Monday, August 14, 2017

One of my favorite quotes:
Now a serious one:

Breakfast together.  One day where will they all be?  I wish they could stay forever.

We've all heard that mothering is many jobs rolled into one which is true.  Lately I've felt an extreme weight of paperwork and schedule organization getting ready for school.  Packets of paperwork for each kid's sport.  Getting D his ID card so he can do CNM.  Getting physicals, filing for homeschool, ordering curriculum and Pat ordering classes online, etc.  We are also coming to the close of the paperwork for becoming foster parents.  I watched Blind Side the other day and bawled like I always do.  I just feel for those kids like Michael.  Ever since I worked in foster care I've wanted to help children.  But it's scary to know it could be as soon as the end of August and Will I feel tied down?, unappreciated, heart-broken, too much strain on us, etc.  I don't really know what to expect.  Here's the cyfd checklist.  I'm glad it's thorough, but so much work!  I can see why rich people keep personal secretaries!  I was joking with our worker saying that after this, I should be able to do anything sans paperwork!  I should just be able to say, "I am licensed by cyfd!!!", and be trusted completely.  That was enough paperwork to last a lifetime! 

Dallas learning about economics.  Unbeknownst to me, he has begun purchasing little items at Walmart whenever we go and then opening up his "store" at home and selling these things for a small mark-up to his siblings.  So he's earning money and they're getting poor, but having a lot of fun with his small toys that I would never have bought.  Like these balloons.  This is Sam's giraffe.
Perhaps the best part of this deal is what I get out of it.  They come to me constantly to ask for chores to do to earn money to buy his stuff.  We've had a cleaner house than normal, and my hair has been brushed a lot!
The sign Dallas put up when I had strep.  He was dressed as a doctor and giving crazy advice.

The scheduling!!!  Trying to make 7 people's schedules mesh so that we have time for the important things but also get all the important things done!!!  Hardest homeschool year ever.  Half the time I wonder why I did this to myself.

We've had a lot of pretty rainbows.  This is the view from our front porch.

On our latest trip to the thrift store, Dallas found a like-new scout shirt that will fit him for the rest of his time in scouts.  I was so happy!  His old one was bought when he was eleven so it was getting tight and short!  Then he goes home and takes off all his old patches that he sewed on and then re-sews them onto the new shirt.  That was a full days work!  He has been so busy this summer.  Cleaning out our garage, cleaning up the yard (that's 2.5 acres!), cleaning his sisters closet, organizing and cleaning the laundry closet...  What will I ever do without him!!!  He has been a great help to his very busy already-have-all-we-can-handle parents.  Here's his sash with all his badges and pins.

Our cat caught this lizard and it's tail came off so it was fun to look at.  And gross!

I love watching this cute girl watch shows.  She really smiles and laughs and when something embarrassing or scary happens she gets up and hides behind the couch or buries her head on the seat.  She was watching Prince of Egypt recently which is kind of the story of Moses and the Israelites and she kept getting up and down to hide her face.  The sad parts where they killed the babies.  The embarrassing parts where Moses saw the girl he liked.  She's so cute and dear to me! 

After working with two dentists, one orthodontist and one oral surgeon she has a surgery scheduled soon to fix her teeth.  They're going to have to go into the roof of her mouth from the side and take out teeth that are crazy in every way.  Then they'll have to use donor bone to put her jaw right.  I'm so sad!!!  When the surgeon asked her how she felt about it she answered, with a bit of a smile, "I don't really know."   She's only 7!  He said that was a good answer. 

Two Teenagers!!! Agh Agh Agh

Happy Birthday to Sam!  Thirteen is pretty neat!  Our power went out for 36 hours so we couldn't cook a cake or have ice-cream in the fridge or anything, so I bought a dozen donuts and piled them up to make a "cake".  Here's Sam blowing out his donut.

Pat found this really cool Harry Potter snitch fidget spinner.  If I could sum up our summer it would be swimming and Harry Potter. 
Apparently this is a really fun game Sam played every night at scout camp and it's easy and best with at least 9 players but can go up to 47 or something.  I have no idea, but he was excited.
Evan made a really fun scavenger hunt for Sam all over the yard.  He even buried clues that Sam had to dig up.  They all lead him to the bow-and-arrow set Evan bought for him.  Dallas got him two really cool things that are secret!

Aunt Stephanie and Uncle T gave Sam and a friend the money to go to Hinkle Family Fun Center and play everything from laser tag, to rock climbing, bumper boats, race cars, miniature golf, etc.  I took the littler kids just to do miniature golf since I had not taken them in years and as you can see, we wore Charlie out!
Sam went with his good friend and I thought they would get bored and want to come home by 3pm or so, but they were still going strong at 5pm when I had to rip them away because of other commitments.  I think they could have stayed all night.  This friend is now a full foot taller than Sam and is starting to get a mustache!!!  (He is a year older, because Sam was pretty much the youngest kid in his grade).  But still... crazy that my kids friends look like this now!  He's an absolute sweetheart and funny guy!  I did the parental duty of making sure they stayed hydrated and fed with horrible over-priced snacks.  By the end I couldn't take it anymore and since I knew they needed dinner I ran through a Wendy's drive through and got them each a chicken sandwich, fries, water, and soda for the price of one hot dog! 

This "ride" was free so they stayed on it for at least an hour.  Silly kids.
Wouldn't it be great to have this air-hockey table?  It's a four player!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I can't find my shoes so I'm just going to have to wear feet. -Charles

Charlie and Leia want to take baths constantly and tell me they're really dirty.  Charlie even knows to say his bottom hurts (cause that'll make a mother want to give you a bath) and tried to show me his cheeks- not the ones on his face!  I said, "You just got a bath and those are perfectly clean!"  Then he yells, "No they're not!!!"  They're so anxious to be dirty so they can bathe.  Leia says (to convince me she needs a bath) that sometimes poop goes out of her bottom.  No kidding!

This morning I got the kids ready for church (alone now since Pat's always gone) and when I was done with Charlie I said, "You look so nice!  You look sharp!"  Finally when I was done with the both of them I got me ready and came out to get in the car where they were all waiting for me and Charlie said, "Mom, you look really nice!  That's a beautiful shirt".

It was just so cute because he noticed and took the opportunity to pay me a compliment!  It made me so happy.  What made me happier is that I love the new blouse too and it only cost me 1.00 at the thrift store!!!  I got two nice new tops actually.  Score!

I got strep throat again on Friday and am getting over it, but sad that I had to do another round of antibiotics.  I spent all day yesterday cleaning to try to rid my house of strep since Leia and I have both had it twice now this summer.

Dallas had a dance on Friday.  I'm happy he had fun, I just wish they weren't an hour from our house in not-so-safe Albuquerque.

Then he Sam and Evan had and end-of-year swim party on Saturday.  They did great this year at swimming.  And by great, I mean that they showed up and swam each day all summer and really improved.  Nice strokes, beautiful flip-turns, etc.  We never went to any of the competitions and they don't care enough to earn medals or compete.  That's kind of weird since I can be competitive (back in my swimming days).  Not that I was ever any good.  But if they really wanted it, I think they could be really good!  Unfortunately they don't care that much.  I would insist that we compete next summer but the city is remodeling our pool in Albuquerque next summer and we'll have to go somewhere else if we want to stay together.  It's already 1/2 hour drive to that pool daily, so I don't know if I can handle going even farther next summer...

The coaches gave out paper plate awards to everyone.  The above was Dallas's and I think it's completely accurate.  Definitely free-minded.  I think he caused his coaches some vexation this year and also some laughs.  I saw him once on the block getting set to dive in (when he didn't know I was watching) and when the whistle blew he did a cannon ball instead.  He got wall-sits for that.

Another time I saw him swimming in his lane doing two regular strokes and then a summer-sault and then two regular strokes and so on...

He just can't conform!

I don't know how I feel about this.  In a way I'm glad.  He loves life and makes it fun.  But in another way I'm sad because he has a hard time being a part of things.  He's a bit eccentric and sometimes I think he's on the spectrum and that makes it hard for him to get along easily with people (talking is uncomfortable; he'd rather read a book) and since that makes him come off as unfriendly he gets passed over.  He's already started cross-country with the high school and I see the same stuff happening.  Won't it be interesting to see what God has planned for him!  Anyone who knows him knows he's wonderful, thoughtful and so caring and compassionate.  Whenever he has a free day this summer he has gone over to help our neighbor Warren with things like stacking wood, or called people in the ward and arranged to come work for them.  And he really likes to make people laugh.

He has a great sense of humor too.  For example, tonight he's playing piano for the Stake Seminary Fireside to kick off the new school year.  I told him if he messes up to have a sword ready to fall on 'cause we won't claim him anymore.  Without missing a beat, he said, "That's a good idea.  I'll put it on top of the piano as a grim reminder."

I love it!!  He's so funny. I love joking with my grown up kids.

All in all a great summer though.  And my favorite thing is talking to all the other moms there who are my friend and I got to do that a lot!!!  Yay for friends!

Dallas is the one on the far left.

Friday, July 28, 2017

 In the above picture, I just thought Charlie's little feet were so cute.  Must be a mom thing.  This is their pool they play in on the porch.

 We had all the youth over for BYD and therefore cleaned and cleaned.  The next day?  This.  A huge fort in the living room.  I don't know why I try.
 Proud of his fort

We always spotlight a different child in primary each week.  One week they did me and I didn't know it was me because I hadn't filled one out!  (I didn't know they had asked Pat to fill it out).  I was wondering who in our primary liked Pride & Prejudice and was thankful for the bishop!  Ha ha.  We all laughed.  And my favorite food is beans?!

Working on cleaning her teeth.  Just saw a dentist and it looks like she's going to need braces, then oral surgery, then braces again and braces again when she's a teenager.  She's full of mouth issues.  I'll fight whatever I can though if it's unnecessary!  I think I should have put away money for all my kids braces.  Dallas and Sam are in them currently, and they just said Evan is ready, and now this.  Charlie's are so crowded, he's going to need them too.  Pat came into our marriage with crooked teeth and a grey one not ever fixed by his parents and I think we'll never have money to get to him!
 Trek reunion- Bowker's barn washing and brushing down the horses after hay rides.

Since Dallas wants to start working on an associates degree at the same time as high school, I wrote down every associates degree he could possibly get (that I could approve of) at our junior college.  He picked the Architectural/Engineering one.  We'll see how it goes...  I told him if he doesn't like doing high school this way he can switch back to the regular high school after his freshman year, but there he has to stay.  So this will be an interesting year seeing how he likes a combination of homeschool and college classes.

Today was the last day of swim for us.  They have their final water polo game tonight.  What a busy summer...

This is Charlie always trying to escape from his swim class.  Sam is there holding him in the pool.  Charlie was extremely difficult this year like every year, and had me or a different brother holding him in the pool  It was only for the first 5 minutes or so until he realized he was having fun and got over it.  But every single day!  Except the last day.  Ha.

I told Sam and Evan we had to go somewhere and came out to the car to find them strapped into the same seat.  I love their funny selves!
Right now our neighbor Warren is here repairing the lights in my laundry closet.  They've been broken for years and we do all laundry in the dark!  It will be so nice!  I feel bad though.  I thought it was a quick thing and it's been a couple hours of work!  Long day and Sam's leaving on a campout and I am in every way exhausted and feel like I haven't seen my husband in ages.  Ships passing in the night.  If that.  So thankful to Warren for helping us.  He did all the research about what to buy at Home Depot and gave it to us so all we had to do was go buy it and call him over.  It took us almost 2 months!  Life is too busy :(