Friday, September 9, 2016

Trying to catch up...

Lately, I feel like I've been subbing for everyone and everything (Pat too).  A couple stints in primary as chorister, in the nursery, and subbing for some of my kids teachers who were out of town.  The whole Summer it felt like everyone was gone from church, and it mentally wore me out having to adjust my brain to fill in all the different holes.  Not that it was just me, of course.  I was also asked to sub on a Relief Society night with two wards combined about Back to School topics (money saving strategies, school lunches & dinners, and scripture study and journal writing).  I got asked to fill in as the teacher for the Scripture Study and Journal writing class.  It went really well!  I just talked about what we did, and tried to make it a more of a fun party atmosphere since it wasn't a Sunday class.  For scripture study, I just briefly told them to find something that works for them and stick with it.  For us, we need a visual reminder that we are progressing.  We read the New Testament this last school year, and though this sheet got messy, we finished it! 

I also shared about how we print out our blog at the end of each year (only a few years behind!), and shared stories from some of Pat's Grandma's books.  I asked them about why they journal and shared my thoughts.

Didn't they decorate the room so cool?  Like a classroom!
 I journal for family far away to see things that they wouldn't normally see or be a part of.  Even though we still  talk to family regularly, it would be too difficult to try to tell each person each thing, or email pictures constantly.  This way, those who are interested can see what we've been up to, and we have a record too.  I journal because when I'm feeling down, I can go back and see all the neat things we've done and quickly get over it and realize, I'm awesome!  Seriously, it helps women to verbalize out loud their struggles.  Like saying a prayer out loud can make it so that the troubles float away to Jesus and the burden leaves your shoulders.  This happens to me with journaling.  I journal for family history.  The kids love to take down the books and look at their happy memories.  Leia adores her baby book.  It's falling apart she loves it so much.  Plus when I'm old, I'm sure it'll be interesting to read about what life used to be like.  I journal because it makes writing Christmas letters so easy; I just look back and summarize the highlights without having to think hard.  I journal because I become a better writer; maybe not by world's standards, but I think I'm more interesting now than when I started out 8+ years ago, and it takes me less time to put my thoughts into words.  I journal because it reminds me of how to do things; like how I homeschooled in the past, how I cooked for Girl's Camp, what songs I used to sing my kids, what our traditions are in case I forget, etc.  A lot of history is pieced together from journals which is how we know how things happened back then; at least through the eyes of the writer.

I even sang them Pat's family's Chocolate Ice Cream Cone song, just to show them how neat it is that his family even puts songs in their family books that are family traditions so they will be remembered.  I turned bright red and everyone laughed at me and all, but it was a fun song to sing.  Anyway, they really seemed to enjoy my quick 20 minute presentation, and be fired up, and reached out to me in many ways to thank me, even days later.  That means so much to me!  I do feel like I was meant to teach that class, though I wouldn't have picked it myself.  I would have picked the food part of course! I did feel bad for lying though, because I told them once they got into the habit of blogging or journal writing, they wouldn't even have to think about it.  "I just sit down every Sunday and write", I told them.  Well, lately we've been so busy, I've not written for weeks, so my pants are on fire!


Still working on accumulating the uniforms for school.  It started getting cold already in the mornings and we needed sweaters and socks.  It never ends!!!  Here's our cute girl reciting a poem with her class in front of the whole school at flag ceremony.

I didn't record it at the school because she was invisible in the back line!  So here she is reciting The Frog by Hilaire Belloc
Be kind and tender to the Frog,
   And do not call him names,
As ‘Slimy skin,’ or ‘Polly-wog,’
   Or likewise ‘Ugly James,’
Or ‘Gape-a-grin,’ or ‘Toad-gone-wrong,’   
   Or ‘Billy Bandy-knees’:
The Frog is justly sensitive
   To epithets like these.
No animal will more repay
   A treatment kind and fair;
At least so lonely people say
Who keep a frog (and, by the way,   
They are extremely rare).



I've been cooking tons more pockets, and popcorn, etc.  Keeping four kids in clothes and school lunches is quite an expense of time and money!  The next two months are going to be scary busy, so I really want to be prepared.  My school is started, soccer has started, music is in full swing, etc.

Dallas is so neat.  He'll notice we're running low on popcorn and cook up some more.  He'll notice that the garbage needs taking out and just do it.  He's always volunteering to help with anything I need.  He always helps his teachers too. He never seems to complain, but just gets along happily with whatever situation he's in.  I love that about him.  He always infuses humor into every situation too.  Like when he can tell I'm about blow up!

Someone gave us fresh cucumbers from their garden, so I sliced them and tossed them with vinegar and sugar and a pinch of salt and dill.  Kind of like fresh pickles or an Asian cucumber salad.  Makes a yummy lunch snack.
 I made tons of granola bars because I think homemade are so much healthier than storebought, but do not underestimate the power of a little container of trail mix (there's so many different kinds!), or a minty bite like a York peppermint patty.  My kids love getting these in their lunch.  Leia loves for me to put 5 chocolate chips, 5 white chocolate chips, 5 butterscotch chips, 5 raisins, 5 craisins, and some almonds all together in a small container.  Maybe some banana chips too.  She likes loose snacks like this and it's so easy.
 Charles sampling the pizza pockets to make sure they're good.  (Funny note: He calls Two-Face, Toothpaste).
 Pat ate one and said, "I need three more of those!"  I make the ham and swiss cheese pockets, the taco meat pockets, and the pot-pie pockets, but these pizza pockets are everyone's favorite.  I make them alternate taking a frozen lunch like these pockets, and taking a lunch they don't have to heat up.
I make my french bread recipe, but break the dough into balls that I roll out like a tortilla and fill with one slice mozzarella cheese, two slices of pepperoni on top, and one small spoonful of sauce on top of that.  Fold over and roll and pinch shut.  Bake 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.  It doesn't seem like much, but it bakes up big and flavorful and tastes great.  Dallas could eat two though, so I need to make 5 per day rather than 4 per day. (By the way, if you aren't comfortable working with dough, I tried putting the same ingredients in a tortilla and folding in the two sides, then folding over from the bottom up to it is tightly wrapped.  Then baked on a greased baking sheet seam side down and always poke holes in the top with a skewer or toothpick!  It worked great!
This is the sauce we like but anything works.  After they're baked and cooled completely, I freeze them in individual sandwich bags and then in the morning the kids put one in each of their lunch bags.  By lunch time it's pretty defrosted, and they just have to warm it up for 30 seconds in the microwave, which they all have in their classrooms.  At their school there is no cafeteria.  They just eat in their classrooms.

Charlie's been my big helper at home!



Finished planning out my year for scouts.  I love planning because then I don't have to think as much, and it makes the burden lighter.  I just look at what's coming up and, and complete each weekly activity, rather than planning and figuring constantly.


Pat is so awesome, helping people with computers, helping Dallas with his Eagle, helping Sam with school, working on treehouse, and all he does to serve at church.  It was our turn to clean the church last weekend and he always works really hard. He fills in for teachers on vacation, and is the Math teacher for 5 of us at home.  What would we do without him?  In so many ways...
He is my superhero.

Three of my kids came down with the flu at a really bad time.  I wasn't sure about Leia after dropping her off at school, and sure enough, right as I sat down in the dentists chair for my appointment (an hour away in Albuquerque) I got a call that she was in the nurses office with a 102 fever.  She didn't have one in the morning, but in just a couple hours she got it bad.  I left my appointment and found her in the nurses office sound asleep.  At this time, we happened to be getting ready to have family in town and do Dallas's Eagle project, so I made everyone else drink from her cup, so we could get it and get over it before the project.  Evil, I know.  I don't think anyone got sick, but at least they didn't get sick at the crucial time!
Dallas found this song I love on the internet and learned to play it!

What a patient brother, to do homework while his sister sits on him.

Fun hairstyles for school.
Sam's working steadily on his scouting.  He just earned his 2nd Class and his First Aid Merit Badge.  I always worry about Sam being Dallas's shadow, but Dallas is always trying to help Sam, not squash him, and I think Sam will do things just fine too.  We all have challenges, but he's a really neat person.


Mustaches from the end of season Swim party.  Charles is wearing Evan's glasses too, goofy kid.

Playing at the dentist right before we got called to the school.

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