Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bike Rides

So I have figured out the best (meaning easiest and least painful) way to get a little exercise in at 28 weeks pregnant. Bike rides. I have always enjoyed riding my bike and I got really attached to it in Yuma. So, it made sense that here, I would bike as well, especially since I can enjoy it without the sweat literally dripping off me. And bless his heart, Tanner wants to go every day (which is a good motivation for me!). He would love to ride his own bike, but he just cannot figure out how to make the pedals go on his own AND steer the bike. And then when I am not either pushing his little legs or simply pushing him along, he gets upset. Eric loves riding but isn't a long distance rider yet--once around the little niehgborhood is about all he can handle. But Amelie is in it for the long haul. She rode a while ago next to Mary for 3 miles while Mary ran. So, I knew when my friend Jennifer suggested we ride to DQ one night, Amelie could do it. She still has her training wheels attached, but that doesn't slow her down at all. She rode all the way there and back, never once complaining. I had Tanner in the bike seat behind me and Eric would have been in the trailer but he fell asleep befoer we left, so he stayed home with Dad. It was a great ride and I felt just fine after. So now, my goal is to ride at least every other day for as long a distance as I can handle. I did it in Yuma--I know I can do it here. So, library time next week is going to be on bike and I am sure I will find other places to bike as well. I love it! (The doctor's only stipulation was "Just don't fall! It's gotten a little close when one of the kids cuts me off accidentally, or if I have to adjust the bikie position while stopped, with Tanner on the back, but no tips yet!)

Mornings and making beds

I have tried forever to think of motivations to make beds in the morning. Leave it to Amelie to think of something that works. A few nights ago, she had a bad dream. Since it was already actually morning (nearly 6am) and Jim was working, I just had to come lie down with me so she would feel safe. Well, once we got up an hour or so later, I was in helping the boys get dressed and ready and encouraging Eric to make his bed, which he did--and he has actually been very good at it ever since. Anyway, Amelie rushed out saying she had a surprise for me. She had made our bed. She has done that now for three mornings, so this mornging while she surprised me with a made bed, I reciprocated. It has been a fun game and a wonderful way to get her (and me) to make our beds. She even made Tanner's one morning.
As for Eric, he has been the first one up on most mornings. He comes in and tells me, 'Mom, it's morning time. Wake up!' I have tried to reason him into a few morne minutes of sleep, but he is patient with me and stays by my bedside or comes to give me a hug, but if it lasts more a a few minutes, he reminds me again that the sun is up and it is time to get up. Even more, he has been making his own bed and changing from his pj's all on his own. The only thing is he gets a little upset when I suggest shorts instead of sweats or thick pants for the day. Bless his little heart! And once we are at the table eating breakfast, he makes sure everyone gets a 'Good Morning, _____' welcome from him. Talk about a sweet awakening to the day!

Amelie's birthday party

It was Billy's first day gone today and there was a definite void in the house. The kids asked for him and we had to explain that he would be gone for a while. But luckily, they stayed busy with Amelie's birthday party. She will be 6 on Monday--so hard to believe. I know it is hard to have a summer birthday, but we were grateful that several of her kindergarten friends were able to make it, and a few from church. It was a beautiful day--sunny and warm with enough of a breeze to make it perfect. We had the slip n slide out and tossed water balloons and water darts and used our water blasters. Of course, we had to pin the crown on the princess poster. And as per Amelie's request, we had a Hello Kitty birthday cake, but it was windy enough that she only pretended to blow out candles. :) I couldn't even get one to stay lighted for a second. Mary even got to take her lunch break during the party and came home for cake and ice cream. Eric joined right in with the entire party--with two other boys there. And even Tanner tried cleaning off his pacifier in the water spraying up from the slip n slide. He was drenched by the end and didn't even wait to be changed before he conked out afterward. I had to take his wet clothes off while he was asleep so he could take a nap. Even Eric was so worn out that he fell asleep only half an hour after Tanner. It really was a lot of fun. I enjoy entertaining, despite the stress I put myself through getting ready and set up. I am so glad we could celebrate Amelie's birthday with her friends. She is such a good helper and wonderful little girl. Our family has been blessed with her presence in our home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Amelie singing

If I can ever get it to load, here is Amelie singing at her kindergarten graduation.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Amelie's first lost tooth

Last Sunday, as we were getting ready to leave for Mary's seminary graduation, Amelie came to me worried because her first loose tooth was bleeding. I told her it was time to pull it. She and Billy headed tot he bathroom where she let him yank it the rest of the way out. She cried for a few minutes, then smiled big to show us the window in her mouth. She placed her tiny tooth in a baggy and hung onto it for who knows how long. It is now MIA, which means she has yet to have a visit from the tooth fairy as she has no tooth to offer. But she is sure proud of the gap in her teeth! She learned two loose tooth songs in kindergarten and still goes around the house singing them. And she has another loose tooth that she is working on now--the joys of children!

Spiritual strength

I am so amazed at the spirituality in our children, especially in our little Amelie. She teaches me a great deal by her example. She has also learned how to apply gospel principles to her own life.We have been talking about the influence of the Holy Ghost in sharing time and how the Holy Ghost communicates with us. One night after the first lesson, I was singing "Walk Tall, You're a Daughter" to her at bedtime (one of our favorites) and she turned to me and said that when I sang the line "He's closer than you know, reach up, He'll take your hand," she felt tears come into her eyes. Then she asked,'That was the holy ghost, wasn't it?' Oh yes, it was. She has such great faith, too, to know that if she needs something, she can pray and Heavenly Father will guide her to an answer through the Holy Ghost. She has said prayers for help finding Eric's missing glasses and soon after, we got the impression to look in the backyard, of all places--and there they were in the grass.
Every testimony meeting, Amelie is excited to share her testimony with the congregation. She does it all on her own and though she forgets some of the things she wanted to say once she gets up (don't we all?), she is sincere and genuine in the things she believes and shares.
Finally, she has just recently gained a love for the scriptures. In Sacrament meeting, she read over and over to herself the first article of faith. Then when we got to Primary, the little boy who was supposed to deliver the scripture and prayer was not there. So, we had Amelie come up and read/recite the first article of faith for our scripture. She did it beautifully and still remembers it, reciting it around the house and asking for help to learn the second article of faith, now.
Having been in the Primary for the last few years, I have learned just how much children can teach us about the gospel. I am so thankful for children (especially my own) who listen to the gospel teachings and who make the gospel a part of their lives. I know it strengthens me and most importantly, their spiritual connections and convictions will keep them strong in a wavering world of wickedness. What more could I ask?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Front Page News

After the graduation ceeremony, we went outside to take pictures, of course. The Daily Interlake (local newspaper) photographer was out front at the same time snapping pics here and there. Well, we knew he had taken a whole bunch, including one of me hugging a former student and girl in our ward, and of Mary and Tanner. We were pleasantly surprised on Sunday morning to see that they had chosen the picture of Mary and Tanner for their front page picture! I wish I could cut and paste, but since I cannot, you should check it out--June 6, 2010 Graduation. You can try this link, or check it out under photos of June news features, under Flathead or FHS Graduation. We were pretty excited!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So much has happened and since I have very little time for extras, the blog was put on hold. But since today is the first official day of summer vacation for me, I thought I should take a minute to post all that has happened.

It was so great to see Tiffany and Mckaylie over the weekend as they came up for Mary's graduation. Mckaylie is growing, scooting along on her belly and babbling away. Tiffany stays busy working and taking care of her family.

Mary's track took her to state for the 4 by 4 race. We drove to Great Falls Memorial Day weekend to watch her run. They ran their fastest time and came in 4th at State! The girls' team came in 4th overall, only a few points behind their in-town rivals.
Mary completed all four years of seminary very successfully and graduated this past Sunday evening. We are so proud of her accomplishments. She is also going to be getting her Young Women's Medallion very soon as well, as she has completed all of the requirements for that, too.
And of course, Mary graduated from high school on Saturday. It was a really good program. She was one of the first ones across the stage, which was exciting. For only being here one year, she is a very well known and loved student (which isn't hard for us to believe! We think she is pretty awesome!) As we went outside to take pictures, the newspaper guy was right there. He took a picture of Tanner giving Mary a hug and it turned out to be the front page picture the next day! That was pretty cool and exciting. We are so proud of the work Mary did to graduate and are looking forward to watching her play volleyball in college!

Billy did great on the JV Track team, especially shining in the 300 m hurdles. We expect he will continue there for sure in the next few years.
Billy also survived his freshman year in high school. He is starting honors classes next year and has to read Fahrenheit 451 over the summer. He has football camp and then wrestling camp, with Youth Conference in between before he leaves for Arizona for a month.
Billy did his Eagle Project about a month ago--tearing down and rebuilding dugouts for some city baseball diamonds. He should receive his Eagle soon.

Amelie just lost her first tooth on Sunday evening, right before Mary's seminary grad. She cried for a few minutes, then was so excited, she carried it around in a baggy until she lost it, so she's had nothing to put under her pillow yet.
Amelie also graduated from kindergarten this week. She was given the "Incredible Imagination" award from her class as she is always dreaming up this situation or that with her imaginary friends. She is a bright student and seems to shine in math, especially (her teachers were wowed by her counting ability).

Eric graduated from joy school--and since I won't be able to teach with the group anymore, he is really graduating to preschool next year. He talks a mile a minute and over spring break, when he decided (and I finally had time to dedicate to it) to get potty trained, it took only 2-3 days and he goes all day and all night now! He very rarely has accidents and we are so proud of his progress.

Tanner began speaking in sentences and can even say a very basic prayer with help. He loves to run and throw and play! He also loves babies--we'll see if that continues when the new baby joins our home and is here permanently!

Jim and I are doing well--staying busy, though very glad for the summer break. Next year, I will be an official full-time teacher, which will be so nice. I will teach 3 1/2 weeks before a sadly, short, but at least I get something, maternity leave. At this point, he will be Ethan Allen (a great historical figure, which Jim can teach him all about). Less than 16 weeks left~yeah!

So that's the quick wrap-up! We are a happy family!