Thursday, May 29, 2008

Featherhead

That's my boy! He's 8 and a half months old, but I just now took him for his 6 month check up (blame it on the move...). He's 18lb 14 oz (average) but really short (26 in I think). Otherwise, healthy and happy! Don't you love his hair? And his smile? And the way he tries to crawl, but gets stuck on his tummy and waves his arms like he's trying to fly?!

Memorable Memorial Day

I was so impressed! We always, talk about getting up early and getting to work, but on Memorial day, Christian actually got up at 6:00 and headed out side to start planting. First, he dug out the stump of the tree he "trimmed" last week. Then, he planted the new hydrangea (with a little help from Hannah). His second tree planting in a month--this time, without the colored chalk and coconut (we have to keep him humble).
The kids and Daddy--sporting glasses and smiles.
We have a weed-liner under the bark, so rather than cut holes in it, we bought planters and spread them out around the front yard. They are still small, but the flowers make the yard look so much more cheerful! We also potted some strawberries in our backyard.
And after all the hard work, we invited our friends the MacBeth's over (with their four kids-the same ages as ours) for a BBQ-- with burgers with all the fixings. And the kids turned the water on without permission and picked our strawberries before they were ready and started fights....I guess that's what I should expect with 8 little kids running around and very tired parents.

Mad Rachel

I'm too tired to walk home (after a short walk). I'll just crawl.
Help me! Carry me! Wait for me!
Woe is me!
No, don't take a picture of me being mad! Just carry me!

(I waited for her to walk in by herself. After some drama, she eventually came in)

Discovering the Hose


The kids discovered the spigot in the backyard, and I found out a little too late (they were soaked!). Then I helped them hook up the hose and the neighbor kids came over... what was I thinking? Well, I guess the lawn needed the water anyway.

Dinner Conversation

Sometimes at our house we have trouble deciding just what constitutes appropriate dinner conversation. Last night, Hannah informed us she is a vegetarian (remember, she's 5). When Daddy asked her if she liked the pork he BBQ-ed for dinner, she said yes. Just to clarify, she's a pork-eating vegetarian. He asked her what animal pork came from, then hot dogs and burgers, and we moved to the matter of cows and the food they give us. Hannah reminded us that we get milk and meat from cows.
"But,"she said,"if you want milk and hamburger from a cow, you have to get the milk first. Otherwise...you know."
Slaughter talk? At the dinner table?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Young Women

I like working with the young women (ask me again in a week and I might say something different). It isn't a calling I expected for myself, and I've definitely had my share of challenges. It can be a pretty thank-less calling (as are many of them) because you tend to hear more bad than good from teenage girls, but I like being involved and having some purpose. I remember as a teenager really struggling with public speaking--I just couldn't string two coherent thoughts together in front of a group. I've worked on that, and now, provided I am prepared and care about the topic, giving lessons usually goes okay. Teaching is probably my favorite part of the calling (although I do grow tired of hearing my own ideas and stories over and over again). Some of the best experiences with the girls come when I have prepared a lesson and we go off topic to discuss something that really matters to them. When I put the time into preparing a lesson, I think I am more prepared for tangents, as well.
I've been thinking a lot about my teenage years lately (after spending a week with my little sister--who's staring high school next year), and how I really wouldn't go back and relive my teen years, but it might be fun to go back and do a lot of things differently. Being a leader in the Young Women's program is much more fun. Like Girl's Camp last summer, spent with the stake leaders, making late-night runs to Walmart, having a real bed, and finding the chocolate stash in the kitchen. Much more fun than rodents, rain, and whatever else girls do at camp! (I'm going to Girl's Camp and Youth Conference again this summer).
Tonight we talked about Integrity (one of the YW values) and created Mormonads to hang in the class room. There are only two girls in my class (the Mia Maids), so its tricky planning activities, but it was really fun tonight to see what the girls came up with. We used famous quotes as our inspiration. Mine was from Will Rogers: Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

He's a biter!

Aaron went back to frequent night wakings when Christian was gone. I was a wimp and gave him a bottle in his crib to help him go back to sleep, but now we are working on helping him sleep through the night. Its just too hard to wake up every night! The other night, between Rachel and Aaron, I was up 7 times! No wonder I'm a crabby Mom...Last night, Aaron cried for about 2 hours, waking poor Nathan, who is my best sleeper. We discovered (at least part of) his problem-- he has teeth! Two new, bright and shiny sharp things on the bottom. I'll post pictures when I get them.
Also, Hannah finished her gymnastics class yesterday. We've been looking for a class every since she took tumbling in Provo, but everywhere we've lived, classes have been too expensive. We found a cheap class here, but then there was drama. She didn't exactly like the class--she a perfectionist, and doesn't like to do things she isn't perfect at. We ended on a high note--she got a medal ("Look, Mom! My very first medal!") and the teacher served cookies. I think we'll put her in swimming this summer, but for now we need a break.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Background

I downloaded some digital scrapbooking stuff--does anyone have any idea how to put it together and make it a background? Do I need special software? I just thought it looked pretty... now I need to figure out how to use it!

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home

He's back! Finally!
The kids are thrilled to have him back, although Aaron doesn't remember him. Christian was sick of foreign food, so we invited the Elders over and cooked up a fabulous meal. He's not going back to work for a few days, so we can make up for some lost time (and yardwork).
I made it on my own for a month! (And he's not allowed to travel like that again unless I'm with him). I really didn't think I could do it, so maybe I'm becoming a better Mom.

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I think Mother's Day is fabulous, especially with kids in school. Hannah had something fun to bring home nearly everyday last week, so my special day lasted a long time. There was a tea bag (too bad I don't drink tea), a clay creation (I think it was supposed to be my face), a cute card, and a spider plant... plus she kept drawing me pictures or giving me things (that may or may not have belonged to her). She even scrubbed the bath tub for me--at least that was her justification. (She came to me, crying and wet, on Sunday, telling me she had slipped in the tub trying to clean it for me--when I went to check it out, there was shampoo everywhere!). Rachel brought home a poem with her handprint--I think its the standard Mother's Day gift. And I had all the kids paint plaster fridge magnets for me. Christian, of course, was on the opposite side of the world, but he sent me flowers on Friday (and then the flower guy came back on Saturday with an identical arrangement. I told them I'd already received my flowers, but he left them anyway! Aren't they pretty?). And I made myself French toast for dinner--a meal the kids actually ate! The funny thing was that I decided not to rush myself in the morning getting ready for church. I took some time preparing my YW lesson, and ended up getting to church 30 minutes late, just to remember that there was a special Relief Society meeting that day and I didn't have to teach. I guess I'm really ready for next week!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A little shake up

So, Christian called me this morning to tell me that there had been a major earthquake, with lots of casualties, and I nearly panicked--was he calling to tell me he was stuck? He had to stay and help? His hotel collapsed? No, he's fine. The quake was felt by some people in Shanghei, but he didn't notice it. I would imagine it would be very strange to be in a foreign country, so close to such a major disaster, but thankfully, he's fine (and will be home Friday night!).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

So cheesy!

I've had a really hard time getting good photos of Hannah lately. Here are a few attempts:This last photo is after Hannah asked me to give her a special hairstyle and then she decorated her face with make-up.
She shares this struggle (smiling) with my sister...

In other news...

While Christian has been enjoying his trip around the world, my younger sister, Dana, flew in from Seattle to keep me company. And I'm so glad she came! Its much more fun having someone to play with. The kids loved her! She was so good to hold Aaron when he needed more attention (he's going through withdrawls now--he can't seem to understand why he's on his own so much again) and Rachel loved making Dana give her piggy-back rides--again and again and again.
Dana helped us paint pictures frames for Grandma's mother's day gift. Each kid painted their own frame-- they're all very bright!
And we finally visited the local zoo. Its a smaller zoo, but we enjoyed getting outside (even in the rain!) and enjoyed seeing the tamarin swinging from an iguana's tail and the beautiful snow leopards. There were peacocks roaming around everywhere. Rachel loved to chase them, but Hannah was scared of their noises.
Look closely and you can see the dinosaur..... (statue).
Such a cutie!

There was this huge fake elephant--Nathan was scared to death! It took a while for Rachel to warm up to it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bright City Lights and Electronic Toilets

If you'll look closely, you'll notice that it has a gender specific rinse cycle as well as a dry cycle - only the best in Chang Won, Korea. Our last stop in Gyeongju was quiet and peaceful with a beautiful view. Chang Won is more of an industrial city so here we get the bright lights and colorful night life.Yesterday we stopped for lunch and had similar food to the day before - grilled beef and vegetables, right at the table. However, this time the table was low to the ground. As you can probably tell, my ever increasing girth kept me from properly enjoying the experience. To top it off, I couldn't even put my legs under the table because of the hot coals in the pan in the center of the table. The food was stiil good though.... Korea uses a lot of cameras to catch people who violate traffic laws. Instead of a radar detector or something like that, our host uses a GPS unit that calls out the positions of the cameras. He calls it his "secretary". It will even announce spots where police officers will typically hide with their own cameras.
I've been really impressed by how beautiful Korea is. This was taken as we were driving from Ulsan to Busan. Wherever we are there are nice green hills, and many lakes and rivers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

"I want the truth!" "You can't handle the truth!" - A Few Good Men (edited of course)

I still insist I'm not on vacation, but as I look around my setting in Kyongju, Korea, I know the evidence is stacked against me...



These are all views from my balcony - too bad I have to check out on Wednesday.

To top it all off - I saw two fireworks shows tonight.