Thursday, February 9

This Week

It's just the little stuff that is our life right now but I see big things in it too. Things that I want to remember and savor . . .

Easton has officially begun Scouts! He participated in his first Pinewood Derby last weekend and thought it was pretty cool. Tuesday night this week he went to his first scout meeting. They learned to fold the American flag and leg wrestle. Easton said he beat all the other Wolves in his den. Since I'm in Primary each Sunday, I get to witness the ladies keeping all the kids in line. It was so fascinating to see these fathers manage lively boys and not get frazzled! I'm so excited for Easton to participate. He looked up to the boys as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Scout Oath. So great to have a good bunch of boys learning to be leaders. When Easton heard the words "scout camp", he officially decided if this group camps, he's IN!

This also begins us trekking up to the church building for youth night. The scouts don't meet each week, more like every other week. I really enjoyed having the time to just talk to Easton without Morgan interrupting! On the way home, I mentioned something about their Carter cousins moving back to Seattle probably this summer. Easton got real quiet and then he tearfully said, "It's like someone is dying . . . Mom, they're my best friends." Oh man! Just typing this again makes me teary! I hope we're able to find good times for the kids to Skype or maybe even play some xBox Live together. I can't believe I'm advocating for video game time, but it's something Easton loves to do with his cousins and Uncle Eric.

The boys get out of school each Wednesday at 12:30 and have tennis lessons at 3pm. This past Monday, we have declared Waffle Wednesdays and we're really enjoying it. Each week I learn a little something new about my parenting. The first week was just for fun. The second week I learned I needed to surrender control of what they put on their waffles and just go with what they wanted. (I'd made a really yummy fresh strawberry sauce and they didn't want it - just the Zarbitter chocolate spread, peanut butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and whip cream - spread separately on different portions of their waffle.) Another week it was about showing the boys and starting Morgan on better using their utensils to spread stuff, cut, and eat their own waffles. They were highly motivated and at lunchtime I have more energy and patience to teach than I do at dinner. I can't remember the other couple of weeks specifically, but yesterday I found I needed to start teaching better table etiquette. How to ask for, pass, and thank people for items needed. It's been such a great experience for us and I'm sooooo grateful for our Waffle Wednesdays!

Morgan had to have a cavity worked on and in two previous attempts, she wouldn't let the dentist do the work so we had to put her under general anesthesia. Good grief what a long day! Arrived at 9 for the appointment and didn't leave until 1:30 - and she couldn't eat before or until we left. The observation period of two hours after the procedure were torture because she was needy and hostile. Good thing I love her. The best part was after they gave her the silly juice before the anesthesia. She got real dopey and had me sing to her for a half hour. At one point she looked up in to my face and said, "Mom, you have two eyes." Thanks, sweet girl!

I've officially given up for now on putting Morgan in German kindergarten. The daily battle to get her out the door and to stay there was wreaking havoc on my psyche and my love for her. I often expect too much of her and need to tone it down. So I've started doing "preschool" with her at home for the past few weeks and she loves it. I love it because I'm trying to make more attempts to spend quality time with her. We do a couple different things, but the easiest part of it is each day. A homeschooling friend showed it to me a couple years ago. We do our calendar, letters, numbers, colors, and stuff on there together. Once I let myself let go of German kindergarten for now, a sense of sweet peace swept over me. We might try it again next fall and I've requested she be put in the class with our German neighbor and with the teacher who speaks English for me. We'll see if it comes about, but for now this decision is saving my relationship with Morgan at this time.

The kids got Christmas money from my parents that they've been eager to spend. We were at the PX and looked for BeyBlades - the newest craze to hit their schoolyard break time. Essentially they're tops with a ripcord. They each bought two and were so excited! McKay is obsessed and I love overhearing his battle conversations, even with himself as he talks to his battling tops. McKay has a hard time focusing on anything because he can't get enough -- eating meals, getting ready, and so forth. It's real fun for a busy mom, but a great threat or bribe! Ryan returned from a short trip to the States for a conference and brought the kids 8 + the stadium. Easton declared it the best day of his life AND in another moment of sheer joy dopily said, "I love my family!"

Jake has officially left the carpet -- that is, the small area rug we having in the living room or playroom. He is a scooting machine! He also had his first table food -- mashed avocado. Yep, this kid is growing up! He's still nursing like a champ and we're still trying to get the sleeping through the night routine down. I often wonder if my milk is good enough, if I sit still long enough, and all sorts of "enough" evaluations that I have to tell myself I'm not messing him up. Yet. There's still plenty of time for that. The pediatrician hasn't raised any red flags yet so we'll take his word for it. I love that Jake loves to kiss and snuggle in now and then. Man I love babies!!!

I'm learning to make tasty dinner rolls from a friend who's an expert. My first attempt on my own wasn't the greatest, but they were yummy still. Guess I'll just have to try again!

I've also started playing soccer once a week with some German ladies. It's just indoor pickup essentially, but I love it! I get a real thrill out of a well-executed attack and score, a good defensive delay and steal, the feeling of working together with a team. I'm soooo out of shape that I have to keep my expectations of my body in check, but it's got me pulling out the workout videos to help with that so I can enjoy playing soccer that one night a week. They play Mondays at 8:30pm and while it may sound less than ideal, it's perfect. I don't have to wrestle kids there or find a sitter - except when I had my neighbor come over to watch this past Monday while Ryan was out of town. I wish they played twice a week but this is probably for the best. I just enjoy playing so much more than "working out."

I'm also really enjoying preparing my lessons each week for my primary class. Fun to be back in the Book of Mormon! I love having the weekly deadline pushing me toward daily scripture study. I love applying the things I read to myself, my family, and the lives of the girls in my class. I have 11 girls with another moving in soon and the set of twins bring their neighbors. It's a full room and I have to bring my A game to keep them engaged but they seem to enjoy my efforts. Ryan's got Elders Quorum to direct so we often are swapping Jake week to week. Good thing he loves the sling so I can have my hands free! My girls are eager to pass him around, but I'm not eager for the distraction or a host of new germs to join our family. A couple of the girls also have serious food allergies so I'm stumped on what I can bring for treats. Oh well, I've never been good about that being part of my repertoire!

I should write something about what Ryan's up to but he just got back from his work trip and has a "table top exercise" this week so we haven't had much time to catch up. He's still eyeing tennis lessons because we really like the boys' instructor and he loves that workout. We haven't gotten in much skiing as we'd planned, just too much going on. We're both wanting to shed some pounds and trying to figure out our approaches. He's been calendaring our travels for this year and has conceded that I'll take the kids home for a good chunk of this summer. I'm soooooo excited!!! Down time with my family is much overdue and I had a hard time justifying asking it because, Hello! We're in Europe with all its destinations and the expense of going home! I did such a good job selling the trip to him that now he wants to come too, at least for Matt's wedding when he'll get to see everyone and be present for family pictures. Again, this became about me -- sorry. Ryan, you'll just have to write on this here blog if you want your life story told ;)