Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another Day at the Park and Zach's One on One Time

Noah acts like such a big kid at the park now. He is here, there, and everywhere at the park, trying to do everything. Today, this slide was a favorite spot. Here he is at the top...

And here he is at the bottom. All smiles after that fun slide! It is the steepest slide at the park and Noah loves it! Kate was going to go down the slide after Noah, but then changed her mind. It was too steep for her.

Zach and I went out for our one on one time this evening. We had so much fun! We ate dinner at Burger King. Zach was proud to wear his crown, and I was happy that he is still young enough to want to wear the crown. He was my prince for the evening. He is such an angel when he is alone with me...or any other adult in our family.

My prince bought new toys at the Dollar Tree. He also bought a toy at Rite Aid. He had a lot of fun spending his birthday money!

I am loving this one on one time with my kids! I have less than a week to have one on one time with Zoe, Kate, and Noah to complete my goal. It will be done!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Odds and Ends

Zach came home from church a few Sundays ago with pen marks all over his khaki pants. Thank goodness for Gonzo stain remover! It is THE stain remover to have for ink stains. I scrubbed the pen marks with the Gonzo and then washed them right after. No more ink stains. :-)

On the morning of St. Patrick's Day, Zoe couldn't find one of her sneakers anywhere. Weird. Luckily, she had a different pair of sneakers that she could wear since she had gym that day. When the girls were home from school, Zoe noticed her sneaker in the woods near the house. What was her sneaker doing in the woods??? Emily had used it to set her Leprechaun trap in. Oh, of course. I guess Emily was oblivious to Zoe looking for her sneaker that morning because she never said a peep about where it was.

We are all working on a service goal with Emily this week for the Faith in God program. Emily made up her own goal, which involves all of us doing service for each other throughout the week. Each morning, we get assigned someone new to do service for that day and someone new will do service for us. Emily did service for me on Monday morning by setting the table at breakfast time. I was impressed that she was thinking about her goal so early in the morning! It was nice to have her get everything ready for breakfast. Thanks Emily! This is a great goal for us to be doing!

There were robins on our lawn this afternoon. :-) And then it started to snow after I spotted them. It's a light snow that won't stick around, but the kids were quite annoyed that it was snowing when it is Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Zoe is 11!

Zoe checked my blog the other day for her birthday post, but was disappointed when she didn't see it. I know, I know, I've been a blogging slacker lately. I've actually been avoiding the computer because I tend to waste time when I get on here. I now have to write a to-do list for my computer time! I almost didn't blog this evening, but Zoe has waited long enough.

I think Zoe had a good birthday and the celebrations lasted through the weekend. Her birthday was on Thursday. She got ready for school and then opened her card from Jerry and Judy. She loved the little stained glass coloring book they gave her!

I took a photo of Zoe to put on Facebook.

Zoe spent most of her birthday at school. We went to the park after I picked the girls up from school. Usually, Zoe doesn't see any of her friends at the park, so she was thrilled that 4 of her friends (Bella, Mariah, Mercedes, and Eric) were there!

We came home to get ready for our family party. It was a bit rushed because I had a Stake Leadership meeting in Bangor at 7:00, but having said that, I was staying until the end of the party whether I would be late for the meeting or not, so I tried not to rush. We ate one of Zoe's favorite dinners ~ ham, potatoes, squash, and cranberry sauce. Then Zoe opened her presents. She had originally planned to eat cake and then open her presents, but she was too full from our yummy dinner to eat cake right off. The rest of us were, too!

Zoe is at an age where she wants clothes. She wasn't disappointed.

Zoe's birthday cake is getting brighter every year!

Happy Birthday, Zoe!

I left for my meeting after we were all filled with cake. The kids and Matt cleaned up, and then Zoe and Emily got to stay up and watch Zoe's new movie, "Harry Potter #6." They were just finishing up their movie when I got home.

This is the mess that I left Matt with.

I have to admit that breakfast and lunch dishes were part of that mess. It was one of those days that I wasted too much time on the computer. Bad, bad me!

Zoe was going to have her friend, Hailey spend the night Friday, but Hailey hurt her knee on Wednesday, so that didn't work out. Hailey came to the park with us after school on Friday (which wasn't much fun for her as she hobbled around on crutches) and then Zoe went over to Hailey's house for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I had already made plans with my parents to keep the rest of the kids Friday night, so we kept those plans, but Noah stayed home and Zoe stayed over at my parents' house after I picked her up from Hailey's house. Matt and I enjoyed our evening with just Noah and we watched "Motherhood", which I thought was okay. I fell asleep through some of it. One child is so easy when you are used to 6 being around!

Zoe's friend, Morgan spent the night at my parents' house on Saturday with Zoe. Knowing that Morgan was spending the night Saturday, helped with the disappointment of Hailey not spending the night on Friday. We went to get Zoe's 11 year picture done Saturday afternoon and then Zoe and Morgan went home with my mom. I know they watched the first Harry Potter movie, but that's about all I know that they did. I also know that they had a great time together, as usual!

I can't believe Zoe has only 1 more year left in Primary! It's weird to talk about taking Zoe to the temple after her next birthday. She's too young to be talking about big things like that!

Enjoy being 11, Zoe! I'll enjoy being taller than you for just a little bit longer. :-)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back in the crib

Wednesday night, Zoe wanted Noah to sleep with her on the floor. She would like to get rid of the crib to make more space in their room, so it was time for Noah to have a bed on the floor with the rest of them. So Noah slept on the floor. And this is how I found him in the morning.

That does not look comfortable at all! He had a red mark on this forehead when he woke up.

Noah has slept in his crib since. Zoe agreed that he should sleep in his crib because he kicked her all night long and she didn't get much sleep!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

I'll start off by answering Kris's question. Yes, Matt has been released from the High Council, so he is currently without a calling. I keep telling him he would make a great Sunday School teacher. :-)

I recently bought a box of Kix cereal for the kids. Eleanor requested it and her wish was granted. I loved Emily's comment after she had a bowl of Kix a few mornings ago. "Weird. It doesn't taste like anything, but yet it is so good!" Kid tested...Mother approved.

The younger kids received a Dora movie from Netflix at the end of last week and they were so excited to watch it! The excitement turned to disappointment when we noticed that the disc was cracked and it wouldn't play. We sent the movie back and received a new one. The younger kids again were so excited to watch it! We took the movie out of the sleeve...and discovered that disc was cracked, too! It wasn't the same disc because I had just brought the other cracked disc to the post office that morning. This new disc looked like it has a sealant on it to fix the crack, but the sealant wasn't working and the disc wouldn't play. Zach and I decided that it was time to try a different Dora movie. We'll see tomorrow how that turns out.

We enjoyed 58 degree weather yesterday afternoon and we went to the park when the girls got out of school. We all love park days! Several mothers at the park kept commenting on the weather and how unusual it is for March. We are all hoping this weather is here to stay!

Eleanor has a new love for sweeping the kitchen floor. The other night she swept and then declared that she is in charge of sweeping from now on. Before dinner yesterday, Eleanor saw a dirty kitchen floor, got out the broom, and swept. I like it!

Please excuse the way she is dressed. Lately, Kate and Eleanor have been hanging out in their bathing suits when inside. They pretend the living room floor is water.

Noah wanted his picture taken, too.

My almost 11 year old!

I have volunteered to be a softball coach this season. I made the decision at the end of last season when they were looking for coaches for this season. My passion for softball was rekindled last Spring as I watched Zoe play for the first time, and Emily play Farm League, and Eleanor play T-Ball. Now I am nervous, but still excited and willing to do it. I missed the coaches' meeting several weeks ago because I forgot to give the league my new cell #. Last week, I realized they didn't have my new #, so I called the President. I met with Bill, the Vice President of the league last night and filled out the necessary paperwork and received some much appreciated and needed advice about coaching. It was a good meeting. Sign ups are the next two Sundays, which I was told that I needed to be at, but I told Bill that Sundays are not going to work for me and he said okay. I just won't have a say during another coaches' meeting as to who will be on my team. I'm okay with that. We start practicing the first week of April and the games start the first week of May. Zoe and Emily will both be on my team. :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

List Completed

I made a long list this morning of everything I wanted to accomplish today and updating my blog is the last thing on my list to do. Yay! I cleaned half the bathroom before Matt got home and now he is cleaning the rest of the bathroom while I type here. I have the best husband! He wants to watch "Chuck" tonight with me, so that was the motivator to help complete my list.

Taking the girls to school and picking them up has become a routine that we are all getting used to. The younger kids like the ride, but getting them ready to get in the car can be a challenge. They just don't understand that the girls need to be dropped off and picked up at a certain time, so we need to be in the car at a certain time. I'm learning that I need to leave the house earlier so I'm not rushing them so much. The younger kids don't have to get out of the car at all during drop off and pick up, so that makes things easier. They can still be in their pajamas in the morning, so I don't need to worry about getting them all dressed and ready before we leave. I'm getting more errands done as I am out and about in the morning and afternoon, which is nice. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the school. I try not to be late because it is so hard to drive 20 miles an hour in the school zone when I'm in a hurry.

Eleanor and I went out Friday night with my mom and Victoria. I asked Eleanor if she wanted to go with us for her "alone" time and she immediately said yes. At the end of the day, Eleanor said it was the best day ever! We all went to the park in the afternoon. It was in the 50's and such a beautiful day. The girls had a half day, so we spent the rest of the school day at the park (along with many other kids from school). The kids had a great time! So going to the park was the start of Eleanor's best day ever. Then for Eleanor's time, we went birthday shopping for Zoe. We also did some shopping for Eleanor. She got 2 pairs of pants and a stuffed animal. We spent a lot of time in Walmart shopping for Zoe and groceries. Our last stop was at McDonald's around 9pm. It WAS a fun day!

Saturday morning, we all went to the Primary activity that the Activity Day girls planned and carried out. They did a great job! They had a ball/basketball room for the kids to play in as they arrived. Zach took some pictures in this room after he got hit with a ball. It made him feel better.

The kids had fun trying to beat Matt at basketball.

There are more headless and leg shots that I won't post.

When we figured that everyone had arrived, we moved into the activity/food room. The kids earned a prize as they completed each game or activity. The kids ended up with a notebook, pencil, erasers, and a pencil sharpener when they did all the games and activities. Zoe was in charge of making tissue paper flowers with the kids.

Emily was in charge of the "Pin the Hat on the Leprechaun" game. The kids ate green snacks (in honor of St. Patrick's Day; The kids were encouraged to wear green, too) after they finished with the activities and then they went on a scavenger hunt to find some treasure. Each Activity Day girl was in charge of a group and they followed the clues to their treasure. They found chocolate coins at the end of their search. The kids loved the scavenger hunt! So much that they made another scavenger hunt for themselves and wrapped up erasers to find at the end. Later in the afternoon at home, Eleanor put clues around the house for a scavenger hunt. She also made a "Pin the Leaf on the clover" game. This proved to me that the activity was a success!

I spent the rest of Saturday preparing my Sunday School lesson and a Sharing Time for Primary.

It was a busy Sunday, which started with Branch Council at 8am. Zoe went home with Morgan after the activity on Saturday and she spent the night. She was at church early with Morgan and her parents, so she was able to help out with her siblings while I was in my meeting. Matt was in Rockland for his last High Council assignment. I'm glad he is going to be in Ellsworth on Sundays from now on. :-) The younger kids were more interested in playing than listening during Sacrament meeting. Noah was brought into me during Sunday School when there was about 10 minutes left of class because he had a stinky diaper. I almost asked someone to change him for me, but I decided to hold him and change him myself when class was over. I ended my lesson, excused myself before the closing prayer, changed Noah, and then did Sharing Time. It was a crazy day! It was my first day back in Primary and I really enjoyed it. Our Primary kids are awesome!

We left church with Zach crying because he wanted to ride to my parents' house with my parents. Eleanor had gone with them. President Dauk helped me get Noah into the car and he tried to convince Zach that I was just as nice as Grammie (we all know that's not true!) and that riding in our own car would be fun, too. Zach realized he wasn't going to get his way when we were moving, so he went to sleep.

We had a Thanksgiving feast at my parents' house after church with the Elders and it was so yummy! The Elders taught Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor how to draw the 10 commandments out of the numbers 1-10. The girls loved the activity!

I have been feeling lately like I am barely keeping my head above water. That's why I made my list this morning. There were too many things that I needed to do that weren't getting done, so I wrote down everything that has been on my mind to do. And I did them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What do they miss about the bus?

NOTHING! On Monday, I started bringing the girls to school and picking them up after school. We have been having a hard time getting rid of Eleanor's head lice and riding the bus seemed to be keeping the lice around. I don't know if Eleanor's friend that Eleanor sits with on the bus gave Eleanor lice or if Eleanor gave it to her friend, but we have come to the conclusion that they keep passing it back and forth between each other. Every time I think we are rid of the lice, I find more.

Not using the bus is a bit of a pain, but it's nice that the girls don't have to endure long bus rides anymore and they are not surrounded by the chaos of the bus environment. Zoe did tell me yesterday that she does not miss the ride to school at all, but she misses the ride home. She's not sure why...or at least she's not telling me why.

The weather this week has been beautiful. It was warm enough on Monday to go to the park after I picked the girls up in the afternoon. It was Noah's first time going on the big slides! He had so much fun! I will continue to drop the kids off at school and pick them up this year. Then we'll have to decide what to do next year.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Zachary is 5!

Zach had a birthday yesterday. Here he is all dressed up for church. Such a handsome boy!

My parents came over after church to celebrate Zach's birthday with us. We ate lunch and then we had Zach's party.

Zoe made Zach a card and she gave him the dollar that she earned from Matt on Saturday.

Eleanor also made Zach a card and gave him a piece of candy that she brought home from my parents' house on Saturday.

More money from Grammie & Grampie!

Zach saw this Cars computer when we were in Walmart several months ago and he put it on his birthday list. He was very happy to see it when he opened it!

A Webkinz Zum Buddy is on a few of the birthday lists this year and Zach was the first to get one. It is his favorite present!

Zach loves to say that he is 5 now. He is so anxious to start school in the fall. He is ready to learn at school!

Eleanor and Emily at basketball practice

My camera takes crappy pictures in the school gym, so I took some videos of Eleanor and Emily at their basketball practices. I should have gotten closer for some of the videos, but here is a peek at their practices. In the first video, Eleanor is in the middle practicing her dribbling. In the second video, Eleanor makes a basket at the other end of the gym. In the 3rd video, Emily is practicing her shooting technique. She is in a purple t-shirt on the right side toward the other end of gym. She is 5th from the right. At the beginning of the video, she is getting back in line. In the 4th video, Emily is practicing the shooting technique while laying on her back. In the 5th video, Emily is making a basket. Nice shot!

Alone time with Emily

Emily and I spent one on one time together Friday evening. :-) She had mentioned that morning that she wanted a pair of plain blue jeans, so we went shopping and found her a pair of jeans for $.99 at Goodwill. Sweet! Then we went over to the Dollar Tree to buy a birthday gift for Zach. I was willing to take Emily to McDonald's or some other fast food place for a snack or treat, but Emily decided to buy a bag of candy at the Dollar Tree instead. The last store we went to was Walmart where Emily bought Zoe some nail polish for her birthday (I can write that because Emily gave it to Zoe when we got home) and she bought herself some nail polish. She also came up with a birthday wish list at Walmart. We had a fun time and I was happy to start fulfilling my goal of taking each child out for one on one time this month.

Friday, March 05, 2010

How to get your child to smile

Let her/him vacuum!

Zach discovers the fun of bowling

Matt took Zach to Kai and Koa's bowling party yesterday. Zach had a great time bowling! Matt said that when the other kids started wandering off, Zach stayed focused on the bowling. When Matt and Zach were heading home, Matt asked Zach what he liked most about being out with him and Zach did not hesitate to say bowling! Here are some pictures and a video...

Zach is telling me about the bowling right now. He says it was fun to throw balls at the straight things. :-)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Have I mentioned it is our winter to be sick?

I took Kate to the doctor yesterday and found out that she has a Urinary Tract Infection. She has had a fever, hasn't been eating as much as usual, didn't want to go to the bathroom, has been sleeping during the day more than usual, and has just looked like she doesn't feel well. We thought her problem was constipation at first, but then it seemed like more then that was going on. Matt thought that maybe she has a UTI and that made more sense to me than the constipation. We picked up Kate's medicine last night after meeting with Emily's teacher, Mrs. Wight (Emily is doing great in school as usual) and Kate was excited to take her medicine...until she tasted it. We tried forcing it in last night after she refused to drink any more of it, but most of it came back out. She tried drinking it again this morning, but stopped after only a few tiny sips. She asked for some water and then she would take a sip of her medicine and then take a drink of water, which works out better because she's supposed to drink a lot of water with her medicine. It's going to be a long 10 days with this medicine! She is doing better, but she's still not 100%. She's taking a nap (which is unusual for her) as I type.

I have a PTO meeting tonight. I volunteered to count BoxTops, so the last few days have been spent doing just that. $215 later, I am done. Zoe helped a bit and even Noah tried to help, but was not helpful most of the time. I did discover though that he knows his numbers as I said 1 and then he would say 2 and then I would say 2 and he would say 3 and so on. I was impressed! The PTO wanted a count before the meeting tonight, so I was happy to complete the task last night.

We disconnected our phone the other day. We were paying a lot for just local calls, no voicemail, and no caller ID. Matt and I both have cell phones, which we can use to call anywhere, they have voicemail, and the caller's number shows up, so it made more sense just to use them. We have a crappy phone, too, so I don't miss using it.

I found Kate reading to Noah this morning. It was so sweet!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Be a Real Friend

It is a new month, so I will be working on a new goal from President Ezra Taft Benson's address To the Mothers of Zion.

"Be a Real Friend. Second, mothers, take time to be a real friend to your children. Listen to your children, really listen. Talk with them, laugh and joke with them, sing with them, play with them, cry with them, hug them, honestly praise them. Yes, regularly spend unrushed one-on-one time with each child. Be a real friend to your children."

This is an important goal and habit to have. I am not the greatest listener when my children are talking to me. I often say "what" after they say "Mom", but then I only catch half of what they say. Am I the only one who says yes to something and then wonders what I just said yes to? Or I say "uh-huh" when I really don't know what they just said to me. I am going to work on making eye contact with whoever is talking to me and really pay attention to what is being said. Then I will respond with a comment.

I think I do a good job spending time with my children. We don't get as much one-on-one time as I would like, though, so this month I am going to take each child out for one-on-one time. I am looking forward to it!

I am going to do better at praising my children as I focus on their good choices as much as I focus on the bad ones. The bad choices get noticed a lot more than the good ones, unfortunately.

I am so blessed to have 6 children. I often wonder what our relationships will be like when they are grown. Well, what I do now, will determine what those relationships will be like. I want to be friends with my children.