Saturday, October 18, 2014

Boo to you!

A most favorite Halloween tradition in Springville was "boo'ing."  I was most pleasantly surprised when last year, our first Halloween in Washington, we got boo'd.  Twice actually, someone tagged us a second time before I got the sign up from the first one.  Basically, you ding dong ditch a treat with a little ghost sign to hang on their door so everyone knows you've been hit, and a note to pass it on.  It's quite simple and fun. 

For Family Home Evening this week, we got our boo on.  In years past, I've put a little more effort into the treat plate.  This year we made plates of "as is" Halloween candy and then spent our time working on the ding dong ditching part.  We had the kids dress in all black, which they thought was quite fun.  As we all loaded up in the dark car though, super bright colorful lights started to flash.  From the back seat, Amos:

"WHO is wearing their light up shoes?????  AUD-REY!!!!!"

It was quite funny.  Truthfully though, we're about as stealth as a herd of elephants, so hopefully our victims have a good sense of humor :)

After the activity we had some awesome cookies Nan and Pop sent us for Halloween.  Some of us still eat with our entire faces.


Bad Hair Day

The night Eric took the three big kids camping I had big plans...I put Ward to bed, turned on Parenthood (LOVE that show) and sat down with some American girl dolls (genuine and faux) to fix some hair.  I actually love projects like this, so it's not nearly as sad as it sounds. 

A while ago I saw a doll hair fix on Pinterest, so I put it to the test.  I didn't even bother measuring the fabric softener.  I filled a squirt bottle 3/4 with water and the rest with the fabric softener.  I sprayed and brushed.  That was it.  It did take the entire episode of Parenthood, however.

I'll let the girls' before and afters speak for themselves.

Deeda*:





Sally*:



Maggie gave Sally a terrible, terrible hair cut, so I did trim off those crazy ends and style it.




Aiya*:





*Names have not been changed.  We actually call them these names.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Swim Lessons for One

Part of the trade off for Audrey not going to preschool this year was that she would get to do some more activities.  Second on the list after dance class were more swim lessons.  She was so very close to getting it this summer, I thought for sure one more push and she'd have it.  We're a few weeks in, and if she could swim everywhere one her back she'd be golden.  For some reason she has no instinct to come up for air, and just swims until she runs out of gas and then just completely panics.  So, the backstroke works well.

I signed her up for a group lesson, but by some miracle I was the only one who did, so it's just Audrey and her teacher.  Getting private lessons for the group price seems fair considering the money pit this is becoming ;) 



The pool is very quiet with just Audrey's "class" and one other class of two little guys going.  Ward and I enjoy the relaxing time.  For some reason it's become hand holding time.


And, occasionally, pinching time.



It occurred to me that this is the very first time I've only had two kids at any kind of lesson.  By the time Amos was old enough for swim lessons, Maggie and Audrey existed.  There were certainly never any "mommy and me" classes.  There were pretty much always two "me(s)" to this "mommy."  Soccer, dance, t-ball, etc. I've always been hauling at least three kids.  I've got to say, only two is quite nice.

Dance Begins Again (with a twist!)

Shortly after school started, the girls began another season of dance class.  Now that they have an understanding of the costumes, recital, flowers, etc. they're totally on board.  They were really excited for classes to begin again.




Like last year, Ward and Amos get to hang out in the hallway with me, and they seem pretty used to the drill.  Amos was excited because dance class "screen time" doesn't count against his regular "screen time."  Which is all a big joke at this point since he can't tell time ;)  Imagine my surprise, though, when my little buddy's iPad was abandoned on the seat next to me and he disappeared...

I checked the bathroom, I checked the parking lot, and then one of the other moms said, "I think he's in there..."




Indeed.

So, this is happening:


He's really excited about it and I just can't argue with him being active.  If I thought last year's recital was awesome...

A Mouse in the House


(The picture is totally unrelated, but every blog should have something to look at.)

A couple weeks ago, Eric took the three big kids on an overnight camping trip leaving me home alone with Wardie (who has a crib he cannot escape which makes him favorite child).  My big night off was going smashingly until I went to get a drink from the refrigerator and a mouse ran out from underneath it.  Don't judge-mice are everywhere.  Faced with a huge dilemma, I decided I could convince myself mice can't climb stairs and I did not pursue it. 

The next day after Eric and the kids got back from their camping trip, Amos and I opened the pantry to get something.  Wouldn't you know, a teeny tiny little mouse came darting out.  I screamed so loud my throat hurt, you know the kind.  Poor Amos screamed even louder and started yelling:

"There's a rat! There's a rat! The house is not safe!!!!"

Drama queen.

I felt bad since my screaming probably did little to help the situation, so I said:

"It's just a tiny little mouse, like one of Cinderella's."

Audrey, who was witnessing all of this said,

"Wait, was it wearing clothes????"

No.

Audrey: [Super angry] "That's not one of Cinderella's!!!!!"

It was hilarious.  And even more so since the mouse has been extracted.  We did talk with the kids, and they got to learn about the mouse traps.  Maybe they'll be more equipped than I was during my first mouse encounter.  It was in Springville, I didn't sleep for a week.  I really truly wanted to move.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Birthday Week

The first week of October is always nuts.  Both Amos and Audrey have birthdays, and it's General Conference for our church (which, I love to make into an event).  This year, I was not at all on my A game, but even simplified we had a very good week.

Audrey's birthday is first on October 1.  Eric had a conflict on her birthday, so we surprised her with a party a day early on Tuesday.  Eric took her upstairs for a break while Amos, Maggie, and I set out her presents and decorated her cupcakes.  The look on her face when we called her back downstairs was priceless.  I wish I'd been holding a camera instead of a cupcake. 








I am always impressed with how well Maggie takes the other kids' birthdays.  It definitely feels like everyone is getting presents but her.

Amos' birthday was on the 3rd, which worked out perfectly on a Friday night.  Cake and presents and called it good ;)





Conference was Saturday and Sunday, and it was nuts.  I think I heard nothing.  We tried though, and I am sure there are blessings in that.




I did finish my conference packet.  Not nearly as adorably as Maggie did though.

The Year of Darkness Begins Again

Ok, ok, I know the title is totally over-dramatic.  It's only kind of how I feel ;)  If you've ever moved and started over completely in a new place, you get it though.  And, I am talking really starting over, no family connections, no friends from college, not your hometown, etc.   

October started in a tailspin.  Our little ward at church has been praying for more families to move in, ward boundary changes (with the other Duvall ward that is, by perception, HUGE), anything to help our numbers.  Well, prayers were heard and answered, just not in the way I wanted.  Our church leadership re-aligned boundaries in our city, and a neighboring city in an effort to even things out.  The Big Rock ward is now everything we prayed for, just without us:


I did not take it well.  I've certainly passed judgement on those I think are being babies about ward changes in the past, and then I found myself right there with them-the biggest baby of all.  (Side note: almost every judgement I've ever passed in life has come back to haunt me. You'd think I'd learn to quit it).  To make matters worse, Eric and I went through the mourning process at different speeds, and I felt really, really alone in things (although it was somewhat satisfying when he finally caught up, though I was sad he was sad).

So far, we've been to church one week in our new ward. We stayed in the same building, but we changed times from 1 p.m. to 9 a.m.  We (mostly Audrey) weren't quite ready for the early wake up call:


I'm not one to pitch a fit and go inactive or anything, but there have certainly been many tears shed.  We threw ourselves head first into our relationships in the Big Rock ward, and while they're not gone, they will inevitably change.  And the thought of doing it all over again is scary.  I mean, I just did that, didn't I?  In terms of the last year, as I look back, I really question how I got through it.  It certainly wasn't with any flying colors.  Maybe this time?