Friday, June 29, 2007

Nathan's Birthday and other happenings

Nathan celebrated his second birthday on June 20th. I happened to have Mutual that night-- a swim party at a ward member's home with dinner. So, we brought the kids along. We spent over an hour in the pool and my kids loved being with the big kids. Then we ate dinner and shared a train-and-candy birthday cake with about five other people there who had had birthdays recently. Rachel ate peanut M&M's and frosting by the handful, Nathan flirted with a little girl a few months younger than him, and Hannah jumped in the pool fully clothed. Afterwards, we went home and let Nathan open his gifts. He loved with fire engine (it makes sounds and has movable parts) and a book about trains. I loved seeing him understand that birthdays are special days and using the ASL version of Happy Birthday to make it unique to our family.
The following weekend, Christian's brother Jonathan came to visit while his family was in Utah. Christian enjoyed having someone to "hang out" with (they went to see Pirates of the Caribbean, which I am too pregnant to be willing to sit through) and to cook for. The kids love seeing their extended family-- Hannah is under the impression that Jonathan is sillier than her Dad and Rachel loves seeing extended families and using their names.
Last Monday I drove up to Girl's Camp and stayed until late Tuesday. I haven't been to Girl's Camp in something like seven years, and I loved being there. It was especially nice being a leader at camp because I got to sleep in the bunk house with a real bed and my own room. I had no real responsibility, so I helped out wherever I could, including clean-up, set-up, helping out at the camp store, and baking brownies for the dessert bar. We had only a small group of girls go to camp this year, and even though I wasn't camping with them, I felt like being there helped me "bond" with them. It was also nice to sleep as much as I wanted without little kids coming to find me.
Next week we head to Virginia, near D.C., to spend the 4th of July with Marc and Marcy and Alexia!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer Vacation

I am enjoying the luxury of having no place I need to go and letting the kids be "unscheduled."
Last Monday was the first day in months (since February) that I didn't get in the car at all. Unfortunately, Rachel's implant suffered some technical problems so she spent with majority of the week without hearing. The good news is that she was able to tell me it wasn't working and she seemed to miss it. Rachel is beginning to associate some sounds with words. She is beginning to say bye-bye and ma-ma, although its easy to miss if you don't know what she is trying to say. She is also interested in coughing and sneezing and likes to try to make the noises. We also enjoyed having Aunt Alexia come visit last weekend. She is moving from Utah to Washington D.C. to start a new job with the government and the kids loved seeing her. We love to cook for guests. Christian made a Hungarian meal and I learned to make a good pie using the food processor Christian and the kids gave me for my birthday. I also spent an afternoon helping out with Youth Conference and will spend this week preparing for Girl's Camp the following week. Christian drove down to Greenville, South Carolina to take the GMAT, which went well, so we have some decisions to make regarding grad school for him. We are staying busy, trying to do good things, and trying to keep up with the kids. Happy summer!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Embedding Stuff

This isn't really a post, I'm just having fun embedding different google stuff into our website, blog etc... I'll embed a slideshow and a calendar in this one just to see how it works.

The slideshow is pretty cool. If you click on the little man icon in the lower left hand corner, it will take you to our photo album page, if you click on the little "quote bubble" in the lower left corner, you can turn off (or back on) the captions.

The calendar's always cool. You can subscribe to the calendar by clicking on the following icon:

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Kid Update

I think my kids are too young for school, but this is the second year that "summer vacation" means something to them. I'm really sad for Hannah's preschool to end--she had a fabulous experience this year. Hannah attended a classroom designed for autistic kids--she was a "typically developing role model." Because of all her experience with Rachel's needs, Hannah was able to play well with the special needs kids and she made friends. A few weeks ago Hannah told her teacher, "I'm so smart, I know just about everything." She gets her humility from her father. Because of odd school cut-off dates, Hannah will start kindergarten next fall, even though she will still be four.

Rachel has attended another special needs preschool for the last two months and really enjoys it. We are still working with her doctors and specialists to determine just how much hearing she has, but we think that she is hearing at normal conversation levels, but that she might be missing very high and very low frequency sounds. This is important to know because it helps us understand her speech capability. She loves working with her speech therapists and she is making some progress. Sometimes she tells me when she hears something interesting.

Nathan has a face that is made for smiling. He loves to play with cars, swings, anything physical and especially likes to buddy up with his sisters. Today at church he walked down the hall, waving and saying hi to everyone. Even the Young Men we passed said he was "so cute." We are thrilled that he is finally talking and its is even better that he can sign, as well. So all our kids do a pretty good job of playing and communication together.

Christian and I are staying busy with home life, work, and callings. As long as our AC continues to work, we think we will like the balmy summer down south.