Saturday, December 2, 2017

It goes on and on and on and oooooonnnnn.

So, yeah.  Long time no see. Lets leave it at that.

I've been reading and catching up on lots of family blogs lately and realized one thing. I can/will share things on a blog that would never fit on Facebook. To many deep complete thoughts that are to lengthy for a format such as Facebook.

So here I am again.

We have quite a few things going on as always, so here I will update, family member by family member.

I have been on quite an adventure lately.  I've volunteered for a church service family history mission. I serve 8 hours from my home computer each week.  I thought, 8 hours, no problem. Well, yes, it is a problem. Especially through the holidays, family vacations, kids getting stomach bugs, family events and so on and so on.  I've come to the realization that at this time in my life this might not be the right mission for me. So when I get to the 1 year mark in July, I won't be extending.

Sad, but not sad. I think flexibility is more important in my life right now. I can still work at family history work, but it doesn't have to be quite so much time. And it can be at the rate I have time.  And if I feel like taking a break and focusing on sewing or some other crafty thing, I can do that!  Right now, I feel like all of my extra time is doing my mission. I know that is not true, because like every other human I waste time. But it feels like that.  In the meantime, I am trying to focus better on not wasting my time.

I have come to the realization of how easy it is to replace a zipper in a coat.  That is cool.  I got a really nice coat for Ned for .50 at a garage sale a few summers ago.  It was in a pile of random clothes that were all .50 each.  One of those garage sale fundraisers where there is every size you could want.  But not a lot of quality stuff. Except this awesome coat.  Think of those nice coats at D&B with the thick canvas type material.  We went to use it the first winter and were super bummed to discover a broken zipper. So I measured it and picked the old one out and sewed in a new one! It wasn't perfect, but looked pretty good!  Now Ned has outgrown it and the twins will use it for a winter or 2.  The zipper was around $5 . Not a bad investment!

We have chickens and cows these days.  We just brought our turkeys to the processor and chose to also bring the rooster as well.  Serves him right. He liked to attack us.  You always had to keep an eye on him.  Every time he would get brave I would chase him around the pasture with the BB gun or sticks and throw them at him until he remembered who was in charge.  The drawback was that if anyone but me went into the pasture, (except Milt) he would attack them.  So he is now going to make a yummy broth. Yes I feel slightly guilty about the whole thing. he was just doing what was in his nature.  Oh well.

Milton is busy as always.  He is in charge of the cows, and firewood.  And of course he is a general maintenance guy too.  He always has a to do list going on his phone.  He watches sports of all sorts when he has down time.  About a week ago (don't tell Alyson) he went out to the alfalfa stack and found that a semi feral cat of ours had had kittens.  He saw 2.  Great. This cat had just had kittens in the spring and the one kitten from that is totally feral.  So I have been bribing her with tuna fish so I could hold the kittens.  I need to go do that again.  But I think I am going to get the trap I have set so that get her and her other older kitten fixed.  I have to or we are going to have more kittens this spring.  I don't know if her older kitten is  boy or girl. My luck is its a girl.  We dont have a name for it, but go between Scaredy and Jumpy.

Cecilee is going to be 15 this month. Where has time gone?  She is currently on the girls JV basketball team in our small school and has even played in a varsity game or two.  She is a very studious and contentious girl who loves to go to stake dances and enjoys being social with her friends.  She has even had a crush or 10 and we only find out when we review some of her online conversations or texts.  She referees soccer for pay and likes to read.  She is getting good grades and her teachers at school and church like her a lot.  She has happy, well intentioned girl who wants to help people and serve a mission someday. 

Mia is 13.  A teenager with a lot of angst is how I would describe her.  She has talents that are different than her sisters and so as a result struggles when she can't keep up with her sister at times.  Her goal in life is to keep up with Cecilee.  If Cecilee has it, she wants it.  Clothes, friends, social stuff.  Everything.  She struggles in school.  She likes school, but doesn't get good grades at all.  She is actually failing most of her classes right now.  I talked to another mother in our ward and am trying something new.  I'm going to pay her for every A and B that she gets.  On every assignment she brings home.  .50 for As and .25 for Bs.  I'm hoping this appeal to her money loving side.  If  she were to get As on all of the assignments she brings home (say 20 assignments) she could get $10/week from us.  If it pulls her grades up, its worth it.  Now to see if it actually works.  The problems Mia has is that she wants to take the easy path at all times.  She loves to go to her friends house. The friend has everything from Horses, to goats, kittens, exotic birds, turtles, everything. We only have cows and chickens and kittens. We can't compete.  She loves animals and caring for them (but only at her friends house.  Not at our house. No interest at all) We are all trying. I just hope she becomes a great adult and that we don't fail her as parents.

Ned is my super smiley boy.  I woke him up a few times last week by sitting on his bed and rubbing his back.  I don't want to wake him up with yelling, because that makes him grumpy.  The result is that he looked at me with a big smile on his face and then gives me a big hug.  I love my Ned.  He is in first grade and working like a champ.  He loves school and is a good kid.  I struggle when he gets in trouble (not my Ned!) but I also see how he can torture his little brothers, so I can totally see him getting into trouble.  But he doesn't do it to be mean.  The other day I got a call from the school cafeteria.  He owed money. Strange since he brings a cold lunch every day lovingly prepared by Milton. :)  Anyway I talked to him and he said "I just wanted to be a hot luncher MOM!"  All the time crying and so upset.  I explained that it cost money and gave him some extra chores to pay it off.  He was so sad to be caught.  I think he might have a few friends that egg each other on.  We shall see what happens there....

Nolan is a sweet quiet observant little guy.  He has been going to speech therapy since last spring.  he has trouble being understood.  He made a lot of progress last summer, but now that insurance is not covering any more visits in 2017, he only goes to the speech therapist at the school.  she does a good job, but it doesn't seem to be as effective as the private one.  I know that I can help by working with him at home more.  We watch a lot of Yak Back Pack and he and all the boys enjoy that.  Right now we are working on S blends.  He and Ned are best friends and like to play together.  He will occasionally get frustrated because he can't get the other boys to do what he wants.  He bit Quinten last week.  But we had a good talk about that.  I think he just gets frustrated.  I worry about him next year in Kindergarten. I just don't want him to be labeled as anything other than "kindergartner".  I just want him to be able to be normal.  Of course, I don't think any of this will bother him in the least.  But a mom worries.

Quinten is my busy busy boy.  Sweet kid.  Likes to talk.  Likes to have his way. Likes to be everywhere doing everything.  Loves his mom.  Has a hard time sitting still and focusing. We are working on that.  He is very sweet.  This year we are working with a Ophthalmologist. We started with an optometrist.  She saw him for a few months and then referred him to another doc in her office for some sort of therapy (that our pediatrician - who I really trust - said had kind of been disproved). Add to that, that we had to drive 35 minutes to get to appointments, and we decided to go to a ophthalmologist office that was 10 minutes away, and charged the same as the optometrist.  I also liked him a lot better and he seemed to have a lot more experience than the optometrist.  Anyway, we are now patching 6 hours per day. the trouble we have is getting an accurate picture of where he is since he can't read an eye chart very well.  Quinten is attending preschool at the local early education program for kids with special needs.  They basically decided that he needed some help catching up with his cutting, writing, dexterity type skills.  It was at their screening that we found out that he needed glasses.  Our opinion is that a lot of his skills issues are due to the fact that his eyes were so bad.  So far he has progressed quite a bit.  The main thing I worry about is his lack of focus. I worry about how that will affect kindergarten next year.  His teacher has expressed a need to have him focus on tasks at home more. Puzzles, etc.  He needs to learn patience and follow through on tasks.  So basically we need to make him follow through and not give up on tasks.  He needs to learn to sit still throughout sacrament meeting for example and primary.  This is the only way he is going to survive kindergarten.  The other day in primary they asked him if he had a friend he was thankful for (in sharing time) and he said Roman. I said, did he mean Nolan?  No, he said, Roman, from the big school (what we call his preschool).  I kind of broke down. Quinten is a bit of a loner at our house. Ned and Nolan don't really play with him, so as a result he tends to play alone and occasionally with him.  To hear that he had a friend at school gave me hope. Sometimes I worry that he is ADHD or something and that he is going to have problems.  This moment was me facing that fear.  I worry about my boys.  So Much.  Milton tells me that I shouldn't worry about what I can't control.  True. But still.....

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Well now.

I'm not even going to write the obligatory bit about how long  its been. I find myself  posting bits and pieces on   Facebook because its quicker than posting here.  It is what it is.

Life has been just jetting along.  Here it is March and Ned is half way through his kindergarten year.  He has learned about 20 sight words and it is so exciting to see him learning so quickly and at a school that pushes him to his potential.  He (and we!) love his teachers and enjoy seeing his success.  Ned has such a smiley personality and he loves to learn. He loves his teacher and school.  I'm so grateful for a situation like this that even though it is strict, still is able to foster a feeling of fun and enjoyment of learning at school.  He has recently learned to ride a 2 wheel bicycle. It wasn't that hard.  He has had a balance bike for a while and the other day Grandpa pointed out that he was riding his normal bike and the training wheels were only touching the ground when he had to make turns. And they were just in the way. And then one broke this weekend and we took the other one off and, well, he is riding a 2 wheeler all over the place.  He is looking forward  to spring soccer and did great in the fall. Dad coaches his team and Ned loves it.  Milt loves it too, he is a good coach.

Nolan has been doing great as well.  He is currently on a talking streak. he talks and talks. but its hard to know what he is saying all of the time.  I am thinking quite hard about a speech therapist for him. Still undecided.  he is still a sweet boy with a stubborn streak.  Very gentle and kind, but when things are just not going his way he collapses on the ground and pouts.  he has taken  to wearing baseball hats all over the place just like Dad.  Its pretty cute.  He also says "B I U" which is of course BYU, he just doesn't say Y yet.  He has figured out his Dad's obsession.  He has also started a very helpful spurt lately.  He will hang out in the kitchen with me and put away ingredients for me as I cook.

He and Quinten go to Preschool  on Tuesdays and Music class at Aunt Jenn's  house on thursdays.  They went for the first time last week and ever since Quinten has been telling me its time to go to music class.  He can't wait for next time. 

Quinten has been trying to learn to sit still.  he is getting better, but he still tends to be that one kid in primary who pops up and has to go and talk to the teacher at the front.  We will continue to  work on that.  Quinten talks a blue streak and is very insistant.  he still sucks his thumb which on top of other things has caused teeth problems.  Poor kid has had 3 tooth abcesses over the past 4 months.  Sadly when that happens with baby teeth they pull them. Luckly though there were a few early molars ready to pop up and come right in. so he isn't suffering that I can tell.  He now gets his teeth brushed with a Sonicare 2x a day because that is cheaper than paying for all of the dental  work.  He breezed through his dental coverage last year. Yikes! He is also working on riding a 2 wheeler.  He knows how, but stopping and starting are his challenge right now.  I think he will get it fairly soon. 

All of the boys have been helping with some baby chicks we got at the end of january.  We have a total of 27.  they boys named one Jacky, and another Pumpkin. however I have no idea how to tell which one is Pumpkin. there are several with the same coloring that it could be.  I think the boys have the same problem and just grab the one that looks right and call him Pumpkin.  We just moved the chicks out to the chicken coop today. they had been living in the greenhouse, but boy was it getting smelly!

The greenhouse has been planted for about a week or so now  and I'm grateful to be able to go in there and not have to watch for chicks.  Last week all 3 boys were in there with me so it was 4 people and 27 chicks in a 6x8 greenhouse with shelving. yikes.

Cecilee has been going to stake dances lately. yes, she is that old.  She has several friends that all go with her and they seem to have a fun time  She has danced with boys several time and I think she enjoys hanging out with her friends.  She has just recently started reffing soccer games on the weekends. She comes home sore and tired, but I'm glad that she is able to have a job so young. She has yet to get paid, but I'm looking forward to that so she can see what hard work gets you. She is working hard in school and piano.  She has soccer starting in a few weeks. She did fall basketball for her school and that was fun for her.

Mia has been working hard in school also.  she loves to go to her friends houses and endures piano  practice and housework.  She enjoys playing with her brothers when they get to go outside and play.  She enjoys animals of all sorts and singing  and playing Minecraft.  She also loves to read. She stays up to late reading in bed.  She is not looking forward to Spring soccer, but here it comes!

Milton and I are swimming as hard and as fast as we can keeping everyone going in the right direction.  He has been driving Cecilee to her Reffing gigs and since they are usually so far out he will stay.  Yesterday he dropped her off and watched for a little while and then snuck away and hit a bucket of balls at the golf course. first time in a few years at least.  I was glad  that he could do that.  he has been working hard out in the yard spraying fruit trees, maintaining trees and bushes, and all that sort of fun stuff.

I've been keeping busy doing stupid stuff like driving the kids to and from school 3-5 times a day depending on the day.  I also clean the house, do laundry, and for an  encore, do it all again the next day! I attempted and failed to learn how to make tamales.  I however succeeded on learning how to make Gone with the Wind pudding as well as homemade Tapioca pudding.  Not bad if I do say so myself!  I'm flirting with quilting, but I've gotten to the point that we pretty much have as many blankets as we can use so why make more ? Its my practical  side stopping me. I feel the need to have a creative outlet, so I'm not sure if I'll give in and continue to quilt or if I'll stop and move on to something else.  I guess we'll see.

you know lately I've been  reading about how we only put the bright and  shiney bits  of our lives out there and how destructive it can be. So here are a few not so great things.  Beware,  it can be gross and awful.
Quinten sucks his thumb and picks his nose at the same time. he's multitasking  ! :)  One finger in the mouth one up his nose. 
 Nolan, well i already tattled on him about how mellow he can be until its all tomuch and he just can't take it anymore and collapses on the floor and is mad.
Ned likes to torture his brothers.  He is learning to not hit them, which of course means that he does  he is a good torturerer.  But i do need to mention that when he isn't teasing, he and the boys are quite good friends.
Toilet flushing, well, that is a struggle for all of my crew.  Yuck.
Cecilee well, I won't embarass her or Mia with this.  Lets just say they fight with each other  and sometimes they get  along.They like to tattle on each other. Heck they all like to do that. As a mother i find this part of my job most unsatisfactory.
I guess that leads to me. I'm a whiner.  I'll admit it.  Also, I tend to obsess about things I can't change.  And that drives my husband up the wall. So I'm working on that.  And then their are the times I get judgey.  But that is probably enough for today, so we'll leave it there, ok?