Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Missing You

I really missed the internet last night when Noah and I were up at midnight. We fell asleep at 7:30pm, so Noah was ready to play during half of the night! I coughed and coughed and felt miserable. I start feeling worse in the evening and throughout the night. Zach was coughing a lot last night, too.

HSBC has our new phone number, so they called this morning. I'm actually glad they did because it saved me a phone call to them postponing a payment that was due tomorrow. It's weird, but it really made my day that they called me and I didn't have to call them.

I felt better today, so I had a more productive day, which was nice. I'm still coughing here and there and my throat hurts a bit, but I have more energy.

Matt came home early, so I could bring Zoe to the doctor for a physical. The Softball league pays for the physical, which is AWESOME! Zoe's coach sent us to the wrong doctor's office, but the receptionist there was really nice and she called the other doctor's office in town to see if the physicals were taking place there and they were, so we ended up in the right place. Zoe is healthy and the doctor said she is very coordinated, so she is ready to play softball!

Zoe, Noah, and I are now at my parents', so I could update here. 2 hours 18 minutes later I am about done. Zoe is eating grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and then we are heading home. She has homework to do. It doesn't involve paperwork, it involves us talking...
Me: "Does our talk have to do with the human body?"
Zoe: "Yes" ...

Monday, March 30th

Zoe stayed home from school. I was still feeling crappy, but I felt better as the day went on. My mom took the day off to run some errands, so she came over to play a game of Phase 10, which was fun. Zoe played with us.

I was on the lesson for FHE, so we focused on General Conference. I had everyone think of one word that they thought we would hear during General Conference this weekend. Then I had them pick words out of a bag that I had found in the October Conference edition of the Ensign and I read a paragraph or sentence with that word in it. Then I had them list 8 words that they thought they would hear in conference this weekend and then they need to mark a tally next to each word every time they hear it. The fun is to see which one of their words they hear the most. Zach picked some fun words to listen for like shirt and coat. :-)
Thank you Primary Presidency for the conference packet full of activity pages for the kids to do during conference!

Matt learned of a fun conference "game" for older children and adults. As you listen to a talk, you try to guess what the title of the talk will be when it comes out in the Ensign. Have you tried this? I'm going to play along this weekend.

Matt is missing the internet more and more with each passing day. I miss it, too, especially the connection with people. I'm not able to keep up with blogs as much now, but know that you are often in my thoughts!

Sunday, March 29th

I woke up feeling just as crappy, so I stayed home from church. The cold is making its way through our family, so I was not alone at home. Noah, Zoe, Zach, and Kate stayed home as well. I wondered if I would get any rest, but somehow I did. The kids watched church movies and Zach and Kate played pretty well together. I was planning on putting Kate down for a nap, but she climbed into my lap and fell asleep before I had the chance. I enjoyed holding her until Noah wanted to eat and be held. I tried laying Kate down on my bed, but she woke up. I was really hoping that she would get a good nap in, but she didn't.

I am tired of Noah waking up with his eyes "glued" shut, and one of Zoe's eyes needed to be washed out before she could open it this morning.

I am glad that Matt was able to teach my lesson on such short notice today. I knew he would do a great job and my mom assures me that he did. We were supposed to come over to my parents' home after church, but since most of us were sick, my mom sent home the chicken and rice soup, rolls, and brownies. Yummy!, and perfect for our sick family. The rest of our day dragged on. It ended with the kids playing in their room, singing at the top of their lungs and practicing a show to put on for Matt and I. Not the most reverent day, but we survived.

Noah stood on his own for a second this evening when he let go of the chair!

Saturday, March 28th

It was a work outside day for Matt, and I puttered around inside and tried to finish preparing my lesson. Zoe and Emily stayed outside most of the day helping Matt and playing. They even enjoyed a picnic lunch outside. Eleanor, Zach, and Kate were in and out. Matt removed a big rock from our driveway, which has been on his to-do list for awhile now. These Saturdays with nothing planned are so rare!

In the evening, I understood why my lesson wasn't coming together when I started feeling like crap. My throat hurt so bad when I swallowed. I asked Matt to teach my lesson for me if I still felt bad in the morning and he said he would.

Friday, March 27th

Emily once again went to school without her missing library book. I told her to get the title and the author of the book, so we could buy a replacement. After Emily had been home from school for awhile in the afternoon, she asked me if I was forgetting to ask her something. I wasn't sure what she was talking about and she reminded me about the book and me wanting the name and author of the book. So I asked her if she had the information and she said no because she found the book. Yay! One of her classmates was reading it. I'm not sure how Emily's library book got mixed in with her class books, but her classmate thought it was a book that belonged to her classroom. I keep forgetting to ask Emily for more details, but I am glad the book was found and I'm glad that Emily can take out books again from the library. No wonder I couldn't find the book!

Zach was having internet withdrawals today. He really wanted to play on Nickjr.

I tried to get my lesson prepared, but it was just not coming together.

Matt and I met with Eleanor's teacher, Mrs. Pelletier this evening. Eleanor is doing great! She is excited to start doing homework soon. Eleanor was star of the week on Tuesday, so she brought in some pictures of herself from the age of 0 to 5 years old to share with her class. Mrs. Pelletier said she looked at one of the pictures and was a bit surprised when she realized that she looked a lot like Kate. I could show someone a picture of Kate, Eleanor, and Zoe all at the age of 2 and that person would believe me if I said they are triplets. Eleanor was so excited to be star of the week!

Matt and I went to Hannaford to pick up some dinner and a few other things and then we came over to my parents' home for datenight. The kids were so excited to have my mom watch them! It has been awhile since Matt and I have gone out together (with Noah of course). I was planning on blogging, but after we watched "Chuck", "Life", and "The Office", it was after 10pm and we needed to get back home. We had fun eating and getting caught up on our shows.

Thursday, March 26th

Before sending the girls out the door for school, I noticed that Eleanor had a very dirty face. Looking closer, I realized she had gum all around her mouth from blowing bubbles the day before. She was not happy that I insisted on washing the gum off her face! I wet a washcloth and started scrubbing, but the gum didn't come off easily. Eleanor went to school with a somewhat clean face.

One of my goals today was to find Emily's other missing library book. I prayed that if it was in the house that I would find it. Throughout the day, I looked everywhere that came to mind, but I never found the book. I had Matt check the Yukon in the evening, but he didn't find it either. Where is that book?!

Kate has a love of watching birds, just like her mom. :-) She also likes watching the squirrels, which she does not get from me. If she shot the squirrels, than she would be just like her dad.

Out of the blue, Kate asked for her binkie today. She even scanned under her crib hoping to find one. I was really hoping she wouldn't find one that we had missed, and she didn't.

Kate was sitting on my lap before dinner when she asked me for some food while pointing to the bottom of my shirt. It took me a second to realize that she was asking me to nurse her. I don't think so! I laughed while she looked at me with expectant eyes. She had these regressing moments, but then she went poop on her potty after dinner. She still likes to use her potty, but it happens when she wants it to.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Doing well

I have been wiping Kate's nose all day and wiping Noah's eye all day. The cold that is going around in our home includes a minor viral conjunctivitis, but with Noah that seems to be the only symptom. We have dealt with colds here and there this winter and some minor stomach bugs, but we have really faired well compared to a lot of families we know. It has been a tough winter for so many who have been dealing with illnesses all winter long. We have been blessed with good health and I am grateful!

Not having access to the internet at home is a weird feeling. I don't think about getting on the internet as much as I thought I would, but I do miss having that connection. The computer seems so empty without it! My mornings start out more productive since I don't have the internet to spend an hour or so on before I officially start my day, and I go to bed earlier without feeling guilty about not getting on the computer to blog. I'm sure my week last week would have been just as productive, but I would have lost at least an hour of productivity a day to the computer. So far, it has been okay. Now I deal with the balance of visiting with my mom when I am at her house and using her computer. This evening, we played a game of Phase 10, watched "Glenn Beck" and then I got on the computer. A well-balanced evening, I think. :-)

Tuesday, March 24th

Me: "It's snowing!"
Eleanor: "It will never be Spring!"
Yeah, Spring in Maine involves snow. It took me over 30 years to finally get used to that fact. I just shake my head at people who have lived in Maine a long time and still seem surprised to see snow in March, and even in April. It's really not an uncommon thing here. I guess some people need more than 30 years to learn that.

Potty training day #2. Kate starts off by rebelling against the potty. I wait 10 minutes and try again. She has success and we are happy. I set the timer for 20 minutes and when it goes off, Kate is not willing to sit on the potty again. I wait 10 more minutes and she is still not willing. I keep postponing and wonder when the accident is going to occur. Part of me is losing the desire to potty train and knows that Kate isn't fully ready, but the other part of me is wanting to only buy diapers for one child, so I continue. After the accident, and more rebelling from Kate, I ask her if she wants a dipaer on. She enthusiastically says, "YES" and I gladly put it on her. We are both relieved and more relaxed and happy with the decision to postpone potty training. I really don't mind changing 2 year olds and I am all for potty training 3 year olds, so I'm not sure what possessed me to potty train Kate, who is 2, but I am over it now.

The girls brought home their report cards. They are all doing GREAT in school! Eleanor and Emily got all 3's which means they are consistent with their work and learning, and they are meeting the standard. Zoe was the only student in her class to get all A's! Here is a comment from each of their report cards...

"Zoe is doing well in every way!"

"Emily works independently and eagerly approaches challenges. She has assisted many of her peers and has become more verbal during class discussions. Emily continues to be an enthusiastic hard worker.

"Eleanor enjoys school, is eager to learn and readily engages in conversation. Her positive student behaviors are reflective not only academically, but with peer relations as well. Eleanor is honest and displays a kind, considerate nature."

Keep up the great work, girls!

Monday, March 23rd

Potty training day #1! The morning was filled with a lot of accidents and a few successes. By 2pm, I was exhausted and tired of potty training. I wondered if Kate would ever be potty trained! Kate was getting tired of sitting on the potty and she was starting to say "no" when I said it was time to sit on the potty, but I persisted. By 3pm, Kate started to get into a groove of sitting on the potty every 15 minutes, peeing, and then playing for another 15 minutes. I started to feel better about potty training Kate. She didn't have any accidents all afternoon or evening. :-) She didn't want to put her diaper on at bedtime. Good sign.

We had our first family dinner with Noah sitting at the table in his highchair. It is a tight fit, but we are all at the table!

Family Home Evening was a bit of a challenge. Emily fell asleep right before dinner, so she missed dinner and most of FHE, although she could have been awake, but didn't open her eyes. Zoe was on the game and she wanted to play 10 broken eggs where we throw a ball around to each other and when we drop the ball, we "lose" an egg. Matt said no to the game, so she decided we would play "Fuzz, Buzz", but she wanted us to play in teams, but it's not a team game, so Matt started playing it the way we play it. We start at the #1 and take turns saying the number that comes next. We say "fuzz" instead of a number with a 3 in it and we say "buzz" instead of a number with a 7 in it. So instead of saying 3 we say "fuzz", instead of saying 7 we say "buzz", instead of saying 13 we say "fuzz", instead of saying 17 we say "buzz" and so on. There is a more complicated way to play which involves all numbers divisible by 3 and 7, but we are playing with little kids, so Matt simplified the game...where we have to tell Zach the answer, but anyway. By the end of the game, Zoe was in tears because we didn't play the game her way. Then Emily was upset because there was miscommunication and Matt didn't pick up the treat she wanted, so we had to come up with a treat from what was in the house. Emily was mad because she didn't get to pick the treat and we weren't having what she picked out. Plus, we insisted that she had to eat dinner before the treat, which didn't make her happy. The kids ended up having some leftover Valentine's candy and some colored marshmallows, which put them in better moods again. Emily did eat dinner and then ate her treat. Then I played 10 broken eggs with Zoe and that made her happy, so by bedtime, everyone was happy again.

What a day!

Sunday, March 22nd

Zoe took some pictures before church. Emily wasn't dressed because she stayed home with Matt because of her bad cold.

I love Sunday afternoons because I'm feeling good that another Sunday School lesson has been taught and I haven't started preparing for the next lesson yet. It's a short, but nice break.

I mentioned that it was Kate's last diaper day. Then I said that Kate would be wearing underwear tomorrow. Zoe: "Be prepared for a lot of cleaning!" So wise for a 10 year old!

Zoe converted a canning jar into an Education Savings Jar with some ribbon and patterned paper. After paying tithing and putting $5 into her education jar, she still has $30 left. I wish I had $30!

Saturday, March 21st

Here are some pictures that Zoe took at Emily's basketball practice.

Zoe practiced throwing her new softball and catching with her new glove with my dad today. It was pretty chilly out, but Zoe insisted on getting my dad outside as much as she could. She is excited to play softball for the first time this year.

While loading the kids in the car to go home, Zoe was getting irritated with Zach because he wouldn't sit down in his seat so she could buckle him in. She was almost to the point of yelling at him when he gently put his hand on her cheek and said in a calm, sweet voice, "I love you." Zoe and I burst out laughing. A great example of how a soft answer turneth away wrath!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Caught up!

Today has been filled with basketball and blogging. Eleanor and Emily had their last basketball practices today, yay! After writing a post, I took Eleanor to her practice and missed out on the pancakes and eggs breakfast here. Bummer! Eleanor practiced for 45 minutes and then she didn't want to play anymore when the ball hit her finger and hurt it. She was fine, but she was also tired from the sleepover, so she didn't practice anymore. Andrea bribed her with a snack, so she would join the group for a picture. It didn't take any bribing for Eleanor to stand in line for a lollipop, though. I gave Andrea the clothes for Victoria and Colby, so no more clothes in the house or the car. :-)...until I dig out the Spring/Summer clothes.

I brought Eleanor back to my parents' home and I have been blogging since. My parents took Emily to her practice and they took Zoe with them. They went to Best Buy to exchange Zoe's Nintendo game and they were going to Walmart. Mom and I have plans to play a game of Phase 10 when they get back and I need to go to the grocery store before heading home to give baths and get the kids ready for bed. I'm not sure what time Matt is getting home this evening, but I'm not expecting him until late.

Noah has also discovered the cat food. Yum!

Friday, March 20th

Matt waited for the bus with the girls and then he left with Don for a 2 day boat show in Portland/pick up a boat part in Rhode Island adventure. My goal for the morning was to prepare my Sunday School lesson, which did take me all morning to accomplish. Since I had the Yukon, Zach, Kate, Noah, and I took a ride to McDonalds to go through the drive-thru and then we went back home to eat. Birthday money made this fun and yummy lunch possible. :-) We spent the afternoon getting the house in order and I figured out how to get Zoe's pictures from her camera on to our computer. When the older girls got home from school, they emptied their backpacks and did their chores, and we got packed up to spend the night at my parents' home. Eleanor was more focused on eating and she wanted to do her "homework" and look at her new library book. She was in no hurry to leave! I wanted to leave the house somewhat clean, so I was hurrying kids along, as the younger kids went around making messes.

When we arrived at my parents', Zoe was the first one on the computer to update her blog. I wanted her to write about her birthday, so then I could link to it on my blog. I didn't realize she was going to add pictures to her post, so she waited while I got the pictures off the memory card and figured out how to use the Windows Photo Gallery, which I have come to love! Knowing how much blogging I wanted to do and not being familiar with the photo program was a bit stressful, but I felt better after I realized how easy the program is. It's quicker to fix a picture and post it on the blog here at my parents' than it was at home. That is nice! So last night, not only was I trying to figure out the picture program, but I had children all around asking for different foods to eat and movies to watch. It was chaos! After dinner, things settled down a bit and my mom and I were able to start our Glenn Beck marathon. We got through one episode and then we got the kids ready for bed. We then watched 3 more episodes. When we were done around 11pm, all of the kids were asleep and we were ready to sleep, too. Taking care of kids is a lot of work! I'm not just discovering that, I just wanted to say it.

Oh yeah, Noah discovered the stairs last night. He climbed up one step before he was stopped. He's just trying to keep up with his siblings!

Thursday, March 19th

I sat down at 9:03pm and took notes about my day. All of the kids were asleep. It was quiet and peaceful...for about 5 minutes and then Noah woke up.

Matt had a Stake Leadership meeting to go to in the evening, so it was a long day at home with the kids. It was a good day, though. I discovered how warm it was outside in the late morning when I walked to the mailbox. I mailed some thank you cards that have been on my mind for awhile now, so that felt good, and I mailed a few birthday cards. When I got back to the house, I told Zach and Kate I would go outside with them. What a beautiful day! Noah had his first time in the swing...

Then Kate had a turn...

Zach wanted to swing on the big swing...

but the snow is still too deep, so the baby swing was better than no swinging at all!

I counted out loud to 50 for the last 50 pushes and Kate helped me out. She can count to 10 now, so when I said 24, she then said 5, then I said 25 and she said 6, then I said 26 and she said 7, and so on. So smart of you, Kate!

Kate had a bit of trouble in the snow. Walking in the snow was exhausting!

Kate didn't actually go down the slide, but she played on the platform for awhile.

I fed Noah and then he took a little snooze.

I got 4 loads of laundry done and I took on the project of clearing off the counter and making a spot for the KitchenAid mixer. That of course led to some rearranging of the cupboards as well. I also got the stones I was storing in the stove out and made room for those in the cupboard. No more taking the stones out of the oven when I cook and trying to find a spot for them. Yay! I am getting better at getting rid of things that we never use or rarely use and making room for the things we use all of the time. I am learning to make the things we use all of the time easily accessible because if I don't, then the area doesn't stay organized.

Zoe is loving her new camera. It amazes me that her "toy" camera is better than my "real" camera. She has taken a bunch of videos. She accidentally erased the video of Emily pretending to bump into everything and fall down and it ended with Zoe zooming in on Kate who was leaving the bedroom and then she really tripped and fell down. We were all bummed she deleted it. I'm planning on using her camera at times to take videos because her videos have sound! I also wonder if her camera takes better pictures in a gym than mine does. I'm sure it does.

Noah fell asleep around 6:30pm, so I was able to put away all of the kids' laundry and clean up the kitchen in the evening. I had just sat down to relax and take notes about my day when he woke up. It was nice having the productive evening without him following me around and whining at me, though. He's getting better at entertaining himself, but he doesn't last as long as my projects do.

Wednesday, March 18th

Happy Mother's Day to me! Zoe turned 10 years old. She had a good day that started wwith pancakes for breakfast. She went to school where her name was displayed on the birthday board in the lobby and her class wrote birthday compliments to her. She has had some good friends in her classes since Kindergarten and they wrote about how nice she is, how she is a good listener, and that she is a great friend. She makes all of her friends feel like they are her best friend, so they really appreciate her friendship.
Zoe was concerned that she would have to wash the dishes on her birthday, but one of my gifts to her was to wash the dishes for her. After school, She watched "Coyote Summer" to help pass the time before dinner and her family party. She wanted macaroni salad, ham, potatoes, and squash for dinner, but we had pepporoni pizza instead. The dinner she wanted sounds really good, so I'll have to make it soon. My parents came over to celebrate Zoe's birthday with us. Zoe enjoyed all of the fun presents she received and she got $30!
Here is a picture of Zoe with one of the cards Zach made for her.

The kids really enjoy making cards and giving gifts to each other. They enjoy the birthday party, even when it's not their own.

We were impressed with my mom's wrapping of Zoe's new body pillow...

I would have folded it up and stuck it in a giftbag...or garbage bag...whatever works.

There were a lot of smiles on Zoe's face during her party.

Kate paid close attention when Zoe opened her gifts...

She had fun trying out Zoe's new things...

Singing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday child is my favorite part of the party.

Zoe tried on her new summer outfit and sandals, and she is holding her new camera. Fun presents!

Zoe wrote a post about her birthday here.

I'm still getting used to the fact that I have a 10 year old! Zoe made it to the double digits. :-)

Emily stayed home from school today. She has a bad cold and she woke up with an earache. I made her some eggs at 10:22 after getting other things done and she said, "It's weird that I'm having eggs in the middle of the day!" Yes, it was a long morning.

The kids have rediscovered the computer games we have, Blues Clues, Strawberry Shortcake, and Ronald McDonald. After playing the Strawberry Shortcake game, Emily thought we should have a real cake house, so when we're out of food, we can eat our house! After giving that a thought fo a minute, she added, "but it would need healthy decorations outside, so we're not just eating cake." That is an impressive comment coming from my girl with a very sweet tooth!

Here's a good picture of sick Emily.

I helped Zach finish his lego front loader. I could spend hours building these lego sets!

Who needs toys when you can play in a cardboard box?

Tuesday, March 17th

My St. Patrick's Day fun was finishing the organizing in the kids' bedroom, and I did it! I even fit in an hour of play time with Zach and Kate. I haven't taken a picture of the bedroom, but it's like a big playroom now and the kids love it, and I love the fact that they play in their room more now.

I dug several ladybugs out of Noah's mouth. Disgusting! Ladybugs are not for eating, Noah.

Zach has started calling Kate, Katie.

Kate bit Emily when Emily sat next to Kate to read to me for her homework. Emily: "That is the hardest I have ever been bitten in my entire life!" Why do all of my children have to go through the biting stage?

Zoe is anxious for her birthday. She wonders what is in this box from Grandma and Grandpa...

We also received a box from Kerri filled with clothes and Zach got a birthday gift. We started putting together his lego front loader. Fun!

Notice the disaster in the backgound? I rounded up all of the bags going to Goodwill, my mom's, and to friends and Matt put them in the Yukon and in my mom's car when he got home. Big improvements going on with the organizing/decluttering! The house is feeling lighter.

My mom and I went to Enrichment meeting to celebrate the Relief Society's birthday. We gave Rachel a ride. We ate a delicious meal and watched "The other side of heaven." It was a nice evening. I sat with mom, Patti, Marilyn, and Rachel during dinner. My mom, Rachel, and I were the only sisters to last through the entire movie, along with Barbara and Bob. Everyone else had gone home. It was a long activity (3 hours), but it was nice to be out. It would have been nice to do activities with the sisters to interact with them more, but the movie was relaxing and fun to watch, too. Kayla, one of our primary children, asked me if I was wearing green and when I realized I wasn't, I said no, but I also told her that she couldn't pinch me. I guess my preoccupation with organizing distracted me when I picked out my outfit for St. Patrick's Day. No green anywhere.

Monday, March 16th

I have this thing about blogging in chronological order, so when I get to a computer with internet access, I'm going to start where I left off from the previous time. I've been taking notes each day of the memorable moments and things we have been doing. I'll write a post for each day.

All of the kids were home on Monday. We got rid of the bunk beds on Saturday, so the kids' room was in need of reorganizing...there was stuff everywhere, and there were several bags of clothes to go through that friends had given me (I still have a bag to go through), there were bags and bags of clothes and stuff to give away that were sitting in the living room, and Courtney had given us a KitchenAid mixer, so I needed to make room for that on the kitchen counter, so the house felt overstuffed on Monday! I kept reminding myself to focus on one area at a time and to focus on one thing at a time since I also had 6 kids wanting something from me throughout the day. Zoe was very anxious to go through the clothes from Harmony, so after making pancakes and getting the kitchen cleaned up, I let the kids go through the clothes. Then we went into the bedroom and took all of the clothes out of Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor's closet, so we could put away winter clothes, get rid of clothes that don't fit and they didn't wear anymore, and we made room for the new clothes. With all of the clothes out of the closet, I decided it was time to get rid of the shelf above the clothes rod.

I was so tired of trying to squeeze the hangers between the shelf and rod. Many hangers got broken and the kids had a hard time hanging up their clothes, so now the hangers go on the rod easily. :-)

I had to take everything off the shelf...another mess and more stuff to figure out where to put it all, but not dealing with the tight space is so nice! I just tipped up the shelf, so that will need to come out eventually and it would be nice to put up a new shelf in the future, but that's the way it is for now.

Zoe made brownies by herself on Monday for FHE. She was the first one to use our new mixer. It is very nice and works great!

The house was still a disaster Monday night and I wondered if it would ever be organized/clean again!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Last Post From Home?

Are you tired of this title yet? I'm still writing from home because we need to bring our modem back to the company to disconnect our internet, and Matt is going to do that tomorrow.

I found out Friday afternoon that the kids don't have school on Monday...Inservice Day. I shouldn't be surprised. It is rare for them to go a full week of school. Zoe is so excited that there is no school tomorrow, then it is St. Patrick's Day, and then it is her birthday. A fun week indeed!

We went over to my parents' house Friday evening to watch Glenn Beck's special "We Surround Them" with my mom. I thought the show would be more of an overview of the 9 principles and 12 values...

The Nine Principles

1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

12 Values

* Honesty
* Reverence
* Hope
* Thrift
* Humility
* Charity
* Sincerity
* Moderation
* Hard Work
* Courage
* Personal Responsibility
* Gratitude

, but I enjoyed the show anyway. The kids watched a movie upstairs. We ate dinner and then we came home.

Saturday morning, after waking up and discovering very little milk in the fridge, I took a quick trip to the grocery store for milk and chicken casserole ingredients. After breakfast, Emily, Eleanor, Noah, and I headed to the gym for basketball practices. We were there from 9:00-12:30. I am so glad next Saturday is the last of the basketball practices! My dad stopped by the gym to watch Eleanor. Matt was at home taking down the bunk beds. They were falling apart and we needed to take them down before they fell down. The kids love their "new" bedroom without the beds. It is much bigger and it is like a playroom now. We brought home 3 body pillows from my parents' house this afternoon for the kids to sleep on and we also have a few mats. They love "camping out" in the living room, so now they get to "camp out" in their bedroom all of the time now.

At 12:30, Emily went home with her friend, Megan for Megan's birthday party. Megan invited Zoe at the last minute, so I went home to pick up Zoe and bring her to Megan's. They had fun painting birdhouses and animal ceramics. They ate pizza, played, and Megan's mom painted their fingernails. The party was non-stop fun! They didn't get home until 7:30pm.

Matt took Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and Zach to church in Machias today. Mom and Dad picked the rest of us up to go to church in Ellsworth. Matt had more kids with him, but he had the reverent children. Noah slept through most of Sacrament meeting, but Kate was her busy, 2 year old self. We stayed in the chapel through the entire meeting, but it got quite challenging toward the end of the meeting. Kate was getting louder and more playful as the meeting went on. My lesson went really well today. I was complimented by Sister Conary, who is a retired teacher, that my lesson was really good and when I replied that I have a great class who participate a lot, she said that that is because I am a great teacher. That made my day. :-) My mom was asked to do the Nursery today, so I went in to help her during the 3rd hour. There were only 4 kids in there, but they are between 18 months and 2 1/2 years old, so they are a busy bunch with short attention spans. I appreciate their teacher, Martha, more now after that hour!

Our family was reunited at my parents' house this afternoon. We ate dinner and relaxed/played for a few hours. I snapped some pictures of the kids in their sweaters from Aimee. Aimee had requested a picture of them in their sweaters when she gave the sweaters to them at Christmastime, and I finally granted her wish today.


Noah likes to wander down the hall now and play in the bedroom. We heard him crying, so Matt went to investigate.

Noah had climbed into this drawer full of Dora toys and couldn't get back out. Silly boy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

This is the last post from home

I love my new blog look! Courtney ended up getting it all set up for me. Thank you!

I have spent most of the day on the computer.

This morning, I had Kate and Noah laying side by side on the bed...both with poopy diapers to be changed.

At lunchtime, Kate fell off the chair at the table and banged her head on the wheat container. I called Matt when I saw blood on the floor and blood coming out of a cut on the back of her head. I don't handle injuries very well. The cut stopped bleeding by the time Matt got home and Kate was playing as if nothing had happened. We have decided to avoid the ER or doctor since we don't have health insurance right now, and we'll keep an eye on Kate. I really think she is going to be fine. She may develop a scar, but her hair will cover it up.

How sad I won't be able to update you like this anymore!

Last Post From Home

Kate went poop and pee on the potty yesterday! Don't you just love a post with the mention of poop and pee in it? Kate has been sitting on her potty chair a lot lately, so I have decided to start really potty training her on Monday, March 23rd. Next week is super busy in the evenings with meetings and Zoe's birthday, but the following week is clear. Having only 1 child left in diapers will be nice!

Zach had his 4 year old check-up yesterday afternoon. Matt came home early to watch Kate and to be here when Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor got home from school. Zach brought the card that he wrote his name on to show to the doctor. He has become quite talkative and he went right up to the receptionist and told her who he was. They had a conversation as we got him checked in. He was very cooperative during his vision test and he did very well. He has very good eyesight. He was cooperative as the doctor checked his body. He was even game for his 4 shots. He had no idea what he was agreeing to, poor thing. There were 2 nurses giving the shots and 1 nurse holding Zach's hands since I was holding Noah and couldn't help. One of the nurses had Zach count to 3...like something fun was going to happen after. Getting poked by 2 needles is not fun! He cried and then had to endure 2 more shots. The nurse asked him to count to 3 again, but of course he wasn't falling for that again. The nurse counted and he got poked again, and he cried harder. One of the last shots was a stinger and Zach tensed up a lot. It was so sad.

Matt and I watched "Chuck" and "Life" last night. I am going to miss watching our shows here. The past few days, I have been going back and forth about disconnecting our internet here at home. I realized last night that I am more at peace about disconnecting, and Matt didn't jump at the chance to talk me out of it, so I am moving forward with our plan...this afternoon.

I am going to miss updating my blog frequently. I enjoy keeping my family and friends up to date with what is going on in our family. I tried to convince Matt to update for me from work, but he refused. My goal is to update at least once a week from either my parents' or from the library.

I have a new blog name and design, made by my friend, Courtney. I have yet to figure out how to change the html code, but I am working on it. I may end up having Courtney change it for me. Keep checking back for the change, and for an update. :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More playing and cleaning

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has a hard time with pretend play. 4-5 year olds LOVE pretend play and it seems that the majority of the time my 4-5 year olds don't want to pretend play with their younger sibling, they want to pretend play with me. I would much rather read books to them or play a board game, but even when we do those things, we always get back to the pretend play. With the girls, it was Barbies or My Little Pony or Littlest Petshop. I was really hoping that Zach would skip this stage, but he didn't. With Zach though, I've made peace that once a day I will pretend play with him, which helps me not to feel guilty during the rest of the day when I am cleaning and doing other things that need to be done or that I want to do. Kate on the other hand, is at the book stage. She loves to sit and look at books and she loves to have me read to her. When the snow melts, Zach will want to be outside swinging, so maybe the pretend play will be more sporadic then. :-)

I love how Kate calls an oatmeal pie ~ o-o-pie.

I cleaned the hallway yesterday and found a new place for our library books. We had them lined up against the wall in the hall, but lately Noah has been getting into the books and the books are always scattered throughout the hall and being stepped on. Not good. Now the books are in a bin in the kids' room where Noah can't reach them. I made a cars/trucks bin for Zach and I put some bigger toys that were in the bins on the top shelf in the closet. Much better.

Emily has been missing her 2 library books from school for a few weeks now. This morning as I was getting on the computer, I remembered seeing a book halfway under the computer armoir and sure enough when I looked under, I saw one of her books. I have no idea where the other one is, though. Zoe said she saw it in our room, but we have looked in there and I haven't seen it. I need to start looking in places that I wouldn't normally look.

I had to get gum out of Kate's hair yesterday. I was able to get it out without much trouble, thank goodness! I think the gum fell out of Zach's mouth when he was under his chair with Kate. They were fighting of course, so when I lifted the chair up to get them out, I noticed the gum in Kate's hair. I noticed it right off, so it didn't have a chance to get too tangled into her hair.

Zoe was quizzing Matt about the desert during dinner last night. Of course he knew everything she had learned and more, so she wondered how he knew so much. Matt pointed out that he grew up with the smartest person in the world...Doug Erickson!

After dinner, Noah and I escaped to my parents' house to hang out with my mom. We watched Glenn Beck and played a game of Phase 10. Fun!

If you have principles and values, watch Glenn Beck tomorrow at 5pm EST on the Fox News Channel!

I just watched Zach write "ZACH" all by himself! Great job, Zach!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cleaning, playing, and pajamas

Yesterday ended up being a better day than I expected. After the morning spat between Zach and Kate, they got along pretty good the rest of the day. They had moments here and there, but it wasn't constant. Matt worked late yesterday, so it was a long day, but it was a good day.

I'm in the cleaning routine right now of focusing on one room a day, so yesterday I cleaned in our bedroom. I worked around Noah's nap since he sleeps in our room. I found the Wall-E head to Zach's toy and I found another Samurai manual that Matt is going to sell on e-bay. There are always treasures found when I clean...which reveals how often I clean around here! Actually, I clean/de-clutter all the time, but it never looks like it. This is one of the disadvantages of living in a small home with a big family. Matt and I were discussing a few weeks ago on our way to church how we have the biggest family in our branch and the smallest, crappiest home. I'm determined not to live in this condemned trailer forever, which is why some changes are taking place around here to help us pay off the debts that we owe.

Zach and I have gotten into a routine of playing a game of cat and cat everyday. Zach LOVES Zoe's webkinz cat and he plays with it often. I play with Emily's webkinz cat and we build a house out of legos for the cats. Then we go on adventures around the house and since Zach got a doctor's kit for his birthday, the cats visit the doctor often. Zach has so much fun playing this game and I love to see his big smile and hear him laugh as we play. Kate used Eleanor's webkinz cat yesterday and played with us. We spent a lot of time in their room yesterday bouncing on the bed with the cats. I have mentally prepared myself to take an hour out of every day to play cat and cat with Zach. That way if I am in the middle of cleaning, I know that there is a block of time to play and then I will get back to the cleaning. We usually play in the afternoon, so I get the majority or all of the cleaning done first.

Zoe made a comment last night after she asked me if I ever got dressed yesterday and my reply was no. She said, "You are just the opposite of Zach. He doesn't want to change out of his clothes at night, and you don't want to change into your clothes during the day." Very true, Zoe!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I need to follow the counsel of "slow to anger" today

Noah hasn't slept much the past few nights. With the time change and lack of sleep, my patience is running pretty thin this morning. Zach and Kate are fighting. Kate is wearing Zach's "new" shirt that Zach doesn't want to wear, but he doesn't want Kate wearing it either. Kate is also playing with Zach's crocodile that Zach doesn't want to play with, but he doesn't want Kate playing with it either. I am in the type of mood that I am going to throw away everything they fight over today!

This is Zach's favorite shirt.

He wears it as often as he can, day and night. Matt is not a fan of this shirt, so Matt convinced Zach to put on a different shirt before he left for work this morning. Right after Matt left, Zach put his favorite shirt back on. It's not a battle I am willing to fight. If he wants to wear this shirt 24/7, so be it.

Noah is starting to cruise around the furniture a bit. He pulled himself up last night and then let go and plopped down on his bottom. He's still not very steady on his feet, but he is determined to stand.

When I cleaned/organized the kids' room last week, I took all of the art supplies out of the closet to put in buckets in the kitchen. I figured since I only want them playing with the art supplies in the kitchen, then the supplies should be easily accessible in the kitchen. The supplies have been sitting on the kitchen counter and on the dresser in the living room since last Thursday, so I finally put them away yesterday. It was nice to get back the little bit of counter space we have!

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Matt's speaking assignment was in Rockland today, so we all went with him since the Yukon is the only vehicle running right now. We were out the door at 6:45, which was 5:45 yesterday! The kids did really well getting ready considering how early it was. Zoe was a big help with Kate during Sacrament meeting. Kate was not in a reverent mood and I was feeding Noah, so Zoe took Kate out into the foyer to walk around with her. I thought it was so cute when Zoe told us that she played the reverence game with Kate and that she won. Anyone would win playing against Kate! The kids did so well going to their Primary classes. Even Kate went into Nursery. It took Zach a few minutes to go into Primary, but I never heard from him again once he did. It was fun being in the Sunday School class and listening. I had looked over the lesson a few times during the week when I was planning on teaching, but I never fully prepared the lesson. Knowing what was in the manual, it was interesting to see what the teacher focused on and how she presented it. It was a good class.

Our Stake President, President Martin was there, so I was able to have my temple recommend interview with him and to get my recommend signed after church.

We had a quick snack in the kitchen and then we headed home. It was a quiet ride with everyone asleep, including myself. Even Matt dozed a few times. I'm glad we made it home safely!

8 Months Old

Noah is crawling everywhere now! He loves to eat paper and whatever chocking hazards cross his path, which are many. He is getting very good at clapping. He loves to explore, but he still makes sure he can see me from wherever he is.


I haven't had Kate's 2 year picture taken yet because she keeps picking at the scabs on her forehead and cheek.

Super Fun Birthday!

When I said Happy Birthday to Zach yesterday morning he exclaimed, "Today is my REAL birthday!"

We had a fun time celebrating Zach's birthday yesterday with friends. Zach's Primary class includes 4 boys who turned 4 this week (Kai, Koa, Zach, & Douglas), so our families got together yesterday to eat lunch, shoot rockets, and eat a rocket cake!

At home before the party, Zach opened his gifts from his Grandma & Grandpa. He finally got to open the box that was bigger than him! Zach...and Matt now have a Vulcan Nerf Dart blaster to play with, and that is exactly what they are doing right now as I type this post.

We gave Zach an army tent. It didn't look like much in the box, but once it was out of the box and unfolded, he was excited about it. I think he'll appreciate it more when he has his own tent at Camp Bravo.

Zach and Matt are shooting the girls...a very reverent Sunday, before bedtime activity. Not! Noah is upset because every time he gets his hands on a dart, it gets taken away. Matt's word for the blaster is AWESOME!

Eleanor and Emily had their basketball practices yesterday morning before the party. Emily won the basketball tag game just like she had the week before! When she got out during the 3rd game, some of the kids were surprised and said, "Emily, you're out?! I thought it was funny that the boy who kept making it to the end would bounce his ball a few times and then hold it for a few seconds when one of the other kids would try to knock it away. A lot of the kids would just focus on their dribbling, but Emily would go around and try to knock balls away while keeping control of her own ball, which was exactly what she was supposed to do. I also noticed that Emily uses the correct passing technique, even when the coach is not teaching all of the correct steps in passing. It's fun to see her apply what she has already learned.

Now back to Zach's party, which we went to after the practices.
Here is a picture of most of the gang. Kate, Noah, and Baby Bo are missing, and you can't see Koa's face in this shot.

We ate yummy hot dogs, chips, applesauce, homemade chicken nuggets with sauce, homemade bean salsa, and chili. Everything was delicious!

Then it was rocket launching time! It was 50 degrees and sunny yesterday, so perfect. Matt made Zach's rocket Friday night after the kids went to bed.

How old are you, Zach?

There were technical difficulties and the kids started to go crazy, so Matt started a reverence contest. Most of our kids immediately lined up and some of the others followed their lead.

Here is Matt getting Zach's rocket ready to launch.

Here is Zach waiting for his rocket to blast into the air. The rockets never cooperated with our countdowns, but they did eventually go up.

Each of the boys had a rocket. Here they are with their rockets after they had been launched once or twice.

Zach got upset when Zoe got to his rocket before he did after it launched into the sky, so when his rocket went up again, we made sure he was the one to pick it up after it landed.

We went back to the Barrett's home and ate cake and ice cream.

The boys blew out their candles before the Happy Birthday song ended, so the candles were re-lit and we sang again. There were strict instructions not to blow out the candles until we stopped singing. What a cute bunch of boys!

You would think that this would be the end of the partying, but there is more to tell. After a quick trip to the grocery store and everyone had a bath when we got home, Zach opened his presents from Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor. I also bought him a few packs of gum with some of his birthday money. Eleanor made Zach several cards and pictures at school last week and she was the one who wanted to go to the store to buy Zach a gift with her money. Zoe and Emily liked that idea, too. We stopped at the Family Dollar store in between basketball practices to shop. I wrapped the gifts while Zach took his bath.

What a fun birthday weekend, Zach!