Saturday, September 25, 2010

Believe it or not

**I originally wrote this almost two weeks ago, so note the updates.**

1.  I recently decided there are 3 things that help me feel good.  They are so simple, and yet so easy to forget, or push aside for things that seem more urgent (or because I get lazy).  They say writing down things, like goals, makes them more likely to become real, so I am giving it a try.
  • Reading the scriptures.  Currently, my goal is one chapter per day (in the Book of Mormon) and I can't believe how hard it is to be consistent!  But, I do feel better when I am consistent.
  • Exercise.  Ever since I found out that Scott's work schedule would interfere with our half marathon, I've been pretty lazy on the running.  I still go, just not as far or as fast as I should.  It's sad, because I'm kind of wasting all the mileage I had built up.  On the other hand, I've been pretty consistent on the ChaLEAN Extreme program, and I'm in the lean phase (last month out of 3) now.  I really like the program, and I think it has worked pretty well for me.  (It would work even better if I was as consistent with nutrition, and if I was as consistent on Ab workouts, I really don't like those.)
  • Service.  At first I was thinking just #1 and #2 were the keys to my personal happiness, but recent experiences have reminded me that NOTHING beats the feeling of knowing you have really helped someone.  Sometimes it's a family member, sometimes it's a friend, sometimes it's a stranger.  I could do a lot better at looking for opportunities to serve- again with the consistency.
Maybe my real problem is consisteny.

**UPDATE: Kid-parent frustrations are one of the quickest and surest ways (for me) to be in a foul mood.  And, I have to remember that getting sufficient sleep makes a big difference in my ability to be a better mom.  Scott typically works 2 midnight shifts out of 10 days.  I have the same troubles sleeping as when he's gone.  I REALLY need to figure out a way to get myself to bed at a decent hour on those two nights.  FYI- I'm pretty sure that when those 2 mids land on Friday and Saturday night- meaning Scott is sleeping or working for most of the weekend, and Tired Me is faced with 3 bored and energetic kids- it's the perfect storm for creating Mean Mom around here.**

2.  Being a 'fun mom' is hard for me.  Sad but true. We're pretty good at getting out and about to see and do, but I want to create more family memories in our home.  I think that's as important as anything else we do for our kids.  Today I ordered a subscription to Family Fun Magazine ($10 for a year, so I thought it was worth a try)  after seeing it referenced on a few blogs.  (I am attempting to study up on creating 'family fun'- can you say nerd!?) 
The last several months, I got pretty good at being the 'authoritative mom' and the 'disciplinarian mom' (maybe those aren't quite the right descriptions, hopefully you get the picture), but 'fun mom' kind of got pushed out of the picture a bit.  I'd say I felt 90% serious, 10% fun.  (Hopefully the kids have a better impression of that time period.)  Sometimes I think I'm still stuck in that 'mode'.  Having Eden (and Andrew) back at school really has helped me unwind a little (I was wound pretty tight) and focus more on non-academic/non-serious, but still very important, family/parenting issues.

3.  Maybe I'm not done unwinding seeing how I've spent almost an hour on this post, when I should have been blogging about any number of other things.  Things that my kids would certainly rather read about if I ever get around to turning my blogging into blurbing.

4.  New-girl syndrome has struck.  One benefit of being so focused on homeschooling since we moved here was that I didn't notice and/or didn't care too much about making new friends.  (Sure, we've met a lot of people, and made a few 'friends' and had some fun, but no real lasting connections yet.)  Now that my head is above water again, I feel the feel the familiar sting.  I miss my old friends and I'm not sure I'll ever find any as good as them.  And at the same time I know it is (probably) only a matter of time before these feelings pass and I do feel like I fit in here and have made some real connections to people here.  It's a comforting thought, but sad in a nostalgic way at the same time.

5.  Boy, would I love to have a running partner again.

6.  I have not touched the Hunger Games series yet.  While the rest of the world (at least my facebook world) was submerged in Mockingjay, I sank into a couple books from a caterer murder mystery series Erin got me started on.

7.  Scott and I are on the activites committe.  (Now if I could just get a calling in the Sunday School, I think I'd have everything outside the priesthood on my New Member Resume Information sheet.)  We have an 'adults only' square-dancing/barbeque coming up, and part of me is hoping for something to prevent us from attending.  My comfortable 'kid cushion' will be stripped away.  I will have no easy escape from the pressure and awkwardness of social conversation.  Wo is me.  Hopefully I remember to wear a top that won't give away my profuse nervous sweating. 

**UPDATE:  We went, we had fun, and I did remember to wear something that wouldn't show the sweating.  But, with the full hour of square dancing, everyone was sweating anyway.**

8.  I really thought BYU would defeat USAFA.  Where did the team go after those first 2 touch-downs?  (I have to admit I didn't pay enough attention to the game to have a real opinion on what happened after the first quarter.)  Fortunately, the friends and the post-game food more than made up for BYU's poor performance.  (Does remembering to bring the camera count for anything when I don't remember to TAKE A PICTURE?  Nope.)

9.  Since every one of our children has had their turn getting very lost (as in putting me into near-panic lost), Andrew decided it was time for seconds.  {Actually, maybe he just thought his first experience didn't count since I didn't actually know I had lost him until a kind woman returned him to the group we were with.  But that's another story.}  We (me and the kids) were on our way back to our seats from the [outrageously price] kid-fun-zone.  I didn't realize how close to the end of the game we were.  As we were hiking up to the U sections, the flood started.  (There had been a trickle of mostly BYU fans before this, but I just thought it was because BYU was playing THAT BAD.)  Andrew had been running ahead of me (against my vocalized wishes).  I was hoping he made it to our section (our seats were near the top, close to the main walkway on that level.  But, when I go there (with Eden and Jake), NO ONE was there.  Scott and the rest of our group had already started towards the parking.  That's when I started to panic a little.  I screamed at talked to Scott on the cell phone, then told the nearest gate attendant that we had lost a five-year-old boy.  Shortly after that, Scott and our friends started back-tracking to look for him.  In the meantime, stadium security located a 7 year old boy (not Andrew).  Scott eventually found him on the main walkway between where I had lost sight of him and where our section was.  The whole ordeal was probably 5 minutes, but it felt like a lot longer.

10.  I will not post this until I have posted something more fun.  

**UPDATE:  our desktop, which has all the pics, has a virus or something slowing it down A LOT, and this post is getting pretty out-dated, so I'm ignoring the self-challenge.**

Here We Go Again...

Jake loves Andrew so much (most of the time), and wants to be just like him.  He's had a couple close calls with the brick fireplace that gave Andrew staples in the back of the head.  But, he took it on the chin (this time), and the culprit was a sideways kitchen chair (why do they insist on playing with the chairs this way?).  Luckily, no staples, or even stitches.  He got glue (that didn't make him any happier about holding still so they could be sure to glue the cut CLOSED (and not open).

Fortunately (for me), Scott was home (sleeping for MidS, so not so fortunate for him) when the incident occored.  He kindly volunteered to take Jake to the emergency room, and I stayed home with Eden and Andrew.  Last time he was working the night shift, he came home and let me sleep a couple more hours before he went to bed for the day because he knew I struggle with getting good rest when he's gone.  He offered to do that yesterday too, and I foolishly declined.  He's such a nice guy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

...And the surprise party

Eden and Andrew went out to lunch with Scott. They even picked up one of Eden's friends who we had invited, and she did a great job of not letting on to Eden. She was REALLY surprised!

On of the games we played was this 'flour cake with a penny on top' game.  Everyone took turns cutting away pieces of the 'cake'.  Whoever made the penny topple had to go in after it with their teeth.  Surprising Andrew didn't mind the mess too much!

 I was so impressed with the age range we had that the girls all played nicely together and even included Andrew in all the fun.

 Scott got a 'real' icecream cake from the ice cream store.  We got this great picture of Eden as she blew the candles out.  After more than 5 minutes of trying to cut and serve the cake, we sent the kids outside so the cake could soften more.  It was just a *little* too hard to cut.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eden's birthday night with the family

I told Eden we weren't going to have a 'friend party' this year, and that she could choose a special family activity for her birthday.  She REALLY wanted to go bowling on her actual birhtday (a school night), and I aquiesed.  Then, Scott convinced me we should do a surprise party for her.  But, since we couldn't let Eden know, we had to go ahead with the family fun (even if it was on a school night).

The kids had running club that afternoon, so we hurried home had Eden's birthday dinner (Ramen noodles, yay for quick meals!), did the birthday gift scavenger hunt (the Barbie house + accessories from Craigslist was a huge hit), ate ice cream cake, and headed for the bowling alley.

Everyone got to bowl, even Jake, and it was a good fun night (despite a nasty cold I had, so no pics of me thank you).

I can't believe Eden is 8 already.  She has matured in her attitude a lot this year.  She is becoming a real big help with her brothers and things around the home.  Although there were a few things she needed to figure out in the transition from homeschool back to public school (ie. using an agenda, keeping track of homework), she is confident and comfortable in 3rd grade.  She has a strong desire to do what is right and wants to be friends with everyone she meets.  And she is super excited for her upcoming baptism.  She is still very independent and head strong, but if she continues on this path, she will be unstoppable.  We love you Eden!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

{sort of} birthday interview with Eden

Totally copied and pasted from our ward's Primary spotlight.  (See Andrew's here.)

Where were you born? Provo, UT

How many brothers and sisters do you have? 2 brothers

What do you like to do for fun? swimming, bowling, riding my scooter
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

What is your favorite Food? chocolate

What is your favorite Primary Song? Give Said the Little Stream

What is your favorite scripture story? the story of Esther

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hot Air Balloons!

Labor Day Weekend brings the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, and we didn't want to miss it!  Maybe next year we can take a ride in one of them.  The kids were pretty excited to see the Energizer Bunny get 'blown up' and take-off.

This balloon said, "When Pigs Fly" on the side.

These pictures don't quite do it justice.  It was a beautiful day, and an amazing site to see all these balloons take off.

We got each of the kids a balloon before we left the park.  Then we headed to IHOP for breakfast.  Little did we know that there would be a pretty talented balloon artist at the restaurant, so the kids ended up with lots of balloons that morning! 
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Eden taking charge again

...does that really surprise anyone?
     Earlier last week, she decided I was taking too long to make assignments for the next week's FHE (which was tonight).  I actually didn't read this carefully until a few days after she wrote it out.
     "Scripture Pass Out" is a new assignment, and it actually worked out well. Andrew was happy to be in charge of the scriptures, and even put them all away when we were done.  My favorite "Tickler in Group Hug" is also a new assignment category, although I'm not surprised at who she picked. 
     Of course she didn't forget the most important part.  The treat is the reason for all the rest of it, isn't it? ;)