My Family

My Family

Friday, February 23, 2007

Counting the Minutes...

until my honey gets home and we get to go out on a date.
I am so excited.

I got a call about 1pm from out sitter, already lined up for tonight.
She had been sick and didn't want our kids to get she took it upon herself to find us another sitter, and was calling to make sure that was ok with me.
I love responsible girls.
It makes me VERY happy that I didn't have to call around looking for a sitter tonight.

And, did I mention I'm excited to go on a date with my husband??
I am, just in case you weren't quite clear on that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sweet Sibling Moments

Yesterday, as I was unpacking the van from my first "real" grocery shopping in a month and a half (think massive amount of groceries), I left Sam and Bekha alone outside for a couple of minutes.
For those of you who have seen our home, you know we don't have the kind of yard you let a 2 year old out in just to play unsupervised.
(If you haven't been here, just imagine a multitude of boulders, rocks and general outside paraphenelia.
The front yard meets our dirt road, and while the road is not highly travelled, when it is travelled, it is generally at quite a high rate of speed.
There is room in the backyard for the kids to play, but one has to walk all the way around the house, and I can't see the children's progress around the I depend on the older kids to take Sam out whenever possible.)
The pictures above are what I found when I came back to the van between grocery loads.

Then last night, Stephen was practicing his bells...(6th grade percussion is very doable...just bells, no drums yet).
Within just a couple of minutes, this is what I saw:

I love when I see these moments.
They warm my heart, and make me happy.
Maybe it's just the absence of the media...or maybe, just maybe, somewhere I've taught them the importance of loving each other.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Things They Are a Changin'

Two weeks ago Thursday, Pat and I threw in the towel.
We flat out gave up when it came to trying to get our children to behave kindly toward each other.
In fact, I think we really lost it.
We decided, on that day, that television was no longer an option for the kids to watch on school nights.
Using the computer for entertainment wasn't allowed any more either.
In fact, we would have no outside media influences while the school week was in process.

I don't think the kids thought we really meant it.
Stephen even asked at one point "Are we really going to do that no tv thing?"
Um, Yeah.
Every day.
Until school is out.

I questioned my sanity, and the sanity of my husband, more than once.
However, it only took a day or two to see some of the positive effects that stem from turning off all forms of media.
After a slight increase in fighting, the kids really started talking to each other again.
They have started working together, playing together and creating together.
Even when we remind them they need to change their tone of voice now, it's typically received with a less angry and beligerent attitude that they will respond to their sibling.

It is amazing how much "extra time" we have in the evenings now.
In fact, there was so much more time that needed to be filled, that we reinstituted the summer chores that worked so effectively.
Each child (except Sam) chose 3 chores besides their pet chore, bedroom and putting their laundry away.
They get paid per chore...based on Dave Ramsey's real world philosophy.
And they get paid every week.

I just flat out told them that there was no way that I could do it all right body is exhausted trying to help this new baby grow a new and healthy body.
(Our house has looked like a bomb exploded in it until a sweet sister in my ward came and helped me most of the day Monday.)
They really got it.
And they really have stepped up to the plate.
The house still looks presentable, even though there are problem areas.
And I finally have enough energy to function in my duties again.
Granted, it's only been 36 hours, but I know it will long as I can remain consistent.
And I can.
I'm actually pretty good at being consistent (at least for a while...).

And, I've actually cooked dinner for more than one night, and that doesn't just mean the main dish.
I've actually pulled out the veggies and thought about balancing the meal nutritionally.
It's hard to realize just how hard things have been until you are standing on the other side of the struggles.
And while I'm only 17 weeks into the full's been rougher than I thought.
I'm on the upswing now...and hoping it lasts well into the 7th month.

Like I said, things they are a changin'.
It's about time.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Blog-A-Versary

A year ago today, I started my blog.
It has opened my eyes to the world around me...and I notice things differently than I did before.
I am so grateful for this means of self expression...

Here's a quick look back at my milestones and/or favorite posts from the past year.

Feb. 2006 Peace and Piercings
March Perspective on 6
April Amazement /Treasure the Temple
May Laughable, really...
June Lucky 13 / You're a Grand 'Ole Flag
July Remarkable, isn't it?
August Going Bezerk
September Solitude /Admirable Characteristics
October My Very Own Snowman
November Grandma
December Lucky #7
January 2007 Certifiable?
February Just Call Me...Fed Ex

Here's hoping the next year of blogging is just as eventful!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Catch Up/Catch All

So, some of you have asked why our road was so bad...
I have been meaning to post pictures for some time, but it was nearly a week after the mud that I finally snapped this picture.
The entire road was originally rutted at least this deep (hard to see with the shadows, but 6-8 inches), if not more.
After a few days, the middle (where everyone drives) got flattened out.
In our town, our roads are fairly well maintained.
It may be small, but snowplows still exist, even down in Southern NM.
We happen to live, however, 1 mile down a dirt road from the highway.
That dirt road is rarely maintained, as it is a private road rather than a county owned and maintained road.
Therefore, in wet weather, we deal with whatever condition it happens to be in.
Thus, when it snowed for a week, rained for a day, and then snowed again, it turned into a mud bog.
Quite the ride for a mile...
Just so you know.
Sam-Sam was interested in going somewhere I think.
He was trying to buckle his carseat straps together.
I was at Worldwide Leadership Training on Sat. morning, and came home to this.
He didn't wake up after I picked him up and moved him.
He was really worn out.
A picture of the attempt at geocaching with Grandpa and Dad on Saturday afternoon/evening.
They made it 3/4 of the way to the waypoint before it got dark enough that they thought they should turn around.
Nathan's bruise.
A rock was loosened by Thomas as he climbed down an incline, and that same rock came to rest on Nate's hand.
It was very painful that night, but seems to be fine now.
(Frozen veggies make the best ice packs we've found!)
The saddest part of that injury is that it happened about 10 minutes from the end of the hike.
(I guess then was actually better than having it happen earlier, huh?)
Grandpa's cowboy songs put Sam right to sleep on Saturday night.
We've transitioned Sam to the big bed in the boy's far, so good.
We'll be rearranging rooms...putting 2 boys in the guest room soon.
It should be interesting as we "Clean Sweep" our way through that end of the house.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just Wrong, or Not?

Tomorrow is Sam-Sam's birthday.
He'll be 2.
He loves the Nintendo DS that we got for Christmas.
He watches whoever is playing as intently as in that picture above.

That's actually one of the reasons I choose not to play too often.
I am such a perfectionist that I get irritated when he moves in front of the screen or sits on my arm so I can't move my hand quickly.

Today, I was looking on Amazon for a gift for him.
I actually looked to see if there were any DS preschool games.
Is that just a little messed up?
Thinking about buying a video game for a 2 year old?
I'm not convinced I think it's wrong...although I didn't see anything that would appeal to him, so we're saved from this dilemma in reality.
(Although had Little Einsteins DS been available that decision would have been made, hook, line and sinker.)

Off to find an age appropriate gift for my soon to be two year old.
See you tomorrow.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Just Call Me...FedEx

It is heartening to know that I am not delusional about the condition of our road.

Today, I got a phone call from the FedEx guy.
This was, in essence, the conversation.
"Hi, is this Kristine?"
"Well, this is your local FedEx guy, and I have a package for you. The problem is, I just tried to deliver it to you, and got stuck. Someone pulled my van out for me. I'm at the end of your road. Would you please come and get your package?"
I started laughing.
"Are you serious? What makes you think I won't get stuck as well?"
"Don't you have a 4-wheel drive?"
"No, I don't (but I am a pro at driving this road, I'm thinking), but I'll try to make it down. If I'm not there in about 5 minutes, I'm probably stuck too."

A few minutes later, I pulled up to the now unstuck FedEx truck.
Picked up my package, and agreed to deliver one to our neighbor too (because I obviously COULD make it past that mud bog.)
No major problems...yeah, the road is horrible...but the wise know to stay in the ruts, no matter how deceptive they look.
It's when you vary from that hard-packed rut that you run into trouble.

Granted, sometimes the fishtailing that you are doing takes you off of the path you want to be on, but in that case, you just have to keep accelerating and not get scared and let off the gas.
At least that has been my experience.

Kind of parallels gospel living, huh?
Stay on the straight and narrow, if you find yourself somewhere you don't want to be, make haste and do everything you can to get out!

I have to try and navigate the road safely again when it's time for the afternoon bus.
It's a constant adventure.
Wish me luck!