Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking one day at a time

I finally talked with Matt a few minutes ago for the first time since he left! He's been trying to call me, but I haven't heard the phone ring, so something must be going on with our phone. It worked Tuesday night. I'll have to remember to jiggle the phone cord this evening. That usually gets the incoming calls working again.

Right after I wrote my last post, Noah turned into a holy terror at my parents' house! He went upstairs and got into Victoria's room. He spilled the leftover coffee in the coffee pot all over the box the coffee pot was sitting on and all over the floor. Then he went into the bathroom and got the toilet brush. He must have dipped it in the toilet because there was water on the floor and a trail of water to the brush in my parents' room. I cleaned up those messes and began sweeping up the cheez-it crumbs from Kate and Noah in the living room and kitchen. At this point I was talking with my mom on the phone, so Noah took advantage of the distraction and played in the dirt I was sweeping up. When I shooed him away from the dirt, he tried taking movies off the shelf. Then he climbed up on the kids' table and got into the remote basket. He was stressing me out! I finally got everything cleaned up and we headed home.

I found a note in Eleanor's bag yesterday, which said, "Dear DaD I mis you so much Ples cum Bac Love Elenor" So sweet. We all miss you, Matt!

I took the younger kids shopping today for Halloween accessories. I also picked up a big pumpkin for us to carve. The kids were really good while we were out. They all have colds, so taking them for a ride got them all to sleep. :-) I listened to Glenn Beck in the Walmart parking lot while I waited for them to wake up. It was quite peaceful and relaxing.

I am at my parents' house now with all of the kids. I have 2 diapers to last through the evening and Noah is now stinky. Uh oh.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keeping in touch through the internet

Monday, October 26th: We had a nice FHE. Emily was on the lesson, so I helped her come up with 5 people in the Book of Mormon to scramble their names and have Matt and Zoe and their teammates unscramble the words. Then each team had to tell us something about that person. We unscrambled one name at a time. Matt guessed all of the names before Zoe, so he would give us an overview of the person guessed and then Zoe would add to what Matt said. We talked about Moroni, Ammon, Laban, Nehor, and Jared. I thought it was a good, fun lesson. Zach was on the game and we made a 100 piece puzzle. It held most everyone's attention and it was fun. Matt brought home Dunkin' Donuts, which were yummy!

Tuesday, October 27th: Don picked Matt up around 4am and brought him to the airport.

I was awake around 5:15am, so I turned the alarm off, but then I fell asleep and woke up at 6:25am...late! I woke the girls up and told them we woke up late, so they had to hustle. Eleanor wondered, "Why did you wake us up late? You're supposed to have a timer to get you up. Did Daddy take it?"

Zach and Kate tried on costumes this morning that Andrea isn't using this year. Kate already has her costume, but she wanted to try on costumes anyway. This dragon costume would be perfect for her to wear to a party that we're going to on Saturday. The party will be outside, so this costume would keep her nice and warm. Now I need to convince Kate to wear it. Zach has on the Captain Hook costume.

Here we have Bob the Builder and Woody from "Toy Story"...

Kate is modeling the Knight costume that Zach loves and wants to wear for Halloween. It's a tad bit too small for Zach, but it will work.

Emily, Zach, and I had dentists appointments this afternoon. It was finally said out loud that Emily is a potential candidate for braces. I'm glad that our dentist is not quick to put braces on kids and wants to wait until all of her teeth are in and she is older. She would be either 13 or 14 years old he thinks before he would recommend a consult with an orthodontist. Well, this gives us enough notice to save up for braces I guess.

Zach is a great patient at the dentist office. He has always been willing to let the hygeniest take x-rays of his teeth, but today was the first time that it was a success, and his teeth look great!

Zoe, Eleanor, Kate, and Noah stayed with Terri and Molly while we were at the dentist. They had fun playing, eating, and watching movies. That does sound a lot more fun then getting your teeth cleaned!

The day ended with Noah taking Eleanor's shirt that she had laid out to put on in the morning and dunked it in the draining bath water. Nice. I had to take the clothes out of the dryer that I thought I had successfully avoided all day, plop them in a chair, and dry Eleanor's shirt. Thanks, Noah!

Matt arrived safely in Utah. :-)

Today: Eleanor's shirt was still damp this morning and her pants were no where to be found, so she picked a different outfit.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Interesting days

Friday, October 23rd: Matt and I came over to my parents' house in the evening to watch "The Office" and "Wipeout". Victoria was here at my parents' house and she was surprised to see us when we walked in because she thought Matt and I were going out. We WERE out! :-) On our way home, we stopped to watch the fireworks going on downtown. That was fun!

Saturday, October 24th: I went to the temple with my mom and the Booths. I left the house at 6:10am and got home at 10pm. We had a lot of fun and it was so nice being in the temple, as always. It was an interesting day in the temple because nothing went as planned, but we were still able to do 2 sessions before heading home.

Eleanor hurt herself when she fell while climbing on the crib railing to reach for her doll which is on a shelf above the dresser. Thankfully, she is okay.

Zoe had her first real babysitting experience today while Matt went to the dump and ran a few errands. She was very happy to earn $1. The kids were content to watch "Cosby" while Matt was gone.

I found these pictures on the camera. It looks like Noah fell asleep during lunch or dinner.

Sunday, October 25th: Eleanor felt like she was going to throw up last night and she still felt that way when she woke up in the morning. I didn't say whether we would stay home or go to church right off because I had a feeling that Eleanor would perk up, and she did. So, we went to church and it was another interesting day. Our youth talk during Sacrament was painful to listen to. Most of the talk was a reciting of this song. This youth didn't sing the song or do the actions, he just repeated the verses over and over again. Ugh. Then during my class, a member told a personal account of something that by the end of his account, I regretted letting this member say as much as he did. Another ugh.

Noah has a new playmate at church. A new family has moved into our branch and their youngest boy is 15 months old, like Noah. The boys were very busy during Relief Society!

We enjoyed our family time this afternoon and evening.

Today: This is our last evening together as a family for awhile. Matt is leaving tomorrow for Utah. Then he'll drive to South Dakota (as long as the weather cooperates) with his dad and brothers to go pheasant hunting. Then they'll drive back to Utah and he'll fly home on November 4th. I hope he has a great time, and I hope that I am still sane when he returns! :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

I am here

Wednesday, October 21st: Our playdate with Daisy and Anna went well. The kids were immediately attracted to the jello jigglers and crackers on the table when they walked through the door. After their bellies were full, they mostly played outside, which was nice. The kids only had about an hour to play and then I had to leave with Daisy and Anna for parent-teacher conferences. I met their mom at the school and then I went to meet with Eleanor's teacher, Miss. Gould.

Eleanor is doing very well in school. On Eleanor's report, Miss. Gould checked off excellent on everything except listening. Eleanor got a satisfactory on listening. Miss. Gould said there has been an occasion or two where Eleanor gets talking when she should be listening, but overall she IS a great listener. Eleanor is at level D for reading and by the end of the year she should be at level J. Some kids are at level B and C right now, so Eleanor is doing well with her reading. Eleanor loves to write. She often gets out a piece of paper and pencil when she has any free time at home and writes something. It can drive me nuts at times, but I try to remember that practicing her writing is a good thing. Miss. Gould has noticed that Eleanor substitutes h for c when she writes, so Eleanor needs to work on matching her letters and sounds. When Eleanor did a word exercise with her class where she had a certain amount of time to write as many words as she could think of, she wrote down 45 words. That was impressive since the average was 20 words. Overall, Eleanor is doing great. She loves to be in school and she loves to learn!

After meeting with Miss. Gould, I had a half hour before meeting with Emily's teacher, Mrs. Wight. I looked at some artwork in the school and then went out into the Yukon to read over some information that Miss. Gould had given me, and I enjoyed the quiet. :-) Miss. Gould was the only 1st grade teacher to have a table out in the hall for parents to look over some books that Eleanor's class had made and to have different papers for parents to take home to help their child progress in 1st grade. She had out a bowl of candy and bottles of water. Eleanor has a very organized and thoughtful teacher.

Emily is doing great in school, too. This is the second year that Emily has had Mrs. Wight, so right off this year Mrs. Wight knows Emily and her abilities. Emily does a lot of independent work after she finishes an assignment. She likes to keep busy, which I was pleased to hear. Emily is anxious to learn how to write cursive, so she has been doing a lot of cursive practice sheets. She has wanted to write in cursive since Zoe learned how to and she already knows how to write a lot of the letters. I encouraged Mrs. Wight to have Emily focus on writing neatly, and even Emily has a goal for herself to be neater in her work, so I know she'll work on it. Emily CAN write neatly, but most of the time she doesn't. Her writing stresses me out when I read it. It doesn't bother Mrs. Wight, but she is willing to have Emily practice writing neatly. Emily can blame me for the extra writing practice she will get during her independent work. :-)

I was supposed to meet with the school librarian this evening to learn how to help out in the library, but she had to cancel, so I went over to my parents' house instead. I had fun playing a game of Phase 10 with my mom and Victoria. We laughed a lot and at one point I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes. We were being pretty goofy. We also watched an episode of "Reba" before I headed home.

Thursday, October 22nd: I'm pretty sure this was the longest day of my life! At 8:30am, I had been up for 3 hours and thought for sure the day should be half over, but it was only 8:30am! I had the same thought at 1:30pm. It was a rainy day, I had no desire to do anything, but kept busy puttering around, and I was in a blah mood. I decided to make chocolate chip cookies at 2pm because I was bored and eating cookies seemed worth living for. They WERE yummy! I had 2 or 3 or 4.

Zach and Kate played together a lot today, which was nice.

Eleanor brought my notebook to school today. My notebook that has my Christmas ideas in it. I am thankful that Eleanor could not read my list. She didn't even open the notebook, so finding out what the list said didn't occur. I need to hide that list.
I would have looked over my notes for my Sunday School lesson during my long day, but the notes were in my notebook, so I couldn't.

Matt went out with the missionaries after work, so my long day continued. I really enjoyed the quiet when the kids were asleep this evening.

Random Notes:
Kate's foot is all better.
Zach loves to wear hats and mittens around the house now that they are out.
I haven't counted WW POINTS since last Tuesday, but I am counting today. Maybe. I'm still undecided about how many pieces of pizza to eat for dinner.

The sun is shining. I woke up with more energy and a better attitude, so this is a much better day. I could laugh when Eleanor after being told that we are out of scotch tape used an old, sticky lollipop as glue for her craft project. Of course Eleanor would dive into a craft project 20 minutes before leaving for school.

I did some cleaning and got the pizza dough made this morning, went to the grocery store, and now I am done writing to you. :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Have I told you how much I hate coming up with titles?

Matt is feeling much better.

I am feeling fine, but I have had little energy the past few days.
Christmas has been on my mind lately.

Zoe gave me her Christmas list yesterday (looks like Christmas is on her mind, too). She only wants 3 things...Rebecca (American Girl doll), an American Girl doll storage cabinet, and an ipod, so she can put LOL on it. We already have the LOL CD, which is a great CD and I have an MP3 player, so I saved us some money and put the LOL music on my MP3player and let Zoe listen away.

Emily is looking forward to her friend, Daisy coming over after school today.

Eleanor is looking forward to her friend, Anna (Daisy's sister) coming over after school today. Eleanor also brought home a harder book to read yesterday for homework. She has been working hard on her reading.

Zach played with Harry at the park today. It is such a beautiful day!

Kate hurt her foot last night. I went to put her down last night after carrying her into the bedroom and she landed funny. She can walk on it, but she won't walk on it much. I have been carrying her around at home, the library, and the park. Whenever she puts pressure on her foot she says, "It hurts!" I don't think it's broken, but I bet it's bruised or sprained.

Noah has discovered that when Kate's high chair is pulled away from the table and is behind the couch, that he can climb on it and then climb on the couch. He laughs as he slides down the back of the couch to the seat.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Will we all be healthy again at the same time?

I took this picture of Kate and Noah on Thursday. Kate looks so grown up in her "cowgirl outfit" and I love Noah's jacket. We bought it when I was pregnant with Zoe...because Matt was sure we would have a boy. It's going to be sad when Noah grows out of it.

Friday, October 16th: Matt went partridge hunting with Don today.

Matt shot one of the smaller birds and Don shot the duck and the other bird.

Noah held out his hand for the dead duck to touch it, but it never did. The kids watched Matt get the birds ready for cooking, which didn't gross them out at all.

My mom came over to watch the kids this evening. She came over around 6:30pm, so the kids were fed and ready for bed, which pleased my mom. It made the evening a lot easier for her. Matt and I went to his office and watched "The Office". We are all caught up now.

Zoe didn't feel well this evening. She has a sore on the inside of her mouth and her throat is sore. This was the second time that we have had a yummy dinner that she wasn't able to enjoy. :-(

Saturday, October 17th: Matt went duck hunting with Don this morning, but neither one of them shot anything.

I took Zoe and Emily to their soccer round robin and luncheon while Matt stayed home with the younger kids. It was fun to be out with just Zoe and Emily and to watch them play without keeping an eye on their siblings. I was able to take more pictures today.

Emily (in purple)...

Zoe (in purple)...

corner kick...

The soccer teams each played 3 twenty minute games and then we went into the Miles Lane school to eat and the girls got their certificates and team pictures. Fun!

I spent the rest of the day cooking for our branch conference luncheon. I made a macaroni salad, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and I made up some chicken salad to make sandwiches before the luncheon. I was in a cooking mood and I had the time, so I enjoyed making everything.

I sent the three older girls outside in the afternoon to work in the garden. They got most of the plants and weeds pulled up. Kate saw Zoe using the rake and she wanted to try it, so she went out to help in the garden. She looked so cute in her lady bug dress raking the dirt.

Noah was cracking me up this evening as he tried to copy me by saying "All clean" after his bath. The "k" sound just sounded so cute and funny.

Zoe and Emily look forward to their hour of reading Harry Potter before bed. They are both on book 4.

Matt and I watched "Confessions of a Shopoholic" after the kids went to bed. It was a good movie.

Sunday, October 18th: Zoe's loose tooth came out as she was eating her cereal this morning!

I heard some of the talks during Sacrament meeting today. The meeting was an hour and a half long, so it was a LONG meeting with Noah and Kate. I ended up in the Primary room with them. I think it's interesting that I heard one thing loud and clear that President Dauk said. It was like the noise of Kate and Noah were blocked out, so I could hear this one thing which was that everything will work out for us according to the Lord's timeline. It gave me hope that we won't be dealing with financial problems forever.

I was able to enjoy most of our Priesthood/Relief Society meeting, but then Noah got very social and started saying "Hi" over and over again as loud as he could. I took him out of the meeting and went into the kitchen to make my sandwiches for the luncheon. Noah wandered around.

Ned (Zach's primary teacher's husband) commented today on Zach's ability to color within the lines. Here is Zach's picture that he colored from Noah's doctor's visit on Thursday...

It snowed this evening! Eleanor saw the big, fat snowflakes and yelled, "Snow day tomorrow, snow day tomorrow!"

Matt's cold has finally beat him. He was miserable this evening. He still managed to cook the duck that he brought home on Friday. It was good. Duck tastes like liver, and I like liver. I would never admit that as a kid because what normal child likes liver?...but I did, and I still do. Zoe and Kate ate the duck meat as well.

Emily found Kate's church shoe this evening. Yay! It has been missing for a few months now. It was hiding under the crib.

Today: Matt stayed home from work today. There was a little bit of snow on the ground this morning when we woke up. Zach was disappointed that it had melted when we headed to the Yukon to go to the grocery store later on in the morning.

Zach and I made brownies for our FHE treat and then we made bread for dinner before we came over to my parents' house to update here and to give Matt a few hours of peace and quiet.

Here is Kate enjoying noggin while I'm on the computer...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yay for heat!

Wednesday, October 14th: Zoe offered to make dinner (hot dogs) and set the table for me after I called the kids inside to clean up and get ready for dinner. It was very sweet and very helpful!

My mom came over after work to watch the younger kids while I took Zoe and Emily to their soccer practice. Matt was at a work meeting. It was 40 degrees out, but practice went on until around 6:15 when it was too dark to practice anymore. Harmony and I sat in the Yukon and talked while we watched the last practice of the season.

I played a game of Phase 10 with my mom before she headed home.

Zach and Kate are still in too much pain to eat solid food. Zach is looking forward to eating cereal again!

I counted Weight Watchers Points today. I think I'll count points on the days that Matt isn't home for dinner. I'm not keeping track of how much I weigh and I'm not going to be obsessive about losing weight during the holidays, but I know I've gained weight in the last few months, so I'm going to cut back on my eating when the temptations of super yummy food aren't there. I'm also trying to drink more water to fill me up. You're a good influence on me, Andrea!

Thursday, October 15th: Noah had his 15 month check-up today. He is 32" tall (75th percentile) and weighs a little over 23lbs (25th percentile). He received 2 shots and whined for a second and then he was fine. The nurse said that his legs might be too sore to walk for awhile, but he walked out of the doctor's office without a hint of pain. Zach and Kate colored during Noah's appointment. The nurse was very impressed with Zach's coloring. He did very good staying within the lines.

I finally got Zach, Kate, and Noah's pictures ready to be mailed out to family. I've only had them hanging around for 3-7 months now! Zach and Kate painted while I worked on the pictures. Noah was taking a nap.

Our furnace started making a funny noise this afternoon. It died right before we sat down for dinner. Matt made some phone calls to see if it could be fixed this evening, but the earliest it can be fixed is tomorrow morning. The kids bundled up in warm pjs, robes, coats, sleeping bags, and a down comforter. Zoe said she felt like they were camping out. I think this experience will help us to appreciate our heat the rest of the winter!

Matt made the best spaghetti that we have ever made at our house this evening. He used tomatoes from our garden and he used green pepper that we got from Andrea. It feels good to use food from our garden and other gardens. I made breadsticks to go with the spaghetti, but they weren't as good as the spaghetti...although Eleanor mostly ate breadsticks, so I think she would disagree.

Zach and Kate are feeling better. They ate yogurt this morning and by the afternoon, they were eating solid food. Zach was so excited that he could eat again! He is looking forward to eating cereal tomorrow.

I didn't count ww points today since I knew we were having spaghetti for dinner. I'm too lazy to figure out the ww points value of a meal. I didn't eat much during the day, so I saved most of my points (if I was counting) for dinner, so I felt good about that.

I've been thinking about our financial situation this evening and I realized how it has changed the things I want money for. I want to be able to fill the gas tank in the Yukon whenever it needs to be filled, I want to make meals for my family when we want them, I want to be able to go grocery shopping when I need to, I want to be able to pay for the girls' lunches every week, I want to buy health insurance for my family...not from the government, I want to be able to buy outerwear and clothes when we need them...I could go on, but you get the picture. I feel so rich when we can provide these necessities for our family!

Today: It was so COLD when we got up this morning. Sleeping wasn't a problem in the cold, but getting ready for the day was miserable. The girls are always cold in the morning when the heat is set on 70, so the 50 degrees was torture. I had just put on my comfy, warm wool socks when I stepped in a puddle of water on the kitchen floor. What the? I HATE when my socks get wet. Hate it, hate it, hate it! Where is this water coming from? The washer. My first thought was that we would have to get the washer fixed as well...when it rains it pours!, but then I remembered that we had moved the washer on Monday, so one of the hoses must have come loose. I could hear water dripping from behind the washer. When Roy arrived at 7:30am to fix the furnace, I first asked him to look at the washer. He tightened one of the clamps and the problem was fixed. Whew! Our heat was working again a little after 8am this morning. Hearing the furnace working again was music to my ears! Zach noticed the difference between no heat and heat when he said, "It's warm in here now...even my feet are warm!" Yes, it was worth the money we dished out to get our heat working again!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Monday, October 12th: If you want a short, fun game for Family Home Evening, play Jenga. We played one round this evening. I was the last player and I knocked the tower down (not on purpose). Game over, move on to the treat. :-)

As I was putting Zach to bed, I noticed that his upper lip looked sore and a bit puffy. Matt looked at his lip and he wondered if Zach was having an allergic reaction to something. The only thing different I could think of that he ate was a cough drop because earlier he was complaining of a sore throat. We noticed that Zach's bottom lip was also swollen a bit and looked sore and then we noticed a sore on his tongue. Matt gave Zach a Priesthood blessing and then we made a bed for him on the floor beside our bed. He was miserable throughout the night. Kate was also awake throughout the night, which is normal for her, but I wondered if she had a sore throat as well. It was not a restful night!

Tuesday, October 13th: Zoe is feeling back to normal, but Eleanor woke up with a stomach ache and a sore throat, so she stayed home from school. I had a minor sore throat all day. Zach's mouth was still sore. Every time Kate tried to eat she would say "I'm not feeling good" and then she would stop eating. I noticed a sore on her tongue in the evening. Zach and Kate fell asleep in the late afternoon as the older kids and I were watching the bonus features of "Finding Nemo". Zach and Kate both woke up cranky during dinnertime. I told Zach that I would take him to the doctor tomorrow and he was so miserable that he said, "I want to go to the doctor today!". Matt worked late (I encouraged him to), so it turned out to be a long day and evening. The kids were finally in bed and quiet at 9pm.

I tried reading "Goodbye, she lied" before going to sleep, but I was so exhausted from taking care of sick kids, doing laundry, and making phone calls for the PTO (which wasn't exhausting and I didn't have to make the calls today, but before my hectic day began, I decided to make the calls today and had to follow through) that I didn't get much reading done before I fell asleep.

Oh, and let's not forget Noah playing in the toilet water as I was falling asleep in the afternoon while I was listening to Emily read. Nor can we forget going to change Noah's diaper before bedtime and realizing that his poopy diaper was down around his ankle. I am done with Luvs diapers! This is the second box of defective Luvs diapers that I have bought and I will buy no more.

Today: After talking with Matt, I agreed with him that there wasn't anything that the doctor was going to be able to do for Zach, that we just needed to wait it out, so no doctor visit today. Zach is improving, but he is still in a lot of pain and is sore. My concern yesterday was that he wasn't eating or drinking enough, but he is able to drink more today, so I will go to the grocery store in a bit to buy him different liquids. Kate will benefit from the liquids as well since she still isn't eating much because of the sore on her tongue. Kate threw up her chocolate milk this morning. I think it was too much for her empty stomach. Fun times here! Noah is making up for Zach and Kate's lack of eating by eating everything in sight!

Eleanor is back to school. Zach wanted to stay home all day, but I convinced him to come over to my parents' house. I wanted to update here and I really wanted to get out of the house after yesterday. He agreed as long as it was only for a short while.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day

Friday, October 9th: I took the kids to the girls high school soccer game and like all outside games that I take them to, they found a dog to pet and love. The family that owned the dog didn't mind the attention that the dog was getting, so the kids went back and forth from playing on the hill to petting the dog. I always wonder if my kids are driving the dog's owner(s) nuts, but most people say they don't mind the attention their dog is getting. I think having 6 kids that I don't know maul my dog would annoy me. Noah was getting picked on as the kids played. Zach and Kate kept pushing him down and then they would sit on him when he was flat on the ground. We left before the game ended because Zach and Eleanor started fighting with each other, I was cold, and I was ready for datenight! My mom was at the game with us, so we headed home to get the kids settled in and then I left to meet Matt at his office.

Matt and I went to Pizzeria Uno for dinner. We sat at our favorite booth, which was perfect for our 1st date anniversary. 13 years ago, we went on our first date to Spotlight Cinemas to see "Emma". After dinner, we stopped at Matt's office to watch "The Office". We watched the first two episodes of this season.

Saturday, October 10th: Matt went duck hunting with Jason this morning. In the last week, Matt has gone duck hunting with Don and then Jason and both of his friends shot a duck, but not Matt.

Matt was back home in time to watch the kids while I took Eleanor to her last soccer practice. I had fun talking with Andrea and one of her friends. It had rained the night before, so the field was very wet. Eleanor and I headed home after her practice and then 45 minutes later, I headed back to the field with all the kids except Noah for Zoe's and Emily's game. They won! My mom and Victoria were at the game, too. My dad is the assistant coach, so he is always there.

The kids and I went to the grocery store and then we went home to make chicken fajitas for lunch. My kids now like fajitas. Zoe is the only one who will eat the chicken filling and the other kids eat cheese on a tortilla. It's nice to not have to listen to their moaning and groaning about fajitas! Zoe, Emily, Matt, and I started fasting after we ate.

I took Zoe to Walmart this evening to have her 10 year picture taken...only 7 months late! My mom and Victoria came with us. Zoe wasn't excited to get her picture taken, but she humored me. The picture came out very nice.

Zoe wishes that she were a twin. I heard her telling Emily that she wished that they were twins since they were such good friends.

I was holding Kate today and we were standing next to our picture of the First Presidency, so I pointed to the prophet and asked her who it was. Without hesitating Kate said, "The Prophet!" :-)

Sunday, October 11th: Matt took Zoe, Emily, and Zach to Machias today. After they left, I noticed that the kitchen light was off and I was sure it was on before. I thought the power had gone out, but the living room light was on, so we still had power. Then the kitchen light came back on and I heard a giggle near the light switch. The light went off again. I walked closer and saw Noah standing on a chair next to the light switch, with a big grin on his face as he flicked the light back on. He was having so much fun!

Noah sat on Jerry Booth's lap across the chapel through most of Sacrament meeting and Kate was content to sit on my lap. Eleanor wanted me to cuddle with her too, but Kate would get upset when I would try to hug Eleanor. When Jerry brought Noah over to me, Eleanor went back with him to sit with him and Judy, and I brought Kate and Noah up on the stand with me to bear my testimony and then we headed to the Relief Society room. I thought we were going to make it through the entire Sacrament meeting in the chapel, but Kate knew that if she put up a little fuss to leave the chapel that I would bring her into the Relief Society room, and I did.

We had a super yummy dinner at the end of our fast. It was Zoe's favorite ~ ham, precooked chicken, potatoes, gravy, squash, stuffing, cranberries, and a BLT salad. Zoe wasn't feeling good before she started eating and eating didn't make her feel better. She took a little nap, Matt made apple crisp, and then we had family council. Zoe's stomach felt better, but she had a sore throat that was making eating difficult. She did eat and perked up and we all enjoyed the apple crisp. Matt created his own recipe from 3 different recipes that we had and the crisp he made was delicious! We can get rid of the other recipes now.

Today: Matt went duck hunting on his own this morning and there were no ducks to be seen at all!

This is the time of year when I get in the organizing mood, so this morning I organized my bill basket. I'm also in a cleaning mood, so when Matt got home, he pulled out the washing machine, stove, and fridge and we cleaned behind them. I've been wanting to do this cleaning for a long time, so I am happy that it got done today!

The kids and I are now at my parents' house. My mom, Victoria, and I played a game of Phase 10. I won. :-) The kids watched "Shrek" and have been eating treats. We'll go home soon to eat dinner (I'm sure the kids won't eat much) and then we'll have FHE.

We're having our branch conference this Sunday, so I don't have to prepare a Sunday School lesson this week. :-)

Friday, October 09, 2009

My Artists

Zach and I enjoyed some one on one time yesterday afternoon while Kate and Noah were asleep at the same time! That never happens. Zach and I ate popcorn and talked, while I looked over my lesson for Sunday. We also put a puzzle together, but Noah woke up when we started putting it together.

Noah turned 15 months old yesterday! He is a happy, busy little boy!

Eleanor brought home a sweet note from her teacher yesterday. It says: "I just wanted to let you know how kind and helpful Eleanor has been in the last few days. We have a new student, and she volunteered to help him with routines, activities and more. She's truly an amazing, kind child. :-)" Matt and I had the same thought...of course Eleanor is being helpful...the new student is a boy! I asked Eleanor if she thought he was cute, but she said no that she was helping him because he is new and he doesn't know where everything is and what to do. I'm convinced that she really is just being sweet and helpful.

All the kids went outside to play after school. It was fun to watch them getting along together and all playing together. They made up a new game called "Wizards and Voldemort". Zach was Voldemort and he had to chase the wizards. He had a great time trying to get everyone. The older kids each had a wand that they made out of paper, so I'm sure they were casting spells on each other as well.

Today is the start of a 4 day weekend for the girls. Today is an inservice day for the teachers and then Monday is Columbus Day (or Columbia Day according to Zoe). Zach is so excited to have his sisters home for a long weekend! The kids went outside to play the wizard game again this morning, but they didn't last too long outside. They played Littlest Petshop inside for awhile, but that didn't last long either. Eleanor got mad and made a sign telling everyone to stay out of their room or she would bite them! They got along when they started watching "Finding Nemo". We ate lunch and then we ate sundaes at McDonalds for dessert. The kids were very good and Zoe was very helpful there. We are at my parents' house now and we were surprised to find my mom home (my dad is here too, but I expected him to be), so we'll probably stick around here for awhile and then go to the girls Varsity soccer game at 4pm. Then it's datenight. :-)

I finally got the last of the girls' artwork from last school year up in the kids' room. I didn't do so well putting up a piece of artwork each week, so I put the rest of the artwork up yesterday and called it good.
Zoe's artwork...

Emily's artwork...

Eleanor's artwork...

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Conference Overview

Sunday, October 4th: I heard some of the talks during conference this weekend. Usually, our kids are really good during the Saturday sessions and then they are wild on Sunday, but this weekend they were wild both days! Here are some things that stuck after conference was over...

*AIM HIGH ~ I want to stretch myself as well as encourage my class to stretch themselves in the gospel. There is always room for improvement.

*I need to make sure that I am telling and showing my family that I love them.

*We are on the right track of being consistent with family prayer, family scripture study, and Family Home Evening. It was encouraging to hear an apostle speak of his own challenges with his children as they had prayers, scripture study, and FHE. Zoe and Emily remember this part of the talk as well and thought it was so funny when Elder Bednar repeated what his sons would say about a sibling like, "He's breathing my air!". We all laughed at hit close to home.

*I noticed that the theme of love and the love of God was spoken of often.

*I remember something along the lines of economic hardships force us to hearken to the voice of the Lord. I'll have to research this line when the conference edition of the Ensign comes out next month. I have a great desire to study these conference talks a lot in the next 6 months. We're going to add a conference moment to our FHE and we're also going to add a closing prayer, so we'll all be participating in FHE now. Noah and Kate will have to grow into their responsibilities.

The atmosphere around us during conference was chaotic and loud, but we watched all sessions of conference and I did get something out of each session. I have hope in consistency.

Monday, October 5th: Monday was a Monday. Nothing too exciting. Laundry, getting the house picked up from the weekend, and getting ready for FHE. It is nice that Monday is one of the few days that we gather as a family for dinner. We used some of the time together to talk about what we learned during conference. For our FHE lesson, Matt had us identify branches and leaves. I know my Maple, Oak, and Birch.

Tuesday, October 6th: The younger kids and I went to playgroup.
Emily hurt her toe in the evening and needed a band-aid, so I dug out one of our many WCF (Workers Compensation Fund of Utah) kits. Zoe made a comment that we have a lot of WCF kits around, which was funny to me because I had the same thought, but I am grateful that we do! Every now and then when I need a band-aid and we are out of band-aids, I know that I can get one of these kits and find a band-aid. Thank you, Steve!

I finished reading "breaking dawn" while Matt was working late. I think you should read it, Kris!

Today: It was a rainy day and Kate has a cold, so we didn't go to storytime. We had a nice day at home. Noah likes to get up on the table now, so I started pulling the chairs away from the table today. He is also insisting on feeding himself with a spoon, so he is very happy when I give him a mess-free snack in a bowl like dry cheerios and raisins that he can scoop out with a spoon.

Emily went over to Daisy's grandmother's house after school with her friend, Daisy. We were going to meet Emily and Daisy at soccer practice, but it was raining, so Daisy's grandmother brought Emily home this evening. I haven't seen Emily since this morning. :-(

I went to the PTO meeting this evening. I'm still not sure why I'm drawn to the PTO, but I am. I volunteered to make some phone calls to schedule the volunteers who will help distribute the items from a fundraiser we just did. I'm also going to meet with the librarian in a few weeks to learn how I can help in the library. I'll go to the school several evenings during each month to help reshelf books and whatever else needs to be done. I'm looking forward to the quiet time in the library!

I am now at my parents' house to update here. My mom and I played a game of Phase 10 first, though. I need to get home and go to bed!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Enjoying General Conference

I had a few hours of peaceful reading last night until Noah woke up around 11pm...just about the time I was ready to close my book and go to sleep. I ignored Noah's cries for awhile, but then went to check on him. I felt bad that I waited at all when I realized that his leg was stuck between two bars of the crib. I got him out and cuddled with him while I continued to read. I tried putting him back to bed, but he cried again and I was afraid that his leg was stuck again, so I checked on him. He was not stuck this time, but he was awake and wanted me to get him out. I took him into the living room where he played and I read. I laughed when I looked over at the door and Noah was holding one of his shoes and whining for me to open the door (at midnight) so he could go out and play. We stayed up for another hour and then at 1am, I put Noah back to bed and I went to bed myself. Kate woke up at 2am. I put her back to bed and wondered if I was going to get any sleep at all, but we slept peacefully after that.

Eleanor had soccer practice this morning and then Emily and Eleanor got their flu shots. They resisted when it was their turn. The clinic had a few firefighters/paramedics on hand to help with the uncooperative children (like mine) which was very helpful. I had Eleanor on my lap with my leg across her legs and I was pinning down her arms, but we still needed the firefighter to help hold her still. The firefighter held Emily's hand as she got her shot as I was getting Eleanor ready for her shot. The shots were so quick, which was nice. Zoe could have received her shot today, but she decided to wait until Monday at her school.

Zoe scored her first goal today during her soccer game! Matt has always said that he would pay $1 for every goal, so he paid up this afternoon. Emily almost scored twice during the game. Their team lost, but again the girls got a lot of playing time and had fun...even in the rain.

My parents recorded the first session of General Conference on their DVR, so Zoe and Emily could make it to their game today. We watched the first session of conference from 1-3pm instead of 12-2pm. I'm glad it worked out that the girls could play in their game and we could watch all of conference, too. Matt met us here at my parents' house at 1:00. He had a good time duck hunting even though they didn't shoot any ducks.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sorry for the confusion

It's funny that I wrote the dates wrong on my last post since I looked at the calendar to check to make sure I wrote the dates right. Oops! It should have been Sunday the 27th through today, Friday October 2nd.

I've been at my parents' house all day and I haven't read at all! I'm still reading Breaking Dawn and I've been tempted to get my book out, but there's just too much going on. My mom and I have been playing a lot of Phase 10, which is fun, too. I'm looking forward to reading tonight while the kids are asleep and it's nice and quiet.

Sadly, we don't have internet at home yet, but hopefully soon!

My little vacation

My mom thought the "Twilight" movie was great, I thought it was okay. I knew it wouldn't be as good as the book, so I wasn't surprised, but I would have liked the movie better if it followed the book better.

Since this weekend is General Conference, I haven't had a Sunday School lesson to prepare this week, which means it was been a great week to finish the Twilight series. I borrowed the last two books from my friend, Courtney and I have been reading, reading, and reading. I have declared this week a vacation week for myself. It has been fun! I started out the week trying to keep a balance between being productive and reading, but that only lasted a few days. The past few days I have just been reading...and taking care of the kids.

Zach just came into the kitchen and asked me what I am doing, then he interrupted my answer and said, "I know, you're updating your blog." Smart kid.

So, here is a day to day update of the things that have gone on besides having my nose in a book.

Sunday, September 27th: Zoe, Eleanor, and Zach went to Machias with Matt. Machias doesn't have any regular primary children, so Sister Brown is always thrilled when some of our kids show up on a Sunday. Zoe had a great idea to put on a primary program in Machias with our kids and a few of the other children who visit Machias. Sister Brown thought this was a great idea, so they practiced for the program on Sunday. The program will be in a few weeks, so I will get someone to teach my lesson that Sunday, so we can go to Machias as a family and I can watch the program, too.

Monday, September 28th: I wanted to read during the day today, but I was too productive and when the two moments came to sit down with my book, Noah woke up from his nap and the phone rang. I enjoyed reading in the evening. Usually I am torn between reading a good book or working on my lesson, so it was so nice not having to choose.

Another great FHE game is Barrel of Monkeys. Emily won the game tonight. We didn't let Noah have a turn, so he was happy to play with the monkeys while we ate our treat.

Tuesday, September 30th: Zoe has flute lessons on Tuesdays and after she left for school today, I noticed that she forgot her flute. When she got home, I asked her at what point she realized that she had forgotten her flute. She said on the bus, but her friend, Chloe who is in 6th grade had her flute, so Chloe let Zoe use her flute, which I think is so nice! They had lessons at different times, so it all worked out.

Terri picked Noah, Kate, Zach, and me up to go to playgroup this morning. We always have a great time at playgroup!

Noah discovered his belly button at dinner time. He kept lifting up his shirt and poking at it.

I was able to read during the day today. I also watched "Survivorman" with Zoe and Emily.

Wednesday, October 1st: Zach is wondering why I am reading so much.
I met with Zoe's teacher in the evening. Matt was supposed to come with me, but the Saab broke down on his way home. We have the worst luck with cars, don't you think?! Of course the Saab broke down since we got the Yukon back this same day. Don picked Matt up and gave him a ride home. I'm glad we had already made plans with my mom to watch the kids, so I was able to leave even though Matt wasn't home yet. I brought Zoe and Emily with me, so I could take them to soccer practice after my meeting with Mrs. Gormley. Zoe is doing great in school, as usual. She has adjusted well to middle school and she is ahead of where the standard is at this time of year in math, language, and reading, which is also normal for Zoe. Zoe will be placed in a group that will take on more advanced math, which I'm pleased about. Mrs. Gormley doesn't believe in giving out homework, but thanks to the school board rule, she has to give some homework every night. I think a little homework is good. Zoe seems to get the teachers who don't hand out a lot of homework, so Emily has always had more homework than Zoe, and she is 2 grades behind her! Emily doesn't get a lot of homework either, but she usually has 2 things do to like a worksheet and reading where Zoe only has to read or do a worksheet. Anyway, I had a nice talk with Mrs. Gormley and she is not going to use the book, "Harris and Me" with Zoe's class. I was happy to hear that.

Matt is always wishing that we had a video camera to capture the chaos in our home. I wanted to video tape Noah this evening as he was sitting at the table and barking like a dog and then panting like a dog with his tongue sticking out. It was so cute and funny!

Thursday, October 2nd: Matt went duck hunting this morning with Don. He was able to borrow Don and Terri's Saab for the rest of the day, so I had the Yukon. The kids and I went to play at the park, which was fun. Zach was ready to get out of the house and I knew it would be necessary to get out of the house if I was going to tear myself away from my book.

We got the Saab back today. A pulley broke that was connected to the fan belt or part of the fan belt, so the Saab now has a new fan belt. We are back to 2 cars again...for now.

Today: My mom took the day off today and my dad has been on vacation all week, so the younger kids and I are hanging out with them. Actually, my mom is slaving away in their garage and I am updating here and then I am going to make fajitas for lunch. The older girls will come here after school on the bus. Eleanor and Zach are spending the night here tonight. Matt is going duck hunting again with Don this afternoon and coming home tomorrow afternoon, which is okay because my nose will still be stuck in my book this evening and every other possible moment. I won't feel guilty about that if Matt is away doing something fun. :-)