Saturday, February 28, 2009

4 Miles!!

I know it doesn't sound great for some, but to me it is huge. I ran 4 miles today (without stopping)! I haven't run that far since the summer of 2002. I even have a cold, it was only 12 degrees outside and there was fresh, slippery snow on the roads. Yes, I am bragging - I am quite proud of myself. That's 11 miles this week I ran. Next week the weather is supposed to be warmer so the jogging will be more enjoyable I think. I also discovered that I need new music on my ipod - Strawberry Shortcake's Christmas just isn't very motivational! Anyways, I have hit a new point and I'm excited. Now I am freezing cold so I am going to go take a hot shower to take the chill off.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo






How about you, you, you? Have you heard that song? Well, today we got to go to the zoo. It was a beautiful day. We were out in our shirt sleeves and loving it. We even discovered a whole part of the zoo that we missed last time. There were giraffes, zebras, leopards, and penguins. We also saw the regulars - bears, tiger, wolves, monkeys, rhino, llamas, sleeping camels, etc... The kids can't wait until spring so we can go everyday!!

Something for me

As most of you know, being a mother involves selflessness, patience, joy, love, teaching, setting examples, and many more things. It's easy to get lost in all of the duties that goes along with motherhood. For me, even though I am putting myself aside for a greater cause, I find that I get farther and farther from my goal of being a good mother if I don't find time for me. Lately, especially since moving, I have not been able to find "me" time. I have felt my frustrations growing and growing to the point of becoming overwhelmed with all that goes on. Today though, I did one simple thing and it is amazing how much better I feel. Thanks to the help of Stacey and John, I got a new pair of shoes for Christmas/Valentines and today I went out for a run. It felt so good (not good as in pain free, but good as in uplifting) to be doing something that was just for me. All day long I have been happier and more patient - I even made it through a full bowl of cereal on the floor with a full cup of apple juice soon following without being annoyed. And now, even though I can't walk because my legs hurt, I feel better about me and in turn I feel better about my role as a mother.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Born with Tennessee in their Blood




My kids know that Tennessee is a special place and they get excited whenever they hear anything about Tennessee and Nashville. I was supposed to get them all Tennessee shirts when I went but since my trip got cancelled, Mom and Dad did me the favor of picking one out for each child and sending them to us. We got them in the mail Friday and the kids were so excited. So here's a picture of them in their new shirts. Olivia was kind of hiding behind her blanket so I got another one of her. As you can see, the "WILD" part fits her perfectly!

Floor Angels



The other night, Zeke was playing around and I was watching him. He would lay on the floor like he was making a snow angel. Then he would carefully get up, look at what he had done and then jump in the middle of it and mess it up (there really was nothing there. Our carpet isn't the kind that leaves marks or footprints or anything.) If anyone would come into that area where he was he would get really upset because they were messing it up. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was making floor angels. Then he proceeded to make another one and show it to me so I could see it (once again, nothing in sight). He was having tons of fun and stayed busy with his floor angels for quite some time. I had to get a picture of it. The pictures of course don't do justice to being there and watching the floor angels getting made but it's the best I could do! I even got to make a floor angel - sorry no pictures! Just think of how much fun this would be if our carpet actually left marks! We would be doing this all day. I guess when you run out of snow, you have to make do with what you have. After all, Maddi and Makenna always say "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!" There you have it - wise words taken to heart by a 3 year old.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Busy Weekend

This weekend seemed to end before it began. We had a lot of fun. The Olsens stopped by Friday evening to visit for a little bit before they went to a show here in Sioux Falls. After they left, we watched High School Musical 3 and ate Subway sandwiches. Then the Olsens came back and picked up Maddi and Makenna for a sleep over. Saturday morning I got up and did the shopping before it got too busy. When I got home, Michael started painting the basement. I picked up where he had left off cleaning the house. Then I fed the kids, put Olivia down for a nap and went downstairs to help paint. We got everything painted and now it's ready for a second coat. It's looking really nice and I'm excited for it to get done. After we had finished painting, Olsens came with the girls. They left Josie and Claire with us while they went and did some errands. Michael took all the kids out to see the buffalo, llama, miniature donkeys and horses. They had a fun afternoon playing. Then later on Ben and Becky came to visit. While they were here Olsens came and picked up their girls. It was fun to have them around this weekend. I sure am missing all my friends from Hendricks. I think I am having a harder time adjusting than the kids! When Ben and Becky left, it was time to start dinner. After dinner I did laundry. Zeke and Olivia were playing downstairs and found some wet paint somewhere and made a mess on themselves. Michael got them in the bath, I washed their hair and Michael got them out. I finished the laundry and sat down and ate some Cadbury Mini Eggs - the best chocolate ever! Anyways, it was busy and seemed to go by quickly but it was fun. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little slower!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little Voice Inside Your Head

Lately I have become aware of several of my shortcomings (I've known about them forever, I'm just more aware of them now). I have decided that I really need to focus on these shortcomings and overcome them. See, I have this perception of what I should be and when I fall short of that I lose patience with myself. That in turn, affects my family (children mostly) because then I am shorter on patience with them. It's really not their fault, it's mine, but they end up feeling the frustration that I feel. Anyways, I've decided that I really need to work on this and show my children more love and patience. Now I have this little voice in my head - no I don't actually hear a voice, but I certainly have strong thoughts. Every time I get on the kids for being short on patience or being grumpy, this little voice reminds me that they are probably doing it to each other because I have done it to one of them. It's like this constant reminder. Sometimes I appreciate it, but other times I wish it would go away. It has however, helped me realize how much I do need to change. Now in case any of you are worried about the welfare of my children, don't be. They are fine. It's not like I am constantly ripping them apart or putting them down, I am just realizing even more how much my actions form them. I see them doing to each other what they perceive me doing. I have realized how careful I need to be in my speech and actions, my voice tone, everything, because they are watching, learning and mimicking. When they feel my lack of patience or frustration, they take it in and then unload in a similar manner. As a result, I am learning to embrace the little voice inside my head and listen when it speaks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Relatively Good Night

Last night was the best night we've had for a few nights. The kids went to sleep almost immediately after their heads hit the pillow. Michael and I headed to bed around 10pm. Of course, not long after laying down, Olivia started coughing and wheezing and gagging. She woke up shortly after that. I gave her some cough medicine while Michael pinned her down (it's a 2 person job with her). Then she wanted me to hold her. Michael went back to bed and I stayed up with her hoping that she would settle down quickly so I could go back to bed too. After standing there with her for a little while I decided to see if steam would help her. The doctor had told me if I could turn on hot water in the bathroom and let it run for awhile to get the bathroom warm and steamy that might would help the dry cough so I did that. After the room was steamy, I turned off the water and the lights and we went into the bathroom and sat in the dark in the warm, wet air. It seemed to work. After about 10 minutes, she had calmed down and gone back to sleep. I put her to bed and she slept until about 6:45 this morning. Thank goodness! I don't do well with no sleep. Some moms can go night after night with just a little sleep and look so good and still behave properly. Not me, one night and I can't seem to function on a human level! Hopefully we are on the up side now and she will continue to get better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Olivia















Quick update on Olivia. She is still the same. I took her to the doctor yesterday. He said it is a respiratory virus. They took her x-ray and her lungs look fine. Her oxygen levels were fine. It is just croup. She is on steroids to help with the inflammation. She slept horrible last night. Hopefully today will be better. Here are a few pictures of the kids. The girls got a new bunkbed this weekend. They are excited about that. Makenna lost her other front tooth so we had to get a picture. The others are just of the kids having fun.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blessing Behind the Snow

As I mentioned in an ealrier blog, I did not get to go to Tennessee because of the snowstorm that hit Omaha. It was hard to stay home but I knew it wasn't worth the risk of driving in such bad conditions so I stayed home. Well, as I discovered last night, there was a blessing to this. Saturday during the night Olivia startred getting a little couhg. Sunday it got worse. By Sunday night she was having trouble breathing so we started giving her breathing treatments with her nebulizer and albuterol. She had a rough night and as I was sitting on the couch with her around 3:00 this morning I was so grateful that I was not in a hotel room in Nashville with no medicine for her. So despite the dissappointment of not being able to go, I am so glad I didn't. I am taking Olivia to the doctor this afternoon and hopefully we can get her some more relief. Sometimes, blessings come in very disguised packages.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning we woke up to little voices excitedly wishing each other Happy Valentine's Day! Then they came in to our room and wished us the same as they jumped on the bed and gave us hugs. Out in the living room they discovered red, white, and pink balloons with hearts on them that Michael and I blew up last night. On the table there were little bags for each of them with little treats in them. It was all simple - they each got a plastic valentine's cup, some candy hearts, pencils, gum and the boys got a hot wheels car and the girls got a hangman pad. There was also a bag for everyone with heart shaped plates, valentine cookies and Uno Spin. They were so excited. I had not gotten anything for Olivia because I had planned on being in Nashville this morning so she opened up Michael's box of chocolates and then was in charge of handing out cookies to everyone (the kids didn't seem to mind if she licked each cookie before she gave it to them)! Last night Michael took us all out to dinner. We went to Applebees because everywhere else had a long wait. It was good food and the kids like going there. Lately Olivia has been into feeding others. Last night she had macaroni and cheese. She sat next to Maddi. Towards the end of the meal, I watched her as she took the macaroni that was stuck to her face and one noodle at a time fed it to Maddi. I'm not sure if Maddi knew exactly where the macaroni was coming from, but she ate it. Isn't that lovely. We do teach our children that it is important to share! Afterwards, we came home, had ice cream and went to bed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Snow

Well today is the day I was supposed to be headed down to Omaha for my trip to Nashville. Unfortunately, Omaha is getting a huge snowstorm right now. The roads have already started icing over and the travelling conditions say extreme caution. Needless to say, I will not be going to Nashville this weekend. I am sad, of course. I know it will be fine. My brother called and said he got my tickets so that when my grandpa passes away I can use those for bereavement tickets and not have to pay a transfer fee although I may have to pay the difference in ticket prices. Makenna is excited I am staying home. Dillon is a little sad because he was wanting to sleep in my spot and keep it warm for me while I was gone. Hopefully he'll get over it! We made valentine candies this morning with the little melting candies and the molds. Michael loves those and so do the kids. Makenna says they are the best things I have ever made. I told her they would have to take me out to dinner for Valentine's Day and she thought we could go to Chuck E. Cheese. I don't think so! Anyways, that's the latest. But, we'll have a fun weekend at home. The kids don't have school and we aren't supposed to be getting any of the bad weather. Tomorrow we can make sugar cookies and decorate them. The kids will love that and so will Michael. Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crazy Morning

I think everyone here is losing it. It has been a crazy morning. It started at 4:15 when Zeke came into my room mumbling something about a zebra. I told him we'd find his zebra in the morning. Well, I knew he wasn't really awake so I went to make sure he got back in to bed. He had and was in the process of covering up when I realized he was soaked. So I got him back up, changed him, found his dry stuffed animals and put them all in to bed with me and Michael. He talked and counted things for quite sometime before he went back to sleep. The alarm went off at 6:45. So I got the kids up for school. Zane was slightly out of it (you know he's not really awake when he tries to get out of his bunk bed into the wall). He couldn't find his shoes (in his bedroom), couldn't find his mittens (in his backpack) and almost missed the bus (I think he wanted to stay home). As we're getting him out the door Olivia wakes up I got her and sat down on the couch only to have her leak through her pull up on me. At breakfast half the cereal and milk ended up on the floor. Later on Dillon was in his room playing with Zeke and hit his back on the metal bar of the bed which made him cry. Then he went into the living room and somehow hit his head on the couch and started screaming. He came in to my room with blood all over his hand crying because he hit his head and his hand was bleeding. Well, you know head wounds, there was blood everywhere. I covered it with my hand and took him to my bathroom to hold tissues on it until it stopped. He was more worried about his hand bleeding than anything. We washed it off so I could show him his hand was fine and the blood had come from his head. That helped a little. In the meantime, Olivia is going through my purse, emptying out my wallet, chewing my gum and then spitting it out. I can't stop her because I am trying to stop Dillon's head from bleeding. It finally stops and I get Olivia out of the bedroom. Then they all needed a drink so I give them each a cup of water. Olivia's ends up all over the kitchen floor. I took the cup away and dried up the floor. Things settle down a little so I call Grandma to see how she is. While I am talking to her, Olivia has an accident. I clean her up and put new underwear on her only to find her a few minutes later running around with panties in hand. I put a pullup on her, a onsie shirt that snaps and pants hoping to keep her dressed. Then I proceed to clean the kitchen. As I'm doing the dishes, Zeke comes in and tells me that Olivia has put a wash rag in the potty. I go in and sure enough, she's soaked, the floor is soaked and there's a wet rag on the floor. I clean up the floor and get her out of the bathroom and then she wants me to hold her, such innocence! Then I sweep and mop the kitchen floor. While I am doing that Olivia and Zeke get in my bed, Olivia had found the dental floss in the bathroom, and Olivia proceeds to pull out all the floss. I take that away and go to finish the kitchen. Then she find the palm pilot, gets back in my bed, leans against the pillow and starts pushing buttons. Nothing that can do too much damage but still not something she can play with. Then they are all hungry so I get them some string cheese, Olivia throws a fit and throws her cheese because she wants candy instead (there was some out on the table from the kids' valentines parties yesterday). After they eat the cheese they are still hungry so I give them some grapes to eat at the table. Well, they decided to eat them on the floor so Olivia could reach them better. It didn't take too long to have squished grapes on the floor and me remopping that area of the kitchen. Then I start on the laundry. While I am downstairs doing that, Olivia is emptying out the glove and mitten boxes looking for just the right ones to wear. Then she pulls out all of the piano books onto the floor. Then she gets all the Thomas train stuff out and throws all it on the floor. Zeke very kindly picked up the trains, I picked up the hats and mittens and I think the music is still in the floor. I was very glad to go eat lunch with Michael today and then come home and give Olivia a nap. I think I may take one too. Only problem is, it's early out day and the older kids will be coming home soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fun in the Sun









Yesterday turned out to be another nice day so we spent part of the afternoon outside playing and riding the 4wheeler. A lot of the snow has melted so the kids could get out the balls, bikes and trikes.













Dillon helped make brownies the other day and as you can see he was an excellent helper!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

90 Years of Legacy

This January and February my grandpa and grandma turn 90. A few years ago my grandma started getting dementia. As time passed she began to forget things and people. One person she always knew was my Grandpa. He was determined to take care of her for as long as he could and did a good job of it. She was always fine when he was in sight but if he got out of her sight she would get upset because he was the only person she really knew. Eventually she had to be out in a nursing home. While all of this was still in it's beginning stages I wrote a poem about the two of them. They got married when they were 18 (I think) so they have been married for over 70 years. They have lived good, honest lives and I have always loved them, of course. They are good examples of commitment in an age where commitment has seemed to go by the wayside. I hope as you read this, you can picture the people I am talking about. This has truly come from my heart and their example will always be a part of me.

Her hair is now gray, her face wrinkled with time.
Her balance has lessened, but her smile is still strong.
A once strong, vibrant person has faded with age
Once full of stories, experiences and memories,
Now only knows the one who sits with her.
Day after day he helps her go through
The daily routines that she needs to do.
He stays by her side so she won’t feel lost
Though feeble himself, he stays strong for her.
With each passing day, her memories fade
Her children, once cherished, now fade with her mind
Who comes and who goes she cannot say
But with him by her side she gets through the day.
Their love has grown strong over many years together
So together they climb through one last struggle.
One fully aware of all that goes on
The other only aware of when he is gone.
This act of true love is a legacy for all
For to love through the hard times and not just the good
Is simple and beautiful and completely pure.

A Box of Candy Hearts

How far can a promise of candy hearts take you? Today is shopping day and Dillon, of course, hates the thought. Maddi came home from school the other day with a box of candy hearts that they all shared (some with her permission, some without). So today, I promised Dillon that he could get his own box (with his name on it at his request) while we were shopping. So far, that box has helped them eat their breakfast and get ready to go. Now we have to actually do the shopping. How many times will I be able to say "If you.....then you can't get your box of hearts" or "Let's just do one more thing and then you can have your hearts"? Luckily they are still small and a box of hearts is a great thing. We'll see how the day goes. We have major shopping to do since this is the first Michael's been paid since we moved and I've been saving up and adding to the shopping list for 2 weeks. We may have to add a $1 hot wheels car to the package or a chocolate milk! We'll have to go down a few toy isles and make out future birthday lists (they know not to ask for it because I always say maybe for your birthday. Now it just automatically goes on the birthday list. Zeke has a list up to his 6th birthday and he just barely turned three!). It will be a long morning, but won't those hearts taste good when they finally get to eat them (after lunch of course! Why not add on one more thing?)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Almost Diaper Free

I am so excited! Olivia is really catching on to this potty training thing. She went all day today with only one accident (poop which always seems to come later). She played outside and even went to the dining hall with no problems. She loves going potty and wearing her underwear. I also have her switched from her bottle to a sippy cup (FINALLY). She loved her bottle so it has been a huge deal. Just think, in a few months I could be diaper bag free! I haven't gone without a diaper bag in over 8 years. I can actually look at a bag now and not have to wonder if it will hold diapers, wipes, and bottles. It's kind of a neat feeling. I fell like I am moving into another stage of life and I must say I feel very ready for it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cute and Easy





No, I'm not trying to be Martha but I thought these were really cute so I wanted to share with everyone. I found these white picture frames at Target 3/$2.50 and the hearts are just cards from Walmart, 8 /$4, I think with 4 different designs. Anyways, they make a cute little wall decoration and it only takes a few seconds to make it.

Another Beautiful Day

Today is beautiful. High of 50, just a little breeze. We are loving it. I took the three younger kids to the zoo here in Sioux Falls. We had never been to it before, but we get in free with our Watertown zoo pass. It was fun. It will have more animals in the summer but we saw a dear, tiger, rhino, wolves, coyotes, buffalo, and many more things. They also have a big animal museum display inside that the boys loved. After that we went to walmart for some lunchables and came home. Now they want to take the older kids to the zoo and Dillon is already making plans for the spring, summer and fall. Our basement is coming along. I think most of the sheet rock is hung. I can't wait to have that space. They also took the golf cart limo (it's huge) out of our garage so now we can start parking in it. That will be nice too. All in all, it's a great day and I feel good about life. It has been a long time since I have felt this way. Part of it is because of the weather and part of it is because of the many blessings I feel the Lord has given me personally and my whole family. It is amazing to see His work in our lives when we look back. Often He has been there helping us when we didn't even realize it. It's not until looking back that we see all that He did. I am so grateful for all of it - from the things as big as Michael's new job to the things as small as blueberry handprints on the bathroom sink.

Thursday, February 5, 2009








Today has been a fun day. The weather was beautiful, in the 40's, and the boys played outside all afternoon. They came in for a short time to eat frozen blueberries and greet the older kids when they come home from school. Then they all went back outside and played until supper. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice too. We certainly love the nice weather and the opportunity to be outside.

How come I can't hear anything?




Olivia loves being a big kid and doing what they are doing. She just doesn't have it all exactly right sometimes. She has, however, perfected the one thing that all kids seem to perfect. Can you guess what it is?

A Change of Plans

Yesterday, after several conversations with several of my brothers and Michael and my parents, we worked out a trip. I found a flight to Nashville that left early Saturday morning and gets back late Monday night. Michael has Monday off work and as long as the weather cooperates I can be back before the kids go to school Tuesday morning. Michael agreed to take on the role of single parent to five children for a wekend and I will take Olivia with me on a little adventure. All six of us siblings will be able to be together with my parents and grandpa next weekend. I am so glad I get to go. It was a very hard decision and I wasn't sure I should do it. I have issues with doing the wrong thing or doing something that may be hard on my children. Last night Makenna was already starting to pout because she didn't get to go with me. She didn't know where I was going or when but she was going to be upset if she didn't get to go. My brother told me it was alright to be selfish on occasion and do something for myself (not that I don't ever do anything for myself). I still feel a little bad about leaving and I'm not too excited about the early morning and late night, but I am so glad I get to go. As I said in an earlier blog, I love this grandpa a lot and it means a lot to me to be able to go see him. Plus it will be the first time in 3 years since all of us siblings have been together so that will be fun too. Hopefully all goes well with the flight and the travels to and from!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shopping

Can I just say how much easier it is to do shopping now? I still dislike having to load up the kids and unload them at every store, especially Olivia because she hates carseats and screams bloody murder everytime I put her in one. But, I can go to town and back and not have it take the while morning. When we lived in Astoria, I had to leave first thing in the morning, drive for 30 minutes minimum, go to whatever stores I needed to go to, and drive back home. If I forgot something, too bad. There wouldn't be another trip to town that week. We would go through a lot of gas during the month between shopping trips and church, which was 50 minutes away. Now I get in, drive for 10 minutes max and I'm there - AND I have more than just Walmart to choose from. But if it is Walmart I want, I can go to a different one each time and still not be more than 10 miles from home. I can go and be back in an hour or two and still have time to get things done before lunch. If I forget something, it;s not such a huge deal to go back later and get it. I know it doesn't sound too exciting for some of you who might be used to this convenience, but for me it is very exciting. I have so many places I can explore. Too bad the kids don't have the same enthusiasm. When we go they need to know how many stores we are going to. If I say more than 2 the meltdown begins before we leave the driveway. Then we do a countdown and they let me know if I am trying to sneak in an extra stop. One of these days, I'll get to go out on the thown by myself and go to as many stores as I would like. I won't have to stop at the bathroom in each store and I won't have to go down all the toy isles and push the buttons on all the noisy toys! I can even carry a purse without diapers, bottles and snacks in it (although the snacks do come in handy, even for the mom). Anyways, if anyone over the age of 20 wants to come and enjoy a day of exploring with me, let me know and we'll make a date!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dressed for a day out on the town


I know I put a lot of pictures of Princess Lala on her, but she just provides so many opportunites. So here's another one of her. At one point during the day I did have her in clothes that matched but she has a mind of her own and decided she didn't like what I had put on her. She put on Susie's pajama pants, Zeke's boots, and her yellow vest. Then she wanted to go outside and find Daddy. We took her picture instead. At least she picked stripes that went the same way!

Basketball clinic


Here are a few pictures from the basketball clinic this last weekend. They had a lot of fun and Zane has switched his favorite sport from football to basketball. He looked so little out there with everyone else but he had a great time.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Blessings through duty

Before I start I want all who read this to understand that I love being a mother more than anything in the world. That being sadi, being a mother is also one of the hardest things in the world. With motherhood comes responsibilties that you can't just walk away from. Sometimes things come up in life and because you are a mother, you have to let the opportunities pass by. Just recently (like 2 days ago), I found out that my grandpa's cancer has spread through his body and it's not looking like he will have much longer to live. He will be turning 90 years old this month and he is all right with the thought of leaving this earth. He has lived a good, long life and has fulfilled his responsibilities. Now this grandpa is very important to me. Through all the changes that have happened in my life, he was one of the constants. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I moved a lot growing up and no matter where we were or how old I was, he and my granny always came to visit. It was something we counted on almost every summer. He was one of the males in my life that had a huge impact. I was always shy and felt out of place. My grandpa always made me feel loved and accepted, no matter what I looked like, how good I was at sports, how popular I was or anything else. Anyways, Saturday I found out the news and also found out that my siblings and parents were going to all try to meet in Nashville one last time and visit him. Unfortunately, we just moved (which is actually a good thing, just bad timing) and Michael just started a new job (another good thing). Because of that, we don't have time off, extra money or babysitters for the kids. My heart sinks at the thought of not being able to do this. I would give anything to see him one more time, especially while he still has a little energy. Being a mother makes it a little harder to pull off a trip like this. I have to worry about my children and their well being. They have been through a lot of change lately that has been hard for them and I feel that I need to be with them and not elsewhere. As I was going through all this in my mind this morning, still trying to figure out how to make it work, I had a small voice come to my mind that told me to stay home and I would be blessed. I know that is just what I need to do. I still want to go and be a part of my family next weekend, but I know I need to be here. I have responsibility to my own family first, everything else comes second. I hope my grandpa knows how much I love him and my thoughts will definitely be in Nashville as I stay home to fulfill my duties.

I am connected!

Yes, I now have access to the outside world again! It has been a crazy week filled with emotional times and fun times. Friday the 23rd, the girls got to have a sleepover at the Johnsons. I guess they had a great time, but I'm not sure Makenna got much more than a couple hours of sleep. I guess she spent the night wandering from room to room until around 5am. When she gets worked up about things she get full of energy and doesn't know what to do with all she is feeling. Saturday morning, Pam came and got the other kids and they spent the day with friends at both the Olsens and the Johnsons. With help from others, Michael and I got the truck loaded and unloaded and our old house cleaned. When we went back to Hendricks to get the kids there were lots of tears (luckily it was dark and no one really saw me cry), Makenna especially. She cried herself to sleep. We got home and let them explore a little and then put them to bed. Church didn't start until 11:30 so we had time in the morning to relax and get a little bit done. The kids (except Olivia) all liked church. It is much bigger than Watertown. There was a potluck afterwards so the kids were really excited about that. Sunday night Michael gave them all a father's blessing. We talked about any questions they may have and then they went to bed. The backpack fairy came during the night and left them a little poem and a basket of treats and a new shirt to wear on their first day of school. That helped to start the day off on a good note. I took them to school and dropped them off after they met their new teachers. All the teachers seemed really nice. When the kids got home they were very happy and excited. They had all met a new friend and really liked school. It is much different than Hendricks but they are getting used to it. There were a few issues on the bus but Maddi told her teacher and the bus driver and it seems to be taken care of. This last weekend we went to Brookings adn spent the night in a hotel with the Olsens. The kids were so excited. It was a really fun time. The hotel had a pool and a water slide. We spent about 3 hours Friday night swimming. Saturday morning we got up and the older kids had a basketball clinic at SDSU. Michael took Olivia home in the van and the rest stayed with me. There were several kids from Hendricks at the clinic. It was fun getting to see them all. After the clinic we went back to the hotel and swam for another hour or so. Then we had to say our goodbyes and off we went. Sunday morning we got halfway through bath time and ran out of hot water. We also didn't have heat. I took the 5 oldest to church while Michael stayed home and waited for someone to come help fix it. He got there after sacrament. After church we talked to the bishop. We both got new callings. Michael is the Young Men's president and I am in the nursery. I'm not too sure about that because I know that Olivia will spend the time crying and wanting me to hold her. It will be a long 2 hours. We'll see how it goes though. Today starts another week. Hopefully it will go as good as last week. We are still getting used to the changes. I am loving being 10 minutes from any store I want. I do miss the social interaction I had in Hendricks but at least we have our phone working now and our internet. Now we just have to wait and see what adventures come our way here in Sioux Falls!