Monday, April 30, 2012

Hot or Cold

Noah decided to test the iron this morning to see if it was hot or cold. He received his answer immediately and burned his thumb. I put ice on it and then I dug out the burn cream. I was glad that I kept the burn cream and bandages, especially since I am in a "everything must go" decluttering mood!

Kate, Noah & I went on a lovely walk along the waterfront this afternoon. The sun was shining, there were lots of wish flowers (dandelions) to pick and make wishes on & I remembered coins to throw into the fountain.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Something in the air

Matt went to a unit conference in Brewer today and the rest of us went to church in Ellsworth. I had the thought this morning that Matt should take Noah with him, but I never suggested it to Matt. During Sacrament meeting when Noah was whiny, which was for most of the meeting, my Mom leaned over to me and said that Noah should have went with Matt! In Primary, I taught Emily's class and that went pretty well. Then I filled in for Kate & Noah's class and not too far into the lesson Kate let me know that it was the worst class ever! She was a mean, grump for most of the class. My Mom taught Zach's class and that was a challenge! Usually, Zach is still and quiet, but not today. He wasn't the only one. It was a tough day for us Primary leaders! The good news is that the Sunday after a tough one is usually better.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Some dreams DO come true

I took our girls to see the Cinderella Ballet this afternoon at Peakes Auditorium in Bangor. I had a thought earlier in the day to ask our friend Jessica and her daughter Alea to go with us. Jessica knew about it and I found out that Alea really wanted to go, but they weren't planning on going since Justin was out of town and wouldn't be around to watch the younger kids. I offered to have Alea come with us and it worked out that Alea & her friend Bella were able to watch the ballet with us. Yay! It made me happy that Alea's dream came true today!
The best part of the ballet was... The "horses" (Zoe). I liked the horses, too. They were cute and they tap danced! The step sisters (Emily). They were funny! I can't remember what Eleanor said, but I do remember her getting teased by her older sisters about liking the prince. I don't recall Eleanor ever denying that... The "Fireflies" (Kate) I thought the "pumpkins" were cute, too. Eleanor & Kate have been dancing around all evening. Kate loved the ballet, but now she is ready to see a play with talking! I'm glad the girls & I were able to have a fun outing together with friends today. :-)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Got milk?

My sweet parents are having all of our kids over for a sleepover this evening. :-)  Matt & I went to Bugaboo Creek for dinner.  We had our final awesome discount due to our messed up rewards card.  We paid $.43 plus tip for our meal!  Bugaboo Creek now has a new rewards program, so they threw our old card away and gave us a new one.  It was fun to get some awesome benefits from our last card, but I really hope this new card works right! As our card issue was being looked at, a waitress came over with two glasses of milk. She said a family across the room wanted to buy us a drink. What? I had a flash back of when I took the kids to Bugaboo Creek one time and a family we didn't know paid for our meal. Matt & I looked to see who this mysterious family was and we saw the Phelps! We had fun chatting with them on our way out. :-)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cash please

I sold 3 gold rings today that I haven't worn in years and they were just taking up space. I got $120 for them. Sweet!

 I know a little bit more about Zoe's track meet. She did the long jump, which she has no desire to do again. She placed 3rd in the high jump, which seems to be her favorite event. She ran the 400 and she ran in the relay. She didn't want to do the relay, but her coaches noticed that she is fast, so they put her in the relay. You can see some of the results from the meet here.  Click on the Girls meet in Brewer on 4/25/12.

Emily and Eleanor made it to the right softball practice this evening. :-)

I enjoyed a little bit of solitude and quiet this evening while I watched "Glenn Beck." Such a rare moment!

This is my new favorite children's book.
Side note...I haven't loved this new blogger format, but I do love how this book picture just appeared exactly where I wanted it. Usually, the pictures end up at the top of the page and then I have to move them. Anyway...back to the book. You can find the book here. It is a great toddler/preschool/early grade school book that has the children follow directions and then fun things happen!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For the birds

Our new home is currently occupied.
Meet the Eastern Phoebe Flycatcher
Kate & Noah were excited as they thought about living with birds! Why not bring the wild rabbit in, too?!
Zoe had her first track meet today. She doesn't have anything good to say about it, but she doesn't regret doing track. She is super tired after a terrible night's sleep and doing her events! I'll have to double check with her, but I think she did the high jump, a sprint, and maybe the long jump, and maybe a relay. We'll see if she is more talkative about the details in the morning.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Digging out the cleats

The crazy softball season has begun! Emily & Eleanor had their first practice this evening. I must say it is less crazy with me not coaching and I'm liking that. :-) Less crazy in some ways...Emily & Eleanor ended up going to the wrong practice this evening due to no communication from their coach and receiving the wrong information from a member of the league. Hopefully, we have the correct information for Thursday night's practice!

Monday, April 23, 2012

One less tooth to brush



Noah was very good this morning for the dentist. His tooth was pulled and he got a filling. When I praised him for being so good he said, "Yes, I cooperated!" Zach is a bit jealous that his 3 year old brother has "lost" a tooth before him and will be visited by the tooth fairy! Life can be so unfair!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

God knows heart surgery

I enjoyed the stories that Elder Ellis shared with us this weekend. This first one was told by Elder Russell M. Nelson during the April 2003 General Conference...

"Many of us have had experiences with the sweet power of prayer. One of mine was shared with a stake patriarch from southern Utah. I first met him in my medical office more than 40 years ago, during the early pioneering days of surgery of the heart. This saintly soul suffered much because of a failing heart. He pleaded for help, thinking that his condition resulted from a damaged but repairable valve in his heart. Extensive evaluation revealed that he had two faulty valves. While one could be helped surgically, the other could not. Thus, an operation was not advised. He received this news with deep disappointment. Subsequent visits ended with the same advice. Finally, in desperation, he spoke to me with considerable emotion: “Dr. Nelson, I have prayed for help and have been directed to you. The Lord will not reveal to me how to repair that second valve, but He can reveal it to you. Your mind is so prepared. If you will operate upon me, the Lord will make it known to you what to do. Please perform the operation that I need, and pray for the help that you need.” 21 His great faith had a profound effect upon me. How could I turn him away again? Following a fervent prayer together, I agreed to try. In preparing for that fateful day, I prayed over and over again, but still did not know what to do for his leaking tricuspid valve. Even as the operation commenced, 22 my assistant asked, “What are you going to do for that?” I said, “I do not know.” We began the operation. After relieving the obstruction of the first valve, 23 we exposed the second valve. We found it to be intact but so badly dilated that it could no longer function as it should. While examining this valve, a message was distinctly impressed upon my mind: Reduce the circumference of the ring. I announced that message to my assistant. “The valve tissue will be sufficient if we can effectively reduce the ring toward its normal size.” But how? We could not apply a belt as one would use to tighten the waist of oversized trousers. We could not squeeze with a strap as one would cinch a saddle on a horse. Then a picture came vividly to my mind, showing how stitches could be placed—to make a pleat here and a tuck there—to accomplish the desired objective. I still remember that mental image—complete with dotted lines where sutures should be placed. The repair was completed as diagrammed in my mind. We tested the valve and found the leak to be reduced remarkably. My assistant said, “It’s a miracle.” I responded, “It’s an answer to prayer.” The patient’s recovery was rapid and his relief gratifying. Not only was he helped in a marvelous way, but surgical help for other people with similar problems had become a possibility. I take no credit. Praise goes to this faithful patriarch and to God, who answered our prayers. This faithful man lived for many more years and has since gone to his eternal glory."

Elder Ellis shared this story with us today...  

Samaritan with a Screwdriver By Heidi Bartle 

I was busy gathering my things after teaching a Mia Maid lesson, and my husband, Garry, stood in the back of the room holding our one-year-old boy. Our three-year-old son, Zach, slipped past us into the crowded hall and followed someone toward the meetinghouse doors. Because my husband and I each thought the other had Zach, it took us a few minutes to realize he was missing. Just as we realized he was gone, Zach appeared at the end of the hall. But something was wrong. His cheeks were red, he had tears streaming down his face, and he was clutching his right hand. Our bishop, who was ushering him toward us, looked concerned. A pit of guilt settled in my stomach. My son had gotten hurt, and I hadn’t been there to help him. The bishop had heard Zach’s urgent cries and had hurried to his aid. Zach’s predicament was immediately clear, but the solution was not. His fingers had become wedged between the heavy outer door and its frame. Opening or closing the door only exacerbated the injury; the swing of the door further pinched his fingers and pulled his hand, causing significant pain. As the bishop and a couple in the ward frantically tried to figure out how they could release Zach’s fingers, a brother from another ward that met in our building saw what was happening. He took a screwdriver from his pocket and inserted it into the space between the door and its frame. Then, using the screwdriver as a lever, he widened the gap enough to release Zach. Amid sighs of relief, the brother explained that as he prepared for Sunday services that morning, he experienced what seemed like an odd prompting to bring a screwdriver to church. The impression was so strong and clear that he slipped the tool into the pocket of his dress pants. This kind act of service resulting from heavenly inspiration touched me deeply and filled my heart with gratitude. Heavenly Father was watching over my three-year-old boy and prompted a good brother to respond.

God knows us and He loves us.  He knows the answers to our problems and He can lead us through our trials.  We need to ask Him for help.  He is waiting for us to ask.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stake Conference Weekend

The last day of youth conference was today.  The youth had an uplifting end to their conference.  They read the entire Book of Mormon this morning as different groups were assigned different parts to read.  Then they met with Elder Ellis from the Seventy who is here for Stake Conference.  I enjoyed listening to him this evening.

Zoe was supposed to get her picture taken today at Walmart, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.  The 12:00 appointment was waiting for their turn when we got there.  There was a woman who was very upset because for the past 5 weeks she has stopped at the studio to pick up her pictures and the pictures are never there.  The angry lady left and the 12:00 appointment had their turn.  Zoe & I sat down to wait.  50 minutes later (1:50pm), the lady comes out and asks how she can help us.  I told her that we were her 1:00 appointment. That surprised her. We were in the computer, though. She informed us that she needed to take her mandatory 2-3pm lunch break, so we would need to reschedule. I have been going to the Walmart Picture Studio since Zoe was a baby. This was my worst experience! Zoe was happy to reschedule because she was having a bad hair day and she doesn't want her picture taken at all!

Beautiful Day

We went to the Bass Harbor Ferry this morning
to take a ride (the kids' first time)

to Swans Island!
What gorgeous views on a beautiful day!  This is the most eastern point on the island.

We ate lunch with the Ellison's.  Shrimp quiche, salad, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, brownies & ice cream. :-)
The kids ate first and then they watched the 4th Ice Age movie while the adults ate.
We visited a lighthouse.
The kids loved riding Rose's wheelchair lift.  I didn't get a good picture of Rose when we were at the house.  :-(

We ended our day at the beach to look for sea glass.  We found some clear, blue & green pieces.

We had a delightful day on the island with the Ellison's! A beautiful day with a wonderful family!

Matt had another day at youth conference. He wasn't home for datenight, but the kids insisted that I go out anyway.  So, I went for a walk along our waterfront.  We live in a beautiful part of Maine, too!  Then I went to visit my parents.  My Mom & I played a game of Phase 10 and then we watched "Beauty and the Briefcase."  It turned out to be a fun datenight for me!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Swim Day

Zoe & Emily had another fun day swimming with Caitlin & Cassidy. The rest of us went swimming at the "Dinosaur pool". Now that Zach is 7, he can be in the water without me. He tried taking the deep end test today, but he needs to get a bit stronger before he can pass. That upset him, but he cheered up when he was able to go in the middle section with Eleanor.

Youth Conference started today in Bangor, so that is where Matt has been all day. He is in charge of the dances, so hopefully the first dance went well this evening.

My Mom came over right before dinner this evening, so she stayed and ate with me & the kids. She had a tough afternoon talking to different foreign people trying to get Zoe's new phone to work. It was working fine and then all of a sudden it wouldn't work anymore. Thanks to my determined, patient Mom, Zoe has a working phone again. :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fun with friends

Alea, Finn & Ian came over to play with us today. :-) The kids played with legos, magnetic toys, American Girl dolls, dart guns & cars. Some of the kids made paper bracelets. They played on the wii. They played outside. They ate. They watched "Mighty Macs". It was a non-stop fun day!

Zoe had track practice this morning and then she went over to Caitlin's house. Matt picked her up and brought her to Young Women's this evening. Cub Scouts took the night off. :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good for the soul

We started our morning watching "Seeker and Fetch". Then all the kids, except Zoe made cards and pictures with glitter. This was an outside project!

The anonymous artists!

After lunch, Zoe & Emily went to an indoor pool in Ellsworth with Caitlin & Cassidy. The rest of us went downtown to get ice cream at the Dairy Port with my grandmother. A man ordering ice cream next to us said to his friend, "This is not good for the diet, but it is good for the soul." So true! We ate by the waterfront, which was just perfect. The kids enjoyed walking around and doing cartwheels on the grass. After dropping my grandmother off at her apartment (Noah calls it her hotel), the kids & I went to the park. We played for awhile and then we walked to the waterfront. We walked along the path to the fountain. The fountain is not up and running yet and I didn't have any coins to throw into the fountain, but the kids still had a great time playing around the fountain. The kids were quite tired when we got back to the park! Noah wanted to go on the tire swing one more time, though before heading home.

We were all home for dinner again this evening. :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Couldn't Resist

After our Primary Presidency Meeting, my Mom treated me and the kids to Pizza Hut!

Yummy cheese sticks!

Noah's view...

Well, I didn't make it through this entire year sugar/white flour free, but I did it for 3 months! I think that is impressive! I really needed to change my eating habits when I set my yearly goal and I have done that. For now, I hope to indulge a little, but mainly eat sugar/flour free foods. I know I feel so much better when I am eating healthy.

We went over to my parents' house this afternoon to dig out the Spring/Summer clothing. It was in the 70's today and it will be just as nice out tomorrow. Yay! During the winter, we were constantly telling the kids to shut the door when they went outside. Today, my Dad said, "Now that it is warm, we can't get them to keep the door open!" Silly children of mine!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A new favorite speaker

I bought a talk on CD when I was in Florida called, "I Love My Friends!" by Hank Smith. I had never heard of Hank Smith, but I liked the topic of the CD, so I bought it. The kids, Rachael & I listened to this CD on the way to church today and we finished it on our way home. We laughed as we listened to the entire CD! Hank Smith tells great stories and he is FUNNY! The talk is geared toward teenagers, but I enjoyed it just as much as the kids. We all want to hear more from Hank Smith! I am so glad he has 6 other CDs for us to enjoy!

My favorite part of primary today was when Noah & I acted out the word love. I had Noah walk away from me and then run into my arms for a big hug. Then Zach guessed the word love right off. I love my kids!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Go Blue!

My Dad, Zoe & I went to a UMaine softball game this afternoon. We wanted to support our favorite lifeguard at our pool. Go Emily! We saw one of Emily's teammates hit a grand slam! AWESOME!

Matt is home! Yay! We had dinner together as a family this evening, which was so nice. :-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We dropped Zoe off at Camp Kieve this morning and then we headed home. Well, we stopped at my parents' house first to switch cars. My Dad let me use his car, which saved us gas money. Thanks again Dad! Zoe rode the bus back to school in the afternoon.

Kate, Noah & I ate lunch with my Mom & Matt at Governor's. I am so happy that I got to spend time with Matt today! and my Mom, too. :-)

Zoe, Emily, Eleanor & Zach are on vacation! We don't have the entire week planned, but I'm sure we will keep busy! We are now watching "Happy Feet 2" and eating popcorn. The kids are camping out in the living room tonight. I think we are off to a fun start. :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The 10 minute scare

I received a call this morning from the Miles Lane school asking me if Eleanor was home sick. Um...I don't know because I'm not home. I called Matt to see if Eleanor was in fact home sick, but he said that he watched her get on the bus to go to school. Panic time!...Where is Eleanor?! I called the school back and they checked with Mrs. Wight again and Eleanor was found in class where she had been all along. I guess she was marked absent because she forgot to sign in. Panic over.

Here are a few landmarks that we have enjoyed seeing on our way to and from Camp Kieve. Kate & Noah know we are super close to the hotel when they see the star building.

Kate & Noah each took a picture of a star. So, we have Kate's star...

And Noah's star...

We have also enjoyed seeing this lobster every day!

Tomorrow will be our last day to see these sights. Noah is ready to go home and swing and Kate is ready to play on the computer. I am ready to see Emily, Eleanor & Zach! I won't see Matt until Saturday, though because he leaves for a Scout campout tomorrow. :-(

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pictures & Kieve Blog

Our hotel in Bath.

A comfy bed & PBS. :-)

The back of the library.

A view of the bridge that takes us to Route 1.

Kate relaxing after a fun swim in the pool.

You can go to to see what Zoe & her classmates are up to this week.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Loving the hotel!

Zoe had a good day at Camp Kieve and Kate, Noah & I had a good day here in Bath. We went swimming in the pool and relaxed in the whirlpool. :-) The kids watched shows on PBS while I worked on my Sharing Time lesson and played on my Xoom. We went for a walk and discovered that we are right next to a library! Kate & Noah played and colored at the library and then I read them a book before we left.

Kate & Noah love being at the hotel! So far, it has been pretty delightful and relaxing for me, too. Except for sleeping. Noah fell out of bed last night, so I spent the rest of the night watching over him, so he wouldn't fall again. I was tempted to make him sleep on the floor tonight. Instead, I put him on the other side of the bed away from the night stand and put pillows on the floor for a softer landing.

Zoe didn't mention any of the activities she did today, but I know that yesterday she did some indoor rock climbing and she played capture the flag. I also know that she was more tired tonight than last night. The same goes for me!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Heading to the unknown

Zoe left this morning for Camp Kieve with her classmates. I am leaving soon with Kate & Noah to pick Zoe up from camp and head to a hotel. Our routine this week will be to bring Zoe to camp in the morning and pick her up in the evening and head back to the hotel. I hope I find everywhere I need to go without any problems!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

Zach was so excited for this morning that he was up at 4:45! We convinced him to go back to bed and we heard him up again at 6:00. Much better. He was anxious to open his gift bag from his Primary teacher, Sister Liza. There were also Easter baskets to find, gifts to unwrap, eggs to find and candy to eat!

Today was the day that Kate could change her earrings! She unwrapped a package of 9 pairs of earrings that were in her basket. She picked the silver flowers to wear today.

The kids & I went to church, while Matt stayed home sick. :-( I'm glad I took this picture of the kids before church because it was snowing during church and then it was raining after church.

We went to my parents' house after church for a ham dinner. Matt met us there. The younger kids decorated their colored eggs with stickers and then ate some eggs. Most of our kids don't like the yolks, though.

We came home and had Family Home Evening since Zoe, Kate, Noah & I will be gone tomorrow night. Camp Kieve starts tomorrow!

I hope everyone had a great Easter!