Friday, May 28, 2010

Repenting

Without naming names, a certain someone came home from school yesterday, had a snack, showed me schoolwork, etc. Then mentioned that over the PA system at school they announced someone had thrown wet paper towels to the bathroom ceiling. I said, "Oh, really?" You know, just thinking it was some random comment. Then this someone said in a quieter voice, "It was me." "What? You did that? Why would you do that? How many did you throw up there? Did you tell someone? That made extra work for the janitor. Tell me what happened." Well, I thought it would take a lot of prodding, but this child decided the right thing to do would be to admit this to the proper authorities. So, not wanting to waste any time and allow for second thoughts, we all threw on our shoes and head right over to the school. This child runs straight to the office and asks for the principal. Since she was unavailable, the confession went to the secretary, who was impressed that this child admitted the truth to me and wanted to confess. Then we talked about what could be done to help rectify the situation. It was agreed that this person would be called to the office next morning to do some extra work to help the janitor.

When we got out to the car, I asked how he/she was feeling. "I have a kind of sick feeling" was the reply. We talked about how scary it is to admit when you've done something wrong, but how relieved you feel when you admit your wrong and do what you can to make it better. And this child said relief was definitely there.

I was so glad I was home and the timing was right for this to come out in the open. It's so easy for me to become overwhelmed by all the talking and scheduling that happens right when the kids come home from school, but I'm thankful the opportunity was there for me to hear that and to be able to nip it in the bud!

Wheeler Historic Farm

Ella had a field trip to the Wheeler Farm with her little preschool. I took the boys out of school early. The boys get some scout requirement passed off for going.
We saw all the farm animals you can think of, we got a wagon ride, and a tour. The farm is pretty extensive and the kids enjoyed being able to feed the ducks and just run around (Micah especially, to the dismay of the tour guide--c'mon, give us a break and let him run around a little. I get tired of always saying, "Lower your voice. Settle down." We were outside, after all).
The kids found this old outhouse and had to try it out. They thought it was pretty fun to sit in. Ella wanted to pretend they were in Little House on the Prairie.
"Look! I'm touching a horse!"
Ella's hair's getting long, isn't it?

"Take a picture of me on the tractor, Mom!"
Ella with her class and teachers (Miss Debbie and Miss Natalie).
Mira feeding...or trying to feed...a rooster


"Can I eat the duck food? Can horses eat it?"



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Mundane

I don't have anything in particular to blog about, but I don't want to disappoint you if you come here, looking for a new post and there's not one. So...

This morning I got the boys off to school. Or so I thought. Five minutes after walking out the door, the boys come back because 0ne of Micah's new shoes were hurting his foot. So, on go his cowboys boots (which he has worn a good portion of this school year). Now I've got to try to convince someone at Sears to let me return a pair of week-old shoes (only worn a few times) without a receipt or even the box. Those boys and their shoes! They tear them up. And we let them go until they are sooo bad they have a hole in the bottom by the big toe, or the front of the shoe is doing a flap with each step and they complain of their feet getting wet. It doesn't normally take too long for them to get to that point.

So, after driving the boys to school, I come home and put the girls in a bubble bath. We all get ready and sit down to read some books. Only into the first one I can already feel my eyes doing the tired cross eyed thing. And I've got a pile of books on my lap they're expecting me to read. But they're used to me saying my eyes need a break at a certain point and we'll have to pick it back up later. We got through 5 books before I started falling asleep and had to have a break.

I've got a repairman coming for the dishwasher today. It decided to stop working last week. I've lived without it for several days and I cannot wait to have it functioning again. Washing dishes, after having prepared dinner for 6 people is a task! Not that I have a right to complain. I always think of the show 'The 1900 House' I saw years ago. It gives me such appreciation for the conveniences of today! If you haven't seen it, you can view it here part by part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdhqGUWGzjc It's fascinating! They take a modern-day family and place them in a Victorian home without all modern conveniences. It ends up being like reality television.

Chad and I have watched a few episodes of 'Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution'. Nothing too surprising there, but a reminder that no one but we are responsible for our health and food choices, especially when it comes to our young children. Jamie went into some schools in West Virginia and saw what they served for lunches and wanted to help them make some changes. We've talked to the kids a lot about what options are in the lunch line. And, to be honest, there aren't really spectacular choices either way. Both lunch options always consist of processed foods. Sure, it might sound like a nice, homemade meal, but don't let that fool you. You know they're opening cans and packages of this and that back in the kitchen. It's all about the money and getting the food cheap. Here is a sample of the options in a typical week:

Mon: mini corn dogs OR chicken enchiladas
Tue: cheese nachos OR chicken sandwich
Wed: ham sandwich OR spaghetti
Thur: pizza OR grilled cheese sandwich
Fri: navajo taco OR hamburger

The side dish choices can be decent: salad, fruit (although some of it may be canned), veggies. But then there's a dessert offered many days, too. And chocolate milk. Our school district has deemed it more important that the kids get calcium than worry about the amount of calories in chocolate milk.

We talked to the boys about the milk. They've committed to choosing white milk over chocolate. And they will eat all their fruits and veggies before deciding if they have room for dessert.

But I'm not completely satisfied. I am thinking about just cold-lunching it next year. But I don't want to send them to school with a sandwich every day. I will have to look into thermoses and whether they really keep food warm enough to be safe to eat the leftovers I would send.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dance Prep

I probably shouldn't show you ahead of time the girls in their costumes, but I just can't resist. We went this morning for costume check and pictures. The girls had to get up extra early in order to get the hair and makeup 'just so'. The studio they attend are super strict and everything must be perfect or you can't perform. C'mon, they're 3 and 5! But after all is said and done, I must admit they all looked sooo darling!
Mira doing her bunny hop pose. (A modified version of the Bunny Hop is on my playlist.)
Are they cute or what?!
Ella with her 'fox fingers'. (She's dancing to 'Once upon a December' which is on my blog's playlist, if you were wondering.)
Mira (bottom left) and her friends in the dance (left to right): Emerson, Breanna, Aniston (bottom right), Ava.
Ella (middle left) and all her fellow dancers. They looked so beautiful and sweet!

Yardwork

Chad and I have spent a considerable amount of time in our yard the last few weeks with the fabulous weather. One of our focuses with our yard is our vegetable garden. This year, being our first here, is the trial year. We're only doing a few veggies: onions, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, peas, and beans. We've been reading the "All New Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew and are pumped for next year. We're going to really do it right next time around. A couple of things I'm dying to plant: raspberries and grapes! Mmmmm.
So above you can see our garden. It really is a great amount of space. We can do a lot in there. And I love the raised beds--it helps keep down on the weeds.
Now this is something I noticed in our grass as the snow started to melt. I did not like the look of those trails in the grass. It's been a mystery as to what it could be. Up until I went to a Relief Society meeting last week and heard about the voles in our area. Since our backyard backs up to field, we get the special pleasure of getting these vermin. And there is construction nearby, which really sends them running for safety in our yards. They dig tunnels and can wreak havoc on gardens.

Which brings me to this nifty little bait container. At least I'm hoping it's successful. It's really just to protect the kids and cat from ingesting the poison it contains. The cute, furry little voles can crawl right on in and partake of the bait and then go off and DIE!! Bwaaa-haaaa-haaaa!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lipstick Girls

The girlies are always asking to put on lipstick. It's one easy way to get them to brush their teeth straighaway in the mornings. I just tell them, "Sure, you can put some on as soon as your teeth are brushed." And, zoom! They're off.
Mira came in to me this morning with her bangs all slicked to the side (her favorite way to have them these days) and shirt all wet from the process. From the front, she thinks she looks just great. I get a kick out of the back of her hair, though. She has no idea what rat's nest is lurking!

Complaining

I would like to do this every hour of every day now. Tired, worn out, feeling ready to be done.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Soccer Day

Today the boys had their soccer games in South Ogden. Micah had a rough first half, but warmed up and went after the ball. When it was his turn to sit out at the beginning of the second half he told me, "Alright Mom, I'm interested in the game now." When it was his turn to get back in, he really started to hustle.
Chad's going to kill me for this one. I may have to erase it soon, so enjoy it while it's up. While at Colin's game, everyone was munching on some caramel popcorn. I look over at Chad, who had no idea he had this small kernal of popcorn stuck to his face. I started laughing and he was saying, "What? What is it?" But he couldn't figure it out before I got this picture mid-laugh. Hilarious!
Micah has lost his top two front teeth. I wish I had a better shot of them. He looks so cute. And they only look like this for a short time in their lives. During Colin's game, Micah and the girls were running around together playing. They look so cute walking side by side.
Here's Colin warming up with Chad. He scored 2 (almost 3) goals! Yay, Colin! Grandpa Miller promised Colin and Micah, before the game started, a dollar for each goal they made. Mira thought she was pretty cool with these sunglasses which were too large for her face. She also entertained herself by getting gum and mints from Grandma Miller, climbing on me and my chair, eating popcorn, etc. Busy thing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nesting

Our house looks so much prettier when the trees are green. I love the pink blossom tree we have in the front and all the tulips in the flower bed.
We got this when we were in Bernkastel with Doug and Rachel. I knew I wanted to get a little 'something' for the baby's room and this was just too cute. I loved having a ceiling fan in our last house because babies sure track those for ages. This will have to do for now.
The room is in limbo right now, not knowing if we're having a boy or a girl. The walls are mostly purple. But it's not an overwhelming shade, so even if we have a boy, I'm in no hurry to repaint. However, the few girlie items we have up will have to go.
For Mother's Day I requested a rocking chair. When I tried out this one reclined, I was sold. I could totally fall asleep in it!
Here is the other side of the room with the crib and dresser.
That's some of what Chad and I did today. We did a little rearranging and put together the crib in what will be the baby's room. Mira keeps telling me it's a boy. (I hope she's not disappointed if it turns out otherwise.)

I've been oh-so-tired lately. I've been making myself slow down some and take rests without feeling guilty. It's nice! Sometimes it's difficult for me to summon the energy to do some basic things. The worst of all being to bend over and pick up something. Thankfully, the kids are all a little more capable of helping out than in years past. The boys do their share to help around the house (when asked), and the girls can pitch in. In fact, Mira was a great little helper for Chad and me today while we were changing things around. She just loves to be involved in whatever we're doing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Are You Comfortable?

The girls did not go to bed in this position, but I walked into their room this morning to this:
Apparently, they were very comfortable. Who knows how long they were like that? Ella said she slept great. She wonders how she got into this position now that she's looking at the picture.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom

We were invited to Mom and Dad's for dinner today in celebration of Mother's Day.
It just doesn't seem right that we bring one simple dish and are treated to a typical Miller spread. They worked so hard to make everything so wonderful and delicious, as usual. But I can't help feel guilty that on Mother's Day she (along with Dad) worked hard in the kitchen to prepare it all. Here are Mom and Dad with the appetizers: fresh fruit, gourmet crackers and imported cheeses and meats. I think the kids filled up on this before they even got to the real meal.
Mom wanted to get a couple of shots of me. And, since I'm not 16 anymore, I'm promise I'm not going to roll my eyes and be a pain about getting my picture taken. Shoot away, Mom.
And the dreaded full-body shot. Hey, if in 6...or 9...or 12 months I look back and say, look at that swollen body. Can you believe how big I was? And how bloated my face was? Thank goodness it's temporary and I don't look like that anymore! (I'm hoping I can say that!!)
Chad wanted to break out the new croquet set Colin got for his birthday. They had fun, although I could tell Chad was really trying extra hard to keep patient when teaching the rules and how-to's about the game. That and dealing with sore-loser kids. :)
Ella was a hoot to watch, trying to hit the ball. Chad's trying to guide her a little.
Rule #1: Don't stand too close when they're shooting!
Dad says he played this with his family and I think he enjoys the game.
Fun!
Dad surprised us with this cool game he built. He got the idea off the Internet. It's called Ladder Golf, or something like that. PVC pipe, tennis balls, and rope and you've got yourself a great game for all ages!
Mom and Dad Barnett and Amber also came up for dinner. I should've snapped some shots once everyone was there, but totally forgot! (Sorry, guys!) It was nice to chat with everyone. Driving home, I mentioned to Chad how it's great to be near the grandparents...but we so miss you brothers and sisters and cousins who aren't around to celebrate with. You are thought of and really missed, especially on a day like this. We love each of you! Don't you all want to move back? :)

Colin Turns Nine

Colin and I shared Mother's Day and his birthday this year. He was a much-anticipated arrival as a newborn. When he came I just wanted to get out and show him to the world. In fact, the day we came home from the hospital, my mom took us out to eat at a restaurant. (I guess I wasn't too concerned about germs.) He was born on a Wednesday. By the time church came around on Sunday, I had plans to keep him home. But I was pretty stir-crazy and ended up taking him to church anyway.
Saturday we had his friend birthday party and had a houseful of about 15 kids. Busy, loud kids. Chad had a few games organized for them, but I have the impression they would've been just as happy to do whatever they wanted. It was kind of humorous watching Chad try to round them up and give instructions.
Sunday we sent Colin on a little scavenger hunt for his gifts. One of the things he requested was a jumprope. Wish granted! He got a jumprope for one person, and one for three. We all went out to the backyard to watch him, and try the long jumprope together. I gave one attempt at jumping, being 34 weeks pregnant, in my church clothes and barefoot. One jump was all it took. I was done!
For his party, Colin wanted a basketball themed party. We invited all the kids to come dressed as basketball players. Lots of families around here loving the Jazz!
Mira doing a little housekeeping for me while the big kids were playing ball. She was glued to my side during the entire party. She was in a kind of funny mood. If anyone looked at her wrong or said anything she didn't like, she just broke down in tears. The seats were all taken when it was time for cake and ice cream and she was inconsolable. She needed a lot of reassurance and love from Mom.
All the boys loved being outside! Boy, are we glad to have our basketball hoop. Chad's right in his element with that thing. And Colin and Micah love to spend time with him shooting hoops.
I just love these cuties! How adorable are they, each dressed up in basketball gear? Even the girls are donning the shirts, thanks to Micah, who helped them rummage through his closet to find something.
Look at that smile!
Ella trying her hand at dribbling.
Mira's very proud of the fact that she can roll her tongue like Mom. (Ella's not happy about being unable to.)
What's Colin like at this stage in life?
*He loves learning. He's a voracious reader--science books, informational text, how-to books, Harry Potter, etc.
*Although practicing piano is not something he enjoys, he loves being able to perform. And he does so at every chance he gets. If family or friends are over, he loves to play them a song. After church or scouts he'll hop right on the piano and show his stuff. He got to play a song at Theron's baptism; he was happy to do it and he did a really great job.
*He comes home from school loaded with things to tell you about something new he learned, whether it's a game, math problem, or science thing. And he goes into great detail. I need to be better about setting aside time to really focus on what he's telling me. It can be tricky when all the kids are talking to me at once (which is usually when he's trying to explain something to me). But I hope he knows I care about what he's interested in.
*He loves sports. Basketball and soccer probably being his top favs.
*He's very tall. We're always getting comments on his height. Someone mistook him for being about 12 years old the other day! Chad's 6'1'' (I think he claims 6'2" when he's wearing shoes), but we're sure Colin will easily pass that up.
*He's really starting to pick up things from friends at school. Jokingly, I'll say I'm considering home-schooling him because I don't always care for the phrases he picked up 'somewhere' (other than home!).
*He can be very responsible. When given a chore, he generally knows how to do it right and I can depend on him getting it done, which is immensely helpful.
*I can't think of a fast and testimony meeting over the last several months when he has not stood to share his testimony. I am amazed at his confidence and strength.
*He's always getting compliments from teachers at school and church regarding what a wonderful student he is, how smart he is, and how happy they are to have him in class.
We love you, Colin!!