Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School Continued

This morning was Courtney and Maddy's first day of school. Courtney is going back very tired. The reason for her tiredness is, strangely, homework. Apparently, summer homework is best done seconds before school starts. Oh, well. I'm sure I would never put off something I was dreading until the very last millisecond;)

I had to post the conversation I overheard between Maddy and her Dad this morning.

Dad: Good Morning Maddy! How are you.

Maddy: Tired. I couldn't get to sleep last night so I got mad at myself.

Dad: Why couldn't you sleep?

Maddy: Because I was too excited for today. I was so mad at myself for not going to sleep that it made me grumpy at myself.

Hopefully, she will be able to cheer herself up today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to school

Mckenna with her new teacher Mrs. Simpkin

Mckenna started third grade today. I have been told by many people the school she is going to is wonderful, I'm sure it is. As I walked Kenna to her new class, I felt like I was in a foreign land. My three older kids have all gone to the same elementary school, it was very familiar and comfortable. Mckenna keeps telling me that she is fine with going to a new school where she knows NOBODY her age, but the last few nights have told us differently. She has not been able to go to sleep. She tearfully asks her dad to lay with her, then she finally, fitfully, falls to sleep.

Last night, I put her to bed without our annual father's blessings, Tom hadn't gotten home from his church duties. I figured the blessing would count, even if it was a day late. When he got home, he checked on her and found her sobbing in her bed. He scooped her up and brought her downstairs. She looked so little when he sat her in a chair with her puffy eyes and tear streaked cheeks. He gave her a beautiful blessing, promising her that she would be calm and at peace. Shortly after the blessing, she climbed on my lap and I rocked her and sang her favorite lullaby to her. Tom carried her to bed where she slept well and woke excited for her new school. I am still anxious, I hope she finds some good friends. But for her, I feel so blessed to have her dad hold the precious power to calm her troubled spirit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Adventures in Camping

We haven't had the opportunity to go camping this summer with all that we've had going on. We decided to hook up our tent trailer, and find a place to camp around Moscow. We would get some camping in for the two youngest (Courtney had to stay home for band camp), and get Cam set up in his dorm. We assumed it would be easy to find a campground in or around Moscow. It wasn't. Just when we were getting panicky that we would have to sleep in the Walmart parking lot, some great friends came to the rescue. We called the Banks and they knew of a campground that was close by. We called and they had one slot available. Bishop Banks was concerned that we wouldn't find it in the dark. His family piled in their car, and guided us to our destination. We were most grateful!
Tom having a temper tantrum after Maddy beat him, again.

Nightly beatings!

Maybe if I pretend to be asleep, Mom will stop taking pictures!

Daddy's tummy makes the best squishy pillow.


Thanks to Amy for her tutorial on how to feather pictures! I love how this turned out!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Hurts!

I know I should be grateful. Grateful that after eighteen-and-a-half years under our roof, Cam wants to try out independence. Grateful that I have had all these years to know him, to laugh at, (with), and love him. Grateful that he has blazed a clean, noble trail for his little sisters to follow. I should be glad he is taking a big step into adulthood. I SHOULD!

We dropped Cam off at the University of Idaho in Moscow on Thursday. He has the room to himself right now. I can't help but ask all the same questions every time I talk to him.

"How did you sleep?"

"Did you eat?"

"Have you made any new friends?"

I knew this would be hard. I didn't realize how empty it would feel without him here. Sitting down to dinner tonight, looking at the empty chair brought me to tears. Giving Kenna a bath, and seeing the men's body wash still in the tub brought me to tears. Good meaning friends asking me how I'm doing is enough to start the waterworks. I know it will get easier. I know he is where he needs to be. I know eventually I will be o.k. with this. Right now, I just miss him.

Typical big brother. Teasing and tickling before we left.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Old and Young

Thanks to a certain fifteen year old girl, Tom woke up to these placed all over the house on Saturday:

The Old Man.

C'mon blow! I don't want to call the fire department!

I had a weepy mommy moment yesterday when Cam was ordained an Elder in preparation for leaving for college soon. I hope the worry lessens some. I still see him as a little boy sometimes. I hope, as he leaves our nest, that he is able to fly. Have we done enough to prepare him?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Special Day

Forty-three years ago today, a young woman gave birth to her fifth boy. He would be the sixth, and last child to join this family. She looked at the doctor and said,

"Couldn't you do better than that?" She was a bit hopeful she would have another daughter.

"I can give him to somebody else. I'm sure there are lots of people that would love to have a baby boy." He said.

It took her no time to reject that offer.

She did love him. Her two youngest boys were several years younger than the next oldest brother. She called them "pleasure" and "pure pleasure". She said she enjoyed them so much she didn't want them to grow up. She didn't care if they went off to school with a bottle in their back pocket.

I am so glad she accepted and loved that sweet boy. He grew up to be somebody that I could not imagine living without. And I am really glad he is not a girl!

Happy Birthday Tom!

He does so much for so many people, it is hard to make him stop and think of himself. When Courtney told him he was not allowed to mow the lawn or work today, we all knew that would fall on deaf ears. He likes to serve. Especially, the ones he loves. Hopefully, we can make this day a little special to honor a great father, husband and friend.

Friday, August 8, 2008

pictures from our trip

Our trip

It was nice to get away for a few days. Our batteries were getting pretty low. We enjoyed ourselves and only wished it was a little bit longer.

We traveled with Tom's sister and her husband to Idaho. We decided to make a stop in Twin Falls to tour the new temple. It was truly a BEAUTIFUL building. I had a hard time suppressing a little envy over the layout and size of this gorgeous temple. We felt like true investigators, because we literally pulled off the freeway into the parking lot. Tom's sisters plates were Washington and for some reason our rental vans plates were from Nevada. We didn't change our clothes, and I was a bit uncomfortable in my street clothes, but I'm so glad we got the opportunity to show the inside of a temple to our kids.

Outside of Burley, is Tom's family cabin. We stayed there and I loved falling asleep to the sound of my four kids giggling upstairs in the loft. (The picture of the bear in the slide show was the reason for some of the laughter.)

After Tom and Howard worked on the lawn outside the cabin, and I took the girls for a photo shoot at Elba park, we headed to Salt Lake for our nephews wedding dinner. My Mom took the kids to dinner and then to a park. They enjoyed their time with her. Courtney was impressed by how Grandma knew everything about Salt Lake. (Probably because her parents seemed to make wrong turns constantly.) The wedding dinner was nice. It was in the Old Spaghetti Factory in Trolley Square.

The wedding was held in the Salt Lake Temple. The brides ninety-seven year old great-grandpa was the sealer. He was a cute little man who liked the fact that she was marrying into a family of people his size.

The kids stayed at temple square and toured (stalked). Courtney spotted a cute boy and followed him around the various visitor centers. After the family photo at the temple, she spotted him posing for his family photo at the temple. He really was pretty cute.

The afternoon was spent with me taking Cam and Court to The Gateway Mall, and Tom with Kenna and Maddy at the hotel pool. I was surprised how much a piece of denim could be sold for! We went into a store that said jeans were 50% off. Of course the original price was $180.00! Uh, no.

The reception was at an old church by the University. It had a beautiful pond and lots of big trees. It was a nice night. We visited with Tom's other brother Ray and his wife, Jillyn a very talented photographer. I want to stay with her and be her apprentice!

After meeting my parents for brunch, we left Salt Lake and headed back to the cabin. We got to the cabin in time for dinner and made Carne Asada for those that were there. Later that night we drove down to the hot springs to soak and play. It felt so good!

In all the years we have gone to the cabin, we have never gone to church in Elba. We would usually go down to Burley to Tom's moms ward. This time we decided to stay. It was a nice little church and a nice little ward. We felt like all eyes were on us when we walked in. I don't think they get too many visitors.

Later we went down and had dinner with Tom's brother Ned and his wife Mary, the parents of the groom. It was good to reconnect with his family. They are good people.

After cleaning up the cabin, we took off for Boise to spend some time with my sister and her four kids. My kids were really looking forward to seeing them. They have grown so much!
When I was young, my sister and I did not get along. There was just the two of us, and we clashed! It is so nice to see that she grew up into a lovely person who is extremely talented. (I, of course, was already perfect, and didn't need to grow up;)

Sadly, we packed up and started for home. The whole trip, what amazed me the most, was how well our kids got along with each other. I don't remember any bickering. I do remember lots of laughter. I hope that is what they remember as well.

I am so grateful we know so many wonderful people we get to call family!