Sunday, October 07, 2007

And one more video,

this one so my mom in Switzerland can see how cute her granddaughter is:

"Oh How Lovely Was the Morning"



Here's Lillian playing "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning" last Sunday morning just before the Primary Program where she played for the whole congregation. It isn't perfect, but for an 8-year-old? Pretty impressive.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tagged . . .

Katie tagged me for a me me me post, so here goes.

It is a requirement that you post these rules before you give the facts.
-You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name.
-If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
-At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

M -- Mother. I think this description defines me so much. My life would certainly be different if I hadn't chosen to have children, but I certainly have no regrets. My life is the one I have chosen freely for myself, and I'm grateful to be the center of our home and the center of our children's lives (at least for now -- I keep hearing that someday they'll grow up!).

E -- Excited. I get excited about silly things -- like when I get a great deal on something or when I finish a book I love or when the leaves change colors or when the weather is perfect. My latest excitement? I just upgraded to Photoshop CS3 and I'm so excited about some new tricks I'm learning.

L -- Loving. At least I try to be. Today I was listening to LDS General Conference and I was touched by a talk on charity. I really try to love and understand others and serve them. I love to serve others.

L -- Lillian. My admiration for my oldest child grows daily as I see so many ways she is becoming a lovely lady. I love all my children, but there is something special about this child that God chose to send first to our family. She is instinctively loving and helpful and often does what needs to be done without needing to be asked and without expecting any reward. I was so proud of her this last Sunday as she played "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning" on her violin for the Primary Program. She worked for months to prepare and it showed (Speaking of which, I have a video of it; perhaps I'll figure out how to post it here).

O -- Octopus. OK, that's lame, but who wouldn't want an extra pair of arms when you've got your hands full?

R -- Roses. One of my favorite plants and what I can't wait to grow. I've been thinking about these often lately because our landscaping may go in soon (I always have to say "may" when we're dealing with contractors). I can't wait to choose some lovely colors.


Now's the part I hate. I now tag:

Kacy
Chalice
Carol
April

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

For the first time in 5 years . . .

I had a daytime half an hour at the library with just ONE child!!!!!!! I felt like shouting hooray when the twins BOTH went into the storytime room and I turned around with Eliza. There were a lot of other moms around, though, and I'm not sure they would have understood my enthusiasm.

To put it in perspective, here's how many kids I've managed at storytime each week the last few years:

Last year: 4. Michael was old enough for the "big kid" storytime but refused to go. Ever try to bring 4 kids upstairs to the "study area" where all the best non-fiction books are? Needless to say, I didn't get much browsing time for myself:

2 years ago: 3. Michael old enough for storytime, wouldn't go.

3 years ago: 3. Joey would go to the big kid storytime, Michael, Sarah & Allison weren't old enough.

It was so refreshing. I honestly felt free carrying Eliza around. I brought home a dozen books JUST FOR ME -- in fact, I brought home more books for me than I did the kids. I could get used to this!

Friday, September 14, 2007

What I'm up to:

*My neck in laundry. I do it just once a week all at once, at least 10 loads. I know that's not how you're "supposed" to do it, but that's the only way I can ever feel finished with it. I've tried it other ways, two days a week or one load a day, but it just doesn't work for me.

*Potty-training two strong-willed girls. See last post.

*Yearbook Chair for our K-8 School. I earned this post by signing up for the committee and saying I'd chair it if no one else wanted to. This entitles me to attend those coveted PTA meetings each month. I was so excited when I got 10 people to sign up for the committee. Monday was our first meeting. Attendance: 2. Excitement gone.

*Dealing with a Frustrating School Schedule. The charter school we go to is building a new school (just a block from our house -- hooray!), but because of contruction delays we have to go to the old school (3 miles away -- grrr!). Because there is not room for everyone at the old school, we've been relegated to a MWF schedule for K-3 grades, and a TThS schedule for the 4-8 grades. It was supposed to last just 2 weeks, but this week we were told there were more delays and our official moving date is next Saturday. I'm thinking odds are 10 to 1 that next week we are informed of more delays. Take it from someone who lives a block away from the new school. It won't be done.

*In the meantime, I have all the kids home on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I can't seem to get into the flow of things.

*I started a playgroup on Tuesdays for the twins.

*I met with two other moms yesterday and we planned fun field trips to take with our preschoolers. Twice a month Thursday afternoons, we'll be headed out to see the world, or at least visit a few parks, pet some animals, and have some fun. In just 90 minutes, we planned 16 events -- through next May. Aren't we efficient?

*I got my visiting teaching organized. 2nd Sunday, at 10:30, 11, and 11:30. I even made up fliers for all the people we visit and the gal who goes with me. Only trouble is, the gal who goes with me just informed me that Sundays don't work for her. Darn.

*I got the twins into preschool starting October, then got kicked out of that preschool. Who knew that you could get kicked OUT before you even started? And no, the teacher hadn't heard about my twinadoes, it was a simple matter of their birthdays. This preschool is run by our local high school child development children and wants the students to be 3.5 by October. The twins aren't that age until December. She told me she'd let me in if there was space, and then I got in. On Wednesday, I got an email saying they were no longer in, but that they could do the February session.

*I've been organizing every room in sight. Or at least trying to. DH promised in May that if he hadn't built me bookcases by the end of the summer, I could buy all I wanted. Well, I wanted more, but I settled on 4 very cheap bookcases a few weeks ago. I brought them home, assembled them, and proceeded to open all our boxes of books. Perhaps it's silly, but it was was like greeting old friends to pull out and line my shelves with volume after volume. I'd forgotten about some great books I owned and I saw some I'd always meant to read but hadn't gotten around to yet. I even found about 10 books on twins I'd bought from our local twins club. I haven't seen them since the twins were still babies. That was back when I knew what I was doing. I'm humbler now and hoping I can figure out this mom-of-twins thing.

*I'm enjoying the twins much more at age 3 than at age 2. They are a bit more reasonable and there aren't quite as many fights, though Sarah has claimed ownership of certain tasks in our home. She throws a fit any time she is not allowed to say the prayer at meals. The ironic thing is her whispered prayers aren't even audible to most of us. She also insists on opening the door any time the doorbell rings. Allison wants this job as well, with the result that anyone who visits my house arrives to mayhem, as Sarah and Allison fight over the doorknob and then one of them collapses onto the floor screaming. There goes any chance of any visitors thinking I have it all together. From their perspective, I'm sure it's quite comical.

*Gymnastics for Joey & Lillian on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought I was being such a nice mom signing them up for 8 weeks of lessons, but Joey has complained about how hard it is from day 1, and last night, I literally had to push Lillian out the door to get her to go. They both loved it last time, I promise!

*Dealing with rocks, rocks, rocks. Joey has been collecting them since our trip to Armenia in April. Grandpa Bartholomew has taken Joey fossil hunting since, with two effects. The first is that Joey adores Grandpa and thinks he knows everything there is to know about rocks. The second is that my disorganized little boy suddenly has a neat collection of rocks and I find rocks throughout the house in all sorts of odd places. To his credit, that's also due to the fact that the twins have decided rocks are cool. Allison likes to carry one or two with her everywhere. I finally found a carrying case and helped Joey organize his favorites.

*Enjoying having Bartholomew Grandparents around. Lillian & Joey have spent the night at their house a time or two. This week, Joey went to Grandpa's house on Tuesday, then drove 12 hours with him to California to pick up Grandma. They came back Thursday morning. I arrived home from the library to find them in the living room. Joey was surrounded by, you guessed it, a bunch more cool rocks.

"At least I'm not potty-training a dog, too!"

That's what I thought this morning when I was visiting with a dear friend. She has five children, ages 11 months to 10 years, and recently aquired an adorable little dog named Toto. A few days ago she arrived late to a playdate earlier this week because of vague and unexplained "dog problems." And last night she attended a dog training session with her 10 year old, where she learned all sorts of tips and even picked up a free sample of a wonderful spray that you use when the dog does not use the great outdoors for its bathroom.

Then again, maybe I would have picked up some good tips? I'm working on potty-training the twins, with mostly success this time. I say "this time" because this is about the fourth time I have tried in earnest to train them, and it is a miracle it is finally getting through.

But back to my main point. I've decided that potty-training isn't for wimps (or my DH either, apparently, as he so far has managed to wriggle out of any responsibility for it). And it isn't something that get easier with experience. Nope.

But at least I don't have to train a dog, too.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Update

My friend Carol says I should update my blog. I have neglected this thing for a long time, haven't I? Life has been unusually busy. Starting in January, I began taking care of my husband's grandmother. I would go each evening to her assisted living facility and talk with her and then help her get ready for bed. I really enjoyed the service and it continued until June 30th, when she fell and broke her hip just a few days before her only son was to return home from a three-year mission in Armenia. She's now in a rehabilitation facility and DH's dad is in charge of her care again. I still visit regularly, but not on a daily basis.

In April, DH & I took our second child, Joseph (6) and Eliza, who was 6 months at the time, on a trip around the world to visit DH's parents in Armenia. It was a fabulous trip, though hard for me to leave the other four kids at home. My brother & his wife stayed with them.

I've not had as much time for designing, but I fit in what I can when I can. I still enjoy it a lot. I recently took all my layouts from 2005 and turned them into a hardbound book through blurb.com. It turned out so well I did the same for 2006.

This summer, I've been having lots of fun with the kids. I started them on a new chore program where they earn tickets for doing their regular chores, tickets which can be exchanged for computer game time, television, and afternoon activities. It's been a good system, kept us organized, and also given us lots of fun things to do. I've planned activities for most days of the week so no one has been bored. Mondays, we go to our local pool, Tuesdays, DH comes home early from work early (when he can) and goes somewhere fun with us. Wednesdays is open, Thursdays we head to Thanksgiving Point, where we have a membership to visit the dinosaur museum, the farm, or the gardens. Fridays we try to have friends over.

I can't believe it's August already! I've really got to start figuring out our fall schedule, checking on what clothes the kids need, and organizing a playgroup for the twins. Wish me luck. Hopefully you'll hear more often from me in this blog.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Girls!

I'm so blessed to have them in my life. I've been extra busy lately, but I wanted to take a small moment and update this blog. I took these pictures of the girls just before Church a bit ago and I think they turned out lovely. A & S give each other such sweet hugs and the three older girls just adore Eliza.

I've taken on a new responsibility in my life and I thoroughly enjoy it. DH's 94-year-old Grandmother has lived on her own for years in a town about an hour away. Four week ago, it was decided the time had come for her to move to assisted living in our town. The change has been very tough on her, and I've been very involved in her care. The first few weeks were pretty rough and I was checking on her several times a day and then staying with her in the evening. She had a cold, and fell once, wich didn't help matters much. I got babysitters after school nearly every day so I could be there and run errands. She has gradually adjusted to her surroundings, and life has settled into a routine with her. I go up every evening to help her until she goes to bed. It really is a privilege to serve her. I have a dear friend who worked as a hospice nurse for years before staying home with her children. This friend told me she really misses the work, and we connected as I told her how much I love helping Grandma. She told me how once as she was cleaning a woman's feet, she was reminded of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

I don't suppose Grandma has many more years to live, and I hope to make her life a bit easier for her in the time she has left.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Great New Designs

I have some great new designs out -- I've been having so much fun with designing lately:

Sweet Snow is at Scrapbook-Elements Check it out here
Christmas Blessings Page Set is now at Scrapbook-Elements:

Music Doodles at Scrapbook-Elements here:

http://tinyurl.com/uk6sx

QuicKits are small kits sized just right for a layout or two -- and priced right too! Check out my first collection at Scrapbook-Elements here: http://tinyurl.com/wykhe

Holiday Doodles are just right to add a fun touch to your pages!

Found at Scrapbook-Elements here: http://tinyurl.com/y2qkpa

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