Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring Pictures

The girls came home with pictures from the Daddy-Daughter Dance and Spring class photo day. When did Lily grow up?

February 2018

February started out pretty relaxed and happy in our house....other than the stress of trying to find renters and finish the basement and repair the radiator system and dry out a flooded basement. It has been a rough few weeks of accumulated little stresses.
We are slowly adjusting to the new afternoon church schedule. It makes for a long Sunday and the kids start to bicker just when it is time to get dressed for church. Then we spend sacrament meeting wrestling Joey until he cries so loud we have to take him out of the chapel, or he falls asleep in our arms. We sure miss our earlier meeting time. It feels like we spend all day Sunday waiting for church to begin. The kids have been getting more creative, which is good. Hopefully we will find a way to treasure our Sunday mornings a little more.
Annie brought home her resolution paper from school. It says her goal this year is to "dance bedr". Maybe we need to work on spelling better too.
Grammy and Grampy sent us early valentines this year. The kids were thrilled to get their own $2 bills and personal notes from Grammy.
Annie has been looking forward to the 100th day of school for weeks. She knew exactly what she wanted to wear. She even knew how she wanted to pose for the pictures. We had so much fun styling her old lady hair and drawing wrinkles on her face. This was one of the only mornings we didn't have to drag her out of bed to get ready for school.
After weeks of getting up at 4 am and staying up until 10 or 11 pm, Jeremy is done working on the rental house. The basement is clean and painted and we've had plumbers come to work on the radiator system. The best news of all is that we found renters pretty quickly. This house just keeps surprising us with problems and Christine is not thrilled about any of it. This month it was a flooded basement and astronomical heating bills. Maybe in a couple of years we can get rid of this place and try something a little newer without so many issues.
Valentine's Day came quickly. Tommy was excited to address his own cards for his preschool class. It took quite a while, but he did it on his own.
The highlight of the festivities for the girls was the Daddy-Daughter dance. We were running late getting dinner and getting everyone out the door, so they missed some of the fun. But the girls said it was a great night.
Our friends Chris and Sean were selected to lip sync and dance for the crowd. I am so glad someone took videos. Hilarious! They were good sports.
This was the backdrop for the pictures. We don't have the official dance pictures yet. I can't wait to see them.
Look at those smiles! They had a fantastic night together.
Mommy was busy helping with class parties on Valentine's Day. Tommy's class decorated bags to hold their cards and treats, played games, passed out valentines, and sang some songs. Tommy was so proud to have Mommy there at school. I know I need to remember these moments when he's a teenager and doesn't want me anywhere near him.
Then it was off to Lily's class for more fun and games. We were told to bring a game that the kids could do quietly at their desks. I brought toothpicks and gummy hearts. The kids had to make a taller structure than the group at the table next to them. It was a big hit. The class was seriously competitive.
The other mom helping didn't get the "quiet games" memo. She brought a bunch of fun Minute-to-Win-It style games. They were totally fun, but chaos ensued and I could tell Lily's teacher was not too happy.
There was candy, mess, and craziness everywhere for two hours.
The class had a blast.
Lily's teacher provided sugar cookies and decorating supplies for the kids. It was fun to see what the kids came up with. There was sugar on every surface of the room by the time the party was over. WE sent the kids out to recess and helped Mrs. Palmer get everything cleaned up. Whew. Mommy was exhausted after that - and totally tempted to leave the boys with their babysitter for another couple of hours.
Annie brought home a rainbow heart craft she made in her class party. We decided to hang it from our light fixture to enjoy during our family Valentine celebration.
Annie was a great helper. She set the table and decorated it. She set out the gifts at each place setting and she helped me cook.
Before we ate, everyone got to open their cards and gifts from Daddy and Puna and Papa.
We had so much fun eating a candlelight dinner together. The kids requested rib eye steaks, mashed potatoes, and sparkling cider. We had chocolate covered strawberries for dessert and some special chocolates from Daddy too. It was a fun night to celebrate our love as a family and talk about what we love about each other.
The girls wanted to earn money with their bread business again. We had over $90 in orders. That's a lot of bread and cinnamon rolls! Annie loves it when customers order cinnamon rolls. She likes to lick the frosting off the spatula once she's done spreading it.
With all the problems at the rental house, a crazy busy Valentine's Day, the stresses of Relief Society and still trying to be a good wife and mom, Mommy got a little overwhelmed. See that mess of two dozen eggs? That was Mommy's fault. It pretty much summed up how life has felt in our house since we bought the rental house. Puna and Papa were at our house for a visit. Puna said we should take a picture of the mess to help remember, and hopefully laugh at, this phase of our lives. Well I am writing this a few weeks later and still not laughing. I guess I still need more time.

We went to the Museum of Idaho to see the Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit. It was neat to see these skeleton replicas and be able to move them too.

Joey loved being able to touch the elements of the exhibit and make them move.
After a few hours of museum fun, we were ready to go home and rest. Later that night we went bowling together.
We need to do this more often. The kids were so excited to bowl. Who knew it could be so much fun?
Tommy really got into the spirit of things.
Thank you Puna and Papa for such a fun day together. It was just what our family needed.
On Sunday we made chocolate covered kids....I mean, strawberries. I am still finding random chocolate splatters on furniture and walls in the kitchen. Oh boy did they all enjoy making and eating their own chocolate berries.

Joey woke up President's Day morning complaining of pain in his ear. Daddy had to go in to work to prepare for the audit. Puna and Papa had to get on the road back to Washington. So Mommy loaded all four kids up for an almost three hour trip to the urgent care clinic. Joey had an ear infection. It was so severe that the doctor was amazed Joey hadn't complained or ruptured his ear drum earlier. We started antibiotics and Joey recovered really quickly.
My friend Jodi set up bounce houses in her Zumba studio. We took the kids and their friends to play for a couple of hours. It was so much fun.
Joey was nervous at first, but two of his favorite babysitters were there and coaxed him up onto a slide. He was unstoppable after that.
Lily and Annie were happy to bring their best friends to play too.
The jousting pit was hilarious. The kids could barely stay up on the platforms, let alone lift the lances and swing them at each other.
Annie giggled the entire time.
Joey really wanted to give it a try. Daddy had to rush in and help him
I tried to get a picture of them together, but our friend Madison's hand is right in front of Joey's face. Oh well.
Someone sent Mommy an anonymous note and gift card. We found it in the mailbox. It totally made Mommy's month. We;re guessing it is from someone in the ward since it was addressed to Sister Hall. We haven't been able to figure it out. But it was a tender mercy in what has been a difficult month emotionally for Mommy.
 Lily's 3rd grade science fair project took over our lives for about a week. She chose a project on yeast - what is it? why do we use it to make bread? what happens if we leave it out of bread?
 We kept everything the same for the two batches, but we omitted the yeast from the loaves on the right. Lily was amazed at the difference.
 Once all the baking was done, it was time to do more research on yeast, write the presentation, make the poster, and then translate everything into Spanish. But first, we took some time to play at Kids Town!
 Buying an annual pass was so worth the money. The kids are always excited to go, we can pop in for 30 minutes while we're out running errands, or we can spend half a day there.
 Lily is almost too old to enjoy it, but she is happy to take on the role of Joey-sitter while Mommy plays with the other kids.
Speaking of Lily, she has been wanting a personal reading light in her room for a long time. This week Mommy taught her how to comparison shop and read reviews of products online. After looking around for a few days, Lily found a lamp she wanted and bought it with her own money. She is so happy to be able to read and draw in bed.
Lily also participated in a walking/running program during recess. Her principal awards students for the most laps run during recess. She didn't win an award, but she had a lot of fun trying.
In the midst of our science fair haos, Annie let us know she felt left out. So with some of her bread money, she ordered a crystal growing kit. She and Daddy started with the largest crystal in the kit. There was a lot of prep work and reading involved (thank you Daddy for taking this on).
 They measured and poured and heated and waited. The crystal is still growing. We can't wait to see the finished product.....and grow the other six crystals in the kit.
 Tommy and Joey got some fun hand-me-down play clothes from our friends the Starks. We got ninja turtle, pirate, super hero, Star Wars, all kinds of fun things. Tommy really loves these fuzzy feet.
 We had Uncle Brady over for dinner one night. He gave the kids horsey rides on his back. The kids loved it.
Especially Joey!
 They barely all fit on there together.
 And back to the science project. To illustrate how fermentation works in bread, we found a cool experiment to try. We mixed yeast with warm water and sugar and placed a balloon over the top of a water bottle. The gases released by the yeast filled the balloon, just like they create gas pockets in bread dough. All the kids loved this experiment. Mommy had to fight them away from the bottle in order to avoid spilling sticky, yeasty mess all over the kitchen.
 With a better visual understanding of how exactly yeast makes bread rise, Lily felt ready to start writing her presentation. Then Daddy helped her translate it into Spanish. We learned how fun and easy Google Translate is to use. It was a life saver for creating the Spanish side of Lily's poster.
 The boys and I got to attend the science fair and watch Lily explain fermentation and bread making. She did a great job. After two days of tummy aches, nerves, and pep talks, we were finally done with the science fair. Hallelujah!!!!
 Joey is obsessed with the pirate hat that came in the dress up clothes from our friends. He wanders the house with the hat on and sword or LEGO crocodile in hand, yelling ARG! He has worn the hat each day for over a week. Sometimes he will go back to the cowboy hat, but this pirate number is his favorite at the moment.
Just when we were starting to relax and feel like the rental might just work out, we got a letter from our insurance company telling us that they won't insure the house until we do repairs on the roof. Really?!?  Apparently the previous owners had the roof redone, but did not include the garage or the back addition of the house that includes the laundry room.  It is in really bad shape. We did not look into it as closely as we should have when we purchased the home and we are paying for it now. The problems seem to never stop. We got an estimate for the roof and will will start repairs in March. Good thing we're getting a tax return, it will fund the roof. We also got a call from the tenants downstairs to tell us the oven heating elements are not working. Ugh!  It all just makes me want to cry.

Daddy's big accomplishment (besides finishing the basement of the rental) was surviving the annual audit. He was more prepared this year and hardly had to stay late or put in weekend hours. Now the real work begins. He will still be busy into the month of April - and then he gets a trip to Hawaii - with his coworkers instead of his wife. Rough life.

Mommy went to a two day Zumba masterclass workshop at the end of the month. The instructors were phenomenal and the workouts were intense. It was an exhausting and exhilarating workshop. It was so great to get a break from normal life and exercise some stress away. Project "Fit by Forty" is underway as my 39th birthday approaches. This was a great way to kick it off. My focus in this year will be on my weight and my health. Here's to a better me in my 40's!
And that's all for February!