Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nice Calm Week

Great week! No big commitments, no grocery store fiascos (partly because I've had fiascos at a couple of different stores and don't dare show my face at those ones anymore!), lots of swimming (it's been at least 105 degrees every day this week so swimming is the only outdoor activity option) and reading and getting caught up on things around the house. Had this weekly ward swim party Tuesday that I got set up a couple weeks ago - great to get to know people better. Life's feeling more manageable this week. Ashton read 13 chapters of Harry Potter all by himself one day while listening to the twins and Eliza during naps so Jared and I could take Isaac out for lunch - he's been really needing a special date. We went out for sushi and Isaac was totally excited to try octopus and raw tuna, halibut and salmon as well as some seaweed - he's our most adventurous kid lately on food - and we all had fun trying new things. Gave the boys and Jared MUCH needed haircuts and Isaac got the mohawk he requested - why not?

We went to the weekly street festival downtown in the HEAT and had a fun time watching the kids dance around to some great live music. The twins were really going like crazy - I didn't get the best stuff on video and Eliza wasn't doing her usual great dancing, seemed dazed by the heat and the camera - but here's a little something.



Jared made a final decision on a whole new fleet of truck for Miller Gordon - brand new Freightliners. After 100's of hours of discussion and looking at trucks and talking with dealers and analysis using these great models on Excel that Jared put together, Jared and the two company owners felt really good about the Freightliners and got a good price on the old trucks and a good price on the new ones and the deal is underway. Yeah! No more breaking-down gas guzzling trucks to drag the company down! This is going to make a huge difference and help Miller Gordon really start making money plus cut way down on the crazy maintenance hassles that keep happening with the old trucks. They'll start saving about $30,000 a month in gas with these new trucks' gas mileage! I now know SO much more about semi trucks than I ever could have imagined. Jared's doing a great great job and things are looking up with this company. He does get a lot of calls any time of the day or night with missed deliveries or broken down trucks or other issues that pop up, but he deals with them well and his very many hours of work will hopefully ease up now that the truck decision is made and they've hired on some more part-time help.

Yesterday we went hiking with our friends Justin and Jessica Lanoe at this cool slot canyon with a gnarled tree that looks like a dragon or dinosaur- the kids call it the "Dragon Hike". It was very very hot but very very beautiful and nice to get away a bit. I got to know Jessica Lanoe when she drove me up to Provo for the PTA convention and the Lanoes have become good friends - always up for adventure and have a couple very nice kids (ages 8 and 10) who get along great with our kids. We feel like we're finally really making some good friends around here. Of course our best friends are our neighbors Jo and Aja but it's good to feel like we've got some other people we really enjoy hanging out with as well.

Saturday I went to the temple on my own - somehow I always think I need to go with Jared and logistically that's very hard so I've realized I really need to just go on my own and get there at least once a month. It was a great session and I realized some things that I really needed. I'm so grateful for the temple. Along with other things, I sat there in the celestial room and felt so very grateful - I have all the deepest desires of my heart - a wonderful handsome, worthy, smart, kind husband and 5 beautiful healthy bright sweet kids, a great home, enough money to be fine and opportunities to use my talents and grow. The only real "problem" I have is that I have SO MUCH - too many great opportunities to use my talents, so many wonderful beautiful busy children, such a large house to take care of, so many people I care about that I want to keep up on, etc. What a "problem" to have! Life can really really really be hard sometimes - but I need to count my blessings more and realize that most of my "problems" come from having so much of the very things I always wanted.

Other things I learned at the temple this time:
- watch out more for Satan - he's so real and he's so involved in grabbing away at our happiness bit by bit - we need to be on guard always and cast him out more frequently and more fully.
- are we keeping sacred the outward signs and tokens of the things that matter most to us? In watching us, would others see regular tokens and signs of our affection for our husbands and children? of our faithfulness in the gospel? I've recommitted myself to those simple tokens and physical signs that may seem sort of repetitious or unimportant - things like kissing every kid goodnight every night and telling them how much I love them, kneeling down for personal prayers, having more formal family prayers, dropping whatever I'm doing to kiss Jared when he gets home from work, etc. These tokens and signs of our love and devotion need to be kept sacred, don't you think?

We finished off Saturday with a fun little birthday party for President Hinkley. We learned some interesting facts about his life, played a little quiz game, played a special pin the tail on the donkey game that Isaac made himself, sang happy birthday, blew out candles, ate cake - the kids were so excited. Thanks Jo for reminding me that it was President Hinkley's birthday! What an amazing man - 97 and still going strong! It was fun to learn more about his life and realize his humility and great abilities and how they've worked together to help him be a remarkable person and prophet.

And there you have it for this week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Great Video of the Twins

I think you'll really like this little video clip of the twins. Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back to the Blog

I started this long long ago but sort of abandoned it in favor of regular email updates - but now that my whole family seems to have jumped on the blogging bandwagon, I guess I'll try again!

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks of swim lessons (down at our pool 4 days a week with Ana and Cam and some other friends' kids), art camp for Ashton and detective camp for Ash and Ike (turned out to be a total waste of time and money but oh well), and SafetyTown camp for Ike and Ana. We had Kimberly and her kids (as in Adam Eyre's wife) visit overnight and it was great to see her and have the kids all play. We had Grammie for a weekend to see Ana in a little kids' production of Annie. I had youth conference to go to and we had birthday parties going on (one of Isaac's Latino friends from Dixie Downs had this crazy all-out party complete with bouncy castle, DJ, a singer, an enormous pinata and amazingly good homemade Mexican food - I want to help them open a restaurant!). Ashton's been doing baseball (last game last Tuesday - he really improved and learned a lot!) and Eliza had her little Joy School graduation.
We've been hiking with friends and had lots of friends over. And to top it all off, we had a great day Saturday watching Jared compete in a triathalon and celebrating Father's Day with lots of great food and sweet homemade cards and treasure hunts from the kids. I can't believe it's been a month since school got out - time has flown by!

The triathalon was quite an adventure for Jared. This iron-man husband of mine is good at a lot of things - but he's not a swimmer - nope, never has been - he pretty much sinks due to his lack of body fat and overabundance of muscle. So that 1/2 mile swim was a real feat for him and I was so proud that he did it! He was one of the last out of the water (but he also started towards the end of the group) and apparently did a lot more distance than most thanks to some serious zigzagging with his backstroke. I was glad to see him finally get out of the water and know he hadn't drowned! He got right on his bike (a mountain bike when what you really need for a triathalon is a light-weight road bike) and somehow missed the turn-around for the sprint course and did almost the full Olympian distance on his bike before he realized his mistake (22 miles of serious hills on the wrong bike after all that hard swimming). We waited and worried when there were NO more bikers left coming on the road and were so glad to finally see him arrive, sunburned and super tired but a pretty remarkable BIathalete. Next time he'll go for the full triathalon and pay better attention to the signs. We're all proud of him!

This week we have no camps and no swim lessons and no visitors and I'm excited to read with the kids and get some much-needed projects done around the house and teach the twins new things (they're at that great age where they're learning new words and gaining new abilities like crazy every day) and do a daily pool excursion. We are so so so so grateful for the pool down the street in this hot hot hot weather. And now that the kids are becoming great swimmers (including the twins who hop right into the deep end with their water wings on and swim like little champs), the pool is really fun. It was always a scary prospect last year with the twins.

I'm trying to do a special date every week with one kid at a time - got a nice girl who lives nearby to babysit the other kids while I do this. I've realized there's no getting out of getting a babysitter from time to time, even though we can't exactly afford it. I just feel like a bad mother (and I probably really am not doing what the kids need) when I have so many kids around me all the time and I really cannot meet all their needs for individual attention or really listen to all the things they want to tell me.

I took all the kids to the grocery store last week because we were really out of everything and we had stuff going on every evening and Jared's way too busy at work these days to ever spell me off. It was a NIGHTMARE! Started off bad when this probably well-meaning but very annoying older bagger guy told me I couldn't put Eliza in the part of the cart where the food goes - pointed to the label on all the carts that says not to do that. I nicely explained that I have three small kids who have to ride or they'll get lost and do wild things and two kids who need to walk and there's no other way - have to put the babies in the truck cab on the front of the truck carts and used to put Eliza in the child seat on the back but now they have these new carts that only have the truck cab place, no child seat, so I had to put Eliza in a place that isn't ideal but she had no shoes and I couldn't keep track of 3 wandering kids plus two crazy babies who can easily get out of their seatbelts in the truck cart. He wasn't exactly understanding - kept pointing to the sign and saying that's the rule, no kids in the basket of carts. I got pretty mad - "What is your suggestion? Are you saying I should just go home and not shop? I need groceries and I can't think of another way to keep my kids safe while I get a few things, can you?" He said fine but I just need to know that it's my responsibility if anything bad happens to Eliza and I was so annoyed and the kids were wide-eyed watching me get rather loud and firm with this guy - "Of COURSE it's my responsibility!" I said and marched off with a cart overflowing with kids.

Then once I had a few things in my cart, Isaac proceeded to wander off and Eliza said the cart was hurting her bum and the twins started wailing uncontrollably and it was really a disaster scene - people were really staring - and giving me looks of pity - and a nice lady offered to take Ashton and Isaac to the service counter and get some balloons for all the kids which they did but the twins were beyond help and I almost abandoned the cart and went home, but I needed the cart to get to the car with the kids and I couldn't take it without paying for the groceries so I tried holding both twins to try to console them and having Ashton push the cart (he's not very good at it!) as we headed for the checkout stand and then Ollie got away from me and headed out the front door and I had to chase him with Si literally screaming by now about something totally un-understandable to me. I stuffed both twins into the truck cart, somehow paid for everything and had one of the baggers walk me to the car, a twin under each of my arms, wailing away. The bagger guy said, "Maybe you need to take them home and lock them in some basement room for a while, huh?" Anyway, I'm NEVER taking all the kids to the store again. Once in a while I do it and it's totally OK - but I was shaking like a leaf by the time I got out of there and I don't think I'll show my face at Lynn's Market again anytime soon!

So anyway, I need more time to really be with my kids individually and I had a great time last week with Ashton, taking him to the art museum and out to lunch and then doing a quick Costco run. Now that's the sort of mothering I need more of - teaching my kids about things I love and really listening to what they want to say. Wow, my life's a roller coaster!

Sorry so long. Got to run clean up strawberries all over the kitchen floor. Got to get a lock for the refrigerator door - the constant food messes from the twins are getting old!
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