Sunday, February 24, 2013

w8: P is for Party

February 17 - 22, 2013

My top ten most favorite moment from this week:

1. No SCHOOL on Monday and Tuesday {President's Day and teacher work day.} 

I really love when the schedule can disappear for a few days. We didn't really do anything too miraculous but spend time together. Makes me happy and I can glimpse the carefree days of summer. Monday we had some kids over to play, made a meal for a friend and Emma sold cookies.

2. Cookie Season! So it officially started on Friday and in reality I dread it. It is a lot of work over a few months. So the reason that this event is making it into the top ten is because I've been really impressed with Emma Lynn. There has been such a difference in her desire and ability to sale compared to last year. It is always exciting to celebrate growth! She has been making calls on her own and checking her list of previous buyers.These are great leaderships skills. And in the meantime we are all dreaming of cookies. I even overheard Ruth one morning as she was playing with her dolls and animals, asking them which kind of cookie they wanted to buy. Oh dear!

Currently she has sold 204 boxes. Thank you to all those who have {and continue to} support my cute Brownie from troop 493.

3. Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet took place on Tuesday. It is also our annual fundraiser  We have each boy make a cake and auction it off. The money raised covers our supplies, badges and day camp for the entire year. In my mind it is much easier than selling cookies! ;) 

I was really happy that the kids didn't have school on Tuesday because that gave Austin and I time to get everything together. I also had to make a pot of soup for the dinner. My assignment was the centerpieces. Each of the boys made a ship {the theme was pirates} out of milk cartons. It was special in a true cub scout way. Haha. Got a love it.

Austin made a dragon cake. We started with a bundt cake and cut it into thirds. We cut and frosted to piece it together. The body was completely green and accented with green candy. It turned out great and he was very pleased with it. Austin's cake was the highest of the night at $100! Dad and Grandpa were fighting over it. So I learned two things: Ruth really does have a talent in the kitchen and second, I need to spend more time with Austin in there.

I wavered back and forth on what kind of cake to make. I couldn't decide between a treasure chest or pirate ship. I baked my cake in two bread pans and when they were cooling Austin suggested I make both. Ok. Problem solved. It turned out good {at least my kids were impressed} and for the most part it was fun. 

The actual evening went really well. It was well attended and the cakes went for around $35-50 each and we auctioned 30 cakes. I didn't hear the final total but everyone seemed pleased. 

4. Preschool PAJAMA Party! If I were to do the number of exclamation points to convey Ruth's excitement it would be about 28. She has been looking forward to this ALL year long. I think it lived up to the hype. They had a great time. We played a few games {Pop the Pet, and Pancake Flip.} Did our art {popcorn painting prints}, ate pancakes, and everyone decorated their own pillow case to take home. I found some at the Dollar Tree so they were super cheap looking but the girls especially were SO excited. Ruth told me later that night after she had put it on her bed, "This is my most favorite, most beautiful pillow case ever." Yes, indeed. Her favorite part was eating pancakes. :)

5. A New Ballet Class for Ruth! Since April had her baby in January Ruth hasn't had any dance class. Through a friend I heard about a class that was only $15 a month in Fruitland. What a steal as far as dance classes go. Twice this week she showed me how big she is getting. She walked into the classroom took her spot and smiled at me. I took a few pics and then went to wait in the hall with the other moms. They are using a white parasol as one of their dance props. She loves it! "I just love to dance SO much!" I love watching :)

6. Supporting our Missionaries! I love hearing from my parents and Tim on their missions. I also love that my dear friend Shaylona leaves for her mission to Richmond, VA this week. We took her out to dinner this week to say good-bye and good luck. Another missionary to write!

7. Santa's candy workshop! We had a stake priest/laurel activity this Saturday. I put the centerpieces together and also the game. I enlisted the help of my kids to help. We emptied about 50 boxes of conversation hearts into mason jars. The kids thought it was great. "We are like candy elves in Santa's workshop!" Haha. I'm glad they liked it. I'm just grateful when we can all work together as a team.

8. Reading Together! The girls and I are reading "Meet Kit" an American Girl book out loud in preparation for our Meet Kit Kitteridge party at the library next Saturday. The kids also finished the winter reading program and were so excited to turn in their sheets to get their prizes. A lot of trinkets and junk but treasures in their eyes. I'm just grateful there is a true love of reading. Spencer has shown a great interest in reading the scriptures and so we have all been reading together from the Book of Mormon for our scripture study. I am praying this will help him make that next step in reading.

9. Naked Towel Chases! How scared does this make you? Don't worry this is the G version I'm talking about. This morning after Lucy and Ruth got out of the bath they were running after each other in their hooded towels. It was pretty cute. I like the moments when everyone gets along.

10. Young Women in the Nyssa, Oregon Stake. I attended a New Beginnings on Wednesday, the stake dance and activity Saturday and a ward conference on Sunday. I love the opportunity to rub shoulders with amazing young women in our Stake. I love the leaders who serve them endlessly. I am inspired by their testimonies and dedication to the Lord. There is a strength with the youth and it lifts me up.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

w7: How do I LOVE Thee? Let me count the ways!

February 10 -16, 2013

We make time to see Grandma and Grandpa Romans once a week during our various after school activities

1. I love how the kids are learning to interact, think and show love to others.

Monday night we had a Girl Scout Cookie Rally. Kurt also had a meeting {FFA advisory board.} Since we got done with GS at 4 I didn't want to go home just to turn around and come back over for the meeting. So we stayed. It was a perfect chance to visit. The boys and Ruth ended up staying while we went to the Cookie meeting. Ruth had been feeling off all day. This is how I found her when I returned.

and Lucy passed out during Girl Scouts that afternoon.

2. I love how patient & understanding the little girls are about all the activities they are hauled around to daily/weekly.

Tuesday Ruth and I spent a lot of time getting the Valentines ready. When you count up 3 classes of 25, Ruth class of 12 plus mine to preschoolers, teachers, aids and family its a lot of Valentines. Its a good thing they are fun to make.

Tuesday was the last home basketball game. This time we all went together. 

3. I love how you make time to spend together.

It was against Nyssa. Huge. It was an intense game. I don't know how parents handle it. I'd have an ulcer. Luckily we won. Emma, Spencer and Lucy are quite the cheerleaders {as long as they are fueled with Skittles half way through.} 

Wednesday was Valentines mania. First we started with the preschool party. Ruth had a new dress to wear and was SO super excited about it! We did all hair extra special {just ponytails is special for Ruth haha!}

Thomas gave everyone in the class a single rose {his mom owns the local flower shop.} He. Was. SO. Embarrassed. I had to say they were from his mom and NOT him. ;) But all the girls especially LOVED it. They felt so special.

4. I love how beautiful you are. Especially on the inside. It radiates.

Then we rushed over to Ontario to spend the rest of the day with the school kids who were also having their parties. We ate school lunch with all the kids. All I can say is that it wasn't a treat and I'm grateful for my kids sake that they eat food from home. Austin was so excited to take Lucy to recess and Emma wanted Ruth to come to her class for the rest of the day. These are heart sighing moments for a mom.

5. I love how you love each other.

So by the end of the day Lucy was pretty much crazy with a combo of no nap and an overload of sugar. She runs around that school like she owns the place. She pretty much does. Emma had ballet and Austin piano so the youngest three and I hightailed it out of there.

She only continued the craziness at the library so we wisely skipped gymnastics so she could calm down and Emma went to Activity Days. It made her uBer happy to arrive on time. Love that punctual girl. 

6. I love how excited you are to learn the gospel.

Wednesday was the last day of school for SIX DAYS! Hollar. Love this little winter break. The kids and I decided to go to McCall {in our timeshare} for an overnight getaway. Thursday was Valentines so we had our traditional Valentines hunt after we all cleaned and packed for the trip.

7. I love how we can work together as an amazing team when we are happy and helpful. 
We can accomplish so much!

We had a great trip. It was relaxing. We went swimming that night. The water was not as warm as I would have liked but we adjusted {eventually} Lucy was stressing me out. She is so independent. She didn't want me to help her but she didn't like drowning when she tried to take off by herself. So the happy agreement was having her climb up the stair and over to the side to jump to me. Over and over again. It gave her enough independence to make her happy. The older three were content with their water games. The rest of the time was consisted of bathes, food, books and Disney channel. I had to take the remotes to bed with me to insure the TV was actually off. I am SOOOO extremely grateful we do not have TV. A little OD on this overnight getaway is fine. Grateful for the lifestyle we have chosen.

We drove around searching for ice sculptures from the McCall Winter Festival. It was a beautiful day. Thanks for a fun get away.

8. I love how we can have fun together as we explore new things.

Saturday we spent time cleaning and organizing {now that the second trimester has given me more energy and better health my To-Do-Before-Baby-Comes house list is LLOONNGG!} Spencer helped me organize the master bathroom cupboards while {without asking} Emma cleaned the kitchen and dinning room. What super helpers!

9. I love how you are hard workers.

Kurt came home a little early so they could catch Blade {yes he escaped from his pen a few days earlier.} We spent lots of time riding on the ranger this week looking for him and trying to coax him into the pen. So glad it has been nice weather. But anyways they caught him and took him for a ride. Unfortunately Ruth was the first one to ride and he threw her off. She landed on her head and was very upset but gratefully not hurt. Talking about it today she said she would ride him again. I just feel blessed that she wasn't hurt.

Then Kurt and I headed to the temple for a wonderful date night. It is a perfect way to spend time with your soul mate.

10. I love how you make the temple covenants & attendances first in our lives.

I love my family. I am a blessed woman.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

w6: Welcome Baby Bair

February 3 - 9, 2013

So I really wanted to title this week "Single Parenthood Part 2" but really how repetitive and unoriginal can I be? But if you want the honest description of the week that would be it.

Monday I started the "Simple Meals" badge with the Junior Girl Scouts. The first thing was to make a simple breakfast {fry or scramble} an egg. I happen to have a egg source ;) so that worked out well. It turned out very good and I made them all crack their own eggs {the scariest part!} But it made me think, these girls are all Austin's age. Can he cook an egg? Ruth can do it because she loves to cook and spends ample time in the kitchen. That would be a great goal before the baby comes this summer. I had a nice text on Saturday when one of the moms of my girls said the girl scout awoke early so she could scramble eggs for breakfast for her parents. Love it!

Tuesday Kurt left for an electrical class in Roseburg, Oregon. This is the third time he has tried to take this class and it actually happened so I guess its a good thing. It was a super boring class full of info he already knew. BUT he is now officially certified and that is a great thing.

Tuesday is also the Cub Scout day. We are preparing for our big Blue and Gold banquet on the 19th. I am in charge of the table centerpieces {it is a pirate theme} so I helped instruct the leaders how to teach the boys to make a ship out of a milk cartons. They definitely look like they were made by Cub Scouts but I guess that's the point.

So after picking up Emma from art {she has it during cub scouts} we went straight to the basketball game at the High School. I had not made it to a game yet this season and I am limited to a very few amount of games left so we went! Ah, it was crazy. The 4 oldest kids all found friends to play with so that was helpful {Austin: John Wolfe, Emma Lynn: Jam-O from school, Spence: Nick and Jake, Ruth: Elli} So that left the very active Lucy and I to watch the game. At one point she ran out onto the court. Ahhh! Apparently shes gonna be a player. Embarrassing. We got there early enough to watch all of JV and V so we didn't get done till 8:45 pm. Since we went straight to Cub Scouts we still had homework and feeding to do when we got home. Yikes. I don't know how families go to every game, keep their kids on a good schedule and get all their homework and practicing done. I'm glad we made the effort to go and support the girls in our ward.

Wednesday I had a Dr appointment so I took the kids to school on my way to Boise. The school kids never like this because we are always late when I take them. I tell them if they help me in the mornings we wouldn't be late. :)  The girls and I stopped and got a car wash on the way to the Dr appt because we made good time and since the frozen tundra has been thawing we live in a muddy mess. Trying to wash off a little bit of the country before we stop in the city. To be honest the free vacuuming was the biggest incentive. The inside was desperate.

The girls were excellent during the appointment. We listened to the heart beat {150} plus she let Ruth hold the duplar. That made her feel pretty great to help. Everything is going like clock work {except for the fact that I gained 6 pounds since the last visit. Gotta stop that non sense!}

We stopped for breakfast at IHOP afterwards. Lucy continues to charm everyone with her smiles and impeccable manners. Her language mastery is getting to be quite impressive. She can communicate so well and it is a blessing. She will also repeat just about anything which the kids think is hilarious. Ah the joys of being a younger sibling. She has started praying with help, its so precious. She can start and end by herself. Its always pretty joyous to watch your children learn and grow in the gospel.

We ran a few other errands {including a sippy cup for Lucy - no more bottle! and her very own panties.} before it was time to head back and pick up the kids from school. A little Valentine prep and the girls continued to be so good. After library and gymnastics we rushed back to Vale and met Kerri at the house because I had a New Beginnings to go to. I love that part of this calling. We have wonderful YW and leaders in our stake. I am blessed to rub shoulders with them. So grateful for good friends that are willing to help me without wanting anything in return.

This is the precious sight I came home to. Awwwww

Thursday Ruth had Elli Jacobs and Brooke over after preschool and it was super cute to watch these sweet girls play together. Lucy did lots of running to keep up.

Cindy took all the girls when it was time for me to leave for Ontario to pick up the girls. That was nice and so I decided to treat my school kids to something fun. We ran over to the theater and watched "Wreck it Ralph." We have wanted to see it for just about ever so that was a fun treat. Then rushed over to Spencer and Emma's piano lessons.

Friday was spent in the kids classrooms before my second piano keyboard class in the afternoon. It is a fun group, it might be a challenge to keep them contained {or just NOT give them chocolate ever again!} We had the missionaries for dinner that night. That was fun because they stay with us twice a week but we don't ever get to eat with them.

Kurt sweet talked his professor into finishing the class material on Friday so they were able to get home a day earlier {at 2:30 am!} We are grateful that he is home! And that his season of travels is over. Phew. Just bracing ourselves for spring and what that means in the pivot world. So life as a single parent: Wake up early and run around till the kids are a sleep at night and then immediately pass out. I sure appreciate Kurt. He makes daily so much easier.

Another super exciting event that day: Marti went into the hospital at 5 am to be induced. And at 5:45 pm after a very long day and intense amounts of pushing and finally using suction Bryler Gene Bair was born! He weighed in at 9 pounds 12 ounces and 22 inches long.

Saturday Kurt was at work and I had the day planned with Jamie in Boise. I couldn't find my recommend so that threw a kink in the plans. Luckily Kurt is ever calm and full of solutions. He interviewed me and then I went to President Jacobs' house. Since I was already late I decided to stop at the hospital to meet Bryler myself. He looks like a Bair. Very precious and sweet.

I finally met up with Jamie and we had lunch at Tuscans and then on to the temple. It was a very sweet experience for me. I was chastised by the Spirit something that was long over due. Just a little bit about that experience so it can be recorded. In all honesty I've struggled to be happy and excited about this pregnancy. Some in part because of how I've felt physically and also due to concern about what people will think. I have gotten caught up in how the world views a mother/family of six children. I am grateful that the Lord loves me enough to remind me to get back on track when I lose focus. I am grateful that the Lord knows me and is patience and ever-loving. I am a righteous mother in Zion. That is my calling and a part of who I am. I am not ashamed of my identity or the gospel of Christ. I have known very strongly for a very long time that this spirit is anxious to come to our family. I am excited. My heart is humbled and over flowing with gratitude.

From the temple I went straight to the adult session of Stake Conference. It continued to be an outpouring of the spirit and I'm so grateful for the strengthening of spirit. Did I mention that I'm grateful Kurt's home and our family can be together again. There is such wisdom in the plan, a man and wife, working together as a team to raise God's children. I function better with my greater half.

Lucy was making us laugh {per always - her personality is quite similar to Spencer's in the fact that they are happy, easy going and people pleasers.} But as we are laughing Spencer says,
"She's a cute-heart isn't she?!!"

Last Sunday {fast Sunday} the kids and I started a new tradition. I've been using Project Life to get back into scrapbooking our memories/family history and during the week the kids asked if they could do their own Project Life book. Spencer said, "I want to take it when I'm big so I can show my kids." Perfect. And because PL is such a simple concept they really can do it at this age. I am amazed that we pulled it off and that it was a success. My plan is to do it once a month with them {although Spencer was asking me today to do some more...}

 Austin was typing up an essay one night for homework. In Spanish. It just really struck me as BIG. He's growing. We have been working hard the past few weeks to make sure he turns in ALL his homework assignments. Hoping to help me reach his potential and happy he is trying harder.

Ya and this one just because. She does not know how to eat without ending up like this. Might be a problem...gotta love this messy bessy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

w5: I like to get away

January 27- February 2, 2013

Saturday {of last week, Jan. 26} I left Vale at 5:30 am to head for the airport. Shaylona came to the house with her bags packed to stay for 5 days. I had 2 pages of instructions, lots of hugs and kisses and a heart full of prayers that everything would go well. I trust Shaylona completely and knew they would be in good hands.

Despite slick roads and fog I made it to Boise in good time. In the end it didn't matter because that same fog rolled into Boise just as it was time to take off. We boarded the plane and sat at the gate for 1 hour and 35 minutes. I am so grateful that I had my Kindle {and two new downloaded books to read.} That was just the beginning of a day of delays. Due to the wait in Boise I missed my connecting flight in San Francisco by 5 minutes. I got a new flight a few hours later with little problems. But when it was time to go the plane had not even arrive and so we waited again...again I was grateful to be fully immersed in the book that the waiting made little difference to me. I finally arrived in Palm Springs at 3 pm {two hours later than my original time.} Kurt was meeting me in Palm Springs from Vegas but he ran into trouble also. Since I arrived first I picked up our rental car and drove to our resort, checked in and took a nice long hot shower. Kurt's original flight was canceled, then he was put on a stand-by list and he finally made it on a flight arriving at 6 pm {six hours after he was suppose to arrive.} Phew. It felt like such a big ordeal to get reunited again! But so worth the effort.

 So grateful for the Kindle to help pass the time without stress or worry.
Immediately after landing you realize how cool the Palm Springs airport is. Its OUTSIDE. Pretty awesome. I kept thinking that they must be pretty confident of their weather!
 Our California Car for the week. Grateful for some independence. 
 Our room {1204} at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Indian Wells, CA.

Kurt had bought tickets to a musical for that night at 8 pm. After I picked him up we found a Target and loaded up on food for Sunday so we wouldn't have to shop or eat out. Then it was time for our show "Forever Plaid." It was a super corny plot but great music from a Barber Shop Quartet. And best of all it was clean! We were the youngest in the theater by 55 years at least. ;) With all the sitting I had done that day because of traveling my legs were going crazy and could not endure to sit still the entire performance. I stood  in the aisle for the last half. By the end two other ladies had joined me {a sad to statement about my health.}

Sunday morning we opted for the 11 am church {and we actually slept in! sweet treat.} We attended the Bermuda Dunes Ward. It was enjoyable to listen, reflect and take notes. I particularly enjoy the RS lesson from Elder Bednar's talk on being truly converted.

After church we went for a creation walk :) in Palm Desert on the Gabby Trail. We saw lots of beautiful desert scenes and the weather was gorgeous. I had limited myself to 3 pairs of shoes on this trip and hiking/tennis shoes were not on that list. So I walked/hiked in my sandals  I got comments from everyone we crossed paths with. And yes, I am brave. ;)

The rest of the evening we studied the new youth manual, "Come Follow Me" and set goals for the year. It was a quiet and restful Sunday.

Monday morning we had breakfast with Valley. Then Kurt and I separated. The first thing I did was go and get a $75 haircut. And luckily for the money spent it was a great haircut but sadly enough it would be even more expensive to go back. How ironic that I finally for my favorite hair stylist {in Palm Springs!} Then I wanted to go the Art Museum. The one in Palm Desert was closed for the week because they were changing the exhibit. So I drove to Palm Springs and sadly their museum is closed on Monday. Ahhhh. So I checked out a little of downtown and found this very cool sign and gigantic statue of Marilyn.

I found a botanical gardens that was on the way back to the resort so I did that. It was impressive to see all the different kind of cactus. Who knew there were that many? It reminded me of the dino days {although Austin later informed me that cactus were not around during the dinosaur time. Oh well.}

I was exhausted by this time and headed back so I could take a nap. That was nice and completely uncharacteristic. I decided to pamper myself and get a manicure at the resort's spa. It was relaxing and motivating to take better care of my hands. {Still can't go near the pedicure area though. Haven't made that much progress!}

By that time Kurt was done and we got ready for a nice Valley dinner at the resort. Luckily I sat next to a nice lady {who is also a stay at home wife}and it made it an enjoyable evening.

Tuesday morning was a lot more laid back for me. Kurt was done by noon so I decided to just relax in the room, read my book {another one} and I spoke with Joseph, Maren and Elaine. After lunch Kurt and I headed into Palm Springs to go on the Tram. It was pretty neat! We went up 8,516 feet and the views were amazing.

 Straight after we headed to the Redland temple. It is a beautiful small temple. I was amazed at how big angel Moroni was {Kurt said 13 feet tall.} I also love the desert landscaping with all the palm trees. Kurt was raving about the inside and we were also the witness couple.

We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory before heading back to the resort. Wednesday morning we got up early to head to the airport. I was just praying that we would have better luck than when we left so we could actually get home to our kids. And we did, traveled without a hitch. I was able to read another book so I was a happy traveler {a total of 3 that trip!} We got back to Boise at 1 and headed straight to the school to pick up the kids. The boys were outside on the playground and before I could find either one of them Spencer came over and tackled me with a huge hug! awwww Austin's was a little more reserved since we were in public. Then i went and found Emma in ballet for a tender reunion. Bee line back to Vale to see our little girls! Ruth was adorable and kept hugging me "i have to give you so many hugs because i missed you so much!" Lucy was hilarious as always>

the kids loved the presents we brought back and it was so great to cuddle them all. 

Who gave this kid chocolate?

Thursday morning Emma woke up throwing up so she stayed home with us. It was kind of nice and we eased back into "real life." After preschool was over the girls enjoyed making art projects together.

Friday was my first piano keyboard class at the school. It is an elective for the prep school {middle school.} There are six kids in the class. I was really dreading it but it turned out great. They are a fun group and anxious to learn. Hopefully I can continue that excitement. It is once a week {Friday} for two hours.

Saturday the boys went to a basketball clinic in Vale and then Ruth had a birthday party that afternoon. Afterwards we all had dinner at the Catholic church for groundhog's day {hey, I didn't have to cook so its all good!} That afternoon Kurt and the boys cleaned out the walk in frig in the shop so I can move the food storage over {the project to conquer next week!}

It was a wonderful get away trip. I'm so grateful to Shaylona that everything went so well at home. It was a perfect chance to relax and recharge and reconnect with my husband. Memories to cherish.

Home Again

June 3 - 9, 2018 Sunday, 06.03 Monday, 06.04   Tuesday, 06.05 Wednesday, 06.06 Happy 2nd Birthday to sweet Eleanor!! ...