Monday, August 30, 2010

First Big Step

Today, August 30, 2010, Lyse stared Kindergarten.

I felt bad for her because she is not feeling well. I think she caught whatever I have (throat yucky, cough nasty, nose running, head throbbing type stuff). When she came in to snuggle me this morning, I told her it was actually time to get up and get ready for the day. She begged me for just "1 more minute please". Lyse is NOT one that likes to lay in bed in the morning, so I knew she probably really needed that one more minute.

When I finally got her excited enough to climb out of bed, the thunder rolled through the house and rain pelted the windows. Oh boy...the day is just starting out peachy!

I LOVE the rain! LOVE IT! I LOVE thunder! I do not LOVE the idea of having my baby's first day of school be filled with down pouring rain - how on earth would I get a picture that way?!? :)

Thankfully as we were eating our waffle breakfast, the sun shone through the clouds and the rain stopped. (Note: the rain stopped just long enough for us to get to school, get pictures and the cute little Kindergarten kids walked we got in the car and drove home, the rain started once again)

Lyse had picked out a cute skirt and shirt but when she saw the rain and gloom outside, she chose to put on a Dress Shirt that had long pants with it. I think she looked DANG cute!

As we got to the school, we got a few pictures and Lyse couldn't wait to take Katy's hand and walk with the "big kids" to school. She has been waiting for this for years! Each morning as we would drop carpool off, Lyse would ask, "When is it my turn?" Last year was especially hard as each morning she would watch 4 kids jump out (instead of 2), excited for a day at school.

This year was her year, today was her day. All last week she would say, "I am starting school tomorrow". We would correct her and tell her it was a couple days away but she still would go around telling everyone she was starting tomorrow. Her teacher was a bit concerned when she met her last Wednesday and came to tell me school started on Monday, not Thursday. I let her know that I knew that but Lyse just always stuck with the "tomorrow". It really was cute!!

Lyse is ready - I am not! Lyse knows her ABC's, how to write them and has even started to read some sight words. She counts to 100 with a little help on remembering 70, 80 and 90. Lyse is one smart cookie and I know she will succeed in life! Today was her first big step into gaining independence and her adventures in life. That is a hard step for me as a mom but I am still excited for her!!
Our Cute Carpool kids!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In over my head

Friday Katy's teacher and I had a disagreement over the water fountain usage.

Seems that the rule is when you come in from recess you can drink from your water bottle on your desk or not at all. Since Katy doesn't have (or I should say didn't have) a water bottle she was forced to go thirsty after coming in from 95 degree weather or break the rule and get a demerit. Katy decided that she was thirsty enough that a demerit was worth it. Now if you know Katy you KNOW she had to be dang thirsty to break that rule - she is NOT a rule breaker!

Wednesday following recess outside, Katy was walking past the drinking fountain and she stopped and took a drink from the fountain. She was in the classroom and seat the same time as the rest of the students and 5 others stopped to get a drink as well. All 5 were given demerits for breaking the rules. Katy when writing what she did wrong she wrote, "I was really really thirsty so I got a drink from the drinking fountain." When asked how she could rectify it, she said, "Have a water bottle or go thirsty."

As you can guess - this did NOT go over well with me from the mother point of view! I was in control over her having or not having a water bottle. Since I had been told it needed to be a clear one and I don't have a clear one at home nor the money to purchase one, I had not sent one to class with my daughter. I NEVER in my WILDEST dreams imagined that she would be forced to go thirsty following playing outside in 95 degree weather because I had not purchased a water bottle for her!!!

Now I don't know what I am going to do. The teacher and I had a long but CIVIL conversation. The problem is when I first called it was the school principal that answered the phone and received the message. The principal was the one that took the message to the teacher. Now the teacher thinks I brought the principal in on the situation...when in truth I was just calling the teacher but the principal was manning the phones.

What do I do? Katy was NOT in the wrong to get a drink of water following playing outside and I do NOT agree with the rule that all students are banned from the drinking fountain following recess. Now if the rule stated all students that have a water bottle are banned - that is one thing - they have a way to get water. However, that is NOT how the rule is written. All students (even those whose parents aren't aware their child will go thirsty) must obey the rule, no matter the weather outside or the thirst they are feeling.

I told the teacher the rule was wrong and should be re-visited. She told me that we had very different personalities and she hoped the school year would go well. I simply replied, "We are excited to have you as a teacher and look forward to a wonderful, productive, happy school year". Oh how I wish that really would happen. I have a feeling that Katy has now received a target on her back.

NOT the way I wanted to start the school year and end the first week of school. What am I supposed to do? Should I have just let Katy get in trouble for taking a drink of water when she was hot and thirsty? Tell her I wasn't mad and I was fine with it and not have said anything to the teacher?

Yes it was against the rules but I do NOT agree with the rule. Sometimes in life breaking an unjust rule isn't a bad least that is my opinion. How on earth was Katy (or any child for that matter) supposed to learn and pay attention following recess if all she could think was, "Man I am really thirsty, when can I get a drink?" Yes I should have kept my mouth shut a bit longer. NO I do not regret addressing this...just wish I didn't have to have Katy deal with any repercussions.

Oh boy this school year could be interesting!

P.S. Teacher informed me that kids feelings don't matter they are just kids - that didn't set well with me either! Please oh Please let us have an amazing happy week this next week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Week of Summer

Last week was our last week of summer. I tried to do fun things with the girls each day.

Monday we went to my parents house and I let the girls swim until their little hearts were content.

Tuesday we just hung out. I was going to go to the $2 Tuesday at Thanksgiving Point but honestly the thought of the HUGE crowds just wasn't worth it. I did have good plans but I guess I just failed at making the WHOLE week absolutely amazing and fun.

Wednesday we had my sweet niece, Keira, for the day. The girls got to play all day with Barbies and watch a few movies. When they started to get restless, we did some shopping. We had a lot of items that needed returned, so we ran to all our stores and did our returns list.

As a note - Sports Chalet is AMAZING! We bought some shoes there about 1 month ago. I think I threw out the receipt but the shoes started to tear apart - NOT GOOD! We took them in and the manager just let us exchange them - no big deal! They even gave us a receipt when we left in case something happened to this pair. I TOTALLY would buy there again and I TOTALLY put that receipt away in a good place!! :)

We went to Michael's Craft Store. Katy and Lyse were SUPER excited about this...especially Katy. She had been BEGGING all summer to go, so she was really super excited to go look around.

Now why all summer without me taking her in - a few reasons!

First - if I take in her, I have to take in her sister. Taking both in with just me is quite hard and Ben has not been overly willing to go with us. Wednesday I was able to sucker him in. While it is true I had 1 more child and another set of little hands and fingers to watch and make sure things aren't strewn throughout the store...I also had another set of adult hands helping. The girls had a blast and loved picking out a couple Crafts. I was also really impressed with their prices on small little crafts...honestly better than a dollar store!

The crafts actually came in really handy on Thursday.

Thursday it rained ALL DAY! We had made plans to go to the water slides at Classic one more time. With the rain and mucky weather that was NOT going to happen!! We decided to make some yummy homemade chicken soup and do crafts.

The girls painted their magnets from Michaels. They had a blast with it.

After they finished painting, we played 4 games of UNO. Lyse won almost all the games and Katy won the other one! They both got the game down pat!! It is fun that as a family we can sit and play card games and such together. We let each of the girls have a turn starting as well as have a turn shuffling and dealing. It really was fun.

To end the fun night, Grandma and Grandpa came over and had soup with us. It was yummy and we were happy!! After Grandma and Grandpa left we went to Wal-Mart and stocked up on all the supplies we will need for this next school year. Starting school is EXPENSIVE!!

Friday was a super crazy fun day. The first thing we did was go and meet Katy's teacher, Mrs. Kidd. I think the year will be good for Katy as long as Katy (and I) stay on top of all the homework. I know, I know - easier said that done!

After we finished up with the teacher, we headed to Wal-Mart to get Katy a swimming suit (she managed to loose all hers) and then to the water slides (after stopping by the house for the rest of our suits). On a fun side note - while at Wal-Mart, I found out that my sweet new nephew Ryker was born! He is a big little boy at 9 lbs 15.6 oz and 20 in long but he is super sweet! I am way excited to have him as part of my extended family!!!

It was a TON of fun at Classic. I don't know if it was less crowded cause many had already started back to school or if it was because the day seemed a bit on the chilly side due to the wind. Whatever it was, the place was far from packed. We many times would get to the top and have pick of whatever slide we wanted without waiting! Now that is the way to enjoy a water park!!!!!

After a couple hours of fun in the sun and riding slides, Katy and Lyse enjoyed some time in the kiddy pool (which they claim to be warmer than the main slides water). After soaking in some sun and fighting Lyse to leave, we loaded up the car and headed home.

Although the week wasn't AMAZING, it was a fun last week of summer. The rain on Wednesday Afternoon and all day Thursday did put some kinks in our outdoor plans (we were going to go on a hike one day) but added to our indoor fun. I actually think that one of the funnest days was Thursday when we did crafts, made homemade soup and played UNO!

I guess the end of summer means it is time bring on Autumn activities and weather. Back to school, sweaters, soups, awesome hikes with awesome autumn colors and eventually all those fun holidays!

Summer has been amazing - I am going to miss it!!!

Washing DC - Last Part

Yes some of these pictures are repeats! :P

The reflecting pool was also frozen over!

Ya that is my monkey hanging from the gates of the White House! hmmm :)

We loved those squirrels in them there trees!! This one even had a nut!!
The zoo

Ben and the girls walking on the FROZEN OVER Mississippi River!

Nauvoo Temple

*pictures are first again cause once again silly blogspot. The pictures have no real order to them! :)

I know it has been forever but it is time for me to finish up our time in DC.

I left off when Lyse was throwing a fit and I was loosing it in Washington DC on the Sunday.

Once we got back to the hotel room after going to the top of the Washington Monument...we were exhausted, wet and COLD! I wanted to sleep forever...I was completely spent (emotionally and physically).

As we got the girls in the shower to clean up and warm up, I got the feeling - find a church and find it closer by. I decided to follow that prompting. I ended up finding a church just about 5 minutes away and it started in about an hour. We were going to just "not go" but both Ben and I felt like this could be "it" so we rushed and got out the door and towards church.

It was still cold and rainy outside and it took us a few minutes to find the church. When we got inside, Church had already started so we went to the overflow and found a seat. There were a lot of talks about how life takes you where you don't expect, you don't find what you were looking for but if you pay close enough attention, you can find what the Lord wants you to and you WILL find happiness in that.

We ran into some people Ben knew from his parents home ward. We THOUGHT it was the answer to our prayers on where to stay, but that didn't pan out. We also THOUGHT that maybe his job with the govt. was the answer to what Ben needed to search for but that wasn't it either (I know that now looking back but at the time it gave me a LOT of hope).

After Sacrament meeting, we went back to the hotel and CRASHED. We all slept for 5 hours!!! When we woke up, it felt great to be good and rested. It had been a while since I had slept that good (probably a couple weeks).

Sunday night was quiet but come Monday morning, I decided to take the girls "out on the town" while Ben did some job hunting. It was Martin Luther King observation day so not a lot of businesses were open, but the internets were (for some reason we got free wi-fi this day)!

Katy, Lyse and I headed to the American History Museum. It was fun and a bit nerve wracking for me to walk out the door in a foreign city with my girls and take the Metro downtown. It was also a lot of fun! We walked around and saw a TON of amazing things. Because it was National Black History Month AND Martin Luther King Day, there were a lot of exhibits that aren't normally there (like the "sit - in" demonstration in the lobby area and the entire Abraham Lincoln Exhibit). It was amazing to walk through the museum and show the girls the history of this great nation.

After we explored the museum for hours, we headed outside to meet Ben. That night we kept low key and Ben and I tried to figure out WHERE we were going to go the next morning (our hotel stay at the Hyatt was up). I was sick inside about a room. We went to a cafe that had internet. We entered in a price and the next thing we knew we had a NICE hotel just down the street. We didn't get to pick if we had a pool or not but I can testify that my Heavenly Father KNEW my promise to my girls - we got the Marriott and it had a pool!

The rest of Monday night we spent as a family. We walked around Downtown DC. The girls LOVED when we walked to the White House and we talked to them about how the President of the United States lived in that house. It was nice to just enjoyed some family time. It was a HUGE relief to know we were headed to another nice hotel with a swimming pool.

Tuesday morning was spent packing. We got the car packed up and checked out of our room. Since we had already paid for parking, we left the car in the slot and headed into DC. Honestly I don't recall all that we did on Tuesday but I think we found the zoo but it was too late to go in.

I should have typed this earlier because honestly, I have forgotten most of Tuesday and Wednesday. I do know that Tuesday night after getting checked into our room we headed to the pool. I know one day we spent the day looking for a Target or Wal-mart. It took us WAY into Virginia (ya the navigation system wasn't the greatest) and took us about 3 1/2 hours!

As for swimming we did a lot of that on Tuesday and Wednesday. Lyse was a bit sad she couldn't go in the hot tub (life guard was on duty so we had to obey the rules). On Wednesday we were in the pool area for about 30 minutes with no life guard and I did let her go in the pool that time, but that was the only time she got to be in there. The swimming pool was warmed...just not hot :)

I know that we once again got free wi-fi when we weren't supposed to on Wednesday. I left with the kids for a while and let Ben search for jobs. He searched for jobs for HOURS on Tuesday, Wednesday and even Thursday but Wednesday it was about 8 hours.

I remember one point in which I lost it. I was so confused on what my family was supposed to do. Ben and I pulled over (we were in the Arlington was Wednesday). We sat and talked for a LONG time about what we should do, when I should head home, how we would know when it was time. It was a long talk with lots of tears and my not knowing or understanding. The funny thing is - looking back it was EASY to see when the Lord told us to go was a very definite - GO HOME! Amazing how the Lord lets us know when we need to know. I didn't need to sit and stress it. I should have just enjoyed the time!

Wednesday was also the day we went to Costco, drove around the Pentagon and went to Arlington National Cemetery.

It was absolutely AMAZING letting my girls witness and hopefully feel the pride in being the American Citizen. I hope they understand what lives were sacrificed for them to feel and have the freedoms they do!

It was COLD outside but watching the changing of the guard was amazing and memorable - as it always has been for me.

Thursday we had to check out of our hotel at the Marriott. I had met a friend on line and she had agreed to let us stay at her place. Once again - a blessing from our father in heaven. Rachel Tripp Rodriguez was a HUGE blessing to my little family. While her and Junior (her husband) were so gracious and I am so grateful for them going out of their way to help my family.

Thursday during the day after checking out of our hotel we went to the Nations Capital. It was amazing touring that building. They had built a HUGE visitors center since the last time we were in DC. It was cool to walk around and see where our founding fathers had made laws we still live and abide by. Following the Capitol, we decided the kids needed some time so we went to the National Zoo! HOW FUN! We all enjoyed walking the paths and looking at the animals. The Zoo is in a fun area as is just plain gorgeous up there!

Katy and Lyse really enjoyed running around. It was a good "kids" day especially following the museums and cemetery and all the driving we had done over the last week.

Thursday night as we headed towards Rachel's home, we had the Presidential Motorcade drive past us!! It isn't every day you can say that. I don't know if the President or any of his family members were the actually passengers but it was still cool!

Thursday night we went to bed figuring we would figure everything out about our lives in the morning. Little did I know, we would! Friday morning we got up and tried to stay really quiet so we didn't bother Rachel and Junior. We hung around the house for a while and visited for a couple hours. At about 11:00 we headed into DC. As we pulled off their street BOTH Ben and I felt an over powering - it is time to go home!!!

We both fought it! We decided to hit the Archives building as well as the Museum of Natural History (who DOESN'T want to see the Dinosaur Museum?!?). The Pro-Life march was going on outside so it was a bit crazy. While I completely agree with pro-life - there were a bunch of psychos in the bunch and it was sad to see how they left behind so much debris and garbage in their wake. Yes they were giving out fliers for a good cause - no they didn't need to throw those as well as water bottles, candy wrappers and other garbage on the ground :(

The girls LOVED the museum and the Hope Diamond had Lyse mesmerized (her future husband beware - that kid loves her diamonds!!!)

As the day progressed Ben and I KNEW we needed to leave DC, our time was up. We got in the car and we drove down and got the last minute souveniers from the street vendors (the green sweater for Katy, the pink and brown sweater for Lyse (not sure where that went) and the gray sweater for Ben). We then drove to Rachel's to explain to her what was going on. It was starting to get late but we needed to get on the road. Rachel and Junior were GREAT about understanding. We loaded up in just a few minutes (I had tried to keep everything localized and in bags while there anyway). Before we headed out of town, we drove around the monuments one last time and got on the freeway.

We made a HUGE mistake by NOT listening to the Spirit the first time. First of all - it put us leaving DC, on Friday during rush hour. We spent a LOT of time sitting, barely moving. At one point there was a HUGE accident so we pulled off the freeway so we could find somewhere to eat. It was a HUGE surprise when we found a "Buffalo Wild Wings" in the middle of nowhere - especially when we had been told there were none of that franchise close was BRAND NEW!

After getting our stomachs filled up on wings, we got on the road. We drove until we got to Ohio and then we stopped for the night. It was crazy cause in that night we drove from Washington D.C., through part of Virginia and Maryland, then Pennsylvania, West Virginia and then arrived in Ohio where we slept for the night! We pulled in WAY late to a motel. I don't remember much about it other than it was in Ohio.

We got up the next morning and hit the road again. I decided that since we were taking I-70 back home instead of I-80 (avoiding toll roads), we were going to be closer to Nauvoo. So Saturday morning when we headed out, we headed home and to Nauvoo at the same time. Unfortunately, we arrived in Carthage about 20 minutes too late to do a tour of the home, but we (well at least Katy and I) got out and walked around the jail. We talked to the girls a little about the jail and explained why it was so important.

We then got back in the car and drove the hilly roads towards Nauvoo. I LOVE the Nauvoo area. It is GORGEOUS!!! When we got to Nauvoo, it was about 6:40 but the town was dead. Not even the Nauvoo Family Hotel was open. We drove around for a bit but decided we HAD to get a room so we headed towards Keokuk, IA to get a room.

We got an amazing little room for a GREAT price. It was a Fairfield Inn by Marriott and it had a great indoor pool. Our room was nice and close to the pool which was even greater. We spent the rest of the night in the pool. Lyse was in heaven cause this pool didn't stop her from going in the hot tub!! To this day she still talks about how that one place didn't let her go to the hot tub! Such a funny girl.

We got a good nights sleep and the next morning an AMAZING breakfast was provided. The Fairfield Inn had the best continental breakfast I have EVER had!!! It had anything and everything you could ever want!!! We let the girls swim a bit more than we packed up and headed back to Nauvoo to enjoy some of the things there before heading home to UT.

One thing that we did while in the Nauvoo area - Ben and the girls walked on the frozen Mississippi River - it was right next to the bank but still :)

Nauvoo - Nauvoo...there isn't much to say other than it is just plain AMAZING. The girls LOVED the black smith. The fire and getting a "prairie diamond" was a highlight. The Family Art Center was amazing..getting to make your own twine, taste bread, see how candles are made and how they would use a loom. Going to the Browning home and hearing the story of John Browning was amazing - Ben of course loved that! What an amazing man Browning was!!! Over and over again on this trip I was amazed at the missionaries serving.

The missionaries in the Browning home talked to us. Ben felt inspired to explain our situation and instantly the one man started to talk to us about how his son had been affected, etc. He then counseled us to stay strong and then told us, "The Lord will look out for you. Heavenly Father loves you and is aware of where you are." Over and over again in Nauvoo - even when we didn't tell the missionaries, they would tell us, "I don't know why but I feel inspired to tell you, Heavenly Father is aware of you and what you are going through." We were told that at the Black Smith, in the Browning Home, at the Family Art Center and at the Brick making house. Heavenly Father was and IS aware of us and our situation!!

It was sooo hard to say good-bye to our SHORT day in Nauvoo but we KNEW we needed to head out after we got our brick. We got on the road and then we realized WHY the Lord had prompted us to leave earlier on Friday.

If we had left when prompted - we would have missed the rush hour traffic and made it farther on Friday. On Saturday we would have made it to Carthage and Nauvoo early enough to enjoy everything at both places on Saturday. On Sunday we would have been able to get on the road early and we would have missed the HORRIBLE BLIZZARD!

Yes, we ran into a horrible blizzard. No it was not snowing a ton but the snow falling and the snow being blown at us across the plains made it IMPOSSIBLE to see. We prayed and drove, drove and prayed. Each prayer we prayed we would ask that we could drive as far as was humanly safe and then be able to find a place to sleep for the night. There came a point that both Ben and I KNEW we had to get off the road - it was no longer safe. We were inspired and our prayers were answered to keep us safe. We found a cheap, family ran motel that was $35. It was NOT nice but it was a safe, warm place to sleep for the night.

The next morning we got up early and headed on the road. We told the girls we would get food at the first stop - BIG mistake!!! As we were driving down the freeway, we say car after car either in a ditch turned over or in the median where it had skidded off the road in the night. I was soooo grateful to a Father in Heaven that truly protected us and our family the night before!!!

The snow was still falling and we reach a point in which traffic stopped. We didn't know why or what was going on (later we found out it was a Semi-truck accident) but we were stuck on I-80 (we had now gotten out of the toll area of I-80 so we had went up from I-70 to I-80). The traffic went NO where for over an hour and a half! We were all starving. We pulled what little food we had left in the car out and started to devour it.

Once traffic started to move and we got through that part of Nebraska, things got better. The weather cleared up, we found a place to eat and overall it was just better. The biggest problem was the day was already in the afternoon! We got back on the road and drove and drove. We got home at about 1:30 am.

We were grateful to be home but sad over Ben not having found a job. Looking back I KNOW the trip was not a trip to find a job - it was a trip for us to find gratitude, to learn to listen to the Spirit and to hear promptings in our lives. Our trip to Washington D.C. was a Spiritual Journey!

Armed and Dangerous!

Yesterday was not only the first day of school for Katy....I also had a class to go to!

That's right! I took a class on shooting. It was actually a Concealed Carry class. It was great cause my dad arranged it all with his neighbor and the class was basically free for me. I had to provide the ammo for my gun, but since we had the ammo here in the house it was free. Now when I have to replace that ammo, it will be about $15.

I can now go and apply to get my Concealed Carry Permit. That will be a while before I can afford that (it is almost $100).

Yesterday was great though! I was able to learn how to get over my eye dominance. The teacher was great and I am a LOT more confident in my abilities with the gun. I can actually be a good shot! With the .45 I do alright, with the 9 mm I am good! I love that I am more confident in my shooting abilities now!!!

First day of 3rd Grade

Yesterday, August 23rd, Katy had her first day of 3rd grade.

I can hardly believe my little girl is so grown up and starting 3rd grade!!!! She has Mrs. Kidd this year.

When I asked her what she was most excited about she said, "Lexi and Claire being in my class". When I asked what she was most scared about she responded, "My teacher".

I sure hope this year goes well!! So far, she has seemed to really like it!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another one bites the dust!

Lyse lost her second tooth today!

I can't believe my baby has lost 2 BEFORE starting Kindergarten.

Personally I do not find this to be fair!!! My baby starting Kindergarten is harrowing enough as it is. Add her loosing teeth left and right - um my "last baby not sure if there are more" mommy heart is breaking :(

At least she is a dang cute thing!!!

Tonight at dinner we were eating spaghetti noodles and she choked - missing 2 bottom teeth makes it hard to chomp the noodles. She was hoping she could just slurp 'em on down!! Funny little thing!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Tooth

My Lyse just lost her first tooth today! She still has a week until Kindergarten starts...but that tooth just wouldn't hold out! I can't believe she is growing up so fast!

She was so super-duper excited to tell me that the tooth came out (she pulled it a little). She was also very proud of herself. Personally, I am surprised it lasted this has been quite wiggly for over 3 weeks now.

As if the first one isn't enough...she has the second bottom tooth that is loose enough I am hoping she at least makes it to Kindergarten before it comes tumbling out!

P.S. No her face is not dirty - it is scabs from a rash she got last Friday. Not sure where the rash came from but her poor cheek is taking its time in healing. You can BARELY see the opening of her bottom middle right tooth because the other tooth is already grown in and CROOKED behind the other tooth! Oh the Orthodontic bills already look fun for this one!