Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wrapping up the school year

Just a few days left this week and next for this school year.

My kindergartner Andrew had a rock show in his class. He showed this Agate that JB brought back from Brazil. He has adored full-day and all he has done and learned. He chatters the most when they all walk in the door at 3;10.



Then 3rd grader Ben had his class informance (dancing and singing about math concepts this time). Ben can move across that floor, and wasn't shy about it.


6th grader Max has been the busiest. He had a Greek mythology fair, an orchestra concert (we recognized the Pirates theme out of the three numbers, but 3 year old James kept asking, "Are they DONE?"), and a WWII program and swing dance.



Kelsham S was his partner for the dancing. They all practiced for weeks. Kids with older siblings who had been through it before, told the others at the beginning of the year that you had to find a partner stat, OR ELSE. It led to some stress. 

We were proud of Max for asking Kelsham (her mom was also pleased). Then the word came that you were assigned by height. And they got each other anyway. 

I loved the dance. And I sent two pictures of my still-living 95-year-old WWII Navy-vet grandpa in for the slideshow.

Next are field days and water days and movie days. Their testing I think is all done.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ten months



This dolly doesn't like to lie down (lay down?) on blankets anymore for her official monthly pictures. She wants to be standing. And she has a favorite spot out front.





She will often be waiting there with JB for me to come home every morning. Or she stands by the toy drawers.


Our other babies also liked that spot.  And this spot, on the dishwasher.  She was quite proud herself when she climbed up the first time.




Our Millie is so curious and crawly and cute.  When she is nursing, she tries to twist around, or put her foot up to my neck, or even stand up on my lap while hooked on.  She bit me once or twice with those 6 or 7 teeth.

We call her Chickie, Dolly, Tootie and Girlie.  She will get so excited if you are holding her and come around a corner and she spots a brother or the other parent. Her legs start kicking and she laughs.

I have so many skirts and dresses in the 12 month bin that I just got out from the attic (from my SIL in Seattle, neighbors and a co-worker). I feel like I barely had time to let her wear all the  9 month skirts and dresses! 



I think it would be great if JB's little brother was able to have a baby girl first, because  I could give them stuff. And I really need my brother Peter to move back from Japan and have a baby girl; there are enough clothes, and they are taking up space in the attic. So is Peter's baby swing.  And our bassinet, and Exersaucer and baby boppy, etc. I have given away a ton to people in the ward with new babies. But one woman recently brought sleep sacks and socks and stuff back to me -- "Thanks for lending it," she said. Aw, man, keep it!

The new garage (4 years old this month) gave us so much more storage space. But with 5 kids in a house that is just under 2,000 square feet, we are getting crowded. Others are leaving our ward for bigger homes. I just need to be ok getting rid of my own accumulated stuff, too.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Soccer ends

This will be James's last soccer season for a while.  We may try again in a few years. I don't know what I was thinking, putting a 3 1/2 year old into sports.  Hashtag Too. Soon.




He told me "bad guys" played on the other team. This boy is really into superheroes and that whole "bad guy, good guy" storyline, which I hear is normal developmentally. But he couldn't figure out that they were just other little boys and girls like him, and he would get angry and frustrated.  Often he just ignored the ball and the people around him.

But I did see bright spots and growth through the season. I think he really improved in listening to his coach, and each game he spent a little more time out there running, and even got a few kicks in.  And I was encouraged to see similar struggles with almost all of the other 3 year olds.

It was also Andrew's last game on Saturday, but he was super sick. He just laid on the blanket and let Millie crawl on him.


Max and Ben missed many of the games but we all went for the last one and did their best to be encouraging. It was just yesterday that these two tall boys were my two little boys out there on this very same field.



And each of my babies (post-Max) has played with these on the sidelines.


Andrew stuck around long enough to get his medal, and then we took him home. He couldn't even muster a smile for the camera.


I don't know where James put his medal. I think he forgot about it! Oh, and he later caught the same bug.  I tried, but I believe they shared the same water bottle. I bet it was James trying to catch a sip of Andrew's flat Sprite.  Bring home a rare bottle of soda, and suddenly every boy in my house doesn't feel well.


Monday, May 15, 2017

mother's day


I chuckled during Sacrament meeting -- I have five children, and only one of them was up there singing to me.

To be fair, one is a babe-in-arms and was actually in my arms asleep at the time. Andrew was not feeling well, and I didn't think he should go to church, so Max offered to stay home with him for the first hour. And James flat refused to leave the pew. So that left Ben up there smiling at me as he sang with the rest of the primary. I loved it.

Ben then offered for the rest of church to switch places with Max, instead of me. For Mother's Day, he said. So I went to Relief Society and heard such a great message about the value of women, and how we each individually matter -- no one can take your place.

The day started out with JB not having any Bishopbric meetings, and he brought me breakfast in bed! Home-made waffles, strawberries and whipped cream and bacon. I tell you what, I could not mother without this father. He does so so much for me and our family and home.



I enjoyed looking back at these photo shoots for this post. I am also grateful for the radio commercials my station played relentlessly all last week for a new book at Deseret Book called "You Are the Mother Your Children Need."

I sometimes feel guilty that I am not the best mother, or that maybe I shouldn't be working full-time so early in the morning, or I am not teaching them enough, or I don't pay enough attention to them (especially when I have found a good book) or that maybe I do TOO much helicoptering etc etc. 

Do you know what? I am the mother my children need.



And they are the children I need.


I also want to write quickly about the gratitude I have for my own mother, and my mother-in-law. The kids and I made a card for Pauline and FaceTimed my mom for a while on Sunday.  Pauline is always busy in the service of others, and while I continue to worry about my mom since her stroke, I feel her influence in my life still.

And my sisters and dear friends and sisters-in-law and primary teachers and neighbors and school teachers -- so many women mother and care for my children, and teach me by their examples.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jazz Nation

We have had so many ups and downs this NBA season cheering for our Utah Jazz. On Monday night, the three biggest fans in the house saw the very last game in-person.



JB and I figured it was worth buying the tickets because it has been a long time since the Jazz were in the playoffs (let alone the second round), and it is quite an experience to go. The boys were bummed though that the Jazz lost. Apparently they didn't open the newspaper the next morning, like they normally do. They didn't feel like reading about what had happened.

They said it was really loud. But JB says it was not as loud as game three, which he went to with Roger:


Many of the playoff games in California started at 8:30 pm so the boys and I couldn't see them, because of our bedtimes. But it was sure fun to be a fan this season. I would giggle in my sleeve watching Max and Ben copy JB's mannerisms and express his same viewpoints while watching games. Ben sometimes would even jump up and pound his chest (he did not get that from JB).

Well, here's looking forward to next fall!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Dressmaking

I sewed this dress for Millie when I was pregnant. I found a pattern online where you crochet the top yoke, then attach a skirt. You can't see, but I also added yellow flowers for detail.


I love her in it. Then I got dressed for church and decided to compliment her yellow and white.



I had a friend at church rave about my skills when she saw the dress and matching diaper cover (though I told her not to look closely at the seams). She said how jealous she was that I could craft and crochet and sew a little. and here I was jealous of many of her talents! We all have things we wish we could improve. My friend Autumn has such a good eye for home decorating and comforts and styles for example. And her needlepoint! Sigh. 

I would like more time to craft and sew, it is fulfilling for me. But baby girl likes to be held a lot, and chores pile up, and books and TV shows would love my attention.  Plus the sewing machine and supplies are in with the little boys and they go to bed at 7:30. So, most of my sewing right now is mending holes in socks and clothes ("Me and the boys are hard on clothes, there'll be a lot of washin and mendin" - Adam Pontipee, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)  Different times and seasons, different talents, it's all ok.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Soccer goals

We tried to help 3 3/4 year old James set some goals to make some goals. We offered him an ice cream cone, in the hopes that it would encourage him to be out on the field with his team and kick the ball.

In retrospect, maybe that wasn't the best idea. Because when he didn't make a goal right away ("The others keep kicking it!") he gave up right away. Why even try anymore? 

But during his game right afterward, 6 year old Andrew took the prize idea and ran with it. He hustled and ran and got in the scrum over and over, and when he made a goal we all went crazy clapping. And then he did his celebration pose.


He's dabbing. Older brothers taught him.

JB took him to get his treat, and offered him a choice of one cone from the ice cream store, or they could go to the grocery store and get ice cream and cones for the brothers, too. Andrew chose to share his prize and his brothers were very happy later. And we have more in the freezer.