Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can it really be true?

Matt updated his blog! You can check it out, here. Zoe and Zach's trip to the Blue Hill Fair with Matt yesterday is also included.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunshine's Shower

The baby shower I hosted for Sunshine last night went very well. The kids and I went to church yesterday to decorate. I decorated, with some help from Zoe, and the kids played in the gym. Note to self: If you're going to put ribbon up when you're 18 month old is around, don't put it where she can reach it! It became a fun game for Kate to see how many pieces of ribbon she could tear down before I caught her. Not a fun game!

We had a great turn out last night and everyone brought yummy snacks to share. Judy made this cake, which was so cute.

I'm glad I planned the shower and it was a huge success, and I'm glad it's over. :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

5 more days of summer vacation

We had our last Summer trip to the library today. I'm not sure if it's going to be easier or harder taking the 3 youngest kids to the library and other places. I may have to begin our hibernation when school starts!

We went to our last free swim this afternoon. The pool closed this evening until next Summer. I'm glad it was a perfect swim day for the last day the pool will be open. Eleanor met her bus driver at the pool. Eleanor took right to her and felt very comfortable around her. Eleanor is one of those children that you are happy that she warms up to new people quickly, but also you worry about her because she is more likely to walk off with a stranger. Anyway, it was nice that she got to see what her bus driver looks like before she gets on the bus Tuesday.

We took Eleanor to her open house this evening at her school. Matt came with us for a little bit and then he had to go to church for meetings. Eleanor could have stayed in her classroom all night long! She played with the doll house for a long time, which was her favorite spot when Zoe was in Kindergarten and then when Emily was in Kindergarten). Kate bounced from one activity to the next and left messes to be picked up along the way. Zoe and Emily reminisced about their Kindergarten days and wished they were back in Kindergarten instead of going into their grades. Zach found a little play yellow duster, which he insisted was a magic wand. It was interesting to watch Eleanor in the classroom. She felt very comfortable and I think that's mostly because she has been in that room and seen her teacher many times. I have no worries about her starting school Tuesday. It took some doing, but I finally got the kids out of the classroom and we took a ride on the school bus. Then the kids played on the playground for awhile. I treated the kids to McDonald's, after going home to get money, and we brought the food home to eat. It was a very eventful day and I didn't hear a word from the kids after they fell into bed, exhausted! Even Noah seems to be more tired than usual for this time of night. He has been asleep on my chair for awhile now. I have been able to eat a snack, clean the bathroom, and now I am blogging. :-) I'm sure he'll wake up as soon as I go to bed, though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School is in the air

School starts a week from today. Eleanor made a countdown chain last week and she is excited to see it get smaller and smaller! Zoe went into her classroom yesterday to help her teacher, Mrs. Lalonde, organize the classroom. Zoe picked 3 tomatoes from their garden to bring home. While we were at the school, Emily got to see where her classroom is. The custodian unlocked the door for us, so Emily was able to walk around the room. Her teacher still has quite a bit of organizing to do before next Tuesday, so does Zoe's teacher. Eleanor met Mrs. Jones, who will be the art teacher for all 3 girls. When Eleanor saw Mrs. Jones a little later after meeting her she yelled, "Hi art teacher!" Mrs. Jones was telling me that she doesn't get to know the kindergarten kids as well as the 1st-4th graders because she doesn't see them as often, but I have a feeling she'll remember Eleanor.

We finished our school clothes shopping this evening with my mom. We focused on buying pants and we bought A LOT of them! Zoe also came home with a new church coat and shoes, Eleanor got some new crocs, Emily got a skirt, and Noah got a snowsuit. It was weird to see Zoe trying on Women's size 6 shoes and they fit!

We took our second and last summer trip to the movies this afternoon and saw "Wall-E". I was bored through most of it, and Zach got bored toward the end of it. I wondered if anyone was really enjoying the movie. Emily surprised me at the end when she asked, "Can we buy the movie when it comes out?" I just can't understand why she would want to see it again, but then again, I am talking about my movie girl here. The perfect job for Emily would be a movie critic because she loves watching movies!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The weekend

Friday afternoon, my mom took Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor to her work party. I did some cleaning and organizing and enjoyed the quiet.

Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor ended up spending the night at my parents' home Friday night, so the quiet continued. Matt and I watched "Definitely, Maybe" after Zach and Kate went to bed.

Saturday morning was even quieter since Matt took Zach fishing and Kate and Noah took a nap. I did what I needed to get done for church today, and I got caught up on thank-you cards for the gifts that we have received for Noah and our family. It felt good to be so productive and I was so glad that I didn't wait until Saturday evening to work on church stuff!

I also made fliers to hang up at church today for a baby shower that I am giving for a mom in our branch who has 3 year old twin boys and she is due to have a girl in a couple of weeks. She moved into our branch a couple of months ago with her husband and boys, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get to know her better and to get the sisters in our branch together.

Zach fell out of the canoe just before reaching the shore to head back home from fishing. He was wearing his life jacket, which did its job, so he is fine. He doesn't like to talk about it, but he is fine.

I took the kids swimming at the pool for an hour Saturday afternoon. It was such a beautiful day, which was nice since it was the last Saturday the pool will be open. The pool closes after free swim on Wednesday.

We had our Branch conference today. In Primary, we ran through our program that we will be doing the last Sunday of September. It went well and the Stake Primary leaders really enjoyed it. I love the Stake Primary Presidency we have now. Margaret Zwicker is the President and she was in the ward I grew up in. My mom is the 1st counselor. Cheryl Crabtree is the 2nd counselor and she was also in the ward I grew up in and she is funny, funny, funny! Patti Riggs is the secretary. She is in our branch and I got to know her well when we served together in the Young Women's presidency. So it was fun to see them all today!

Noah and I took a nap this afternoon. It was so nice to relax and get some sleep. Noah is back to sleep, but I am wide awake.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Camp Bravo

August 19, 2008 - August 20, 2008
Matt, Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and Zach

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What I am doing

Well right now Noah is forcing me to take a break, so I am doing exactly what Zoe and Emily predicted...
Zoe: "What are you doing?
Me: "Taking a picture of this problem area."
Zoe: "I thought that was our problem area." (pointing to a spot in the kitchen)
Me: "That's another problem area."
Zoe: "So when you're done this area, you'll take a picture of it, right?"
Emily: "And post it on your blog!"
Zoe: "As always!"

I have been wanting to tackle this area for weeks now. This rainy day with no plans is the perfect day to do it.


I'd like to add a magazine rack that hangs on the wall to go under Zoe's backpack (the L.L.Bean bag) to hold school papers.

As soon as Noah is content to be on his own again, I will figure out what to do with the stuff that doesn't have a home yet.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Experiences

Zoe went to her friend Lauren's birthday party yesterday and she went tubing for the first time. She also got to play with other fun water toys such as the trampoline. She had a lot of fun!
I took Emily and Eleanor to Sammy's birthday party at the Seacoast Fun Park where they went on water slides for the first time. They had a great time! We played a game of miniature golf, a first for Emily and Eleanor. I didn't bother to keep score. They were just so happy every time their ball made it into the hole. We were all winners in their eyes.

Matt is home!...although he is not home right now. He has been busy today with church and Priesthood meetings, but it's nice to know he is only a phone call away if I need him.

Here is a picture of the kids during one of their "camp outs."

Here is a picture of Noah smiling at Zach's peek-a-boo game.

Now I shall go feed Noah because the milk he has been gulping down in the last 45 minutes apparently has not been enough. Many people commented today at church how big Noah is getting. Eating all the time will do that to you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I miss Matt

Flying solo is exhausting! It gets interesting at dinnertime when everyone is tired and hungry, including me, and Noah. We have made it to our movie time, the time we all look forward to. The kids are laying on their beds relaxing, watching "Cars" and I am ready to clean up the kitchen, but Noah is eating, so here I sit at the computer.

Highlights of the day...
1)Swim lessons

2)A stop at the Bangor library to return books. I sent Zoe and Emily in because I've decided we can't afford to sign out books from this library anymore because we're always getting our books back late, so we always owe fees. Plus, it's a pain to have to go to Bangor (a 30 minute trip there) just to return books.

3)The girls were thirsty, so we went through the drive-thru at McDonald's for water and a snack. We had a little picnic next to our car in the Goodwill parking lot before shopping.

4)We ended up school shopping at Goodwill because I wanted to drop off a bag of stuff we don't need anymore. Zoe found the most clothes, Emily looked, but didn't find as much, and Eleanor played with Zach. Eleanor ended up with 1 shirt because I found it for her and she liked it. Zoe found a cute shirt that she loves and she's planning on wearing it on the first day of school. It's a longer shirt that we're going to buy some leggings to wear with it. Emily has picked a shirt to wear for the first day of school, but it has a worn look to it, so I'm hoping she'll find a nicer shirt to wear. Eleanor could care less.
The question of the day at Goodwill was, "Are these all yours?" Three different people at different times asked me this question. They were all nice about it and they thought my kids were so sweet and adorable...did they notice several of them running around, under, and in the clothes? The kids are better behaved when we are in public, which is probably why we are out and about so much. It's nice to hear people say I have great kids because sometimes I focus more on their weaknesses than their strengths. They really are great kids.

5)We went swimming at the pool for about 45 minutes this afternoon. It was so much fun to watch everyone at the pool talking, laughing, and enjoying the summer day. I can't believe it's the middle of August already!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gone Camping

Matt left this morning to attend "Zion's Camp" (a stake young men's camp) and he'll be back on Saturday. The sun decided to make an appearance today, so after the Teddy Bear picnic at the library, we went to the park and then we went swimming a little later. Our sunny, warm, summer days are numbered, we need to enjoy them while we can. The kids are now "camping out" in the living room. They find such joy in being able to sleep in the living room and watch movies before they fall asleep. Even Kate joined in on the fun and is now asleep on Zoe's blankets. Kids are such angels when they are sleeping. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

If you take your kids to the movies...

Your baby will cry along the way

You will go to a Credit Union that you looked up in the phone book only to discover they don't have an atm so...

You go to a bank and pay a $3.00 fee!

You'll pay $6.00 to get in (bargain!), but...

You'll pay $15.00 for snacks because...

You know sharing will cause fights and you want to avoid those.

Your children will leave trails of popcorn as you walk to your seat.

You'll stuff m&m's into your 18 month old to keep her quiet.

You'll shush your 3 year old repeatedly as he says over and over again, "pink panFER, pink panFER" (his new favorite cartoon).

You will all leave overloaded with popcorn bags, bottles, and a hand to hold.

You will be happy that you went to see "Kit Kitridge, An American Girl Story", which was a really cute movie and everyone enjoyed it.

Noah's First Bath

Noah's cord finally fell off this morning. Shouts of joy rang from his siblings when I told them! His first bath experience went very well. He cried a bit, but I'd rather listen to his cute cry than wipe up the water mess his siblings make!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dear Kate

Dunking the hand towel in the toilet after I just washed and dried it is NOT HELPFUL!

3:24 AM

It's one of those early mornings when Noah is more content to sleep with me holding him than in bed. So I figure I might as well be productive while I hold him. I just finished typing up our primary presentation and I sent it off to Aimee, our primary president. It feels good to have that done.

I had a good church day yesterday. My kids were good during Sacrament meeting, Noah slept through most of church, and Kate went to Nursery all by herself for the first time! I had Matt bring her in and she did great. She only cried once when she noticed that Tiffany, our Nursery leader, was gone with Zach and she was left with the Nursery helper and the other kids. I heard her crying when I was in the Mother's room feeding Noah, but she didn't cry for too long. I did Sharing Time with the younger children yesterday, with the help of my mom, and it felt good to be back with the children. The time goes by a lot quicker when I am involved in Primary!

Speaking of time, it's time for me to go back to bed. Hopefully Noah will agree with that!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A month has gone by already?

Noah turned 1 month old yesterday. Can you believe that? He's turning into an infant already and he's very strong. He smiles occasionally, but we have yet to capture it. He is starting to coo, which is so cute. When he's not eating or getting his diaper changed, he likes to hang out in the Snugli or sleep on my chair. He is still loved by all!

Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor were at Morgan's birthday sleepover when I took Noah's 1 month pictures and then Matt took the camera with him on his overnight boating adventure with Don, Perry, and Perry's sons, so the girls missed out on getting their picture taken with Noah.

Here are some pictures of the girls at Morgan's birthday party.

I picked the girls up yesterday morning and told them that as soon as they got into the car, I would tell them about our fun day planned (It's easier to get them to leave somewhere fun if they have something else that is fun to look forward to!). The fun day included McDonald's, games, movies, and sleeping in the living room. I cleaned all day Thursday and usually I spend my days puttering around the house (when I'm not meeting the demands of the kids), so I declared yesterday a fun day that I would devote to the kids. We got off to a rough start during our brief trip to the grocery store as Eleanor cried, loudly, when Zach got the first cookie, you know, those free cookies for kids under 12 that are supposed to help keep your kids HAPPY, yeah well later on Zach was crying, loudly when Zoe and Emily were trying to help and failing miserably when they suggested Zach and Eleanor trade cookies. Zach was all for it, but Eleanor wasn't, which sent Zach into meltdown mode. Our fun day got even better when a large chocolate milkshake spilled all over me and the car as I pulled into our driveway. Are we having fun yet? Zoe and Emily fought as we played the game Trouble and I finally abandoned them and the game. It turned into a movie afternoon for the kids, and I read my book. It was rainy and cold and blah. The kids were excited to sleep in the living room and looked forward to watching movies until they fell asleep and eating popcorn. Zach had to endure a princess night as we watched "Barbie, The Island Princess" and "Princess Diaries 2". Zoe was the only one who stayed awake through both movies.

I didn't plan on going anywhere today, but after Aimee called me and told me about an awesome shoe sale going on in Ellsworth at Curtis Family Shoe, I decided we better go check out the bargains. My mom came with us and I'm glad she did because Kate was a handful. She tried on all the shoes she could get her hands on and she didn't care what size they were. All the kids' shoes outside the store were $5. We left there with 7 pairs of shoes and I paid $36.75. I am so glad Aimee called me! Emily ended up with 3 pairs, Zoe got 2, Zach got 1, and Eleanor got 1. Eleanor was mad that she didn't get more, but the one pair she got was the only pair in her size. She got a cute pair of pink, plaid Keds...that she'll probably never wear because they are so cute and my kids shy away from cute when it comes to clothes for some reason.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

18 Months Old

Kate reached Nursery age yesterday! This is such a fun, cute age. She is learning new words, has earned the nickname, "one woman wrecking crew", loves to drink water from a cup with a straw...that she can tip over and make puddles of water with, loves her binkies, can throw a ball like a pro, well like they did at her age I'm sure, loves to be outside, has discovered the fun of jumping on beds, likes to put her sippy cup in the trash, loves to rub Noah's head and sit on Zoe's lap, and is so darn cute that she can get away with most anything.

Kate is at the "monkey see, monkey do" age. Here she is feeding and burping her baby.

I captured this moment of Zoe and Kate watching a movie together, but missed the moments of Zoe reading to Kate and the two of them brushing their teeth together. Kate loves to hang out with Zoe!
Watch out Nursery, here Kate comes!

Eleanor is back home again. It's amazing how one child missing makes a difference in the workload and atmosphere around here. Eleanor had a great time and from what I hear, her stubborn attitude only came through a couple of times. That's what Lucy's mom admitted to anyway.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sleepover, Snake, and Siblings

Eleanor is at her first friend sleepover with Lucy. Zoe and Emily were VERY jealous that Eleanor was sleeping over at a friend's house and they had to stay home. I hope Eleanor had a good evening and hopefully she is asleep now. I'd like to be sleeping right now, but Noah just isn't sleepy yet.

Zoe discovered this outside today...

I've never seen a snake this big in Maine before. It can stick around as long as it takes care of the mice around here. I'd much rather have a snake outside than mice inside.

Kate wanted to hold Noah today.

She loves babies! I've come to realize that Kate is more jealous of her older siblings than she is of Noah. She's fine most of the time if I'm holding Noah, but if Zach tries to sit on me, then Kate is right there demanding to be held, too.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Clean clothes

Yes, that is what we have here. I got caught up on the laundry today! Miracles do still happen. I even took a short snooze with Noah. It was a good day.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Small World

I went to Mallory's wedding reception last night with Matt and Noah. We had a great time and enjoyed being with the Conner family as well as many members of our church family. I had no idea that I would meet in person 3 fellow bloggers, Selena, Ave, and Calandria, who are connected to the Conner family. Ave discovered my blog through Gabriela, and Calandria discovered my blog through Marilou's blog. It was fun to talk with these young women who already "knew" me through blogging. It is indeed a small world.

Our family started something new today. We'll call it "Paper Sunday". No dishes that need to be washed can be used on Sunday. Zoe suggested this last Sunday during Family Council. She was told to wash the dishes last Sunday and she protested by saying that we're not supposed to work on Sunday! True, but we insisted that she still needed to wash the dishes. Zoe got this idea from Patti, and it is a good one. We did pretty well today. Not perfect, but there were a lot less dishes to do today than usual. Zach was a bit resistant this morning when he was given a paper cup for his chocolate milk instead of his usual sippy cup, but he soon loved the idea of his "Sunday cup". We'd love any meal ideas that don't require dirtying any dishes to prepare. :-)

I set a new goal today to teach our children how to play the piano. The kids are excited about this goal, especially Zoe who has asked in the past to take piano lessons. We don't have a piano, but I think with the help of a keyboard and the piano at church or maybe even the piano at the school, we'll be off to a good start. Knowing how to play the piano is such a great skill to have, especially in our church, and I want our children to be able to serve with this skill throughout their lives. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Snuggled in the Snugli

Zoe wanted to carry Noah around in the Snugli this afternoon. Noah goes right to sleep in the Snugli and sling. You can carry Noah around whenever you like, Zoe!

We went to Summer's baptism this afternoon (one of our Primary children) and I loved the centerpieces on the tables for the luncheon. There was a vase with a flower or two and then 4 pictures of Summer around each vase of flowers. Each picture was sitting on a little easel. I wanted to get a picture of the centerpieces, but I didn't get a chance. It was simple, looked very nice, and it was fun to look at the different pictures of Summer.

Friday, August 01, 2008

My Community

I am so glad we chose to live where we are. I like being a part of our town, but I also like the fact that we live in the woods out of town. I like that we are able to stick together as a family more because the kids don't have easy access to their friends. I like that my kids consider their siblings as friends and they are content to play together. I like the teachers my kids have had in school. I like the principal, values, and standards that our school system has. I like the fact that our superintendent has moved on to a different school district and a new superintendent will be hired in the fall. I like our town manager. I like our town's newspaper. I like our free access to our town pool in the summer. I like how affordable the rec programs are and the variety of programs offered. I like that our library has a story time. I like that our librarian doesn't keep track of how long our books are signed out. I like the fact that a playgroup for my little ones is available to go to every Thursday (although I haven't been in awhile). I like seeing people I know when I'm in town, like today at the pool. I recognized a mom that I met at the park, a mom I met at playgroup, a few moms I have met at story time, and a mom who works at our community pharmacy that I see every so often when I need a prescription filled. I am blessed to live in such a great community!

Datenight #2 with Noah

Our local movie theater was showing "Get Smart" this week, Monday-Thursday, so my Mom offered to watch the kids last night, so Matt and I could go see it. I fed Noah during the previews and then he slept through the movie. Another A+ for Noah! The movie was good, very funny!