Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Can't Believe I'm Really Seeing Him!

Tonight after reading scriptures as a family (which continues to be quite the struggle), we watched some videos depicting stories from the Bible. As Jesus spoke in one of the videos, Natalie got really excited and said, "I've never heard His voice before!" She was kind of giggling as she said it. A few moments later she exclaimed, "I can't believe I'm really seeing Him!" She rocked back on her knees and put her hands together and giggled again. Then she repeated, "I can't believe I'm seeing Him!" Apparently she thought she was actually seeing Jesus, and her love for Him and the excitement in her voice made me tear up a little. I am so happy she already has a reverence and love for our Savior. She loves deeply, and it's one of my favorite things about her.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some of the Latest

These are a little out of order, but I think as long as we are within the same month we are good. Nate hasn't had to work very many Sundays since we've been out here, but he has been gone the last two. Today he was working at the Marine Corps Marathon.

Just another picture of Nate doing what he does. I think this was half time at a Good Counsel football game. It will be nice when football season is over and we can have him back on Friday nights. Speaking of football, this is the first time in our marriage we have paid to have TV channels that allow us to watch all the BYU and OSU football games. The house we are renting came with a TV in the master bedroom, and we've loved spending some late Friday and Saturday nights watching games in our pajamas.

I was being so good about running most mornings for awhile, but I have stopped. Exercising regularly is a battle for me. On this morning I at least got out and walked.

I had to document these items that Emmy slept with at nap time one day. A large piece of wood, a mini New Testament, and a train whistle. 

The kids had a day off of school recently and we visited a farm/pumpkin patch. EVERYONE else had the same idea, so it was very crowded, but it was a large enough place that it was still really fun.

I "lost" Jansen there for the longest amount of time any of my children have been lost. Like I said, there were a lot of people. He had wandered off to another activity, and I couldn't find him for awhile. Most of me knew that he was not hurt or kidnapped, but you can't help but start to panic. I also had no idea how to proceed if I still couldn't find him after awhile. It's not like Disneyland where they have a system in place for these types of problems. Luckily I eventually spotted him. I was pretty angry. Unfortunately for my kids, I get angry when I am scared.

Recently I had felt like the playroom was smelling funky, but I didn't think too much of it because that room has always smelled weird, ever since we moved in. We also have a few big plastic bouncy toys that have a strange smell. I finally came across the real culprit though when I found these beauties in the pretend kitchen. Moldy and rotten tomatoes.

A typical evening at our house is Nate getting his dinner from the fridge when he gets home and bringing it upstairs to eat while we get the kids ready for bed. On this night the poor guy tripped on the steps and dinner went flying. You can even see the butter on the wall where it detached from the cornbread. 

We had pack meeting on Saturday, and the boys launched paper rockets they had created at Scouts.

Jansen's rocket won the award for "most elemental." He has been flying it around the house all weekend.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Birds, Squirrels, and Bikes

Fall in Maryland has been heavenly. It's been 3 years since we've been able to truly enjoy this season, and I have missed it. There have been a few projects going on in the backyard. When Steve and Jody were here we put up a few bird feeders, and it has been fun to have lots of birds coming and going.

They are hard to see, but there are a couple feeders near the ground and one suspended from the tree. We are pretty sure that deer come at night and knock the ones on the ground to make the seeds fall out. Those ones emptied VERY quickly. The one hanging from the tree has been very successful though. Jansen was making observations and recording them in a notebook in this picture.

Nate had the awesome idea of building a simple obstacle course for squirrels. I was so on board for this. He and the kids have made some good memories working on it. 

It's essentially just a long rope going from one tree to another with small obstacles along the way that the squirrels have to get past to reach the corn. We actually haven't had any success yet. Nate tweaked some things today, so we are hoping to wake up the lazy things so they can entertain us.

 The older kids had school on Columbus Day, but Nate didn't have to work in the morning. We jumped at the opportunity for a beautiful bike ride on the Rock Creek Trail with Emmy in tow. We have yet to experience winter here, but so far I have really enjoyed the weather in Maryland.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Birthday Boy

Nate was supposed to go to a military Tae Kwon Do tournament for 10 days, but because of the government shutdown, the trip got cancelled. I was genuinely sad for all those that had probably been looking forward to and training for the event, but I was SOOOOO happy he wouldn't be leaving. He would have been gone on his birthday. We celebrated his birthday a few days early when we still thought he would be making the trip.  

His actual birthday was on a Sunday, and I made him let me take some pictures.

He wanted steak for dinner. 

Sunday evening I suggested he go relax or read or something and I would put the kids to bed. In true Nate form he told me there was a missionary fireside he would like to attend. He changed his clothes, and off he went. Sometimes I joke with him that he isn't giving me enough opportunities to grow and learn...because he is so easy to live with. We have our hard days of course, but I am very lucky to be married to this man.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Emmy Wore

And these are just the ones I took pictures of...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Morning, Afternoon, and Night

Emmy is in a little preschool group. Two other moms and I take turns hosting "preschool" at our house on Thursday mornings. It's been good for Emmy to start making friends. She still talks a lot about Charlotte, Grace, and Marlee from our Las Vegas days. A couple times a month we go to "music makers" at the church and do some music/song activities and story time. Other than that, we are mostly at home...or at Trader Joe's or Target. Emmy likes to clean the sink and do the dishes lately.

She can be very particular. Lately she insists on wearing two different shoes, usually one on the wrong foot. On this morning, she really wanted two different bowls of cereal. As long as it doesn't cause too much extra work or trouble, I try to oblige.

Emmy knows when she wakes up from her nap Jansen and Natalie will probably be home from school. This morning she was watching Team Umizoomi and I heard a character on the show say, "Do you have a best friend?" And then Emmy answered, "Jansen and Natalie." It was so sweet. She likes to give them big hugs when they get off the bus.

Since they aren't home till almost 4, evenings can feel a little busy, mostly because they also need some time to just play. Luckily homework doesn't take too long.

Nate hasn't been home to eat dinner with us any night this week. I don't say this to complain, but it helps me remember the details of certain periods of our life and how it "really" was when I write it down. I had just cleaned up dinner one night, we had a short Family Home Evening (which I am terrible at doing usually if Nate's not home), and then we made another mess as we made pumpkin pie milkshakes. 

When we can, I like to start bedtime routine early. It gives us time to get bathed, read, sometimes watch Doc McStuffins, have the kids play in their rooms, and generally wind down. 

It's been hard having the kids' bedtime later than we're used to. I feel like there's not much time after they go to sleep to unwind myself or spend some time with Nate. After he gets home he warms up dinner, helps with the kids, and then studies till he's too tired to keep going. Before we know it, it's 11pm or later. I almost always make time to read and have some hot chocolate though. :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Things That Have Happened

I was looking through my pictures and realized that I forgot to blog about the Color Run I did. I was really motivated to sign up for it because --- hey -- who can resist a color run in DC? I'm so glad I did it, and it was loads of fun. But the course? A major disappointment. We basically ran the whole thing in a parking lot. It was more of an "event" than a race. 

We signed Jansen up for cross country this year. It was my idea, but when I asked him if he would like to do it, he was super excited. It turned out that his practice and Natalie's are at the exact same time on the same day at different locations. I've been dropping him off and then racing over to Natalie's practice. Usually Nate is able to make it over to Jansen's practice and pick him up. He had his first race a week ago, and he did great. The races are at 8 in the morning though...that's a little rough for the whole family. 

He was supposed to have his second race this past Saturday. We all woke up early to be ready to leave by 7:25. As he was having some breakfast he had a meltdown. Things went downhill quickly, and the final decision was to skip the race and ultimately to quit cross country. I was a little disappointed at first and a little surprised. I knew he didn't LOOOOVE cross country, but I didn't think he wanted to quit. It's going to be a good thing I think though. No more juggling two practices, and no more early Saturday mornings. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013


We had a happy Sunday. It was General Conference, and Steve and Jody were here to enjoy the slow, relaxing day with us. Steve made pancakes (chocolate chip for the kids, banana for most of the adults), and the boys spent some time recording the birds they've seen recently.

Since we're on Eastern Standard Time, Conference doesn't start until 12. We had plans to take a little walk at a park nearby, but the kids found some rakes in the garage and were happy as can be raking leaves.

It has been really warm. I think the high today was like 88...warm enough to go shirtless if that's your thing.

Jody humored me and let snap some pictures of her. We were sad to drop her and Steve off at the airport today. I always hate walking back into the house after saying goodbye to visitors. It feels quiet and lonely.

These three kept themselves busy pretty well during Conference. There were fights, messes, and cushion forts as well, but all in all I was able to listen to most of it. Thank was a much needed spiritual refill.

Someday my kids will realize how lucky they are; we let them have some type of dessert after most dinners if they eat all their food. It works. Most nights it's usually a handful of chocolate chips, but tonight it was fudgsicles all around.