Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 6, 2016

We have our weekly YW activities on Wednesday nights, but our church building was closed today for carpet cleaning so I had the girls over to my house.  We had eight girls, plus myself and one other leader.  That is a good turn out!  First we made time capsules.  Each girl had a set of cards where she could write about things like "what a typical day is like," "qualities I want in a husband," "future education and career plans," "current favorites, likes & hobbies," "my testimony," etc.  We sealed them up in envelopes and will give them to them when they leave YW.  Next we talked about setting goals & New Years Resolutions using the S.M.A.R.T.  (Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Realistic & Time based) goal system.  Then we had donuts and and played Telestrations (which is like a cross between Pictionary and the telephone game).

Pictured above is Emily (who just turned 14 and moved up to Mia Maids), and our Beehives: Abby, Lindsay, Jetta, and Amaya.

Here is Sam, Kara, and Katie.  We updated our Personal Progress tracking sheets tonight and I was totally shocked to see that Katie is almost done!  Here 18th birthday is coming up in March, but she only has four small goals left to finish.  I am SO proud of her and super excited that she will be getting her YW medallion.  And I'm also really sad to be losing her in a few months when she graduates.  

Micki, my second counselor, brought donuts for a treat.  As soon as my boys laid eyes on them they went crazy begging for one.  Luckily there were leftovers.  I still don't understand how kids manage to get so much food on their faces when they eat...

January 5, 2016

After this recent miscarriage my doctor wanted to run a series of blood tests to see if he could determine any cause for the recurrent losses.  Most of the results came back already and everything looks fine.  I was still waiting on results for one more test.  Today they finally called and told me that the blood sample for the last test was insufficient and I would need to retake it.  So off to LabCorp I went.  I'm not very hopeful about getting any answers but they told me the test had already been billed to insurance anyway, so I might as well retake it.  

Today Luke was really enthusiastic about helping me with all of my chores around the house.  He especially enjoyed helping with laundry by matching socks and pushing the basket around to different rooms to deliver the folded piles of clothes.  While we were matching socks I was helping him to identify the subtle differences in a few different pairs of Charlie's black socks.  Then I just had to laugh when Luke tried to match a few pairs of Charlie's Stance socks because they are intentionally slightly mismatched.  So everything I had just taught Luke about the subtleties of black socks went right out the window!  

January 4, 2016

Isaac is one of a kind.  He is a funny kid with really unique quirks and interests.  Sometimes I am completely baffled by him, but for the most part - I get him.  I see a lot of myself in him and I can see characteristics of my family members.  I don't know quite how to explain it but I think I can connect with him in a special way because I identify with the way his mind works.  

Every night I tuck each of the boys in and talk to them about their days and say prayers with them.  Isaac always takes this opportunity to ask me questions.  It's the only time in the whole day when I know he will sit still and truly listen, so I've grown to really love this time with him.  Tonight he asked what the difference was between the Book of Mormon and "the big scriptures with three books inside."  I explained the origin of the different books of scripture and what they contained.  Then he wanted to know what kind of stuff the Lord told Joseph Smith in the D&C.  I gave him a few examples and then we talked about the Word of Wisdom.  We really should start bedtime earlier because I really think he'd sit and talk with me for hours if I'd let him.  

He insists on having his sleep mask on to fall asleep, but he rarely wears it the whole night.  We always find it kicked down into the sheets at the bottom of the bed.  And he has also taken to sleeping with the quilt that my Grandma Edwards made me when I was a little girl.  I loved it then and I still love it now.  Apparently Isaac loves it even more.  And he is quite distressed about the fact that it's becoming so worn and getting holes and tears around the edges.  

January 3, 2016

My poor little Luke!  As we were getting into the car after church today he burst into tears and told me that his primary teacher had hurt his arm. "For no reason!" he added.  I instantly suspected a nursemaid elbow and a quick glance at his limp hanging left arm was all it took to confirm my suspicion. I carefully helped him into his car seat and assured him we'd fix it as soon as we got home.  This is now the fifth time he's had this happen. After the fourth occurrence I learned how to fix it myself by watching a YouTube video and saving us a trip to the Urgent Care.  I just didn't want to do it in the church parking lot because it causes a lot of screaming, and he's not in pain as long as he doesn't move it.  But once we were home I quickly popped it back in and he was back to his happy self within moments of taking this photo.  And just for the record, I'm sure the primary teacher had no intention of hurting Luke when he picked him up, and may not have even realized that he was hurt. Luke's pretty good about keeping a brave face when he needs to.  

I decided I'm not going to limit myself to just one photo a day because the whole purpose of this blog is for me to record memories and look back on. So with that being said, here are my other photos for today.

For one of Isaac's Cub Scout achievements he is supposed to visit a place of worship and then create a piece of art or make a model of it. I suppose we could have gone the cultural route and taken him to a church of a difffernt faith, but instead we opted to visit the Atlanta temple. We walked around the grounds and talked about how it is the House of the Lord.

Our Ward moves Primary teachers up with their classes, so today wasn't a big change for the boys.  But Luke was so proud of the CTR ring that he got today. He wore it all day long, which is surprising since he sheds socks, shoes, and often his shirt any chance he gets.  But I love that he is so excited about it and about "being good all the time."

One last Luke photo because it cracks me up. We've had family game night nearly every evening since Christmas. Both boys love playing Uno, but Luke gets especially excited about it. His favorite part is getting the "secret weapon" cards. The Uno game came with some blank cards for us to create our own "secret weapons."  Luke had the BEST evil cheesy smile tonight when he got the "wild, draw 6" card.  I wish I had caught that exact moment, but the grin lasted long enough for me to capture at least a glimpse of it.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January 2, 2016

I have the opportunity to earn my Young Women's medallion a second time while I am serving as Young Women's president (I totally could have done this the other two times I served in YW, but I didn't). One of the requirements for the value of Virtue is to read the entire Book of Mormon. I've been wanting to get back on track with scripture reading, so this is another one of my New Year's Resolutions. I plan to finish it twice this year. .

I've also felt very strongly that I need to encourage our YW to be reading their scriptures. The Church is very different in the South. I'm still trying to accept the fact that many of the YW in our Ward have zero desire or intention to complete the Personal Progress program, no matter how much I encourage them.  And that's okay.  What I truly want for each of them is to develop a personal relationship with, and testimony of, our Savior Jesus Christ.  And what better way to start than by reading the Book of Mormon.

Since it is the first Sunday of the month tomorrow I am teaching all of the YW combined. I spent a couple hours today making this chart that can fold up to store in our YW closet. I plan to challenge each of them to join me in reading the Book of Mormon in 2016. They can sign their name in a colored square and mark off their progress each week. I hope that if nothing else, that displaying this chart each week might encourage and remind them to keep reading.

Friday, January 1, 2016

January 1, 2016

I'm not 100% committed to doing the 365 blog this year, but I do want to get back to blogging and I thought this might be a good way to get me back in the habit.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to run 1,000 miles in 2016.  It's a rather ambitious goal for me because my previous highest mileage was just over 600 miles back in 2013.  The past two years have been much lower and doing other kinds of workouts take away from my total mileage.  But I wanted something that would keep me committed all year long and 1,000 will definitely require some dedication.

Today I ran 3 miles.  I'm not going to lie, it was tough!  I am totally out of shape.  I had not worked out at all since my miscarriage and subsequent D and C in November, and hadn't run since September.  It was discouraging to realize how much fitness I had lost.  Our neighborhood is very hilly - so pretty much straight out of my driveway I was huffing and puffing it up some major hills.  The temperature was in the low 40s and my lungs were on fire!  I had instant flashbacks to my running days in Provo and quickly remembered why I spent so much time on the treadmill.  I hate to be such a weather wimp, but I've had a raspy cough all day since running.

Oh, and I got this running belt for Christmas from Karl & Janelle.  I love it!  I don't usually run with my phone because it doesn't fit in any of my pockets, but it fits perfectly inside the belt.  I'm excited to try out some running apps and maybe even snap a few running selfies!  Just kidding.  Kind of....

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013

The last day of 2013 has brought the beginning of some pretty big changes for 2014.  First things first, we are selling our home!  I will post more about this later, but today we met with a realtor and signed a contract.  We'll be listing on January 13th.  I have mixed feelings about all of this but at the end of the day I know this is the right thing to do so I might as well try to get excited about it.

I was letting Luke play with my phone in order to keep him busy while we talked with the realtor.  Here's one of the hundred photos he snapped.  That's our realtor, Dale Cheema.  He's supposed to be fantastic, with 29 years working in Woodbridge.  Let's hope he can get us a nice price! 

Charlie & I have done some pretty cool things for New Year's Eve - more so when we were newly married.  But the last few years have been rather low key.  And for several years in a row we've ended up eating Taco Bell for some reason.  Gross.  Tonight I decided to make it Del Taco instead.  Still gross.  But my boys actually love Del Taco.  I think one of Isaac's favorite foods in the whole world is Del Taco tacos.  Anyway, we decided to keep with tradition tonight and head through the drive-thru.  Fancy, I know.  I look really done up too, right?  I finally showered at like 5:00 this evening after staying in my work-out clothes all day, but skipped the hair and make-up part.  I think one of my New Year's Resolutions should be to not eat Del Taco.  It makes me sick every time.

And this is how we rang in the New Year.  Charlie, Cracker, and Lucie (those are her feet) asleep on the couch while I typed up blog posts on my computer.  Here's to 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

One of my goals for 2013 was to run 600 miles.  This is not an incredibly high number and every time I told anyone about this goal they were kind of surprised that my mileage was so low.  But for the first 9 months of the year I was also doing spin class twice a week and body works (weights) twice a week, so there were a lot of other workouts besides just running.  Then when school started up in the fall my routine started falling apart and I haven't been spinning hardly at all, but I still do body works.  Anyway, the thing I am most proud of is that I ran consistently all year long.  Other than the year I trained for and ran a marathon I'm sure this is the most miles I've ever run in one year.  Because usually I will run for a few months and then stop for awhile and then pick it back up again.  Having this goal kept me consistent all year long and I loved that.  I want to track my mileage again for 2014 but maybe I should find a better system than the "Notes" app on my phone!  (I kept detailed daily entries, but this is a snapshot of my monthly summary.)  

At Target tonight Isaac spied the toilet plungers and wanted to try one out.  He was having a blast suctioning the floor over and over again and then laughing at himself as he used all of his strength to pull it back off of the floor.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

We are dog sitting for the next 11 days while our friends are in Prague.  Lucie is the only dog that Cracker has every really tolerated, but I wouldn't quite call them friends.  They never cuddle or play together.  I think it's Cracker.  He's an old grumpy man who only likes people, not dogs.  But he does like to follow Lucie all around and see what she's up to.  This is his house after all.  Lucie's favorite spot is up on the back of the couch.  Cracker actually loves it up there too but he can't jump up on his own.  Isn't this more like something a cat would do?

Tonight we took both dogs out on our evening walk.  We never take Cracker on walks anymore because a) he is terribly behaved and barks at every person and dog that we pass, and b) he gets tired quickly and refuses to walk any further.  So tonight we brought the jogging stroller and figured we could just put Cracker in there after he tired out.  Turns out all four of them (Isaac, Luke, Cracker, and Lucie) wanted to ride in it.  Ridiculous.  If you look closely you can see Lucie in the basket underneath.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28, 2013

Our "family" Christmas gift this year was a Vitamix blender.  We've never done a family gift before but Charlie decided we really needed one of these super blenders - and he's probably right since I've pretty much killed our Cuisinart making smoothies all of the time.  So anyway Charlie wanted to start making smoothies for himself too but wanted the turbo blender.  This was going to be his gift but then he found something else that he wanted, so the Vitamix became the "family" gift, which actually makes more sense anyway since we all will be drinking smoothies.  Luke has always loved drinking my green smoothies but since Isaac went with Charlie to pick out the Vitamix he is now suddenly interested in the smoothies too.  It's hard to see in this photo but he has a big green mustache and he's been asking for smoothies everyday since Christmas.

Tonight after Karl & Janelle left for the airport we tried out another new gift.  They gave Isaac some K'Nex blocks since he loves building stuff so much.  Isaac came to me with the instruction booklet and pointed to a picture of what is basically like a chair swing ride and asked me to build it.  But there were no instructions for this thing, and I only had one picture to go off.  I spent the next 40 minutes constructing it (it was a lot more complicated than it looks in this photo) while Isaac built space ships with the remaining pieces.  It was actually pretty cool once it was done.  It even had gears so that you could spin the whole thing with a lever.  I say "was" because after they played with it for about 20 minutes they destroyed it.  Thanks a lot.