Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving break day 5, 6, &7

Wednesday was another pie making day. We also made it over to the library before it closed, so Zoe could find a good book to read, and I was able to pick up 24 Christmas books without the kids noticing. :-)
Zoe and Emily were supposed to sleep over at my parents' home, but since my mom was getting over the flu, I had the feeling they should wait to sleep over.
Matt hurt his neck on Tuesday and was in pain on Wednesday and could barely move his neck, but he still went to work.

Thanksgiving Day started around 3:15am when Zoe woke me up to tell me that she threw up in her bed (I guess this was why I had the feeling Zoe and Emily should stay home). The mess wasn't too bad to clean up since she threw up on her quilt, but it was still not fun to clean up. In the morning, we all seemed to be suffering a bit in some way, but we pressed on and enjoyed our Thanksgiving feast with my parents at Bugaboo Creek.

Zach was not impressed with his Thanksgiving dinner...

We went over to my parents' home after dinner. We took separate cars to the restaurant in case someone needed to leave early, but we were happy no one needed to. Matt, Zoe, and Emily saw 2 eagles on their way home. At my parents', Mom and I played Phase 10, while the kids played and watched movies, and Matt watched football and slept. Zoe and Emily slept over since no one had the feeling they shouldn't. They just got home and mom is here to watch the kids while Matt and I go out. :-) I've been working on my Sunday School lesson all day, as well as taking care of Eleanor, Zach, Kate, and Noah. Matt went to work.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Break Day 4

The kids & I spent the morning looking at pictures in their scrapbooks and on the computer. Seeing them get excited as they remembered different things we have done made me realize that it doesn't matter what the picture looks like really, it's the memories the picture brings out that counts. The kids love looking at their baby pictures. Emily was offended that I didn't take a picture of her at a wedding we went to a few years ago. Oops. She wanted to know what she wore. We'll never know.

I made a pumpkin pie for Matt today. Sometimes I make him pumpkin pies throughout the month of November, but this was the first one I have made for him this year. I also did laundry today. I accomplished both of these tasks with a very cranky Noah. He cried all day and would only be happy for five minutes at a time, if that. I would put him down and settle into a task and then he would start crying. Rachael told me this evening that she spent the day cleaning her house. That sounded heavenly to me because she did it without any interruptions!

Pie Night was fun and the pies were YUMMY! The kids enjoyed the pies, but I think they had more fun playing with their friends. I spent some time setting up for the play the Achievement girls will be performing on Sunday.

It is a dark, stormy night and we keep losing our power, but I have managed to write this post without interruption...from the storm that is, I did stop to change Noah's diaper. A task I didn't want to accomplish in the dark!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Break Day 3

Today was a pie making day for Pie Night tomorrow night at church. I made a pumpkin pie with Eleanor & Zach's help, a cheesecake, and a chocolate pie with Zoe's help. Zoe learned how boring it is to stir the chocolate pie filling and recruited Emily to help, but then I took over because it was almost done. I can never go to pie night with one pie. I love, love, love chocolate pie with a graham cracker crust, so I have to bring one of those, and Matt loves, loves, loves pumpkin pie, so I have to bring one of those, and making these pies puts me in the mood to make a cheesecake, so I throw in one of those with a strawberry topping. Our grocery store doesn't sell my strawberry topping anymore, so Matt will be on the hunt for some tomorrow. I can't have cheesecake without strawberry topping!

Zoe, Emily, & Eleanor are on a new chore schedule this week. They each have a room that they are responsible to keep clean throughout the day. Today, Zoe cleaned the kitchen, Emily cleaned the living room, and Eleanor cleaned the bedroom. They were happy that they only had to tidy their own area and when they were done they could have free time. They each did their share of work and their first day with this schedule went very well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Break Day 1 & 2

My mom went home sick from work on Friday, so I ended up going out by myself with Noah Friday night. We were having fun shopping until I put Noah in his car seat so I could try on clothes. He cried and cried and cried. One of the workers at the store knocked on my dressing room door and offered to help, but I wasn't about to let a stranger go off with my baby while I tried on clothes. Thanks, but no thanks. I fed Noah a bit to calm him down and then I quickly tried on the rest of the clothes and then left after buying a couple of outfits for myself and a cute fleece jacket for Noah. I look forward to a peaceful, relaxed, shopping trip by myself in 8 months!

I took Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and Noah to "The Nutcracker" yesterday. We went to the University of Maine at Machias for the performance, which is 2 hours away from where we live. We stopped at the church on the way to meet up with Kristen, Kayla, Summer, and Jenny. Kristen suggested going to the ballet to fulfill the goal of going to a cultural event, so we went and we had fun...although my girls were very tired of being in the car by the time we got home. Eleanor's favorite part of "The Nutcracker" was all of it! Zoe's favorite part was when two dancers did cartwheels across the stage together, and Emily's favorite part was the dancing at the end. I was able to watch all of the first half, but during the second half I changed Noah and fed him in the lobby. I watched parts of the second half, but never sat in my seat to watch it. I look forward to going to see "The Nutcracker" next year and sitting through the entire show without stressing about my baby being too loud...happy loud or cranky loud. Noah proved yesterday that my movie theater days are over until he is old enough to stay with a sitter.

We woke up to snow yesterday morning. Not a lot, but enough to look like a winter wonderland and to get the kids excited for Christmas. Zoe said it felt like they were on Christmas vacation, not Thanksgiving vacation. It snowed lightly throughout the day and it was snowing harder as we entered Machias. Perfect weather to get us in "The Nutcracker" spirit.

Matt, Zoe, Emily, and Zach traveled to Rockland today for church. So that left Eleanor, Kate, and Noah to go with me to Ellsworth. My parents stayed home sick. Kate was not excited about going to Nursery today. The Sunday School President (Jerry) came looking for me while I was waiting for Kate to accept being in Nursery. At that point, Tiffany was able to distract Kate and I left to teach my class. Jerry started the class and asked if someone would hold Noah for me. The high councilor, Brother Tang volunteered without hesitation. Noah was happy for a short while, but soon Brother Tang had to bring him out into the hall. Sister Lee took Noah then and popped in to see if I had a binkie for Noah...sorry, no. I taught and listened to Noah cry and finally asked Jerry to bring Noah to me, so I could hold him and hopefully calm him down. That worked and then Brian Barrett offered to take Noah, so I handed him over once again. Brian had the magic touch because he brought Noah back to me after class and Noah was asleep. I felt better about how my class went today and several people said they really enjoyed it. Two classes down, ? more to go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The verdict is in

Matt's trial is done. I'm so glad it didn't interfere with date night. :-)

Zoe is still not feeling well, so she is home again today. Looks like 11 days off from school for her!

My mom was home yesterday, so we spent the day with her. The kids played and watched tv (Zoe just relaxed and watched tv) while mom and I played Phase 10 and ate Chinese food. My mom picked Emily and Eleanor up after they got home from school and she brought them to her house, so they could have some time there, too. It felt good to get out of the house and have a play day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Books

It is almost time to wrap up 24 Christmas books for the Christmas countdown. This is on my mind because the librarian yesterday pointed out the new spot for the Christmas books. The library is where I get most of my Christmas books to wrap up. So, if you have children or grandchildren who love to be read to, love to unwrap things, and are very excited for Christmas than I suggest the Christmas books countdown for you!
1) Get 24 Christmas books
2) Wrap 24 Christmas books individually (using lots of different wrapping paper makes it more exciting!)
3) Find a basket or spot to keep the books throughout the month of December (Out of children's reach is wise)
4) December 1st-24th, let your child pick a book to open each day. Read the book to your child/children. (I have my children draw names to see who will pick first and so on.)

*We also read "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve. I also come up with other Christmas countdown activities, so each child has something to do each day. Can you believe December 1st is right around the corner?

News on the home front
The jury was sent home at 9pm last night and they will continue their deliberations today. Matt was able to work in his office yesterday, but had to be ready to leave when the phone call came from court. He will do the same thing today.

Zoe is home sick today. She had an upset stomach last night and it's still not better. I encouraged her to go to school this morning and she wanted to go, but after she got ready and was laying on the floor with little energy, I told her she was staying home. So, I'm canceling Achievement tonight and hopefully we'll have our last practice on the 29th.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Almost done

Matt's part of the trial ended yesterday. He got home last night around 6:40. Mom, Zoe, and I were playing a game of Phase 10 while Emily, Eleanor, and Zach drew pictures and played. It was nice to be all together again. It was also nice this morning having Matt here to help with the kids, and he is now waiting with Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor for the bus. I would say things are back to normal, but the jury still needs to make their decision, so who knows how many hours and days that will take. I'm hoping the decision will be made before tomorrow night, so I don't have to take all the kids to my last Achievement night. We'll practice our play tomorrow night and then perform it Sunday, November 30th during 3rd hour of church. That's going to be the attention activity leading into a lesson/discussion about the word of wisdom for the combined Priesthood/Relief Society class. Sunshine is now the Primary counselor over the Achievement girls, so she is going to be in charge of their activities when the play is done. :-)

Click on Matt's trial link on the side for today's article.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Mail

I received a survival kit from Janae today. What a pleasant surprise! There were so many yummy things to make and eat, and fun things to do. Thank you so much Janae! The time, money, and thoughtfulness that you put into this kit is appreciated. As I took everything out of the box, my heart was full of gratitude and love. :-)

This should be our last night without Matt. We watched "A Little Princess" this evening. I've seen this version before, but the girls hadn't. They loved it! Well, Eleanor was sobbing when Sarah's Dad didn't recognize her and Eleanor said she hated the movie, but when it was over she said she loved the beginning and the end, so I would say it was just that one part that she didn't like.

The girls have 3 1/2 days of school left this week and then they have 9 days off. Yes, you read that right 9 days off for their Thanksgiving break (that includes 2 weekends). I will definitely be needing this kit to survive their vacation!

I'm a survivor

Will someone tell me why Eleanor wakes up before 6am on the weekends, but I have to wake her up for school?

Since I'm writing this, you know that I survived my first Sunday School lesson. We are behind on our lessons, so I taught lesson #41, which focused on words of Isaiah and Malachi. The fact that my first lesson focused on Old Testament prophets stressed me out. The fact that I hadn't been to Sunday School class in 4 years stressed me out. I'm used to singing Primary songs, coloring, and teaching wiggly children. The fact that there was so much material in the lesson to cover and I knew we wouldn't get to it all stressed me out. I did it though. I was determined to teach my first lesson no matter what and I did. Getting through the first lesson was critical. There are topics and scriptures I wish we would have discussed yesterday, but it's water under the bridge and I need to focus on next week's lesson. I taught next week's lesson several years ago as a sub and it's the lesson we had in Belfast last month, so I'm less nervous about teaching it.

On a different note, here is a picture of Zoe's pasta skeleton she brought home last week...

Very creative!

Matt is optimistic that his trial will be done on Tuesday. That would be nice!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good Night

I am amazed at how good I feel after my 14 hour day alone with the kids. Eleanor woke up this morning right at 5:59 (the exact time the alarm goes off in the morning during the week) yelling, "". I was annoyed because A)Eleanor was awake and B)she was going to wake up her siblings yelling to me. I got up and asked her what she wanted. She wanted to know if it was time to get up or not. I told her no and she said good because she was tired. I knew Eleanor would not go back to sleep, so I decided to get started on my 2 goals for the day...laundry and finishing my preparation for my Sunday School lesson. Eleanor got up after she noticed I was up and then it wasn't long before everyone was up. It took me until about 3:30pm to accomplish my goals in between feedings, diaper changes, refereeing, and dropping Zoe off/picking Zoe up from Hailey's birthday party. I have been blessed with a good attitude today (even though Eleanor woke me up at 5:59) and it has lasted all day long and still exists.

Stopping to write this has made me realize how tired I am and Noah just woke up. When I write again, I will have my first Sunday School lesson over with. Yay!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Random Notes

So, Eleanor did recover quickly yesterday. She denies throwing up. Matt was the one to rush her down to the bathroom. From what I heard, it sounded like she was throwing up...but according to her she didn't, so that's that.

The fact that I am teaching Sunday School on Sunday has been constantly on my mind. I enjoy preparing the lesson, but when I'm not preparing the lesson, I'm stressing about teaching. I'm also concerned about the cold I have that is affecting my voice. It takes more effort than usual to talk and my voice is softer and deeper. Not good for my first Sunday teaching!

Kate fell asleep on me this afternoon while Emily was reading to me. I put her on my chair and she took a nap. Zoe observed that Kate moves around a lot when she sleeps.

Again, neglecting nap time will result in my toddler taking matters into her own hands...right before dinner.

Kate insisted on wearing layers today. She wore 2 pairs of pants to story time and she is wearing 2 shirts in the picture above. That is a lot of future laundry you are wearing, Miss Kate!

Zoe hurt her hand today during recess. She fell while playing tag and bent her fingers back when she landed on her right hand. She can move her fingers, but they are very sore.

I keep trying to convince Zach that Kate wasn't put on this earth for him to whack on the head constantly, but he won't listen to me. Today, he discovered he can yank on Kate's hair and make her cry even more. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

4 months old...a few days ago

The kids are home today for Veterans' Day. Eleanor has been up since 5am with an upset stomach and she has thrown up once (in the toilet, yay!). I blamed her illness on the birthday cake at first, but then I remembered that she drank from a water bottle yesterday that we keep water in for the iron. That is more likely the cause. I hope she recovers quickly. I was planning on having a lazy day today with the kids, so this is a great excuse to do just that.

Kate was so cute yesterday when she heard a minor crash in the bedroom from one of the girls and she yelled down the hall, "Are you alright?...are you alright?...are you alright?" Of course she was saying this with her binkie in her mouth. I keep thinking I need to hide her binkies during the day, but she is so attached to them that I haven't been able to force myself to do it.

Noah turned 4 months old on Saturday! Matt fed Noah his first cereal and I took lots of pictures.

He is done!
I fed him Sunday night, but little went into his mouth because he kept clamping it shut. He was more willing to open his mouth last night, so I think he actually swallowed some cereal.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A birthday and a new calling

I turned 34 yesterday! The first thing on my birthday agenda was to pick up Rachael for her baptism and attend her baptism, which included speaking about baptism before she got baptized. What I had written out for a talk didn't feel right, so I ended up abandoning the talk and relying on the spirit. Very stressful, but I felt good after my talk. I brought Rachael home after the baptism and then headed over to my parents' home for my birthday celebration. Matt and Zach were waiting in the driveway when I pulled in. Matt had taken Zach to work with him. My mom had taken Zoe and Emily with her after the baptism to the grocery store and they weren't back yet. I have a key to my parents' house, but the door I have a key to was blocked with wood. We waited outside for a bit and then my dad pulled in. Not long after, my mom drove in and we unloaded the groceries and cooked the lobster and salmon for dinner. What a yummy dinner it was! Well worth the wait. I opened many wonderful cards and received money to spend, yay! Zoe made me a beautiful necklace. The birthday cake was cute and delicious!

Matt left with Zach and I got the kids in the Yukon and went for my keys. Where are my keys? After searching everywhere I thought they could be, I realized that Matt must have them. He got Zach into our house and then had to get Zach back in the car and drive back to my parents' house to give me my keys. The first thing on my to-do list tomorrow is to put the spare key back on the Yukon.

Aimee was released today as the Primary President, so I was released as her counselor. I was called to teach the adult Sunday School class. I am excited and nervous at the same time. It has been 4 years since I have been in Sunday School and the teacher that got released today, Cathie McCoy, is an AWESOME teacher. I'm sure once I have a few Sundays under my belt I won't be so nervous, but next Sunday is going to be stressful. Dodie Sullivan is the new Primary President with Courtney Wilson and Sunshine Barrett as her counselors, and Jae Lee as the secretary. The Primary kids are going to love their new presidency as they get to know them, and vice versa.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Getting kids to sleep in random places 101

Going to get work done on the Yukon, stopping at the grocery store, picking Eleanor up at Cheerleading, and going to church for Achievement left no time to put Kate down for a nap today. Neglecting nap time is when I find my kids asleep in strange places. Kate just couldn't keep her eyes open this afternoon (for the brief time we were home) while watching Zach play on the computer.

She came close a few times to falling out of her chair, so I put her on Zoe's chair.

These pictures still aren't as cute as Pedro's spaghetti picture, Gabriela!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I'm tired of being a "single mom". I am exhausted physically and mentally. I am so thankful this is a short-term deal. I have been grumpy the last few days and easily annoyed. Sorry Zach and mom for being mean to you last night. Guilt has been hovering over me today. I needed a change of scenery this afternoon, so we all went to the park in Brewer, near Matt's work. The kids hadn't been there since the new equipment was put in. They had a lot of fun exploring all the new things to do, and I enjoyed the fresh air. It was in the high 50's, which was perfect park weather. After a loud, busy evening of dinner, homework, baths, getting ready for bed, scripture study, and prayers, I am now enjoying our quiet, peaceful home filled with sleeping children (except Noah). I have survived another day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Cindy tagged me, so I have to go to my pictures folder and upload the 4th picture in the 4th folder and the 6th picture in the 6th folder.

This is Kate with Noah in August. She was content to hold him...whether he liked it or not. Nothing has changed with that!

This is the only picture in my 6th folder. Easter 2005. Zoe, Zachary, Eleanor, and Emily.

I tag Dawn, Gabriela, Janae, PJ, and Mallory.

Sidebar Updated & Haircuts

You can read the latest on Matt's trial, which started yesterday, by clicking on "Follow Matt's trial" on the sidebar. You can also read what I am thankful for this month on the sidebar. I challenge you to count your blessings this month, too.

I took Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, & Zach with me to my hairdresser on Saturday for haircuts. Noah came along, too, but his hair is too short to cut. Kate went over to my parents' house to play and it's a good thing she did because we took 4 hours! Here are the kids showing off their hair...

Zoe got 6 inches cut off her hair!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

After the girls went to school and enjoyed their Halloween parties there, my mom and I took the kids over to the Johnson's for a quick visit and then we headed to the mall. Our original plan was to eat dinner first at Ruby Tuesdays, which is right in the mall, but we ended up trick or treating first and then eating. It all went well. The kids received a lot of good candy this year (chocolate!) compared to the many lollipops they received last year. Emily got a big smile on her face every time she received a KitKat bar.

Eleanor didn't want to be a cheerleader again. She wanted to be a ladybug. I didn't have a ladybug costume that fits her, so she decided to wear the butterfly costume that Emily wore last year.

The teddy bear costume is a big hit every time it is worn. Most people referred to Kate as a "him" and thought "he" was so cute.

Zach enjoyed walking with the crowd and collecting his treats. A lot of the people let the kids pick their own treat and Zach would pick one like he was asked to. My mom walked with Zach and Kate through most of the mall, while I kept up with Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor.

Noah wore the pumpkin costume. Here he is too tired to cooperate...

Goodnight Noah...

Here he is awake and alert at the mall...

It was the last time we will see the pumpkin costume around at our house. :-( As I carried Noah around in the Snugli last night, I realized that it was my last Halloween carrying around a baby. A bit sad, but I look forward to seeing him in the cute teddy bear costume next year.

The kids were very good during dinner and a lady stopped on her way out to tell me so.

It was a revelation last night that Zoe and Emily are too big for the rides at the mall. Weird. Kate tried riding in the race car with Eleanor, but when it started she got scared and wanted off! Zach and Eleanor enjoyed the rides.

Zoe & Emily went into a game store with my mom while the younger kids were on the rides, and they came out with 2 new Nintendo games.

Zach and Eleanor went home with my mom to spend the night. They got to see Matt for a minute here at home before leaving. Zoe played her new Nintendo game when we got home, and Emily wished she could play hers, but her Nintendo was missing. Kate ate a few pieces of candy and then went to bed. Matt and I watched "The Office" and then went to bed. Zoe was still up playing her Nintendo and Emily was watching her. At some point when I was sleeping, Matt took away the Nintendo and the girls finally went to sleep.