Saturday, September 16, 2017

Preschool Letter D

I'm in a preschool group that my talented friend Jenae organized. I'm so glad she thought to do it even though it's hard to find time.  But Charlie is so anti-social he needs it!  There's six of us moms and each week one of us takes a turn hosting/teaching preschool. It was my week and I had the letter "D".

 We always start by letting the kids play for a while.  Then I opened up a special box of toys and asked them one by one if each item started with a D and we practiced making the sound.  Dolphin, Dinosaurs, Diamond, Doll, Duck (rubber duckies), Dog, Dime, Domino, Dice, etc.. and other things that clearly didn't start with D.

Then we went outside and threw everything into our kiddie pool and I gave them each a small fish net (from Walmart) to go "Diving for D's".  They could only pick out things that started with D.  That was super fun for them.

Then they came in back to the kitchen table and I gave them each one of Charlie's plastic dinosaurs to hold while we read "How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight?"  They loved that book, and at the end I had them kiss their Dinosaurs goodnight and lay them down on the table.  Then we had to be very quiet to not wake them while we did a page of practicing writing the letter D.  This helped them to concentrate on their writing for approximately 3 minutes before certain kid's dinosaurs started waking up.  I just told them to tell their dinosaurs it wasn't morning yet and to go back to sleep.  (Some weren't very sleepy).

Once they were done coloring their pages, I had them wake up their dinosaurs and come into the living room so they could have their dinosaurs dance to the Wiggles song, "Dorothea the Dinosaur".

Then we went back to the table and they got to make D things out of playdough.  I had cookie cutters that my mom gave me a long time ago like a: Dog, Dinosaurs, Diamond, etc., and they could also make Donuts.  They liked pressing their dinosaur feet into the playdough to make dinosaur tracks!

They were having fun so I had my breakfast at the table which was squash I had cooked the day before.  I said how much I loved it and does squash start with D?  No!!!  Then they all said they were hungry and I said, "Well I have these donuts.  Can we eat them? Do they start with D?  Yes!!!!!  (They were all maple donuts because too many choices just leads to tears).

Then we began our art project- making drums.  They are these really easy Chinese New Year drums where you staple two paper plates together.  They didn't do so good on the painting because they seemed to think they needed a gallon of paint so the paper plates got pretty saturated and wouldn't dry in time.  I had to beg Dallas to come out with a blow-dryer as the parents were coming and I wanted them to be able take their drums home.  We finished them just in time.  I also tried to encourage them to use only one color so it would look somewhat nice like the drum picture above, but they mixed every color, because, they're in preschool.  I probably didn't need this project.  They could have just played more, which is what they need at this age the most.   But it was fun.

The only thing I couldn't find was a Song for the letter D!  I looked through so much stuff, and the best I found was Sesame Street has Ernie singing a D song, but it was too hard for them to sing.  So we had no song.  Later I realized, "Do as I'm Doing" would have been perfect.  Ha ha.

As the parents were coming Charles ran around collecting his dinosaurs.  I think he was worried some of them would walk away.  Anyway, it all went really well and was a lot of fun. Luckily the weather was nice enough to do some of those activities (like painting and diving) outside and we could keep moving.  

On another topic- Do you know how difficult it is to plan for family pictures?  We've not done professional ones since Charlie's been born so I've been feeling badly that he's not in any of our family pictures and he's almost five!  I've figured out four of our outfits from what we have, but not the three oldest boys.  Bleh.  So I had to take Dallas to the store with me after his Cross Country meet and he made sure I knew how much he hates clothes shopping.

Aunt Steph and Uncle T have been getting the kids new shoes each Christmas which is amazing!  It is seriously so helpful to us, I can't even say.  But because of all the running the three oldest are doing lately, she decided to get them some new shoes early.  They were so happy!!!

I just love this photo of Evan in blue running his race.  It's so New Mexico!  This is very close to our home.

I got to go out visiting families in our ward with Pat one night last week.  I really love doing that.  He's also gotten to go out with a young man and had a neat experience with a Spanish speaking sister in the ward.  Yesterday after church he didn't get home until 5pm, at which point we hurried and packed up some pies he had made and went to dinner with the bishopric families.  We do that once a quarter.  A funny:  I packed him a lunch since I knew he'd be at church forever.  It needed to stay cold, but sadly whatever is left in the fridge often gets stolen and eaten, probably by hungry boys.  But I thought, oh well, if it's stolen, it's stolen.  Maybe they needed it more than the Bishop anyway.  So I put his sandwich and two cookies in a brown bag and in the fridge after writing 'Bishop Name' on it.  When he went to get it later, it was missing just one cookie.  It cracked me up.  It was like someone knew they shouldn't be stealing, especially from the Bishop, but they couldn't help themselves.
I forgot to mention that about two weeks ago, our dearest girl had two teeth surgically removed.  One was a baby tooth stuck in her jaw that wouldn't come down, and the other was an adult tooth that was in a really wrong place in the roof of her mouth.  The surgeon had to use donor bone to replace part of the jaw that he had to break to get the tooth out and we'll know in 2 months if it took.  This was three days after her surgery when she was so swollen!  Now she looks normal, but still has to be careful chewing and still has stitches on both sides of the top of one side.  (I bet that was confusing to read).

They let me go back with her as she was going to "sleep".  It was kind of scary to watch the drugs take effect.  She suddenly couldn't keep her eyes open.  Then I went in the waiting room and cried.  Luckily, the surgery was pretty quick so I didn't have to fret too long.  The surgeon says he thinks he'll be seeing her more in the future.  He really wanted to get another x-ray to see how it all looked, but didn't want to zap her again since she'd gone through a lot of high-dose x-rays for this procedure.  Two at the orthodontist, and one 3-D one for him.  I'm glad he didn't do another.  Everyone wants to know.  I really want to see too!  But I don't want to expose her yet again.  I am really thankful for this understanding and good surgeon since I really am sure that I'll see him with my kids in the future more.  And he's LDS.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What a busy weekend this has been.  We had to be up before 5am to get the boys to the bus for their track meet at UNM.  It was a fun day.  Then we came home and cleaned cleaned cleaned because Aunt Janetta, Uncle Tom, and their daughter Crystal were stopping over on their way home from Crystal's mission in Texas.  She was still a missionary!!!  Crystal is their second to last child (she's a twin).  Uncle Tom and Aunt Janetta have twelve kids!  They are wonderful parents with such wonderful kids.  Interesting connection: Janetta had a friend all throughout high school who finally took the missionary discussions and was baptized- Nancy.  That friend Nancy, had a daughter Katherine who grew up to be my dear friend and neighbor in Springville!

Aunt Janetta teaching Dallas a new song.

They actually came to our church building first since we had to set up for a ward-family dance we were having.  Pat being the bishop needed to be there to make sure someone could take charge of the activity before he could take his family home and feed them.  (I had cooked them a meal and it was all ready at home!)  They actually stayed at the dance for about an hour though, even though Crystal couldn't dance since she wasn't released yet (Pat says that if they don't dance then they're no friends of mine) .  They danced a couple songs including the Virginia Reel.  Many people came to the dance and it turned out so well.  We danced our hearts out! (Pat took Tom, Janetta, and Crystal home and me and the kids stayed and danced to the end).

That night they listened to our kids piano songs and got to know them.  Then they went to church with us in the morning and then moved on to Utah.  We hope they've had a safe drive today.

Here's some pictures from the track meet.  They each ran a 5k.
 Sam ran the whole 5k and sprinted at the end.  Evan walked just a tiny bit.

Evan said, "I ran the race to see what I would get and all I got was a small cup of Gatorade." 

Dallas ran his best time yet.  This was thanks in large part to Bro. McMurtrey who apparently followed him and encouraged him to keep running, saying funny things like, "Come on Dallas!  Some people do this for fun!"  Dallas is friends with his son (who is super fast), and I'm so thankful to this good man for encouraging my son to excel.

What I thought was super funny was that Evan was sweating buckets after his 5k, and Sam hardly at all.  Isn't it interesting how our bodies are so different?  They are all improving their times and doing really well.  We are mainly interested in exercise and social time though.  Dallas's cross country team has a team dinner every Friday at one of the parents homes and we all hold hands and pray over the meal first.  They're a great group of kids and we're glad to be a part of the team. 

Eclipse Vacation

You could say this vacation eclipsed all others!  It was a big vacation! And it was wonderful. The details are recorded elsewhere. Here are the pictures we got though- and they're not in the correct order we did things.  I was forgetting to take pictures of some of the most important things, so this only tell a portion of the story. I didn't get pictures with my dad, Scott, Janis, the Case's, or the O'Donnells.  Really sad.-Karisa

A rest stop (Moab)

We had a hotel the first night only since we needed to clean up for a wedding reception.  Kids enjoying the pool.

Pat and his beautiful sister Beth.  This was at a reception for Stephen and Erin's son Trey (Pat's cousin).  We rarely make family events like these since we live so far away, but since we were passing through it worked out great!

We visited my dear friend Katherine who I lived next door to in Utah and her very beautiful family.  I wished I could have talked to her for forever.  She is such an example to me and I miss raising our kids together.  We had our first three boys at almost exactly the same times and such similar goals and interests.  She is always an inspiration.

We took the kids to see our old home in Springville and things around there too.

The kids got to play at my favorite water park in the whole world.  The Scera pool in Orem.  There is plenty to do, but not too much, and it was so much fun for all of us.  Just like the good old days when I'd take my baby boys.  Luckily they have a couple water slides for those babies who are now so big.

We got to stay one night at Sarah and Jeff's.  They cooked the most amazing roast.  Fall apart soft like I like it, and I think he said he used pepperoncinis in the broth which you couldn't really detect, but once he said that I could.  The perfect bit of spice/tang.  Sarah has a store called the Nerd Nook and I bought a couple of her things that were really cool.  We had fun talking and hanging out.  Leia had a surprising accident, and Charles flew off an exercise machine and broke one of their framed pictures.  They refused to let us pay, and yet I did.  Their oldest son is on his mission and Sarah is such a cute missionary mom.  Great family!

This was a Provo Beach? fun place.  Leia and Charlie rode the carousel and played in an indoor playground.  Pat and the boys did the ropes courses.  I sat there holding the stuff.  We all ate ice-cream.  They even had indoor surfing! (we didn't surf, but watched the people wipe out)

One of our campsites.  Camping is much cheaper and exciting for the kids; more memorable.  Pat and I realized at this campsite that neither one of us brought sleeping bags for Leia and Charles and it was cold at night.  We managed.  I also realized that since the bathroom was far away and I can't make it through the night without going, that I need to increase my leg strength to be able to squat long enough. 

Bright and early we ate and packed up and went to the MTC open house at 9am.  Here's us waiting for the bus to take us there.

Walking through the cafeteria.  The gym was huge and there was a wonderful track to run around way up high.
Stopping for a picture.  Charles was not in a cooperative mood this day.

I love them!

These are just how the meetings looked when I was there!

Beautiful pictures and quotes everywhere.
I admit I cried through a lot of it.  Dallas gave me his frog to use for a tissue.  Frogs like to be wet.

My pictures cannot do justice to the beautiful murals.

Walking to the new building for classrooms.  How wonderful to have all those windows in class now!!! 

This is a beautiful mural of Book of Mormon scenery.  It's 3D and looks like you could step right in.  I'm sad we're covering it up.  The only reason was a missionary offered to take our picture.

Then we went next door to BYU to show the kids the campus.  Pat wanted to show them where he used to study.

An interesting display in the library that we'd learned about in homeschool.  That's not a display, but Sam dressed up as a Plague doctor.

Tired and hungry at this point, but then we saw the bowling alley and decided to go bowl since it'd been a looong time and it was cheap!  We had a great time (after a while).  Turns out it's not so easy to keep balls out of the gutter.

This meal was outstanding.  For old times sake, we went to dinner at the Brick Oven.  Pizza, pasta, salad bar, garlic bread, desserts, and ice-cold root beer.  It was such a treat!  We did their deal where you can have lots of different pizza slices to taste.  It was all so good!

Then we went to the Provo Temple and I laid on the grass with the tired kids while Pat walked the others around the grounds.  There were a lot of missionaries playing games on the grass, enjoying their P-day.
I love these two!

Our dearest girl!
Charles running down a hill!

We visited my dad and he and Janis put the idea into our heads to go to the 'This is the Place' monument.  We'd never been so we did!  It was interesting to read the histories on all the statues and monuments. I liked showing my kids how my dad reads braille and knows the scriptures and singing songs.  There was a little park across the street so they enjoyed that. 

 This Leatherby's is nothing like the Sacramento ones, but it was still a special treat!

This is at our second campsite.  I was not impressed with our campsite at all and we got eaten up by mosquitoes.  But there was this wonderful lake to play in!
Charlie found this 'bow and arrow' and he would shoot it and then run the arrow where he shot it.

Visiting my Aunt Karen's house.  Pat and my cousin Scott.
I'm so thankful to my Aunts for getting together and prepping all the genealogy stuff for us to scan.  It took ALL DAY and would have been impossible without them prepping it before.  It would also have been impossible without them there to identify pictures!  It would also have been impossible without Pat buying a scanner and figuring out how to do everything, and Dallas patiently scanning all day next to him.  So glad to have that done!  I know that was a lot of work for them, not to mention hosting us and feeding us too.  Such wonderful food!  I have to stop thinking about it or I won't make it through the rest of this Fast Sunday!

 I snapped a picture of a picture of my grandma Theda and my aunt Karen.  My grandma died when I was so young that I never really got to know her.  I miss her.

I love my far away family and rarely get to see them, so it was nice to even just say hello.  I got to see the place where my Uncle Al was laid, and it broke my heart to know what he went through at the end.  I'm glad he didn't have to suffer long, but it's hard that he went so quick. And we won't get to see him for a while.  But it really is just for a while!  He just passed through to the other side. There were such happy things my Aunt Karen told me and I can see that his sense of humor is still intact and he's still close. He was a good uncle to me.

Our last stop on this journey was to Pat's sister Beth's house.  Beth and her husband Casey could not have been kinder to us and they were so super fun to be with.  My kids actually said being there was better than Disneyland!  They played games with our kids, fed us terrific food, and were amazing hosts.  Their home is so beautiful.  Tight (and by that I mean immaculate), and cozy (not too big and looks warm for the winter months).  I loved going to their church with them too. Good people out there!

We went to their home in Idaho because of the Eclipse on August 21, 2017.  We got to see the total eclipse, so imagine these sunny pictures below turning almost as dark as night.  It was really neat!
Riding razors, atv's, etc., at Casey's parents house.  What an incredible house, and what kind parents Casey has.  Such a fun family. 

Here's Casey and Beth are burning their eyes by looking at the eclipse without glasses.

Overall this was such a satisfying trip.  It makes me feel happy and ready to start the new school year.  I wish everything wasn't so much of a drive, but our kids handled it really well.  Fourteen hours on the last day to get home!  But it was completely worth it.

I surprised myself at crying when I saw the beautiful New Mexico skies as we got close to home.  It was something spiritual- like we're supposed to be here.  You can't imagine how beautiful the skies are here.  I mean this picture below was taken through a window while speeding down the freeway with just my cell phone.  Every night Pat and I go walking we are treated to the majesty of these skies.