Saturday, August 28, 2010

Date Night Hike

We hiked Pulpit Rock on a date night, and this was at the top:

One of the things we love about this place is the easy access to the great outdoors.  Pulpit Rock is only a few miles from our house, no even out of the city limits.  It's not a real long hike, but it was nice to do something outside the "dinner & a movie" box. 
On the way back down, we saw TWO baby rattlesnakes.  Scott actually stepped on the first one because he didn't see it.  Luckily, they were pretty lethargic, and really didn't seem to care about us tramping right by them. 
To go along with our 'adventurous' night, Scott talked me in to going to a Moroccan restaurant.  What I didn't realize at the time is that there would be lots of lovely rugs and pillows (because you sit barefoot on the floor), a multiple-course dinner (that we ate with our hands, as in no utensils), and belly-dancing.  I felt a little out of place in my slightly sweaty and dirty t-shirt and jeans, not to mention my rough and calloused, not-fit-for-eating-barefoot-in-public feet.  But, it was a fun night. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School!!!

I know I promised pictures, but I can't find the usb cable for my camera.  So, sorry.  Hopefully I'll get them on here soon.  At least I did remember to take pictures of the big morning.

That morning (Monday) started quite early for us.  Andrew had everyone awake shortly after 5AM.  And that's after he didn't go to sleep until 9 or so the night before.  And he'd been tired and cranky for that whole weekend, so he REALLY needed better sleep.  But, that's not what happened.  I think the transition has been wearing on him lately, or something.  I hope he gets over it soon.  I'm starting to feel really bad about leaving him with Grandma this coming weekend.  Who needs to worry about a very 2-year-old when you have a super cranky and extremely obnoxious 5-year-old on your hands?

Minus some major drama from said 5-year-old (over what shirts were acceptable for the first day of school), the morning routine went very well.  Eden put together her own lunch without me even asking (I was going to make her lunch, but she just did it).  And she even did a pretty good job health-wise: PBJ, carrots, grapes, {healthier-than-average} fruitsnacks.  She also was supposed to bring a snack or two besides her lunch, I gave her two Luna Bar minis {a slightly healthier option to the typical granola bar}.

We were out front about 7:40am (we didn't need to leave until 8).  Plenty of time to take pictures, pull out the trash cans (Monday is trash day for us), and let the kids loose on the neighbors front door (they wanted to walk to school together).

We arrived early to the school, got the kindergartener lined up, then went to find the 3rd graders' lines.  She was perfectly happy to not have me stay and watch her go to class.  I went back to the kindergarten area (our neighbor was waiting there).  It was kind of fun to watch Andrew's expression change between anxiousness and exitement.  At one point there was a little toddler boy who wasn't at all happy about his big sister going to school.  Andrew got face got more and more concerned, I thought he might have a breakdown.  But, when the bell rang for the students to walk inside, he gave a huge wave and the biggest smile of the morning.

After that, I set out with Jake in the jogger.  I couldn't start jogging for a little while because of the throngs of parents leaving the school.  But, I found a side street that got me out of the main traffic, and we were off and running.  I don't think I've pushed the stroller that fast in a long time.  I was seriously giddy almost to the point of laughter to have 3 hours almost to myself.  And I found out that Jake is A LOT QUIETER when he doesn't have to compete for my attention.

Both school kids had a great day and like their teachers and classmates.  They will both be learning some French at this school.  They even offer immersion classes starting in 2nd or 3rd (we didn't opt for that this year).  Andrew couldn't care less about learning French, but Eden thinks its pretty cool. 

Eden informed after the 2nd day of school that she has a buzzillion best-friends now.  She didn't actually use that word, but she does seem to think that everyone in her class is her best-friend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MY thoughts on a new school year- Addendum

My last post did not come off the way I intended. I published it anyway because I never get around to 'fixing' and publishing those kinds of posts. You know, the ones that start out with some real inner thoughts and feelings, but aren't quite right when you put them in writing. I don't really know how to fix what I wrote, but I want to add to it, and hopefully explain better where I am/was coming from.
I love my kids, and I do worry about them, and I will miss them (a little) while they're at school. But, lately I keep thinking about this line from the story of Esther:

"who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esth. 4:14)
I know Heavenly didn't send my children (and I need to remember it applies to me too) to Earth at this particular time to fail. I know He sent them to accomplish a great work. And fear of the world and of the unknown will only hold them back from their divine potential. I'm not saying that I'm never afraid, only that I do not want to teach fear to my children.  I believe it is a waste of time and energy, and distracts from more important things.  I want them to know how to set aside fear and do what is right.

I believe I must do my best to be like the mothers of Helaman's young warriors. They prepared their sons (and I'm sure they prepared their daughters too) with righteousness and truth. And because they were prepared they did not doubt, they did not fear. They moved forward with faith and strength and were blessed abundantly.

When I reflect on my life, I can see that it is not the life I had planned for myself.  This one isn't extraordinary in any particular way, and neither is the one I would have imagined for myself 12 years ago.  But, I know its not some accident or coincidence that I am where I am.  And the fact that I can see the Lord's hand in my life tells me I must be here in this life for a reason.

I think I feel rambling coming on, I better stop and go to sleep.  I am going to click "Publish Post".  Hopefully I don't look at my blog tomorrow or the next day and wish again that I had clicked "Save Now" instead.

I promise my next post will be more interesting. 
It will have pictures.

A taste in 10

I've neither caught up on things from before the move, nor have I caught up on life since the move.  So here's a little taste of my life:

1. So far, Eden really is going to 3rd grade on Monday. (I say 'so far' because there's still a paranoid part of me that's waiting for someone somewhere to tell me she has to go to 2nd grade.)  AND, she got into our neighborhood school.  (Nice, since walking distance to school was one of the main criteria for choosing this house.) 

The plan is to practice tomorrow morning as if it was a school day, including walking to school.  (wish us luck)  We have completed the school supply list shopping, and my disdain for this ritual continues to grow.  At least I didn't have to buy T.P.

2.  I think I should keep Facebook less intimate? and let this blog be the place for my inner thoughts/feelings/rantings/ramblings.  Funny, since this blog isn't private (yet). 

3.  I don't think Jake or I will know what to do with ourselves for 3 hours 5 days a week starting next week.

4.  We have lived here 2 1/2 months and all that is hanging on the walls are my kitchen calendar and about 5 cardboard dinosaurs in the boys room.  I'm not sure those count since I used blue fun-tac to hang those.

I'm planning to rearrange the family room, living room, and 4th bedroom too.

There's also my list of projects.  But I fear I have devoloped some sort of adult-onset attention deficit disorder from having more kids than hands, so I don't know if I'll actually get any of them done.

5.  We FINALLY scored a trampoline off Craigslist.  We picked it up today, and it will get put together tomorrow.

We're also purchasing an exercise bike of Craigslist tomorrow.

Next up, a bed (hopefully with a trundle) for our extra bedroom.

6.  We got rained out of our first tent-camping attempt in Colorado.

But, we got to go to a Rockies game with some great friends instead.  AND we ate  an absolutely scrumptious Chocolate Chip Calzone at Claim Jumpers, I think it may be my new favorite dessert.

7.  Scott has started his crazy rotating shift work.  He works 6 days (2 each of days, swings, nights), then gets 4 days off.  It's really not so bad. 

Just remind me I said that when I do Sacrament Meeting by myself again.....  And on Labor Day when we miss the ADT Half that I was so looking forward to.....  And when we miss both BYU Football games in Colorado because of his work schedule (we might still make the Air Force game... maybe)

8.  He did get time off for Dana and Guillaume's wedding.  We will have 3 days and 2 nights sans children in Washington D.C. thanks to Scott's Mom.

9.  On Friday, my house was the cleanest it has ever been since we moved here (the owner came to look at the deck and yard that need fixing).  Sorry you missed it.  Being the lame photographer that I am, there is no proof.  You will just have to take my word for it because it definitely doesn't show anymore.

10.  A lot of the time I think having three kids is REALLY busy.  (By busy, I mean CRAZY.)  And we're not even doing any 'extra-curriculars' right now. I am constantly interrupted, you can tell just by looking around my completely NOT-decorated house, especially during the day.  You'll see lots of UN-finished tasks, they mirror all the UN-finished thoughts in my head and on this blog. 

(Notice my emphasis on NOT- and UN-?  I think there is a distinction between the two:  NOT implies it hasn't happened yet; UN implies undone.  In my current situation, they both apply and can be used interchangeably in the preceding paragraph.)

Sometimes I think its just having a 2-year-old that make life so crazy.  He definitely makes the biggest contribution to the UNs.  I started calling him Monkey Monster and Monster Monkey the other day.  I swear Eden and Andrew weren't ever as loud or 'busy'.  They currently make a bigger contributions to the NOTs.

People tell me "if you can handle 3, you can handle 4 (or more)".  But what does that mean?  We're all still alive and have all our limbs, but I wouldn't say I'm good at having 3 kids.  I reach the edge of sanity and reason on a regular basis (ie. every day- see above).  I remember being paranoid about going from 2 to 3 because having 2 was so hard at first, but I knew it was irrational.  The worry I have about going from 3 to 4 feels different, I think it feels more real somehow.

I think there's a pretty good chance I will find out first hand the difference between having 3 kids and having 4 kids.  {Despite everything I just wrote, we would be happy and thankful to have another monkey.} 

This is NOT an announcement.  I am NOT pregnant.

Friday, August 6, 2010

MY thoughts on a new school year.

I've always had a mixed feeling of horror and guilt when other moms talk about how sad/anxious they are about sending the kids off to school again.  Horror because I tend to think they're a little crazy.  Guilt that I don't feel the same way about holding on to my kids a little longer.  That I actually look forward to sending them to school- does that mean I don't love my kids as much?  Am I selfish because I enjoy having fewer kids around for a couple hours during the week?  Today I realized my reasons for loving a new school year are not all selfish.

It's been especially difficult this year after homeschooling Eden.  I am looking that much more forward to 'getting a break'.  (I know Eden is too.)  But, at the same time, I have a hard time not feeling like some kind of failure for not wanting to keep homeschooling this year.  At this point, though, I feel like not being 'The Teacher' will help me be 'The Mom' to all three kids better.

I'm excited for the school year, and not just because of the quiet and order that will be enjoyed by me for a couple hours every day. Our kids are here to learn and grow, just like us. They will be adults far longer than they will be children. I'm excited to see them grow into who they are meant to be. There's some sad and ugly along the way, but its necessary for their growth (and ours). I know our kids are here at this time because they are VALIANT spirits.  I pray to be able to be the best mother possible for them, to know how to lead them and guide them.  That they can handle the sad and ugly that sometimes seems overwhelming in the world today.  But, I am really so excited to see them grow into their potential.

And I know despite the sad and ugly, there's still A LOT of happy and beautiful in the world  we're sending them out into. I'm excited to see the part they play in all the good and wonderful that is still to come.