Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Days before We Leave

Got a call from Doug this morning asking if we'd gotten our international driver licences. Uhhhh...uh-oh. Chad had mentioned this at one point weeks ago and I shrugged it off and told him we didn't need them. Don't know where that authority came from, but I knew I just knew that we didn't. Then Doug goes and mentions it and sends me into a panic. I still don't have a definitive answer. Anyone rented a car in Germany before...?

So in these couple of days before we leave, I'm thinking of all the fun we'll have spending time with Doug and Rach and the kids sightseeing. The boys are most excited about seeing their cousins. I am more than a little apprehensive about leaving the girls for so long. I think we've never left them for more than a couple of days. But it is a comfort knowing they'll be in the capable and loving hands of our parents. We so appreciate their support.

Our kids love looking at old photos and seeing themselves on video when they were younger. Here are Ella and Micah browsing our printed blog. I am excited for all the pictures and video we'll take on our trip and get to share with the girls.


Yesterday we had our Easter egg hunt. We knew we'd better get it in before we leave. Normally, we color eggs and hunt for those as well, but this year's just a little different with everything going on. They had a great ol' time and it was so wonderful to be able to use our backyard snow-free!
Here's Chad begging Reece's peanut butter cups off the kids.
My incredible husband is always busy. He amazes me constantly. In his free time lately he's been: working with the boys on their individual science fair projects, helping Colin with his book report, taking the boys to play tennis, reading to the girls, on and on.
He and Micah spent time Saturday working on Micah's project on density (hence the soda cans and tank of water).

He and Colin enjoying a silly moment while doing the book report project.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Little Change

Saturday night our ward's Executive Secretary called to arrange a meeting for me with a member of the bishopric. So I get off the phone and Chad and I immediately go into what the reason could possibly be. A change in calling...what else? I've only been in activities for less than 3 months. (Darn it! I was really enjoying this calling so far.) Possibilities: primary teacher, chorister, Cub Scout den leader...hmm...as long as it's not as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, I'm fine with it!

Sunday morning I show up and meet with our bishop, a really nice, humble sort of man. He compliments me on the good job I've done so far in activities (which up to this point has been to merely organize dinner groups and begin to brainstorm the next activity--not a lot. But I'm thinking, tongue-in-cheek, "Maybe I displayed too much organizational skill and should've held back some!") He calls me to be a Relief Society teacher. Again, another calling not even on my radar.

But I'm glad to be able to be in Relief Society. I've been away from the Sunday meetings for years until we moved here. And it gives me more 'oomph' to open up my Gospel Principles manual and really study it. I only teach once a month, which gives me lots of time to prepare...or procrastinate. As a well-practiced procrastinator, I promise I'll prepare for this!

Friday, March 19, 2010

All Is Quiet

For a rare moment I am home alone. Everyone got home from school and errand-running, and now they're all at the neighbor's--all at the very same neighbor's house. I can only imagine what her house sounds like right now! Miwa lives up the street and has 5 children fairly close in age to our kids' ages and they really play well together. It's almost like I don't know what to do with myself right now!
It's hard to believe there's less than 2 weeks until we leave for Germany. But I am so looking forward to it. And I'm actually not dreading the flight. Since we'll have just the boys the flight will be pretty low-key (I'm hoping). And we have reserved 2 rows of the 2 seats next to the window so I can share with one of the boys and not infringe on someone else's personal space with my large 6 month pregnant body.

The biggest concern I have is that, once we touch down, we still have to rent the car and drive 2 hours to Doug and Rachel's. I know what I feel like after international flights and it's not pretty. Chad and I will have to keep pinching each other to keep us awake.

I've begun typing up the girls' daily habits, inventory of things I'll send, and other necessary items (permission to obtain medical care) for our parents. Dad offered to take off 2 days of work to watch the girls, which was generous. He already has planned to take them to the movies each day. Smart move, Dad--they'll love it and it'll give you a break! 'The Moms' will take the girls the remainder of the time. Well, 'The Dads' will be there, too, I suppose. :) And Amber happily agreed to catsit for us, for which we are grateful.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kind Words

I just love watching my children come up with their own ways of expressing love and gratitude. Yesterday, one of Micah's primary teachers had to go home early because she wasn't feeling well. Once home from church, he asked to call and check up on her, which he did. Then he wanted to make a note for her. Here is the picture that accompanied the note:
And the note said:
to Sistr Nord
from Micah
I hope youell fell
Bettr soon. I Love you.
today I was playing with your play-Doh
I made a pot and
lamp and a hat and a robe.
your the Best

I just love that boy. He brings such joy to our family.

And as for Colin, he wanted to write a note of love for the whole family. He read it to us as a family last Sunday. Here is what he wrote:

Dear family, I love you guys. I love Mom because she cooks yummy dinners, she's nice, and she takes care of us, and I love dad because he plays with me, he takes me to Jazz games, and gives me blessings when I need them. I love Micah because he's fun to play with and he's nice (P.S dad is nice too.) I love Ella because she's funny, she's nice and fun to play with. I love Mira because she is silly and fun, she's also cute and beautiful. I'm excited for the new baby to be born, I know it's going to be cute. I'm excited and ready to go to Germany. You are all very nice, fun, and silly.

The younger kids really liked hearing what kind things Colin had to say about them. It was a great example for Micah because right after Colin finished, Micah wanted to write one of his own, which he read to the family the next night at the dinner table. I love these people!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ouch!

At Ella's most recent visit to the dentist's office, we were informed she has several cavities in her premolars. What a blow! I've always tried to be sure our children brush regularly. Then again, the flossing has gone by the wayside. I'm a fanatic about flossing my own teeth every night, but with the kids, I'm just happy to get them brushed and in bed, you know?

We scheduled an appointment to bring her back for the fillings. I didn't prepare her, thinking she didn't really know what was going to happen, and maybe it was better that way. But something, somewhere got through to her and told her to be absolutely terrified of this visit. She's always been great at check-ups. This was a different story altogether. She refused to look at or respond to the dental hygienist or the dentist himself. She wouldn't lay back. She had her hands in her mouth and started crying. I tried to reason with her. I promised her a Barbie if she cooperated. No go.

The dentist referred us to a neighboring pediatric dentist. The office is beautiful, they've got children's movies playing in the ceiling, the staff is friendly. But we would have to pay for almost all of it out of pocket. Stinkin' Dental Select Insurance. They do the sedation dentistry, if needed. Which may be needed in this case. I was sick about it. I'm talkin' a lot o' dough, here.

When Chad arrived home, he took Ella aside and talked to her about what needed to be done and being a big girl. She really took in what he had to say and seemed to warm up to the idea. We'll still have to do an oral sedation (they'll have her drink some sort of liquid which makes her a little intoxicated-like in order to work on her). I'm really hoping this works. It'll still cost more than the general dentist, but it's better than an IV or the Surgery Center!

On a side note, I am loving the way Ella is loving her dad these days. For quite some time, she was a momma's girl exclusively. She would hardly let Chad do anything for her sometimes. He has really invested a lot of time (with each child) to build a strong, trusting relationship. And Ella just adores him! It's wonderful. What a good man I married.

P.S. The moral of the story is: floss your kids' teeth!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mira the Helper

Last night it was 'The Biggest Loser', a family favorite. Before we all get to sit down and enjoy it, they had to get into their pjs, brush and floss, and pick up rooms. Well, Ella was a wet noodle and said, "Mira, will you do it for me?" So Mira jumps right in and starts totally picking up all of Ella's toys and books. What a sister!

Again today, while Ella was at preschool, Mira helps me organized Ella's toybox. Then she goes on to her room to pick up and make her bed. Then she wants to vacuum. What an awesome little girl she is.

Here's what else endears her to us:
*she loves, loves, loves the cat (maybe a little too much) and wants to pick him up constantly
*she wants to be involved in whatever Ella and Micah are playing (sometimes feelings get hurt when they shut the door on her because, "She's too little and messes up what we're playing!")
*she loves to be in a dress (the fancier, the better) and sing to herself and dance for her own pleasure
*the little imp will sneak into her room and shut the door (big red flag!!). I may find an empy box of valentine candy hearts...like I did yesterday. funny.
*she can operate the computer and mouse rather well. (we sometimes come back to a computer with some funky settings...)
*she loves to call a grandma or grandpa at work on occassion and give them an earful--none of which I think they understand!
*she can throw a tantrum like nobody's business. Not that I love this, but sometimes it's humorous and I have to turn my head and supress my giggles.
*the way she says 'owie' for really. As in, "That is owie siwy." Translation: That is really silly.

Here's Ella half-naked and saying, "AAH! Mom, don't get my privates on the picture!!"

My wonderul Chad helping Micah with his piano. Micah actually goes down on his own and will practice without any help more and more lately. I do need to spend time working more on note values, rhythm, and note names, but it's great that he's taken a more active role his his practicing.