Sunday, February 28, 2010

A new calling

When I got to church this morning, Jerry told me that a member of the Branch Presidency wanted to talk with me. I knew changes were being made in the different organizations and because of a comment that President Dauk said to me on Tuesday night, I suspected that I would be getting a new calling, but I wasn't sure if it would be in addition to teaching Sunday School or if I would get released from my current calling. Before Tuesday night, I thought I was safe from these changes because I thought for sure I would have my current calling until the end of the year. Brother Dalton told me that Sunshine Barrett was going to be called as the new Primary President and then he asked me if I would accept the call to be her 2nd counselor. I had wondered if I would get called back into Primary as a counselor, but I thought Dodie would still be President. I said I would accept the calling. I am excited to serve with Sunshine and Kristen Speranza and I am looking forward to being in a Presidency again.

Brother Dalton told me I will be released from teaching Sunday School, but not today. So for next week, I get to prepare my Sunday School lesson AND prepare a Singing Time for the Primary children. I actually volunteered to do Singing Time because that is one of the callings I would love to have...Primary Chorister. I have grown used to teaching Sunday School and I have learned so much in this calling. A part of me will miss it. I won't miss stressing about my lessons on Saturday nights, though. I look forward to enjoying my Saturdays again. Matt predicts a month before they release me. We shall see.

Here are the other new presidencies that were called today:

Relief Society President: Jessica Millis
Relief Society 1st Counselor: Tiffany Dauk
Relief Society 2nd Counselor: Lucve Estacio

Young Women's President: Patti Riggs

On the way home, Matt pointed out that for the next year while I am serving in Primary, all of our children will be in Primary. That will be true until Zoe turns 12 in March of 2011.

It wasn't our day to die

Being in the temple yesterday was as wonderful as ever. Thank you for all the kind comments supporting my decision to spend the day at the temple.

The weather yesterday was quite strange. It would be rainy...and then snowing...and then blue skies...then a mix of rain and skies...etc. We were on route 3 heading to Augusta when it started to snow and the road was getting slippery. My dad was driving when the car started to spin. He gained control and we continued. Then the car started to spin again and he gained control again. Hmmmm we all silently wondered...maybe this was not the best day to drive to the temple...but we continued on. The snow turned to rain and the rest of the drive to the temple was uneventful (except for the fact that we were a bit shaken up from almost going off the road). The weather switched from rain, mix, and blue skies the rest of the way to the temple. It was really bizarre when we would go through a sunny patch and I would get the windshield all cleaned off and then it would start snowing/raining. It seemed like it was literally snowing/raining out of the blue.

The drive home had less blue skies and more snow, rain, and mix. We made it back into Maine (the temple is in Belmont, Massachusetts) and we were looking forward to stopping at Norm's to eat. We were cruising along the interstate in the middle lane and drawing near to Portland when we went into a spin. We spun a few times as we headed for the guard rail protecting us from the median. My dad almost had control of the car when we crashed into the guard rail. We then crossed over 3 lanes of traffic to the other side of the road, miraculously not hitting any cars, and parked on the side of the road. We were all physically okay, but of course we were shaken up. My mom's car suffered the most damage. We waited for the policeman to arrive and when he did, my dad gave him the information he needed. The policeman estimated $5000 worth of damage to the front driver's side of the car. We weren't sure if the car would still get us home, so we were encouraged to drive to the next exit and get off if the car was not running right. The car drove fine except for some scraping on the tire, which my dad checked out and saw no damage being done to the tire, so we continued on. We drove home with one headlight. Norm's wasn't that far away and we were still hungry, so we stopped to eat. As we ate, the rain turned into snow, it turned dark, and we all dreaded the rest of the drive home. We didn't get far on our adventure again when the light snow turned into heavy snow. This was definitely not "snow showers"! More like a blizzard. We were all so tense and silent and we were close to pulling off at the next exit to get a hotel room when the snow turned back into rain. It took forever to get home, but we finally made it. Home Sweet Home.

My mom has been saying for awhile now that her car does not do well in the snow. I declare that her car SUCKS in the snow! I would be trading that car in if it were mine.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


That's what my kids feel when I go to the temple and leave them with Matt, which is what I am doing today. The Booths are coming over this morning to bring Eleanor to her first basketball practice and then a few hours later, Matt will take Emily to her first basketball practice. I'm not sure how that is all going to work out and I'm not sure Matt does either, but I'm sure it will work out. Matt and the kids always do fine when I'm gone, but a part of me wonders if I should leave. I'm going to the temple with my parents. I anticipate a fun, uplifting time. I hope my kids get past being abandoned and have a fun day, too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This and That Thursday

Kate started using the "big potty" last night. Yay! Yesterday, she was using the Dora seat that sits on the toilet, but I encouraged her before bed to just sit on the toilet while I held her, so she did. She used the toilet all by herself this morning. :-) Now we have 7 people using 1 toilet.

Zach, Kate, and Noah have been painting every day this week. Noah paints until he starts bathing in the paint and then he gets cut off.

I love it when cute, 19 month old Noah sees something cute like a dog and says "awww". It is the cutest thing!

There was a bomb threat found at Zoe's school on Tuesday. I wouldn't say that bomb threats happen frequently at the schools here, but they have happened enough that I wasn't shocked when she told me. The threats seem to always be in a bathroom just like the one on Tuesday. The bomb threat was found by one of Zoe's classmates and it was toward the end of the day, so the school was evacuated and then the buses were called to come a bit early to get the students. The buses still had to pick up the students at the other schools, so Zoe didn't get home any earlier than she normally does.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Flat Stanley is back

Flat Stanley has had a few adventures on her own. We brought her over to my parents' house on Saturday...and left her there. She had fun staying the night with Eleanor and Zach. My mom brought Flat Stanley to church on Sunday and she ended up hanging out in the library. My mom is now the assistant librarian, so that is where we can find my mom before and after church and in between classes. When we got to my parents' house after church on Sunday, we realized that Flat Stanley was still in the library. Oops! On Monday, we had the Booths put Flat Stanley in the Primary room where we were reunited last night.

The Activity Day girls are putting together an activity for all of the Primary children, so last night we worked on getting things ready. Zoe made the flyer she is holding. We're glad you're back Flat Stanley! You are currently in the Yukon, we hope you weren't too cold last night. We do enjoy having you around...really we do.

Monday, February 22, 2010

End of Vacation Highlights and Rowing

The end of February vacation has arrived. The girls are in school as I type.

Friday night, the kids and I went to Luiz's baptism. Luiz is one of our primary children who just turned 8. Zoe said the opening prayer at his baptism. There was a yummy spaghetti dinner and birthday cake after the baptism. The kids had fun playing soccer when everything was cleaned up. Zach, Kate, and Noah entertained themselves with different balls. The kids were having so much fun playing and they were getting lots of energy out, so I let them play and we ended up being the last to leave.

Matt went to help out at a stake youth activity on Saturday, so the kids and I went over to my parents' house. Eleanor and Zach stayed behind when the rest of us left to stay the night. Zoe, Emily, and I watched the 6th Harry Potter movie after Kate and Noah went to bed.

Matt stayed home on Sunday with Kate and Noah. Kate woke up coughing and Noah had been coughing throughout the night. The 4 older kids and I went over to my parents' house after church for a yummy ham dinner.

I have a new morning routine. I am getting up at 5am to row and then taking my shower before the kids get up at 6am. I had been getting up at 5:30 to shower before the kids get up. I love getting up before the kids! The rowing worked well in the afternoon when I was only rowing for 3 minutes, but I am up to rowing 20 minutes at a time and that is hard to do with kids around. I'd rather row before the kids are awake so there are no interruptions, plus I prefer to exercise in the morning anyway. I'm too tired at night to row after the kids go to bed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flat Stanley

Zoe received Flat Stanley a few days ago. He was sent by Zoe's cousin, Lily. Zoe was asked to take pictures of Flat Stanley's adventures for a school project and then return Flat Stanley and the pictures in a few weeks. Fun! He has been hanging around the house with us and he had his first outing with us last night. So here is Flat Stanley ice skating. Zoe made cute little ice skates for her.

Notice it is dark. The older 4 kids and I went to the ice rink last night after Matt got out of work. The lights were not on at the rink, maybe due to the fact that it is February vacation or to the fact that the ice is melting and only very determined children like mine skate on it? I promised the kids that they would go skating, so they did. The light of the moon and the light of nearby street lights and building lights gave us just enough light to see where we were going. Emily has improved a lot in her skating since Monday. I was impressed! Night skating is a lot colder than skating during the day. It took me forever to warm up when we got home!

We stopped at the grocery store before coming home. When we got to the checkout, we were jokingly told that we were the one millionth customers and we received 3 FREE inflatable snow tubes. Awesome! I've been thinking about how fun it would be to go sledding with the older kids on a real hill, not just in our backyard, so the tubes are perfect for what we need. Now we just need some new snow.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Use it or Lose it

I've known for awhile that I need to get rid of my aerobic exercise equipment since my body rejects that kind of workout now, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Maybe I would find a modified workout to do that my body would allow or maybe I could just use my weights, plus I would think about the money spent on this equipment.

The last few weeks I have been thinking about using our rowing machine, but I have been out of the habit of exercising for a long time, so I never got past the thinking stage...until yesterday. I set up the rowing machine in the afternoon, waited until the kids all had a turn using it, and then I rowed 500 meters. I loved it! I've rowed a few times before, but I've always been set on doing my aerobic workouts. Not anymore. I am saying goodbye to all of my aerobic equipment. I feel lighter already. :-) It's time to get our moneys worth out of the rowing machine. I also like the fact that the kids love to row, so they will get a workout in every day, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm still me

I have been pondering what Eleanor said to me yesterday when I was cleaning the bathroom..."I can't wait to be a mom!...Moms are always busy...I like to be busy." Hmmm...I hope I am busy doing the right things. I like to putter around the house and clean. I find myself often doing more cleaning and organizing than playing with the kids and spending time with them. A good day is when I make time for both.

Zoe and Emily went with their friends, Caitlin and Cassidy to see "Fantastic Mr. Fox" at the Grand theater yesterday. The Grand offers a $1 movie during vacation week for the kids. :-) They went over to Caitlin's and Cassidy's house after the movie to play and they ate subway sandwiches before coming home. A fun day for Zoe and Emily!

I went to see "New Moon" again last night. This time I went with my parents and my grandmother. It was fun to have a night out. As I was driving home and enjoying my time alone, I was thinking of different things that I like to do. I felt like just me during that time, not a wife, not a mother, just me and it was fun to think about me for a time. That hasn't happened in a long time!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A new appreciation for olympic skaters

We finally made it onto the ice yesterday afternoon! Zoe always wants to go ice skating in the winter, but the calendar fills up and we only find ourselves out on the ice one time each winter.
(Notice Eleanor is down in the corner. She was down more than she was up on her feet!)

Zach did impressively well for his first time on skates. I thought he would be clinging to me, but he was off on his own most of the time. He has really good balance. I'm thinking hockey might be his sport. He was even jumping as he skated. He was starting to lose his balance in the next picture, but he quickly recovered and didn't fall.

We have high hopes to ice skate again on Thursday, so our skates are out and waiting. Ice skating TWICE in one winter...that would be a record for us.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Potty Success and February Vacation

By Friday afternoon, I was getting a bit discouraged with Kate's potty training progress. Then without me knowing, Kate started to poop in her underwear, but then finished on the potty...ALL BY HERSELF! On Saturday, she went poop on the potty again without me knowing. YAY! Saturday and Sunday were accident-free days for Kate! I love it! We brought her potty chair with us to our branch activity Friday night, where we said good-bye to the Wilson family. :-( We also brought her potty chair to church with us yesterday. I'm hoping Kate will progress to using the big toilet this week, but I'm perfectly content with accident-free days using the little potty...even if I have to bring it everywhere we go.

Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor started their February vacation Friday afternoon. My mom took the day off from work, so she came over for lunch and then we played a game of Phase 10. Zoe and Emily went home with my mom to spend the night. They came to the branch activity Friday night and of course they watched one of their Harry Potter movies that they got for Christmas during their sleepover. Zoe and Emily grumble at me because I won't let them lock themselves in the bathroom here at home to watch Harry Potter. My parents took Zoe and Emily to a few High School basketball tournament games on Saturday. That is the big thing around here during February vacation, the basketball tournaments. My kids are looking forward to ice skating this week. I have plans to take the older 4 to the ice rink in town this afternoon and then again Thursday evening. The kids are very excited! Kate and Noah will be staying home with Matt to watch Dora, and Kate will continue to use her potty. :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Potty Training still in progress

I was hoping for an accident-free day yesterday, but it didn't happen. Kate only had a few accidents, though. She is doing really well, she just needs to get over her fear of pooping in the potty.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 2 of potty training Kate

Kate got off to a rough start in the morning with 5 accidents after a success, but the afternoon and evening were accident-free. She had 19 successes!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Day 1 of potty training Kate

Kate had the best 1st day of potty training out of all of the kids so far. I'm sure that is due in part to my experience, but mostly to the fact that she has been unofficially potty training for a year now. She has been watching her Potty Power video on and off for the past year and going on her potty whenever she feels like it for the past year. Yesterday was the 1st day to say that she is 3 years old now and she is wearing underwear, so she needs to pee and poop on the potty all the time, not just when she feels like it. She watched Potty Power after the girls left for school and then she went pee on the potty and started wearing her underwear. She went pee on the potty 11 times, had 3 pee accidents, and 1 poop accident. Zach didn't have any successes on his first day and he was completely potty trained by the end of a week, so Kate is off to a great start!

One new thing I did with Kate was to have a different book waiting for her in the bathroom. When I would tell her it was time to sit on her potty, she would get excited to see which book I would be reading to her while she sat on her potty.

Several times yesterday, Kate said, "I think I need to go pee", so we rushed into the bathroom. We didn't make it a couple of times, with pee gushing out one time as I pulled down her!, but I was happy that she is already recognizing the need to pee.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Kate turns 3!

We had a fun day celebrating Kate's birthday yesterday! Kate was up at 5:30am and Zoe and Emily were prepared to entertain her until Matt and I got up (which was very sweet of them), but they didn't have to wait long because I got up soon after they did. All of the kids had fun playing with the balloons that I had pumped up the night before and they were excited for Kate's day to begin. When everyone was awake, Kate opened her "new" birthday dress and then she opened her new puzzle.

After I took Zoe to her last basketball practice of the season, we all piled in the Yukon and headed to the children's museum. What fun! My favorite part was writing Kate's name with the huge Lite Brite pegs and then taking her picture by it...even though she didn't want to.

As we were leaving the museum, I told Kate we were going to go home so she could open her presents. She humbly replied that she had already opened her presents. It was so sweet!

We were happy to see Grandma & Grandpa's package in the mailbox when we got home. :-)

We ate chicken fajitas for lunch and then my parents arrived for Kate's party.

Who doesn't love money?

The girls spent the rest of the day playing with Kate's new toys, which included additions to their Barbies and their doll house. It was nice that they all played together and got along.

The no toys at the table rule is ignored for the birthday girl.

Kate is a stylin' 3 year old now!

You're a big girl now Kate. Potty training starts tomorrow!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Use it or Lose it

Emily and Eleanor have Valentine parties at school next Friday. They just completed their Valentine cards thanks to the cards we had leftover from past years and my goal to use them. :-)


I have done as planned and I have had snacks ready for the older girls when they get home from school and I have sat at the table with them as we eat and talk. Yesterday, we got talking about riding horses, which led to talking about one of my favorite movies, "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken", which led to eating dinner, getting the house cleaned up (the kids are very good about helping each other clean up their rooms when the reward will be a movie), and getting ready for bed, so we could sit down to watch the movie on Netflix. Matt had his High Council meeting last night. The kids enjoyed the movie, although they thought it was sad. Zoe enjoyed the fact that the movie takes place during the depression since she is studying that period of time in school right now.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I heart the $1 theater

I took the kids to the $1 theater last night to see "The Princess and the Frog". Eleanor has been wanting to see this movie since she first saw the preview for it many months ago. She was supposed to go see it with a friend in December, but that didn't happen, so I've been waiting for it to show up at the $1 theater. I know I said I would leave Noah behind the next time I took the kids to the movie theater, but Matt wasn't going to be home in time to watch him, so Noah came along to. I didn't expect Noah to last through the entire movie, so I was prepared to take him into the lobby when he got restless and have Zoe watch over her siblings, but I was able to stay with the kids for the entire movie. Noah did get restless toward the end of the movie as he climbed in and out of his seat, saying "I stuck" every time he climbed back into his seat as he tried to get his leg out from underneath him. Noah was stressing Zoe out, and I almost took him out at one point, but then he was content to sit in my lap for the remainder of the movie. The kids loved the movie and they enjoyed watching it in the theater.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Number 2

That is Kate's code word for Fiber One.

Lessons from Elizabethtown

1) Life is worth living, even when we experience failure, disappointment, and hardships.

2) We need to make the most of our time NOW that we have with our family and friends. There may not be a tomorrow.

Monday, February 01, 2010


The kids have each been assigned a room to be responsible for this week. When it is cleanup time, they go to the room they are responsible for and they make it neat and tidy. This began last night after family council. Kate is responsible for the kitchen (with my help). She was so excited to pick up the toys in the kitchen and put them away last night. I'm sure the fun of it will wear off, but her enthusiasm was encouraging. The kids like having a specific room to take care of for several reasons 1)Everyone has a responsibility, so the younger kids are expected to help out along with the older kids 2) The chore ends when the room is clean 3) They are able to work at their own pace and 4) They know exactly what their responsibility will be for every day this week. We'll evaluate how this all works out next Sunday during family council.