Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here We Are

A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to the Gateway to meet up with my friend, Erin and her children. We enjoyed the Olympic fountain and music/water show that goes on every 1/2 hour. I should've brought their swim clothes. They might've had fun with that. The most fun was had in Dick's Sporting Goods store. Up and down the escalator. About 20 times.
After meeting up with our friends, we headed to the Clark Planetarium. There is so much to do there. Chad and I had a date night there a while back and were actually able to read the information. It's a totally different story when you're chasing around 4 kids. But it was a nice morning and we had a good time.
Ella's first day of preschool. We were informed we should always send our little ones in play clothes because of all the messy art they do. So Ella decided (with Micah's suggestion) that she dress all in red. What can you do? She's very determined when it comes to what she's going to wear some days. And there's no convincing her otherwise. She'd wear a 'princess dress' every day if I let her.
Here are the 'men'. Colin's first day of 2nd grade, Micah giving the thumbs up, Chad hoping I don't have him in the shot!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School Begins

This week marked the start of the new school year. Both Colin and Ella started school Monday. However, because of teacher/pupil assesments, Kindergarteners start next week. Micah had really anticipated starting Kindergarten. When his brother and sister got togo to school and he didn't, it didn't go so well. Monday was a rotton day for him. But we met with his teacher yesterday. She'll be wonderful. She even sent Micah home with some reading homework. He was so excited he read them all that very day!

Colin loves 2nd grade. I got to go in yesterday to volunteer. I just that, when he finishes his work early, there will be things for him to do. I am concerned about him being challenged enough. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

Ella has had a great couple of preschool days. She also does a movement class, which she enjoys. No potty accidents so far. She told me that when she goes to preschool she just won't go to the bathroom until she gets home. Try as I might, I couldn't convince her she just may need to go there. I think she's making a good adjustment, though. She told me she even went potty one day. Hooray!

Mira Catherine is a talker. She just babbles. She does say some coherent words, but most of it is just conversationally intonated. It's pretty funny. The kids, Chad, and I try to get her to say more by asking, "Is that right?" "And then what happened?" And then she knows we're fooling and will laugh and stop doing it.

So I've been busier this past week, which is why I haven't posted. It's going to be like this from now on. Start the day at 6:30 am, with maybe this small break in the middle of the day. So the posts may be slower-coming.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doug and Rachel update

I got a surprise phone call from Doug today. I wasn't expecting to talk to him until I got settled with my onesuite calling plan (only 3 cents a minute to Germany!!). But how great it was to talk to him! He told me all about the flight. It wasn't as bad as we were all anticipating it would be. Luckily, on international flights, they now have monitors for each person to watch movies during the flight. What a lifesaver! At least the kids can veg, watching movies for 8 hours.

He, Rach, and the kids are in TLF (temporary housing on base until they find a home), which is pretty comfy, apparently. They still can't drive anywhere. They have international driver's licences, but those aren't allowed on base. Retarded. It's like waiting for all these pieces to come together to make this awesome puzzle. Driver's licence: one piece. Household goods: one piece (they'll be waiting a while yet for those). House: another piece.

Doug said he was driving (well, in the car while someone else was driving!), passing all these signs for castles and other beautiful spots. Forests all over the sides of the road. He wanted to get out and go exploring instead of head to work. That'll come a little later. They're so close to the Belgium border, France, and Luxembourg. Trier is a great city which used to be a Roman fortification. I think they'll discover all the great spots we missed when we lived there. I'm excited to explore them, too.

Theron and Grant start school Monday. That'll be so nice for them. Grant will attend all-day Kindergarten. The DOD schools are phenomenal. This will keep the older two occupied and give Rachel a chance to catch her breath. Rachel's been to Europe before. But this is different. No tour guides here! She and Doug are in charge. Doug was saying how different it feels from when we lived there before. And I said, "Yeah, it's because this time you're the Daddy!"

It feels so good to know they've arrived safe and sound. They're almost adjusted to the time zone. I'm trying to imagine what it'll be like to go over with 4 kids, 12 pieces of luggage, car seats, and zero help with it all at the airport in a foreign country. At least they made it. Yay!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good-bye...for now

We said good-bye to Doug, Rachel and the kids tonight. We won't be with them again for about 3 years (when we go for a visit). It had a chance to sink in tonight. I knew it was coming, but this was it. They are such wonderful parents raising 4 beautiful children. Doug was always such a fun person to be around. He can carry on an interesting conversation with anyone. He's always interested in those around him. From a child he's been very conscientious and has tried to do the right thing. Rachel is absolutely guileless. She is kind and patient. I don't hear her speak ill of anyone. I should be more like her. We are going to miss them terribly. But this is going to be an adventure for them. The community where they're moving will be better for having them.

Here are a few shots we took this evening. Parting pictures.
Mom holding blondie Mira Catherine. These two have a bond!
The Millers--minus Dad (who's in CA for work this week), and Chris (living out of state). Hard to imagine all the kids 5 years older: that's how much older they'll be when they return!
The Newton family. Rachel's side. Her parents, grandmother, 8 sisters, 1 brother (and their spouses and children). They are tremendous. Rachel's dad gave Doug and Rachel each a priesthood blessing of strength and comfort. I am so thankful Doug has such wonderful in-laws.

This was taken a couple of days ago. We all went to the Newton's to swim and play. Our kids think we're related to the Newton's because their cousins are. Makes sense, right? The adults played ultimate frisbee, then everyone came back to eat, swim, lounge and visit. And they broke out the snow cone machine. That's always a hit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fire Station

Ella decked out.

Today a couple of friends and I took our kids to the fire department for a tour. The kids got to check it all out. They had fun. Micah was the self-appointed photographer. He took about a gazillion pictures of the most random things. Here is one worth posting.

Micah hamming it up. He thouroughly enjoyed the tour!
Colin (caught mid-blink) donning the outfit.
"10-4, Roger Roger, Over."

I can't believe it's actually starting to cool down a little. The mornings aren't scorching anymore. Evenings are cooler. School is just around the corner. Soccer starts in a couple of weeks. We've got to get into a stricter schedule! We're going to have homework, piano, tennis, soccer, etc. We need to get on the ball. I think we'll all be in shock when it starts. It's been pretty lax around here.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cousins & Opening Ceremony

My mom's been trying to take advantage of the few free days left she has free before school starts. She's dropped by for visits, taken the kids out individually to 'run errands' (which always includes getting a soda or ice cream cone!).
My brother, Doug, and his wife, Rachel and their kids came over yesterday. Then all the men and boys (including Chad, my boys, and my dad) met over at the Lindquist stadium to watch an Ogden Raptors game. We girls stayed home and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Were they amazing, or what? Wow, fireworks galore, dancing, 2008 people doing sycronized movements, etc. It was incredible. One of my favorite parts is when the 200-some-odd countries parade through the arena. It's so interesting to hear snippets of their stories, see the people, and a few of those teeny-tiny countries you never hear of otherwise.

Here's a funny close-up of Grant.
Micah, Chad, Colin, and Dad hanging out at the game.
Trying to get a good picture of Rachel and baby Paige. Apparently, Paige could've cared less.
Theron (Doug and Rachel's 6 year-old) balancing on play equipment. All the cousins couldn't get enough out of the playground. They were not ready to leave when the time came.

All the cousins (minus Paige) jumping on the tramp! Get a load of me trying to get through to my child while he's having fun. Typical!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

First Feeding

Here we are giving Bowey his first meal. The trick to not being bit is to 1) don't smell like food (wash your hands before handling!), and 2) place snake in different container for feeding. In the first video, I think he was unsure of the tongs. But, as you can see below, once the pinkie mouse was left alone, he went for it! The kids were captivated. It was pretty neat.

P.S. For those of you who want to post a comment, you can now! I disabled the restrictions on who can post comments. So, come on, Aunt Shelley!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Meet Bowey

Here he (or she...we're not sure yet) is, burying himself into the sand. You won't even notice him because he'll almost always be hidden in the sand.

Colin informs us, "This is our new snake. It's name is Bowey. It's orange and black." During lunch, we technically named him Bowey Colin-Micah Barnett.
Micah says, "Please come to my house and look at my snake. I love my snake."

Here's a poor close-up.
Just a cute picture of Mira Catherine looking older. She's wearing clothes that used to be Ella's. We're to the point where, when Ella grows out of something, Mira just about fits in to it. I'm sure that'll only be the case a little while longer. She's just still got all that adorable baby chubbiness.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Random Photos

Ella can't resist this pose whenever a picture's taken of her!
Snuggle-time with Mom.
Check this out--how many kids do you know who love fish? Colin and Micah are lovin' their salmon! Yum-yum.