Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Hulk

Life is sure busy right now.  Family, household chores, school for my older two, homeschool for my younger 3, my School (Pathway BYU-I), Ward Conferences, New Beginnings nights, organizing camp and youth dances, firesides, and activities, and many meetings.  Pat's still working overtime through March and going on campouts and other scout meetings, high council meetings, etc.  I've been trying to help a couple friends in hard circumstances, while finding time to exercise, plan meals, go to the pinewood derby, you know.  That's the short version of our schedules right now. 

I am more in love with this guy than ever.  He does so much to help around the house even after long hours at work and meetings.  Each day I read Bible in the morning with the kids, and he reads Book of Mormon at night with us all and I just love that he remembers to do that.  He reminds me of the dad in The Hiding Place.  It was nice to have a date recently that wasn't just talking on the drive to and from meetings.  (Though those are great too.)

Recently he called me from work at 9am and said both of his elbows just tore through his shirt.  It was a nice shirt, but it had gotten old and fragile.  So he made it through the day trying to keep his elbow holes hidden.  When he walked through the door at 5pm, he yelled like the Hulk and flexed so hard his elbow holes ripped all the way up and down the arms.  Then he ripped open the front sending buttons flying who knows where and we all laughed our heads off. 

I've cut as many things as we can in our schedules, by the way, because we clearly have too much, but some things I can't get out of for 3=5 more months and other things we don't want to change.   As we work along side remarkable and wonderful people in our callings we learn so much.  But as soon as I can, I will restore balance.  The stress of having so much makes me eat bad and my body suffers, not to mention our family time suffers.  In the meantime, I'm trying to learn to be stretched and ask for God's grace to make up the difference for what I can't do.  Like when I had only one or two babies and I could hardly handle that, but then as you go through life you stretch and can handle a lot more than you ever thought you could.  Still, sometimes,  I just eat chocolate, watch Lark Rise to Candelford, crack my knuckles and stay in bed muttering incoherently.

We loved getting this picture of Pat's bro Eric in the MTC.  The girl in the red is from our ward and so amazing.   We love reading Eric's letters.

 I drove kids from Sam's class on a field trip to the Round House in Santa Fe to talk to congressmen about funds for a building for our school.  Here the kids are photographed in front of the oldest church in the USA.  That's what the sign says!

Talking to their congressman.  Good kids!  They wrote their feelings about their school from their heart and then read the statements.
 Blow up wand from Grandma.
 Pinewood Derby!  This was a frustrating day for me. Pat was on a campout and I don't know how to do cars.  The kids lost most every race, but at least they don't care.   They love it.
 Sam all dressed for school!  It's been cold!

Sometimes you stir-fry some vegetables, add a curry sauce, and throw it over rice and it's fantastic!  This is an easy curry dish.  I'll add the recipe later.

For some reason, Dallas has been losing handfuls of teeth.  I didn't know 12 year olds still lost teeth and he seems to lose one a week!

My sil Kim is about to have a baby!  I am so excited!  And my sister will soon follow!  These are good times.


Charles had a birthday.  Shout hooray! 
 Smile Charlie!
 He says about 10 new words a day and I don't know if I don't remember my previous kids, but he seems smarter than them all.  Don't tell them! 
I was making him a bath and he ran across the house to the bathroom yelling, "Happy!" 

When we ask him questions, instead of saying "Yeah", he says "Lah".  He is currently a professional tackler.  Don't ever turn your back on him or he'll plow you over or do a flying jump onto you.  He says, "Drink water!", and "Mom, read book!".

I get this feeling he's just been able to talk forever and holding out on us.  He is the best boy ever.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Locked Calculator

It's always fun learning new things even though it opens us up to mocking by those that know more than us in that subject.  Karisa is taking a math class this semester and we had the following conversation tonight:

Karisa:  Why does my calculator say to log in?
Me: You probably hit the log n button.
Karisa:  You can lock a calculator?  I don't know the password.
Me: Log is a math function, you probably hit the log button.

Our eyes met and we laughed together.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Charles is talking like crazy now.  Wood! Noah! Mom Mere! (Mom come here.) Deer! (for some reason he yells Deer! while I'm driving around), and Kneel! for when it's time for prayer.  He has such a cute little voice.  He counts by pointing at things and going, "One, Two, Two, Two,...".  He is crazy like all who have gone before him and seems to take after Sam in height.  Putting pants on him is futile.  They'll be off in minutes.   

Pat was folding and putting away clothes.  Charles was helping and had to sniff each one first to see if it was really clean or dirty.  He must see me doing that :)

Yesterday we walked a couple miles as a family and all the boys carried a walking stick that they'd found.  Charles refused to sit in his stroller.  And he had to have his own stick.  He is all boy.

On the other hand, Leia has been distraught for the last half hour about a dead fly on the floor in the bathroom.  Pat told her to get a brother to take care of it, but I guess no one's helping her.  She came back to Pat and said, "It's not going well with me.  The fly is still there."

She is still so sweet and loving and puts her hands on my face, and with all the feeling possible, says, "Mom I just love you SO much!", and "You're my best friend!".   She and Charlie are best friends too.  And she and Dallas.  And sometimes she and Evan or Sam.  At this point she'll launch into a long explanation about who she plays with and why, and why some people break her heart, etc., etc, etc.

But if I tease her and tell her she's full of baloney, she puts on funny faces and we laugh so hard.  Last night I hit my head on the wall as we were cuddling and that busted us up for 10 minutes.
Pat is excited that in scouts they have an LDS all female venture crew in Albuquerque for girls ages 16-18.  Venture crew does backpacking, rock climbing, white-water rafting and other high adventure things and we think it's neat that now girls can participate if they care to.  But so far, our girl is a princess.  She lacks coordination and can't even walk down the hallway without tripping over toys or bumping into walls and piercing our eardrums with her cries.

We have been having fun playing Sardines for family night activity.  That's like Hide n' Seek but where you hide with the person when you find them, hoping not to be the last one that finds them.  I hid under the bed and no one could find me for the longest time.  It was awesome because no one thought I could get under there for some reason.  Then Dallas found me, then Pat, and we just kept squishing under that twin bed silently until the last person found us.  Good times.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One day, I said to myself, "I think I'll dye my hair one shade lighter".  So a medium brown instead of dark brown.  The resulting red was NOT pleasant to me.  Pat liked it.  I should say LIKES it, because no matter what I do, I cannot get rid of it.  I've died it three times since then.  I give up.  At least my friend put some streaks of dark brown in for me, and our water is so hard here that I'm pretty sure in a few weeks the red will all have faded away to a bearable level.  The stupid price we women pay for vanity :)  (Pat took this picture while I was on the phone asking my sister what to do to fix it!)

Our scout troop just so happened to schedule a visit to our local fire station and it was perfect for me to go since I wanted to say thank you to all the people there who helped me anyway.  Here is my actual ambulance and bed in case you wanted to know.


Thanked them all and had a great visit!  They were so kind and showed us every bit of the firehouse.  The EMT who helped me in the ambulance is kneeling down.  I took him fresh rolls to share with a thank you card.

One thing I love about where I live are the big blue skies!  Pat works on an air force base and for some reason the huge military helicopters and planes fly directly over our house on their way to who knows where.  The noise is powerful when they fly over and I like it because we all love to watch them!  I should have used zoom on this photo below, but as I was driving home I saw 9 go over all in a group.  Four gigantic tank helicopters that have two blades, and 5 smaller black helicopters following (which is what I caught in this picture.)

One day we saw a bunch of small planes, painted brightly, flying around in a V formation back and forth over our house and the hills around us.  Wonder what that could have been.  

What a surprise to get the BYU alumni magazine and find my old running teacher featured!  While Pat was doing his Master's at BYU, I up and decided to take a community class on running and Hawk was a most excellent teacher.  The fact that I can run at all is attributed to him.  I still remember how he told me sugar is poison and they don't even let it in their house.  I asked him, being a member of the church and all, how the heck he deals with sugar at every activity and treats dropped off at the door, etc.  He said they say thank you and then trash it.  I liked this liberating talk!  I'm going to go eat a cookie.

A friend (was that you Christie?) posted this on Facebook and I thought it summed up my life perfectly.  I have all these lofty goals: to dress perfectly, to eat perfectly, etc... but most of the time I fail miserably and have to go with whatever is available.  I'm a super busy mom on a budget and I just do my best. 
I've been having back problems for over a month now.  Sciatic pain? But it moves up into my neck too.  I can't do the things I used to do, and putting on clothes or picking up Charles is no picnic.  I can't figure out what happened, because I usually don't have back trouble.  I've decided it's our really old bed.  I wake up in great pain, and then throughout the day it gets better and better; almost going away.  Until I go to bed and wake up the next morning in great pain again.  Super annoying.  Finally, after many nights sleeping on the couch, Pat decided it was time to get rid of our 12 year old bed and got me a new one from Costco.  I can't wait to set it up!  It's a foam one and felt really nice at the store.

We are trying so hard to get out of debt, but felt we had to do this so that I could MOVE.  Unfortunately, when it rains, it pours.  My dishwasher (that is only 3 years old) broke for good today, so for the next 2+ years until we get out of debt, we'll be hand washing.  About a month ago, we had our home inspected for radon, something we should have done when we moved in, and found out our levels are really high and so basically we're going to have to drill under our foundation to install fans (don't know the price tag on that yet) and we're all going to die of lung cancer someday.  Just looking on the bright side.

She's Five!

I can't believe Daisy is five!  I love my girl so much!  We started celebrating Leia's birthday at the Home Depot where they do a free craft for kids once a month.  It just happened to be on her birthday which was perfect!
Since it's almost Valentine's Day they had wooden heart boxes to make.  They sanded, nailed, and painted!

They get to keep these aprons and got a pin when the activity was complete.  Each month they come they bring their aprons and can get a new pin if they do the project.

I decided to do a party this year and we invited Lilly, Sasha, Bailey, and Heidi.  I drew a princess for "Pin the Crown on the Princess".  The girls loved playing this. 
We decorated cookies.  I was experimenting here with new frosting.

Musical Chairs.  They laughed their heads off.  Best when you don't take away chairs at this age.

Playing with the doll house.
If we HAD taken away chairs, Charles would have always won since he never moved.
Presents! (Family party later that night).
Caught Dallas with a Barbie.
Excited kids!
I told the girls not to bring presents, but some did, and at the most random times I'd look over at Leia during the party and she had just opened a gift without even asking!  She opened all three before the party ended, but it was fine; no pressure that way.  She thanked each giver and gave them a hug.  Charles thought all the girls were fantastic!  He ran everywhere they did.  Leia had a really good time until it was time to drive girls home.  She was tired and done and boy did we all know it.  She always says, "This is boring!" whenever she has to do something she doesn't want to or eat something she doesn't want to.  She talks a ton and explains things in a most intelligent and hilarious way.  She is her squeaking happy self most of the time!  Today she was at yoga with me doing all the moves on a mat right next to me.  I just love her!

A day at the museum

Charles in a dinosaur egg nest.

Who knew that such a beautiful place existed in New Mexico?  Valley of the Hoodoos, Bisti De Na Zin Wilderness.

Love this color blue.

I love home schooling.  Going where you want to go whenever you want to go.  Getting as much done but not being stressed and doing homework all evening during family time.  I am seriously wanting to return to it.  Love the school, but love home school more, ya know?  Sick and tired of spending an hour driving every day.  If we go next year, I'd have 4 kids there, and I probably wouldn't have a carpool because no one could drive all my kids so that'd be 2 hours of my day driving.  Bleh. 

I was walking down to have a run and saw Dallas in the trees and asked him what he was doing.  He had been shooting arrows, and lost one in the trees.  But that's not what he said.  To answer me, he started quoting a poem The Arrow and the Song, by Henry Wadworth Longfellow:

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight. 
I busted up laughing.  I think this kid is so neat.  And it reminds me of all the great things the school teaches.   I always had them memorize poems at home too, but it's extra fun with lots of people.  
Every day when I pick him up he wishes I would come later, because he loves doing crazy death defying tricks on the swingset with his friends.   Sam does great at school, but still  wants to homeschool.
And for the last three weeks Dallas has told me of this ongoing debate in History about, "What is freedom?".  The stuff they discuss is remarkable, and they read the words of famous philosophers and people throughout history.  This is what school should be!  Teaching them to think (which is what the mission of this charter school is).  I'm going to be sad to leave the school and sad to stay in also.  It's rough being a grown up.