zoe was registered or not. I brought her to the basketball clinic this morning a little early, not knowing if she was officially registered or not, but figured we would go and see. I assumed that the clinic was going to be at the gym at the college, so I got on the internet last night to print out directions. I found the gym this morning with no problem and there was lots of parking, which I wondered if I would have problems with since the college students have classes this week. We went up to the registration table and gave Zoe's name, the coach had her name on the list, he checked it off, asked Zoe if she brought water and a snack and she said yes, and we were good to go. A lot easier than I anticipated! I think all the additional information must of been for the overnight camps that were advertised for the summer. Matt was home today for Patriot's Day, so I didn't have to bring all the kids with me. :-) Zoe was very nervous at first since she didn't know anyone and most of the kids were boys, so I sat with her until it started. A few other girls trickled in and started shooting baskets, but Zoe just watched. Right before it started, she got up the courage to go get a basketball (which was flat so she went back and picked a different ball) and she sat back down. And then the coach blew the whistle for the kids to put their balls away and gather in the middle of the gym. The coach divided the boys and girls and then divided them into age groups, which was good because the clinic was for 3rd through 8th graders. That's quite an age span! Zoe started to feel more comfortable as she was placed with girls her age. I watched a half hour of the practice and then decided to enjoy some alone time since Zoe was doing well. I figured that she would be more likely to make friends during their breaks if I wasn't around and I was right. Morgan is her new friend. Zoe and Morgan are the only 3rd grade girls and the other 3 girls in their group are 5th graders according to Zoe. It was nice and much easier getting Zoe settled into the clinic today without the other kids. But tomorrow and the rest of the week, I'll be killing 3 hours with the kids while we wait for Zoe. It is supposed to be sunny and hot for the next 2 days, so I am planning on going to the park. The fun will be getting everyone ready and out the door by 8:15!

This afternoon the kids and I went over to my parents' home to visit my mom and so I could go through the many kids' clothes that I have been storing in my parents' attic. It's time to dig out the Spring/Summer clothes and organize the rest. We are very blessed to have several friends who give us girl and boy clothes as their kids outgrow them. It has saved us a lot of money! And the clothes are adorable. Matt gets annoyed every time we leave church and there is a bag of clothes sitting in our car, but those clothes keep Kate dressed and looking so cute. Matt locked the car doors this past Sunday, but it didn't stop a bag of clothes from appearing on top of the hood of our car! Yes I am constantly going through bags of clothes and constantly arranging clothes and rearranging clothes, but I am grateful for these clothes that we receive. So from all of these clothes that we have received, I went through most of what was in my parents' attic with a few boxes left over to go through in the near future. Zach won't have to wear his winter boots or church shoes out to play or canoeing anymore, he has a pair of swimming shorts, Kate is now the proud owner of 2 pairs of crocs, Eleanor has a "new" pair of sneakers, and the older girls can start wearing their capri pants again. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Memorable moment of the day

Zach and Eleanor insisted on fighting through the family prayer this evening. Zach would tackle Eleanor, then Eleanor would fight back. They finally settled down enough to say their prayers. Zach prayed "that we'll be good" and then WHACKED Eleanor. Matt and I burst into laughter. Which is not the best way to discourage such behavior, but couldn't be helped!

Click on over to Matt's blog to read about his latest canoeing adventures with the kids.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fun-filled day

The kids treated me and Matt to a "get up when you're ready" morning which was very sweet of them! I could hear Kate fussing, but I wasn't ready to get out of bed, so I waited to see if she would settle down. She fussed on and off, but it wasn't a demanding get me out of this crib NOW cry, so I ignored her. The kids got up and I waited for Zach or Eleanor to come into our room, but they never did. I could hear Zoe and Emily getting chocolate milk for their younger siblings and then they got the cereal out. Zoe and Emily tidied up the living room and bedroom and wanted things to be just perfect when Matt and I got up. But things started to go downhill when Eleanor wanted a package of fruit snacks and Zoe insisted that she wait. Eleanor didn't want to wait and she started to whine and cry. At this point, I got up and took over. I appreciated the time I was able to just lay in bed and relax while waking up though. :-)

Matt, Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and Zach went canoeing on this sunny, warm Spring day. It was much more pleasant for the kids than going in the rain. They caught one fish, but the fish got off the hook before a picture could be captured. But they all claim that they saw it. I had a quiet morning/early afternoon with Kate who slept for about 3 hours. I finished preparing my Sharing Time, played on the computer, and hunted for salad and sandwich recipes on We used our oven for the last time this evening until the fall. Usually at this time of year, Matt is ready to ban the oven use, but not me. However, being pregnant has me agreeing with Matt this year that it's time to turn it off!

Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, Zach, and I went to the Dairy Port for ice cream this afternoon. Our first time of the season and it was delicious! Then we went to the park. We are enjoying these bug-free sunny days while we can. The black flies will be out before we know it, which puts a damper on outside play for a month or so. It's hard to keep the kids inside during that time though because it is so nice out and they've been inside all winter long!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vacation has begun

This was so cute to watch. Zach and Kate playing Ring around the Rosie...

Zoe and Emily had a half day of school today. Zoe came home exhausted. Her class spent the morning working in the garden they have at school and they played kickball outside for gym, and they ate lunch outside. All that working and playing in the fresh air wore Zoe out! It didn't keep her down for long though. 10 minutes of resting and she was ready to go back outside and play.

Zoe received moon sand for her birthday and I insisted that she wait until it is nice enough OUTSIDE to play with it. Well today was that day. It was gorgeous outside, which meant it was like an oven inside. The kids had fun playing with the moon sand and I didn't have to deal with sand all over the house. :-) I even insisted that Zoe store it in the shed from now on because she brought it back inside with a tiny bug on the bag and sand was on the bag, so out, out you go moon sand.

We started off vacation week this evening by going to the Alamo theater to see "Horton Hears a Who." I took Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and Zach while Matt stayed home with Kate. The kids had a great time eating their popcorn and watching the movie. They thought it was funny for the most part. The bird part scared most of them, but not enough to ruin the movie. They excitedly talked about the movie on the way home and at home until they went to bed.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Little helpers

Eleanor and Zach have been playing together a lot lately, which has been nice. They have their spats now and then, but overall they get along well. Throughout the week, they have been going outside for short periods of time throughout the day. They are the first two at their ages to go out together without insisting that I go out with them...I love it! Today I noticed Eleanor pushing Zach on the swing. It was so sweet. Yesterday I pushed Zach on the swing for a long time while pushing Kate on her swing. Eleanor volunteered to push Kate for awhile. Then when I told Zach I was done pushing him, he got upset because he loves to swing and he could swing forever, so Emily volunteered to push him for awhile. It is so nice when the kids are helpful to one another and to me. :-)

I finished organizing the kids' room today. Didn't I just do it a few months ago? I'm sure I did and it's only a matter of weeks before Emily and Eleanor have their birthdays and I'll have more organizing to do. But for now, we will enjoy their clean, neat room. We'll see how it survives vacation week which starts when Zoe and Emily get home from school tomorrow.

Matt took Eleanor and Zach canoeing this afternoon. It sounds like they had a fun time. When Matt writes about it and posts some pictures, I'll link to it. It was a nice break for me only having Kate during the afternoon before Zoe and Emily got home.

I wrote a Haiku about my mother today for a contest to win $1000...along with 700+ other people! Here it is:
Laughter, joy, and love
The time we spend together
I cherish always.

Love you mom. Get feeling better!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Go to sleep!

Playing outside is supposed to make the kids exhausted so at bedtime they crash. This is NOT the case this evening! Zach and Eleanor have been wound up for the past hour and Zoe is pleading with them right now to go to sleep. It's quieter in there room now, so hopefully they are close to entering dreamland. Even Kate was awake about 10 minutes ago which surprised me because she didn't take an afternoon nap. Children, GO TO SLEEP!

Kate tried out her slide this afternoon.

The first few times she insisted on going down on her stomach. But she never liked the landing.

Eleanor took this picture of Kate trying to get back up the slide. She wasn't successful.

And here she is content to sit at the top of the slide. I held her hand a few times going down the slide on her bottom, but she was never very excited about it.

All of the kids except for Zoe and Eleanor are asleep now. We're making progress. Zoe was just telling Eleanor a scary monster story, which caused Eleanor to holler to me. I think I'll wake Zoe up in the middle of the night when Eleanor wakes me up because she has had a bad dream or she just wakes up scared.

I did some more organizing today. The house feels cleaner when things are organized...even when the vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the bathroom need to be done. Yesterday after all the organizing I did, Eleanor exclaimed, "It looks like we have a new house!" It does feel nicer. I think getting rid of clutter (which is a full time job in this house!) makes a huge difference in how a home looks and feels.

One thing leads to another

When I woke up this morning, I had no plans except for taking care of the children. The thought crossed my mind to declutter and clean the top of the fridge, but that didn't happen. After eating breakfast and getting the kids ready for the day, I went into the kids' room to say my prayer and read my scriptures since Zach and Eleanor were watching a movie in the living room. Zoe's bed is at the perfect height to lean on while praying, so that's where I go when I want some peace and quiet. While I was in the kids' room, I came up with a plan to take the boxes that were under the bunk beds and put them in the closet so I could store Eleanor's mattress and Zach's body pillow under the bunk beds during the day. I used to put the mattress and body pillow in the crib during the day, but now that Kate takes a nap in her crib instead of her carseat, I can't do that anymore and I was getting tired of the mattress, body pillow, blankets, and pillows being in the middle of the floor. Moving the boxes to Zoe and Emily's side of the closet required me to take out what was already in the closet to rearrange and make room for the boxes that were under the bed. This led me to go through 2 boxes of Kate's clothes that were already in the closet and a few grocery bags that had Kate's clothes in them. I took clothes that Kate has outgrown out of the closet and filled 2 boxes with Spring/Summer clothes, and filled a few grocery bags to store in my parents' attic. I have no idea what I'm going to do with my time when I don't have kids' clothes to go through every season and every several months when there is a baby around! One of the boxes in the closet was full of sweatshirts, Spring coats, and a few play clothes, so I moved that box into the living room, which led me to remove the Christmas box, Zach's sleeping bag, and a Christmas cookie tin from the living room to the shed, I put the winter coats and snowpants in a different box, and organized the Spring coats. I took a break while Kate slept and Eleanor and Zach played outside, so I enjoyed an hour of quiet while I read blogs and posted my 600th post. It was quite delightful. This downtime gave me the energy to organize the top part of Zoe and Emily's closet to make room for some games and puzzles that were out of place on the bottom of the closet. I discovered a box full of toy make-up/hair accessories such as a blow dryer, nail polish, mirror, comb, eye make-up, which Eleanor LOVES. I decided to put those toys in Eleanor's box, which led me to declutter and organize Eleanor's box. I had no idea this was going to be such a productive day! The kids were content to play and I was content to organize. It was a good day. And the kids' room looks a lot cleaner now. :-)

We all enjoyed this beautiful day after Zoe and Emily got home from school. Kate was so happy to be outside with her siblings. Zoe took this picture of Kate.

She really enjoyed playing in this car. Zoe played with her at first and encouraged Kate to have fun because Zoe wanted me to stay outside.

Kate eventually figured out how to get in and out of the car by herself and felt more comfortable walking a bit outside. I took Kate outside last Friday for the first time to play and she stood in the same spot afraid to move. Eleanor brought Kate her Dora chair so then Kate sat and was just happy to finally be outside. Here are some pictures from Friday.

So Kate is making progress outside. I never gave the little slide we have a thought today as we were outside. It's the perfect size for Kate so I'll have to move that onto the grass the next time we go out and see how Kate likes it.

The kids enjoyed their first outdoor picnic at dinnertime. Kate tried to eat her siblings' chips and Zach spilled his water all over the blanket, but other then that, it was a success.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One Word

I have PJ to thank for this fun activity for my 600th post!
Only use one word to answer questions...

1. Where is your cell phone? Table

2. Your significant other? Husband

3. Your hair? Graying

4. Your mother? Sweet

5. Your father? Helpful

6. Your favorite thing? Family

7. Your dream last night? Forgettable

8. Your favorite drink? Colada

9.Your dream/goal? Vacation

10. The room you're in? Cluttered

11. Your hobby? Blogging

12. Your fear? Violence

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home

14. Where were you last night? Home

15. What you're not? Talkative

16. Muffins? Blueberry

17. One of your wish list items? House

18. Where you grew up? Maine

19. The last thing you did? Organize

20. What are you wearing? Outfit

21. Your TV? Off

22. Your pets? None

23.Your computer? Essential

24. Your life? Mother

25. Your mood? Happy

26. Missing someone? Yes

27. Your car? Clean

28. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

29. Favorite store? Goodwill

30. Your summer? Unpredictable

31. Like someone? Yes

32. Your favorite color? Blue

33. When is the last time you laughed? Morning

34. Last time you cried? Sunday

Okay, now I can explain my favorite drink because no, I don't have an issue with the Word of Wisdom. I always get a non-alcoholic pina colada at Pizzeria Uno. It is delicious!

Our special family night

I was able to hold a 2 month old baby today...for a few seconds before Kate wanted to be picked up. I don't think she's going to be very sympathetic to her baby brother's needs and wants. I hope he's a mellow baby! I'm going to take full advantage of the 2 days I have in the hospital to hold the baby without any older siblings feeling jealous or neglected.

For Family Home Evening tonight, we thoroughly cleaned out the Yukon, vacuumed it, and washed the windows. Matt had stopped to wash the outside before coming home. Zoe and Emily were quite helpful, Eleanor was helpful when we gave her a specific job (although she complained about it), Zach played, and Kate slept...which was very helpful. Now the kids will have to walk everywhere because the Yukon is too nice for them to ride in. And Matt won't be able to drive it because clutter tends to follow him. So I guess that leaves me to enjoy it. :-) We came inside feeling very productive, hungry, chilled (although Matt was hot), and tired. We ate dinner and then ate the yummy chocolate chip cookies that Eleanor, Zach, and I made this morning.

Matt did our taxes this evening. He waited until crunch time, but they are done and I am happy he did them before the deadline. I cleaned up the kitchen and then sat down to look through a baby name book that Jenn loaned me. I still have no clue what to name this baby.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stake Conference

Zach woke me up at 6:23 this morning. That sounds early, but I actually got to sleep in on this Sunday morning. I was up early enough to make eggs, cinnamon rolls, and blueberry muffins for breakfast. It was nice to sit down as a family to eat breakfast together. We made it to Stake Conference on time, even a little early. We camped out in the Relief Society room where we always do, but this time there was no video of the speakers, only audio. I would have liked to have seen those who were speaking, but old habits are hard to break and the kids insisted on being in the Relief Society room. It did allow the children more space and freedom to be in there and they were quiet through most of the two hours. We pretty much had the room to ourselves, except for a few other adults and children. Adults with children opened the door to the room throughout the conference, but then decided not to come in. Matt said it was because of our children, but I think it was because there was no tv to watch conference...and maybe a few thought the room was a bit crowded already. So our new Stake President is Hazen Martin with President Hyde as 1st counselor and President Mark Holmes as second counselor. I hadn't even thought of President Martin as an option for Stake President, so it was a surprise to me and I think to a lot of other people. But he will make a great Stake President, although right now it's weird to think of him as that, but it was also weird to think of President Hassle as being Stake President 9 years ago. Change in a presidency is always an adjustment, but over time it seems like they have always been called. President Hassle was a great Stake President and he will be missed, along with his counselors President Fletcher and President Hatch (who was released 6 months ago to become the Patriarch, but I still think of him as a counselor).
We went over to my parents' home for lunch/dinner after conference. It was nice to arrive as a family and leave as a family. Next Sunday we are back to our usual routine of leaving around 7:30, going about our church callings and classes, waiting for Matt to be done his responsibilities, and then coming home between 2:30 and 3:30. Today and last Sunday were a nice break!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Matt, Zoe, Emily, and Zach went canoeing this morning in the rain. You can read about their adventure here.

I was going to start putting pictures on CDs, but when I looked for our 2007 pictures and only found May through December, I got frustrated and didn't copy anything. I had some picture folders on my desktop and I wonder if these missing pictures were on my desktop and got wiped out. The big events that I can think of that are missing from 2007 are Zach's 2nd birthday, Zoe's 8th birthday and baptism, Kate's blessing, and Easter. So if any family members have pictures from these events, I'd love a copy of them. :-) The sad thing about this is a friend of mine was just telling me a few weeks ago how her computer crashed and she had tons of pictures on her computer that she hadn't put on CDs. So she warned me and told me to copy my pictures. I have been thinking about it...but that's as far as it got. And now I'm the one regretting not copying my pictures sooner.

My dad picked Matt up this afternoon for the Priesthood session of Stake Conference and the kids and I went over to visit my mom for a few hours before we headed to church for the adult session of conference. My mom and I played a game of phase 10 and talked about getting something to eat before we left. It seemed like we had tons of time, but then before we knew it we only had an hour before we needed to leave and we hadn't eaten yet. I left to stop at McDonald's and our local House of Pizza to pick up dinner, got back to my mom's and we all ate and cleaned up in record time...30 minutes. It was quite impressive I must say. A young woman from our branch, Brooklyn, watched the kids in the nursery while we went to our meeting.
We had a great adult session of Stake Conference. My title refers to the men who spoke this evening. President Fletcher, President Hayes, Elder Christiansen, and Elder Neuenshwander. Their testimonies are solid and are built upon our Savior. How could I not walk away from the meeting uplifted and strengthened? We were encouraged to remove "rocks" from our path and the path of others. We were encouraged to fulfill our callings and to focus more on the service itself and not where we serve. We learned about the pattern in the Old Testament of revelation, apostasy, and restoration, the pattern of the people accepting dead prophets, but didn't believe and even wanted to kill the living prophets, and the pattern of the Lord calling the least expected and inadequate men to serve. The experience of Joseph Smith fits these patterns. And we learned about the process of calling a new Stake President. It was mentioned that the new Stake Presidency has been called, so it looks like Matt is in the clear. :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I seem to be having a lot of live and learn moments lately

I'm back on my playtime in the morning and computer time in the afternoon for the kids. It is exhausting! Eleanor was painting at 7:58 this morning. We were outside around 8:30am, play-doh, reading books, etc. By the afternoon, Zach, Eleanor, and I are ready for computer time! Well, I tried to get on the computer before Eleanor's turn, but discovered that Zach had done something to the computer. I couldn't get to my account and I couldn't shut the computer down. I unplugged the computer, plugged it back in, and the same black screen appeared. Zach was messing around with the keyboard in the morning when the computer was in its logged off state and did something. I was not happy! I was so ready for the kids to veg out on the computer so I could rest, but instead I was trying to figure out how to get the computer working. I should have just left the computer alone until Matt got home, but I was determined to get it running again. I ended up re-booting the computer, so now it's like we have a new computer, which is not good because my internet bookmarks are gone, we have to reinstall our printer and other programs, etc. I couldn't get the computer to recognize our cable modem this afternoon, so Eleanor and Zach played games on CDs instead of the internet. Zach was determined to play on NickJr., but I couldn't help him there. But after going to Pizzeria Uno for date night (yay!), Matt sits down at the computer and in a matter of a minute, gets the internet working...which is why I should have waited for him before messing with the computer myself. Now we must live with the consequences. I am thankful our pictures were saved and we bought CDs this evening to put our pictures on. I do not want to lose our pictures forever!

We are having Stake Conference this weekend and a new Stake Presidency will be called. Matt had an interview this evening with Elder Clayton Christiansen (area seventy) and Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander (1st quorum of the seventy). It lasted about 10 minutes and Matt has been pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I would have been a nervous wreck! Speaking of wreck, Matt says I wrecked our computer...yeah, that about sums it up.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Why take the car when you can walk?

Matt got up a little later than usual this morning.
Eleanor: "Is Daddy sick?"
Me: "No, he's going to work."
Eleanor: "Is he going to walk?"
Me: "No."
Eleanor: "Darn it!"
I think having the Yukon on Tuesday gave her a taste of freedom from the house. She was really hoping that we could go somewhere today.

When we were at the park on Tuesday, another family mentioned they were going to have a picnic by the water. Eleanor wanted to have a picnic too, so I told her she could have one inside at our house. But we had to wait for the right time...when Kate is asleep. So Eleanor and Zach were able to have their picnic today in peace while Kate slept.

I washed some windows today and saw the first wasp of the season. I wasn't excited at all to see it! Eleanor and Zach were outside after I saw the wasp and Zach started screaming. My first thought was that he got stung, but when I looked outside and saw a golden retriever innocently wandering around from next door, I knew what the problem was. Zach is just not into dogs. They really scare him.

Zoe and I went to Walmart this evening to have her picture taken. It was quick and painless and her picture came out very nice. We ate at the McDonald's in the store and then did some shopping. Then we had to travel to the Bucksport Hannaford so I could pick up our local paper, The Enterprise. That's a must on Thursday evening. The Enterprise is the one and only newspaper that I read cover to cover. I really enjoy learning about what is going on in our town and the other surrounding communities.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Being the baby is a bummer sometimes

Kate thought for sure that if she had her coat on, she would get to play outside, too.

When she realized that her wish was not to come true, she raced to the window to watch as she heard her siblings playing.

It's only a matter of time, and you'll be right out there with them, Kate.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Zach found Family Home Evening very interesting last night...can't you tell?

He made it through about a minute of the lesson and then crashed.

Zach had his 3 year check-up this morning. He is healthy and short. He is becoming a much better patient as he gets older. More cooperative and less crying.
It was weird having some place to go this morning. My Dad let us borrow his car, so Matt took it to work and I had the Yukon. Getting ready this morning made me appreciate the many lazy mornings we have. But it was nice to go to the park after the doctor's appointment and enjoy this beautiful, warm, sunny day. Kate didn't explore the park as much as I thought she would, but she looked very cute in her pink crocs.

The kids have been going outside in the afternoon after Zoe and Emily get home from school and do their homework and chores. It has been nice and quiet with just me and Kate inside. It's fun to listen to the kids play together and I'm glad they are outside enjoying the fresh air and getting exercise instead of being inside on the computer. I wonder if they will look back on their childhood and remember these times of playing outside together. What will stand out in their minds from their childhood when they are older? I read a great article in the Ensign about the gift of memories we can give to our children. This mother wrote, "I couldn't live my children's lives for them, but I could give them a well of joyful memories from which they could draw throughout their lives." Since reading this article, I have looked at the different activities that we do in a new light. Memories. I am trying to be less stressed about messes and more concerned about my children learning, working, and having fun. My children had fun learning to make English muffin pizzas this evening for their dinner...while making a mess!

But they were so proud of their pizzas! L-R Zach's, Eleanor's, Zoe's, and Emily's. Notice one of Zach's is half eaten already before it is cooked!

Memories. I love watching Zoe with Kate. Zoe loves to hold Kate and to play with her. Kate has been greeting Zoe at the door lately with a big smile when Zoe gets home from school. Zoe drops her bag and picks Kate up and they are happy to see each other. It is so sweet. I just love to see my children interact with one another...happily.

My Mom and I went to see my aunt this evening. She is understandably tired from her 10 hour surgery yesterday, but she is doing well. It looks like she'll be going home on Saturday. My Mom and I took advantage of being out by ourselves and stopped at Governor's for dinner before heading home. It was quite delightful.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I have thought a lot about cancer today as my aunt was in the hospital having a mastectomy and then reconstructive surgery due to breast cancer. My aunt is an amazing woman. Having 10 children is only one of the many reasons I am in awe of her. She has a great attitude, a "why sit around when I could be..." attitude which I love and share with her. My mother made a comment to my aunt about probably not seeing my aunt at Stake Conference this weekend. My aunt came back with something like, "I can sit at conference just as well as I can sit at home." We'll see. But don't you just love her positive attitude? I've been thinking about her all day today. And I have been thinking about my uncle who has skin cancer, and my uncle by marriage who has colon cancer, and my grandmother who is enduring the last of her treatment for cancer...and is doing well, and my sister-in-law who might have cancer again. You are all in my thoughts and my prayers.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Day 2 of Conference

We have survived another weekend of conference. I wondered last night if today the kids would be louder during conference since they were so good yesterday. Yes, they were louder! Kate & I went over to my parents' home for the morning session of conference. Matt is feeling better, but he's still not 100% better, so he stayed home to rest some more. In the past we have gone to church for the morning session on Sunday to make it seem more like a Sunday, but the last few conferences we have opted not to because that is a lot more work than just watching it at home on the computer or at my parents' home. But being at my parents' home today, the kids treated the day like any other, instead of the Sabbath, except for not being able to watch the tv or movies that they do any other day. The kids were WILD! I was ready to sell a few by the time we loaded the car to head home for the last session of conference. They were a bit more mellow when we got home, so the change of atmosphere was a help. But they were still tired and I was tired. I sent Zoe to bed with her siblings this evening because she needed the extra sleep and I needed the break.
Kate fell over with a tray table at my parents' home this morning and pinched her little finger. That was right in the middle of President Monson's talk. Her finger is fine, but it took her awhile to settle down. I will enjoy reading all of this morning talks next month, since I heard very little today of what was said. I did hear most of the talks this afternoon at home...with Zach pointing to my mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and hair through some of it and then Zach wanting me to draw pictures of a cat, then a snowman, then an apple tree over and over again. The girls kept busy with word searches and coloring pages, and Kate slept. I really enjoyed Elder Ballard's talk and President Monson's talk this afternoon. I plan on writing up Elder Ballard's remarks to the children about helping out at home. Maybe I'll read it to them every morning until we all have it memorized! I also enjoyed Elder Ballard's remarks to the husbands, but I don't need to write up anything for Matt because he is right on track. :-)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Day 1 of Conference

The kids and I went over to my parents' home today to watch General Conference, while Matt stayed home sick. I thought the new way of sustaining our leaders was neat and all of the talks were uplifting as usual...from what I could hear anyway with 5 kids around. The kids did really well overall I think. Matt and I have made it a habit to watch all of the sessions of conference with the kids, so the older kids know they are expected to be quiet and they set a good example for their younger siblings...most of the time. And I think I am getting better at tuning out the noise that surrounds me to focus on the speaker. But I'm glad the conference talks are available to read in the Ensign because I do miss a lot as I'm up and down and the kids are all around me. But no kids, except for Kate, were around me this evening when I got home because they stayed the night with my parents. :-) It has been nice. Matt didn't feel well enough to go to the Priesthood session tonight, so we watched "Becoming Jane" after I put Kate to bed. I really enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed relaxing and spending time with Matt.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Tale of woes

I'm glad to know I'm not the only mom getting sucked into Webkinz world...or some other children's game. :-)

Matt came home early this afternoon, so I could go to my doctor's appointment. As of this morning, we were wondering how we were going to pay for my RhoGam shot that I needed to pick up before my appointment, but of course tithing blessed us again when Matt got a check in the mail from the state later on this morning. It is true what they say, "How can you afford NOT to pay tithing?". This year's experience of getting the RhoGam shot and then going to my appointment was a lot better than last year's. Last year, the doctor's office forgot to call in the shot, so when I went to pick it up (at a pharmacy I never go to)the pharmacy had no information about it and I had to wait a LONG time for them to get in touch with the doctor and fill the prescription. I ended up being late for my appointment with the midwife in the office (not my usual OB) whose nurse never smiles and seemed rather annoyed that I was late, which had me concerned about her giving me a shot in that mood! But all went well and I saw the midwife...who always finds an issue that needs attention...but with my regular OB it wouldn't be an issue at all. Usually it's my eczema that concerns her, but last year she was convinced I needed another ultrasound, which I declined because of finances and really it wasn't necessary. So all of this was going through my mind today as I went to the pharmacy to pick up my shot (live and learn...I reminded the doctor's office a few days ago to call in my shot and I called the pharmacy today to make sure it was called in). During the brief time I was there, I noticed other people sitting around waiting and another person having an issue with prescriptions not being found...that pharmacy is always busy and I was happy to be in and out today. I went to my appointment where the same grouchy looking nurse called my name and gave me my shot and then the same midwife saw me. I wondered what issue was going to come up today and was pleasantly surprised that nothing had come up...until the very end of the appointment. She wondered when my last ultrasound was, here we go again! I told her it was in February, I don't need another one, I can't afford another one, and she agreed with me, but then asked me how big my biggest baby was. I said 8lb 14oz and then she got concerned. Why, I have no idea. I don't think that's a huge baby and all but Emily were 8lb something, Emily was 7lb 14oz...and my babies are always overdue! She recommended another ultrasound to keep an eye on the size of this new baby. I did a mental headslap. I really shouldn't have been surprised, it's always something with this midwife. She told me I could discuss it with my doctor at my next appointment in 3 weeks, which I told her that was a great idea...and then she wrote a note to the doctor and told her nurse to put the file on the doctor's desk for him to look at. Good grief. So after all this rambling, I'll let you know that the baby and I are doing well.

We ordered Chinese food for dinner this evening. I called it in and Matt went to pick it up. He brought it home and as I was emptying out the bag, I wondered where our appetizers were. Then as I started opening the containers of food, I saw food that we didn't order. Hmmm...whose order did we get and who has our order??? I called the restaurant and they knew immediately who I was and apologized for giving us the wrong order and said they had our order there if we'd like to pick it up...again. Which Matt did AND we got to keep the other order, which gave us the opportunity to try some things we have never had before, which were all very good. The bad thing about all this was we only had a certain amount of time to eat before I was leaving with Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor to go see the play "Annie" that the 5th-8th graders in Orland were putting on. We did have enough time to eat, but I felt rushed, so it wasn't as enjoyable. Oh well, it was still good and we got to the play on time and it was really good. Eleanor kept asking questions during the play and Zoe kept telling her to "shhhh!" It was pretty funny. We all enjoyed ourselves, so I'm glad we had money to go. :-)

Matt isn't feeling well this evening. I hope he doesn't come down with what I had last weekend.

Kris, we're thinking of you!

Friday, April 04, 2008

A family affair

Matt & I just spent over 2 hours earning Zoe Webkinz cash. I have discovered Quizzy's word challenge, or something like that, where you make words with the letters shown. It's a lot like scrabble and I like playing scrabble, so now I get to challenge myself to see what words I can make and earn Zoe money at the same time! My obsession started when I set the goal to earn Emily enough cash to buy a backyard for her pet since Zoe had bought one. I wasn't satisfied earning 5 bucks a game, so I hunted for games you can earn big bucks in a short amount of time. There is a solitaire game I like, but it doesn't pay very well. I played the game of the day (you earn bonus money) making tunnels for animals, but I felt silly doing it and knew I wasn't spending my time wisely, but I had set a goal and I was determined to reach it. I did earn quite a bit of money that day and Emily bought her backyard. So when I found the word game, I was excited because it didn't feel like such a waste of time...which it is, but it's also relaxing and fun to earn the kids' money so they can buy fun things for their pets. Zoe is getting a pool, so her cat and dog can swim. Zach and Eleanor love to get on the Webkinz site during the day and try to earn money. They also like to play with the animals. I'm anxious to get Eleanor a Webkinz pet for her birthday because I know she is going to love it and she will enjoy taking care of it and she'll be able to do whatever she wants on her own site whereas now I tell her she can't spend money, she can only earn it! I was surprised to see Matt playing the word game when I got home from the lab for my 1 hour glucose screening. I guess the silliness is spreading!

Zoe's class chose to have a pajama day today for earning their class points. They watched a movie in the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Zoe, Zoe, Zoe

Zoe's homework this afternoon was to go outside and play and then write about what she did, so the kids dug out their bikes and had a great time in the sun...a cool, sunny day, but still enjoyable. Emily rode the micro 2 wheeler for a bit and was very proud about that. This will be the Spring/Summer she learns to ride a 2 wheeler.

When Zoe came inside she asked to have some candy, but I told her no since it was too close to dinnertime. Then she asked for a lollipop...
Zoe: "Can I have a lollipop since I didn't have one when you told me I could?"
Me: "I didn't tell you you could have a lollipop. When did I tell you that?"
Zoe: "Last week!"
I just laughed. She can still be funny at age 9!

Don't believe her today

Emily has been right into this April Fools day. She would be a fun one to play a prank on, but it didn't happen this year. Maybe next. She fooled her teacher into thinking that today was Eleanor's birthday. Speaking of which...Eleanor is VERY excited that next month is her birthday. She has no idea how long a month is. But she knows the next time we turn the calendar it will be May and her birthday is in May. And she'll be 5, old enough to go to school! Which I keep reminding her is after summer. Zoe & Emily will be home and we can go swimming...and school shopping she adds. Yes, and school shopping.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sign of Spring

The robins are back! We had about 10 robins on our lawn this morning. It is always fun to spot the first robin(s) after winter. Eleanor had a great time watching them. She was disappointed that I wouldn't let her go catch one. In another month we'll start seeing the hummingbirds. :-)

I was looking through the Friend magazine during lunch today and passed a nice picture of President Monson.
Eleanor: "Remember President Hinckley died and now we have a new prophet.
Me: "Yes, that's right."
Eleanor: "When will President Hinckley be alive again?"
Me: "After he is resurrected."
Eleanor: "That takes 3 days!"
It is nice to know that Eleanor gets the Easter message of the Savior being resurrected after 3 days. Now onto new lessons...

I like the General Conference activity that is in the April Friend on page 12. I hope our family will be able to listen carefully as President Monson talks this conference to come up with 3 things that he would like us to do. The picture of President Monson inside the frame is one that I look forward to putting up in our home. It is very nice and it will help remind our family of our new prophet and the 3 things that he has asked us to do.