Sunday, March 27, 2016

Today was a fun day at church.  I got to lead the primary kids in their Easter song and they did really well.  I got to substitute a primary class and I also got to sing with some of my favorite people.  I even had a solo.  Not my favorite song, but it was okay; it was a nice Easter program at church.  If I could have chosen a song for the kids or us adults, it would have been this or this 

Out here we make the kids hunt over an acre for their eggs.  Pat has to write down where he put them all because most years we don't find them all.  We hide some hard boiled ones, but also plastic ones filled with change.  This year one had a coupon for one free anytime hour of video games.  Pretty fun.

They got a small amount of candy this year and then I had the idea to give them toys from our missions.  This below is a diabolo.  I think they are a ton of fun and I used to know a lot of tricks on them.  Pat got some tops from his mission that you wind a long string around too.  I really wanted to get the boys and Pat new matching orangy ties, but it was too much, and they'll survive.  Or, I should say, I'll survive having to look at their same-old ties. *smile*

Our town finally moved the Easter Egg hunt to a Saturday instead of Sunday, so we went for the first time this year.  It was a little stressful.  Charles walked away with three eggs and in tears.  But he was enamored with the Easter Bunny that was there, and the police and firefighters were fun to joke with.  They were handing out additional gifts and such. 

I love when coincidences happen.  We had just finished learning about Russia and one of the suggested activities was to make Russian painted eggs.  And since it just happened to be Easter week too, it worked out perfectly.  We blew the eggs out, washed and dried them, painted them by hand, and then sprayed clear coat over the top.  You can't tell but they're shiny and beautiful.  Sam and Evan made these.

Evan's three crosses on his egg.

We dyed eggs, but the chicken ones were already colored!
I don't know why Sam has a bowl on his head, but I just liked this picture because these boys help so much and I felt so much love for them as we washed, rinsed and dried the dishes together.  The three oldest boys often do the dishes on their own and clean the whole kitchen.  They are wonderful.

A special word about Evan.  He wants to be a builder, and he is really good at making pretty much everything.  Each week we go to story-time at the library for Leia, and then they have a craft and while I'm picking out books for the kids, Evan will go and help her do the craft.  At home we do lots of history lessons and at the end of the chapter they have suggested activities.  Evan always wants to do them, even if I don't, and he'll just read the instructions and make things with Leia every week.  Last week when we were studying China he made this lantern.  Doesn't it look so cool!!!  Evan is so awesome!
Here it is in the daylight.  Less exciting.  Anyway, I just think Evan is great.  He sews, crafts, and builds like a boss and understands instructions better than his mother sometimes.  He keeps Leia and Charles happy with all the stuff he makes. 
By the way, this silly girl smiles like this all the time because she's a turkey.

Below is Dal leading his first Court of Honor for the boy scouts.  He just earned his life and is hoping to get his Eagle in about 6 months!  He is determined and does a really great job at his own scouting and at helping and encouraging his younger brothers.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Charlie funny

Pat called on Charlie tonight to say the family prayer.  Charles likes to say prayer and usually does a really good job, so it surprised us that he just sat there without saying a word.

Pat tried prompting him, but still nothing.  So I teased that maybe his mouth was glued shut.  Pat lifted him upside down and said, "Is your mouth glued shut?"

Then Charles made a barfing sound.  Pat ran to the sink with Charlie, and the whole family just watched. Yet again, someone was getting sick.  It seems to be our lot in life.

At the sink nothing happened for a while, which is not unusual.  Charles hates throwing up and always tries to swallow it back down to avoid the experience.  But soon we heard the barfing sound again and the results landing in the sink.

Suddenly Pat exclaimed, "Oh, so you don't like my plantains?!"

Pat had made fried plantains (a food from his mission in Venezuela) and forced everyone to try a bite.  Apparently, Charles had been holding the chewed up plantain in his mouth for a while, hating it so much he didn't want to swallow, but not knowing what else to do.   Hence he couldn't talk or say the prayer.

It was very comedic for all of us watching the proceedings, and after that bite was spit out in the sink, he came back happy as could be, to pray.  Whew!  He made it through without having to eat that dumb plantain!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I finished up another college class, psychology, with an A!  And I just scored 138 on my first ever IQ test.  As a point of reference, Ph.D and M.D.s are in the 125 range, so yeah, I'd listen to me.  Just kidding.

I just thought I'd mention that I have a wonderful husband.  We've been through so much together and I never know how to say how I feel about him adequately.  It's just overwhelming, my gratitude for all he does.  I love him so much, and I'm so glad to have him beside me.  I just finished reading The Good Earth, and towards the beginning, it brought tears to my eyes to read about the poor Chinese farmer and his new wife working together to make the most out of all they had.  It was the description of a good marriage to me.  It wasn't even meant to be an emotional or notable part in the book, but as I read of them working the land next to each other, up and down the rows of wheat, back and forth, each day, I just became emotional.  Marriage isn't always super exciting, and some people might say you're not really living life to it's fullest if it's not, but there is something sweet and full about steadily working day by day together, whether it's doing dishes, laundry, or teaching children.  We are building something lasting, that even I don't fully comprehend, but I know it's real, and I know it's worth it.  As time goes on, we serve each other more willingly, trying to make life easier on the other, and though we will always have much to improve on, I am full of humble gratitude for all the Lord has blessed me with.

A sad day in our republic when we lose a wonderful judge on the Supreme Court.  Here's one of my favorite quotes from him:

"The governmentalization of charity affects not only the donor, but also the recipient. What was once asked for as a favor is now demanded as an entitlement. The belief that the world owes me a living has an effect on the character of the recipient. Christ's special love for the poor was attributable to qualities that they possessed in abundance. Meekness and humility. It is humbling to be an object of charity. Entitlement has produced donors without love and recipients without gratitude." - - Antonin Scalia

A sad day all around when either the people or the powers that be, are upholding candidates for president without morals, and without a love for the country, the constitution, and the freedom of the people.  I really fear for my kids, but then I remember faith, and I hold to the faith I have in these spirits God has sent me, and in the plan that was prepared before the earth for our learning and benefit.  It is our loving Father's plan and he knows all his children.  Come what may, it will all work out in the end.

I had two extra visitors for history one morning!

Visited a park in Albuquerque just as a storm was rolling in.  It had this really high wall and was right up against the Sandia mountains and foothills.

 Good memories reading Old Hat New Hat with each one of my kids!

Below was when we were studying the many different influences on the English language.  Angle, Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian from the Vikings, Latin from the Romans, French from the Normans, etc.  I love this stuff!  On the left is an excerpt from Beowulf in AngloSaxon, and on the right is the Celtic, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
We also talked about the codes of chivalry for the knights, and equally, the things that were most important to the Samurai; the "knights" of Japan.  I thought it interesting that for them, balance included not only fighting, but gardening, writing, and painting, poetry, and dance.  We talked about the four pillars of life, and what were the four things most important to us in life.  I got some really interesting answers!

Viking ships.  My kids are REALLY into the Dragons Race to the Edge and Dreamworks Dragons, based off the How to Train Your Dragon books.  So they were plenty happy to make Viking ships for history!
A little note about cute Leia.  She always mixes up words and one day came crying saying that someone had "Chimped her".  "Charlie is always chimping me and it hurts!"  Well, she means pinching, but no matter how many times we establish that, it remains chimping.  It's so cute!