Friday, October 31, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling

I put Noah on his back last night on the floor to get something done. When I looked over at him, he was on his stomach. He is officially rolling over!

Zoe, Emily, & Eleanor saw Matt this morning for the first time since Monday evening. It was nice having Matt here to help get the kids ready for school and to hold Noah. We miss him when he's not around!

Have a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Inspection woes

It has been a day of go, go, go. Grocery shopping, picking Zoe & Emily up from school, picking Eleanor up from school, going back to Zoe & Emily's school to pick up our fund raiser items, going to get the Yukon inspected, stopping at McDonald's for dinner, going to church for Achievement night, coming back home. I am looking forward to a day at home tomorrow...until we go trick or treating.

So, about the inspection. The Yukon was supposed to be inspected in August. September rolled around and Matt mentioned a 30 day grace period that I had to get it inspected, so then October rolled around. There is a mechanic that I have taken the Yukon to for inspection, but he doesn't take credit cards, only cash or a check, so I would think about getting the Yukon inspected, but then realize that I didn't have cash or my checkbook with me, so I would go home and then think about the inspection again when I was driving around...with no cash or checkbook. I finally had some cash a few weeks ago, so I stopped at the garage, but the mechanic was out of inspection stickers, so he told me to come back in a week. I went back yesterday and he informed me that he has decided not to do inspections anymore, except for commercial trucks, so now I had to go somewhere else. I liked this mechanic because he was quick, I didn't have to get the kids out of the car, and if I waited until the month after the inspection was due then the mechanic would feel the need to inspect it right then. :-) I hate getting inspections because most garages won't schedule an appointment for an inspection, they just want you to pop in, but when I do pop in, they are too busy to inspect the car. ANNOYING! Matt suggested a garage we know of, so I gave them a call this morning and asked if someone could inspect the Yukon if I brought it in between 3:30 and 4:00. The receptionist was very nice and took my name and said someone would inspect the Yukon when I got there. Very nice. I got there a bit early, around 3:10. The kids and I went into the waiting area and waited. The Yukon was taken right in and the nice receptionist changed the tv to cartoons for the kids. Very nice. This wasn't a quick inspection, though. I'm guessing about 45 minutes later, the mechanic came into the waiting area to tell me that the Yukon failed inspection due to some minor headlight and foglight issues. Minor issues that are going to cost over $500 to fix. So I'm still driving around in my illegal, non-inspected Yukon, which is now more noticeable because the mechanic cut off a corner of the inspection sticker because it is so overdue for an inspection...which I tried to have done today. Ugh. The other mechanic would have passed it.

P.S. I was told today that I have quiet kids. HA! They'll fool you like that when they are glued to the tv.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It has taken me a long time to write this post!

I put Noah on my bed last night while I was giving the kids a bath thinking he would be safer on the bed from Kate, but when I checked on him, I found him like this...

very proud of himself and close to rolling himself onto the floor!

The girls had a half day of school today, so we carved pumpkins this afternoon. I bought two pumpkins, so Zoe and Emily each carved a face on one, and I carved Eleanor's puppy (which Matt thinks it looks like a bunny) and Zach's scary face on the other pumpkin. The puppy would have come out better with a bigger pattern on a bigger pumpkin, but luckily Eleanor likes it the way it is. This was my first time roasting the seeds. Eating pumpkin seeds doesn't appeal to me, but Zoe and Emily were looking forward to them. I asked them how my seeds compared with the ones they have had at school and Zoe said mine were better (bless her heart!) and Emily said they were as good as the others she has had. Fair enough.
The kids dug out all of the seeds and did most of the gutting, which was nice. They had a great time.

Zach helped to find seeds for awhile, but then he was content to watch.
Zoe's and Zach's side...
Emily's and Eleanor's side...
We watched "The Bee Movie" after carving the pumpkins. After watching the movie, Emily regretted putting bees on the "things I don't like" part of her poster that she did at school. She doesn't regret putting Matt's black beans and rice on there, though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A long month ahead

Matt's motion to withdraw from his upcoming trial was denied yesterday. His words to me were, "See you in December". He picks a jury tomorrow and the trial starts on Monday.

I have been on my own with the kids the past two mornings. Today went better than yesterday. Yesterday, I fed Noah when I should have been getting the kids up to get ready for school, so they got up late. Eleanor, who takes her sweet time getting ready, decided she was too tired to get up, so she was not going to school. After leaving her alone for a few minutes, I went back into her room to inform her that she would be spending the day in bed and she would miss her cheerleading class. She got up. Rush, rush, rush and the kids somehow made it out the door on time. We all got up on time this morning and there was less rushing around.

Zoe wanted to take a cute picture of Kate hugging Noah yesterday. This is what she got...

and then my memory card was full.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Preview

The Witch...

Kaya, An American Girl...

The Cheerleader...


The huggable Teddy Bear...

All dressed up for the Halloween party at church on Saturday. We ate yummy pizza, the kids played games to earn prizes, we sang karaoke, the kids decorated a bag for their goodies, and the kids trick or treated. Lots of fun!

Here is our cow being held by Gilligan (Dodie)...

Here's Gilligan with Ginger and The Professor...
The Cheerleader decorating her bag. I just love the Ghostbuster costume! His twin brother had one on, too.

I loved watching The Teddy Bear chase Yoda (Spencer) around (who is 4 months younger than Kate) saying "baby!, baby!, baby!" It gave The Cow a break from her. :-)

Random Notes
Eleanor can now count to 100! She can also spell her name out loud and write her name without help. Way to go, Eleanor!

Friday, October 24, 2008

10 pounds to go!

I just weighed myself and I am at 131. Yay! I haven't been strict about counting points this week, so I was wondering what I was going to see on the scale. I am happy the numbers are still going in the right direction. The fun starts as I work toward losing the last 10 pounds during the holidays! I have been thinking about the Weight Watchers food that I think is delicious and I would eat it even if I wasn't trying to lose weight. So I'll share with you the products I have found to be nutritious/low calorie and YUMMY!

This is the only frozen entree that I have found that doesn't taste like a frozen entree.

This raspberry yogurt is the best yogurt I have ever tasted!

This next yogurt is not a Weight Watchers product, but it must be mentioned. Yoplait Light Apple Turnover, which I tried yesterday, is the first of these dessert flavored yogurts that actually tastes like dessert. I thought the raspberry cheesecake flavor would be my favorite, but the flavor is weak and it ended up being my least favorite. The pineapple upside down cake flavor was good, but it wasn't dessert quality, just good yogurt. I will try the strawberry shortcake flavor today.

I am not a popsicle/fudge bar fan, but Matt told me these fudge bars are good and since they are 1 point, I decided to try them. I hate biting into cold things, but these bars are softer than most bars, so it doesn't bother me as much to bite into them. The chocolate flavor is strong, so of course they are yummy!

I did go to the grocery store yesterday. I picked up a package of sugar free chocolate chip cookies for Kayla. I also brought apples and pretzels with me last night. Kayla was able to eat a serving of the cookies, but I don't think her mom really approved of them. I got the impression she would like me to stick with snack foods for Kayla, so that is what I will do. Mallory, thanks for the snack ideas!

When the Achievement girls saw Noah last night, they wondered what happened to him. Kate happened to him. While at the grocery store, Noah was in his car seat and Kate was in the back of the cart. She stood up and reached for Noah, to give him kisses I'm sure, but ended up digging into his forehead. Ouch!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sugar free dilemma

So, my day did get better yesterday, but not until we got home from story time and the grocery store. Zach and Kate and another little boy were the only kids at story time and either that or the rainy weather or a combination of both made Zach and Kate very restless. Usually, there is a preschool that walks to the library for story time and everyone sits on the floor because there are so many kids there. Yesterday, the kids were allowed to sit in chairs, so Zach and Kate bounced from chair to chair to chair and were in no mood to sit still and listen to books. So I took Kate out of the reading room and Zach soon followed. The other boy didn't last much longer, so we checked out books and then left.

I had woken Noah out of a deep sleep in my warm bed to venture out into the cold, which I felt bad about and this story time experience didn't make me feel better about it. I did however get the movie dropped off and picked up some groceries, so at least that was productive and made me feel better about the trip out.

I've been in a baking mood lately so I made giant chocolate chip cookies yesterday with Zach. Eleanor loves having a treat when she gets home from school, so it's fun to have homemade goodies for her and Zoe and Emily to have when they get home.

Noah had a rough evening last night. Usually he is content to be nursed to sleep when I go to bed, but not last night. He cried and cried, so I held him and read and then Matt held him for awhile while I tried to sleep, but after awhile Noah started crying and wouldn't stop, so I got up again. He finally fell asleep a little before midnight as I walked around with him. I laid him down to sleep and he didn't wake up again until 5am. Yay! I nursed him back to sleep then and I slept until 6:00 when the alarm went off.

I like bringing refreshments with me to Achievement night, so I'm wondering what I'm going to bring tonight. Kayla is part of a family who doesn't eat sugar or much sugar, so I need to come up with some sugar free recipes. I think I'll bring some of the cookies I made for the other girls. The problem I have about baking today is that I'm out of butter, so a trip to the grocery store is required. If I don't bake then I still need to go to the grocery store to pick up a sugar free snack. Ugh. Timing a trip to the grocery store with 2 children who nap is tricky. I don't want Kate falling asleep in the car because she wakes up when we get home and then she will not go back to sleep when I put her in her crib. This has been tried and tested many Sunday afternoons when Kate falls asleep on the way home from church and then refuses to go back to sleep when we get home, even though she is exhausted and miserable! Anyway, I'll have to see if I can avoid going to the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2 kids driving 1 mom loco!

It's a cold, rainy morning and I'd like to stay inside all day, but we will venture out to story time and the grocery store since I rented a movie last night for the kids that needs to go back today. It was my first Redbox rental and it was easy and only $1.00, but like I said, now I have to go out in the rain to bring it back. Wednesday is our only day during the week to be out and about. I've been taking the kids to story time and then to the park and then home. Today will be story time, grocery store, and then home.

Matt has been getting ready for a big trial that will start next week. He is working late when he can now, so last night was my first evening alone with the kids. I've been spoiled having him home all the time since his release as Branch President. Zoe wanted me to dig out her winter coat which was at my parents' home, so after chores and homework were done after school yesterday, we went to rent a movie and then we went to my parents' house to watch the movie (Diamond Castle-Barbie movie), eat dinner, dig out winter coats and hats/mittens, and then come home to give Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor a bath, read scriptures, say prayers, and send the kids to bed. Everything went just like that except Kate wanted a bath too, so Matt got home in time to give her a bath and then I gave Zach a bath since we were on a roll. We got the kids in bed around 8:30pm and then Matt and I watched an episode of "Chuck" on the computer.

Noah likes to hang out on our bed in the morning. He'll wake up, go back to sleep, wake up, go back to sleep for quite a while in the morning. I've been getting a lot done around the house in the morning, which I've enjoyed. It will be a bummer when he starts to roll and I can't leave him on the bed anymore. When I put him on my chair in the living room now, he gets mauled by Kate and Zach, so it's nice that he has a place to sleep where Zach and Kate can't get to him.

Zach and Kate are at ages where they fight more than they get along. They have been fighting through most of my writing here. It has been a challenge lately to find a good time to sit down and blog. Zach has been getting on the computer to play after he is ready for the day, so today I am trying to blog before he gets on the computer. I'm being productive here, but Zach and Kate are driving me nuts as they fight over who is going to sit on my lap, and when I shoo them both away, they fight over something else. Now Kate is polluting the air, so I better go change her and get her dressed.

Have a great day! Mine is starting out with a lot of crying, but it will get better, right?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall camping, soccer, & Sunday

Matt, Zoe, Emily, and Zach slept at Camp Bravo Friday night.

Zach's awake...

Zach's asleep...

Zoe had her last soccer game yesterday. I should say games because they played 3 twenty minute games, so they played all the teams. Zoe's team won 2 games and tied the other, yay! Their team really worked together toward the end of the season and they were more aggressive, which we encouraged...aggressive as in taking the ball away from the other team and kicking the ball hard to get it away from their goal. I finally took some pictures of Zoe playing yesterday and I bought the picture CD that was made by the club because it had some good close-up shots of Zoe.
Here are the pictures that I took of Zoe defending the goal. There is another game going on in the background. You can't see the goal that Zoe is defending in these pictures. Zoe is favorite number.

Matt had his first speaking assignment in Belfast today and he told me I was speaking with him, so we all went to Belfast today. The kids were excited and nervous about visiting a different branch. I felt the same way, especially since I was speaking. My talk on Relief Society went well and fit well with the calling of a new Relief Society Presidency there. Matt held Noah while I talked and then I tried to feed Noah in the chapel while Matt talked, but Kate kept lifting up the blanket to kiss Noah's head and got mad when I wouldn't let her. We ended up going into the mother's room. I always enjoy listening to Matt speak, so I'm glad I heard most of his talk. Kate and Zach went right into Nursery without a problem, and the older girls stayed in the chapel to practice with the children who were getting ready for their program. My girls are very tired of practicing for the primary program, so they weren't thrilled to do it again today, but they survived it. The people in Belfast are so nice and I enjoyed being with them today.

We are having a nice afternoon here at home. Matt just made apple crisp and it smells so good! 25 minutes and we can dive into it. :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is it really Friday already?

Has it really been since Monday that I last wrote? Where has the week gone?
I have had a super productive morning "cleaning" the kids room. I have been skimming through the book "Clutter Be Gone" by Don Aslett, which I borrowed from my mom. I didn't expect to get more motivated than I already am to get rid of clutter, but it has managed to motivate me to get rid of the stuff that I tend to hang on to for future use or for whatever reason when I really don't need it or use it. The decluttering is contagious because now Matt is insisting that we each get rid of 5 things a day. He would like the kids to do it too, but they don't see anything they own as clutter, it's all good. Which is why their room gets "cleaned" while they are at school. Zach and Kate had a great time playing this morning with toys that have been tucked away and forgotten about. Noah slept until noon time!(which is why I have been so productive) He has been waking up late this week. I am loving it!

Monday evening stands out in my mind for the week. I have made the rule once again that the house will be picked up before Matt gets home, which started on Monday. The kids came right in from playing outside when I called to them and they did a great job cleaning up. I made a yummy dinner, which was ready when Matt got home and the table was set before he walked through the door. We had a nice Family Home Evening and the kids went to bed on time. It was nice and memorable. The kids have done a great job all week getting the house looking nice before Matt gets home. I hope they keep it up. It should be easier now with less toys to put away. :-)

My mom called me yesterday morning to see if I wanted to go to Ellsworth with her. We stopped at Goodwill first where I got rid of 6 or 7 grocery bags of stuff and my sewing machine. Don't worry, we still have Matt's sewing machine. We didn't need two and I figured since Matt actually uses his from time to time that we should get rid of mine. Mom stopped at Mike's book store to talk with Mike about helping them put in their new kitchen floor and Mike was more than willing to help. We then went to Friendly's for lunch. Zach, Kate, and Noah were very good. Kate insisted on tipping her cup up and spilling milk all over herself, but the kids were quiet and they ate good. I fed Noah while we waited for our food, and then he sat in his car seat while I ate. Very nice.

Zoe and I have been working on her Faith in God goals on Sunday evenings for the past few months. She is currently working on a word of wisdom goal where she needed to plan an activity that will teach the word of wisdom. She decided to put on a play for our branch with the other 8-11 year old girls. I converted the story, "The Hot Chocolate Mishap" into a play. So last night was our first practice for the play and the girls are all excited about it and they had fun practicing. We have 4 girls and there were 4 girl parts in the play so that worked out perfectly. We're going to meet every Thursday night until the play is done. We're thinking of doing the play on Pie Night right before Thanksgiving if the girls are ready.

There, I think that covers the week. Oh yeah, I had a dream last night that lobster was selling for 10-25 cents per pound. Of course when I got to the store, the lobster had all been sold. Bummer! My birthday is 3 weeks away, so lobster is on my mind.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 13, 2008

7 things you've always wanted to know about me

Tagged by ML...
1. I have always lived in Maine
2. I love to declutter/organize and I'm currently in the mood to take every single thing out of our house and start fresh.
3. I have been able to do a one handed cartwheel since the age of 2, so I find it fascinating that my girls find it difficult to do a cartwheel.
4. This is the first year that the boys outnumber the girls here at home when the older girls are at school. I love having daughters AND sons. :-)
5. I am great at keeping a record of my own family history, but terrible at researching the history of my ancestors.
6. I love listening to Glenn Beck!
7. I LIKE driving my kids to activities and watching them...weird, I know.

I tag...
Every blogger who reads this post! Okay, so #8 could be I'm too lazy and short on time to list 7 people and link to them. Bye!

Zoe and The Young Americans

Zoe loved the workshops and classes she took with the Young Americans. She practiced Thursday from 3:30-9:00pm, Friday from 8am-8pm, and then she was back at the school on Saturday at 4:00 until the show was over at 9:30pm. My experience with all of this was always dropping Zoe off at the wrong door at the high school, which was stressful because I always had the kids with me. Thursday, we went in the doors near the gym which was perfect for me because I could leave the kids in the car, walk Zoe into the lobby and still see my car...until someone led us through the gym and into a hall where I couldn't see the car. Fortunately, a mom I know offered to get Zoe registered for me, so I could leave and she offered to bring Zoe home at 9pm which was a huge help. Friday we went in the front door of the school (me, Zoe, Zach, Kate, & Noah) and walked through crowds of teenagers to get to the gym...I should have parked near the gym like I did the first time. Being in the high school with all the teenagers around made me want to find a magic potion to keep my kids young. Was it just me or did everyone there look like a delinquent? After dropping Zoe off, the younger kids and I walked back to our car outside thus avoiding the teenagers. I'm not ready for my kids to start dressing in black yet. Matt and I picked Zoe up Friday night after our dinner at Kravings. The students were told to be back at the school at 3:30 on Saturday...the paper we had said 4:00. Saturday, We were at the school at 3:30...and we waited around until 4:00. I parked near the gym and we ended up in the hall again, but this time I moved the car and the kids (still in their Halloween costumes)came into the school to wait with me. So, there were little annoyances for me, but Zoe had a great experience and she did great in the show.

The Young Americans performed for an hour and then the students and Young Americans performed for 45 minutes. Emily, Eleanor, Noah, my parents, and I had a great time watching Zoe. Eleanor will probably remember being super thirsty and FINALLY getting a drink at the end of the show. She drank some more when we got home. Zoe may remember looking for her backpack after the show. We finally found it in the lost and found pile in a closet. They all may remember me keeping them awake during the ride home because getting sleeping kids out of the car and into the house is not fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Loving my scale

I interrupt this day of Emily's soccer practice, Zoe's soccer game, Halloween party, and Zoe's BIG SHOW to let you know that I have lost 30 pounds since Noah was born! WOOHOO! I celebrated last night with Matt and Noah at Kravings eating yummy chicken enchiladas. I ignore anyone that says I shouldn't reward myself with food. I love food!, and I love counting Weight Watchers Points!
12 pounds to go to reach my goal weight.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Conferences Done!

I just got back from picking Emily up from school. She has a bad stomach ache and she walks hunched over because of the pain. Emily, Zach, and Kate are camped out on the floor in front of the tv watching Scooby Doo. The cool, damp day outside makes it easier to veg inside. It's a bummer that Emily is missing getting her picture taken at school today and she'll miss out on her class photo, but she can have an individual picture done when the photographer comes back to retake pictures. I never buy school pictures since I always get their pictures taken on or after their birthdays, but I always get a free class photo. The kids also usually make a Christmas gift with their school picture, so I end up with a copy of their picture, which is nice.

Noah turned 3 months old yesterday!

He loves to suck on his fingers. It has been nice to have him calm himself down by sticking his fingers in his mouth when he is crying and I am busy doing something.
He also likes to look at his hands and he can hold onto a toy for a moment or two. He loves to smile at us and that just makes his siblings' day when they see Noah smiling at them.

We had a nice conference with Zoe's teacher, Mrs. LaLonde yesterday. Zoe had Mrs. LaLonde last year as well, so we are very familiar with her and she is one of our favorite teachers. Zoe is doing great as usual. The only thing she needs to work on is slowing down when she talks and reads. Often her mind is going faster than her mouth and she stumbles over her words, but Zoe is aware of this and she is working on it. Mrs. Lalonde thinks that Zoe will do well with any of the 5th grade teachers. In the Spring, Mrs. LaLonde will tell us about each teacher and their teaching styles and personalities to help us decide if we'd like to request a certain teacher. Zoe will move on to the middle school (5th-8th grades) next year which will be a whole new experience for all of us! Zoe is reading at the end of a 4th grade level and does very well comprehending what she reads. Mrs. LaLonde knows that Zoe needs challenging books to read, but Zoe is also good at letting her know when the work is too easy. Mrs. LaLonde is anxious for grandchildren, so she loves to see our little ones. She even offered to watch our kids one evening next month, so Matt and I can have a date night...and that's not the only reason why I think she is awesome! :-)

To answer your comment Kris, I prefer to meet with the teachers without the student present, which was how it was done until last year. Now the fall conferences are goal setting conferences, so the students are supposed to come along to share their goals, too. I think more can be said when the student isn't there. Eleanor didn't meet with us when we met with her teacher, but Emily and Zoe were there when we met with theirs. Emily stayed with us until I told her she could go outside and play and then she was happy to leave, but Zoe wanted to stay with us the entire time.
I'll e-mail the teachers throughout the year to touch base with them and voice any concerns I have and I'll encourage them to do the same.

Happy Birthday, Donna! Happy First Date Anniversary, Matt! 12 years ago you called and asked me to go see the movie, "Emma" with you and here we are 12 years later living in a condemned trailer with 6 kids...if only you knew what you were getting yourself into. :-) I love you!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2 Conferences Down

Matt and I had a nice visit with Emily's teacher yesterday afternoon. Her teacher, Mrs. Wight raved about how wonderful Emily is and how much she enjoys having Emily in her class. I found it a bit hard to talk with Mrs. Wight because she is quiet and really didn't have much to say, but I think she is doing a good job getting the kids off to a good start with their work. At first I thought Emily's homework of reading 20 minutes out loud to a parent or an older sibling 4 days a week was asking too much, but it hasn't been too much and I enjoy that time I have with Emily listening to her read. She is above her reading level and her teacher is aware of that. Our goal for Emily this year is to keep Emily challenged in her reading and spelling. Emily would love to learn cursive writing, which Mrs. Wight encouraged Emily to practice on her own (she already does), but she won't officially learn it until next year. Keep up the good work, Emily! We all find it a pleasure to have you around. :-)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One Conference Down

The first thing Eleanor's teacher, Mrs. Pelletier said to me yesterday was, "I just love your daughter, Eleanor!" I could tell that she really enjoys having Eleanor in her class. Matt & I were a little worried that Eleanor would do more socializing in school than learning, but Mrs. Pelletier assured us that Eleanor is doing both. She stays on task when she needs to and she is understanding the work and doing well. Eleanor is a little behind recognizing letters quickly, but Mrs. Pelletier is not worried about that because Eleanor's understanding of print is high and she said Eleanor is a quick learner. Eleanor is getting along well with her classmates and she has many friends. She has been known to crack Mrs. Peters up while waiting in line for the bus. Eleanor does have a way of making us all smile and laugh. :-)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dear Kris,

Thanks for the e-mail! Thanks for the reminder of why I update my family. Sometimes I get in a blog funk and I get tired of writing about our everyday lives. How much poop, fighting, and cleaning do you really want to hear about??? I will do better about informing you from now on. :-)

We survived another conference weekend. I love conference, too! The kids did really well this time around. They had occasional bouts of restlessness, but overall they were quiet and did a lot of coloring/drawing. They really enjoyed the children's choir yesterday afternoon. It was sweet to hear Kate sing with them. We stayed home and watched conference on the internet, which was very nice. It was a little too relaxing though as I kept falling asleep!

We had soccer before conference yesterday as well. No rain here, but it was chilly. I had Noah bundled up in his snowsuit. Matt stayed home with Eleanor, Zach, and Kate. Emily had practice at 9:00 and then Zoe had a game at 10:15. Zoe's team played a great game and they won by 1 point. It's fun routing for Zoe's team which has 2 Zoe's and Hailey, Shaylee, Kaylee, and twins who I can never tell apart!

Oh yes, the self-employment woes. Here's our latest. Matt sent in a voucher to the government and they finally sent us a check last week. The check was for $4000 less than expected. Not good. Matt deposits the check and we pay our health insurance which is due to be cancelled the next day if payment is not received. At least that is paid. A few days later, we receive a letter from the bank saying the check is not good. What?! We are back to no money, the check we paid the health insurance with is going to bounce, and we are wondering what is going on! Matt finds out Friday that the government messed up cutting our check by $4000, so they cancelled the check they sent us, and they will send us a new one for the full amount. That is good news, but we hope they send it quick!

Going through self-employment famines has helped me to realize the importance of food storage. We have done more baking from scratch, which we also enjoy doing. The past few weeks I have baked cookies and brownies with the kids, which has been fun...and frustrating at times, too. Here is Kate helping out for the first time on Friday.

Did you notice that Kate doesn't have any pants on? She REFUSED to let me put overalls on her and I was too lazy to get her a different pair of pants. Or maybe it was the fact that she has pants issues. She hates to have the waist of her pants up on her belly, so she wears them under her big belly. She whines every time I put pants on her, so it is very tempting to put her in dresses, but then she would have to wear tights and we'd probably still have issues.

It is looking to be a very busy week. Eleanor has cheerleading/Tumbling class after school today and then we meet with her teacher for Parent/Teacher Conferences. We're meeting with Emily's teacher tomorrow afternoon and then with Zoe's teacher Wednesday afternoon. Zoe has soccer practice after we meet with her teacher. Thursday afternoon, Zoe needs to be at the high school at 3:30 to register to sing and perform with the Young Americans. She is so excited to participate in this program! She'll have 3 days of workshops, classes, and a big show Saturday night. We'll pick her up at 9pm and then she'll be dropped off at the high school Friday morning at 8am and stay until 8pm. Emily and Zoe have soccer Saturday morning and then a Halloween party from 1-3pm, and then Zoe needs to be at the high school at 4pm for Dress Rehearsal and then the big show starts at 7:30pm. I hope it's a great experience for Zoe.

I am trying hard to enjoy this stage of life. I enjoyed President Monson's talk about that yesterday. I do find myself wishing Noah was older at times, but I should enjoy this baby stage one last time. I should take advantage of the excuse I have to sit, cuddle, read, and watch the other kids play while I can. It can be a challenge though when I'm in the mood to be productive around the house.

It was fun to hear about your family. I'm glad you are all doing well. Zoe and Savannah sound like their going through a similar phase of only wanting to do what they want to do. :-) Take care!