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Baking and Shoveling

Sorry I’ve been absent. I have been so busy every single day. I can’t even remember everything that has happened.

The kids have had no school this week. They have had so much fun. They basically play all day. Poor Michael has been sick most of the week. I feel bad but I am glad it happened when he didn’t have to miss any school. I just hope no one else gets what he has.

I’ve been trying to take more time for the kids. I have read a few books to Noah and today even pulled one out to read to Evangeline when I was holding her. She wasn’t interested in me reading. She took the book away from me and just messed with the pages.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I spent the whole day baking but kind of taking it easy since we didn’t need to be ready until 5. Alex and Elizabeth helped me with the rolls. Elizabeth loved rolling them up and when there was asmall one she giggled, “That’s a fat little one!” She makes me laugh pretty much all the time. Her round little face and constant funny observations and her giggle. So cute!

We had Thanksgiving dinner with Alex’s family. There are nine kids in his family and with all the spouses and grandkids and cousins and even neighbors there it was kind of chaotic. I really only visited with two people besides Alex.

My neighbor was there and I talked to him for a few minutes. Turns out he used to live in my house years ago and was there (here, I guess) for about twelve years. He said the reason he didn’t like the house was the flooding. Um yeah, I figured there had been flooding because whoever fixed the walls after the flooding did a pretty bad job of it. You’d have to see it to understand the magnitude of what we’ve fixed in this house. Anyways, he did answer a few questions we’ve had about this house. Now we know.

Last night I was so tired I literally felt like I was going to collapse. I was tucking the kids in and they kept asking questions. I told Lauren I really needed to go to bed but she kept saying, “but.. but..” I finally just left and collapsed in bed and fell asleep. Alex brought the baby to me and she was not tired. I woke up and realized that I was supposed to be trying to keep the baby from falling off the bed. She was fine but I went and found Alex and gave the baby to him because I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

This morning I couldn’t sleep in. I had so much to do. I have an event tomorrow that I needed to make stuff for. I decided that I never want to cater or make food for an event for anyone else ever again. It is stressful and stuff you make all the time never turns out when you have to make it for other people. Nevertheless, I baked about 100 cupcakes, and 3 cakes plus I had to cook two meals for my family. In between pulling stuff out of the oven and mixing, I shoveled snow. So much snow. I think I shoveled three times today. It kept snowing. I was baking and in the kitchen for about five hours and I am not done. I still have to decorate everything tomorrow and bake a double batch of rolls. I am beat. Never again. At least not any time soon.

So on that note, I am going to bed because it will be another long day tomorrow. So much for a vacation. I think I’ll get my vacation when my kids go back to school. I didn’t spend much time with my kids because I spent so much time cooking and baking. I am going to make it a point to spend most of the Christmas vacation doing stuff with my kids. Cleaning and cooking I will try to do just the minimum. Wish me luck.

 

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What I am Thankful for (Part 1)

We hear people say all the time that Christmas overshadows Thanksgiving and that we need to keep them separate. I used to be one of those people but this year something changed. I kept my decorations simple. It kept me from feeling like I had to go and buy so many more new things to decorate with. I put my stuff up weeks before I normally do. I set a budget for presents and it’s not much at all.

You want to know what I am thankful for this year?

Christmas.

As a family we watched this video for our scripture time. It was so well done. Just watch it. The joy, peace and reverence I felt was moving.

I am a stubborn soul. I know I should kneel when I pray but I am horrible at it. I watched that depiction and it just hit me. I got down on my knees for our family prayer because I was just so thankful for Christ. I’m thankful for Christmas. Not because of presents and upbeat holiday music but because of the real reason for the season.

This season I’m going to do better, be better, be nicer, more helpful, complain less, be more positive, more of what my Savior would have me be. I was going to say try but I feel like that would be giving myself an out, a premade excuse- well, I tried. I want to do, not try.

Anyways, that’s where my thoughts were tonight. Take a few minutes and watch the video. It’ll put you in the mood for the season, hopefully.

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Too Much Cake

“If you bake it I’ll scream at myself. I’ll scream myself.” Noah told me this when I started baking this morning. I dont think he knew what he was saying by it made me laugh.

Last day of no snow for the year. I drove Benjamin to program practice this morning and left the van running so it would warm up so could clean a warm van. I forgot and I left it running. Benjamin came home and told me. Well, it was warmed up and we got it all cleaned out and vacuumed. Then I finished some yard stuff and took care of animals and tacked the extension cord for the Christmas lights onto the house so it wasn’t going to be sitting in the snow and water. Easier to clean up at Christmas.

Then I started baking cakes. Cakes. Plural. Noah broke it. He picked it up and a big chunk came off. I tried to put it back together but it started a domino effect and it just looked awful.

I had to make another one. This time from scratch, not a box. The box mix was too soft and fluffy and fell apart when touched.

White cakes don’t use egg yolks so I had 8 yolks left to use up. I decided to make the lime curd for the pies later in the week.

Just as I was finishing up I got a call. I’m glad I answered it because it was the plumber. I’d called them last week because we had four leaking faucets and we were tired of dealing with them. He fixed them all pretty fast and it ended up being less than $100. I was expecting it to be more. I should have called years ago.

Then it was onto birthday celebrating. I was done in and didn’t want to bake a single thing more. I had Alex stop at Walmart on his way home and get pizza. It was wonderful even if was frozen pizza baked at home.

Gideon loved his birthday. He got everything he wanted. He is a kid that likes everything just so and I managed to meet his expectations.

But I’ll tell you one thing that bugged me. Okay, two. I made two cakes. Guess how much they ate. Pretty much none of it. Second thing is I ate too much of it. I’m swearing off sugar.

Again.

And since they didn’t eat really any of it do I really have to do this again three more times this next week or so?

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Pie Week Day 2

The other day Elizabeth and Noah were wearing monochromatic clothes and Noah’s shirt was gray camo. I told them I couldn’t see them so they pretended to be invisible. I called Alex on his way home from work and the kids kept saying that he couldn’t see them. They got too loud so I said I would see him when he got home. Elizabeth then said, in a mischievous voice, “But you won’t see us.” Oh my goodness that girl. We laughed so hard at that.

Over the weekend we stopped in and checked out a new store that just opened. It was a restaurant supply warehouse. It was like Disneyland for me. I’m weird. I wanted one of everything. And the prices were good. One thing I’ve been looking for (a 5 lb brick of caramel) is at least $30 everywhere I’ve found it. It was $20 at that store. I didn’t buy it, I’m going to try my hand at making the caramel from scratch but if all else fails I know where to go. They even had stacks of Chinese take out boxes. I wanted them all for fun.

Today the kids were off school. Last night I told them all I wanted to sleep in. My kids are sleepers. I never ever had to deal with an early riser. It has been so nice. This morning the babies woke up at 6. NOOO! Then Alex woke Lauren up and she ended up waking Elizabeth up. Luckily I got the baby back to sleep 30 minutes later and Noah fell asleep downstairs watching tv. Elizabeth, my sleeping beauty, is not used to early hours and she fell asleep and missed dinner, pie, and Monopoly. She came stumbling upstairs at 9 p.m. I don’t care if she isn’t tired, I am going to bed.

Tonight we turned off the television and played Monopoly for Family Home Evening. Most of us played. It was a fun couple hours. The kids had never played but they did awesome. They were all doing well at counting and math that is involved. I won. By a lot. I kind of felt bad but that is the way it goes. I even let all the kids roll the dice for me since I was holding a sleeping baby half the time. So technically they won.

I made two pies today. I decided we really don’t need two pies per day. Too much sugar. I made a key lime pie that we ate after dinner and then had a pecan pie in the oven while we played. That was kind of torture. I make my pie with real maple syrup instead of corn syrup and it is so much better that way. No throat burn that you get with corn syrup. And the maple and pecans together are amazing. Sorry no picture of the key lime pie. I didn’t think about it until it was gone. Well, I did get one…

I think it is safe to say that he liked it.

Back before Alex and I were married I made a pecan pie for his birthday. For some reason it never set up. It was pecans and syrup. It tasted okay but the texture was all wrong. He’s never let me forget it but I’ve never repeated that mistake.

This morning I left Michael to babysit and I went to Walmart all by myself. I managed to get all the stuff for all the birthdays and cakes and pies and on and on and on. It is ridiculous. I don’t think we’ll run out of streamers for the next 5 years.

It is supposed to snow this week. My parents’ and siblings houses got snow today in Utah but ours should come on Wednesday. Since it is probably going to stick around this time for the rest of the winter I had the boys help me get the outside stuff all put away. Bikes covered, leaves cleaned up, wood moved to the wood pile, fencing and hoses put away, swamp cooler covered, etc. I think we are ready this year.

This morning I also decided that I really needed to get back with reading my scriptures. I haven’t been as into it as I had been the past year. The past couple sections just felt overwhelming, doctrine wise, and I was struggling to get myself to concentrate. So this morning I just bit the bullet and read a couple chapters in 1 Peter. Then I decided I needed to read some in the Book of Mormon. Can I tell you how much I have missed that feeling– the comforting feeling that the Spirit brings? The Bible is amazing and the Book of Mormon is no less. I’m reading about Abinadi when he is teaching King Noah. There is so much to learn about our Savior’s sacrifice.

I also listened to a bunch of podcasts today. So good. Especially this one. I listened to it while I shopped at Walmart and I was struggling not to cry.

Alright, I have kids that won’t go to bed with me up. Until tomorrow.

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Pie Week Day 1

Pie week has begun.

Alex decided years ago that it wasn’t right that pie was so good but there wasn’t enough room to eat it all on Thanksgiving. He wanted more. So began our traditional Pie Week. From the Sunday before Thanksgiving until the Sunday after Thanksgiving we have a different pie every single day. Now that our family has gotten bigger it has turned into 2 pies a day. I make different ones because I don’t want two of the same. Where is the fun in that? Last year I will admit that we skipped Pie Week because I had gestational diabetes and was all around miserable and wasn’t about to bake a bunch of pies I couldn’t eat. I told Alex we’d postpone it until after Evangeline was born. She was jaundiced and was on the lights for what seemed like forever and I was pretty much running on no sleep for a while because of that and she would choke laying down so I slept in a chair for the first month. That is why Pie Week didn’t happen last year.

Today, Day 1, we had Marie Calendar’s pies. Pumpkin and apple. Normally I bake them all from scratch but luckily some ladies from church brought me some pies on Friday and I used those because the weekend wore me out. It was so nice of them to bring me food, wonderful women that they are. They each had lots of kids and know how it goes. I can’t wait to be like that when I am older.

Friday night is soccer night. Alex goes to play soccer and the kids and I watch a movie together. We watched The Santa Clause. Michael is older now and got the jokes so he and I were laughing and it was so much fun to watch a movie with someone who isn’t a little kid. They are fun too but it’s a different dynamic.

Benjamin had “dance practice”. For our ward (church) party the theme is the Polar Express. There is going to be a presentation and Benjamin’s age group of boys was asked to be the hot chocolate servers on the train and needed to learn a dance. So he went and had practice on Friday night. You have to bribe boys that age with pizza to dance.

Saturday Alex and I went on a long date. We left around noon and got back about 10 p.m. Alex and I ran errands, went out to lunch and then went to his company work party. It was catered and the food was really good. It was nice to spend that much time together. We weren’t in a hurry and got to go to places that were easy with just us three but a nightmare with all the kids.  It was a good day and Evangeline was a perfect angel the whole time.

Michael was watching the kids (we had the baby) and they did so good! Some other relatives popped in and out throughout the day. But they were all fed and clean and the house was decent when we got home.  I have to give glowing praise to my daughter Lauren. She did so good with the kids while we were gone. She made sure they were entertained, safe, clean, dressed, etc. She is such a good person. By the way, having a video monitor at home that we can check in on with our phones is such a good thing. We could see and talk to them– especially when they least expect it.

This morning we got to church on time (I’d made the kids hang up their Sunday clothes right after church last week so we knew where they all were). I sat down and looked at the program and panicked. Lauren told me she did too when she saw it. I hurried and waved Michael up to talk to me. He was supposed to give a talk in church this morning and we had totally forgotten until we saw his name in the program. Luckily since he is a youth speaker he only needed to take up three minutes. But he couldn’t do anything about it. So between leading the music I frantically looked up scriptures and cobbled together a talk for him to read. I didn’t know if it would be long enough so I told him to read slow. He was nervous and read slow but did a good job. I felt bad that I had forgotten completely so I felt I had to bail him out. He knew he would forget that is why he had the text about speaking sent to me. Oops. Mom fail.

The kids are out of school this entire week. I have so much to do the week as well. Birthday, Thanksgiving with family, and I am sure there is more that I am forgetting but those are the big ones. Oh yeah, pie. Every. Single. Day. It is a fun tradition but right now I am tired and just want to go to bed.

Oh, I do have to mention that our cats are doing what we got them for. Luna caught and killed a mouse in the garage tonight! I feel bad for the mouse, I’m not a monster, but I am so glad that it is one less mouse that can get into my house. Woohoo! When you live next to a field it is inevitable but now there are two more barriers– Luna and Piper.

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Texting, Writing, and Jobs

I am an introvert. I was thinking today how much I love social media and text messaging. I don’t have to answer a phone call hardly ever and I still get to stay connected and get the information I need. Occasionally there are people who insist on calling me. The school, doctors office, people. I have become adult about it and I answer the phone if I get to it in time. If not I figure they will leave a message or text me or call me back if it is that important. So, if you really need to get a hold of me just text.

Today I missed a call. Elizabeth was playing a game on my phone and brought it to me and said, “I don’t know what this game is doing.” It was a phone call. I was just a hair to late. I figured they would leave a message and since there was a voicemail icon on my phone I decided to be an adult and check it. All the messages were old but one of them was so wonderful. It was my husband Alex. I had missed a call from him and instead of just hanging up and calling again so I would hear the phone, he left a sweet message telling me he loved me and all that lovely sentiment. I loved it! It was an unexpected surprise and so I saved it to listen to it again later.

This morning I got up and was going to make the kids breakfast, be a good mom. They all beat me to it. I had bought cereal last night and they all went to town. Fine. By the way, the new Post cereal Banana Nilla Wafer—- amazing. It shouldn’t be a breakfast food. I had a few bites and had to drag myself away from Lauren’s bowl.

Right before the kids left for school Michael said he felt like throwing up. Ugh. So he stayed home and was nauseous all day. I guess. That is what he said. He did eat a little though. Noah on the other hand threatened to throw up and then actually followed through with it. I told him to aim for the garbage can. He didn’t make it. Luckily it was just once, he ate and then fell asleep for three hours.

I spent a bit of the morning doing bills, budgeting and then Christmas shopping online. I have in my cart most of what I am getting. I have about 5 more things to pick out and then I should be good. I’m going to look in the stores on Saturday though because I don’t like buying clothes online usually and some of the stuff I want isn’t online.

I was telling Alex what I was getting the kids and he said, “I thought we agreed we weren’t getting the kids anything for Christmas?” Yeah, he says that every year and every year I ignore him because I am not Scrooge. I have a pretty strict budget this year and I explained to the kids what it was. They are okay with it. It will be a good year. The last two years around Christmas time were pretty bleak. Who am I kidding– they have all been a little on the skim side when it came to us having money. Luckily we are blessed to have such good family and friends and strangers who care for us and help us out at Christmas.

Two years ago Alex’s job got yanked out from under him and he worked part time while looking for more work. Then he got a job working for a construction company that was not a good fit. He interviewed and found a job that said he could start January 1 of the upcoming year. He put in his two weeks and they said don’t bother coming back. Right before Christmas. Thanks guys. We used the time to finish projects on the house. Then the next year at his new job the work slowed down and he got kind of laid off. I was pregnant and we had no work starting in October. Great. Luckily we had friends who helped Alex get hired doing construction temporarily while we looked for work. Then a friend of an in-law called and said Alex should apply for a job at his work. The job wasn’t anything we’d ever considered but Alex applied and interviewed anyways.

We had been in the jobless and in-between-job and laid off of a job position so many times before. It seemed like that was our trial. It is a stressful position to be in. I should have learned how to handle it sooner and maybe I’d have been done dealing with that kind of trial. But the last time it happened last year I was calm. I trusted the Lord. I trusted that it would work out because it always had. And guess what– we were in the hospital in December and had literally just given birth when the phone rang. It was the place he’d interviewed for. He got the job and they wanted him to start on Monday– four days from then right before Christmas. It was a miracle. Still is.

So this Thanksgiving I am definitely thankful that we still have a job.

The last few days it has come to night time and I think, ugh, I haven’t written anything today. I have kind of a glum attitude but I told myself that this is my goal and I am going to do it anyways. And you know what? I start writing and I love it. I have always loved just getting my thoughts out there. Even if they aren’t important, ever if they are rambling and even if I am the only one who ever reads it, I love to write. Elizabeth came up to me a few minutes ago and asked why I have to write every night. I don’t have to– I get to. Then at the end of it I have a record.

Noah just said he was going to hug me forever for the rest of my life. I could live with that.

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Colds, Cookie Dough, and Crazy

Evangeline caught the cold I have. She kept me awake with her struggling to breathe and eat at the same time. Add that to the fact that she was not in the right frame of mind to go to sleep until almost midnight and I didn’t sleep well at all. Oh yeah and Gideon was complaining and crying about growing pains and laid down at the bottom of my bed sometime in the middle of the night so I couldn’t stretch out. Such is the life of a parent. I thought I was feeling better but the cold faked me out.

I want going to write tonight but habits formed and all.

Today I did the usual plus laundry. I even put all my clothes away straight out of the dryer. That doesn’t happen regularly. It should.

This morning and Benjamin was leaving the house I told him-or he asked- for an after school snack. I said I would make cookies and right as I was saying as anything but snickerdoodles he said snickerdoodles. I hate making snickerdoodles because they are a three step cookie. Too much. So he asked for edible cookie dough. That I can make. No baking! I love to bake, just not cookies because they take constant supervision and back and forth for what seems like hours. But cookies are my favorite to eat and that dough is good. I ate some. First sugary thing I’ve really had in 30 days.

I took Michael to Walmart tonight after dinner because he has a project due tomorrow on Jamestown. He needed glue, popsicle sticks, and something to fashion a canon. And of course he’s known about it for longer than a day. But just started working on it tonight.

Oh, he started play practice today. He is in the quartet. Should be fun. I’m exited for him.

And just as a side note, I am so glad I’ve decided not to decorate my trees this year. The lights are already getting droopy and no matter how much I get after him, noah keeps falling into the tree. And they think it’s funny to put a kitten in the Christmas tree. They are good kids most of the time but other times there is absolutely nothing intelligent coming out of them. Kids are crazy. I saw some kids at a Christmas program practice tonight that confirmed my kids aren’t the only crazy ones out there.

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I Caught a cold

Woke up this morning after weird dreams- again- and I couldn’t breathe out of my nose. I’ve caught a cold. Ugh. But I count myself lucky because it isn’t bad so far and it didn’t start with a horrendous sore throat like my colds normally do. Just stuffy and a bit light headed. Lauren said if it is what she had last week it will last forever. Obviously not because she is better now.

I was taking care of the baby in the morning so the kids asked if they could have prayer without me this morning. I told them to go ahead. Since I didn’t get to see them off, I did’t get them to do their chores– feeding the animals. Evangeline was still asleep so I went and fed the dog, cats and chickens and cleaned up some messes. I did get breakfast out of the deal though. The eggs don’t get any fresher than straight out of the coop. Only one chicken is laying right now. The other three are molting. They don’t lay when they molt. I’ll never understand why chickens molt (lose their feathers and grow new ones) in the winter. It is freezing cold and they are half naked. It is bizarre.

After that I spent a good part of the day holding the baby and reading. For some reason I don’t feel like I wasted a day when I am reading but I do when I am scrolling through and reading social media. The book I read I have read like 10 times before. I have a bad-ish memory and so I can read books over and over again and a lot of the times it is like a new book. This one I knew what was coming but it was still a good book. I like the clean romance books. Marcia Lynn McClure is my favorite. I like her books because they are a cute escape for me. I do read other stuff but I like to take a break from reality for the most part and not think too much.

I also worked a bit on Christmas presents. What I really need to do is wrap up all the ones I have as I get them so I don’t have to worry about the kids seeing them unwrapped. My kids don’t like ruining surprises so they are safe once wrapped.

Michael came home late from school because he stayed late to audition for the middle school play/musical. I’ve never done the theater thing so I have no idea what the process is. He said he had to sing a couple songs and read a bunch of lines. He said he felt like he was in the audition forever. Whether that was normal or not, we don’t know. The director asked him if he was there with his friends. He was. The then asked if he would do the play even without his friends. He said he would. Then in the middle of the audition the director asked him why he never tried out for any of the plays before. Never thought about it. We’ll find out what part he gets after Thanksgiving. What is funny is he was not prepared at all. He went in completely cold and he has never even seen the musical. It is Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.

Tonight we watched a video called True Christianity and sang the hymn Have I Done Any Good in the World Today. Then I did things in a different order. I tucked the kids in first before I did anything else. By the time I got back down to the basement Alex had the baby asleep and had turned on the new show Mandalorian on Disney +.  Okay, so I have seen most of the Star Wars movies. I’m not that into it but I know what is going on. I started watching the new show with Alex and I died of the cuteness. I could not handle the cuteness. That is all I will say.

The last few days at least one kid has fallen asleep early and then woken up just as everyone else was going to bed. So annoying. I didn’t get a nap but they did and I have to stay awake with them. It is Noah’s turn tonight. I told him to get some books and go to bed an read them. He told me he couldn’t read. He can’t. So I decided that I would read a book with him. I know this book inside and out. I can recite it without the book. So I “read” the book to Noah while watching t.v. with Alex. My parents read the book to me when I was little as well.

Image result for dr. seuss abc

Best book to read little kids ever. It is short, easy and once you memorize it then bedtime books is a breeze.

Speaking of bedtime, Evangeline just woke up. WHY! I’m so tired.

Until tomorrow.

 

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Kids and Bedtime

This morning I was so glad to wake up. So many weird dreams. And last night was hilarious/creepy. Last Christmas I bought Noah a glow worm toy.

Image result for glow worm toy

It lights up and can also play music. I had one when I was little and thought it would be a good toy for him and help him stay in bed. Wrong. He does love his “Glo-bo”. I put batteries in it the other day so he’s been carrying it everywhere. Last night at about 11 – I was still awake reading a book on my phone on the darkest setting – when I saw the door open and this weird orange glowing sphere come floating into my room. I realized what it was after a second, Noah was carrying it above his head– don’t ask me why. It was still creepy looking! Kids have the uncanny ability to creep parents out when they come silently into the room acting completely out of the normal. Noah comes into my room during the day and he is all noise and all movement.

I told him to just lay down and get under the blanket and go to sleep. The stupid glow worm toy wouldn’t stop glowing and singing. It woke me up around 2:30 a.m. so I took it and moved the switch to silent. There isn’t an option for off. Noah was very aware of his surroundings and grabbed it out of my hand and got mad at me for turning it off. Not turning it back on buddy.

I am thinking those encounters last night contributed to the crazy dreams this morning.

When I got up Lauren was upset because she had forgotten an assignment that was due. Yeah, I am the mom that says tough luck, turn it in late. She did manage to turn it in today but this morning I had to deal with an almost meltdown. She was biting her nail and ready to freak but we talked her out of it. I am not really a patient person when it comes to meltdowns. I just don’t know what to do.

The little kids were still asleep when the big kids left and so I cleaned up the toys and garbage off the floors and swept the whole upstairs and downstairs. I was so proud of myself. Then the rest of the day went downhill but not in a bad way. The new Disney streaming service. Yeah. Elizabeth and Noah haven’t seen so many of those movies. Granted, they are only 5 and 3 years old so obviously they haven’t seen them. We watched The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. Elizabeth loves to sing the song Lost Boys  so I had to show her the movie. She was really excited. I sat there and played with the baby and held her during her nap and crocheted some hot pads for Christmas presents while we watched the movies. I didn’t consider the time completely wasted. I finished one and completed another. Only like 10 more or so to go. I dawned on me today that I really should do these throughout the year and not just 1 month before Christmas.

Alex fell asleep at about 6:30 tonight. If he takes even a 10 minute nap then he can’t sleep the rest of the night. He’s been asleep for a couple hours and I have been begging the kids to not wake him up. My guess is that he’ll wake up. Dang it.

Oh, for dinner I made meatloaf hot pockets and squash. My sister told me she cooks the squash with pumpkin pie spice on top of them so I tried that. So good! Almost pumpkin pie-ish but without the guilt. I am trying to keep the sugar out of my diet and other than some chocolate chips here and there, I am doing great.

Well, I am going to go and see if I can get the kids quietly to bed. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Growing pains

Yesterday I made a shocking discovery. Ok, it wasn’t shocking but I wasn’t expecting it. Michael, my 14 year old, has always been shorter than me. He’s a kid. Yesterday I was talking to him and realized I was looking him straight in the eyes. I asked if he was taller than me. I am 5’8″. I asked Lauren to take a picture of us back to back. He is barely taller than me. What? I hit my height at his age but he is still growing so we’ll see how he ends up being. Now I know why he has been eating and sleeping so much lately. Last month he was a good 3 inches shorter than me.

Today in church we were talking about the book of Hebrews. I learned so much. Alex usually goes to the Sunday school class in Spanish but I asked if he would come in with me today and he did. He had so many good comments.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of  death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Christ was made lower than the angels. He has been down to our level. He isn’t some God who we feel couldn’t possibly relate to us. He knows what it is like. He lived on earth, had a family, worked, lived, learned, had friends, was tempted. He lived his whole life and gave his whole life for us. He understands what we have been through because he has had experiences like us. His suffering and atonement is what makes him able to understand everything we have felt. He never made mistakes and yet was willing to pay for ours. It really is amazing and something to be so grateful for. I am sure I didn’t say any of that right. It is a hard thing sometimes to put those kind of thoughts into words.

Later in the day we watched a broadcast giving more information on the new Children and Youth.  I love the changes from the old programs. I love how they youth can personalize it for their lives. They can decide what they want to improve in and set goals for things that they want to do that can help them progress in life but to also grow closer to Christ and to be good people. I love that the church is so invested in helping the youth to be happy, make good choices and be more Christlike. I’m excited to help my kids make goals and work with them on it if they want. I told Alex that we should set the example by making and setting goals ourselves.

After it was over I told the kids they had to stay downstairs while Alex and I made dinner. They were all so loud and so rambunctious and my nerves were shot. I had just had enough of all the noise and movement and crying from the little kids. It was enough of a break so I could handle them the rest of the night.

After dinner tonight we finally got down to practicing the song we are going to sing in church. We had to decide how we were going to sing it, assign parts, see who could sing in what range. Michael is definitely a bass. We have Edgar who we thought was a bass now singing tenor. I am hoping we don’t get stage fright and that we don’t embarrass ourselves. We’ve decided to sing Away in a Manger. Half in English and half in Spanish. We have three weeks. It should be alright. I hope.

So Evangeline is getting around a bit more and tonight discovered the bookshelf. We made her put them back. She’ll still do it again. But the kids have done well at keeping the basement picked up. They said they do it so we can do fun stuff on Saturday. Well, finally they get it.

Oh, so Noah was brought to me in Sunday school because he had to go to the bathroom. He is so funny. We got into the bathroom and he said, “So after I go I can go back to nursery?” Yes, I told him. We got back to nursery and opened the door and he ran in loudly declaring, “I’m back!” and dashed to the toys he had left. It was so cute! I am glad I got to hear that.