Thursday, May 22, 2014

End of School Stuff and a Visitor!

School is over!!!!

I asked my mom to come and see the kids end of school performances and stuff and she did!   Typical of where we live, it was totally snowing the night she got here and we had to have coats and a fire going in the middle of May!

We did miss the big school night because of a stomach thing we were all having (yes, my mom got to clean up throw up), and Dallas's class rescheduled their play until after she had returned to Cali, so she missed that, but she got to come to flag ceremony, and Evan's performance, and just be a part of life which means a lot.

Evan's class did a performance with songs about friendship.   He did amazing work this year!
"Let's Go Fly a Kite"
Here are his spelling words at the end of 2nd Grade.  They do a spelling bee every week which includes the marks and numbers.   His teacher is fun and creative, but very serious and orderly, and her kids really know their stuff!

Their spelling words in the first week of school.
These next two are of the last weeks of school.
 Look at that beautiful cursive!  The red writing is Evan's also.  She likes them to do the markings in red.
 They also made paper in their class.
 Here is his final presentation poster.

We had a sort of a birthday party for my mom while she was here since she never gets us around for her birthday- complete with a piƱata that kept breaking.  But not in the appropriate way, hence, all the rope.

Chocolate cake, Cream Cheese Icing, Chocolate and Fruit decor.  Blueberries, Kiwi, and Strawberries.

As for Dallas, he won an award for being on the High Honor Roll and, well, this note from his teacher says it all.  I'm so happy these teachers will have Sam next year.  They have helped Dallas to enjoy school so much he comes bouncing out and has really grown and been challenged this year.
Bag Piper out for the last day of school.  It was really cool!  He's one of our kids parents.

We have been so blessed by this school, the amazing teachers and the wonderful things they accomplish with very little funding compared to the public schools.  I love that Dallas's class did an entire Shakespeare play, adapted, but in Shakespeare language with songs and costumes for their 5th grade end of school year performance.  I love that he had Mr. Moschel for math, the 6th grade teacher, because that is his level, and they didn't force him to stay in 5th grade.   I love that he had a parent in his class teaching art who used to be a college professor.  This parent, Dr. Sinnot, came weekly and taught the kids amazing techniques.  At least better than anything I had in highschool.  I love that Dallas learned a lot of Greek and Latin roots too.  I love all the books my kids read this year (and consequently I read them too). Dallas': Huckleberry Finn, The Life and Narrative of Frederick Douglass, The Old Man and the Sea, Don Quixote, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Secret Garden, Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer, Little Women. Evan's: The Jungle Book, Little House in the Big Woods, Hour of the Olympics, Beauty and the Beast, Stuart Little, Peter Pan, and Charlotte's Web.  I wonder why I wasn't exposed to these good books growing up and feel sad that I spent so many hours reading Sweet Valley Twins and Flowers in the Attic and other similar trash.

I love that all the kids were given a daily planner at the school, and Evan's class kept a record of their work daily.   If or when I return to homeschooling, I think I'll do this for the year ahead of time so they can just check their planner to see what is expected of them that day.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah, Karisa loves her school.  I'm just sayin' that with common core and all the pseudo-education going on that is frustrating kids and parents to death, I am feeling grateful for this little oasis in the middle of nowhere New Mexico.  When I didn't have any good schooling option, I homeschooled, and I still believe in homeschooling.  But I'm glad to have a school I believe in as well.  All parents deserve that choice.  Our bishop is even going to start teaching history here for 7-12th grades next year and he'll be terrific.  Yea!  I'm so glad it's summer!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rock Hard Abs

It's awesome when your mom comes to visit and you give her the stomach bug that your family is going through.

The night before she arrived, I actually called 911 at about 11pm because I've never seen a baby so bad as Charles was.  But en route, Pat laid him on his stomach and Charles got a bunch out, and was instantly better, so I cancelled the ambulance and we went to the doctor the next morning instead.  He's fine now and all better.

Later Pat was asking me why I called 911.  I said, "His stomach felt like it would explode.  It was ROCK HARD!".

He replied, "You never called 911 for me."


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Life Updated-Updated

What a time.  I do not enjoy being busy.  Not for busy-ness sake.  It seems I can't keep up anymore.  I'm going to have to start saying no more, but I don't even do half of the stuff I should be doing, right?  So I write these posts trying to keep track of our lives in a small way.

I've been really worried about a friend who may be going through a divorce soon, and trying to help her, while not doing near enough because I've got a family to take care of, including Charles who has been throwing up for two days and sick for days before that. 

Dallas has been having to stay 3 hours after school for end of school year performances and such and we're just so done with school. Happily my moms coming tomorrow to be a part of the end of school year stuff!  I get to spend about 1/100 the amount of time I need with family.  I have way too many things I want to do with her.
Family night game of hopscotch recently.  Hopscotch is really fun!

Leia came to see me dressed like a fairy.  I asked her to please turn me into a beautiful princess, and then I scrunched my eyes shut and waited for it to happen.  She said, "Wait a minute mom, I have to go turn Sam into a pig first."  It was just matter of fact. Poor Sam- wasn't even doing anything. 

I registered the kids for swim lessons and scout camps, and Pat and I are getting ready to go to our camps soon.  Dallas is going away for a week to a leadership scout ranch and it's a bit scary since he's never been away.  He did spend the night at his friend Larry's house yesterday though and had a great time!  We love their family and his dad Joey even taught Dal how to ride a dirt bike. 

I got to go to a Family History Fair and learned how to do a blog which I'll start soon for my family history.  My neighbor came and learned a lot about DNA searching since he's adopted.  Then we made a dinner and had a dance for all the youth in the area.

So my friend DeAnn had a photoparty here and invited me.  I went primarily to be a friend to those that I know have been having a hard time, because I think spending money on my own photo session is ridiculous.  It was really cheap, but still, I get uncomfortable.  In the end, I helped absolutely no one as Charles was having a really hard day and wouldn't sleep or stop crying so that I could even do the photo session.  I finally gave up and tried to leave.  Then everyone tried to stop me.  Then I started crying at all the attention.  Then they took my baby away, changed his diaper, and drove him around in is car seat until he fell asleep.  I was still crying and they forced me to sit and do photos.  I was a bit mad.  I used to have bad days with my kids when I had my first little ones, but that rarely happens anymore as I'm way more laid back.  The day had started off perfectly fine, so for me to get this stressed was evidence that it was really just not my day and time to go home.  Nothing I could do for Charles worked and I knew any pictures they took would look awful.

Imagine my surprise when this is what she sent me.  All I can say is she must be good with photoshop.  I think they are stunning.  DeAnn has such talent at posing people and snap snap snap, done!  It really was like 5 minutes total.

These might be the best pictures of me ever taken, and I'm so glad I was forced into it.  Seriously it might be all photoshop, but it looks like how I see myself.  And I like how if you look closely you can see my grey hairs.  I've heard that even people in their old age still think and feel young, and it's sometimes surprising when your pictures don't look like you, or when your body won't do what it used to.  I believe it.  I'm glad these pictures feel like me yet still show my age of 38!  DeAnn specializes in making Mamas look hot, and feel as the beautiful as they used to.  Goal accomplished.  She is amazing.

So one of my goals this year to fix up the house a bit.  Our carpet is 12 years old, we need better lighting, painting and other things.  This seems like a good year since we'll have family visiting.  Yesterday we were painting and Charlie leaned against a wall.  We laughed and laughed at him.

Instead of hating the new paint color and painting over it 5 times before I find the right color, I only had to do my bathroom 3 times.  (I am a terrible decorator.)

Recently we were asked to do a booth about basic bread making for our Self Reliance Fair.  It is a community thing our church does yearly, and they have all sorts of classes and booths.  There were hundreds who came and mostly not members of our church to learn everything from making outdoor ovens, gardening, your own soaps and toothpastes, storing food, canning, HAM radio, water collection, etc. 
Since Sam is being homeschooled, I made him learn a basic bread recipe and make it three times so he has it down.
Pat and I made a lot of bread.  We gave out sample and recipes and gave people tips.  Like how to store wheat, grind it and make it into basic breads.  The good thing is that I mastered sourdough finally.  Feeding that starter and caring for it is like having a small pet!

About a month ago I was reading a book by the Duggars which had their favorite recipes.  It was a lot of canned cream of whatever, and velveeta, tuna, you know, easy things to dump together to feed a large family.  But I was interested in seeing how my kids liked it.  For an entire week I cooked one Duggar dish after another.  I don't think it will work in our house.  My kids are used to enchiladas, curry dishes, soups and lots of vegetables and whatever other crazy things mom puts on the table.  Here is one of their dinners though that actually went okay.  It is good ol' Mormon funeral potatoes, just under a different name.

Who knows what these two are up to.

Silly Charles.

Humiliation.  (Actually he's crying because Evan is holding him so Pat can take a picture.)
Struggling to get away.
Happy with Dad.

About a week ago, Pat wanted a nice date out, but since restaurants are far away and a lot of money, he made his own.  It was quite a nice surprise.  I loved it.  I really admire Pat doing this.  He didn't even know how to cook some of this, but he is a great cook so he was willing to try, and had a stack of recipes printed out for the different things.  It cost quite a bit to buy all this food, but we just used the leftovers all week to feed the family so it wasn't much more than a regular grocery trip

I had the cheese and crackers and grapes as appetizer. The Big Bang salad.  The Tuna Steak, and Baked Potato, and the Cherry Cheesecake.  

Nothing was actually burnt,  but I don't know how long this restaurant will stay in business.  There were a lot of dirty kids begging for food (and I actually had to share with them) and the kitchen help must have quit because I had to do all the dishes.

Leia likes to sit here while I do the dishes and talk.

Here she is asleep in her carseat.  We are so sick of the car with all the driving for school.

Here a jar of my favorite pickles that almost made it to the house.  It happens when your helpers are little.  I love these pickles so much I wanted to rescue them, but I knew better. 

Because of our D.C. trip, we didn't do anything for the kids on Easter, and I warned them so they wouldn't be disappointed when they didn't get candy or baskets in the morning.  It was sad, but as Dave Ramsey says, "You've got to tell your money what to do, or it will leave- this is a BUDGET".

So we were really surprised Easter morning to find that the Easter bunny did visit us!
Dallas, surprised everyone.  It was an Easter basket that he filled himself.  He did a lot of chores a while back to earn that money, and a lot of work on that multi-page card.  Sometimes I'm so pleased with my kids, I just don't know what to do.
Easter Egg Dying
Easter Egg Hunting
Pat hid the eggs in one acre of our yard and still forgot where two were and they were never found.

Easter Eggs in Dallas's lunch.  It always amazes me how much this guy packs for lunch. That is a whole sandwich (one half on top of the other), two hard boiled eggs, chips, granola bar, applesauce, and crackers.
On the way home from school, I found out he's even been packing my egg slicer off to school!  I told him no more of that.  He would eat more if I'd let him pack more too.  Sheesh!  My lunch was always whatever the school was serving.  His school doesn't have a cafeteria.