Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For only the second or third time since we've lived here, we went to the library a few nights ago. And really, we only went because it was the activity that night for Scouts. We own a TON of books, and I usually either borrow books on my Kindle or buy them for really cheap on Amazon. For some reason the library just felt out of the way and inconvenient. I've changed my mind! They had all the books we were looking for, and it was all so easy. This is what the drive home looked like:

American University made it into the NCAA tournament, and Nate got to go with them to Wisconsin for their first game. They were the lower seed, and hung on in the first half, but lost by a lot in the end. Nate is at the end of the bench in this picture. I cannot even say how much I love March Madness!!! I could watch the men's and women's tournament all day every day if that was a responsible thing to do. :)
 My birthday was last Friday. Natalie is obsessed with party planning. Sadly, we never really make the parties happen in the way she plans and envisions them. She was so excited for my birthday, and wrote up this list of things to do.

Nate had gotten home from Wisconsin at 4 am that morning, so he didn't need to go into work right away. We went and had lunch with Jansen and Natalie at their school. 

I have to laugh at how different our kids are. Natalie was just beaming and beyond excited to see us, especially Nate. Jansen was obviously happy we were there, but just kind of took it all in stride and his reaction was nothing compared to Natalie's.

We went to Cafe Rio and Coldstone as a family that night. I didn't take any pictures. The kids were being pretty awful...sometimes they have a way of sucking all the fun out of eating at a restaurant. Jansen was extremely disappointed that were going to Cafe Rio and had a bazillion reasons why it was a bad choice. While we were eating he even said, "Mom, why did you have to choose a place with red straws?!" 

That night I went to the first meeting of a book club I am in. We read "The Happiness Project," which I really enjoyed. Sweet Wendy, who hosted that night, had cupcakes and everyone sang to me and Anna. Anna had celebrated her birthday earlier that week.

Saturday was a nice family day after having Nate gone most of the week. We spent part of the morning at a park.

Our big outing was to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. We have been wanting to go, but weren't willing to pay the $$$. Our friends were so kind and had some passes they let us use, so we didn't have to pay a thing for admission! 

Jansen was a little concerned once we were out of the aquarium, and you can see it on his face in this picture. The stupid wind (which was actually pretty non-existent) was stressing him out.

I will miss looking out at all these trees when we move to Vegas. I took this picture on a foggy morning.

My grandpa suffered a stroke last week that left him unable to walk, talk, or swallow. He is currently at home with hospice care. It has been hard to not be there and to give my grandma a hug. My cousin Angie sent me this sweet picture and told me she was giving Grandpa a squeeze for me. He has very distinct hands, particularly a finger that is severely bent in one direction. It meant a lot to me to see his hands and to have memories of him wash over me. 

We hoping Tuesday was the last snow we see in Maryland!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Words from Emmy, March Weather, and St. Patrick's Day

I love that I get to spend my days with this girl. She is STILL sleeping in a crib at night. She wanted to sleep in the toddler bed that is also in her room a few nights ago, so I let her try it, but it only took a few minutes and she was asking to go back to her crib. She likes the security of the rails. I like having her in there, so I just keep going with the flow. She loves to play little games of tag, hide and go seek, and to race. 

I am always shaking my head and laughing at the things she says. 

As she turns on the bathroom fan: "Mom, I just need fresh air to help me be warm." 

Emmy is sitting on our recliner and Natalie is on the floor wrapped in her blanket but popped up to say something to Emmy: "Natalie, I don't need your smell. Get down. Get back in your blanket."

In reference to her My Little Pony ring: "Dad, why did you break my Rainbow Dash ring?!"
Nate: "I didn't break your ring, Emmy."
"Yes you did! I saw you break it last summer!"

"Mom, what day comes after winter?"

After using the bathroom: "Mom, I already washed my hands this year, so I don't need to wash my hands."

We had a couple windy days recently, and Jansen's fear of the wind came raging back. I hated it. He reverted to some of the things he used to do a lot in Vegas. He shuts all the blinds, stays away from windows, gets agitated, needs to be kept busy and distracted every minute, has a hard time falling asleep, constantly glances at the trees to see if they are moving, shields his eyes with his hands, etc. He becomes a completely different kid. A few days have passed, and he is back to normal again, but I get really concerned about how things are going to be when we move back to windy Las Vegas.

He loves Nutella smeared between two slices of bread. 

We had a few spring-like days.

And then this happened on St. Patrick's Day. School was closed again. I think that makes 10 days of cancellations because of snow or ice this school year!

Fort Belvoir was also closed, so Nate worked from home. The kids waited and waited all morning to be able to play with him a bit in the afternoon when he took a break from working. This was a huge ball of snow in mid flight that Nate threw at Jansen who was on the deck.

I hadn't really planned anything special for St. Patrick's Day. We had a greenish dinner that I just kind of threw together with what we had. 

The Jell-O was definitely the highlight. 

At the beginning of this year I heard about this Instagram account to help you read the Book of Mormon in a year. I didn't think too much about it, and I didn't follow it. I can't remember how I came across it again, but I started following it a couple weeks ago and am loving it. The reading for the day is posted each morning, along with a question to think about. People post their thoughts and comments about what they have read. It's like a little class we are all in together. It's been a great way for me to be more consistent about my reading and study of the scriptures. I feel like I really need it. I have been "fearful" lately. Fearing adversity, fearing bad things that might happen to my family, fearing the future in some ways, etc. I know these are not feelings God wants me to have nor does He give them to me. Reading has helped me begin to replace my fears with faith. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekly Update

I think it was about a year ago that Nate got me a Kindle for my birthday. I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it has been well used and loved by me and more recently Jansen and Natalie. Natalie's favorite books are Junie B Jones and Jansen is reading the Kane Chronicles. I wish they would read some of the chapter books I have from when I was a kid and from teaching, but they are pretty picky.

Pregnancy wreaks havoc on my left leg. It's not pretty. I wear a compression sock on this leg sometimes, but I seem to forget a lot. These started when I was pregnant with Natalie or Noah, I can't remember, and have gotten worse each time. The ones down by my ankle are new this pregnancy.

I had to include this picture of the sort of stuff Natalie and Emmy do together. Emmy is a good sport.

Jansen has been playing basketball outside almost every day lately. It doesn't matter how cold it is (notice the snow on the ground). He will at least go out for a little while until he is freezing. He also LOVES to play catch with me in the house. We use a smallish plastic ball we have and throw it back and forth in the playroom. I sit on the couch. :) I say "star" if I feel like he made a really great catch, and he likes it when I throw them high.

I took Natalie to get a hair cut on Saturday. I just wanted to take a few inches off to make washing it and combing it easier. I showed the lady about where I wanted it cut, told her some layers right at the bottom were fine, and then I took a seat around the corner because there was nowhere right by Natalie to sit. Well, she hacked Natalie's hair, and since I was around the corner I didn't see it till she was all done. She layered it in weird ways. Some of it Natalie can't even tuck behind her ears. I was pretty mortified, but I am so bad at saying anything in those situations. We just went home and I was sick about it! Natalie hated it too, and she kept saying so, but she wasn't crying or dwelling on it which made me feel better. We even fixed it a little last night on our own because it looked so awful the way she had cut it. Thank goodness hair grows. This is a picture before her haircut...I will have to get a picture of the new do soon.

I am still feeling pretty good as far as the pregnancy goes. Not miserable yet, still sleeping well at night. My appetite is a little off, and I feel like I often have a tummy ache, but nothing awful. I will be 30 weeks this Friday. We bought a new car seat since the other 3 all used the same one. It has been fun to buy some new things here and there now that I know better what I will really need and use.

We went on a little bike ride on Saturday. Even this mama. I'm sure we were quite the sight.

Nate is the ward mission leader, and he does such a great job. He loves working with the elders, and I am pretty sure they love learning from and being with him. The elders are so good to our kids...always talking to them and joking with them and helping them. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Little Life Moments

I went to Natalie's class Valentine's Day party a couple weeks ago. It's the first class party I've gone to, and I was able to bring Emmy, so it was a lot of fun. Natalie really soaks this kind of stuff up, so I should do it more often. 

I snapped a picture of this sweet moment between Nate and Jansen. I guess to most people it's a poor, grainy picture, but I wanted to remember it. Jansen was tearfully telling Nate about how one of the episodes of a show he watched made him sad. I think two of the animals in the show get separated or something, and it just made his little heart hurt. I love seeing his tender side.

Nate bought each of the kids a pair of binoculars, and Emmy's came in the mail first. She was pretty excited.

I took this picture to remind me of some other sweet moments with Jansen. I got sick this week, sicker than I can remember being in a long time. For a couple of the days I was pretty much in bed or on the couch. Jansen showed a lot of concern for me. He would ask if he could get me anything and would check on how I was doing a lot.

And lucky Emmy...she got to watch TV pretty much all day. 

 I was too sick to go to the Blue and Gold Banquet this past Wednesday, but luckily Nate was able to make it.

Jansen was so proud to earn his Wolf.

This is how I watch for the bus after school. At least this is how I do it when I am pregnant and it's cold outside. Sittin' on a big ball against the glass door till I see it down the street and can hustle to the stop.

Emmy is so disturbed by hairs she finds on the ground. And little tangled messes of them really freak her out. I have to come move them for her. She was still recovering from a hair sighting when I took this picture.

 We had a ward International Night last night, and Nate and the ward missionaries were in charge of it. They did a wonderful job, and there was a great turn out. We have so much diversity in this ward, and it's been a great experience to be around people from so many different places. I made Nate let me take a picture of him with this ball of goo that kind of  looked like pale pink Play-Doh. I could have never eaten it, no matter what it tasted like.

 Our buddy Francois sang a song as part of the program. Emmy fell asleep in my arms before the evening was over, so the kids and I left pretty quickly, but I think everyone felt like the night was a great success.