Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's The Great Pumpkin

This year, for the first time since having children we are getting to experience trick or treating on Sunday. The last time Halloween landed on a Sunday we lived in Idaho and they did it on Saturday.  So, we talked to our children about the Sabbath and what kinds of things we should and should not do. We don't shop, play sports, go to parties, eat out, go to the movies or other things like that. We spend the day together as a family. We go to church, write in our journals, call family, play together, read and sometimes we make special treats together. Then we talked about choices.  We talked about how not every choice we make is between good and bad.  Sometimes we have to make a choice between two good things.  When that happens we need to decide what will be the best for us and our situation.  Then I let the children decide.  They decided that they wouldn't go trick or treating this year (we'll see if it lasts through the day).  They thought the better choice would be to not go.  We did go to trunk or treat at church on Friday so the kids did get to dress up and get candy. They had a lot of fun. Yesterday I got treats to play "Don't Eat Pete" and ingredients to make chex mix. The kids also wanted to make cookies using some of the candy bars they got from trunk or treat. While I was out shopping I thought about Charlie Brown. Then the idea came to me that maybe, since we weren't trick or treating this year, that the Great Pumpkin could come to our house and leave each child a little prize. I thought it would be fun. The kids were very excited when I informed them that the Great Pumpkin comes on the years that we can't trick or treat. So last night I got out my Halloween and fall stamps and each kid made a card for the Great Pumpkin. They turned out really cute! I had one child ( Dillon) who was slightly doubtful about the Great Pumpkin but he was willing to hope! This morning when they woke up the Great Pumpkin had come.  He took their cards and left a little bag of treats instead.  The kids were so excited!  They told all sorts of people at church about the Great Pumpkin coming.  I am proud of them for being able to make a decision and I am glad that they feel good about it.  Of course, since then they have been invited by several people to go trick or treating so we'll see if they change their minds part way through.  If they do, well, that's part of decision making too.  I know I have changed my mind plenty of times throughout life.  But with or without the trick or treating, we will have a fun day filled with treats, family time and a visit from the Great Pumpkin.  Do you believe in the Great Pumpkin? My house does, but only every seven years or so!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last night I went to parent teacher conferences for the four oldest.  The reports were good.  I went to Zane's teacher first.  She loves Zane and says that he is fun to have in class.  He struggles with math from time to time, but overall he is a good student.  She is a super nice teacher.  Makenna had her too and loved her.  Next I went to Makenna's teacher.  She said Makenna is a sweet heart and an excellent student.  She said Makenna was actually her top student in every subject!  Go Kenna!  It doesn't surprise me.  Makenna loves learning and works really hard on her school work.  Maddi was next.  Her teacher really likes her too.  He said she is a good student, that she uses her time really well in class, she knows when to stop messing around and get to work, and she has good class participation.  His only worry with her is that she needs to slow down and check her work so she doesn't make so many silly mistakes.  She got pretty much all B's but he said it wasn't because she doesn't know the material, he knows she does, it's because she needs to slow down.  Dillon was last.  I never know what to expect from his teachers because he is so young.  She said she was worried when she saw his age at the beginning of the year and actually went to his kindergarten teacher to ask about him.  She said he has done really well though and his age hasn't been a problem at all.  She said she loves him and he is doing excellent in her class.  After that I went to see the girls' reading teacher.  They are in an advanced reading class.  They had also been tested to be in a gifted program so I went to talk to her about the results.  Unfortunately, we just got a new principal and she doesn't know if she wants to continue on in the development of this program like the last principal did so that program may never come about.  I was amazed at the girls' abilities.  I think they get that from me!  Haha!  I felt good leaving the school last night.  You never know what your kids will go off and do when you are not around.  I am proud of the reports that I received and I am proud of my children and the examples they set.  Today I am taking them swimming as a reward for their hard work.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preschool Party

Olivia and I got to go to school with Zeke today for his preschool halloween party.  All the kids dressed up and looked cute.  Olivia ate breakfast with Zeke and thought that was pretty cool.  Then we went and sat out in the hallway by the classroom.  All the lights were out in the room.  His teacher handed out special glasses, bowls and flashlights.  They were going on a spider hunt in the room.  There were little black plastic spiders all over the floor in the classroom.  The kids turned on their flashlights and went in hunting.  All the spiders they found they put in their bowls and then afterwards we counted them and they each got a certificate telling how many spiders they found on the spider hunt.  After that we carved a pumpkin and picked out the seeds for the teacher to roast over the weekend.  Then we read a story and played games.  The kids had a lot of fun.  Olivia LOVED being a big kid for a day and Zeke made sure to keep her close by in case she needed help.  After the party, Olivia and I ate lunch with Zeke.  Wasn't the best day for school lunch but Zeke liked us being there eating with him.  Here are a few pictures from our morning.

Zeke and Olivia with their special spider hunting glasses

Olivia finding spiders

Zeke with his bowl of spiders

Picking out pumpkin seeds

Zeke cutting out his pumpkin to paint

Olivia finding a bone in a bowl of slimy cold spaghetti

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Good Feeling

This morning Michael had a phone interview with a company out of Rock Springs, WY.  He ended the interview with a very good feeling.  It is a job that he would like more than the railroad.  It would be in a better location, have a better work schedule and a greater opportunity for advancement.  The pay would be similar to the railroad, but I'm not sure about the benefits.  I don't think they would be as good because most places aren't, but I know they have them.  Anyways, the lady he talked to was the initial interviewer.  She will pass his info on and he should receive a call in the next week or two.  She said the fact that he was willing to relocate to the area was a huge plus for him.  They are in great need of e-line riggers in the area.  She said she didn't make the final decisions, but she made it sound like the job was his if he wanted it.  Now it's back to the waiting game...this is the part I don't do well with.  I will say though, that I feel good and hopeful.  This is the first job that we have both felt good about.  I feel some of the pressure and dread lifting.  I hope and pray that this is the answer we have been looking for and that all of this will come to an end soon.  It would be so nice to be moved and settled in before Christmas.  I'll keep you all up to date to what's going on and I want all of you to keep us in your prayers for it all to work out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today I began a slow process of sorting through things.  I know if we do end up moving (which I am 99.9% sure that is going to happen) we have a TON of things.  There is no way it can all go with us.  With six kids that like to keep pretty much everything, we get a lot of accumulation.  Today I sorted through most of the toys in the toy room.  It is a process that has to happen while the majority of the kids are in school because if they sit there and watch everything is their new favorite!  I had a garbage pile, a thrift store pile and a daycare pile (I have a friend with a daycare that is in need of new toys).  I got rid of quite a bit, but there is still enough left that the kids won't really notice or miss anything - I hope :)  I'd love to get rid of more but I am afraid of the reaction of my six little monsters!  I figure if I do a little bit each day then there won't be so much to do when the time actually comes to pack.  Tomorrow will be the art supplies.  That has become an overgrown mess with a little of everything thrown in it.  Doing this at least makes me feel productive in this whole waiting game - this and filling out applications online for Michael, which I do on a daily basis and which is also productive.  So far, three of the applications I have sent in for him he has gotten call backs on - one being the railroad.  Soooo, anyways, this is my life right now along with laundry, lots and lots of laundry!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Tonight for family home evening I made pumpkin shaped cakes for the kids to decorate into jack-o-lanterns.  The girls did one and the boys did the other.

 They frosted them themselves (except for a little help with the edges) and then they made the faces.

They got a little carried away with the M&Ms and ended up not looking like jack-o-lanterns at all,

 but they tasted good!

I'm Having a Headache!

This is Olivia as she was going to bed last night:

Olivia to Michael - Dad! The boys are giving me a headache!

Olivia to the boys - Boys, I can't talk because I am having a head ache. You can't talk either because I am still having a head ache!

Such a princess!

Early Morning

This morning I awoke from a strange dream in which I had given up some of my children for adoption.  The lady who adopted Dillon made him call her mom and me Emma.  When he would pass me on the street he would always wave and say "hi Emma" and would start crying.  I decided that I didn't want to put them up for adoption after all and took them back.  Strange and sad, I know.  I think it is a sign of the stress I am feeling right now.  This all happened at 2:45 this morning.  I never went back to sleep.  When the alarm went off at 6:45, I had already been up for 4 hours.  My mind is just crazy right now.  See, it hit me that we are only 2 months away from the end of the year.  That means, because of the changes here at the ranch, we have a lot to do before January.  We have to find a job and a place to live.  I have to pack an entire house trying to weed out anything and everything that is not absolutely necessary (which I am not good at).  I have to help 6 children say goodbye to friends again and help them adjust to another move and I have to deal with taking a step into the unknown and not let anyone know how scared I am about it.  During all of this we also have to celebrate Makenna's 9th birthday, Maddi's 10th birthday, Michael's birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.   Frustrated and overwhelmed are understatements of what I am feeling right now.  I know it will all come together, it always does, but that does not necessarily make the steps easier.  I think the kids are also feeling these emotions.  They know that Michael has been looking for a job.  They know that moving is a possibility and they are unsure what to do with it all.  They are wound up and I'm not sure how to ease their minds.  Dillon last night was talking about Christmas.  Somehow he got in his head that if Michael got a new job he would not be able to be home on Christmas day.  Dillon's hope was that Santa would know that and come early so Michael could share Christmas with us.  We reassured him that we would all be together on Christmas, but I know they each have their misconceptions of what is going on.  I also know that telling them this early, when we don't have clear answers yet, will not help the situation.  I hate that we have to do this again, but we don't have much of a choice.  All we can do is hope that what is in store for us will make up for what we are dealing with right now and that in the end we will be better off.  In the meantime, I deal with each day with strange dreams, ice cream, early mornings and diet Dr. Pepper!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cake Pops

Today I decided to make cake pops with the kids.  I got the recipe from the website Bakerella.  The concept seemed easy enough and it looked fun.  It was not quite as easy as she made it look, but the kids did have fun and they tasted great! I don't know if I will ever do them again, but it gave us something to do this afternoon and now we have some yummy treats to eat over the weekend.

Conditional Offer

Last night Michael received a conditional offer for the conductor job he interviewed for earlier this week.  He now has forms to fill out, physicals to pass and other things to do before the offer becomes official.  That can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks they say.  They also advise not to turn in a resignation yet.  So Michael has begun the process.  We'll see how it goes.  In the meantime, we will still be looking for other opportunities in other places.  If nothing else comes up we will go with the railroad.  In January things here at the ranch will get worse.  Costs are increasing and wages are not.  We already struggle with what we are making now, we can't survive on less.  So whatever happens will happen before then.  Keep your fingers crossed and I will keep you informed!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

School Lunch Chili

Just for the record, cleaning school lunch chili off of clothes is very similar to cleaning vomit off of clothes.  It has the same consistency and a similar smell.  It leaves the same kind of coating on the sink and you have to clean the same kind of chunks out of the drain.  How do I know?  Well, yesterday the kids had chili for lunch at school.  I guess when Zane was going to dump his tray, he bumped into a 4th grader and Zane got chili all down his shirt and jacket (inside and out).  Thankfully there was a teacher there to help him change his shirt.  They put the dirty clothes in a plastic bag for him to bring home and found him another shirt to wear the rest of the day.  Silly me, I had no idea HOW much chili had spilled on him so I left the clothes in the bag until this morning.  From what was all over Zane's clothes, I would say that the 4th grader did not like chili and had not eaten very much, if any of it!  I proceeded to wash out his shirt in the bathroom sink having to stop half way through to let the sink drain and empty it out.  Then I did the jacket having to do the same thing.  It was gross.  Afterwards I had to wash the residue off the sink and clean the drain again.  The fact that I knew it was not vomit did help a little but it was still gross.  What did I learn from this whole experience?  You're probably thinking "wash the clothes out right away."  No, what I learned was to keep them home from school next time they have chili for lunch.  It's just not worth the risk...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Treats from Japan

Today we got a wonderful box in the mail from Japan!  When I was a junior in high school I became good friends with an exchange student from there.  She recently joined facebook and found me.  Today I got a package from her filled with Japanese treats.  They are very interesting and some I could get addicted to.  There are soy sauce and stir fry flavored potato chips which are actually (despite the sound of it) very good.  There were cookies with chocolate and strawberry inside, also very good.  There were some caramels that I love and some taffy that has a sour center that my kids will love.  There was one bean flavored taffy, hmmm, not so much but very interesting.  She also sent a coin to each of my children.  They are to make into a necklace for good luck.   I am very excited for my kids to get home and try all the goodies.  They will think it is so cool to have these things from Japan!  Now we are going to get her family a package of American treats.  My kids will love picking out things for them.   I love little things that can brighten up an otherwise stressful day :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On His Way Home

Michael is on his way home now.  He should get in about 1 am.  It has been a long day for both of us.  I have been up since 3 am unable to sleep.  He didn't sleep well either and then spent the day testing and interviewing.  He felt it all went well.  We should know something in a week or two.  Now comes the waiting and the decision making.  Even though the job has not been offered yet, we still have to sit down and discuss our options and weigh the pros and cons.  It will be a difficult decision and a life changing one.  I hope and pray that we can look past our own short sightedness and feel what the Lord is directing us to.  It is so much easier to stick with the known than the unknown.  Ever since we have had kids Michael has been easy access to them.  They haven't known anything different.  We could always run up to the barn or somewhere on the farm and find him.  We have always had horses and other animals to be around.  There have always been hay bales to climb on, big country yards to play in and dirt roads to race up and down.  I have grown to love being out of town.  Life in the country is good.  With this move we would be giving that up.  Our horses wouldn't be able to come with us, our house would be in town, Michael would no longer be at the barn.  Work on the railroad is all unknown too.  We don't know what it will be like and what it all entails.  We do know that it would give us the financial means that we need and provide us with excellent benefits and an opportunity to get on our feet and prepare for the future.  It is what we have been praying for.  Sometimes in life we are required to sacrifice some things in order to gain other things.  I guess now we just have to decide which is more important to us right now.  That will be the topic for the next little while.  It's on my mind now and I'm sure it's on Michael's too.  Right now though, I just want him to get home so we can both get some rest before the alarm tells us a new day is starting.

Interview Update

Well, Michael has called me a few times this morning.  There were about 60 people chosen out of 500 to come for the interviews.  There are 15 openings and the job starts on January 3rd.  When he last called he was about halfway through his aptitude test.  He said it was easy so I assume he is doing good on that.  After lunch they will begin the interviews.  Then he will head home.  We don't know when we will know if he got the job or not.  If he does get the job he will have to go back another time to have a physical and do some more testing.  Hopefully we can all go then and check out the town.  He has seen a little of the town.  It reminds him of the town he grew up in - just a small town with not a lot going on.  Anyways, that's the news so far.  We'll see how the rest of the day goes!

You Will Be So Sad, Huh?

Since Michael is out of town Olivia slept with me last night. This was our conversation as we went to sleep.

Olivia: I love sleeping with you all the nights Mommy.

Me: I love sleeping with you too, Lolly.

Olivia: You will be so sad when Daddy comes home, huh Mommy?

Me: Why will I be sad when Daddy comes home?

Olivia: Because you love sleeping with me! When Daddy comes home he has to sleep with you and you just get to think about sleeping with me so you will be sad!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interview Time

Michael left this afternoon to head to his interview.  I really wanted to go too but couldn't.  He'll have just over a 7 hour drive to get there.  Tomorrow will be spent in testing and interviewing.  Then he will turn around and head home.  I hope he gets some good sleep so he doesn't get too tired driving home.  I also hope he gets to interview early so he doesn't have to leave too late.  He has to be back Wednesday morning to give a training here at the ranch.  It will be a quick trip, but hopefully a beneficial.

Strides for Students

Saturday we headed to Hendricks (our most favorite place on earth) for their second Strides for Students event. It is a fundraiser for the elementary school.  They had a 1 mile walk/run and a 5k.  Maddi and Makenna ran the 5k with their friends.  I loved seeing them all together again.  The rest of us did the mile.  I ran with Olivia until she got tired and then she got a piggy back ride from Michael.  Then I caught up with Zeke and helped him cross the finish line and then caught up with Susie and helped him cross the finish line.  Zane ran with all his old friends and had a great time.  The weather was a little cool with a breeze but just right when you started running and playing.  It was a great turn out I thought.  Of course I am quite bias with this event.  I, along with two others - Pam and Nancy, started this two years ago.  We did a half marathon at that event along with the shorter races.  So this is my baby :)  It was great to see it go again and to see people still supporting it and the school.  I got pictures of everyone except Zane I think.  I was out running with Olivia when he started so I didn't get any pictures.

After the Strides for Students we went uptown to celebrate Hendrick's Fallfest.  There was pumpkin painting, a petting zoo and a big corn box to play in.  Some of the kids also made scarecrows.  It was a lot of fun.  The kids got to play with their friends for several hours.  Zane got to go home with a friend after the race so he wasn't there for all the festivities but he had a lot of fun playing.  After all the fun we went and had pizza and then went to the Olsens to play some more.  It was a great afternoon.  Michael got to hunt, the kids got to play and I got to visit with some of my most favorite people in the world.    It was good to see everyone and we can't wait to go back and visit again!

Lil' Stangs

Last week Makenna had a cheer camp.  Our school is the Tri-Valley Mustangs so when the elementary kids do something like cheer camp they are called the Lil' Stangs.  Cute huh?  I think so.  Anyways, Makenna loves cheer.  Me, I'm not so fond of it.  No offense to any cheerleaders out there but I think most of the time they just get in the way of the game :)  Plus they can be prissy.  Prissy drives me crazy!  Well, Makenna loves it and she too can be quite prissy.  It doesn't drive me quite as crazy with her.  I think it's kind of cute.  Mostly because she is still developing her coordination so the priss is slightly awkward and exaggerated.  So Makenna chose cheer camp this year.  They do one day of practicing and then one day of performing at a sporting event.  Last year they cheered at a football game.  It ended up being freezing cold with freezing rain turning to snow.  This year they decided to do it indoors between volley ball games.  I preferred that much more.  I've decided I won't sway Makenna from cheering if that's what she wants to do but I will try to convince her to be a boys basketball cheerleader instead of a football cheerleader so I can sit in the warm gym to watch instead of the cold football bleachers!  The girls did a great job.  They did a few cheers and a dance.  They had on cute little pink, black and white shirts with hair bows they had made of the same colors.  Olivia and I went and watched while the other kids were at swim lessons with Michael.  Olivia and I ate popcorn and enjoyed the show!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope

We have finally had a break through!  After so long of sending out applications and resumes and getting nothing but silence in return, we have finally got a reply!  Michael is supposed to head to an interview with the railroad in Nebraska on Tuesday.  It provides a little hope in the whole process.  As convenient as the internet is, it makes it so less personable when it comes to applying for jobs.  I feel talking to a person face to face makes a huge difference in knowing what kind of an employee they will be.  It feels good to finally make it through the screening process and now have the chance to interview.  Of course there will be a lot of competition.  The railroad, it's pay and it's benefits are highly sought after.  We don't know how many people have been asked to come to this interview.  It starts out with an hour long job and benefits description.  Then it will involve a 2 to 3 hour aptitude test followed by a 20 minute interview.  They can't guarantee that it will all happen in the same day but they try to accommodate those that have to travel.  Hopefully it will all work out.  Michael has to work Monday, be to the interview 8 hours away by Tuesday morning at 7 am and then be back to work here Wednesday morning to give a training.  It will be a long few days for him and I will need a lot of ice cream here for me :)  I'm not necessarily holding my breath for this to work out.  Like I said, I know there is a lot of competition, but I am holding on to the hope.  The hope that people are receiving his information, that they are seeing he would be a good employee and that something, somewhere will work out.  I don't know if it will be this or not, but something will.  I, of course, have already checked out the community, schools and distance to family :)  It all seems good and doable.  So cross your fingers and pray that all will go well, Michael will travel safely and do good in his interview process and that what ever is supposed to happen will and that we will be able to accept it when it does!

Caramel Apples

Warning:  There will be a lot of pictures with this post!

Monday we went to the apple orchard and picked apples.  Michael had work off and the older kids had school off.  The weather was beautiful and we had fun together.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera...

Tuesday we made caramel apples with the apples that we picked.  It was our first time making them.  They turned out pretty good and the kids were able to enjoy yummy caramel apples, some of them for the first time.  Olivia helped the whole time but fell asleep before she got to eat one.  I did have my camera for this and I took a lot of pictures.  Enjoy!

Rocks, Blood and Tears

Yesterday afternoon, shortly before supper, I heard crying.  At first I didn't react because I usually hear some kind of crying - someone took someone's ball, someone won't let me play, etc.  The crying however quickly got loud and painful.  Then I heard the kids rushing in with Olivia and Makenna (who slightly overreacts) came running in a told us that Olivia was bleeding really bad.  Right behind her was Olivia with a toe full of blood and a face full of tears.  I picked her up and took her and her dripping foot into the bathroom and sat her on the counter.  She cried and cried while I ran cold water over her toe.  It was pretty nasty looking.  The blood kept coming out from all around her toenail and her toenail had turned purple.  Maddi informed us that she had dropped a big rock on it.  I guess Olivia had put a big rock on top of a flat playground ball and then put a frisbee on top of it.  Then she picked it all up and was carrying it to another spot when the rock fell out from between the ball and the frisbee and landed on her toe.  I could tell from her crying that it hurt.  She finally settled down, we put a band aid on it and ate supper.  After supper she fell alseep on the couch.  It was much needed.  When she woke up I could tell that the band aid needed changed so I began to pull it off.  I started on the underneath side because she was so tender on the top side.  After we got the underside pulled off I let her rest for a minute before I did the rest.  When I started pulling it off the top she started screaming.  I guess the band aid was pulling the skin enough (it was really stuck on there) that it was actually pulling into her toe nail.  It made it start bleeding again.  Makenna held Olivia's hand while I very carefully and slowly pulled the band aid off.  Then we covered it with gauze so that it would be easier to get on and off.  She was in a lot of pain the rest of the evening.   She would be sitting there and then all of the sudden start crying because her toe was hurting.  Around 11pm, she woke up and started crying, her toe hurt, her tummy hurt and she wanted to be with me.  I got her tylenol and let her lay in our bed until she was ready to go back to her own bed.  She went back to sleep and didn't wake again until 3:30am.  I took her to the bathroom, put her gauze back on that had fallen off and took her back to bed.  She slept good the rest of the night.  This morning she is limping pretty good but seems to be doing better.  Her toe looks nasty and she can't wear shoes very well.  We skipped the gym today because she can't wear sandals to the Kids Zone and I knew she wouldn't want to run around and play there today.  Thank goodness it is still relatively warm outside so she can wear sandals and not freeze!  Poor little princess!  It was not a fun day for her yesterday!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Few Hours into 35

It's only 8am but I have already had a fabulous birthday.  I got some really pretty shirts that my children picked out for me.  Unfortunately (or fortunately :) ) they are not my size so I get to go exchange them.  Maddi picked out a green one because she knows I like green.  The other one was kind of a pinky color because Olivia says I like pink!  Zane picked me out some halloween socks.  They love it when I get them socks so he figured I would love some too.  Dillon picked me out some gum.  He got gum for his birthday that he loved, so he got me the same kind for my birthday because it's the kind he loves!  Olivia picked me out some chocolate too.  She's mad because I haven't opened it yet :)  That's my girl!  I also got homemade gifts from Dillon that I mentioned in the last post.  Maddi also made me a card and gave me a kleenex with an "M" initial on it.  She wrote in her letter that she knew it wasn't a lot but she hoped I would keep it forever!  I will!  Later we are going to pick out some Dora cupcakes because Olivia says that's the kind I want for my birthday.  We will eat our cake on purple and pink princess plates because, once again, Olivia says that's what I want.  Michael is going to make me supper - finger steaks.  I LOVE finger steaks!  The only thing better than Michael making them for me is Joyce making them for me (she makes good food).  Then we are going to go to the movies.  We haven't been to the movies in a long time.   I found some cheap tickets and we are going to see Secretariat, a horse movie, of course.  The kids don't know this yet so it will be a surprise for them.  Also, today I am wearing an outfit that I have not been able to wear for a LONG time!  I reached my goal of losing my first 10 pounds by my birthday.  I am so excited.  I have worked extremely hard for those 10 pounds.  So I am celebrating by wearing these clothes, skipping the gym and having ice cream for lunch!  I probably won't be able to fit into these clothes tomorrow, but today I will celebrate!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Birthday Picture

In our kitchen we have a chalkboard that we use to write messages on.  Sometimes I try to write a scripture or an uplifting quote, sometimes it has something to do with what we learned in Family Home evening.  On holidays we try to write holiday messages and on birthdays we use it to write birthday messages to the special birthday person.  It usually has a picture (if one of the kids do it) along with a happy birthday wish.  Makenna had done one for me last week but Olivia erased it and colored pink all over the board instead.  Dillon decided to redo it tonight.  I thought it was so cute that I had to take a picture of it.

This is a picture of me, notice my princess crown on my head.  Then he wrote in his cute first grade hand writing, love (heart) Dillon and everyone.  I absolutely love it!  To add to it, he made me a present and wrapped it in a Walmart sack.  It had 3 pictures that he colored, a purple comb that he got on picture day at school, an eraser that says "I love you", a red ink pen and two pieces of candy that he had saved from his birthday bag from church.  Such a sweet little boy who loves his mommy!  These are the things to cherish forever!

Turn the Music Up

On our way home from picking up Zeke the other day from school, Olivia was sleeping and I was listening to the radio.  I decided to turn the music down and talk to Zeke.  After all, we have been taught to use these moments to talk to our children, get to know them better and build our relationships with them.  Here's how it went...

Me:  How was your day Zeke?
Zeke:  Good.
Me:  Did you have fun?
Zeke:  Yes.
Me:  What did you learn?
Zeke:  I can't remember.  (Pause.)  Can you please turn the music up?  I can't hear it.

So much for bonding!  At least I tried :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apple Picking

Last Friday I took Zeke and Olivia to the apple orchard just south of Sioux Falls.  We invited some friends to come with us.  It was a beautiful day and we had lots of fun.  The kids got to pet some sheep and donkeys and play on hay bales.  Then we rode on the tractor pulled wagon out to the orchard to pick apples.  The apples were delicious!  After we were done picking apples the kids played on the hay bales a little longer until Olivia had to go to the bathroom.  I didn't want to take her in one of the port-a-potties so we left!  We enjoyed the apples for several days.  This weekend we will go back with the older kids.  They felt kind of ripped off that they  didn't get to go with us so we will make another trip.