Friday, May 29, 2009

My First Violin Recital

Well I survived it. This sure is a humbling experience. That I'm growing from. :)
My hands were shaking so bad! When I play the piano I can hide that. The posture of playing the violin doesn't allow you to hide anything! AAHHHH! The whole time I was trying to get my hand under control, "stop shaking, stop shaking, enjoy this song dang it!" When I listened to video clip (thanks for taping Tiffany!) it didn't sound as bad as I thought while I was playing. Chalk it up to experience.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Graduate

My Austin is now a first grader. Today he graduated from Kindergarten. I was surprised how emotional the day made me. Well I've just decided that I'm a sap and an emotional lost cause. It's hard to have something so good come to an end. To say good-bye and close this chapter on his life. To admit to the reality that he is growing up.

It was a fabulous year. Austin has grown and matured and learned a lot in so many areas. I couldn't have asked or even imagined a better year for him. What a perfect start to his education career (and also my start as a school mom.)

Austin I'm so proud of you! Keep up the success, you are destined for greatness!




Final Days of School

Tuesday: Swimming Field Trip



Wednesday: Sticker Day (also known as Field Day in other schools.) Mrs. Wagner's class also finished experimenting (playing with bubbles.









Wednesday has been my volunteer day all year and so the class had a surprise for me. They had all made cards for me, plus a present (one to say thanks and one for my birthday.) It was such a nice surprise! Volunteering was my key to surviving kindergarten. Without that link to Austin's new world as a student I would have been SO lost and probably still depressed. It was my treat, my coping tool, my inside track. I hope that Austin's (and my other kids) teachers will let me continue to volunteer for many, many years.

Thursday: Last Day of School!

It's official, School's Out for SUMMER!!! I suddenly have a new passion for summer!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Heart Happy Moments

I love those moments when you just stop and look around and sigh knowing you've been blessed with such a good life! Saturday was full of those moments.

I took Austin and Emma Lynn for a mommy date in Nampa to a pottery studio. We each picked out an item to paint and then they fire it up and up a glaze on etc...Austin and I picked out something for Mrs. Wagner (end of the year Thank You) and Emma Lynn a teddy bear bank. It was a blank canvas and we could do WHATEVER we chose. Austin and I did a dinosaur theme (so fitting for his obsession) vase and plate to hold pencils, pens, candy :), whatever! The vase has 2 dinosaurs and says Mrs. Wagner, the plate 1 and says "You are dinomite heart Austin." They are original pieces that's for sure!

Emma Lynn did many colors and had a great time. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and got right to work. Austin finished and was done and ready to go but Emma Lynn worked consistently and enjoyed it. She already has picked out what she wants to do next time. :)

They will be ready to pick up Wednesday night. I'm excited to see how the finished product looks! Great mommy date doing something we've never done before, working together to be creative and create something. Good times.



We also started a rental contract on a 1/4 violin for the kids this week. I started working with them Saturday. It literally warmed my heart to see my kids bowing. ahhhh. Hopefully they'll continue to feel the same way!



We also spent some time playing catch and hitting the ball (in prep for the up-coming t-ball season). I was impress how many Spencer could hit. Austin is gaining confidence. And most importantly we were having FUN together.

I just kept stopping and watching my kids...this is such a good life. I am a blessed woman.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Baby Bumps = Baby Black & Blue

It's amazing how when Ruth decided to walk, she walked. It didn't take long, she had the steps for success she just needed her desire to match it (exactly like Spencer and potty training.) So just like I knew it would happen, she has grown up over night just by tottering around this joint. Tottering really is the best way to describe her walk. Chunky little legs with wide steps back and forth. It's adorable! Naturally she has taken her fair share of tumbles. Yesterday while she was sitting on my lap she fell forward and hit her face on the desk. The result is a small back eye. I couldn't get a good picture of it but somehow she still manages to be adorable.

A few things I love about Ruth right now:

~As she totters around she'll look over at you and put her head on her shoulders and cheese out. The head on the shoulder smile is always a heart breaker!

~ She adores her siblings. She will look up to them with big eyes and watch what they are doing. She loves to be included in their games, and laugh with them.

~ You can regularly find her with a color pencil (or any writing utensil for that matter)and coloring book or piece of paper coloring. She has watched her older sister color every day and she knows just what to do. She size and focus makes the whole thing quite precious. My favorite is when the girls color together.

Like I always say, "I love the stage they are in right now." She's so much fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Toilet Triumph

For the past few weeks we have been praying for something extra besides the "regulars" (our missionary and soon-to-be-missionary.) That would be Spencer and that he would go potty in the toilet. My mother taught me to pray for everything! In turn I think my kids are getting the same message. Emma had to say the prayer in her Primary class on Sunday and she prayed that "Spencer will go potty in the toilet." I LOVE IT!

Spencer's lack of desire to try and my lack of time to devote to the project made it difficult to be consistant in our efforts. My goal was to recommit as soon as preschool was done. That was this week...

All my other methods were not working, I knew I needed to try something new. Sunday night Kurt and I were talking about it (again) he suggested letting him run around naked in the back yard. I was willing to try anything. So Monday morning that's what we did (btw he did have a shirt on!) I gave him lots to drink and let him mark his territory all over the back yard. He was essentially just figuring out what his body was doing. After lunch he came inside and we put on underwear and the rest has been fabulous! I'm so proud of him, he's so stinkin cute beaming with big boy pride! Way to go Super Spence! And I love the power of prayer.

Since I'm on the subject of Spencer...2 great things he said last week...

~ In the middle of scripture study he pointed to Kurt and said, "Remember, fire is a miracle."

~ During lunch, "We should have named Ruth Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Romans." (said with perfect animal sound effects.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Preschool

As of last night my first year teaching preschool is officially over. What a journey this has been. What a FUN journey. I thoroughly enjoyed planning, preparing, teaching, playing and loving the 24 amazing kids in my Caterpillar and Lady Bug classes. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with these great kids. We have a lot of memories that I'll cherish. And not only that I feel like as students and teacher we both grew a lot. Thank you for blooming with me!

Of course I cannot let the opportunity pass to thank Kurt who has been completely and utterly amazing. He has been 100% loving and supportive the entire year. I know that I couldn't have done it without him. As ALWAYS you are my rock! Thank you for helping me achieve my goals, see myself in better eyes and dream bigger. I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday night we had the Caterpillar graduation. The weather was miserable. I should have moved the location (we were having a potluck BBQ on my lawn.) I rented a bounce house which was SO MUCH FUN (and completely worth every cent!!!) The kids were happy and distracted from the wind but the parents not as much. Kurt keeps telling me not to worry about it because it was for the kids anyway! After everyone left we played in the bounce house it until we got to cold to jump.


The Caterpillar Class

The Lady Bug class had their graduation on Thursday night. The weather was so much better thus the whole evening was better.


The Lady Bug class

I was not anxious or excited for the school year to end. But it felt like time. I'll take that as a good indication that it was a successful year. I do feel happy and that I was successful. It's a nice feeling. I'm really going to miss the kids going to kindergarten! I'm grateful its a small community and I'll get to see all of them again and again. Plus a hand full of them are coming back next year so that will ease the pain.

So the question I'm asked, "What are you going to do with all your free time now that preschool is done?" In my head I list all the things I still have to do...but yes, I will have some more time...I think scrapbooking is at the top of the list. That and CONSTANT playing with the kids ALL summer long. I'm ready!


Enjoying the bounce house slide - so cool!


Mother and Daughter - we did it!

Summer is Coming

These pictures just make me SMILE. Rooster is just tottering/dancing/speed walking (it's not really a run yet) all over the place now that she realized how fun walking is. That includes the outside world. How wonderful that it is getting warm enough (some days!) to play outside. I look forward to exploring outside with Rooster all summer long.

Another Field Trip

Austin's class went to the Bakery here in Vale on Tuesday. Mrs. Wagner asked if I could come and help since I already know the kids and such. And of course I wanted to come, I hate to miss things like this!

Pretty much as soon as preschool was finished I Emma and Spencer off to a friends house and Ruth and I headed for the kindergarten. We all walked over to the bakery. The owners did a great job with the kids. After learning about the bakery and asking all their questions it was time to taste some food. They all got to eat a calzone and decorate a cookie. I think the preschoolers will have to take a field trip to the bakery next year!





Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We're Going to the Zoo, zoo, zoo...You can come too, too, too...

Saturday the 9th was our last preschool field trip. We invited our families to go to the zoo with us in celebration of our completion of studying the alphabet. It was great to see so many families there! The weather was gorgeous and all around a great day. You can never go wrong with the zoo!







Thursday, May 7, 2009

These feet were made for walkin'




I get knocked down but I get up again (they're never gonna knock me down!)



Pet Week

Austin's class had Pet Week at school this week. If you had a pet you were allowed to bring it in for show and tell. Naturally we don't have the traditional pets. So Austin sweet talked his dad into bringing one of the calves to school this morning. Austin bottle fed it and they took turns petting it and those who were brave let it suck on their finger.





Gotta love these calves! Just for record sake the current names are:
Austin's - Emma
Emma's - Ariel
Spencer's - House
Ruth - "pllllbbbbbbbbb"
(you know the noise you make when you stick out your tongue and blow. Bless their heart for being so stinkin' fair that they let a one year old name her own calf. What did they expect?!!! Austin took "plllllbbbb" in to share today. You can't really say it without smiling. My favorite is Spencer's prayer earlier this week. He was praying for all the calves by name. He didn't hesitate or laugh when he got to "pllllllbbbb." I wasn't quite as reverent.)

Tailor Made Happiness

For those of you who have been to my house know that we have a laundry chute in our upstairs bathroom. Very cool, very fun, very handy, etc... The only draw back...it is the very first thing you see when you walk down stairs - my Mt. Everest piles of laundry waiting...always waiting to be done. It was so ugly and depressing to me. My mom gave me the fabulous idea to put up a screen and hide the laundry baskets. I searched quite a few stores and wasn't able to find one. Fast forward to our Camp Fundraiser dinner (April 22nd) with silent auction. As we were setting up the Beehive adviser walked in with a screen! Her father had made it and she no longer needed it. SERIOUSLY?!?!!!! Naturally I kept my eye on it and made sure I won the auction (for $15 - score!)

I LOVE walking downstairs now. The screen makes it so much more beautiful for one simple reason. I don't have to look at the Mt. Everest of laundry and feel guilty that I'm never caught up. We're actually in grave danger b/c I DON'T see the mountain so I'm more prone to forget about it all together! But I sure am happy!


PS the fabric can be changed - great bday present or hostess gift idea! ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

She's DOING it!

Meaning walking! At 14 months of age she has decided that walking could be cool. This weekend we had various family events and she walked quite a few times (just like we've been doing at home for months.) But she had quite a bigger audience this time.

Anyways today she has been walking all day on her own. She can get across the room. But the main thing is that SHE was instigating it all on her own. Wanting to walk even when we weren't around. Granted she instantly looks older to me but she is so CUTE!!! It's always so much fun to celebrate the next stage, the newest milestone. And what's fun is to see all her older siblings get so excited too.

We were all dancing together when Austin got home from school (and yes this is common pastime for us.) And Ruth was walking around in a circle clapping with everyone, it was adorable! I'll get video soon...

Choices

Last year the Stake YW presidency told us to watch our YW closely towards the end of the school year. In past it has been a time for the youth to make bad choices and reach out for help.

I witnessed the warning last week. In one week alone I had a YW expelled from school, another pulled over by a cop and yet another kicked out of her house.

On Tuesday my own son got into trouble at school. At least he wasn't sent to the principal's office. Hey, I'm trying to find something positive here!

What is up with the free agency lately?


Kurt and I were already headed to the temple that night (Tuesday when Austin got in trouble) so I was very grateful for the peacefulness, strength and comfort of the temple as I was weighed in sorrow over the actions of my son.

I knew this part of life would be difficult. The watching-them-make-their-own-decisions-you-can't-blame-yourself-you've-taught-them-now-give-them-room-to-grow part. I just didn't realize how difficult. The weight of Godly sorrow. And I find it nearly impossible to detach myself from the choices of my children. I pray it'll come with time and hopefully more wisdom. I just hope that has parents and child we have all learned from this situation.

It is amazing how anything and everything is possible and almost easy in the temple. The problems and trials of life are manageable. Ya, I CAN do this! Then reality hits you in the face again when you leave those temple doors. But one thing Satan doesn't realize, the strength of the temple stays within our souls even as the world attacks. We CAN do this!

The Plan includes Death

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