Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What's normal?

Week 3: January 19-25, 2014

So glad to have everyone home and a more "normal" week.  Well, whatever normal might be. The word normal is so subjective because it is constantly changing. So for at least this week of our life I'm going to share what was quote unquote NORMAL.

This week it is normal for Jane to show some interest in eating mashed potatoes and bananas. {She has not been impressed with much else. Although she still grabs for food and watches you eat like she's starving.}


This week it is normal for me to LOVE my treadmill! This statement is something I thought I would never say. I've had a hate/hate relationship with them for sooooo long. But I was able to get some mid-distant runs in {6-8 miles} which I never thought I could do. I watch an episode of "Project Runway" and pound it out all while Jane plays on my bed and Lucy watches a movie. Its perfect. I love it because I am able to exercise without leaving the girls and I can see that I will be able to accomplish my goals! So happy. I think I thanked Kurt daily for buying it {you can never be too grateful right?}


This is me on Sunday night, excited for the anticipation to use it the next day.

 My neon pink Nikes on Monday morning.

This week it is normal for my kids to go to school on Martin Luther King day. I loved their reasoning and approach to the holiday: they wanted to DO something to celebrate a great leader of action. The school held a city wide canned food drive {each class took turn collecting and delivering to the food bank that day}, held an assembly, wrote goals and took action. After school Ruth told me, "We had school today so we could TAKE on the day!"  Love this ideal that my kinder is understanding.

This week it is normal for Ruth to love on bebe Jane. She loves that baby girl. Its pretty adorable and they have a sweet relationship.

{It is also normal for play to happen on top of the table and Jane to hang out in her bumbo.}

This week it is normal for us to have devotional at 6 am. I have been unhappy with our rushed devotional. It has not felt successful which is why I started learning hymns, articles of faith and scriptures as we drive to school. But I still felt like we needed to do better. We have had the 7 am devotional time for about forever. But if we are rushing to finish getting ready all that happens is family prayer {which is good, don't get me wrong.} But there needed to be more. After a lot of thought and prayer it hit me with such an easy and simple answer. We do devotional FIRST thing when we wake up. Austin and I both set our alarm and we all go straight to the table to read scriptures, pray and sing. The answer seems so obvious now but at any rate I'm grateful for the insight that did come and that has been so successful. The kids were eager, receptive and almost hungry for more study in the scriptures. Love all these tender mercies.

This week it is normal to have puking school girls on Tuesday. Wish this wasn't normal. Luckily it was a 24 hour bug {that was running wild at school} that only these two got. It did allow for a few extra snuggles and I'm always grateful for that.
 This J-bug is Ruth's best medicine

This week it is normal to help with Jane while I get dinner ready. This is what that looked like. Ya, I had a talk with the olders about this.

This week it is normal to send birthday packages to wonderful grandmothers who turn 80. Been blessed to have such a legacy of strong, righteous women in my life. Love you grandma!

This week it is normal for Jane to be sitting by herself. WHAT?! This is big girl stuff. Kinda proud of herself for this new trick.

When we walked into the library she saw this toy and practically jumped out of my arms to play with it. I couldn't believe how big and adorable she looked playing independently.


This week it is normal to take newly-returned-to-the-area friends to our favorite Mexican restaurant to catch up on old times while our daughters are at Activity Days. It was great to visit and I hope things turn out well for them. The kids enjoyed the kids room again.
 For the first time Austin order a super burrito. The thing is massive. He ate the entire thing.
Spence was pretty proud of this drawing of Sponge Bob. 

This week it is normal to look like a country girl. I got my new carhartt RPM coat this week. As I was running out the door to get the kids from school I noticed that my outfit was screaming country! {belt buckle plus pink cowboy boots.} Embrace the life you live!


This week it is normal to put together an entire Pine Wood Derby car for the race on Thursday. Since Kurt was gone for 2 weeks there wasn't a lot of other options. But they got it done and it was a successful night so its all good.

Austin designed and drew out a hammerhead shark design. Kurt seemed overwhelmed with the design so the modified it. haha Tuesday after Cub Scouts I dropped him off at RPM so they could get it cut, sanded, and whatever other step they do.



 His is third from the right
 watching his race down the track
 grandma and grandpa came to watch

Austin received the award for "strangest shape." {FYI don't put men in charge of awards.}

Austin didn't win either of his races. As a Webelos, and one of the oldest there I was very proud of his attitude and leadership that night. He was a great sport and helped the other boys be happy and positive. What a great way to end his last pine wood derby.

This week it is normal to go to the temple with your husband. We met up with Bret & Jen and had a wonderful session. Kurt and I were witness couple and it was a very spiritual experience. The new video grew on me and I continued to gain new insight. It was beautiful. Again we had to wait almost an hour to get into our session so as soon as we got out of the temple we headed straight home to pick up the school kids.

Lunch on the go in honor of Sam ;)

This week it is normal to have bat girl at your house.



This week it is normal to sleep as little as possible during the weekend.

This week it is normal to host a sleep over for 13 middle school Girl Scouts. I invited all the Cadettes to sleep over so we could earn the "Night Owl" badge. I thought those girls would never get off their phones or iPod. I had to take them away twice {once to go on a night time walk and second to turn off the power and pretend like it was 1885.} But other than that {and other badge requirements} we made pizzas, ate ALL the fruits and veggies I provided {even though it wasn't junk food!}, danced, crafted, did hair and makeup and the final stragglers watched a movie at 3 am. It was close to 5 when I passed out. The girls left in shifts the next morning but by noon my people were back and all the girl scouts had gotten home. I'm glad I did it and at points I thought, "it could be really fun to have teenagers some day." But a few things were frustrating {lack of leader communication and trying to one girl out the door.} Overall quite the success!

 dancing
 venturing out for our night walk
crafting 
{I included this because the two girls are standing next to 
each other and communicating with their phones!}

This week it is normal for Kurt to be a super husband. He came home early Friday to get the kids and loaded them all up to West Fall. His parents were out of town so they took over the trailer. They had pizza and played apples to apples. He also watched them Saturday night while I had a cotillion and stake dance & Sunday night when I had a New Beginnings in Parma. This man is amazing. I know they are his kids too but I was not home much this weekend and he kept things rolling as I ran in and out, ever supportive and kind.

This week it is normal to make 5 cookie trays full of rice krispies for a stake dance and cotillion. Normally we just buy the desserts. But I offered to bring them and I knew it would be good one-on-one time with my best baker Ruth. And it was. Sometimes you have to MAKE opportunities so you can HAVE individual time together. I cherish it. While we were talking Ruth said, "Next year when I'm in little first..." I have been pondering a lot of about sending her to little first grade next year {which means she would do first grade twice.} Kurt and I have talked at length, I've spoken with her teacher, the principle and also the first grade teacher. But I've said nothing to Ruth. So that comment surprised me but then it seemed right on. She knows. I asked her why she wanted to go to little first, "So I can learn more math!" Her response and enthusiasm made me smile. I think I may have been talking to all the wrong people.  I'm grateful I made time to do something together so she could talk to me.


Jane is most always in her bumbo on the island while we are in the kitchen. She likes to be right there with us. She was going crazy crunching the rice krispy bag. When the tray of rice krispies got close enough she would lean over and touch them. Suck her fingers and reach some more. haha



This week it is normal to feel highs and lows with your calling. Our secretary Gwen {next to me} is being released. Our president wants to call a camp director {and its almost February.} I am unsure how to magnify my calling. Praying for some understanding here.


This week it is normal to cook a lasagna noodle in the microwave.
He tried to eat this but was not very successful. His next plan was to get out a pot of water to boil it. I killed that idea just as he killed that pasta in the microwave. Experiments at there finest.

This week it is normal to aspire to be a fashion designer. She rushed home from school Thursday and went straight to her desk to start sketching. "I have to hurry so I don't forget my ideas." she said as she shut the door. She completed the look {from different angles} for 2 outfits.


---Romans Reflections---
- Lucy told me, "When I grow up and get big I'm going to take care of Austin."
- Spencer told me he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up, "that way I can give my patients a blessing when they come to the hospital.




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dad is MIA

week 2: January 12-18, 2014

Kurt was signed up for Valley Service school Monday-Friday this week. Being gone in Florida the week before meant a long time away from the kids. So Sunday after we were finally all home together {the kids and I went to Parma 1 for our first ward conference of the year}  I tried to get in some good quality family time in. Which consisted of:

Making Jane laugh



Doing a puzzle


Dueling pianos 

Giving dad a back rub with cars {on a road map T-shirt Emma made him for Christmas.}

Monday morning the RPM employees loaded up in a very cute mini van and headed south for Vegas. We tried to cope without them {mainly just Kurt!}

Jane had her 6 month check up Monday morning. It was perfect since we had just been in on Saturday to make sure her ears were on the mend. Yes they were! She weighs 16.4 pounds now and is gaining on the growth curve. Her hands are ALWAYS in her mouth. I have never had a baby or child love their hands like she does. She is not just sucking on them now but chomping. I'm refuse to entertain any ideas of teeth. She just likes her hands.



After the appointment we met Maria at Wingers for lunch. Her mother was watching the kids so she could have a little break. It was a great visit. I sure treasure this lady and her friendship.

We played a M&M game in Girl Scouts that was fun and so we played it for our FHE activity {and also Cub Scouts the next day! haha} Using a straw you have to move the M&M by sucking. We did lots of relays and variations. Good times.



I looked over at Lucy and started cracking up. Her mouth was completely full of M&M as she attempted to suck on the straw aided by her fingers. haha




I have a terrible habit of not going to bed when Kurt is out of town. The bed is just so empty and lame without him. So inventively I stay up way too late. Monday night I watched the entire series of "Cranford." How have I not seen this before? LOVE it! I was laughing, I was crying. So good. I am embarrassed to admit what time I finished it at. The only good thing about this is that I was so exhausted that I basically passed out by the time I got the kids to bed the rest of the week.

Tuesday after scouts we went to the Forsbergs and had a potluck dinner of sloppy joes. The kids were happy to play and we were happy to visit. We decided to make it a tradition to get together whenever the guys leave us. Grateful for a stronger friendship since our trip to Florida.



Wednesday evening was Maggie's baptsim {Kea's mom.} Kerri was going to babysit but she unfortunately got a cold. So Austin was given his first opportunity to babysit Lucy and Ruth. I had a neighbor on backup if he needed it. They were all still alive and so I'm grateful he was given the chance to be responsible. The baptism was beautiful. Maggie was glowing, I'm so happy for her.
 
I finally volunteered at the school this week. It seems like I only get there once a month. It seems like something always comes up. I volunteered to put together the bulletin board in the lunch room. For the amount of time I was given to put it together I'm happy with how it turn out.
The girls had their teeth cleaned and we are happy to report that they are both in the no cavity club. The dentist told Emma she will need to start the gorgeous process of braces next year. We have had lots of questions and concerns about the topic since then.

Back to the school for the winter dinner and craft night.

Emma served drinks all night. So proud of her being such a great helper.



The kids didn't have school on Friday thanks to a Teacher Work day. So we had a few extras come to play: Kenzie, Tyler, Bryler and later that afternoon Cayson, Baylea and Jonathan. It was a fun full house.






That evening Kurt and Cortney came home!!! It was a happy reunion. We kept Bryler that night as his family was finishing up their trip in Disney World and flew home Saturday evening. He wasn't feeling well and I appreciated the extra help from the older kids to keep him entertained. I think Spencer probably pushed him a total of 2.8 miles around our house in the cozy coupe. He likes it and it made him happy.

Spencer and Ruth also gave him rides in the laundry basket for maximum happiness.

Saturday morning while both Jane and Bryler were napping I left the older in charge so I could run. Still striving towards that marathon in May. Slowly but surely. Ran 9 miles in the cold, frosty fog {which we have pretty much had the entire month.} I could see from the corner of my eyes frost gathering on my hair and eyelids. This picture kind of blew me away.

Saturday evening we went to the temple with the Drapers. Thank you to Kea and Maggie for watching all six of the kids. We had to wait almost an hour in the temple to get into a session. It was midnight before we got home. Grateful for babysitters who help us attend the temple regularly. We watched the second of the new series of films they are releasing. It provided new insight and teaching. Love the temple. 

dinner at Texas Roadhouse was also pretty great

When we got back to Nyssa we loaded up their treadmill which we bought from them. Even though I hate treadmills I'm very excited to use it because I believe it will help me achieve my marathon goal. I'm struggling to do so with such small baby girls. Hoping this is the answer!

This is from Kurt:

Out of all the meetings I go to every year that pertain to my job, I enjoy service school the most.  I absolutely hate that it is in Las Vegas other than the fact that I get to see the Waites and Loraine on a yearly basis.  My visit to Grandma and Grandpa was great, I enjoy visiting with them, they are such good people and I can easily relate to them.  Just don't bring up politics with Grandpa, which we didn't this year, and it is a great visit.  I have been in the family longer than some of the grandkids and really feel part of their family.  I did miss seeing Matt and Dawn this year as they moved to Washington,  it was always a treat to spend time with them.

We took 5 people do school with us, which was great, but what made it great is that they are such good guys.  I really enjoyed it.  We are very blessed to have some very talented, and just good people, that I get to work along side of every day.  It makes life less stressfull, more fun, and just much more enjoyable than it has been since we started the business.

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