Friday, October 30, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last night I went to parent teacher conferences.   I was very pleased to hear what all the teachers said about the kids.  Dillon is doing very well (he was the one I was most concerned about because he is so young).  Hi teacher says he keeps up with the class, is improving on his handwriting, listens and follows instructions very well, and is very nice to be around.  Zane is also doing very well.  He is learning to read and really enjoys it.  His handwriting is aso getting better and he is a good speller.  She says he is a good listener and very good in class.  Makenna's teacher says she is an amazing student.  She is an excellent reader. 2nd graders are supposed to read 50-60 words per minute and she tested at 159.  She is in 3rd grade reading and goes 3 times a week with one other student to a special reading class.  Her teacher says she is also good at art, story writing and math, and she is an excellent speller.  Maddi's teacher also had good things to say.  She enjoys Maddi and Maddi is a good student.  She too, is in a special reading group with advanced readers.  She also goes three times a week to a special reading group.  She said Maddi is good at art math, story writing, and english.  All the kids got A's on their report cards and they all seem to really like school and their teachers.  Anyways, it was all things a mother loves to hear about her children!  I am very proud of them and all the work they do.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Party Number ?




There is a Moms Club here in Sioux Falls that I have been looking into.  They had a halloween party this morning that I took Zeke, Olivia, and Sam (a little boy I was babysitting) to.  They had fun.  They got to dress up again which Olivia loves.  There was balloons, fun music, lots of kids, decorations, prizes on the tables, pizza, apples, cupcakes and drinks.  There was also trick-or-treating.  It was held at some fancy country club in which I felt totally out of place, but oh well.  I met a few people - not that I can remember their names.  Some were very friendly, others well... Overall we had a fun time and I would like to go to a few more activities to see what it's all about.

Trunk-or-Treat







Last night we did trunk-or-treating at the church.  They had games set up in the gym that the kids got to play.  They had a lot of fun.  At first Olivia was a little wary of playing the games but once she figured out that she got a candy afterwards she was dragging me all over the gym playing all the games.  After about an hour of playing games we got to trunk-or-treat.  It had started raining so we didn't actually get to go out to the cars, they just came in and lined the hallways and set up in the class rooms and the kids went from person to person.  The kids didn't seem to mind but I felt bad for the people who had decorated their cars and trunks.  Anyways, it was fun for everyone.  Last night as we were putting the kids to bed, I went in to Olivia's room to help her and found her in the floor with her bag of candy.  She was planning on taking it to bed with her!  She got very upset when I took it away.  Can you imagine - a little girl with a bag full of chocolates and sticky things in her bed!  Her problem would be that she had so much candy she would open one and take a bite or a lick and then put it down and want to try the next piece.  She would've been totally stuck to her bed the next morning - that and completely wired for the next week!  I love this age when they first figure out trick-or-treating.  Maddi's first time we went to one door and they gave her two big handfuls of candy.  Her eyes got huge and she said "I love you!" and went running off the porch.  That brought many laughs.  Zane would get a piece and then want to sit down and eat it straight away.  They have all done funny things and I love watching them figure it all out and get so excited.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Will it ever end?

This morning Zeke woke up with another fever.  Not too high, just over 100, but he just layed around complaining of his cheek and eyes hurting.  Eventually the Tylenol kicked in and he livened up a little, but still, I am SO sick of having people sick!  Olivia has now developed a cough and spends half the night coughing and rolling around in her bed.  Zeke started coughing during lunch and almost threw up.  I'm still coughing too.  Everyone else seems to be okay.  Makenna didn't feel good Sunday afternoon.  I gave her Tylenol and that seemed to perk her up and she's been fine since then.  It's going to be a long winter if this doesn't pass over us soon...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Play group



Today for play group everyone came to our house for a little halloween party.  Some of the kids dressed up.  We played, went on a wagon ride and decorated cookies.  The kids enjoyed eating the candy more than putting it on the cookies.  I was okay with it - their moms would have to deal with the sugar highs, not me!  It was fun and we were glad it was a nice day out side so we could enjoy the wagon ride!  We were glad Michael agreed to take us too:)  I even got to drive for a little while.  The horses were being knot heads though so I only drove for a little bit.  One started running towards the ditch so Michael took over and got us home without any wrecks!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spiderman?


Dillon made this cute hat at school.  He got off the bus wearing it and we of course had to be afraid and run from the scarey spider.  Isn't he cute?

Fun Times Together

We spent the morning today out and about here on ranch.  The kids got to paint pumpkins (taking us up to 18 lining our front porch), get their faces painted, go on wagon rides and play on big inflatable toys.  We spent about 2 hours out there.  The weather was supposed to be sunny and in the 50's but it is cloudy and around 40.  The kids still enjoyed it.  They also got to spin some wheel and get a prize and put their names in a drawing.






Last night Michael had to work so I took the kids to the gym that we belong to.  They were having a halloween party there.  The kids dressed up - Maddi and Makenna were rock stars, Zane was spiderman in cowboy boots, Dillon and Zeke were cowboys and Olivia was a cowgirl the pirate costumes were dirty).  They had carnival games to play, pinatas, inflatables, popcorn, a magician and other stuff.  Afterwards we went to McDonalds for supper.  It was another fun time together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jack-o-lanterns






Tonight we carved the pumpkins that we got earlier this week.  Actually Michael carved.   I helped scoop out the insides.  They turned out really cute.  The kids had fun making the faces and watching as Michael carved.  Now our front porch is decorated with 6 painted pumpkins and 6 jack-o-lanterns!  Watch where you step if you come to visit!

One More Classroom Visit


Today Zeke, Olivia and I went to Zane's class to read.  He has been waiting a long time and was very excited for us to come.  I was greeted by a huge hug and got another one when we left.  It was fun to go to his class.  They got really in to the stories and the coloring afterwards.  We had some pretty scarey haunted houses being colored in there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

H1N1

No, we don't have it.  At least I think we don't.  In all honesty I have given up on going to the doctor and we haven't been.  But, there has been a confirmed case here on the ranch I guess.  All the kids walk around with the little white masks on their faces.  We have been keeping to ourselves so hopefully it won't spread across the road here.  When Michael is around them he is outdoors so hopefully that helps for protection too.  We've had three deaths here in South Dakota related to the swine flu.  I must say, it makes me a little nervous.  Not freaking out nervous, but a little.  They say it is hitting the younger generation - 25 and under - the worst.  Lucky for me, I had a birthday so I am no longer in that generation:), but the kids are.  Anyways, for now we are almost healthy and hopefully we will find a new doctor soon so we can have someone we feel good about to go to when we need to.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkins

   






For Family Home Evening last night we went and picked out pumpkins at the ranch pumpkin patch.  The kids had fun picking out their own pumpkin.  Then we came home and they practiced drawing a face for Michael to carve on thier pumpkins. It was a really nice evening.  We spent most of it outside and then had to rush around and try to get homework done before bedtime.

Picnic in the Park



Yesterday Dillon's kindergarten class went on a field trip to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard.  Afterwards they went to the park for a picnic and naturewalk.  Zeke, Olivia and I met him at the park and ate lunch with him.  Then they got to play on the playground for a while.  It was cute to watch them. There were over 60 kindergarteners there.  Dillon was very protective of Olivia and made sure he stayed with her.  There was several times where he stepped in front of Olivia to protect her from oncoming kids that might run her over.  Such a good big brother!  It was a beautiful day and a fun way to spend the afternoon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Released

Sunday while I was home sick in bed, I got released from my stake calling as stake primary secretary.  I still have to help put on the stake primary training in November, but I will be able to pass on all the other duties.  Now all I have is my ward calling as 10 year old primary teacher.  I have had that now for a few months.  It has proven a challenge.  I have one child in particular who is very difficult and used to getting his own way.  Anyone who knows me knows that I don't allow children to run over me.  He is trying his best to keep his position as ruler of the class but I have quickly let him know that position now beings to me!  He is a good boy, just one of those kids who always gets his way and when he doesn't he throws a fit.  Anyways, for the most part I enjoy it and I have met some new people as a result of serving in the primary.

A Fun Day With Friends

Saturday we got to go to Hendricks for their Fallfest. It was always a favorite thing of ours when we lived there. The kids get to paint pumpkins. There are wagon rides, a petting zoo and a huge cornbox in the middle of the street to play in. We got there around 10am and spent the entire day there. It was cool outside but there was no rain so we didn't mind the cold. The kids played for a while and then we painted pumpkins. After that we went on a wagon ride and went to the museum. Then we came back to main street and played some more. We ate lunch at the cafe (I think there were 3 adults and 14 kids). Then we played outside again for a while. After that we got ice cream cones, played some more and then we all went to the Olsens. We sat inside and warmed up while the kids terrorized the house and then we went on a hayride. Zane got to drive the tractor. He loved it! He's in the process of filling out an application to work on Chad's harvest crew next season. Then it was time to head home. We had a few teary eyed children, but we made it home with no major breakdowns. It was such a fun day. I got to spend the day with two of my most favorite people, Michael got to go hunting, and the kids got to play with their best friends for hours. It doesn't get much better than that!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snowfall

Some snow is pretty and for me brings a feeling of peace and wonderment.  Monday morning we had one of those snowfalls. It was gentle and covered everything just enough to make it really pretty.  Of course, being home all day I eventually went to the computer and wrote it all down.  When you read, don't picture a full blown South Dakota blizzard, just picture a soft snow fall that you would want to see on Christmas Eve.

Falling softly to the ground in silent, peaceful beauty
The gentleness of morning snow brings feelings of tranquility
Creating a calm, picturesque scene as it covers house and tree
A soft blanket of white so clean and pure, full of quiet serenity

The beauty of the outside world comforts all my thoughts
My soul begins to stir within, my heart begins to dance
For just as the snow envelopes the earth with love and tenderness
The Savior wraps me in His arms and fills me with assurance

And as I take in the majestic scene I feel His presence near
For the splendor that lays before my eyes testifies to me
That His love for me is pure and true, selfless and unending
And will lead me back into His arms for all eternity

Never Ending Cough

We seem to have it.  I think it is a permanent thing here now.  I started coughing over 2 months ago.  Zeke started a few weeks after that.  His came with a fever and head ache that lasted for a few days and throwing up when his head hurt too bad from the fever.  Makenna started after that.  She also threw up.  Then Zane.  I thought we were getting better but then Makenna and Zeke started coughing more.  I took them in to the doctor, she gave them medicine.  It seemed to help but then Zane started up again over the weekend.  Now Zeke is back coughing with a fever and head ache and my cough has come back full force.  It's driving me crazy!!  I don't think my doctor has a clue.  She doesn't test us for anything.  She gives us medicine to "try" and "if that doesn't work..."  Well, so far it hasn't worked.  In the meantime, we stay home when we don't feel good and we get out when we can  What else can you do?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Olivia


I don't know how many of you have seen the show "Olivia".  It's about a little pig with a huge imagination and a great sense of style.  It's based off the books from Ian Falconer.  She actually reminds me a lot of our own Princess Lollipop.  When Olivia was born, Mom and Dad gave her the original Olivia book and we have begun collecting them since then.  We try to get a new one at birthdays and Christmas.  Olivia loves the books and the shows.  This summer some wonderful friends of ours gave her a set of notecards with three different Olivia pictures on the front.  Olivia loves them.  We took one of each and put them in a frame to hang on her wall.  The main colors in the Olivia books are red, white and black.  We stuck with that despite it mismatching with Lala's big pink bed.  I finally got it all done today and she was so excited when she saw Olivia on her wall.  "Mommy, Olivia on my wall!  I love it.  I love Olivia!"  I think it turned out cute. A few minutes and a few dollars and we have one very happy Lollipop!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cheer Camp



Last week Maddi and Makenna went to a cheer camp.  They learned a dance to Hannh Montana's "Hoedown Throwdown"  - one of their favorite songs off the new Hannah Montana movie.  Last night we went to the home footballgame to watch it.  Yesterday was a beautiful day.  It almost reached 50 degrees and it was sunny with no breeze.  I forced the kids to put on sweatshirts, vests, hats and mittens because I knew it would cool off as it got dark.  We went at 5pm so they could practice with the cheerleaders before the game.  Then we went down and ate supper at the FFA fundraiser - soup and sandwiches, bars and drinks.  Most of the soup got thrown away but everything else got gobbled up  Around 6:30 we headed to the football field and found a seat on the second row in front of the cheerleaders (I never sit in front of the cheerleaders, they just get in the way of the game.  We were there for the girls though and that's where they wanted to sit.)  About the time the game started clouds rolled in and it started raining.  Not huge rain, just enough to get us damp as the sun went down and the temperature dropped.  It rained for about 30 minutes then stopped.  Then the wind picked up.  We were freezing!  Even the girls had lost some of the excitement and started complaining about being cold.  The four little ones and I tried to cuddle under Olivias fleece Dora blanket to stay a little warmer while the girls played around with their friends.  We eventually went to the concession stands and and got some popcorn and nachos hoping to distract from the cold.  It helped for a few minutes, but not vey well.  After 30 minutes of freezing in the wind, it started snowing.  Yes, snowing! The temperature had dropped down into the 30's and the wind chill was much lower than that.  It was so cold!  All these little cheer camp girls were huddled together shivering.  The parents were watching the scoreboard, groaning everytime the clock stopped.  Finally it was half time.  The girls ran out on the field, did their thing and we left as fast as we possibly could!  Zeke whimpered and moaned all the way to the car because he was so cold.  No one could get their seatbelts fastened because their fingers were so stiff.  I called Michael, who had just gotten back to town, and told him to turn up the heat!  I told him when we got home that if we lived in South Dakota when the girls got into high school they could NOT be football cheerleaders and if they did I would NOT come to the games to support them!  They did a really good job though and looked cute out there despite the falling snow (actually it was blowing sideways but whatever!).  I got a few pictures but it was dark, my fingers weren't responding to my brainwaves, and I was surrounded by little children trying to stay warm.  I will try to get a better picture of them in their shirts to post later.  And yes, the little spots in the pictures are snow and no I don't which ones are Maddi and Makenna. To be completely honest, I'm not even sure they are in the picture!  It was too hard to tell with all the hats and coats and gloves flying around out there and my camera wouldn't zoom any closer.  That's what it looked like though, a bunch of little girls out there dancing with the cheerleaders! It really was cute.




Thursday, October 8, 2009

Daddy's Lap

A little girl who’s hurting goes to her daddy for help.
He pulls her up onto his lap and holds her there to comfort.
Nothing feels better than daddy’s arms wrapped around her tight.
All of her little girl troubles melt as she sits there in his lap.


A few years pass by; the little girl’s grown and headed out on her own.
Troubles still come and her little girl heart wishes for daddy to be near.
Nothing feels better than daddy’s arms wrapped around her tight.
All of her little girl troubles melt as she remembers sitting in his lap.


More years go by and the little girl now has little ones of her own.
They come to her like she did to daddy and she holds them close to her.
But sometimes in the quiet moments when life seems too big to handle,
She closes her eyes and longs for the days when she would climb upon his knee.
Nothing feels better than daddy’s arms wrapped around her tight.
All of her little girl troubles melt as her little one sits in her lap.

Always Get Back Up


Today and this last week, I have spent a lot of time thinking about life and what I have done with it.  Maybe because I am celebrating another year of life.  I look back on my life and I feel alot of gladness and satisfaction.  I have a beautiful family, an amazing husband, and good friends.  We have a house to live in, a job, food to eat and clothes to wear.  We have always been blessed with what we need, sometimes in miraculous ways.  I also look back with some regret and sadness.  We all have short comings, mine sometimes overwhelm me.  There have been goals that I have set for myself where I have fallen very short.  It's frustrating.  Yet through it all I have learned to always get back up and keep going.  I guess it is something I have been taught all my life.

My dad got polio when he was just over a year.  He had just barely started walking.  When he layed down for a nap he was fine.  When he woke up, he was sick.  This happened just about a year before they came out with the polio vaccination.  Anyways, he was paralyzed from the waist down.  His life has been full of falls. Sometimes he was the cause of the falls - doing tricks down the stairs on his crutches or reaching too far to try to catch the ball.  Sometimes the falls were the result of others - being pushed down the stairs or tripped as he walked by.  Sometimes he fell with no one at fault - a drop of water on the floor that his crutch slipped on or ice in the parking lot.  Sometimes the falls didn't hurt, sometimes the falls caused tremendous pain that lasted for weeks and years and caused permanent damage.  No matter what though, he always got back up.  I watched this silent example growing up and I still watch it today.  Sometimes I wonder how many more times he will be able to get up as his body grows weaker and his pain greater, yet somehow he finds the strength to get up one more time.  Is my dad perfect?  No, he has his shortcomings too.  But in this one thing his example has been perfect, for everytime he falls, he always gets up.

I try to take this example into my own life.  Yes, my falls are different than his, but they still require me to pick myself back up and continue on.  His example has given me that strength and though I often fall short of my expectations, I know I can still get up and try again.  So as I celebrate survival of another year, I guess I am also celebrating the opportunity I have to always get back up.  No matter how great or small the fall or how painful the results, I can get back up.

Another school visit

Yesterday Zeke, Olivia and I got dressed up again and went to Makenna's class to read.  It was a lot f fun.  Her teacher is really nice and let us stay and visit for a while.  She, like the others, invited us to come back another time.  I love being able to get a little involved with their classes again.  We will go to Zane's in a few weeks.

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Haircut

Today I took Olivia to get her first haircut (the time I had to cut her hair because she had pieces from both sides stuck together under her chin with a piece of gum doesn't count!).  I was nervous because I didn't want it to look like she had gotten her hair cut.  I just needed it trimmed so I could comb it.  Normally I cut the kids hair but hers scares me because it is so curly and has layers in it.  I felt it was worth the $10 to have someone else do it. She did really good and didn't freak out having some one she didn't know that close to her.  The girl cutting did a good job too.  Afterwards she and Zeke got a sucker which made it all worth it.  Zeke wants me to go back and get my haircut so he can have another sucker.  It's all about the treats!  I would post a picture of her with her new hair, but you can't tell anything was done and I don't have one of her right now so just look at the one I posted earlier:)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Aaarrrggghhh!



Today, Zeke, Olivia and I went to school to read to the kids.  We went to Dillon's classroom and Maddi's classroom.  I wore my witch hat and Zeke and Olivia dessed up as pirates.  We made their costumes yesterday.  They wanted to be matching pirates so we found matching clothes at Walmart and cut them up to look like pirate clothes.  They were so excited to wear them. The wore them yesterday afternoon and waited for Michael to get home so they could scare him.  This morning they couldn't wait to get home from play group so they could wear them.  Every where we went they would walk around saying "Aarrgghh!"  It was cute.  They even wore them to the doctor's office to get flu shots.  We had a lot of fun at school.  The classes enjoyed the break from their day and we enjoyed going.  Next week we go to Makenna's class.  She is student of the week so we will go and celebrate with her.  We will go to Zane's class at the end of the month.