Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wild Animals

I think we are being over run by wild animals. Yesterday Zeke had lions in his diaper, he got bit on the leg by an alligator and last night while I was in town with Makenna he got attacked and bit on the lip by a coyote, or maybe it was a cat. He couldn't remember. My guess is it was a cat because those are scarier than coyotes. Then there were the scarey fluff ball baby chickens at the farm store. All those yellow fluffballs running around in those big boxes was almost too much. Zeke had to jump in the cart and squish up in the corner to get away from them. I'm not sure what to do with all these wild animals but it's getting serious. Sometimes Zeke can't even get in the house because the scarey cats sit on the front porch by the door. Maybe when it snows again this weekend all the wild, scarey animals will go someplace warmer.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Zeke

Can I just say that Zeke is the funniest little kid I have ever seen? He is! Sunday he pooped in his diaper in nursery. When I took him to the bathroom to change him he assured me that it was not poop in his diaper, it was a lion - and a puma. Yesterday, same thing, no poop just lions. At least the girls have finally stopped pooping iin his diaper. They used to be the ones that messed up his diaper. Then he wouls order me to spank their bums and when I would pretend to he would just laugh and laugh. Sunday Michael put the trees that the girls had gotten from their race into a big pot until it wormed up enough to move them outside. So the pot is in our fireplace room right now. Well yesterday morning I come into the room after making bread and Zeke has been digging in the pot like it was a sand box. There is dirt all over the floor and toys filled up with dirt. I asked him who did it and of course - it was Susie. That's why Zeke's fingers were covered with dirt. Yesterday afternoon the kids went out to play with the instructions not to get in the mud. Well, Zeke and Susie came in covered with mud splatters and very wet. Were they in the mud? Of course not! Did they stay only on the swing set or the deck? Of course they did! Why was their hair wet? Who knows! Why was their face covered with mud? Who knows! Why are they sitting down in timeout? Beats me! No offense to all you left-handed people, but I think left handers think a little differently and Zeke is definitely left-handed.

By the way, last night we had the school carnival and there was a silent auction. I was asked to donate some loaves of bread for the auction. One of my loaves went for $50! I think I should go into business. If I could sell a few more loaves of bread at that price I could get a new kitchenaid mixer (the big 6 quart professional grade one)! Does anyone want to buy a loaf?

Monday, April 28, 2008

8 Years

Today Michael and I celebrate our 8th anniversary. Time has gone quickly it seems and not much has changed, yet when I stop to think all that has happened in those 8 years more has changed than it seems. In 8 years we have moved 9 different times, 2 of those times to South Dakota. We have had 6 children and bought 3 different vehicles to accommodate those children. We have both hit and gone beyond our 30th birthdays and now we are waiting for our oldest to turn 8 later this year and be baptized. We have both had loved ones pass away and seen new loved ones born. We have travelled to Tennessee, Kentucky, South dakota, California, Utah, and Minnesota (on a daily basis). We have gone from a big ward that is 5 minutes away to a small branch that is 50 minutes away. There have been challenges that have strengthened us in ways that we never imagined. We have left old friends and made new friends. There have been hard times and more hard times, but there has been many good times mixed in with that. All in all it has been a good 8 years, one that I would never give back or exchange for something else. I hope the next 8 years will prove to be just as successful. I know it will be adventuresome, especially as we go from innocent gradeschoolers to the teenage years!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Primary

Today Primary was quite exciting. Last week both of my councilors and the pianist informed me that they wouldn't be here today. Both of the councilors are also two of the three teachers. Well, I volunteered Michael to teach the two classes which today consisted of 8 kids age 3 through 8. Lots of fun for Michael. Michael teaches young men so he couldn't go to sharing time with me. The other teacher is the young men president so he can't come to sharing time either. That left me. The kids thought it was pretty funny that I was going to lead the music, play the piano and do sharing time all by myself. We had a few kids missing so there were only 13 kids total. A few can be really hard though. Well, after bribing them that if they were reverent and helped me out then they could have a sucker after primary was over, they did a pretty good job. I was impressed. I made it through primary without any major outbreaks. So that I wouldn't have to lead and play the piano during music time, they took turns leading. They actually had a good time. The stake president was at our branch today and I wsa very glad that he didn't come in to visit. He might not would have appreciated how things went as much as I did! Hey, when you're that short of help you have to improvise sometimes! Hopefully we won't have many Sundays like that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's another blister!

Here it is the 25th of April and it's blizzarding outside (or blistering as Zane would say). Our rain turned to freezing rain that is now snow. We're supposed to get 6 to 10 inches depending on who you listen to. The kids get out early and once again, the school carnival is postponed. I had just washed all the winter clothes and put them away. Zane was wearing shorts yesterday! What a crazy spring it has been. I sure hope it warms up and stays warm soon.

5K

Well, we did it! It was about 30 degrees outside and windy. We got up at 5:15 this morning and left around 5:30. We got to Brookings around 6:00 and registered. Maddi and Makenna were the only children there. They had fun though. There were about 90 people in the race, most of them trying to be serious runners. We got video taped by someone before and during the race. Just as we finished it started raining. The girls ran about half the time. We finished in 44 minutes and 11 seconds. Not bad for a 6 and 7 year old. We weren't even in last place! When we finished we got milk, muffins and fruit nad then we got to pick out a tree. We all got a Japanese lilac tree. By the time we got home the rain had turned to freezing rain and the car was iced over. The girls took their tree to school and showed their class mates. They are quite proud of their accomplishment. I am proud of them too. Now we will wait until the 4th of July to do our next one. Hopefully it will be warmer for that one!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pictures






Here are a few pictures of the other kids. I can't believe how big they are all getting!

Outdoor fun


After looking at Zeke's picture, not only can you tell that he had a lot of fun playing outside today but you can also tell that dirt sticks to runny noses. No matter how often we wiped, two minutes later this is what he looked like. It didn't bother him until he was drinking and it got on his cup. Then he was a little upset. At one point Dillon was sitting next to me and Zeke came up behind him needing his nose wiped. Well, I didn't have a kleenex so we used his shirt. When Dillon saw what was behind his head he decided he was going to go sit on the other side of me so his head wouldn't get slimy from Zeke's shirt. Dillon also had fun out in the dirt and came in with a pretty good uni-brow. The wind was blowing pretty hard and they were throwing dirt off the porch and it would come back and get them in the face. They had a lot of fun. I think after bath time tonight we will be able to start a garden in the bottom of the tub! When Zane got home from school we decided to go on a walk. The boys walked through sand dunes and jungle grass. We saw zebras and shark infested waters. Dillon killed one shark with a rock. We also went past alligator infested water. In one there was a 38 foot alligator that Zane killed with a rock about the size of Olivia's fist. It took us about 45 minutes to walk 1.5 miles. It was fun though.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WOO HOO!!

After 5 weeks of plateauing at my weight loss attempts I finally got past it! I have now lost 26 pounds. Now that the snow has melted I can run again (except when Michael leaves town) and I am up to 2 miles. Not huge but it's improving, especially considering that I really haven't run since getting pregnant with Zane. Baby steps, right? This Friday is the day for the girls and I to run/walk our 5k. They are so excited. We'll see how excited they are when they have to get up at 5:15 in the morning! Makenna's kindergarten teacher is retiring this year after 34 years of teaching. She is amazing and I love going to the room and watching her with the children. She is someone that everyone loves. Anyways, a group of us moms are going to put a quilt together to give to her at the spring concert in a couple of weeks. While we are at open gym tomorrow we are going to crash kindergarten music class and have all the children put their handprint on a square to add to the quilt. They are quite excited to be in on this secret. I wrote a poem and we are going to get class pictures from all her years and put a scrapbook together for her. Her daughter had past co-workers write letters to put in the album too. It will be fun to celebrate her years of teaching and giving to the children. I wish she could have stayed in for a few more years to teach all our kids.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Zane's Birthday



Zane's birthday finally came! He was so excited. Despite the blizzard conditions we were able to pull off a party on Saturday and then he was able to spend most of Sunday calling and reminding people that it was his birthday. He loved all the attention. Monday we were finally able to get mail again and so he got all his birthdya cards that had been held up in the mail. Wednesday he got to go to the store and pick out some things with his birthday money. All in all, it was all that a little five year old could ever want.

Back to School

The last couple of weeks I have been able to spend a lot of time at school. Even Michael has gone to school. Makenna was star student so Michael brought Okie (the horse) and a mare and baby for the kids to see. He showed the kindergarten and first grade classes. They loved it. The pictures will be in the paper this week. Because of the blizzard, Makenna missed the day that I was supposed to come in so we went on Tuesday of this week to eat with her. Because Michael was in Kentucky, all the kids got to come with me. We read stories to the class and then got to eat tacos in the cafeteria. YUMMY! Not so much. Then Thursday I got to go make bread with the first grade class. Dillon opted to stay with me instead of staying home with Michael, so he helped. Mrs. Pearson had me bring in the wheat grinder and everything so they could see it from start to finish. We ground the wheat and mixed the bread and then went to music class while it was raising. Then we put it in the bread pans and ate lunch while it raised again. We had chicken patties with fake mashed potatoes. YUMMY AGAIN! Then while the bread was baking we went to recess. Dillon loved playing with the boys on the playground. After recess we ate the bread with homemade jelly that Mrs. Pearson asked me to bring. This time it really was yummy! She took lots of pictures and I will get to be in the newspaper too! Friday I got to go on the first grade class field trip with Maddi. It was fun to get to spend the day with her. On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen and Mrs. Pearson bought all the kids ice cream. That was one brave bus driver to let 24 kids with ice cream comes back on his bus! I think he deserves a medal. We had no major spills though. By the time the week was over I felt like Zane and I wanted to quit school too. I was tired. Michael made it home from Kentucky safely and he has another trip next week. The picture I am attaching is from the night that we had no power when we cooked hamburgers and hotdogs on our woodburning stove.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We sure had one HUGE blister!

Thursday afternoon was the beginning of our blister warning. It started snowing around noon and didn't really stop until Saturday around 11 am. We got probably 15 inches of snow. The kids got out of school of course and all day Friday all they could ask is if there was still a blister outside and could they go out and play in the blister. I kept telling them no. When Michael went to work that morning he only got stuck twice in the yard in his 4 wheel drive truck. Saturday he only got stuck once at the end of our driveway. Unfornutaley for him the tractor was 3/4 mile away and he had to walk through the big drifts to get to the tractor so he could dig himself out! Once he was out he saw he had a flat tire so he had to drag the truck to the barn so he could change the tire. Then we found out that we won't have snow plows come through until Monday afternoon at the earliest. All in all he had a good day. Zane was worried that the blister was going to ruin his birthday party but we managed to get everyone here and have a party despite the blistery weather. Today the sun is shining and tomorrow it should be close to 60 degrees. Then we won't need the snow plows because instead of 15 inches of snow we will have 15 inches of mud. Anyone for a game of mud football? Today Michael is on his way to Kentucky. He should get there by noon tomorrow. He'll spend the night there, pick up some horses Tuesday morning, head to Ohio and get another horse, then go up to Canterbury in Minneapolis and drop some horses off and then get home sometime Wednesday. It will be a long trip for him. He's hoping to get out of the trip to Canterbury and be able to just come home Tuesday night. We'll see if he can sweet talk Lorie into that! At least the blister is gone and he will have good travel weather.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Crazy weather

Yesterday we were out playing in the yard in our shirt sleeves and today we have a blizzard warning. The kids are coming home early and who knows if they will have school tomorrow. Then it's supposed to be 60 by Monday. I hope all the planting that the boys did the other day won't be hurt by the snowfall! If you read my blog the other day about Dillon and his tummy ache, then you will remember the big sigh before he asked if he could get in bed with us. Well, this morning around 6:30 I heard a big sigh. I turned over and saw Dillon standing in the doorway to our room. I pulled back the covers and he got the biggest grin on his face and jumped in bed. We got to cuddle for a few minutes before we had to get up for the day. Thursdays we have open gym, but I had to go grocery shopping before the storm hit. One of my friends who also goes to open gym offered to take the boys while I shopped. Dillonwas excited to get to go with Sadie so he hurried upstairs and got dressed. Remember we have blizzard warnings and he comes dressed in shorts and a tank top. He was ready for open gym. I told him he had to at least put pants on so he did. When I dropped him off at the Johnson's, Gary (the dad) started laughing when he saw what Dillon was wearing. Gary was in his coverall, hat, mittens, boots, etc and Dillon had on a jacket and a tank top. What can I say? I was wearing flip-flops. Michael is headed to Kentucky Sunday so I hope he has good weather to drive in. We will celebrate Zane's birthday early so Michael can be here. I'm not sure what I will do about stake conference - it will be lots of fun!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thoughts

When I start to get discouraged with things I turn back to this poem that I wrote and it helps me to get focused again and remember all that I am blessed with. Some of you have read it before. I hope it helps you get through days that can be overwhelming.

With pen in hand, I humbly write about all my blessings that may seem out of sight.
They get pushed to the side by the day to day things like diapers and errands and quarrellings.
I have so many gifts on which to reflect, blessings that come when I least expect.
Sometimes distracted by the tasks on hand, I forget about the blessings behind the demands.
I do not like laundry, to wash and to fold, but I am grateful that we can all be clothed.
The dishes keep piling, I don't always keep up but I know if they are dirty then we are filled up.
My cupboards are few and I have to stack things around, but I'm grateful they're full and there's food to be found.
Dusting is a job that never seems done, but I am grateful for the furniture that the dust lands on.
Making beds is not a fun chore, but I am grateful that we do not sleep on the floor.
Our house needs work out here on the farm, but I am grateful to have something to keep us warm.
My children have needs, sometimes almost more than I can bear, but I am ever so grateful for the love that we share.
Our vehicle gets smaller as we all cram in there, but I am grateful that we have it to take us everywhere.
The bills pile up - telephone, gas, and utilities, but Iam grateful to have such luxuries.
Through the child bearing years my body has changed from young to not so young, from firm to mush, but I am grateful for the strength it possesses and for its ability to continue to push.
The list goes on - the blessings camouflaged by the tasks. Our Father has so much to give us if we will just ask.
I'll never be a rock star, but I love to sing. I'll never be a concert pianist, but I can have the joy that playing brings.
I won't discover new cures or lands, but I can teach my children to discover with their hands.
I'll never be a gourmet cook and have a T.V. show, but I can feed my family and help them grow.
My children won't have all that they adore, but I can give them so much more.
I can teach them to see all that blesses us and help them to look beyond the task.
I am grateful for my Savior and His Atonement. I am grateful for His act of love which for me was meant.
I'm grateful for the everyday tasks because behind them are blessings far more than I could ask.

Spring planting



The boys started their spring planting yesterday. We had a beautiful day, around 50 degrees. Zane was rollerskating up and down the sidewalk and Dillon decided he was going to start planting things. First he planted little rocks, then big rocks. After all the rocks were planted he planted some mud. Zeke and Zane decided to help. After all the mud and rocks were planted they planted a bucket that would turn into a rock when it grew. They had a lot of fun. Michael said they must get it from Papa. He remembers Papa growing a lot of rocks. Michael said he picked a lot of rocks after they had grown. We will definitely have a beautiful yard this summer when everything blooms! Olivia had fun watching the boys play outside. She got to go on a stroller ride the other day and she loved being outside. I can't wait for the yard to dry up so I can let her down to play.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I wish I could sleep in your bed

After napping through the last session of general conference, the boys had a hard time going to sleep last night. Every now and then we would hear Zeke burst into one more round of Happy Birthday to Grandma Walba, Zane bouncing around on the top bunk, and Dillon talking to anyone that would listen. After a little while it was all quiet. Zeke had sung himself to sleep, Zane had stopped bouncing and I thought Dillon had talked himself to sleep. Suddenly there was this little voice in our bedroom. "Mommy, my tummy hurts." It was Susie. "Well go to bed and it will feel better." "I did got to bed and it still hurts." "Well, stand on your head and it will feel better." "I did but it still hurts." "Well, what do you want?" I hear this deep sigh, "Well," another deep sigh, "I wish I could sleep in your bed." Now, if it were just me I would have let him come to bed with me. After all, you don't get much sweeter than that. Unfortunately for him, Michael was there and told him he couldn't sleep in our bed. I told him I loved him and that I would see him in the morning (he's still been kind of clingy since his surgery and he needs reassurance often that we are still "best buddies"). Then I hear another deep sigh, an "I love you too" and little footsteps running down the hall. I must say, I went to sleep with a smile on my face. Children can be very difficult, but little moments like that make it all worth it. I even woke up feeling happier than I had in a long time.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mom

By the way, Happy Birthday Mom! You have some beautifully hand made cards coming in the mail. We love you!

General Conference Weekend

I love it but I used to get so much more out of it. Instead of taking notes or even just listening, the time is spent trying to keep the kids quiet. I did all the quiet printouts, we had snacks, we made birthday cards - normally all quiet activities, except when conference is on. Then we are fighting over the markers and what color tie Elder Uchtdorf was wearing and how many speakers had glasses. Then I find myself yelling at the kids to be quiet because I'm trying to learn about Jesus, as if that is helping the whole "feel the spirit" mood! Oh well, a bishop told me once that we get blessed for trying. I will get a lot of blessings then because I am constantly trying, never quite achieving, but always trying! I especially liked the talk about mothers. I say that we all have permission to take the day off and go away. We could all meet at my house and then go for ice cream. Any takers? My mom pointed out to me that I have royal blood somewhere down my family line so I think that not only entitles me to a day off, but new shoes and chocolate to go with it. Of course I am also related to black basketball players named Funderburke that go back to the slavery days so I'm not sure what that entitles me to. Anyways, we did manage to get through all the sessions of conference. The kids actually did pretty good considering they had to watch TV 4 hours a day and it was not the show with the cat chasing the mouse (Tom and Jerry) that they wanted to watch. While Michael was at the preisthood session the kids and I went to Walmart and did the shopping. Not so much fun but we made it out of the store with all the groceries and all the kids. I even managed to sneak in a birthday present for Zane without him even knowing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Maddi's big day

I got a call from Maddi's teacher yesterday afternoon congratulating me on Maddi reaching 100 AR points. For those of you who don't know what that is, I'll explain. The kids have certain books that qualify as AR (accelerated reading) books. They have to read these books and then take a quiz on them. For every question they get right they get points, but if they miss a certain number of points they don't get any for that book. ( I think that's how it goes) Also the size of the book determines the amount of points you can earn. For these little books that 1st graders read, there aren't a lot of points. Which means that you have to read a lot of books to get 100. She is the 3rd in her class to reach it. She was so excited. She loves to read and she had been working hard to get those points. Also with 24 kids in the class and the teacher having to help some of the students they don't get to do it everytime they are ready - they have to wait their turn. Anyways, the point is, it's a big deal for the 1st graders. The teacher buys them a bottle of pop when they reach 100. After Maddi's teacher called the boys and I made her a poster for the door and made her some sugar cookies that in the nuimber shapes to make 100. She thought that was great. Makenna is also learning to do AR which is a big deal for her because it means she is learning to read.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Is "druve" a word?

It's pronounced "droove". I'm not sure if it is a word or not but Zane druve the van today. I was in town and he was here with Michael and he told me that he druve the van without daddy in it. Daddy may get questioned about that later! Anyway, don't you love the words little kids come up with? Druve is one of my favorites. Several of my kids have druve before. All of my kids have been "Huperseros". You should see them fly around the house with their blanket capes and hupersero pajamas on. They also come up with the funniest, yet most innocent things. Like the other night, I had the girls try on their swimming suits from last year to see if any of them would fit. After Maddi tried on the last one I asked her if it fit and she said yes except those little circle things showed from the top of her swimsuit. I told her it those showed that meant it didn't fit. Zane comes up with very innocent descriptions of people. Not long after we moved here he had a substitute in primary. He didn't know her name when I asked who she was, but when he described her as the girl with the crazy hair, round head and fat stomach I knew exactly who he was talking about. So did everyone else that was standing there listening to his description! He has done that on more than one occasion. Another is their innocent questions. Are you doing poops or peeps mommy? Why is your bum so big? Why does she walk like that? Does he have a baby in his tummy? Is that a boy or a girl? Why is his bum cracking? Can we play in the snow without our shoes on? Then there's the tattling. Zane just peed on the steps! Zane and Dillon peed on the barn! Zane and Dillon peed on the trees! Zane just peed in the sand bucket! Zeke is drinking water from the toilet! Zeke is brushing his teeth with the toilet water! Zeke washed his hands in the toilet water! Zeke is stuck in the toy bucket! Zeke just kicked out Makenna's teeth! Zeke ate dirt out of the flower bucket! Are you seeing a pattern here? It's quite hilarious - really. Anyways, with all these little ones running around there aren't many dull moments.