Monday, July 3, 2017

Teeth, Pneumonia, and Cars

Life is such a wonderful, busy thing.  It seems like we're dodging, bending, pushing, pulling, etc. to get things going our way. I am so grateful for you!
On Tuesday I got two teeth out and one of them, an infected one, did not want to come out and fought with the world's best oral and maxillofacial surgeon (in my opinion).  But, after much chipping, drilling, and determination on my surgeon's part, the tooth was out and prepped as much as possible for an implant (which is desperately needed). For the record, if you're getting an extraction from an oral surgeon it is surgery.  I forgot that and was thinking it would be like getting a filling.  It was nothing like that.  I feel like I had a big surgery in my mouth.  I am on antibiotics and still swelling a bit.  It feels as though half of my mouth is empty of teeth and perhaps I have a new lisp.  It's a good thing we're so closely related to an amazing oral surgeon because the girls in our family particularly have absolutely terrible teeth.  We're on well water and there is no fluoride in the water--so I would like to blame it on that.  On Saturday, when I wrote and edited this my swelling was beginning to go down and I may have a bit of a bruise.  That tooth held on for dear life, I tell you!

I have had ice packs on my face a lot, which gives me the look of Santa. 
Then today we found out K has pneumonia.  Lovely.  I haven't heard any whistling when she breathes, but she has been super sleepy, wakes screaming in the middle of the night, and pretty clingy--where normally she is one of the most energetic four year olds you've ever met.  Hopefully, and gratefully for antibiotics, she should be better in a couple of days.    I love her so dearly and hope that she will better right away.
Meanwhile JJ is crawling and S, T, and R have been working very hard on the yard.  I'm so proud of their hard work!!
We've found a book that we've loved listening to The Hero's Guide to Saving the Kingdom.  It is hilarious and the reader of the book makes it all the more funny.   I wish I could write like this!!  It may be one of our new favorite books!
Two weekends ago, W and the kiddos went to a YM and YW boating activity.  They had a wonderful time and got to water ski.  K and S got super duper sunburned and I thought K's symptoms were mostly due to that.  But, they're on the mend.
I was going to go join them with JJ and was in W's cars when it stalled at a stop light.  Come to find out I blew out his muffler.  Then I put my hand in there to pull it out and it felt like fiberglass.  I had a whole bunch people ask me what happened and I said mock-proudly, "I blew out the muffler. It takes skill. Some people have it and some don't. Apparently, I do!"
People smiled a wee bit to themselves and walked on.  I was able to get home and even though I though the reverse was broken, turns out in this automatic you have to push down to get to reverse.  I won't ever forget that now.  Hopefully.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017


To my kiddos:

Henry David Thoreau said:  What is once well done is done forever.

Clearly, he was not referring to the dishes or the laundry.  It needs to be done and redone thoreau-ly. :D
Love, Mom

P.S.  If you can't find me, check for me under the ton of laundry in the laundry room.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Fort

On my way home from taking S and K to the eye doctor I got a text from you, T. It said, "I have a surprise for you when you get home."

I had S text you back that I was excited to see it.
You had carefully constructed out of almost all the cardboard we had, a fort.
We tend to have an inordinate amount of recyclable cardboard boxes.  I think you kidlets look at them as a craft-orunity (a crafty opportunity).
That night you were still so excited about it that you slept in it, except that it kind of fell apart.  You still loved it.  You even saw shooting stars!
Love you, my T!  You are such a good boy! I am so grateful for you!  You have such a kind voice and are able to make us all laugh. You love to hear K say cute things--and can be quite the tease.  Thank you for the surprise!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Setbacks and Grit

R, you went to your first "job" today.  You were so excited.  But, it was a test day, you had to pick 25 pounds of blueberries per hour to keep your job.  By the end of your six hour day, you'd picked 100 pounds.  You knew right away that you hadn't picked enough.

You were disappointed that you didn't succeed in keeping the job, but I have to tell you how proud I was of you!  You were cheerful and I saw you were working hard.  You were thankful for the opportunity even if you didn't get as much as you wanted to.

You are my right hand boy and I really appreciate your hard work, determination and help.

This last year of school was a challenge. You did online school in the fall of last year so you could stay home and help me before JJ was born.  You kept K safe and did many tasks around the house so I could stay relaxing on bed rest.  You cleaned and got me food.  Which is saying something, especially of today's 13-year-olds.

School kind of went a bit on the back burner and you didn't give it your normal focus.  But you were so helpful and determined to help and protect me, your mom, and our family.

Then after I had JJ I wasn't supposed to lift anything for six weeks. Again you were there to lift, move about and help.

Online school, particularly math, expected you to find a lot of the information you were studying on the internet--where we all know information is not entirely correct or accurate and may or may not match what is in the classes or there would not be many good examples of accomplishing goals.

You got back into offline public school in January and then the entire winter our family took turns getting super sick.  Because you were gone a lot, the teachers were not very optimistic about your grades.  Then the last few weeks of school you started going in early two to three times a week to catch up.  I was so proud of you! You caught up and your grades showed it.

You know my favorite movie Meet the Robinsons where the Robinson family celebrates the failure of Louis.  They do a great musical number of "Keep moving forward."

Then at the very end a great quote from Walt Disney states:
"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long.

We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

So you are going to keep moving forward, setting new goals, failing greatly, and succeeding.  You've got a bright future ahead of you!  I am so proud of you and you are love love loved! You've got grit, son!  You'll be able to do whatever you put your mind to, eventually!  You can do hard things!

Monday, June 26, 2017

My New Best Friend

I have a new best friend.
He's always proud of me.
He loves to listen, sing and dance
When together, there is glee.

He loves to hear me talk.
He stops to hear me sing.
When I'm gone, he'll start to cry.
What sadness that can bring.

But when I come back his joy is full.
He'll leap into my arms.
What took so long is often asked.
I guess he likes my charms.

This boy, this boy,
You'll often hear me say
Drives me wacky, makes me smile
He's stolen my heart all away.

He may be small,
But he is bold.
Mom's his favorite.
Mom is gold!

My poetry is not the finest, but I don't mind. It brought a smile to my lips as I was thinking it out tonight after putting you to bed, JJ.  You are a such a joy to me!  I adore your gleeful smiles and the way you crawl to me, lunge toward me, pinch others until you're in my arms, and the way you help me feel--desperately needed and cherished. I love this stage when whining is not an option because you can't talk just yet.  Though you do a convincing "Mmm" when you're loving what you're eating.  I am going to record  your crawling because I just don't want to forget.  Each stage with you is so precious and I've put aside my recording and photos for a lot of it just to take it all in.  In the photo above you are actually pushing off S to get to me. You take your job as my best friend very seriously. You even bat other people away when they try to get to you.  You howl at church if someone else other than me (and okay, dad too) hold you.  You try to hold every gadget and gizmo--particularly electronics.  You are trying so hard to learn to scroll. I can't get over how fast you're growing.  I love you so dearly, my little miracle boy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Eye Dentist

Dear K:

This morning was a sweet experience with you. It was the first official day of summer vacation.

It began when I swept you out of bed, completely garbed in your Moana costume, of course.  We dashed out to the car and hurried to the eye doctor.

I thought it was funny when they kept saying we were early because I was certain we were a bit late.

I kept telling you as I filled out the paper work. They're going to check your eyes and play a game where you have to figure out what things are.  You'll love it!

They took S back and we followed behind and watched as they did tests games with her and then they did them with you. You felt so grown up doing the same things as S. Let's admit that almost everything S does is done with a smile looks and sounds fun because of her catchy enthusiasm.

Then we went into the dark room for the test.  You watched carefully as S was tested on which letters she could see and there was a huge grin on your face the entire time.

Then, oh joy, it was your turn.  Let the games begin!

"What do you see?" Dr. Adams asked.

"A duck."
"A horse."
"A house."
"A hand."
"A cake."

Big grins beaming from your face.  You got every answer correct.  You wanted to hold the pirate patch with a handle.  You wanted to see the reflecting thing.

"Good." "Yes, that's right." The doctor replied.

"Does the horse of something on him?"
"A guy," you answered.
"Are there candles on the cake?"
"Yes," you affirmed.

She swept through all the questions and then Dr. Adams said, "You're all done. You and your sister have perfect vision."

Hip, hip, hooray!

We drove off to get some breakfast. I looked down at the clock. It gleamed a bright 9:47.  Our appointment was supposed to be at 9:30 and we'd accidentally come at 8:30.  They didn't say a word other than, "You're a bit early" and fit us right in.  So nice!

Then K,  you said with delight and glee, "Let's go again!"

You've talked to me about it several times today and tonight you exclaimed with determination, "We need to go see the eye dentist again."

I am so proud of you, sweet girl!  I love you so much!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Motherhood Realizations, Updates, and Goals

I remember thinking that I would be the best mother that ever lived. I had strong opinions on what I would and would not do.  My children would always be obedient.  They would always look clean and well kept.  If they had a runny nose it would always be wiped.  If they threw a fit I would always have the tenacity and fore-thought to reel it in and put a fast stop to it.

Maybe I didn't communicate those ideals well enough to my kiddos, or more likely I am your run-of-the-mill mother that is just doing her best to keep her kids clothed and alive.

Working to teach them to be kind, recognize their tones of voices, whilst recognizing my own tone and way is proving to be a challenge because no one told me that children are like mini-parents. They sound just like me.

More than anything, I love my dear family.

Lately, JJ has been giving me kisses almost as often as I have been kissing him. Sometimes by the end of the day all my make up has been kissed off since his kisses involve grabbing my whole face with his dear 8-month-old cherubic hands and giving me the biggest smiling mouth, wide, and drooling smack on my cheeks.  He prefers sippy cups to bottles.  He loves eating any kind of food and often says, "Hmmm" contentedly when he likes the food.  He is a huge snuggler and smacks his lips when he is happy.

K loves movies.  She would spend all day watching TV if given the option, which I would like to say only happened when we were all sick.  She love dollies, trains, music, and school time.  One of my goals with her is to practice sitting more in hopes that sitting in church will become an out-of-habit-I'm-sitting experience as well as waiting in lovely places like the doctor's office. Right now, W is her favorite and often when he is gone first thing in the morning she'll cry for him--sometimes for as long as 20 minutes.   When he gets home she does not leave his side. When he sits, she sits on his lap.  I was her favorite until JJ was born so I'm accepting of this--usually.  I love my K snuggles though. She loves to hold JJ's hand all the time they are near one another (awake and asleep).  Which means the moment they are in the car, she holds his hand.

W is also T's favorite.  T loves to play computer more than almost anything else.  W has put him in charge of installing the software of our new printer.  We also go to him when we need computer terms described.  He loves to play games with his friends while they are together or on the phone.  He is so determined and fun!

S steals away, with permission, to the craft room of her piano teacher, which is similar to candy land (which S would also like) but with many different crafts to choose from.  She can spend hours and hours in that room creating. Then she comes home and loves to make things here.  Her personal favorite, which requires prior permission, is silly putty or gak.  She loves to see the different combinations of things that make a putty (which is a lot of things).  She loves the tactile feeling.

R is loving swim team.  He is looking older and older by the minute and is only a measly inch shorter than me (I think he'll pass me by the end of they year).  He loves to perform and is in the musical in Lebanon, Oregon with me this summer.  He loves games, reading, and drawing.  He is my right hand man and I often call on him first to get things done because he normally does it the first time I ask.   He loves to make people laugh.  It is fun to talk with him to and from the rehearsals.  I love opportunities to spend time with the kiddos one on one and this has reminded me that I need to do that more with each child.  But, I'll be honest, it is a work in progress.

We almost bought a house somewhere else in Albany, but it didn't work out. It was a good deal, but our friend who turned us on to the development  saw the workers putting shingles on a house without tar paper--except for the places that inspectors generally look--the outer perimeter, if I understand properly.  Then, after she told the realtor, she saw the roofer go and take two rows of the shingles he'd put on and put down a small area of tar paper and then move on.  One wonders, if they are taking shortcuts out where everyone can see them, what are the shortcuts they are taking inside where few can see what is happening?! So maybe it was a blessing in disguise.  There is also a chance we'll find out if it is just that worker, the contractor or the whole she-bang.  Hopefully it was only that guy. Then we may try with a different house.  It was a great deal and the prospect of getting out of debt sooner is really enticing.

In My Fair Lady I am Mrs. Eynsford-Hill.  This means I hopefully will have more available fun time with the kiddos this summer.  I want to make short videos with the non-principle people that tells how each person ended up in the My Fair Lady story line.  I'm trying to figure out what to do that is non-tea-time, but I guess I'll ask people and find out what they're thinking about their characters.

I have been listening to Tony Robbins and his Unlimited lecture on the library app and I liked that he says you don't have to know everything about something before you do it (for example you don't have to know everything about electricity to flip a switch and turn on a light) and I am one of the people that tends to learn by doing trial and error (even if sometimes it is heavy on the error side--which is when I tend to learn the most).  So, that is why I keep trying to be a filmmaker and what my hope is for this summer.  Parenting is like that too!

It is interesting to have older children and then younger children with a space between (we have a six year space) because I am realizing that it is a fact that younger children are demanding mostly in the physical sense and older children are demanding in the emotional sense.  Both can be exhausting.  But, thankfully, so rewarding and joyful.  Let's be honest though, it is a roller-coaster.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sunday Walks

 Sunday evening walks are my favorite.  I love the coolness of the evening stilling the day of the hub bub and preparing all for the deepness of the night.
 But more than anything I love those whom I share it with.
 I have my parents to thank for the love of walks and drives.  They love to drive and see beautiful things and they happen to know where some very beautiful places are near where they live.  I'm trying to find all the beautiful places near where I live (there are many).
 Getting these kidlets to stop and blow on the gone-to-seed-dandelions makes me feel as though I've done something right. They love nature, just like my parents taught me to love nature.
When I was growing up my parents would take us on "adventures." Some of those adventures included leaving the well-worn path and experiencing something different and new. A couple of times those adventures were pretty exciting, like when I was trying to copy my older brothers doing some sweet jumps off the half-pipe up at Jackson Hole in the spring and me ending up with a slight injury on my leg because of a pointy rock.  Or seeing, for the first time in the wild, a rattle snake.  But I loved all the adventures, even though I imagine I gave my parents some whining every now and again pretending not to.  Ha!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

There is so much to see.  Our Heavenly Father has blessed us so intensely with wonderful things to behold, admire, and learn from.
In the above photo was a nest that R found that had many ducklings (9). The mama duck and the daddy duck didn't seem to worried about us coming near.  But I did not allow any of the kiddos to touch the ducklings.  They were so new and cute as could be.
 I feel so grateful for this man! I love him so much!!
 He is such a good dad to our kidlets.
 Also, I love the Spring weather so much!

Monday, May 8, 2017

"The Butler Did It"

 Every now and again I get the urge to go for  a girl's night out.
 My friend, Stephanie, was one of the leads. She was hilarious!
 I didn't realize that we were trying to do pursed lips.  Next time.
 It was one of my first nights out without J.  It was back in December.  Haha!  Someday I'll be caught up with this blog.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Menu This Week

Menu for this week:

This is from our 15th Anniversary mini-honeymoon. We went to the Oregon Garden Resort. It was beautiful and we got to go the gardens after all the other people left.  It was a romantic evening even with the little one in tow.

Monday: Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Tuesday: Veggie Lasagna Portobello Mushrooms
Thursday: Slow Cooker Italian Beef Hoagies (These are AMAZING). 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

 For a place that doesn't really get snow--we got snowed in!!
 S and T built a fort.
 K braved the cold for awhile and then retreated to the warmth of the house (like me).

 R tried making a fort with larger snow containers i.e. the containers that we store our to-be-hand-me-downs.
 What a great looking crew I've got.
 S was rocking the half-up/half-down look.

 W was so fun out there with the kidlets!  How I love that man!