Saturday, April 30, 2011

This made my day

Was it getting to sleep in?
Was it working in the garden with the kids?
Was it seeing Matt working on the mud room?
Was it the sunshine?
Was it eating lunch with my family?
Was it watching the younger kids ride their new strider bike?
Was it pushing Noah on the swing?
Was it telling Eleanor that she couldn't bring the worms she collected from the garden into the house to measure and name them.

It was getting the word that the hummingbirds are back, so I filled our feeder and I saw a hummingbird! This has been the first time ever that I have seen a hummingbird the same day that I put the feeder out. Usually, I put the feeder out the 1st of May, but I don't see a hummingbird until a week or so later. I am so happy to have my hummingbirds back!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Eating with the Bugs

We enjoyed such a beautiful day today! It was a sunny Friday after a week of clouds and rain, sweet! After swinging and playing outside, we decided it would be fun to have a picnic. Kate was a bit concerned about all the bugs around, but we managed to make it through our entire lunch without any bug attacks on anybody or the food. :-) There was one bug on the ground that I had to move away from Kate and send it in the opposite direction, but there were no other worries.

It was so sunny that Kate couldn't look my way for a picture. Too bright!

We moved into the shade where it was a bit cooler. Yay for finally having weather where we have to find shade! Kate still had to shield her eyes, and notice Noah copying Kate.

Kate tolerated one more picture while Noah dug into the food!

I took the kids to the park after school. It's fun to be at the park when friends are there and we saw several of our friends there today. :-)

Matt and I have been having a weekly datenight, which is AWESOME! It's always a fun end to a busy week.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Emily's Outing & Eleanor's Tooth

Emily went to her first Activity Days last night without Zoe. Even though Zoe turned 12 in March and has moved on to Young Women's, she has been coming to Activity Days with Emily. The girls helped decorate a little for a baby shower that was supposed to happen this evening (it was postponed since the Mom-to-be (Ariel) was in the hospital having her baby!) and they also made yummy smoothies. I'm not sure why we haven't made smoothies here at home, but we should definitely start.

It was fun to have one on one time with Emily after the activity. We ate dinner at Friendly's before coming home. Emily has one more Activity Days by herself before Eleanor turns 8 and starts coming to the activities with us.

Speaking of Eleanor. She has a loose tooth...a loose tooth that has been barely hanging on for MONTHS. It has been loose for so long that her adult tooth has grown in and she now has 3 front teeth. Today, she was faking us all out by smiling just enough to make us think that she finally lost her tooth, BUT THEN she would smile bigger and reveal her loose tooth turned up on her top gum. It grossed many of us out. Eleanor thought it was hilarious!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pictures of Noah...& The Easter Bunny

Noah loves to have his picture taken. Here are a few pictures that I took when he asked me to get my camera and take a picture of him. How could I refuse this darling face?

I had to capture this sweet moment this morning.
This Easter Bunny has been hanging out on our lawn the past few days. I insist that it is a wild rabbit, but Kate insists that it is the Easter Bunny and that I should let him in the house since he has already been in our house before!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back to the School Routine

I am back to being productive and it feels great! I have been struggling lately with the responsibility of cleaning/organizing our home and taking care of/spending time with the kids. When I am cleaning/organizing, I feel like I should be spending more time with the kids and when I am spending time with the kids, I look around and see all the cleaning/organizing that needs to get done and I feel guilty for not doing it. Today, I decided to go by a schedule that would allow me to do both without feeling any guilt. I knew I had made time for both and it was great! Oh, how I wish I could wave a magic wand and have everything in my home be clean and neat. *Sigh* Instead, I have to work on it a little bit at a time and that drives me nuts! I want it all done at once. When I start cleaning/organizing, it is very hard to stop, so I don't. Then I feel bad for neglecting the kids...and the house still looks messy and grimy, which is discouraging. Anyway, scheduling time today to play and work was a huge help and I plan on keeping up with a schedule. Every day will be different, but every day will have a plan. Matt is so great about making a schedule with the kids when he is in charge of them, so I decided to try it. I'm hooked.

Kate and I played with playdoh this morning. We made this frog (with the remaining gross colored playdoh that we have...note to self ~ Buy new playdoh!). Kate wanted me to take a picture of it and post it on my blog. Tah dah...
You can't see the frog very well, but you can see Kate's beautiful face. :-)
We also made this flower.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

The Easter Bunny did not disappoint this morning.

Eleanor didn't feel like hunting for eggs when she woke up. She was content to have her siblings hand her eggs as they found some for her.

Noah was the last to wake up and he didn't care about hunting for eggs either. We showed him his Easter bucket and he was content.

After the sugar high, we went to church to celebrate the true meaning of Easter.

We had dinner together as a family when we got home and then my parents came over for a visit.

We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" this evening. Noah fell asleep while cuddling with Zoe. So sweet!

We had a very nice Easter, and I hope you did, too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

We have had a lazy vacation week. Usually, I am ready to be on the go during vacation, but that has not been the case this week. Plus, Eleanor wasn't feeling great at the beginning of the week and she still has a nasty cough. Zoe wasn't feeling great yesterday, but she perked up right before softball practice. We did make it to Ellsworth on Tuesday to play at the awesome school playground there. The kids fight over this swing...

On Wednesday we went back to Ellsworth to see "Megamind" at the Grand. It worked out perfect to go see "Megamind" since Emily wanted to rent the movie this week and watch it.

Matt went to the temple today. I spent the day getting things ready for church tomorrow, getting an Easter package ready for a neighbor, taking care of the kids, and coloring Easter Eggs with the kids. They are getting quite creative with their eggs as they get older.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Painting over Eleanor

The kids and I painted one side of the hall on Saturday and then I painted the other side yesterday. It was nice to hear the kids say, "Nobody write on the walls!" after their hard work of painting and seeing the clean, white wall. Little artists just can't resist writing on the walls around here.

I painted over this artwork yesterday that Eleanor drew several years ago and then wrote her name above it. The artists can't seem to resist signing their artwork when they have learned how to write their name. :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Details of our Week

1st softball practice was fun and successful :-) I have 6 girls who are interested in pitching. Fortunately, they are all willing and interested in playing other positions as well.

We rushed home after practice to get Emily and Eleanor dressed for Kids in Motion.

See how nicely folded the programs were. :-)

Each grade wore a certain colored shirt to represent a country. Emily's grade (4th) wore black for France. Eleanor's grade (2nd) wore red for Italy. Emily's class played Frere Jacques on the recorder and then sang the song. Emily sang nice and loud during the round of singing. Eleanor's class did the Tarantella Dance. Eleanor loves to perform, so she had a great time dancing in front of the crowd.

The props were all done in art classes and they were amazing!
This hat was brought out during the Mexican Hat Dance.

Eleanor used this tambourine that she made during her dance.
The tarantula was brought out during the Tarantella Dance.

I didn't get a picture of the Eiffel Tower made out of newspaper.

A rainy, rainy day. We went to church in the evening for our annual Easter Potluck/Egg Hunt. We had a lot of Scout families attend, which was great and we had a good turn out from the branch members as well. The kids had a great time looking for eggs (the hunt was inside this year because of the rain) and then seeing what goodies were inside. :-)


We had another fun and successful softball practice.

Matt, Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and Zach went to the church after practice to clean. My Mom came over with Chinese Food to share with me, Kate, and Noah. Yum! We worked on some kid puzzles together...we're still in the process of making puzzles to weed out the ones with missing pieces. Remember I started this project last week? Matt treated the older kids to McDonald's before they came home.

The kids had a half day of school and then April Vacation started! Zoe's friend, Emily hung out with us all afternoon. We went to the softball field, so Zoe could practice pitching. We had our first ice cream of the season from the Dairy Port. It was so cold out, but we went for ice cream anyway. Then we went to the park where the younger kids played and Zoe pitched some more.

Matt and I went to Pizzeria Uno in the evening. It is always so nice to have datenight to look forward to!

The kids and I worked on beautifying our old home...

Notice the paint in Kate's hair?

While Matt worked on our new home...

Matt is building a temporary hall from the trailer to what will be our new mudroom. Exciting! It will be a slow building process, but at least it is a work in progress! The mudroom will be the start of our new house. The plan is to keep building on to the mudroom until we can completely move in to our new house and then we will get rid of the temporary hall and trailer. :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Now What?

After a stressful week of getting ready for the PTO Spaghetti Supper and Women's Conference, what do I have on my mind now? Softball and Kids in Motion programs. I'm hoping to have our first softball practice tomorrow and I will pick up the Kids in Motion programs after school today to fold this evening. Depending on my energy level and motivation, I will get the programs all done tonight, or I will just get the ones done for Tuesday night's performance and then do Wednesday night's performance programs Tuesday/Tuesday night, and then Thursday night's performance programs on Wednesday/Wednesday night.

It has also been on my mind lately how insanely busy I have been with non-family, non-church activities and it is time to simplify my life. At the last PTO meeting, the president announced that she will be stepping down from her role as President and I mentioned that I will no longer be the secretary after this year. That was an easy decision. The hard decision was deciding to give up coaching softball. This will be my last season. When I began coaching last year, I really thought I would be coaching for 10+ years, so I could coach all of my girls. As I write this, I am doubting my decision to quit. I know it's the best thing to do, but I'm having a hard time letting softball go. I plan on being involved in some way, just not as a head coach. There are several things that I will not miss about coaching and if I focus on those things, the decision is easier.

Now a little about my weekend. The PTO Spaghetti Supper Friday night was very well attended and was a huge success. I was there from 5-8pm to help out where needed. We had a Chinese Auction and a popular item among the children was a bucket full of candy and toys. Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor came to the supper with my Mom and Grandmother, so the girls put tickets in the bucket for the candy/toys...of course. Guess who won it...

It was quite humorous to bring this bucket of STUFF home the night before my decluttering class. :-) We are taking a few toys out each day to play with and the kids can have one piece of candy per day. Eleanor has been very good about sharing her bucket of fun.

My "Use it or Lose it" classes at Women's Conference on Saturday went well. I taught the class twice. I think the first class went better because we had more time and covered most of what I had prepared. I enjoyed sharing motivating quotes with the class and some of my experiences. Here is one of the quotes I shared.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." ~William Morris
Decluttering is an ongoing process and I'm always searching for motivation. I'll continue to share here what I shared with my class in future posts. Maybe I'll dedicate a post to this subject.

Saturday night, Matt and I had a much needed and much enjoyed datenight at Bugaboo Creek! :-)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Special Time

Kate, Noah, & I ate lunch yesterday at McDonald's with Great Grammie. Fun!

Last night, Zach & I went to Walmart to have his picture taken. He was full of smiles and he had a great time. We stopped at Burger King for dinner. So much for eating healthy this week! We also stopped at the Dollar Tree, so Zach could spend his last $1 from his birthday money.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Just Like Daddy

Matt left for work yesterday dressed in his khaki pants, shirt, and tie. Noah immediately went to find his shirt and tie when he noticed what his daddy was wearing. Noah also noticed that daddy was wearing a belt, so Noah found Zach's belt to put on. So adorable!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

On the Road Again

The kids have taken the bus to school and back home again the past few days because the Yukon has been in the shop. Kate LOVES it when the kids take the bus because it means she doesn't have to get in the car to drop them off in the morning and then get back in the car in the afternoon to go pick them up. Having the kids take the bus makes for a long day for me, however. The kids head out the door at 6:50am and they get home a little after 3pm. That is a long stretch at home with Kate and Noah. The good news is that for the first time in a long time, I got ALL of the laundry done on Monday. I've been wanting to get into this habit again, but it just doesn't happen when there are piles and piles of laundry and 6 hours between drop off and pick up to accomplish it. If I can keep up with the laundry now, I could have all of the laundry done next Monday as well. That is a BIG IF.

So, I had all of today to work on my class, but did I? Nope. Well, I worked on it a little, but I spent most of my day making puzzles. It started out as spending time with Kate making puzzles, but it turned into cleaning out/organizing the puzzle box. I guess I would much rather ORGANIZE than prepare to TALK about organizing.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Softball Fever

We had a softball meeting this evening. The thought of softball in addition to my Women's Conference class this Saturday and a PTO Spaghetti Supper Friday night was stressing me out, but now I am super excited! The supper and my class will be done and over with before softball really begins, but it's just one more thing that is on my mind. As coaches, we're not sure when we will actually get out on the field, but it should be soon since our first game is May 7th. I am happy with the girls that are on my team this year. I think they will work hard and be a close team. Go Crookers!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Time To Get Serious

We have had a great weekend listening to our modern day prophet and apostles. Tomorrow, I will start putting together all of my thoughts and information for my Women's Conference class that I am teaching on Saturday. My topic is "Use it or lose it". We will be talking about using what we own and getting rid of the items that we don't use. If you have any tips or online resources, let me know!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

General Conference...Love It!

We asked the kids last week during Family Council what would help them be quiet during conference. A conference tent was requested and their wish was granted.

They also wanted to pick a word to listen for and earn candy for each time they heard the word and stated out loud that they heard the word. We did this last year and had one word per session for all the kids to listen for. This year, we had each child pick their own word, so the younger kids couldn't say they heard the word spoken in conference when really they just heard older siblings say that they had heard the word and then the younger kids claimed to have heard it, too. Zach sat through the entire 1st session this morning listening for his word FAITH. The 1st session today was definitely the best we have ever had with the kids. Zoe listened for her word and was prepared to write in her church journal. Emily and Eleanor listened for their word as well. Kate and Noah played quietly. Zoe is experienced enough with conference that she knew if she picked the word TEMPLE during the 1st session and CHURCH during the second session that she would hear those words A LOT and she did. Emily picked the HOLY GHOST during the 1st session, but only heard it twice, so she picked JESUS for her 2nd session word. They are going to be expected to pick less frequent words tomorrow.

Also during Family Council last week, the kids had requested a visit to the park in between sessions. Due to the snow we received yesterday, we ended up going outside to shovel, sled, have snowball fights, and play in the snow.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Joke's On Us

We expected today to be a snow day, but the site we checked on the internet this morning didn't have our schools listed as closed. We got the kids ready for school and Matt dropped them off. At least I thought he had dropped them off, but then I heard their voices outside. When they came in, Zoe told me that while she was walking Zach into his school, a mom we know drove by and told Zoe that school had been cancelled. I checked the site again and sure enough, no school.

It is a winter wonderland outside.