Friday, September 28, 2012

One week TDY

I was going through our photos to see what else might belong on the blog.  I noticed what I thought were random pictures of building from Washington, DC. in the middle of the rest of our photos. Then I remembered we use Photo Stream, which means any pictures taken from either of our iPhones or the iPad is automatically pushed into a collection on all our Apple devices including the iMac.  Anyway, there were quite a few pictures from kids using my phone (unbeknownst to me), there were pictures of a couple other 'events' here at home, and there were the pictures Scott took while he was TDY to DC. So, I thought it might be fun to play around with the features of iPhoto, and made this slideshow.  Enjoy!

Maybe I need to explain a few of the photos.  One day I was in the middle of something when Charis woke up crying from her nap.  Jake said he would go help her be happy.  There are quite a few pictures around the house that the kids took on Monday afternoon when we were getting ready to go to Landsharks.  Then there are photos from the race.  The pictures from our kitchen I took one morning after I came downstairs and discovered that Jake had helped himself to a yogurt- with ketchup, food coloring and sprinkles, I'm sure it was delicious as it sounds.  He must have taken the ketchup out of the fridge first, and when he was done with it (it was nearly empty), stuck it in the container where I keep random things, like food coloring and sprinkles.  Maybe he made some attempt at cleaning up his mess, because I found more food coloring in the sink.  There was also powdered sugar involved, but it didn't show up in the photos very much.  The last picture is how Charis sets herself up every time I put her in the carseat lately: both hands firmly gripping the handle bar.  Maybe she's bracing herself for whatever chaos is about to ensue?  At least she has  a smile on!  It was fairly typical week around here in mid-September.  Then there are the pictures showing a few glimpses of what Scott was up to in our nation's capital that week.  The pictures are in the same order I found them in Photo Stream, I did delete some of the photos the kids took (there were A TON!).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Conference Journals

I was recently called into Activity Days, along with a couple other ladies.  I know my sister Tricia is new to this calling too.  So, I thought I would share some of the ideas here.  I made one of these journals for Eden last General Conference from this idea I saw on Pinterest.  (I didn't realize until too late that the pictures were out of date- Elder Wirthlin had passed away and Elder Anderson had been called as an apostle).  So I got this PDF from Sugardoodle, made a screen-shot, saved it as a JPEG and added the vertical text using Picasa.  (Yes, I am feeling pretty proud of myself for figuring that all out on our not-so-new-but-I-still-don't-really-know-how-to-use iMac.)

So here's the new image.  I printed it through Picasa as 5x7, shrink to fit, on letter size (8.5x11) paper.  That way, when I selected more than 1 copy (20 to cover all our girls and leaders), they printed 2 per page.  I think it came out pretty awesome!

So, at our next activity we will talk about the importance of listening to and following the counsel of the prophets and apostles.  The girls will cut the pictures and use packing tape to put them in an empty lined notebook, either as tabs, or just onto the page.  Hopefully this will help them learn to get more from their General Conference experience.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Eden is 10!

   We officially have a "tween", we are in double digits.  And suddenly Eden cares a little more about what she wears and how her hair looks.  We celebrated by taking her on a special outing with just me and Scott (and Charis).  She's been begging to go to the aquarium in Denver ever since we moved here.  It's definitely not the best aquarium we've ever been too (we are a mile high and no where near the ocean), more like an attraction that includes an aquarium.  But we still had lots of fun!  And it was nice to spend time with just Eden, talking and listening and connecting a little more than we usually can when the whole family is together.

First stop, the bubble by the ticket counter:

Inside the aquarium:

That's one BIG fish!

There were a few of these 'bubbles' where you could crawl under the aquarium and look through the dome a that the fish all around

Charis had a good time too!

Then there was the area that had lots of different attractions, Eden choose face painting...

and feeding the stingrays....

Of course, we had to take pictures in the shark tank survivor suit! 

The last stop was Yogi Bear's Wild Ride 4D Ride.  Just Scott and Eden went, I took Charis back to car to feed her before we headed to lunch at IKEA (Eden's choice).

Waiting for their turn on the 4D ride

Then we headed home and had dinner, cake, and presents with our neighbors the Meinholds.  They were also the ones who watched the boys for us so we could have this special date with Eden.  Thanks Meinholds!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A few pictures and memories from June

Andrew and Jacob came up with some fun games.  This was a 'train':

Eden did some fund science experiments:

Jacob and Andrew got their annual summer buzz:

Charis got bigger (a little, anyway) and started showing us more of her personality:

We made a fun card for Father's Day (thank you Pinterest for the idea):

We went to Star Wars Day at SkySox Stadium:

A reminder for my 52-year-old self

I have added to this since first posting it, please don't feel obligated to read it. It is just as boring as the first draft, just more detailed :)

This is the first full week of school that Eden and Andrew have had with 'normal' 2-day weekends on both sides.  I love my kids and it's fun to have some extra days off to do fun stuff, but I have been craving a routine and a little more quiet.  The hiccup-start to school that we always have here was really wearing on me.  At the end of last week, I made a sort of schedule of what I would try to get done each day of the week. For better or for worse, I got the idea from Pinterest (an awesome place for inspiration in all aspects of life, but also an awesome place to feel inadequate in any area of life), and my goal is to spend 15-60 minutes focusing on certain areas of the house.
Monday- kitchen
Tuesday- living room and family room
Wednesday- masterbedroom and bath
Thursday- home improvement/organization or whatever else i want to get done around the house (this week I rearranged furniture in the girls' rooms)
Friday- blog or scrapbook
Daily, as needed- laundry, dishes, vacuuming (clean floors are a higher priority now that Charis is crawling)
 It looked so easy on paper, and it did go pretty well.  But, it is really amazing how much life {especially life with 3 kids and a baby} can get in the way of my "To Do" List!  Anyway, I stuck to it, and now, on Friday, I get to spend some time blogging.
My typical list each day has exercise, scripture reading, and laundry.  These things are pretty much habits, but it's nice to have a couple things that are almost guaranteed to get checked off every day :)  Then there's any commitments me and/or the kids have (appointments, activities, play-dates, etc.)  Next comes whatever house-cleaning I'm going to try to get done that day and any other tasks that just need to be done (like mailing our voter registration- finally got that done this week).  I can get by a day or maybe two without the list.  But, any longer than that, and I completely lose track of things.  I joke sometimes that at least half my brain is on the family calendar, sticky notes, and (now that we've updated) my smartphone.  It's kind of funny, in a pathetic way, but it's absolutely true.  Even with all these helpers, I still sometimes forget appointments and other tasks.
I never would have believed it before it happened to me.  But since I've had Charis, a few people have actually said how "4 was the hardest".  I'm kind of starting to think it's part of some joke by the universe to convince people to have more kids.  However many you have, people will tell you that number was the hardest, implying it gets easier to have more kids.  Up until now, people always have said 2 or 3 was "the hardest".  I've decided that having another child is hard no matter how many kids you have.  It is crazy trying to balance a baby's needs and schedule with the rest of the family's schedule.  But, it is definitely worth it.
Now, the stuff that's not on my list:
Our school-day morning schedule starts with family prayer at 6:30. My goal is to be up 15-30 minutes before to get dressed (usually in exercise clothes), make, my bed, do my personal prayers and "get my head in the game", but Charis has recently decided that night time feelings at 12 or 3 or both are a good thing, and I am dragging in the morning. So, family prayer at 6:30 or 6:45, then kids (especially Eden and Andrew) get ready for the day (make beds, pray, get dressed) and I get breakfast ready by about 7am. I eat breakfast then get lunches ready, then clean-up breakfast. Eden and Andrew take turns getting the piano practice done, and also brush teeth, pack bags (if it's not already done the day before, and are out the door to school by 8am. {I LOVE THAT THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH TO WALK BOTH WAYS BY THEMSELVES!}. Again, it looks pretty awesome on paper, but it is usually at least a little hectic and intense with a child or 2 or 4 throwing tantrums, whining, arguing about something at some point.
While the school kids are gone, and after I finish cleaning up breakfast, I work on my list while also taking care of Charis and supervising Jake's activities. I have no problem with my kids watching tv, and Jake watches quite a bit more than the others (Eden and Andrew watch very very little during the school year). But, he gets his own responsibilities and chores done, and lots of digging in the sand, riding his scooter, jumping on the trampoline, trips to the park, cutting, gluing, coloring, reading lessons, and quiet time too. He also goes to preschool 3 afternoons a week, which has been a good thing for both of us.
When the school kids get home, they have might have some activities or they might just have homework and chores before they can play outside. (Having time to play outside is the goal anyway. We are working on helping them realize that all their responsibilities and chores don't typically take a lot of time, but throwing fits, whining, or arguing with mom can use up a lot of time.) We try to have dinner at about 6 then quiet activities, including family scripture study and book reading until bedtime, which ranges from 7 to 8:30 or 9pm depending on the child and the day and how tired I am :)
I realize this is pretty boring, but I wanted to document how my life is right now.  Hopefully in 20 years I won't berate myself too much for not taking more pictures and marking more milestones (Charis started crawling a few weeks ago, about 7 months and got her first tooth right at 8 months!) because I will have this reminder that we were just really busy LIVING, and sometimes the recording of it slipped through the cracks.  At the same time, I do want to have some record to show of our lives, so my goal now is to work on blogging and scrapbooks (yes, I still have some catching up to do from our pre-digital camera and pre-blog days) once a week. I've made goals before, but I am realizing that I need to make it a higher priority if I want it to get done. We don't have time for EVERYTHING we may want, but we can always make time for the things we decide are truly important to us.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Scott's First Marathon

Scott ran the American Discovery Trail Marathon.  I thought about running the half, but decided not to, so that the kids and I could all cheer him.  (Plus, one parent training for a race is plenty for us right now, it's a big time commitment!)  The race starts north of Colorado Springs and follows a trail that runs through the city, ending at a park downtown.  So, we were able to cheer him on part way through, and at the end.  These pictures are all from the end of the race, since I wasn't quite ready with the camera when we saw him earlier.

Eden and Jake wanted to run with Scott

Eden asking, "What took so long, Dad?"

The happy finisher!

He finished in about 4:15, and wants to do another one someday.