Saturday, October 30, 2010

Matt is home!

My "single mothering" days are over. :-) I think overall things went well. I took one day at a time and I stayed busy, which wasn't hard! The kids had their moments, but I think they were well behaved and helpful most of the time.

Having Matt away for so long reminded me of how much he does when he is home. He is a very helpful husband and we work as a team during the evenings. One of us will clean up the kitchen after dinner, while the other one gets the kids ready for bed. Matt is home most evenings, which is such a blessing! I had very little free time during the evenings while Matt was gone. The kids went to bed later and by the time the kitchen was clean, it was time for me to go to bed.

I've been doing well getting 7 hours of sleep every night. 7 hours is enough for me to not feel tired and grumpy during the day. I'm in a routine of being in bed by 10:25pm and I'm up at 5:25am. I even stick to this schedule on the weekends. The consistency has been great for my body, mood, and overall health. I think this habit is helping my success with my "no yelling" habit, which is going great, too. In the last 8 weeks, I have yelled at my kids once. That happened when they were outside and they were about to spray each other with the hose when they were all dressed and it was cold outside. I was inside yelling at them through the window. They really didn't see anything wrong with their plan, but I knew the work they were about to produce for me!

My Mom was super helpful while Matt was gone. She took Friday and Monday off from work, so I was able to spend those days with her. That helped the days to go by faster and it gave me a break from my routine. Kate and Noah loved being at "Grammie's house" and the older kids loved going there after school on Friday. On Monday, we picked the kids up from school and then we went to Friendly's. That was a nice treat because when we got home, everyone was full and ready for Family Home Evening.

My Mom watched the kids Wednesday night, while I took Zoe and Emily to Activity Days. The girls briefly worked on another Christmas gift to give away and then we talked about President Monson's talk about gratitude. I came away from the activity motivated to be more thankful and to focus more on what I have than on what I don't have. I have much to be thankful for!

My Mom came over Thursday evening to play a game of Phase 10 and then I went to pick up Matt from the airport. Yay! Then my Mom came over last night, so Matt and I could go out on datenight. We went to Pizzeria Uno. We used to go to Pizzeria Uno so much that the workers knew us, but we don't go there very often anymore. It was funny to have the hostess ask us last night if we've ever been to Pizzeria Uno before. We really haven't been there for awhile because I discovered last night that they don't have my favorite strawberry cheesecake anymore! That is just wrong.

The kids had a half day at school yesterday. Eleanor was the only one who had a party where she could dress up in her costume. She dressed up as a witch. They had an orange party where all the food and drinks were orange. Emily's class made a witch's brew. Each child brought in a dry ingredient to add to the brew. They had to come up with a name for their ingredient. Emily brought in bat droppings (craisins). Zach had a special snack. Usually, the kids are not allowed to share snacks, so Zach thought it was so neat that everyone was bringing snacks to share. They had a mix of Halloween goodies and healthy food. Zach brought in grapes in his Halloween bucket. Zoe had a purple and gold assembly. She has not outgrown the Halloween fun yet, so she would have preferred a Halloween party to the assembly, but she still had fun.

Emily and Eleanor went over to Daisy's and Anna's Grandma's house after school yesterday. I brought Zoe, Zach, Kate, and Noah to the park. There were a bunch of teenagers at the park who made me so thankful that my children are being brought up with standards, morals, and values!

Noah made it into our local paper this week. He is the very cute Dalmatian.

I hope everyone has a fun Halloween weekend!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The kids and I participated in a few of the Ghostport activities today in town. We all dressed up in costumes and walked in the Halloween parade down Main Street. I was going to take pictures, but I left my camera in the car. Dang! Zach was a big hit in the NASCAR costume. I'm so glad it ended up fitting him! After walking in the short parade, the kids ate brunch at the gazebo, which was sponsored by the PTO. We started out at the gazebo, but we ended up going to the car to eat because it was so cold and windy! I bought the kids hot chocolate at the Dairy Port after they ate.

Some people were buying ice cream, but I thought that was just CRAZY! It was way too cold for ice cream.

We wanted to see the coffin races (the first picture is the Dairy Port's coffin), but they weren't until the afternoon, so we went home. Eleanor was not going back out in the cold after we were in our warm home! I was content to be home, too.

Zoe had her last soccer game on Monday and then she had a Halloween party/Awards Night on Thursday. She went as a French Artist.

I am enjoying these few weeks before basketball begins!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Heart Goodwill

Kate woke up yesterday in a pigtail mood. Her hair is getting so long! She talks about getting it cut, but then she changes her mind. Check out her awesome Halloween leggings!
Kate, Noah, and I went to the museum yesterday to make paper monsters and to play. Noah's monster is flying!

We went to a park to play after the museum. It was such a beautiful day! After we picked the kids up from school, we went to a different park. The younger kids and I were tired out when we finally got home!

Look at today's awesome Goodwill find! I think it's going to be too big for Noah and too small for Zach this year, but I could be wrong about Zach. He still fits in a costume that he wore 2 years ago.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clowning Around

I dug out the Halloween costumes today and we also went over to Orland Costume Closet where we borrowed some costumes. We are not going with our awesome family themed costumes this year, hopefully next year. Time and money were not on our side this season. After getting our costumes out, I realized that we have accumulated quite a few costumes and the kids are more than happy to wear them over and over, so I need not stress about costumes. The older kids did pick up some new ideas and costumes at the Costume Closet, which is also fun. Zoe is going to be an artist, Emily is going to dress old fashioned style, and Eleanor and Zach are going to be rock stars! Zach doesn't have a complete costume, so we'll have to work on that, but they both have toy guitars (which no longer make sounds :-) that they love! Kate has quite a few options, so I'm not sure what she'll end up being, but she was leaning toward the butterfly costume. Noah could be a dog or a lion. The kids had tons of fun trying on costumes this afternoon!

The kids watched a new Scooby Doo movie before bed tonight. When I walked into the living room where they were watching the movie, I found Kate cuddling with Noah. It was so sweet! It seemed like she was trying to comfort Noah, so she could be comforted herself. I tried to capture the moment, but of course they moved right before I took the shot.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Starting where I left off

I am in the zone for this round 2 of Game On. I had a perfect first week and I am going for a perfect 2nd week. I was craving Chinese food on Thursday, so I took a meal off that night and went to Ming's Garden with my Mom after Visiting Teaching. It was so yummy and we had a nice, quiet dinner together. :-)

Emily went on a field trip with her class to Acadia National Park on Thursday. She was so excited to go on a field trip! Emily hasn't had nearly as many field trips as Zoe, so she has been a bit bitter about that. Fortunately, Emily's class has quite a few field trips planned for this year, so I think that will make up for the lack of field trips in the past.

It rained, rained, rained on Friday. Without thinking about the weather, I scheduled an appointment to have Noah's 2 year picture taken on Friday. I thought about canceling the appointment after I realized it was going to be a rainy, windy day, but I decided to forge ahead and get his picture taken anyway. I managed to keep Noah dry and looking good, so I'm glad I did it. He should have had his picture taken in July, but due to procrastination and then all of his injuries, it finally happened 3 months later. Yay for completing another year of pictures!

Matt and I watched "When In Rome" Friday night. I thought it was funny! There were a lot of fun characters in the movie and the story was different. The movie was very entertaining.

It was a bit rainy on Saturday morning, but not rainy enough to keep the kids off the field for the last day of rec soccer. The teams played three 15 minute games, so Matt went to watch 2 of the games, while I stayed home with the younger kids. Then Matt came home, so I could go watch the end of the final game and stay for the luncheon/award ceremony. This was Zoe's last year playing for the rec league, so she received a trophy (an annoying trophy because part of it spins and makes an annoying sound!). When Zoe started the rec league in 3rd grade, Penny was her coach and Penny has coached every year since then. This was Penny's last year coaching, so Emily and Eleanor will have a new coach next year. We know who the new coach will be and we are so excited that the girls are going to have another great coach! For some reason, I have the desire to be in charge of the concession stand next year, so I told Richard that I will do it next year. Nobody volunteered to do the concession stand this year, so they didn't have one and we missed it. Zoe is looking forward to helping me next season.

I had an interesting conversation with Kate the other day.
Kate: "What am I going to be when I grow up?"
Me: "What would you like to be?"
Kate: "I'd like to be a Mom."
Me: "That is a good plan."
Kate: "Because Mom's have big flip flops!"

I overheard Zach and Eleanor talking about how busy Moms and Dads are. Then Zach comes up to me and states that he knows why Matt and I stay up after the kids go to bed..."because you need to get done all the things you need to." It was so cute how proud he was that he had figured out why we stay up later than the kids do. :-)

Kate and Noah are doing a great job staying in the chapel during Sacrament meeting. It is so nice!

Matt has been busy getting things done at work before he leaves on his pheasant hunting trip on Tuesday. He has a few more things to do at work and home, but he can see the light at the end of the tunnel and he is getting excited to see his family. It will hard here without him, but I'm glad he has this opportunity to be with his family. I'll have a temple trip to look forward to after he gets back. :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The kids enjoyed making boats at the museum on Monday. We tested them out on the museum's lake and they all float!

Noah was excited to find a caterpillar at the museum, which was really a piece of pipe cleaner. I was happy to let him play with the "caterpillar" that he couldn't kill.

Zoe came home from her sleepover very excited about the costume idea that she and Morgan came up with for the Branch Halloween activity. Zoe is going to be Miley Cyrus and Morgan (who is blonde) will be Hannah Montana. Morgan's older sister dressed them all up in her clothes and accessories to find the perfect outfits, which I think is so sweet! I'm excited to see them in costume!

Zoe has had 2 away games the past 2 days and the kids and I have gone to both of them. Matt went to the game today. The kids loved yesterday's game because there was a playground right next to the soccer field. Zoe is improving every game. Her coach sees great potential in her, so he has her trying out different positions and she's playing more than I thought she would. She came so close to scoring a goal today. The goalie caught the ball and then let go of the ball, but then caught it again. So close! Zoe's team has lost most of their games, so it was fun to see them win today. Yay!

Zoe, Emily, and I had a quick stop at home to grab a bite to eat before heading to church for Activity Days. The girls are working on Christmas presents for family members. The girls enjoyed making what they made this evening. I enjoyed helping out and not being in charge. I'll be in charge in December.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meeting with teachers to Waking up early

Matt and I met with Emily's teacher, Mrs. Wardell and then Zoe's teacher, Mrs. Williams on Thursday. Both of the girls are doing great in school, as usual. :-)

We cooked some of Kate's corn on Thursday night. Kate planted the corn and loved watching it grow! The corn was small, but it was delicious!

Zoe had a fun soccer practice Friday night. The boys and girls scrimmaged against each other and then they had a barbecue. Zoe had a lot of fun!

Matt and I enjoyed a night out Friday night. We ate dinner at Bugaboo Creek, which was delicious!

Eleanor had her last soccer practice on Saturday morning. It was FREEZING! I'm glad I didn't bring any kids with me because it was so cold. An hour later, I bundled up the kids to watch Zoe and Emily play their soccer game. The sun was out by then, so it was much warmer and the kids shed their layers. I would rather have them overdressed than underdressed! Zoe scored a goal during the game and Emily played a lot on the front line and did a great job!

Matt wanted to go to the game, but he stayed home to meet up with an electrician. We had been dealing with flickering lights and our power going on and off for awhile and we finally got it fixed. Yay!

Matt and I celebrated our 1st date anniversary on Saturday, October 9th (which is also my sister, Donna's birthday). We met 14 years ago. We didn't have much of a celebration together since I went out with my Mom and Grandmother to see "Eat Pray Love". I thought the movie was very good and I'd like to read the book now, which I assume will be so much better than the movie. Does anyone know if that is true?

Zoe went over to Morgan's house after church yesterday to spend the night and she is still there. I am now going to get ready to take the kids to the museum to play and make boats. They are very excited! Eleanor woke up early this morning not feeling well because she was so excited. Emily and Zach got up early with her. Emily, Eleanor, and Zach were up and dressed before 5:30 this morning. That is crazy! I am now finding out that they had planned to get up at 5:30, so they set the alarm on the nintendo. They ended up waking up before the alarm went 4:25! Eleanor felt better as the morning went on, which we figured she would. I'm thinking these 3 are going to fall asleep early tonight!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


The leaves don't get into a pile by themselves!
Noah and Kate discovered they could bring leaves over to the pile by dragging the rake behind them.

Happy Fall!

Sleeping Beauty

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The past few days

I can't seem to get back on track of blogging every day. So, here is a recap of the past several days.

Sunday morning, Matt and I picked the kids up from my parents' house and headed to church for a potluck brunch and to watch the 1st session of conference for the day. Diane and Stan Brewer were at the brunch! They served a mission in our branch 7 or 8 years ago and we have kept in touch with them since they left. They are visiting Maine for the week and I'm so glad they came to our brunch to visit with all of us.

We came home to watch the last session of conference. My parents stayed home for both sessions and that was a great plan for them since they watched both sessions on Saturday with our noisy family AND they had our kids overnight. They earned a quiet day at home watching conference!

I spent the day yesterday getting rid of bags of clothes at Goodwill, a friend's house, and some bags made it into my parents' attic. It would have felt better if I hadn't brought back home some bags from the attic. There is always a constant flow of clothes coming in and out of this house! I am grateful for the bags and bags of clothes that we have, though.

On the way to soccer practice yesterday, Zoe decided to take pictures of herself with my camera. She took some good shots of herself!

The camera then got passed around the car and different children captured different shots.

Silly, silly children!

Matt needed the Yukon today, so my Dad gave me a ride to Ellsworth this morning, so I could make it to my Primary Presidency meeting. I not only have a wonderful mother, but a wonderful father as well. I am so blessed! My Mom stayed home from work today, so Kate, Noah, and I spent the rest of the morning and some of the afternoon with my Mom. That was nice. I wasn't sure how Zoe was going to get home from her soccer game this afternoon, so it worked out perfectly to have my Mom go watch the game, bring Zoe to McDonald's, and then bring Zoe home.

I spent some time in the garden when we got home. The deer have been around lately (we hadn't seen them much during the summer), so it is time to get our crops in before the deer eat it! Here is a picture of some of the food that I brought in. That is lettuce in between several of the pumpkins. There is 1 ear of corn to represent the bag of corn that we have. Kate is so proud of her corn! She had fun playing with the worms that we found as I pulled up the corn stalks.

We are so excited to have 4 pumpkins! We had many pumpkin blossoms, but no pumpkins would grow at first. We finally saw 1 pumpkin growing and thought that would be it. We were happy to have 1 pumpkin growing and we had fun watching it grow. Then we discovered another one, and another, and another one. Yay! We plan on having a separate pumpkin patch next year.

I went to the grocery store this evening and stocked up on Game On food. We start another round tomorrow. I'm ready to get back to healthy eating and living!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Foot Night

It was a rainy Friday yesterday, so I spent most of the day cleaning/organizing part of the kitchen. Notice the buckets beside Emily in this picture? I got rid of the buckets that were filled with art supplies, dish cloths, paper products, saran wrap, boxes of jambalaya, and miscellaneous treasures of Matt's...

and we now have these organizers which look so much better and are easier to get to.

I also got rid of Noah's blue chair, so he is using the wooden high chair that Kate was using and now Kate has been promoted to a big chair. Kate and Noah are both happy about that.

It was a morning at the soccer field today. Eleanor had practice at 9am. I brought Zoe, Emily, and Zach with me. Zoe and Emily wanted to stay at the field until their 11:30 game to watch the 10:15 game, so we did. Matt had Kate and Noah at home with him while he did some simplifying/organizing in the shed. I love it when Matt is in a simplifying/organizing mood! Between the 2 of us, we have been getting rid of bags and bags of stuff. YAY! Matt, Kate, and Noah came to the field at 11:30 to watch Zoe and Emily play. The game ended in a tie with Zoe scoring the only goal.

We went to my parents' house to watch General Conference. Conference had started an hour earlier, but my parents had recorded the session, so we started watching it from the beginning when we got to their house. That left us with an hour before the 2nd session when the 1st session ended. The kids did really well today. They usually do on Saturday. We had food out for everyone to munch on during the sessions and the kids colored and played with quiet toys.

When the 2nd session was over, Matt and my Dad left for the Priesthood potluck/Priesthood session and I left to meet up with friends who played the first round of The Game On Diet, plus a few more friends as well. We met at In Good Hands where we enjoyed foot massages and yummy food. We enjoyed talking and soaking our feet in hot water as we ate and waited for our massage. It was very relaxing and a lot of fun! My sweet mother made it possible for me to have this time with friends. What makes her even sweeter is that she is keeping the kids overnight. I am home alone right now! :-)