Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One of those days......(or weeks?)

I've been wanting to blog for days now, but I can't decide what to share -- my life has been consumed by one gigantic stress that I might not want to write about and remember. Maybe I'll come back to it if I decide to share. But, anyway, this is the state of my house:

*dishes piled high in my sink and on my counter (I hate washing dishes by hand!)
*laundry on the floor by my washer/dryer, in the dryer, in the laundry baskets
*me - in my pajamas STILL!
*boxes of photos piled on my stove because I moved them from my dining table (it's not like I'll be using the stove a whole lot, right?)
*separate piles of projects stacked on my desk, some of which need to be done NOW!
*piles of clean bedding, blankets, etc. in my guest room
*stain spilled all over my front porch from last week's "stain the front porch railings" project
(We were supposed to power-wash it and paint afterwards, but that hasn't happened yet due to previously mentioned stress and Brad's newly sprained ankle.)
*clover-filled grass in my yard which indicates it needs mowed, but now it's raining
*box of family reunion stuff next to desk which constantly reminds me I'm supposed to be sending out reminders, buying prizes, and putting together the family pedigree wall charts to display at this year's reunion
*Need I go on?

This is how I'm feeling today - blah! Too much to do, no energy to do it, and disgusted with the mess around me. Now, I've vented, so maybe I can get on with my day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Before I forget....

I just have to blog about this before I forget.....

Bethany, Mallory, and I drove about 30 minutes this evening to meet Brad in a town called Buckhannon which is in between where we live and where he works. We met for dinner at BK. They have a massive indoor play area, and so after eating dinner the girls went in to play. B was instructed to stay close to M and help her through the tubes and such, plus I didn't want M to get left behind and freak out. Well, after about 20 minutes of playtime I told B it was time to leave, so she went to find M. We waited and waited and waited, but no M. I finally saw B track her down in an area that was visible and noticed that M was shaking her head and trying to make a getaway, so Brad and I looked at each other and pointed to each other and then to the playplace. He thought I was going to go up after her.....hahahahaha....that is too funny. If only I had a video camera with me or at least knew how to work the camera on my new phone!!! My 6 foot tall, 185 lb Brad had to climb up through each level of this thing, very slowly and cautiously, to try to find our 2 1/2 yr old rebel. It was hilarious....for me anyway. After at least 5 minutes, maybe ten, they appeared at the end of the slide. Whew! I was trying not to laugh out loud as I reprimanded Mallory about coming out when we say it's time to leave, and that Daddy could have been thrown out of BK for going into the "Kids Only" area....well, that was probably a stretch. I imagine many parents have had to make that climb. Needless to say, Brad is going to have some bruises on his legs after that little adventure, but I'm really just glad that he was with me this time. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Motherhood.....Today's Thoughts

Does it sometimes puzzle you to see the broad spectrum of characteristics and behaviors children have? How they can go from being the sweetest beings on earth to something resembling a heathen in just minutes? ( I know that is a strong word, but really....it fits sometimes, right?) Let me share some examples from my week.....

Sunday evening -- I'm reading scriptures with my girls when Mallory picks up a card with a picture of Jesus on it, which we use as a bookmark, and says, "My Jesus." Already sounds sweet, right? Hold on -- Bethany says, "No, Mallory, He's not just YOUR Jesus. He is everybody's Jesus. He loves us all, and He died so that we might live. (Seriously, she said it just like that.) He lived and died for us. He sacrificed. So, He is your Jesus, and my Jesus, and everybody's Jesus." I just kind of stopped reading and looked at her and listened to my sweet girl teach her 2 yr. old sister.

Monday evening ----We take a walk to the park up the street for our FHE activity which the girls have been wanting to do all day, and B insisted on playing soccer and basketball, so we took the balls along with us. Within minutes she is complaining about the way we play with her and crying when things don't go exactly as she wants them to. Let's just say that I watched my six year old have a 2 year old tantrum in the middle of that neighborhood park ...the likes of which I've never seen from her. Not as a 2,3,4 or 5 yr old. WHAT?! The whole time, I'm like "if somebody sees us spank her to snap her out of this, we'll get reported." She screamed, ran away from me, refused to go home, ran some more, cried, yelled at us that we are "so mean" and that she didn't care if she got spanked at home, or lost park privileges or anything else. Brad stepped in before I totally lost it, and I started walking home with Mallory. It's good that I had some time to cool. Eventually, we got her disciplined, punishments were handed out - some of which last all of this week and longer, and she went straight to bed. AAAHHH!

Tuesday ---- B has no TV this week, so she had to figure out ways to entertain herself all day without that. She pleasantly surprised me by starting to write a story, playing peacefully and sweetly (most of the time) with M for just about the entire day. Good day.

Wednesday ---- The kiddos are playing Tball in the yard when B swings the bat as hard as she can (softish bat, but not too soft) when M is standing right in front of her, smacking little M in the head and face. M starts crying loudly, which she only does when it really hurts. What does B say? "She should have gotten out of my way when I was swinging." Really?! I lectured her about how her first response should have been "I'm sorry." Or, "are you ok, Mallory?", or even, "oops". To her credit, she did realize the error of her ways and hugged her sister and said sorry.

So, today I contemplate the complexity of children and that this is my challenge as a mother for many years to come.....to keep on teaching, develop better patience, teach, forgive (which isn't too tough when you love them so much - might not feel that easy when they become teens, though), learn humility in the times when I'm in the wrong and say "I'm sorry" to my children, better model what I want them to be and do, and in all of this....teach some more!!! I learn so much from trying to understand my kids, and I'm so grateful to be able to be a full-time mom/wife/household manager/etc.
That said, I mowed the grass last night just to get a break from my "normal" role, and let Brad handle it all for a little while. :)

(This was the view under the table where I sat and watched their Grandpa's "show" a few weeks ago. They love each other......almost all of the time. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Still my Favorite Place......

I took these photos recently when I visited the Washington D.C. Temple. Its beauty always lifts me up, and I feel such peace and contentment when I enter the doors of this holy place.
I am so blessed -- and each of you, as well, who get to attend the temple!

Kindergarten...the end.

the 1st Day of Kindergarten

the Last Day of Kindergarten

Below are the pictures we took at Bethany's Kindergarten Celebration on June 3rd. We didn't really know what to expect, except that it wasn't called "graduation" anymore and that there would be some songs. Bethany didn't tell us anything else. Well, when we got there we were pleasantly surprised to learn that Bethany was the only child out of the 50 or so kindergarteners to have a part in the program because she was chosen to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. We were very proud of her. We were so lucky to be here near our families so that they could attend. My mom took off work to come, my Dad is retired, my Aunt lives in Elkins like us, and Brad's mom, dad and sister also attended. (and of course, Brad, Mallory and I)

I find it hard to believe that my little Bethany is old enough to be done with Kindergarten. She reads, she computes math in her head, she writes....it all amazes me. I was feeling kind of sad after the whole thing was over and I had some time to myself. I thought, "well, this is just silly. Snap out of it." Then, later, Bethany was beaming with pride as she stated that she isn't in kindergarten anymore...she's a first grader! I was reminded of how much excitement I used to get out of completing a year of school, and how I couldn't wait to get older and do more and learn more and........you know. At that moment, I was able to just feel happy for her and be excited along with her. See, I'm growing, too. :)

Bethany with her Great-Aunt Bev

Papa Ralph, Aunt Anita, Grandma Barbara, & Bethany

Brynna, Bethany, & Grace

Grandma Judy, Mal, Bethany, and Papa Deer

Austin & Bethany

Daniella, Grace, Bethany, JT, & Will

Bethany with Mrs. Smith

The Field Trip - 2009

We saw river otters, bison, white-tailed deer, foxes, bald eagles, lots of nocturnal animals that were hiding out and sleeping for the day like opossums, raccoons, etc. and some animals are pictured below. This was the WV Wildlife Center in French Creek, WV and it showcases many of the animals that live here in "Wild and Wonderful West Virginia".

Bethany's friends are natural posers, so she joined in.

I'm not sure what kind of bird this is, but it laid its eggs right next to the walking path. Every time people walked by it made this unique continuous chirping sound and lifts it's wings out to the sides. As soon as the people walked on by, it would stop.

Nasty WartHog.....Have you ever seen the teeth on these things?!

The WV State Animal, the Black Bear
Bethany, Grace, Brynna, & Daniella

Huge Mountain Lion...I've never seen one this big before.

A back-view of the new little pigtails

Bus Buddies - Grace & Bethany
I was only responsible for these two kids because there were so many parents on the trip.

The New-Do

This was taken the evening we got her hair cut. So 80's!

Photos taken before school one morning

A back/side view.....Big Sis helping Lil' Sis...I love it!

Bethany has had a ton of hair since she was born.....lots and lots of it! We've cut it to donate before, but this time they cut at least an extra 4 inches off. So, here are some pics of the New-Do. She loves it, and so do I, but I'm excited that it will grow back, too. :) I miss ponytails.

A Visit with Treasured Friends

Caroline & Bethany on the swings
Melanie, Kimberly, & Hannah on the old Spin-Around

Ancient teeter-totter of sorts : Deana, Melanie, Kimberly & Mallory

Mallory, Bethany, & Hannah climbing the banned-for-safety reasons-from-all-updated-playgrounds Climbing Contraption

The Ginn Family drove about 7 hours to come and visit us for Memorial Day weekend. Brad and Gregg were playing in a golf tournament that Saturday with my brother and my dad, which they thoroughly enjoyed despite the sunburn. Deana and I and the girls enjoyed the park up the street and a drive through the mountains, among other things. It was so special for me to see how much they loved the beauty of the landscape around us. How many kids do you know who appreciate just taking a drive and looking out the windows at the scenery? I'll never forget how excited the girls were to be here and how they soaked up every moment of their time with us. My kids had great friends to play with all day long, and Brad and I had our great friends, too. It was so wonderful to see them and so sad to see them go. Anybody else wanna visit???? :)

(P.S. -- the pretty scenic pictures are on Deana's blog)

Springtime in the Mountains

I know I've been out of touch, but I'm going to attempt to fill you in and blog about what we've been up to since my last post in early May. Let's see.....

  • Stake Conference
  • Parent Advisory Council meetings with the school and county
  • Movies with the kids....."Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian" and "UP"
  • T-Ball , t-ball and more t-ball!
  • Kindergarten Field Trip to the WV Wildlife Center
  • a trip to the temple with my sister
  • PTO
  • a visit from the Ginn family -- woohoo!
  • Memorial Day and Mother's Day fun with family
  • Golf, golf and more golf for Brad
  • Chiropractor, dentist, and other appointments
  • Kindergarten Celebration, end of school
  • Yard Sale!
  • and another trip to the temple -- with my hubby!

This is a yummy dessert I made for Mother's Day to take to my Mom's.

Strawberry Punchbowl Cake

1 angel food cake (tear into small chunks), 1 package of sugar-free fat-free vanilla instant pudding (prepared ahead of time), crushed pineapple (drained), 2-3 sliced bananas, 3-4 containers of strawberries (sliced), lite Cool Whip (16 oz size) *All of these ingredients are listed in the order they go in the bowl, 1/2 at a time, so there are two layers of everything, then I topped it with strawberries. Delightful and light, too!

Running to 1st Base

Playing 2nd Base

Warming up with Daddy