Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Joy School 2016-2017

What a wonderful year it has been. We are so grateful for these friends and things we have learned and experiences we have had with them.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Slowing down to enjoy moments

Now that I just blogged the year and half I hadn't blogged in 6 weeks I'm finally caught up and can really have fun with the blog. Justin commented my posts at first were lots of words, few pictures. Now they've changed to lots of pictures and few words. Hopefully I can do a better job keeping up and balance it out. Ha, but time will tell.

Most of the time I'm trying to get other things accomplished while taking care of kids as they demand or need it. The past few days I have taken a few moments to do something with my kids. It's been good. I need to do it more. I'm blogging about it so I don't forget that I did do it sometimes. I also hope blogging and pondering about it will help me to do it more often.

I don't know what has caused the slow down. Maybe because I'm 9 months pregnant and tired. Or maybe it's because I know I'll be more stretched out with a newborn any day. I only have a short time left with just two kiddos. Maybe because it's been SUNNY and beautiful!.As I think on it, truly I think God is prompting me to slow down before life gets too crazy busy and the more than one BIG adjustment comes for all of us. Whatever the reason I'm grateful to have enjoyed these moments.

Moment #1:

Justin had a long day at work. I felt the familiar depressing feeling creep in, that so often has when Justin is gone. But seeing it was sunny and beautiful outside I decided, to heck with early bedtime, we were going for a walk to see the beautiful Canola/Rapeseed fields I hadn't been able to enjoy yet.

Sam got on his balance bike and Nora in the stroller. My walk has slowed with this pregnancy, we were taking it real slow. Sam wanted to race and I informed him he would win, no contest. He was sweet and gave us a big head start. He also picked me some beautiful flowers for me.

 Nora figured out the fun of blowing Dandelion seeds. It was fun to just watch the kiddos. Yes, Sam wouldn't keep his hand down -- darn kid -- cute picture of him though.

Moment #2:

Today Sam did not get ready for the day in time and when that happens he can't have TV time. Friday is movie night -- so that means no movie night. I've never let the consequence follow on a Friday night. He LOVES movie night. I was having a hard time sticking to it, but felt like he was starting to expect second chances and not listening to my warnings. He kept asking me to see if he could get a second chance -- I reminded him I gave him one yesterday.  We continued on with the day and he continued to ask almost bursting in tears each time. I kept putting it off telling him I didn't know.

He really likes to watch TV when he's tired (afternoons) at that time he melted down and I refused to respond. Yes there was yelling. He ended it with, "Don't come in!" and shut himself in the office. I took the time to check email, facebook and such and then read my scriptures after I peeked in to see that he wasn't doing anything he wasn't suppose to. He was drawing. I was finishing up some laundry when he came in with the picture. One side had mom on it with a smile and hearts, on the other side Sam with a frown and tears. We were both calmed down by now so I was able to talk to him about how I wasn't happy he didn't get TV time, just like policeman don't like to give tickets, but consequences have to happen. And that I had to get speeding tickets to help me slow down, ha, I still don't go the speed limit like I should.

I knew it was going to continue to be a battle and so was trying to think what we could do together. We decided to watercolor together, which we did and both really enjoyed.

We then skyped with mom and Grandma Della and lucky for me Justin came to save the day by taking Sam to the father and son camp out. No movie night, but replaced with some other fun! YAY!

I haven't taken time to do art since our girls night out in Utah in Febuary -- which at that time I realized I need to do it more often. I really do enjoy art. Sam does too -- I think we found something we like to do together for fun - other than reading and piano. 

Moment #3:

After the boys left Nora and I played on the trampoline until it started raining. She said, "umbeya" She didn't want to go inside. We went inside to look for the umbrellas but I realized they were with Justin and Sam in the car. Instead we opened our patio door and sat and watched the rain. When I went to heat up leftovers for dinner I came back to find Nora had gone outside to get a closer look, luckily she stayed dry. I haven't sat and watched the rain in a very long time. It's soothing and I totally enjoyed it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Parenting memories. Good and bad

As I go through the house trying my best to do as much as I can now to help us have less to do after the baby comes and before the move I've come across a few items that have jogged parenting memories - mostly bad but looking back I can see the lessons I've learned from it, so good? Looking back they exhaust me. Being 9 months pregnant could be adding to the exhaustion.

Sam and I were talking about how long we've lived here in Germany by counting his birthdays. We've been here for his 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthdays. Sam's 3rd year was tough -- that makes it sound like it was all him. It wasn't. Our first year here in Germany was tough all around.

I did not adjust well and was a new mom of a 3 year old! I thought the 2 year old was suppose to be the hard year. ha, I was a new mom for sure.

Anyways, here are the stories with pictures to help jog the memory.

Yes, we have a box next to our toilet and we've used crinkled toilet paper and tissues out of it for 2 months. It was chuck full! Why? Ha. When we got to Germany I remember Sam pulling off extra toilet paper. I figured it wasn't a big deal. I did let him know I didn't want it as a mess, to pick it up. He started putting it in this box which is his night stand. I found out but decided not to battle it. Justin found out later and asked Sam to stop doing it. I think it got emptied out and Justin set up a consequence if Sam did it again. Sam started doing it again. I didn't say anything to him or Justin. I think Sam got spanked over it a few times and yelled at. It went on for a year or two. I figured I would just throw it all away some day when he wouldn't care about it any more. That time didn't come for a while. I did try and ask him if I could a few times and he did not want it to be taken out. So I let it be. I don't remember which one of us confronted Sam about it when he FINALLY agreed that we could use it. It was March of this year. What a long battle I thought would never happen when I initially didn't address the extra toilet paper Sam was taking at age 3. Could it have been avoided? Whose to know.

After the box was finally empty, we returned it to Sam's room. Actually I'm pretty sure he did and he asked me, "What should I put it in? It needs to have something in it. That's why I put toilet paper in it." Oh, the mind of a kid. He really felt like the box needed something in it and toilet paper was free and easy to get. It is now the box where his bought birthday cards go.

There is tape on all the lock holes of our doors, except the few I've taken the time to pull off. Sadly this was done by Sam because I threatened to lock him in his room. Or lock myself in mine. I don't care to remember the ways I was mean and lost it with Sam that first year in Germany. I am grateful for Sam's forgiveness and apparently he wasn't scarred completely. He thought about it and found a solution; cover up the holes, then mom can't lock the door. I am happy to say I don't threaten him with this near as often and I've lost it much less with him since. Oh the lessons we learn as parents. I often feel sorry for Sam being my first, but I know he is a strong boy who God knew could teach me the lessons I needed to learn. I wish I was done making mistakes as a parent, ha, NO WAY! I have tried harder to express my love more often and in different ways to the kiddos. That way despite my mistakes they hopefully will always know they are loved. I have set the family goal of No Yelling -- for me really working on my tone of voice. Whew, it's hard. I have improved but am definitely no where close to where I want to be.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Lenora stumbled upon her stroller from the Easter Bunny which sent Sam went on the hunt for his. Sam is ready to ride his bike and take accidents! He's set for swimming, bike riding, jump roping and hula hooping. We celebrated with an Easter Hunt and brunch Saturday with friends at a park. It was beautiful and fun. We also watched the Bible vidoes of the events in Christ's life that lead up to Easter. We are so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Pisa, Florence and Rome in 3 days -- calll us crazy!

After traveling to the states for 6 weeks and having a limited time to travel before a new baby and move we felt the urge to travel it up while we could. The night before we left for Ireland we stayed up really late booking flights and tours for Italy.

We got home Friday from Ireland and left again Monday for Pisa, Italy without kids. The Stevenson's and Malan's watched our kiddos who we missed.

We landed in Pisa about 8pm, picked up our rental car and decided to go see the leaning tower before heading towards Florence to check into our hotel.

While we saw the tour and grabbed dinner our car window was broken into and everything was stolen. Our luggage, passports, and my purse. It was an awful way to start the trip. I felt violated. It was my first experience living with what was on my back. We did have our Ipad, phones and jackets luckily.

We spent that night at a beautiful hotel in Tuscany!! Sad to head off so quickly to the United States Consulate to get new passports.

We didn't have much time for shopping so we found the essentials, took extra showers and wore the same clothes every day. No make up for me and no doing my hair.

We took a cooking class in Florence and walked the major sights then drove to Rome.

In Rome we walked that night and the next take took a tour of the Vatican and walked the rest of the sights. We did a good amount of walking!

By the end we were exhausted and excited to go home mostly to get to put on clean underwear! We are glad we did it.




 Loved the cooking class!! So much fun.




 This is me tired of walking 8 months pregnant! My good supportive shoes were stolen too.

 And this is me on the ride home. Stains on the shirt and all. Yes I wore the shirt every day. Luckily most of the stains happened the last day when I was trying to eat a salad in the car to the airport without a utensil. Leave it to Justin to capture the moment.