Thursday, December 30, 2004

We must have been good

Nathan made it home safe and sound.

He's Home

We were able to find the perfect Christmas tree before Santa made his visit.


We must have been good this year.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Not a creature was stirring

The children were nestled all snug in their beds

Mama in her kerchief andI in my hat had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

I sprang from my bed

Away to the window I flew like a flash

and 8 tiny reindeer

On Dasher, On Dancer

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Maybe the mice have run off with the scissors...

I am trying to do a wee bit of sewing, but all of the scissors in the house have disappeared. Somewhere around here I have 2 pairs of good sewing scissors, 2 pairs of scissors that used to be sewing scissors but are no longer sharp, and 6 or so kid scissors. I can only find 1 pair of blunt-nosed, green-handled kids scissors. They are great for snipping strings, but I NEED some real scissors. I will even settle for the worn out ex-sewing scissors.

In other news, I noticed mouse droppings in the garage last week, so I set out a trap. The next day the trap was GONE! That make me feel a little sorry for the mouse - I could imagine it running around with a trap on its tail. There were no new droppings this week, so I thought maybe the mouse made his escape (with the trap.) Yesterday, I let Sam into the garage to see if he might have some talent as a mouser, he did not catch a mouse, but he seemed really interested in the band-saw. Today I asked my neighbor to come check out the garage and help set a couple more traps. I also asked him to move the saw so I could sweep up any droppings around it. He found the mouse. Dead. With the trap on his arm. I hope that means no more mice, but I have a feeling there was more than one. I think I will let Nathan take care of the mouse problem when he gets home.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas PJ's

In true McBride form, it is now the time to make your Christmas Eve pajamas. One year mom made all 7 of us girls matching red and blue striped nightgowns with matching stocking caps. I stole a couple from mom a few years ago, and just this weekend Hannah wore one as "Papa" in a production of T'was the Night Before Christmas. (Very funny - I will have to post pictures.)

I have the flannel (rather nice $2 a yard walmart plaid) for this years pj's and I need to decide if I will make nightgowns or pajama pants for the girls. Emily will only wear nightgowns, but I think Hannah would prefer pants, and Sydney will want whatever Hannah has. I love nightgowns, I think they are so cute on the girls, but pants are faster. John, of course, will get pants. How fun. I think I will go wash the flannel now.


Typhoon was downgraded to a tropical storm, and Nathan will be coming home as scheduled...yipee!!!

Hannah and I think it is because of our fasting and prayer yesterday. Who knows?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Delay, Delay, Delay, Delay

Bummer. Some of the guys came home last night, some are coming later this week, but the guys flying home in the B-1's are delayed because of a typhoon near Guam. It seems silly that they don't just land somewhere else on their way home. Isn't that what Nathan is trained to do? Navigate a safe route home? Wha?

The note we received about the delay was rather discouraging. It mentioned that getting home is tricky, they may be home next week, "and that is ONLY if ...... the typhoon goes away, Guam opens back up, Tankers are re-aligned and nothing breaks." We are all a little sad around here, but we are in good spirits. It will all work out. We miss Nathan terribly.

Friday, December 10, 2004

5th Grade Band

Today was the big Holiday Program at school. The sound of 20 kids with wind instruments is unforgettable. The tune of Hot Cross Buns was recognizable, if a little slooooooow. The conductor looked strangely familiar, like Mr. Richichi, maybe that look is a job requirement. They looked so proud when they bowed. To be 10. Anything is possible at 10. Hurray for school music programs!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

So Frustrating

Muy strange how Blogger eats posts. Must be hungry.


I have read a couple of interesting articles and blogs about Iraq lately, and I thought I would link them here.

In his entry: "Rumsfeld Grilled By Soldiers?", Sgt. Missick, a soldier serving in Iraq and at the meeting with Rumsfeld, discusses his view of the visit from Secretary Rumsfeld to the troops in Iraq. He says the media has misrepresented the feeling of the meeting -

One more thing I would like to add is this, not one soldier present asked questions about why we were here, or expressed the sort of anti-war sentiment that Michael Moore led some to believe was prevalent in the military. Rather, the concern was about ensuring we would be supplied with all necessary equipment to accomplish the mission and return home safely

I also read a report about the incredible work of doctors in Iraq, published in the New England Journal of Medicine: Casualties of War - Military Care for the Wounded from Iraq and Afganistan by Atul Gawande, M.D., M.D.H. He says that a far larger percentage of soldiers are surviving their injuries, than at any other time. Thanks, mainly, to great doctors and a system that is set up to move the wounded rapidly to recieve the care they need. There is also a slide show (not for the faint of heart.)

Interested in helping service members this holiday season? Here's a great idea posted by HughHewitt HughHewitt: The number ONE request at Walter Reed hospital is phone cards. The government doesn't pay long distance phone charges and these wounded soldiers are rationing their calls home.

Many will be there throughout the holidays.

Really support our troops --Send phone cards of any amount to:

Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

They say they need an "endless" supply of these -- any amount even $5 is greatly appreciated.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Feels good to feel good

We were sick, sick, sick this weekend. Saturday night was a blur of calls for help, vomit, and icky diapers. Sunday was spent on the couch or in bed. After a good nights sleep, we are all feeling in tip-top shape this beautiful Monday morning. Last night we Lysol-ed down the doorknobs, banisters, lightswitches, toilets, and anything else we could wipe. We also sent the toothbrushes threw a cycle of the dishwasher. Feels good to feel good.

I have been washing sheets all morning (I could not touch them yesterday) and hanging them up to dry. The first blanket I hung out was a little crisp when I hung the second batch out. I checked the weather to see the temperature - 22 degrees F. Hmm. I wonder if the sheets will dry or just freeze? It should warm up into the upper 30's so they will eventually defrost. Also, I almost broke my neck or tailbone while going down the stairs with a wet blanket in my arms. The steps were very icy and slick. I managed to catch myself, but then I slipped again on the way back up. Dangerous.


I am getting Christmas cards together to send out and I have to decide if I am going to enclose a picture of just the kids, a picture of the whole fam at Mt Rushmore, or if we should go all out and have Hannah publish a special holiday edition of the BFN. Must decide today.


List of things I want to get done before Nathan gets home (could be as early as next week - yipee!)

*= I did it!

*Clean out various closets and drawers
Mail out Christmas cards and packages
Gingerbread house
*Hang greenery
Finish up Christmas shopping
Park the van back in our driveway
Paint my bedroom (lets be honest, this is not happening)
Touch up paint around the stairs
Clean the nasty dining room carpet
*Plan sharing times for the rest of the month
Plan Hannah's class Christmas party
Activity Day girl ice cream party
*RSVP piano recital date and time
*Visiting Teaching (I am officially the world's worst VTer. Stink. Must actually go in December.)(* Look at me - I did my Visiting Teaching and it only Dec. 12th - woohooo)
-Put away trampoline for the winter (*no winter here, may as well keep the tramp out)

What am I doing here? I have work to do.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

First Party of the Season

Tonight, the Family Support Center hosted a party for families of Deployed/TDY/Remote service members. We went, and I was shocked to see how many families from just our base are affected by the deployments right now. The place was packed, loads of kids, lots of moms, and even a few dads. I'm sure there were many more families that were not there.

The only other family from the "o" side of our squadron was our Commander's wife. I wonder if it isn't politically correct for Officer's wives to go to these functions. Oh well. I am willing to break out of the mold. We had a fun time. I knew a few of the other families from church and from our neighborhood, so we had people to sit with and talk to.

The clown made Emily nervous, but Sydney was brave and got a balloon for herself and Emily. The Santa was great. He had came complete with his own real beard and white hair. Again, I was worried that Emily would hide behind me, but she went right up to him and held his hand and told him her age. Each of us was given a gift. They were so generous. When I read on the invitation that there would be a gift for each child, I imagined Oriental Trading Company, but these were really nice gifts for every child, and adult, there. They seemed to have the gifts divided up by age and gender. Very thoughtful.

I have a feeling that the gifts were originally tags on an Angel Tree. I can imagine a family taking an angel and reading "10 year old girl" then finding craft supplies and dropping them into a donation box. I'm not sure how I feel about being on the recieving end of that. Kind of strange. We will have to search out a way to give to others this year.

My favorite childhood Christmas memories are of delivering gifts to the Hmong and Laos families in our branch. Filling stockings with an orange in each toe, watching Dad sneak back to the car in his red STANDFORD jacket, listening as a family discovered the treasures on their porch. Good times. Must find a way for our kids to experience that gift.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Turkey Leftovers

Some ideas for myself:
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey Noodle Soup
Turkey Relleno
Turkey Stuffing Casserole
Turkey Enchiladas
Turkey Fajitas
Turkey Alfredo Pasta

I am planning to make 2 of Mom's Relleno's to freeze, and also a batch of enchiladas. Then I will freeze whatever is left into meal portioned baggies. Tonight we are having Fajitas. Yum.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Look at this, Mom

Big Mouth

All morning Sydney has been grossing me out by showing me all the amazing things a loose tooth can do, like swing all the way to the side, or turn almost all the way around, or bend back so you can see the roots. Blech. I do not like loose teeth. It was a relief when, at lunch, her tooth came out with a bite of her sandwich. Sydney is proud to be the owner of one big snaggle-tooth smile.

Sydney lost a tooth

Friday, November 26, 2004

Snow Flurry

First Snowball

We looked out the window before dinner and saw snow swirling around. Little compact squeaky flakes quickly covered the patio and piled up next to the sliding glass door. The kids made snowballs, tasted the snow, and tried to put it down each other's shirts. Sadly, the snow stopped. More snow tomorrow?


Thursday, November 18, 2004


We have company coming into town next week (yes? Laurie? still coming?) and I thought I should let them know what to expect. I think the last time they visited we just had 2 kids and we were in Florida. Double the kids. Double the fun!

Fun x 4

Emily and Sydney don't like to flush the toilet. I don't know why. (last night, though, Sydney told me that she flushed Hannah's toothbrush down the toilet- why?why? Hope the toilet is working when you come.)

John does not sleep through the night. He generally needs to rock at about 11pm and 5am, and sometimes even at 3am. His bedroom is just above Hannah's room (where you will be sleeping.) I don't generally let him cry, but chances are you will hear me walking around.

Sam the dog is a little calmer than the last time you saw him (at Mom and Dad's house) but he is bigger and has more hair. It is not shedding season, but he still loses lots of hair. I find it everywhere. yuck.

Our Dog Sam

Sam is good when just our family is home, but he gets really friendly when we have company. He also likes balls of yarn. We will let him play outside as much as possible, but be careful with your yarn.

Sam stinks.

John is amazing at finding Sams food and throwing it all around while snacking on it.


Hannah will do her best to fill you in on all private, embarrassing stories about me. Don't believe her. It wasn't me.

My oven is a little crazy, so if the Turkey burns, it is not my fault.

This house can go from clean and organized to trash heap in about 2 minutes.

We have had lovely weather in the 60's this week, extended forcast says a chance of snow this weekend, then nice next week, temps in the 40's and 50's. Maybe snow later next week.

Hmm, have I forgotten anything? I hope the drive is nice. Can't wait to see you.

Progam Update
The program was very nice. My worries about the kids sitting near me were well founded, but I managed to talk (begged, pleaded, bribed) the teacher into sitting with her class. The little boy next to me kept getting his cowboy boot stuck in the fun chairs. His sister danced along with each song - spinning, twirling, falling down. The little boys in the very front were pretending they were bees, buzzing and stinging each other. Maybe Sunbeams should sit toward the back next year. I kept thinking I was losing control of my face - did I look a little stressed out? or calm and in control? haha! The kids did a great job. No one yelled into the microphone until after the closing prayer. Only two kids totally froze and wouldn't say anything. I am just relieved that it is over, for this year.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Primary Program Tomorrow - eeeeeek

I have been stress-free all week. After our practice on Sunday I felt great. Tonight, though, I am feeling a little wild-eyed. I know that all Primary Programs turn out just fine, and even though the kids don't know the songs that well, they will sing strong during the chorus. I am mainly nervous about the 6 Sunbeams who will be sitting directly in front of, and beside me.

During our Saturday practice the 3 little boys, who sit right behind the rail at the front of the stand, were constantly touching each other and standing dangerously on their chairs, and falling off their chairs, etc. The Tasmanian-devil twins, who will be sitting on the seats next to me, haven't actually been to any of the practices.

Their teacher told me that she wants to sit down on a pew, just in front of the boys to keep their attention, and for some crazy reason, I said okay. Now I think, maybe, definitely, it is not a very good idea.

My job tomorrow is to make sure all the kids make it to the microphone when it is their turn, that the microphone is the right height, that they say their little part, that they stand quietly while the rest of their class speaks, that they make it back to their seats without injury, and that the next speaker makes it up...and on and on. Throw in a few verses of I am a Child of God, and that's the Primary Program in a nutshell.

I don't think it will be possible to do that and also play referee. I am scared. I have tried to call Sister L. a few times this week, But no answer and no answering machine. yikes. help. I can move one of my counselors up to the front, but I would prefer the teacher because she knows these children, and they like her.

Time for Lamaze breathing. All is well, All is well. Notes on the actual program...tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veteran's Day 2004

Today is Veteran's Day . About six weeks to go until Nathan comes home. He is now a Veteran of a Foreign War. His deployment has made me really think about other wars and the other women who were left home to worry. I have been reading about WWII recently. According to this Statistical Summary of America's Major Wars an average of 6,639 American soldiers were killed in action each month during WWII. 6,639? Did this create a shortage of men for women to marry? An abundace of "old maids"? It doesn't seem like it as there was a baby boom after the war, even though over a million men were killed or wounded. When they came home did all the soldiers just automatically get married/make babies?

Here are my own (unscientific) observations of the women here: When the guys were getting ready to come home the last time, a large number of women were talking about hoping to get pregnant before the guys left again. There are a couple babies due in December, and some ladies talking, again, about babies. I don't know what the average birth rates are in America, but we seem to have a lot of little ones in our neighborhood. Maybe going off to war makes you decide to try now, not wait until some unspecified later time to have a baby. Also, the reunion can create little "accidents".(not me, not me) hmm, so maybe that's where to babyboom came from.

In other AirForce news, Chistmas is coming, now is the time to send for your Letters from the North Pole.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Meal Plan

Like I mentioned before I am not very interested in cooking lately. I am blaming this on Nathan being gone, but to be honest, I am not such a dedicated cook even when he is home. I like cooking, I just don't like to have to think of what to fix, particularly if it is already 5pm. So, I was thinking that if I have a detailed plan for the whole week, then I should be able to fix dinner with joy - without thinking. By the way, this plan will have to start on Tuesday, because tonight was piano/pizza night. Syndey earned a free pizza a week or so ago, and to stop the daily question of "when do I get my pizza" we went tonight. I will omit my detailed whining about eating out in public with 4 kids. Actually, 3 of the kids were great, but one 1 year old was not so fun.

On with the meal plan (Another note: we had roast on Sunday, so I will be using it up this week. I do not consider that leftovers.)

Beef Stew, homemade rolls

French Dip on homemade rolls, salad


Shell pasta with Alfredo sauce, salad, breadsticks

Leftovers, big salad, apple crisp

Breakfast for dinner

Hey, that was easy enough. Looks like a fine week of dinners, and some quick, warm lunches. Wish me luck.

Joke of the Day, by Sydney

Why is 6 afraid of 7?
because 7 ate 9!!!

wacca wacca wacca

Sunday, November 07, 2004

To Do...

yup, here's the list:

Make "thank you" primary book
*Shop for Nursery Toys - very fun! Emily is playing with the big legos and picnic dishes until we take them to church later this week.
Arrange nursery leader meeting
Cover Hannah's cork-board
Say No
Plan something fun for long weekend
Finish up dresser
--Go to self-help for painting stuff - self-help is closed this week because of an exercise on base, and Veteran's Day. Bummer.
Paint bunkbeds
--Hang cheapo metal shelves - must wait until next week, when self-help store is open
(can I use your drill, Nathan?)
Keep the laundry going
Exercise daily (and I mean it)
Plan meals - follow plan!

That should do it.

By the way, tomorrow is library day, and after I grovel and shell out some cash for the destroyed cassette tape (thanks John), I really want to find a few books for me. Last week I checked out a couple of odd books, and I want something better this week. I am particularly interested in war books. Any recommendations?

*well, it is Wednesday, and I haven't done much on my list. Must get off the computer and get going.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Do you think Ramen Noodles counts as dinner?

Let's just face the facts: I have no motivation to make grownup food with Nathan gone. Sydney wanted to help fix dinner tonight - she decided on Ramen Noodles. Okay. Ramen meets my dinner requirements: quick, easy, no mess, 10 minutes or less, crowd pleaser. Everyone loved it, and we dressed it up a bit with a salad (from a bag) and sliced french bread, but it was still pretty sad. I think it may be time to make a weekly meal plan. So, what are your favorite quick meals? Please help inspire me.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

We are on the edges of our seats here watching the election results. I helped with Kids Voting at school today. It was great for the kids to have a chance to "vote" along with the adults - we had the Kids Voting booths set up in the same room as the official polling location. There were several adults who were interested in using the kids ballots, as they had pictures. I felt very well informed when I voted today, I think because of the discussions we have had with the kids in Hannah's class. South Dakota has only 3 electors, so we had very little campaining for President, but the ads for our Senate Race have been all over the place - I even had a message on my answering machine yesterday from Dr. James Dobson telling me to vote prolife, blah blah blah.

Here is a site with information and maps of the electoral collage votes in all the past Presidential Elections (all the way back to George Washington - hey by the way, there is a billboard on the way to Mt Rushmore that advertises a Presidential statue museum, its slogan is: From George W. to George W. - wonder what they would do if Kerry is elected.) (also, did you know that one elector from DC withheld her vote in the 2000 election? I didn't know they could do that.) It is interesting how in past races the winner is so clear.

I hope you had a great day and that you were able to vote. Back to the News...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Give a Yell

Nathan's family has an elaborate cheer. I'm not sure why they have it, or when they use it, but it's fun! Every great team has a cheer or slogan to built pride and help everyone feel united. Tonight we were yelling in our huddle (in preparation for the after dinner clean-up,) when John came toddling over with his hand out - he wanted to be in the group, too. We did the cheer again with John's little hand on ours. He even bobbed his little body up and down with us. Oh man, he is great! Here is the cheer, in case your family needs one:

2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar.
All the (your family name here)'s
stand up and holler:
Give a yell, Give a yell,
Give a yell--I--L--I--L.
And when I yell I really yell
and this is what I yell:
L--M--N, L--M--N,
L-M-N-diego, San Diego
Hocus, Pocus,
try and choke us,
Ma, Pa, sisk-boom-bah
Gooooooo (family name)'s

(Did I forget anything, Nathan?)

A leaf from John

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Lunar Eclipse

Did you see the eclipse tonight? The sky was a tiny bit overcast, so we couldn't see any stars, but the moon was still visible, though blurry. Very cool. Hoping for clear skies at your house.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dressing Up

The Halloween Costume project has been a big success. Because of a squadron Halloween party on Saturday, I was forced to get the costumes finished an entire week before the big day. That is a first for me. Hannah will be a fancy elf with flowing sleeves (most important.) Sydney will be a witch, dearie. Emily is still a pumpkin, and John is a little stinker (skunk.)

This year's costumes required much sewing, though the pumpkin was Hannah's, then Sydney's in years past. John's skunk began as a black sweatsuit. I sewed on a white belly, a white stripe down the back, and a black and white tail. The costume project nearly came to an end when my sewing machine started cutting threads; sad, sad day. We were able to press on thanks to my neighbor's machine. (On a side note, I took my machine in to get worked on and had a chance to look at spendy new machines. I decided I don't need a computerized embroidery machine for just $4300, but I may buy a slightly used serger if it is still there when I go to pick up my humble, but faithful, Kenmore.)

Sewing costumes reminds me of all the costumes Mom made for us. I remember being a clown in 3rd grade. We walked home for lunch and Mom braided my hair and threaded wire through the braids, so when I pulled on a string, my hair stood up! Who can forget the Strawberry Shortcake year? I wonder which one I was. Remember the year Sarah broke her collarbone and was a football player? I wish I had mom's red riding hood. I would make one for myself if I could, maybe next year. So tell me what your favorie Halloween costume was. I hope I never dressed up as a baby. That costume (complete with pacifier and cloth diaper) makes me sick.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Fun on Sunday

The little red car has been in our family for a long time. Santa brought it to Sydney when she was just 1 year old. When Emily was 1, she discovered it. Our Florida home had a long strip of tile through the entry, hallway, and kitchen. Sydney would push Emily across the floor and the car would make a happy choo-choo train sound as it flew across the tile.

The car is not without danger. Emily recieved her first of many bloody lips when she slammed into the side of the couch while riding on the car. It has also caused the ruin of many pretty shoes. Its anti-lock brake system depends entirely on the toes of the rider's shoes. It has been an outdoor toy for a couple of years, but Emily's legs have gotten too long, thus reducing her speed and enjoyment.

Em and John on the little red car. July 4th, 2004.

We brought the car inside this week for John to enjoy. He loves it. Sydney and Emily had a great time today giving John rides on the car. Back and forth. Back and forth. Sometimes John as passenger, sometimes John pushing. It is quieter without the tile, and probably safer (slower, too) on carpet. Can you imagine the fun they would have in the Modesto house, with the island to run around and around like a race track?


This month in Primary we are learning how Prophets teach us to strengthen our families. I am enjoying Sundays much more this month, as I am not teaching. Today we focused on Book of Mormon prophets. Last summer Sydney and I read through the children's Book of Mormon reader, which has many of the stories along with drawings. Her favorite story was the story of Ammon.

Ammon went on a mission to teach the Lamanites, and instead of preaching he went to work serving the king. After saving the king's flock of sheep by wacking off the arms of some robbers, King Lamoni thought Ammon was the Great Spirit. Then Ammon was able to teach the king about the creation and Adam and Lehi bringing his people from Jerusamlem. The king believed him and "...he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead."(Alma 18:42)

His wife is, of course, worried, so she tells Ammon (and this is Sydney's very favorite part) "...the servants of my husband have made it known unto me that thou art a prophet of a holy God, and that thou hast power to do many works in his name; therefore, if that is the case I would that ye should go in and see my husband, for he has been laid upon his bed for the space of two days..and some say that he is dead and that he stinketh, but as for me he doth not stink." (Alma 19:4-5)

So, in Primary we sang the Book of Mormon Stories song again and again. I did not realize that there are 10 (or more) verses to the song, each about a different BofM prophet. I learn things every week.

John set an olympic record in Sacrament Meeting by actually staying quiet and happy through 3/4ths of the meeting. We snuck out as the second speaker began his talk. We have a rather young and energetic ward, so John is not the only loud disruptive kid. I think it is too loud, but I don't know how the reverence could be improved. The children are great in Primary, and I have a feeling it is the parents chatting before and after the meeting that sets the tone.

We start Primary in the chapel directly after Sacrament meeting. The kids go right to their class's pew and sit so quietly. It is embarrassing when we are ready to get started, but there are adults laughing and talking as they slowly leave the chapel. It has been taking so long to get them out of there that I asked to organist to play a couple primary songs (Reverently, Quietly; The Chapel Doors) after her postlude, as a reminder to the parents. I'm not sure if it is helping.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Just Say No

In honor of Red Ribbon Week, I am dedicating this entry to the small, but powerful word NO. I am tired. Once again, I have learned why "no" is the most important word in my vocabulary. I have had way too many commitments this week.

When we were in California and Dana was my guide and mentor, she gave me an article about saying no firmly and clearly. I forget that I don't have to have a real reason to say no. I can just say no. Such as, "I really wish I could, but no. Good luck with ______." or "Thanks so much for asking, but I just won't be able to..."

I have a difficult time balancing being kind and helpful, and over extending myself. I guess I still think that if I say yes, then someone will want to be my friend. Should go to counseling. Instead I will keep writing here.

I like lists, and since I didn't do a To Do list at the beginning of the week, I will do a shoulda never done list now:

Shoulda said no to the RS - instead I am teaching how to make the famous Ducky Towel. Don't mind teaching, but hate the 2 trips to Walmart, cutting out parts, sewing on eyeballs, calling to ask for sewing machines, finding (and paying for) a babysitter.....

Babysitting. I already have a friend to swap with. I don't need more.

School fundraiser. Yuck. Cookie Dough. We sold 4 buckets total, half to ourselves. Why I said I would help sort the buckets for the entire school is beyond me.

Babyshower. I want to go, but why am I involved in the planning? Have to order a cake.

Halloween Costumes. I will have to dedicate a separate blog to Halloween Costumes. I coulda said no, but really, I enjoy the costumes. Just want to complain while I can.

The one that really ticks me off is the furnace guy. There was a note stuck to my door earlier this week saying that a guy would come sometime between 8am and 12pm today, and that an adult had to be home to let him come check the furnace. We were home. No guy.

Well, my complaining has gotten out of hand. So here are some good things about this week:

Our neighbor invited us over, last minute, for dinner. Fun!

Hannah's eye was bothering her, and our neighbor the optometrist came over and looked at it and gave her eyedrops. Wasn't that kind?

Sister Missionaries came to dinner. Always a great time. It turns out that we are only going to have Elders after tomorrow, so I'm glad we had them over.

Piano recital. Short and sweet. They offer 5 different time choices so that each recital lasts about 30 minutes. A lovely surprise. I was imagining the Suzuki Violin recital events of our childhood. Hannah did great.

How is your week going?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Look Up

I stepped outside early this morning and saw the most beautiful sky. The horizon was growing light, but the stars were brilliant in the sky. Orion seemed to be standing above our porch. The stars seemed brighter this morning than they usually do in the evening.

I found a website that shows tonight's sky. If these clouds roll away. I hope to be able to find Saturn in the morning.

I wonder what the sky looks like in the Southern Hemisphere. Nathan?

Monday, October 18, 2004

I noticed

This morning I put on a bit of make-up and noticed that my eyebrows are getting bushy, but my eyelashes are thinning. Why?

Syd's brows are always looking good

I took a package to the base today and saw a couple of B-1 bombers take off. The sound they make is a sound you can feel.

B-1 Taking off

It is an awesome airplane. I can imagine our little box of Halloween goodies flying up, up, up in a B-1. Sydney thinks the packages will be dropped out of the plane like bombs.

B-1 Bomber

Sunday, October 17, 2004

A Bit of a Flop

It all started at 7:45am when a teacher called to say that she wasn't going to be able to make it to teach her class. That phone call set me back about five minutes, and the roast didn't make it into the crockpot. On the way to church I remembered that my friend was coming to dinner, so I decided to make stuffed shells, breadsticks, and favorite salad. Kind of a light dinner, but the breadsticks make any meal special.

I started the breadsticks at about 3:30pm. Emily is always ready to help with any baking project, so I did the measuring, she did the pouring. Shells boiled, stuffed, and into bake by 4:00pm. Breadsticks in to bake at 4:20pm. Shells bubbly and done at 4:30pm, breadsticks should have been finished shortly after, for a perfectly timed dinner.

But they were not finished and looking a bit flat. I set the timer, my friend arrived, and she helped finish the salad. By about 4:45pm I realized there was a problem with the bread. It did not rise. I gave up and took it out of the oven. It appeared to be spicey unleavened bread. Sydney said it was good and ate a few of the flat, cracker-like pieces.

Looking back I can see that I forgot the yeast. How did that happen? I have been making these breadsticks almost weekly for about 8 years. I don't think they have ever failed me before. I did have some French bread in the cupboard, so all was not lost, and it was fun to have company anyway. The kids did their best to entertain and amaze our guest.

Here's the recipe, if you want to try it sometime. (You McB sisters may have had these before.) They are yummy and quick and (usually) very easy. It takes about an hour from start to finish.

Quick and Easy Breadsticks (a.k.a. Spice Girl Bread)
1 pkg yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
-mix together and set aside to rise for 10 min. then add the following and knead well
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups flour (more or less)
-Roll out to 1/2" thickness (like pizza) Melt 1 cube butter, pour about half of the melted butter into an 11"x16" jelly roll pan. Set the dough in the pan on the butter, then spread the remaining butter on the dough. Sprinkle with garlic powder, parmesean cheese (the kind that comes in a can,) and Italian seasoning. Cut into strips, then into 3" pieces (a pizza cutter works the best.) Let rise 1/2 hour, and bake 400 F for about 15 minutes.

Good Luck!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Saturday is a Special Day...

You won't believe how much stuff we got done today. We started with a whole house clean up and vacuum. Then I sewed on the quilt a bit. Then Hannah and I put together her bedframe and set up her bed. Then I sewed some. Next, we packed a box of Halloween treats for Nathan. Then I went jogging with Emily and Sam. While we were outside we put away the hoses for the winter, pulled up the scraggly petunias, picked the last of the tomatoes, and planted bulbs. After my shower I sewed a bit more, then I gathered up pictures for Primary, and worked on the Primary Sacrament Presentation. I called all our teachers, and my friend Melissa who is coming over for dinner tomorrow. We considered going to a Halloween Carnival, but our neighbors came over so we played dress up and dolls and power rangers, and jumped on the trampoline. We also watched the extras to Monster's Inc. about 20 times. Hannah knit about 2 feet of her funky scarf, and got recruited to play dolls (which she just loved). I finished sewing the squares into strips, and cut out all the parts for the program and typed up a note to the parents. Church bag is packed, crock pot is out, potatoes are washed. I think we are ready for Sunday. whew. Time for bed.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Getting Closer

All the little squares have been cut and sewn and cut and sewn again, and almost like magic, we have stars. I think I have about 80 star-squares. They are ready to be linked together to make Hannah's quilt. I did a darn good job getting the corners and points to line up, if I do say so myself. Hopefully the rows will line up as easily. Anyone want to come to a quilting bee?

Star Light, Star Bright

Hannah at Mt. Rushmore

Thursday Already?

Wow, where has the week gone? It is Thursday, and I believe I have accomplished nothing on my To Do list. Dang.

Well, Thursday is volunteer at school day. It is always fun to see Hannah and Sydney in their classes. Technically I don't go to Hannah's class - I help with the TAG (tallented* and gifted) program. Right now they are learning about elections, and on Nov. 2nd the TAG kids will be running a Kid's Voting election.

They have gone into the other classes and "registered" all the students in the school. They went to a Kid's Voting rally at Mt. Rushmore. Next week they will be decorating the voting booths. And on election day, as adults come to school to vote, all of the students in the school will be able to "vote" also.

Today the TAG group had a chance to see the kids' ballots and discuss how people choose who to vote for. The kids ballot has pictures of the canditates. I think it will be a neat experience for them to feel like they have a little part of the election. Kids Voting is supposed to also inspire the parents to vote - a note went home with the "voter registration" cards, and when the kids come home from school they will hopefully say: "I voted today, have you?"

Are you registered to vote? Nathan already voted absentee. I feel like a scitzophrenic voter - I am registered to vote in SD, I have a drivers license from FL, and we still claim residentcy in OR. Crazy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

To Do This Week

Finish the Quilt Top (must still sew the strips together)
*Set up the bedframe
Curtains for Hannah's room (bought fabric, forgot to look at curtain rods)
*Exercise Daily (yeah for me! two weeks in a row)
*Stick to dinner menu (not even one trip to McyD's)
*Bathroom Cleaning
Package to Nathan (packed - deliver on Monday)
*Put together a Baptism info packet
10 min. of training daily with Sam (Emily gave him treats. Does that count?)
Read aloud at Dinner (once. dang)
Call 2 sisters (only talked to one)
*Call teachers about program seating
*Prepare program assignment handouts

Looks like a good list. Hannah's quilt is coming along. It would be great if I could get it ready to tie this weekend. It has been a month since Nathan left. The time is really moving. Next week's big project will be Halloween Costumes. We have a dress up party to go to next Saturday - that should take care of my usual Halloween Eve sewing frenzie. Hannah wants to be an elf (Lord of the Rings) so if you have any ideas for how to do that, I would love to hear 'em. Also, I don't know what to have John be. Any ideas?

*Thanks to a wizbang Saturday I was able to check off a couple of jobs. I think it was a good productive week, all in all. (does "all in all" actually mean anything? it reminds me of "six in one, half dozen the other." I remember mom saying that, and having absolutely no idea what it meant. I am proud to say I get it, and find myself considering saying it on occasion. Yikes!)

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Stake Conference

This weekend was Conference for our Stake. On Saturday there was training for the different presidencies in the wards, so our Primary Presidency went at 3pm. They offered a nursery for the kids, but John is not quite old enough, so I went ahead and found a babysitter for the afternoon. That worked out really well - it was nice to not have to worry about John wandering around during the meeting banging on the chairs.

The main topic for our meeting was being prepared. The 3 areas to be prepared in were:
1. Personal Preparation - these little kids are always watching, and you just can't fake a testimony. So prepare by having personal prayer, scripture study, and being obedient to the commandments.
2. Program - Follow the program of the church. Get to know the handbook, meet weekly as a presidency to pray for the children - laugh about them, talk about them, get to know them. Use church approved resources - the Friend has many great ideas. Don't make things harder than they have to be. Plan in advance so that you are prepared for Sunday and not cutting out little things during Sacrament Meeting. and 3. Priesthood - invite the Priesthood to Primary at least monthly. Expect them to come, and then remind them. Welcome them any time. Counsel with the Bishopric, discuss the primary records with them monthly, don't just turn in the numbers to the ward clerk. The numbers are necessary, but they don't tell the whole story.

A music leader from Chadron Nebraska (I didn't even know our Stake goes into Nebraska, but it does. It also goes into Wyoming.) taught us the song We are Different. You can play that song if you click on the "music and voice" MP3 icon. It has a kinda fun calypso beat. She gave each of us shakers made out of plastic cups, dried beans, and duck tape. Primary Music is fun!

Then a man from the Chadron branch taught a Primary lesson about the sacrament. He brought in about 10 kids from their branch. He did a great job keeping their attention. He is a large Tongan guy, and you can tell those kids just love him. The main thing that I noticed about his lesson was that he used the names of the children. He knew all of their names, and called them by name as he asked questions and told stories. He teaches 11 five and six year olds each week. He said that the most important thing a teacher can do is get to know the children. Find out what they are like. Pray for them. Learn about their families. Get a feel for how long they can concentrate, then use other activities to keep their attention.

He bore a powerful testimony about teaching in Primary. He said that he was extended a call to teach in Primary three years ago, but he said no. He had good excuses for not being able to serve - he was working on his PhD, his wife just had a baby, etc. They moved, and when he was called to teach Primary a year ago he jumped at the chance and has loved it. He says that though the things he teaches the children are just simple, basic gospel principles, he feels that his Testimony and love of the Savior has grown tremendously. I was very impressed by him. Sometimes, I think, people feel like teaching primary is a punishment. It was great to see someone who could do anything in his ward, teaching the 5 year olds and loving his calling.

It was a great meeting. I am going to learn the names of the children in our Primary. For some reason when I am nervous and standing in the front, the names of the children (and adults) slip away from me. Even the kids that I know really well, I forget. It is mighty embarrassing. I thought it was a pregnancy thing, but it is still a problem for me. Maybe I should have them wear name tags.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Bed Nathan Built

During the last three weeks that Nathan was home, he worked like mad to finish the bed. I honestly didn't think he would be able to get it done before they left. But he is amazing, and the bed is lovely.

Isn't that a beautiful bed? I love it. I wish the pictures of it all made-up were better. Our little camera works best outside.

One Last Picture of The Bed

4 Little Monkeys

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Headboard with oil.

The Bed. unfinished.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

What Are You Reading?

This week,I have been reading books by Gary Paulsen. I am fascinated by the story he tells of his childhood during WWII, in the books Cook Camp, Alida's Song, The Quilt, and Harris and Me. These books are fictional, but I think also autobiographical. His grandmother was an immigrant from Norway, and she brought him into her life among other Norweigan Americans at the edge of the prairie. It is amazing in the books that many of the farmers are still using work horses, and the homes have no electricity or running water. He discusses the ways that the war tore apart his family - his father left to fight, his mother got bored and got involved with bad men, they drank too much, etc.

But his grandmother was a steadying influence, she took care of him on several occasions when his mother couldn't, and showed him a life away from the city where families worked long and hard to survive, but life was full of adventure and love.

I especially enjoyed The Quilt. It tells of a summer with his grandmother, when they go help a distand cousin who is having a baby while her husband is away fighting in the Pacific. Many women in the area come to help with the baby. It is a sweet story about family.

I wish I could walk a couple of miles to my sister's house, and help cook and wash laundry when her baby comes.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I Got Side Tracked Already

It was a beautiful day today. The leaves are turning yellow and red, the mornings are crisp, the sky is blue. What a beautiful day. So, I admit, not much got done on The List. But Emily and I spent the day outside. First we fixed some flat tires (after I dug all around the garage looking for a funny little black tool to remove the tire from the wheel) Next, Emily rode her freshly fixed bike for all of 2 seconds, trading it in for a scooter. The scooter was a little tricky, so I had to walk all bent over and sideways to help keep it on the sidewalk - while pushing the stroller with the other hand. We cut the walk short and took a break from the scooter to play on the swings at the park. We visited with some neighbors, blew bubbles, watered the flowers, checked on the tomatoes (no more red ones - are they done for the season?) then suddenly it was time to get the big girls and the afternoon zipped by in a daze. Maybe not as exotic as Nathan's tropical beach, but I don't think I'd trade.

Monday, October 04, 2004

To Do This Week

* = completed
*- exercise each morning
- finish all the stars and sew quilt top together (still working on it.)
*- get a bed frame for Hannah's bed (got it from a neighbor, but not assembled yet)
*- make a batch of breakfast burritos to freeze
*- find a babysitter for Saturday
*- set up meeting with Primary music ladies
*- fix dinner every day (yeah for me)
*- send package to Nathan
- read aloud - The Tale of Despereaux (the book got buried under a pile on the desk and I didn't read a single page. I will move it up to the kitchen and read while the kids take their sweet time eating dinner.)
*- 15 min/day cleaning the kitchen (a la Flylady. (I did a bit of kitchen cleaning - organized pantry, wiped down fronts of cabinets, decrusted microwave. Could have cleaned out under the sink, and lid drawer.)

I'm sure there is more I could do this week (I want to paint my room, make a little fall leaf wall hanging, paint Emily's dresser to match her bed, curtains in the kitchen, etc) but let's be realistic - only one big project each week. This week's project is Hannah's quilt. I will get it done this week. I will get it done this week. I will get it done this week... As the week goes on I will report back and check off items as I finish them.

Tuesday check in - so far so good - jogging 2 days in a row!, spagetti for dinner, burritos in freezer, babysitter hired.

Wednesday check in - not much to check off today. I did send off a package to Nathan, and a few items are half done. I am proud to say I resisted the Burger King urge and fixed dinner.

Sunday check in - not a bad week if I do say so myself. Having the list posted here on everyone's refridgerator made me feel like I actually had to get to the things on the list - like the bedframe - that has been on my list forever, and I finally got one! Also, it kept me from succubing to the BK/ Taco Bell temptation. I think I will make a new list tomorrow.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


We are really enjoying General Conference this weekend. It is like a little vacation for us - sleeping in, listening in our jammies, leftover pizza for lunch, and projects! President Hinkley said that when all the announced and in construction temples are built there will be over 130 worldwide. Wow! I especially enjoyed the talk during the Saturday morning session by Jeffery R Holland about the job of Apostles during the time of Christ and today. It was exciting to hear the announcement of the the two new members of the 12 Apostles. Here is a link for information about them. It would be really great if that link works like I hope. There should be no html code showing, and the word information should be the link. I am going to publish this and see if it works.

I am so proud! My first link. Did you try it? It takes you right to the Church News. I think I will try another. Now, I think maybe General Conference at the top of this blog will take you to the site for listening to conference.

Hannah started a latch hooking project this morning and is about 1/3 of the way done. Emily, and Sydney did puzzels and drew pictures. John kept himself entertained with stealing the ball out of Sam's mouth and sharing Teddy Grahams with him. I have been working on Hannah's cute quilt. I had hoped to be able to tie it during conference, but I am a major procrastinator. I did get all the rest of the pieces cut and marked on today, and I sewed a wee bit. Do you think it is illegal to sew during Sunday Conference? I think maybe. I will have to work on the cross stitch project I started when Hannah was 3 weeks old. I worked on it during the spring conference and now I have just one more color to do before the whole dang thing is done. I really should do that tomorrow. Any projects happening at your house?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Nope, Didn't Go

I didn't have to think about it very long. I enjoy being home in the evenings, so we stayed home from Bunko. And it was a good thing. It turns out the babysitting cost $3/hour/kid. So if I just stayed the minimum 2 hours I would have had to pay $24 plus th $5 to play. Yikes! Also, when we are out at night it makes the morning rush for school not so fun.

It feels like Saturday. Today (Friday, October 1) is no school, so the girls slept out in front of the TV and are now watching cartoons. Last night we went to see Princess Diaries 2. Our friends, the Lewis', met us there. John, suprise suprise, was rather loud. So he and I spent most of the movie standing in the back. It was a fun night, and also nearly free! I have movie passes to the base theater as part of the deployed spouse package. I was excited to be able to use the September tickets before they expired.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

To Bunko or Not to Bunko

So far I have avoided Bunko Night. The squadron wives group has a bunko night each month. My neighbors always go and always invite me, but so far I have had good excuses not to go. I don't actually know what bunko is, but I think it is cards or dice or something. The wives group has other activities each month - a monthly meeting ( A Coffee), activities for holidays, kids things, etc. So I don't feel like I need to offer anymore of my time to the wives group, especially with church activities each month (this month more than others)- RS, primary activity, stake training, stake conference, etc.

Anywho, we went to our neighbor's house for dinner tonight. There were a couple of other moms and kids there, the food was great, the dessert was yummy. It was fun. So she mentioned that tomorrow night is Bunko, and it's right here at the community center, they have dinner, and there is babysitting. So should I go? It could be fun. I don't know a lot of the ladies very well, and it is fun to talk when you are busy with something. Eh, I think I won't go. Bedtime is tricky even when we are home all evening. I don't know. I could go at 6:30 and be home at 7:30, but what if you want to leave, but can't because you are right in the middle of a game? Hmm. I will think about it.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Tattooed Lady

Last night in bed I was trying to think of a song with Sydney's name in it. It took me a while, but I found one. It is a favorite of Mom's. Do any of you remember this song? I will write the words as I remember them. Do correct me if your memory is sharper than mine.

We came to town to see
That old tattooed lady.
She was a sight to see
tattooed from head to knee.

My Uncle Ned was there
He came to gasp and stare.
"I never," he declared,
"have seen a freak so fair."

For on her jaw
Was a royal flying ?craw?
And on her back
Was a union Jack..
Oh could you ask for more?

All up and down her spine
Marched the kings own guardian line.
And all around her hips
Sailed a fleet of battleship.

And on her left kidney
Was a birds-eye-view of Sydney!!!
But what we like best
Was upon her chest...
A little home in Waikiki.
He He

Isn't that a great song? John got a little singing toy for his birthday that plays a variety of songs. There is one song that I recognized, but it took me a few days to figure out how I knew it. It is the tune to the Tattooed Lady song. I wonder if it is really a song or if dad made up the words to a tune that he knew. I have been singing it around the house and suddenly I realized where that little home is located - wowza! Hope Emily doesn't suddenly start singing it at church.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

John Foss says Hi

John is 1

John has his first job. He can now turn off a light all by himself (if I hold him up to a light switch.) I am strangely proud. He seems proud of himself, too. Each night as I walk into his room at bedtime I say, "Turn off the light." John reaches out his little pointer-finger toward the light switch, then with all his might he flips the switch down. Sometimes we do this a few times before heading to the rocking chair.

There are a lot of nice songs (and poems) to sing with a baby named John. Here are a few: Are you sleeping Brother John? (sing each morning as John gets dressed for the day) Diddle Diddle Dumpling My Son John (we have a rather worn board-book from when Hannah was a baby. A favorite.) Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Whoops Johnny. (fun for sacrament meeting.) Johnny B. Good (B. short for Barrett - Nathan rocks out on the guitar or piano for that one.) I am always searching for more, so if you think of one that I missed, let me know. PS the poem about the piper's son is TOM not John - no stolen pigs here.

I will close this note with one last John poem
Happiness by AA Milne
John had his
Great big
Water proof
Boots on.
John had a
Great big
Water proof
John had a
Great big
Water proof
Machintosh - -
And that
(said John)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Big Chorus Now

I survived another solo Sunday. I think that is a great accomplishment. Sundays can be difficult days around here. With Nathan gone I have been doing a better job of doing everything I can on Saturday night. Because Saturday is a special day; it's the day we get ready for Sunday. Sunday mornings go so much smoother when I pack my bag, bathe the kids and shave my legs on Saturday.

John is very loud during Sacrament Meeting. He doesn't say much more than Dada, but he has a variety of expressive grunts. Here are some rough interpretations of our sacrament meeting conversation 1-Don't hold me. 2-I can hold the bread tray. 3-Why just one cup of water? there are lots on the tray. 4-Get me out of here.

John and I spend a lot of time in the overflow. It is my little secret. Most parents of babes wander the halls or stand jabbering in the foyer, but I have found that the overflow is empty and quiet, and as an added bonus I found the nob to turn on the sound from the chapel. So I sit on a comfy chair listening to the speakers while John wanders around. He never makes a sound in there. It is so strange how expressive he becomes in the chapel.

I abandon the girls in the chapel. I think they do okay. When I gather my things I can see that they spend their time eating John's snacks and making those drawings of mismatched heads and bodies.

Yesterday, Sydney and Emily had to use the bathroom near the end of Sacrament meeting so I had them come sit by me and John for the remainder of the time. We were listening in the overflow as he congregation was singing the closing song. Right near the end the chorister shouted out: "You got it now, BIG CHORUS!" Sydney cracked up and nearly fell out of her chair. wacca wacca wacca. Not quite the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Spelling Tests

I am a terrible speller, but Hannah seems to have inherited Grammy's spelling tallent. We reviewed her spelling list last night to prepare for today's spelling test. In second grade Mrs. Whetstone was my teacher, and each week for spelling there would be a couple of bonus words. I never got any of the bonus words correct, but our neighbor Stephanie always did. This did not make me feel too bad, until one week when the bonus word was talent. Yipee, I thought, I can spell that one! It was not until after the test that I learned that someone made a spelling error when they put up our street sign. We lived on Tallent Drive. I still have problems spelling talent (or is it tallent?) correctly. Dang. No bonus points.

back to school

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Home or School?

So after 3 years of homeschooling we went ahead and sent the girls to school. Whew. What a difficult decision. This spring I was so sick of having everyone with me all the time; I was annoyed with the fact that it was not possible to do anything but school work on a school day - we just could not do both school and go to Walmart. So after we go settled into our home here in Rapid City we checked out the school and decided that we would send the girls off in the fall.

Then summer came and we had a lovely time reading books by Andrew Clements, swimming, and sewing. It was a nice, low pressure time. It was strangely still difficult to get more than one thing accomplished in a day, but I became better at going out with all 4 kids all by myself. It became possible for me to go to Walmart (early in the day) will all the kids and not tremble and quake. And I began to remember why I love having these kids home with me.

As school got closer to starting, I became more nervous about sending the girls. I put off enrolling them and began to start looking through my vast stash of homeschool catelogs. (As a side note, many nonhomeschoolers do not realize that there are tons of material available for homeschoolers. When someone would find out that we were homeschoolers they would often ask what we use for books, not realizing that there is a whole world of homeschool books and manipulatives and kits. I think it suprised people that I wasn't just coming up with an entire math curriculum off the top of my head, but used instead an official looking math program complete with teacher's guide and speed drills.) After changing my mind daily, I think Nathan was ready to leave (wait, he did leave, maybe this is the reason..)

To get to the end of the story, the girls are in school and loving it. Sydney loves her cute 1st grade teacher. She tells me all about the stories they read and the fun games they play. She loves recess and music. Hannah wants to be involved in everything. She is doing running club, chess club, band, future teachers (I know that's not what they call it, and too bad they don't have the Amigo program like they had at Sonoma, but it is the same thing) and a gifted pull out. She is doing great, making friends and getting the flute to make notes. I am so glad we made this decision. I feel at peace with the kids in school. But now it is easy to see where homeschool can be better in some ways. More about this another time.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Toy Story

I heard from Nathan this evening. I was beginning to think he had disappeared. I got an email from him on Saturday, so I guess it had only been a day since he last wrote, but I worry. He is good.

I think I solved the nursery toy problemo. I went to the church this morning because I needed to get a few books for our new music and nursery people. While I was going through our closet the building supervisor people (janitors) came by. I know one of the ladies because her son is in Nathan's scout troop, so we started talking. I mentioned that I felt bad about the toys in the Bishop's office, but I didn't know if there was anything I could do. She told be about a cupboard on the stage that we could use. Emily and I checked it out and I think it will be perfect. It may not hold all of our totes, and I still have to ask the Bishop, but I think it will be great!

While we were on the stage Emily told me that she would play the piano so I could dance. John and I cut a rug while Emily pounded on the keys. It's too bad there was no one else there to see it, I'm sure it was a sight. After I spoke to the janitors Emily asked (loudly) if him was a girl or a boy. When I told her it was a girl, she said (loudly) she has sounds like a man. hehehe.

This blog is rather pointless. I enjoy reading other people's blogs, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the nice little line of links to show up on the sidebar of my blog. I think I better go see if my big sister can help me.

PS I just ran the spell check and it kept stopping on Blog. Apparently blog is not a word even on this the blogspot blog maker place.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Notes on Primary

Did I mention I am President of our Primary here. This is my 4th week at it and it feels good. I have been getting to know the kids and treading carefully on the past President's ground. I think it is a tricky thing when presidencies change. I noticed things I wanted to change, but I didn't want the past group to feel like they weren't doing a good job. I have praised their work and their program to anyone I talk to about Primary. And they really have done an excellent job.

Coming up soon is the Primary Sacrament Presentation, where the children sing the songs they have been learning in Primary and each kid has a chance to yell, I mean speak, into the microphone. I remember being in these as a child and they don't particularly stand out as special or big days, but planning one of these things is a big job! The program was scheduled for Halloween, but I decided it would be too scary, so we will take over the chapel on November 14th, instead. We have had a substitute chorister since early summer - that is interesting because the music is such a big part of primary, and when you are just filling in, then it isn't so important to you. Our chorister was called today - she is a cute young mom,(also a hair dresser, she gave Hannah and Sydney really cute haircuts). We need her help. We plan to get together tomorrow and go over her new calling, and really start planning the program.

I think our nursery is our biggest challenge. We have 36 active nursery age children, divided into 3 classes. We only have toys in one room of the church, so we have to carry totes of toys around the building. It seems that the previous president has had numerous run ins with the building people about the toy buckets, so right now they are being stowed in the Bishops's office. I feel a little bad about that because he should have a nice tidy office, not a leaning tower of toy totes. Can you imagine getting whomped on the head by a sit-n-spin while visiting with the bishop? I don't think there is really anything I can do about it, though. I think there must be a way for the church to purchase another offical nursery storage cupboard, but I think if I want the building to help me, then I need to be kind and not pushy (yet).

Okay, so back to the nursery, of the 36 kids who come, 9 have just turned 18 months old. If you have any experience in the nursery you will remember that the 18 month olds are the most tricky. Just when you feel like you class is finally listening and participating during the lesson, that's when a new 18 month old comes in and causes widespread turmoil and strife. One 18 month old is a challenge, 9 is crazy. With the new ones coming in we have had to shift around a couple of kids. So far so good. I know it will be a transition, and I know some of the parents are not so happy, but hopefully they will give it a couple of weeks. Aaach. By the way, there are 15 kids in our YM/YW combined. Just hoping that the bishopric will remember to give our nursery as much support and as steady leadership as the youth.

Primary is Fun, Primary is Fun, Primary is Fun...

Friday, September 10, 2004

Roller Skating

I was the queen of the neighborhood rollerskating club. My sisters and I planned and performed elaborate skating programs with Deanne Raeger, our neighbor. We performed at the next door neighbor's double length driveway - I think mainly because they must have parked in the garage while our red and white van always sat in our drive. California had great flat sidewalks for skating. Our neighborhood here in Rapid City has nice hills. That makes skating very exciting on the downhill, but not so fun on the way back up.

Tonight I discovered why I need the jogger stroller to hold me steady - it's the rollerblades. I am not such a graceful rollerblader. I need rollerskates. I can skate on four wheels/foot. Remember rollerskating at Willowa Lake? Good time. We had a birthday party at the base youth center tonight. They had brown lace up skates from when I was a kid. Ahhhh, what great skates. This was as cool as RollerKing only no disco light or speedskating. We put John in the stroller and Sydney pushed him around all evening while I skated backward with Emily. Sydney and Hannah are RAD rollerskaters. I think we may have to go skate again next week - we could even get a licorice rope at the snack bar.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Blog Numero Uno

Here I am on a quiet night. Kids are all asleep, Sam the dog is snoring and twitcing by my feet, and I am writing on my very own blog. Crazy. We made it through day 4 of Nathan's deploment, and I think we are going to be okay. We were all a bit weepy on days one and two, but now the fun begins! Nathan made it safe and sound to his new home in the Indian Ocean. It was fascinating to track his journey on our map at the kitchen table. He is far far away, and 12 hours ahead of us on his journey around the sun. This is a huge earth we live on.

This morning he called from his room and I was able to call back using about 35 numbers. Supposedly this routed my call through Hawii so that I will not have to pay a huge international phone bill (must call Qwest tomorrow to check the damage.) I was suprised when it worked and Nathan answered the phone. And there was no static. He sounds great. He met up with some buddies who have been there for the last 3 months and are coming home next week. He is already having fun, he went snorkling yesterday with Shalin and Abe(or was it this morning, or maybe tomorrow morning...) Sounds like he will have a great time in the sun while we enjoy a crisp fall and prepare for winter in the cold north.

With Nathan gone we have already had a couple of minor emergencies - the downstairs toilet nearly overflowed. Thanks to my quick actions it did not flood the room, but even after numerous whompings with the plunger it is still not flushing as well as it should. Dang. Nathan - where are you. Also the washing machine drain thing attempted to pop out of its hole and drench the laundry room AGAIN, but I happened to be walking by and got it back in place before it became a 10 towel crisis. whew. 4 days down. 96 (or so) to go.