Saturday, March 25, 2017

Where I go a little crazy...

A daddy daughter date to a wedding reception.  I had the flu, and had to miss it, even though it was for a dear girl who I knew since she was just a bit older than Leia here.  Time flies!

I'm going to have mostly grey hair by the end of this semester.  My heart hurts for how many people have dropped out of my Biology class.  I'm all too familiar with that hopeless, I'll-never-understand-this feeling.  We're down to less than half the class!  I'm sure some signed up for it frivolously and dropped it easily, but some NEEDED it.  And what must that do to someone's self esteem when you can't even understand what you need to?  I've had a coworker kill himself because he was not able to get anywhere in life and I know that so many feel like giving up because they feel like they'll never be good enough.  I wouldn't even be passing some of my classes without my live-in tutor Pat.  He's so wonderful and annoying.  I'll study something for a week, then he'll read it over in 10 minutes and explain everything I'm confused about like he's the professor himself.  I don't know how he does it.  I'm so glad I have him, and so annoyed by him at the same time!

Anyway, now that you know that I care way to much about random people, I do have to say that I'm quite pleased with the students who are left.  I'm twice their age, and we study group together and help each other and I think they are really neat!

But as I said, the flu (and probably stress) knocked me out for about three days, during which time I reread all the Twilight books and watched all the movies.  If anyone thinks less of me for that, I don't care. There is rarely a night I'm not up late doing homework, and I haven't had a date in months or any relax time ever.  Every weekend seems to be full of obligations and I was seriously going bonkers.  I hadn't done the Twilight Saga since they came out years ago and not being able to stomach anything that was on T.V. (or Netflicks) as I lay in bed with the flu, I decided to reread them.  The books are a combination of my favorite things: love, humor, friendship, and fantasy.  I'm a lot like Bella so it just makes sense to me.  The movies aren't near as funny as the books but I still love them.  Going by the books, I'm sort of a Jacob fan, but going by the movies, I'm team Robert Pattinson because he's so nice on the eyes. Kristen Stewart is too.  Most actresses that I'm told are supposed to be pretty just aren't to me, but she is beautiful; as far as looks go.  Sometimes we all just need an escape from reality and to feel like a silly girl again, and it did more for me emotionally that I can say.  I would laugh, and then bawl my eyes out back and forth as the stress left my body.  The music in the movies is really pretty.

When I was finally well enough, and Pat made me get back to the grind of Stats homework again.  I quickly felt the peace leaving me and the dread of stats (and all my other obligations) soaking in, so I asked him if we could listen to Bella's Lullaby while we worked.  Robert Pattinson plays it in the movie as he's a good musician, and it was like an immediate shot of some sort of happy drug.  The tears rolled down my cheeks as the music washed over me again making the unbearable bearable. And yes, I was fully aware that I might be crazy.

I made sure keep reading my daily scriptures and daily prayers, and I felt like God knew I needed that mental break.  I cried a lot while I was sick for seemingly no reason.  Even reading scriptures to my kids.  When Alma tells his son Helaman about his conversion, it's just so beautiful, I couldn't stop.  (I'd say I was pregnant if I didn't know better).

Last night the kids had their auction fundraiser for money for scout camps and such.  We auctioned two home cooked meals from a menu where the buyer could circle their choices.  (Cause I've got plenty of time for that, ha ha.)  I've been making meals for people in need, giving gifts for so many who are having babies and getting married right now, and when I have 10 minutes between studying and leaving for class, I call my visiting teachees to make the most of my time.  But I also know that the mental energy it takes to do everything is not sustainable (as evidenced by me being short with other people who try to add to my already full plate).  I happily say no to extra things no matter how desperate someone is for participation.  If there aren't people in the church to do it, then it needs to be scaled back or rethought, rather than forcing people to run faster than they have strength.

A couple of funny things:  Leia's been telling me how next year when she's 8 she'll be in scouts.  I keep telling her no, girls don't do scouts, but she doesn't seem to get it.  She reminded me the other day that I need to get her a scout shirt before she turns 8.  She's so funny.  She does get to do activities with the primary girls ages 8-11 though, so she'll have plenty of fun stuff to do, just no uniform.  I guess I could have her join girl scouts, but I'm not too keen on that idea.

Dallas came home using a new word: pulchritudinous.  Even though it looks (and sounds) like it would describe a disease or a bad attitude, pulchritudinous actually describes a person of breathtaking,  I wonder if he'll find a situation to use it.

The school had a real-live George Washington impersonator come and visit every single class.  All four of my kids were enamored with him.  He had real hair, period clothing, fit the stature, talked correctly for the time, and they could ask him anything and he knew the answers.  These kids know their stuff at the school, so that is quite impressive.  They all had neat things to say about him!

And over the weekend the boys added to my emotional tears by playing beautiful songs of their own.  Dallas has a gorgeous arrangement of If You Could Hie to Kolob, and Yiruma's River Flows in You which is actually the first song I imagined Edward playing to Bella.  Evan has a gorgeous Russian one, and Sam has some beautiful ones too.  So proud of them.

Dallas had one last thing to do to wrap up his Eagle and it was to serve in the community.  He kept asking me to take him to the Salvation Army thrift store.  We had talked to them once, but never had a free weekend for months afterwards.  So suddenly one Saturday I told him to get his uniform on and we were going down there first thing.  It worked out perfectly.  They kept him all day and he cleaned and organized that whole store, and got his 8 hours of service done!

Charlie is really troubled going to bed without me these days.  He always says stay with me, sing songs, and I love you mama. He is so sweet and loving to me.  He'll just listen, but if I stop a song, he'll prompt me with the words.  I've been playing him some of my guitar songs too.  Once I start singing, he'll go right to sleep.

Today Charlie and Pat surprised me by showing up at the college when I got out of my class.  We played at the park across the street and Charlie had so much fun with his dad.  They did crazy stuff and told me about their trip to the library and lunch together before that.  Pat is a REALLY good dad.  At the library he said he and Charlie did a 100-piece Dinosaur puzzle, and a really hard 72 piece memory game.  I was just so happy to see them after my class!  I sure am blessed.

Sam did a disability awareness fair at the church for scouts and ran a dodgeball game. It went really well!  He's so funny now.  I can tell he's growing up.  He was sitting next to me as I drove him to school one day, and I was reminding him of something, and he just patted his hand on my shoulder like, "Mom, I know you mean well, but I've got this", as he reassured me.  It was such a grown up thing to do, it cracked me up.  My kids always impress me and they make me laugh with their great sense of humor.  I wish I could capture all the funny things they do.

 She's been to the nurse more than all her brother's combined.  My poor uncoordinated girl.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I ran into D's piano teacher at our school, and she said she's glad he's being asked to play in church.  I remembered that he has started playing in the men's meeting (priesthood) before all the men separate into their own classes.  She's not a member of our church, so I'm really grateful that she's willing to help Dallas learn the hymns.

I'm really enjoying being in the primary presidency.  I enjoy being with kids and teaching.  I love both the tiny, cute, shy kids, and the bigger, funny, tired-of-primary kids.  I'm so glad I get to see Evan, Leia, and Charlie in there.  At the beginning of January, Charlie wouldn't do a thing but hide next to me.  Now he sits with his class, does the actions to the songs, goes up when they call on him, and I get to see it all!  (We smile a lot at each other too.)

I had fun teaching a lesson about Noah's ark, and passed out pairs of animals to the kids, which they then used to find their match and come up into the ark.  Last Sunday I got to teach about Abraham, choosing God, and had several people come in and share about good choices their ancestors made that have affected them.  I loved hearing those stories and really tried to pick the people who shared by inspiration.  They all did a wonderful job.

Most of all, I love the songs the children sing.  We have a fantastic music leader who is both fun and tender with the kids.  They are learning Gethsemane right now to sing for Easter, and the words bring tears to my eyes every time. Jenny Phillips is the author and composer, and her work is always powerfully inspired. I know I'm not the only adult in primary crying when I hear the children sing these words:

Jesus climbed the hill
To the garden still
His steps were heavy and slow
Love and a prayer
Took Him there
To the place only He could go

Jesus loves me
So He went willingly
To Gethsemane

He felt all that was sad, wicked or bad
All the pain we would ever know
While His friends were asleep
He fought to keep
His promise made long ago

Jesus loves me
So He went willingly
To Gethsemane

The hardest thing that ever was done
The greatest pain that ever was known
The biggest battle that ever was won
This was done by Jesus
The fight was won by Jesus

Jesus loves me
So He gave His gift to me
In Gethsemane

Jesus loves me
So He gives His gift to me
From Gethsemane

Here's a beautiful video that can make you feel what I get to experience seeing the little girls and boys sing this song.

I tell my own kids who love super heroes that God is the most powerful, and Jesus the greatest hero we will ever know.  I truly believe the hardest thing that ever was done, the greatest pain that ever was known, the biggest battle that ever was won, THIS WAS DONE BY JESUS!  The fight was won by Jesus!  He saved us all.  He felt all that we experience and He understands what we're going through.  It is sweet to think, that along with the bad and sad that he had to experience in Gethsemane, that I know he probably saw all the children singing songs like this to Him too; that He got to see all of us who love Him. It must have helped. 

Our dearest girl started violin lessons (again)!!!  We hope it will work out better this time, though the timing was not my choice. What can I do?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Charter Renewed and Talent Show!

Michael Jackson celebration moves

We are so glad the PEC reversed their decision and renewed our school charter.  The whole thing was ridiculous and cost us another year of being able to build our new facility (and cost in many other ways too).  There were no clear allegations against us of any wrongdoing, and our governing council was practically ambushed in a meeting and not given the opportunity to even respond to the arbitrary and ambiguous statements.  The legal battle will continue because they only gave us three years instead of five they should have, but at least we know we'll have a school next year.  I go back and forth between home school and the charter school as I feel is right or necessary each year, and I can't say how glad I am to have this wonderful school choice for my kids.

I can't believe that next year I will have a high schooler.  I toured the other options for high school up here where we live, and making that choice will be difficult for Dallas.  One has way more funding, and therefore way more activities (hobbies, music, sports, clubs, etc).  Our school has hardly a thing, so the high school age kids tend to leave for greener pastures which is understandable.  I certainly wish there were more teachers, and more of those options.  But along with the greener pastures, you sometimes get all the kids that don't want to be there, who aren't interested in learning, are into bad things, and you are just one of many.  I love the family feel of our school.  When I showed my 1st grader this picture of our seniors (this years graduating class), she knew several of them by name because they help with her P.E.!

We also watched the seniors do a Charlie Brown skit at the talent show, and they were so funny and comfortable together.  The teachers did a really funny skit too! (several of the teachers at the school are from our church).

During a talent show break, they played, "Celebrate good times!" by Cool and the Gang to celebrate our recharter.  All of us in the audience at the PAC just danced and danced and a few students even got up on stage and danced their hearts out.  It was so fun!  These are indeed good times. 

Here's a picture of the whole school.  Small and sweet out here in New Mexico.

And here's the wonderful job the boys did on their talent show performance.  (Leia did a cute song with her first grade class too, which you probably can't hear).  We have so much talent, and I was so impressed by some of the performances.  I could have had all my kids do piano and stuff, but I knew that would be boring, so just Sam played Phantom of the Opera on the piano, and the three together did their Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) dance.  It was certainly one of the best.  It was was definitely my favorite!!! (though I told them not to sign up anymore.  I don't have time for this!)

Dallas, Sam, and Evan Dancing to Smooth Criminal:

 Sam's Piano Piece - Phantom of the Opera:

Leia's first grade class song (she's on the far right):
This kid is the king of throwing fits and being contrary.  One day Pat wanted to go out and swing with him and it was really cold, so we put his coat on.  He kept ripping it off.  So we put it on backward and buttoned it up the back so he couldn't take it off.  That was hilarious.  And it allowed us to capture his pout face.  Now before you go feeling sorry for his cute self, let me just tell you that we went to Costco today and he refused to go to the bathroom when Pat took him.  So we left the store and then in the car he said NOW he had to go.  Back into Costco we trekked, and he sang, "I made you go back in the store."  Don't let the shyness fool you.  He's sharp.  He's also a punk. 

I found this book I used to have at the thrift store!!!  I loved it when I was little.  I remember always wishing for the yummy food inside. 
Pat's mom, Brenda, always does a family calendar each year.  Here's the pictures of our family that were in it.  I like this first one because we didn't have it and it was of them with their Texas cousins on a hike we took here in NM.

I just can't get over how much Leia has grown.  This picture below just makes me smile. (Which is more than we can say for Charlie).
Leia made us laugh the other day as she told on a boy in her class who talks to much.  She said, "And I didn't want to invite him to my birthday party, because he makes everyone laugh!"
Pat said, "Well then he would probably be really fun at your party."
She replied, "No Dad, I don't want to be changing my pants every 5 minutes!"

I miss that girl so much, and though she's doing superb socially and academically, she still has many days when she cries to please "just stay with you".  That kills me.  I might homeschool her next year again since it will be the last year Charlie is home, and my last chance to be with them full-time before going into nursing school (if I go).  They grow up so fast, so my schooling is secondary to them.  But the current plan is for them to all be in school at some point and for me to be doing nursing.  But we'll see...

For some years now Dallas will grab any vegetable scraps he sees in the garbage and take them out to the chickens.  I think that's so neat.  I always want to save them for that or composting, but I always forget.  He's been caring for people's animals in our ward and for a teacher at school and is so responsible and dependable.  He's always making me laugh and I just think he's awesome.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Leia is 7 ! Charles is 4!

Last minute I decided to throw a party for Leia.  She hasn't had one with friends in years, and I knew next year would probably be just family since she's turning 8.  So we had a party for 7!!!  If I had to sum up Leia, it would be clumsy, excited, dramatic (especially in fights with her brothers), and sweet.  I wish you could hear her talk.  Her primary teacher broke her ankle badly and hasn't been to church for months.  Leia uses big language with her tiny voice and was so cute talking about Sister Ettin's "damaged foot".  Her tiny voice reminds you she's only a first grader, but her language cracks us up; like she's much older. 

I was thinking of what games to play and such to keep the kids entertained.  Then I just decided to rent a bouncy-house-thing from someone down the street.  I don't know why that came to mind, but it was so perfect!  Especially in my super-busy life right now.  It was $150, which is a lot, but they set it up, took it down, and other than that, we only bought ice-cream cones for all the kids, and it wasn't so bad.  I figured it would count for Charlie's birthday too.  Plus, the kids all got to play on it like crazy and loved it so much!  I wondered if they'd get bored, but not at all.  They just kept going in a circle; up and down, up and down.  I'm sure they were totally worn out after the party!  There were some side games like freeze tag and Dallas throwing kids down the slide if they wanted it. 

I told all the parents "No Gifts", but she got some anyway, and they were the neatest things!
This beautiful dress, for example, came from her friend Isaac, whose mom is the most talented seamstress I've ever known.  She whipped this out quick that morning, because she "didn't feel like going to Walmart".  It is so cute!!!  We love it! 

Friends from church, dance, and school.

The kids loved the swingset too!

Just our family.  We had the bouncy slide for four hours (though it ended up being 5) so our kids got to play before and after the party.  (It was just a 2 hour party).

I love that Leia's hair is getting so long that I can do cute things with it!
These were the dolls her friend K made (with his mother) for her!

Since Leia's in first grade, I made these cookie flowers for her class.  On their way out at the end of the day, they got to walk by this flower box and pick a flower!  I told them to not eat them until they asked their parents if it was okay.  The cookies were baked with sticks in them and then wrapped and stuck into that green foam for flower arrangements, and topped with a moss/grass looking cover which you can't see.  It was so fun!

Then we had cake and blew out the candles just with our family at night.  Aunt Stephanie sent a box of the cutest girly things!  It made ME so excited!  I'll have to get a better picture closer up, but this is a darling lady-bug dress, and an adorable locket, with cute bracelets and bows to go with it!  She loves it!  And we love Aunt Stephanie!!!

And we have a four year old!  I have so much to say about Charlie, but my time is limited, so for now... Happy Birthday Charlie!!!   He did a good job blowing out his candles.
Leia gave him a princess of hers as a gift.  He was visibly disappointed and said, "Awww."  Then as he opened his next present, we heard him say under his breath, "I hope it's not a girl present."  He is so funny!
We didn't find anything for him we liked, so he just got a couple little things from his siblings.  And his favorite: these super heros from his friend P, whose mother made the princess ones for Leia!  These cute super heros crack me up!  The curl for Superman is to die for :)

 I love how I woke up in the morning and Evan and Leia had decorated for Charlie's birthday by putting up those streamers and balloons and making this special placemat and chair for him.

Had a fun day at the Biopark on his birthday, but Pat couldn't come :(. We are so dang busy, there was not other time, so we just had to go.

Funny note: Charlie's brothers are about to dance in the talent show and Charlie has learned the dance pretty good himself.  Too bad he's not in it!  He's the cutest of all, and a surprisingly good dancer!  But he had his first prayer in primary yesterday, and although he says prayers really well at home, he wouldn't do it in primary, so I doubt he'd ever dance in front of people.  When my friend Theresa called him up to say the prayer, she said he walked up like he was going to his death; like someone had asked him to walk the plank.  His face can be so funny.  But he is slowly coming out of his shyness and that's hilarious too, when he does something crazy and unexpected.

Then a package came from Aunt Stephanie, Uncle T, and June!!!  She's aware that we hope to see the Lego Batman movie sometime and got him this really cool Lego Batman costume!  He wears it all the time.  Best ever!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Karisa Read This Before Cutting Your Hair!

If you have decided to go short, it can't be any shorter than these! 
And you don't need bangs.  Maybe face-framing that starts at your jaw and on down.  (If you do cut bangs, they should be cut at about the tip of your nose.  Trust me!  I am you.)

Karisa- you don't look good with chopped up hairstyles like below.  You need long and simple in the front (like above).  I think.

These (below) are the best your hair has ever looked short.  Just make sure it's like an A-line; longer in front, and chopped up a bit in back like the top picture.

This one is chopped up a bit, but seems to look okay for some reason.  Normally I hate it when it proceeds to get longer and longer as it goes toward the back.
These two, below, were a spiral perm I got on long hair, but it was too hard to brush out, so I chopped it off, and used hot curlers.

Okay, here's an exception to the bangs rule.  If you have just a tiny bit of bangs like this below, that come at least to the corner of your eyebrow, that will work.  The rest of the hair mostly the same length to the shoulders or longer.

Most of the time, go for long unless you just need a break.  You love your long hair; being able to scrunch it with gel, or blow dry it out straight with a little coconut oil to control it..  You love being able to braid it on the side, or ponytail it.  Do not layer your long hair!  (Maybe light scissor drag, or the thinning shears since it gets really thick in the back only). 

 I tell you these things for your own good Karisa.  You need it, after what you did today.