Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Book battles and confessions

See this little orange growing away on Caden's orange tree? One day when Anjoleena was here she was beside this plant and I kept thinking that I saw her putting something in her mouth from the corner of my eye.  I was setting the table at the time and kept glancing over and would just see this:

Finally I noticed some peel on the floor and when I turned the orange over, this is how it looked:

 I don't know how she could keep going back for more; these oranges are SOUR!! So funny.

Kami with a family that she loves in the Phillipines:

One thing I love so much about Caden serving in the states is that I get random pictures of him texted to me all of the time from members in Texas.  This picture came from a lady who cut his hair on p-day.  I love seeing my kids looking so happy! And boy do I appreciate all of the good people all over the world that take care of them:

Some cute little boys at the dentist this week:

And one COOL dude!:

Nolan has been involved in this activity called "battle of the books" at school.  He LOVES to read and there was a list of books that he had to read, and then they formed into teams and the teams compete against each other answering questions about the books.  The competitions have been going on for a month or two, and he would come home about once a week and say, "we had a book battle today.  My team won!"  This week he told us that they were having the final battle and he had made it to the top two teams.  He mentioned several times that he really wanted Shawn and I to come to the "battle".  We asked him if parents were allowed to go watch, and he checked with his teacher and she told him they could. We had NO IDEA what a big deal this is here!!  ALL of the parents were there, and they were talking about all of the studying that their kids had been doing and asked me if Nolan studied for a long time the night before.  (He hadn't). The parents informed me that the winning team would go to regionals.  I think they even have nationals. I was glad that we went to watch!

Nolan answered every question for his team but one and we were really proud of him!  His team ended up losing by three points, though.  I guess we know to take it more seriously next year, if he wants to do it!

His team is on the right:

I took this one before the "battle" began:

Holding their second place plaques:

I had a tri-stake leadership meeting in the tri-cities that the bishop had me attend on Wednesday night, and didn't get home until 10:00.  Shawn had been telling the girls they needed to go to bed, but Isabelle said that she needed to talk to me first.  She had something weighing heavily on her conscience, and told me that she and her friend had skipped mutual.  She said that they got there early and went upstairs and got talking, and when they noticed the time, they realized that they were 15 minutes late.  They were worried that they would get into trouble, but still headed down to go in.  They reached the door and a leader, that they are scared of, was standing right in the doorway, so they chickened out and headed for the bathroom where they stayed until it was over.  She felt TERRIBLE and said that she was never going to do it again!!  What a little sweetheart!  I love that she tells me everything and has a healthy conscience.  Also, she said that it was fine if I blogged about it:)

The view from my kitchen window one morning:

We've been making an effort to do better about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy around here, and one thing, among others, that we have been working to do is to have church clothes ironed and ready the day before. It's always interesting to see what kids have done with their clothes the week before.  Abram apparently decided that his white shirt was clean enough to wear again and *amazingly enough* hung it up.  Shawn and I got a good laugh about the way he hung things:D

Shawn happened to see Pace crawl out of bed one morning, and called me to come see.  Pace didn't want to take the time to look for pajamas the night before, so he stuck his legs into the arms of the shirt he had worn that day and used it for pajamas...

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A week in pictures

Abram was helping me carry in groceries last Saturday and dropped a can on his toe.  He limped around clear until Wednesday before the pressure eased up and it didn't hurt any more:

No school Monday, so Maddie made a whole bunch of treasure hunts for the kids with questions like, "Babies are birthed in hospitals, tables are birthed in __________________"  The kids raced for the garage where Shawn built the table.   I didn't see all of her clues, but they made the kids think and I thought they were clever. Not to mention it entertained the kids for hours and they loved it! This is them finding a clue in the downstairs fireplace:

This week when I watched Anjoleena, Pace wanted to read books in the "hideout":

Shawn walks to work and back every day even though he works clear across town just so that he gets more exercise every day.  It works out great because he can walk the kids to the bus stop every morning on his way. Pace and I like to curl up in the front room chair and watch everyone leave the house for the day. Pace hasn't been very happy in the morning lately, and it's fun to snuggle and get him a little more happy before we go get ready:

We got a little snow this week, and Pace spent an hour or two shoveling the sidewalk with a dust pan because I wasn't sure where the snow shovels were.  That tells you how much snow we've received this year:
hours of entertainment:)

I felt my day was ruined on Thursday when Nolan brought me his scout shirt and a lot of badges that needed sewn on.  I have a bad attitude about scouting and ESPECIALLY scout uniforms.  I guess I need to reform.  He told me everything needed to be done for pack meeting that night:

Both of the boys were supposed to bring a cake to the meeting and I had A LOT  more fun helping them with that. First they baked their own cakes, and my recipe book had a whole different look when they finished with it!:D

I got to spend some good, quality time with them:

They were pretty pleased with their finished products:

We had a busy, but wonderful Sabbath.  Shawn spoke in sacrament meeting and I taught Relief Society.  I was able to get two investigators to come to church by offering to pick them up, and after church, we fed the sister missionaries, so I invited the investigators to come to dinner, as well. 

Kitty Soderburg, Isabelle and Maddie:

Anjoleena, Joleen, Sister Stratford and Sister Paz:

Maddie finds uniquely beautiful napkin folds and makes our table look so elegant:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Maddie straightens up

On Sunday afternoons, I have been working on Personal Progress with the girls.  You know - seeing where they are, picking things to work on, and making plans.  I have personally been enjoying this time with them.  I think Isabelle enjoyed it the first two weeks, and Maddie never:D  But she's been a pretty good sport...

I told her that for one of her projects I thought it would be a great idea for her to organize a really messy, yucky linen closet that we have downstairs. 

right side of the closet:
left side:
looking in:

I figured I could sort through it and she could paint it and put everything back in really nice.  She said that she could get excited about the project if I would let her paint on the wall when she was all done.  It was a deal!

She worked all day Saturday painting the shelves and walls, and by the end of the day it was organized really nicely:

And a couple of days later she had her design all painted on, too!  She spends a lot of time every day writing pretty things with Calligraphy, and it was fun for her to do this on the wall:

Kids need wild spaces

...and if there aren't any outside, create them on the inside!

We discovered a space, about a week after moving in that we had somehow never seen before.  On the stairs going down to the third level of the house, we found a little room under the stairs!  We thought that it would be a perfect "hideout".  This week the kids went crazy getting it all fixed up.  They could hardly think about anything else! 

This doesn't show much of it, but is an idea of the space after the kids emptied it of all storage boxes and stuff:

They wiped down all the walls and swept it out really good and worked for HOURS:

As they worked, I heard BIG planning/dreaming going on.  "we should paint this up really nice and put some carpet in here!"  "Yeah!  and maybe we could make a drop down table and have snacks in here and stuff!" "and we could keep all of our weapons in here!"  etc.

Luckily I had lots of left-over paint.  Isabelle and Nolan primed the space:

Then on the designated paint day, Maddie had Bailey Marshall over and she brought her little sister, so Isabelle ended up hanging out with her and Nolan wanted to press on, so he ended up painting the hideout all by himself. Shawn and I came home from evening Parent Teacher conferences to a very dejected Nolan.  He felt like his paint job had ruined the "Hideout".  It wasn't too bad, but didn't live up to their expectations:

I was actually pretty impressed that he did THAT well, but I could see how disappointed he was, so I took a few hours the next day and fixed it up.  It was NOT an easy space to paint, and then I was even MORE impressed with how well he did!:

Then on Friday night the girls and I had a girl's night with the Harrisons, and while Shawn was home with the boys, they laid carpet and built a ladder to climb into the "hideout".

There's still a lot of dreaming going into this space, but meanwhile, it's sure a great place to sleep in on weekends!