Sunday, June 28, 2009

I love Nursery!

Last Sunday was my first time in Nursery as a leader, and I helped the other two leaders (a young couple just married this January) as they headed up the activities. We have a pretty decent sized nursery for being a small ward, plus we have visitors a lot, especially during the summer (decent sized = 6-10 kids). I really feel for the other leaders; I remember Chad and I in Nursery as newlyweds feeling inadequate in our toddler-wrangling skills. So I'm much more comfortable in this calling this time around, now that wrangling toddlers is my life.

I volunteered to do the lesson for this Sunday. I know that they've been trying to incorporate the lessons, but it's hard to get through to 18-month-olds. But I think it's really important to get Bree and the older kids used to sitting down for a lesson, since they'll be in Sunbeams in 6 months. We may even use the divider curtain during lesson time, to give the "Senior Nursery" kids a chance to really learn. Anyway, in preparation for today's lesson, I went through it last Monday for Family Home Evening. The topic was "The Book of Mormon Teaches us about Jesus Christ." (I love the new Nursery manual, and bought one for our home as soon as is came out. It is soooo much better for nursery aged kids than the Primary 1 book we used previously.) I taught the kids (mostly Bree) a few simple stories about Jesus that we learn from the Book of Mormon. Then we learned the chorus to "Search, Ponder, and Pray" and sang it a few times. It probably didn't even take five minutes for the whole lesson, which is exactly how they're designed.

So today, I only had 5 kids: two 3-year-olds and three between 17-20 months. Since I was on my own (the other leaders skipped out today), I taught them all together as they were finishing up their snack. Bree remembered details from some of the stories, and sang along as we learned the song again. But the highlight of my day came this evening when Bree asked, "Mommy, will you read me the Book of Mormon?" Normally I'm lazy, and I say, "Maybe later" when I get requests when I'm busy. But I was so touched and excited, we got out the Book of Mormon Stories picture book and read the first few stories. Then as I was fixing dinner, I heard Bree singing as she played; "Search, ponder and pray are the things I can do." I love Nursery.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Have I joined the old lady crowd?

A few weeks ago I was looking at my friend Joanna's Lion Brand Yarn catalog thinking: these knitted sweaters, scarves, and hats are adorable! I have a fetish for knitted winter-wear, even though Arizona weather doesn't afford much opportunity for actually wearing it. Anyway, I decided right then that I would learn how to knit (I know how to crochet, but it's not the same). So I bought a starter kit, including an instruction book. Well, learning to knit from a book proved impossible, and I was about to despair until I remembered that you can find any kind of video imaginable on the web. So I found a series of instructional knitting videos on You Tube, and I was soon knitting and purling away. For my first project, I made myself a scarf with a double ribbing pattern (cotton yarn of course), and I love it! Now I'm attempting a hat, which is a little more difficult since I'm knitting in "the round" with 4 double-pointed needles. Obviously I have to be really careful not to leave my work lying around, since the kids are fascinated with it, and a knitting project can quickly be reduced to nothing. My goal is to have a sweater by Christmas. Well, maybe just a baby one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Look what I found!

Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner (something which Chad is totally against; he doesn't think the elders need to be fed every single evening of their entire missions...go figure). I made Orange Chicken, which is probably in my top five favorite recipes. Anyway, later that evening I found this little sticky note on the bathroom mirror. Chad thought it was totally nerdy, but I, for one, really appreciated it. Even though they get fed dinner every night, they should still make an effort to show appreciation (which not all elders do equally well.) I thought it was cute.

When it was time for bed, I pulled back my covers to reveal this:
One of the kids' favorite activities is to play on our bed, and apparently someone had pulled back the comforter, spilled their animal crackers onto the sheet, and carefully replaced the comforter, without disturbing the pillows. I'm guessing that Bree was the mastermind behind this little prank.

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Header

Thank you so much Jaime for designing a header for my blog! I love it!

New Calling!

I was pretty nervous about my meeting last night. I was worried they might call me to the primary presidency, which is being reorganized. Well, they did call me to the a Nursery leader! This is one calling that I used to say I never wanted again. But in our ward what they try to do is have a group of nursery teachers that can take turns teaching. That way people can go to their adult classes sometimes, and when they have to go out of town, they're automatically covered. So I'm super excited to have a "Sunday" calling, especially one that's not even every Sunday! I'm congratulating myself on my good fortune, and I'm excited to start.

On a side note, poor Bree has Strep throat again. Luckily the doctor fit her in yesterday, and we've got her on antibiotics. I'm hoping this pattern doesn't continue all her life--this is her third case of Strep in her short 3-year-old life. I think she's doing a little better today, thank goodness.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Real Life

It's always hard to get back to real life after being away for a week on vacation with no chores or kids to take care of. But we've been getting on pretty well, thanks to the short reprieve from my calling and Chad's awesome househusband skills. Chad totally does the laundry, from sorting to folding. He's awesome at it. I've ruined more articles of clothing in the wash than he has. And Monday he helped me clean up the house a little in preparation for my friend Amy and her family coming over for dinner. We had to celebrate our recent release from RS presidency stress, so we barbecued Filet Mignon, I made Chad's mom's fabulous potato salad (which I'm getting better at with each try), and Amy brought corn on the cob (Bree's fave) and steamed broccoli (Mason's fave). For dessert we had fresh pineapple/strawberry mini kabobs, which brought back memories of Hawaiian themed parties my mom helped put on when I was a teenager. We played canasta while the kids got progressively more and more sleepy and whiny, and then called it a night. I really had a great time. I love hanging out with those guys.

Tuesday I had an OB and dentist appointment in the Phoenix valley, so I persuaded Chad to watch the kids while I took a day for myself. He totally spoils me. Granted, the appointments weren't that fun, but neither one took very long. And the Gentle Dental we go to in Mesa is so incredibly nice, and everyone there is so awesome, that if a visit to the dentist could ever qualify as relaxing and pleasant, mine would. So, the baby checks out fine (14 weeks now, and I started feeling tiny movements last week!), and we'll find out what the sex is at the end of July. And my gums are healthy and I am cavity-free.

With my appointments done, I was free to do whatever! I went to lunch at Cafe Rio, and had the chicken salad, which is my favorite even though I've only tried 2 things there. There is only one Cafe Rio in Arizona, and it's right across the street from my OB, which is a perfect coincidence...maybe that's why there are always so many pregnant women there when I go. And I did some shopping for some much-needed clothes. It's appalling that I have to start wearing maternity clothes at 14 weeks, but I was in serious need of some shorts that didn't cut off circulation at the waist. It's my first summer pregnancy, so I had to get some basics, including a swim suit. What is with maternity swim suits? Is there a rule that they all have to be hideous? Or do they just look hideous on my pregnant body? In the end, I bought a cheap suit at Walmart that's not actually maternity (I just bought a tankini with an extra-large top). I figure if I'm going to look hideous anyway, I might as well do it and save money at the same time. After I finished my shopping, I went the the movies to see X-Men, which was awesome.

It was a such a perfect day. Until that highway patrol photo radar took my picture on my drive home. I was shocked and indignant. I knew I was in a 65 zone--I drive that road all the time. And I know Chad has told me that those things won't give you a ticket until you're at least 11 over the limit. And my cruise control was set at 6 over, which is what Chad tells me to do. I mean, he is a highway patrol officer. He knows what he's talking about. And that stupid computer-manned vehicle is not only trying to take away my husband's job, but it had the nerve to take my picture when I was driving a "reasonable and prudent" speed. I called Chad right away, and he made me feel better by saying he'll fight it if he needs to. And then he had fresh chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven when I got home. I love that man.

So life is good at our house. We've got our ups and downs. My zucchini, corn and green beans are growing. But our master bath has been leaking under our house (we'll see how long the caulking job holds up until we can replace the tub), and the other tub's shower valve popped off yesterday, so baths in there aren't an option right now. I'm grateful for Chad's handiness, and for the Ace gift card that our Discover card rewards earned us, making the purchase of replacement parts possible. But on the bright side, today after a trial run I discovered that all three of our car seats will fit into the back of our truck, meaning that we don't have to get that minivan any time soon. So we'll continue to enjoy the luxury of not having a car payment. True, the minivan was starting to sound appealing, but we're trying to keep a clear handle on the difference between needs and wants. One great thing about living in Globe is that the simple life is not only accepted but it's also valued.

Oh, and I have a meeting with the Bishopric tomorrow night. I knew that my calling reprieve would be short-lived.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Almost Forgot

I can't believe I left it out of yesterday's post, but I got released yesterday!!! No more Relief Society president for me. I have a total feeling of relief and lightening. Yes, I'm grateful for the time I had to serve, and for the growth it forced me to undergo. But now I'm ready for the next phase of my life (a phase that will involve a nice simple calling if I'm lucky!). I think my poor kids will feel the difference too--a less stressed mom with a little more time for them. I'm ready to re-introduce things into my life that I was neglecting for my sanity's sake: scrapbooking, regular Cookie Wednesday, yard-improvement, social interaction...and I'm taking up knitting in the hopes that by this winter I will have mastered the art of making cute hats and scarves for our whole family. I'm ready to fill my newly-found down time with constructive and/or relaxing activities. Let the Hallelujah Chorus begin.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Trip to Vegas

A week ago last Friday, Chad had surgery to remove a small cyst on his right wrist that had bothering him a little. The best thing about this minor surgery is that we took advantage of Chad's awesome supply of sick leave, left the kids in the capable loving hands of my mom, and spent a week in Vegas. We trespassed on the hospitality of our friends Rob and Jaime, and met their handsome little baby Zackary. I can't describe how I enjoyed being able to spend that much time with my best friend Jaime. We scrapbooked (I haven't done that in a year and a half!), talked, and watched mindless drivel (ie: the Bachelorette) on TV. The four of us ate delicious home-cooked meals (I would say five of us, since Zackary was there, but he only dined on breast milk), and enjoyed chocolate fondue (um, twice). We all went to see "Up", which is an adorable film for all ages (can't believe I cried watching a cartoon!). Chad spent some more time catching up on theater-going (some day we'll have a movie theater in Globe), and was joined by his cousin Curtis and his dad. We went to Claim Jumper for dinner with Chad's family (fried zucchini appetizer; mmm...should have ordered that as my entree...), and we talked and laughed, saw how big Syd and Bob's kids are getting (and SO well behaved; I was impressed), admired Rachel's new tattoo, and gave Fran the coveted gift of our most recent family photos (see post below). Shame on Jaime and me for not taking a single photo of our visit, but I have enough good memories and completed scrapbook pages to show for our week. I'm grateful to everyone who made this week possible, and for everyone who shared it with us.

Family Photos (May 2009)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bree's First Haircut

Bree's hair was getting so long--like half-way down her back. But since it had never been cut, it was all wispy and stringy-looking from being different lengths. So last Monday, with my mom helping to hold her head still, I gave her her first haircut. I'm no expert at haircuts, but I think it turned out really cute, and I think it actually makes her look older. When I finished cutting, she started crying and was yanking on her hair saying, "It's still long!" I think she was under the impression that I was going to cut off all her hair, and was disappointed that I didn't!
^Before^................................................... ^After^
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