Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fire Stations and Fractures

Okay, we are on our second broken arm of the year. Rebekah fell off of her scooter about 10 days ago. She cried about all of her owies, but seemed okay. I noticed that her wrist was swollen and she was favoring it quite a bit. She said it didn't hurt, but last Monday we took her in just to make sure it was okay. Now she has a bright purple cast! Just in time for her birthday pool party last Saturday! Oh, well.

She went with her class to the fire station on Friday. Notice her bright purple cast in the photos!
We loved meeting Felipe the fire dog! And climbing on the big trucks! And that big old fashioned fire hose at the top of the post. Stay tuned for birthday pics!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If the Savior Stood Beside Me...

I have been meaning to share this story for awhile. You all know how crazy Sunday morning can be, right? Well, this past February, my husband had the flu and I was trying to get all 4 kids out the door for church. My sister happened to be visiting, to pick up her husband after a tour in Iraq, and we were trying to get over to lodging to pick her up. I spent 20 frustrating minutes trying to convince Rebekah, my 4-year-old, that in order to put her dress over her head she would have to unbutton it. Bekah tried to prove me wrong, shrieking and crying the whole time. I must have said, "Can I help you? Will you let Mommy help you? Please let me do it!" about a million times. Okay, by the end I was screaming it! And I finally took matters into my own tentacles and yanked the dress on, pulled on the tights and got us all out the door. As we pulled up to pick up Trisa and her kids, the Primary music cd was playing the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me". I briefly told Trisa about the fabulous mothering moment I had just had, and then I asked her,"Do you think if the Savior had been standing there that I still would have screamed at my daughter?" Without hesitation, she said, "Oh, yeah! I don't think it would matter! Especially if he was just standing there and not helping with the tights or anything!" I don't mean to be irreverent, and of course, Christ would never just stand there! I am sure He would have calmed Bekah down, and then calmed me down, and helped everyone get ready. I am just glad that my sister knew about Sunday morning madness, and how easy it is to lose perspective, because there is so much opposition, that even the presence of the Savior might not keep me from screaming so hard that my throat hurt! Maybe one day, I will actually get the hang of this mothering thing, but it's nice to know I have so many wonderful people to share the journey with! And a Savior who will not only forgive me for my impatience, but actually loves me in spite of it and will carry that burden for me if I can just give it up to Him.

So one more Sunday down, only 676 to go (until Bekah turns 18). Maybe by then, she will be dressing herself! Or, I could have become a calm person! Hmm...I wonder which will happen first!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

There's a monster under my bed! (Or 4,381 crayons)

Okay, so after my gym workout today, I decided to use the remaining 51 minutes of Bekah's preschool time to clean under the girls' beds. I know--I am a very brave soul, but somebody has to do it! At least every three months, or the clutter starts to ooze out everywhere else in the house! Here is what I found! (all numbers are prone to exaggeration depending on my frustration level)

Approximately 27 notebooks, folders, and journals
7 coloring books
4,381 crayons, colored pencils, and markers
4 unopened boxes of crayons (24 ct) that they took from my school supply stash, because they couldn't find any crayons!
17 lbs of trash
53 dust bunnies
a bag of potato chips, unopened
about a ream of paper touting the global warming crisis from Ellie's earth day. last year; how about they just don't print anything about global warming and save a few trees that way!
several tootsie pops, sticky and dusty
a granola bar, in several pieces
157 elastic bands, this is probably why I can never find an elastic band to do the girls' hair and consequently have spent approximately 3,000 dollars on hair accessories this year alone!
one of my journals, with notes from our last stake conference that I have been looking for, everywhere (that is another post)
half of Ellie's wardrobe
42 stuffed animals
57 books

I think it is safe to say that we are blessed--with lots and lots of material things. Which I am planning on throwing away, paring down, or selling in the base yard sale in a couple of weeks. Actually, I am just trying to make some room for their birthday presents!

Does anyone need a crayon?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bittersweet memories

Seven years ago, today, I was awakened by the hungry cries of our new baby girl. We had just brought her home from the hospital the night before. I picked her up, took her downstairs, and we settled on the couch for her feeding. I turned on the tv, thinking I would just watch an infomercial. The first tower had just been hit and the news commentators were trying to find out how an airplane could have not seen the building. They still thought it was an accident. A few minutes later, I saw the second plane hit and all of a sudden the world had changed. I watched this horrible attack on our country and felt a wordless grief for all of those people and their families. On the other hand, I was holding this sweet, new life in my arms and I was so happy to have her with us. I don't think I will ever forget that moment: I knew in an instant how fragile our lives are, and yet, I wanted my daughter to embrace and love this world.

This morning, I was driving home from the preschool run, when I passed all the elementary kids doing their "Freedom Walk". I think a lot of them weren't born when 9/11 happened, and most of them certainly won't have any memories, but they are more patriotic than a lot of the country. They watch their dads and moms, and sometimes both parents, go off to fight for the freedoms that we enjoy, and to fight for other people to have some of those freedoms. They spend a lot of birthdays, holidays, and school activities with just one parent. I am amazed at the sacrifices that military families everywhere make everyday. I know that we are one of them, but I feel like our contributions have been so small compared to most of the people we live around. I have a lot of hope for the future because of these amazing people around us. Thanks to all of you for what you do, everyday, just because you know it's the right thing to do!

I hope you take a minute today and think about what really matters, love, life, and family, and the freedom to enjoy them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So, what do you do all day?

How many of us have been asked this question by our kids, our spouse, or women who are either newlyweds and have no children, or work outside the home? I thought I would keep track of what I did today. Sorry for the tedious detail, but I am sure someday I will enjoy finding out what I did with my time!

5:06 am--alarm goes off, brush teeth and go potty

5:07 am--wake up Andy for seminary

5:10 am--stumble around kitchen finding breakfast stuff

5:15 am--start cupcakes for Ellie's birthday treat today

5:25 am--put in first batch of cupcakes

5:30 am--check email

5:35 am--start checking out the front door to see if Andy's ride is here

5:36 am --doublecheck that he has all his soccer gear

5:37 am--panic that he might forget his wallet and not be able to eat lunch; he confirms that he has his wallet

5:39 am--look out door

5:40 am--look out door, tell Andy his ride is here

5:45 am--start second batch of cupcakes, finish up with computer stuff

6:00 am--make eggs and toast, for me with a big Diet Dr. Pepper, eat while loading my brand new iPod shuffle with songs (I got a new one for our anniversary to replace the old one I lost this summer; I told V. it would last much longer than flowers!) so I can start running again today

6:15 am-- go out to car to get Ellie's presents from hiding place

6:20 am-- go upstairs to wrap one present, run right into Ellie; she goes back to her room so we can come in and sing to her

6:30 am--gather the other girls and Vaughn and go in and sing Happy Birthday to Ellie

6:45 am--get girls dressed (this means I negotiate for about 10min with Bekah about what she wants to wear--usually it is something that isn't clean or we can't find)

7 am--downstairs for breakfast, we all are dressed at this point, something of a miracle

7-7:30 am--make lunch, nag at the girls, check backpacks, nag at the girls, do everyone's hair and teeth, nag at them to put on shoes

7:29 am--realize that the kids have ortho appts today and that I can't go to the gym

7:30-7:40 am--get all the girls in the car (yes it really takes us ten minutes to get in the car!)

7:45 am--drop off Rachel

7:55 am--drop off Ellie

8:10 am-- arrive at Bekah's school, spend a few minutes reading while waiting for school to start

8:30 am--drop off Bekah

8:45 am--arrive home and collapse onto my bed, since I don't have time to go to the gym, I might as well catch a few zzzs

9:44 am--wake up and go to PX

10:25 am--pick up Rachel for ortho

10:40 am--pick up Andy for ortho

11:00 am--drop off kids and go to Sonic for a diet Coke with lime and 4 motrin for my splitting headache

11:20 am--pick up Bekah

11:30 am--back to Ortho to pick up kids, wait for Andy until 11:45

12:00 pm--Wendy's for lunch

12:30 pm--drop off Andy, Rachel

1:00 pm--frost cupcakes, start cake

1:10 pm--listen to messages, Rachel has her first soccer practice tonight at 6pm.

1:30 pm--put cake in oven, walk to Ellie's school and drop off cupcakes

2:00 pm--come home and blog so I won't forget what I did today

2:15 pm--take out cake, clean up kitchen

2:15-3:00 pm--wrap presents with Bekah and try to finish mini-scrapbook for Ellie

3:00 pm--go to commissary for dinner stuff

3:30 pm--home to open presents with Ellie and get ready for Andy's soccer game

4:00 pm--herd the cats for the soccer game

4:30-6:00 pm--watch Andy's game. He does great; has several shots, but doesn't score.

5:55 pm--try to restrain husband from climbing over fence and onto the field when Andy drives in for a shot and the goalie takes him down with his elbow to Andy's jaw. I thought Vaughn was going to have an aneurysm!

6:00 pm--take Rachel to her practice at the next field over, take Andy home

6:30 pm--come home to a naughty dog who got into the garbage! start dinner, frost cake

7:00 pm--steaks on grill, Ellie's favorite! Her favorite foods are tomatoes and steak!

7:30 pm--dinner

7:45 pm--scriptures

8:00 pm--cake and ice cream

8:10 pm--bath and pjs for me... why am I so tired?

What I learned from this:

I am grateful that I have a car to drive everyone around to their activities. I am grateful that I have children to wake up and celebrate birthdays with. I am grateful that we have the means to have them involved in activities they enjoy. I am grateful that I have so much food to eat that I am chubby enough that I need to exercise. I am grateful that someday my children will have straight teeth. I am grateful that my husband has a job right now that allows him to come to some of our kids' activities, even if I need to feed him Alka-seltzer afterward. I am grateful that we are all trying to live our lives to the fullest, and that I can be a stay-at-home mom. Although, was I even home today? :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rebekah's First Day of Pre-school

Here is Bekah with her new teacher, Mrs. E!

Here is Bekah on her first day at a preschool run by a local church here in Leavenworth. She just missed the kindergarten deadline, but really wanted to go to school, so here she is!

Here she is at her desk!

Here is the big girl in front of the bear by their room. Notice the fabulous princess backpack. How could she not have a great day with that kind of an accessory? I enjoyed my 2 hours and 50 minutes of child-free time by going to the gym, taking a shower, and going back to the school. But I didn't have to wait for anyone to get into the car or put on their seatbelt, or have a tantrum because she couldn't buckle it but didn't want help, or I helped her and then she had to unbuckle it and then buckle it again! I think I might get spoiled!