Been MIA for a bit lately trying to get a handle on Easton's new school with lots of meetings, doctor appointments, back into my cross fit class, Ryan and I coaching both boys' soccer teams and just life moving along. It definitely didn't help coming down with the flu last week! But now I'm back up and running like new so I'll catch you up.
Easton has early release every Wednesday and this week I used it to have the boys go "room-to-room" with me. The house was a disaster and I often don't have them help me because we all know it takes years off a mother's life to do so. But I knew I needed to and had to have a plan to succeed. Here's how it went down.
Lately the boys have been making song requests as we drive to/from Easton's school. So before starting our cleaning blitz, I let them create a playlist for us to work to with their favorites. Wanna know what's on their playlist?
- Anything You Can Do - Bernadette Peters & Tom Wopat in Annie Get Your Gun
- Dry Bones - BYU Singers
- Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now!) - C+C Music Factory (McKay's FAVE!!)
- Follow the Prophet - Clive Romney's singers
- Scripture Power - Clive Romney's singers
- The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani
- Peanut Butter and Jelly - InsideOut A cappella
- Chantilly Lace - Big Bopper on American Graffiti soundtrack (Easton's FAVE!!)
- Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John & Kiki Dee (both boys love it!)
- The Lonely Goatherd - Julie Andrews and kids on Sound of Music
- Lollipop - the Chordettes on American Graffiti soundtrack
It's quite eclectic but it made working with them so fun! They worked pretty happily and Morgan parked her tush in front of the music and danced the entire time. I was amazed I didn't have the whining and fighting we're used to and seeing the kids light up to their favorites was hilarious. McKay really gets into "Everybody Dance Now!" and man does that song throw me back to high school! So it turns out my kids aren't much different than me - they need something fun to listen to as they get their work groove on!
I don't know if I've shared this already or not so bear with me. One of our new family rituals comes from Easton's class. Every day he starts the discussion, usually at dinner - What was your cold prickly and warm fuzzy today? Everyone gets a turn to say theirs and it's been fun to hear from everyone each day. It's always fun to realize your family is evolving. It's most noticeable to me as my babies move on to their next stage, but my boys are ready for longer discussions and this is so fun!
At McKay's soccer game, he kept running up to me with a grin and hollering, "Mom! Did you see me almost kick it?!" He cracks me up! He hovers on the outside of the moving swarm around the ball with his team. However, at Easton's practice, he gets right in there among the bigger kids. Go figure! Since Easton's practice is first, McKay often is too tired to participate at his own practice and is a puddle of tears.
This is made super fun by Morgan who too is also worn out from big brother's practice and wondering what snacks she can banshee scream out of mom this second hour while I try to also coach. We're in this stage right now where anytime we arrive somewhere new, my kids hound me for snacks, even if I've prepped them beforehand. Often another mother will try to help me out and try to share something they've got but it only reinforces my kids' bad behavior. Any snacks I bring end up strewn across the field and often fought over, especially by a weeping child who is supposed to be practicing but just wants the snacks everyone else is getting. Why do I do this to myself?!
That's only one element behind my decision to not coach next spring. The bigger reason is that I think my boys need a regular cheerleadering mom on their sidelines for once focused solely on them. It's a hard pill to swallow for me because I see the need of the community and feel particularly good about helping out in this way that I can. Many families here have dads that would love to be coaching but is either deployed or having to travel for work, protecting all of us.
Speaking of protecting us, I'm sure you're all hearing the buzz about the European Bin Laden terrorist threats. We've been paying particularly close attention to this given Ryan's work with European Command, but we continue to feel safe in our surroundings yet mindful of the need to be aware and vigilant at all times.
I've been reading a bit about how Europeans view Muslims in their midst and we watched an interesting Christine Amanpour town hall meeting entitled "Holy War" asking if American's should fear Islam. It's an interesting look at the spectrum of Muslims and their views. I've been enjoying my recent book "Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future." I've never been much of an end-of-days person, but this book is an interesting look at the context behind Rosenberg's "eerily prophetic" novels that are guided by Old Testament last days prophecies. I think I wanna read them now too.
Have you seen "Holiday" with Cary Grant and Kathryn Hepburn? We caught it this week and it was fun to chat about what's important in life - the pursuit of wealth and influence or living life to it's fullest. Nothing like our recent job hunt to help us always be evaluating ourselves. I like what I heard in Conference yesterday - you really are given two things in life: time and agency to choose how your time is spent. I'm glad I found such a great guy to marry and spend this time with!!! He had a birthday last week and had to spend it taking care of the kids and nursing me back from the dead. The fact that he's a better cook and baker than me is just icing on the cake!
Today is the day Germany celebrates it's reunification, but it's not widely outwardly celebrated from what I've read. Easton's class talked a lot this week about the Berlin wall coming down - a full 21 years ago already! Apparently, there are still growing pains as the East and West come together, but it was a big deal this summer that the whole country got behind their German World Cup team which was pretty representative.
We got out and enjoyed a beautiful autumn day knowing they are numbered. It is the rainy season! We took the kids out for a walk in the woods behind some nearby horse pastures. We really don't take advantage of the beauty around us enough!
Ryan has an internal GPS and so we didn't get lost as we wandered from trail to trail, crossing bridges and streams as the fancy took us. Germany sure is a beautiful country!!! The boys had whined at the initial thought of the walk but we all had a good time together enjoying the fresh forest air.
Morgan was a happy trooper until her little legs were worn out with our pace. Then she got a ride on my or Ryan's shoulders for the duration but seemed to like Daddy best. She kept stroking his hair, saying, "Soft. Soft. Soft." Oh she's so fun and chatty lately, nearly 2! After a couple hours wandering, we got back to the car and took a nice drive through winding country roads. McKay of course konked out as we knew he would while Morgan and Easton giggled together with the wind whipping around them. What a nice afternoon!
I gotta say I was very impressed with how easy it was to watch General Conference online this weekend! Usually there are delays in the live streaming and this year is was so easy and clear! I love the church's newer Conference site! Not having to wait a week for sessions to be loaded is fantastic! We watched each "morning" session live at 6pm after stuffing our faces. We made our favorite enchiladas today followed by some good ol' chocolate chip cookies.
Coming soon: Morgan in her new dirndl dress!