I don't think that I have anything remarkable or insightful to say, but I do want to keep this blog fairly up-to-date, and Sunday evening is a good time for me to do it. The kids are in bed (Nate is actually asleep too- rare for him to fall asleep before me, but he isn't feeling great and took some cold medicine that wiped him out). I'm enjoying my "day of rest" and letting the house go until tomorrow, so I have time to write!
I had to look at the calendar to remember what we did this week - it seems like it flew by. I accomplished my goal of going to the gym every day (Monday through Friday), and I was sure sore by the end, but I feel great now and I'm excited to do it again this week. I have a great friend who is doing it with me which makes such a huge difference for me.
Sam went to his best friend Thayer's birthday part on Saturday - he has been looking forward to it for weeks. He got to ride the bus home with him and then they went (with a bunch of other kids) to play Laser Tag and other fun games. He had such a great time and keeps telling me that we need to go back so that he can show me all of the games (Thanks Tiina!).
Isaac and Grace had a great week together. They are really enjoying this new routine with Sam back in school all day. They play together so well and they are doing "Preschool" together. I agonized for months over where I wanted to send Isaac to school. There are some great programs around here, and I also have some wonderful friends who I did Preschool with last year for him. He loved it, but I just wasn't sure how well I would be able to teach Preschool with two younger kids trying to get in on the action. It is also hard because even though all of the families were in our ward we are really spread out, so most of them live about 30 minutes away. That made it hard because I didn't want to drop him off, drive all the way home and go all the way back so I ended up usually staying or just sitting in the car, and I didn't want to do that all winter with Jonas and Grace. Also, I just didn't feel like either of those options would really meet his needs. Isaac is very smart- he has a great memory and a quick mind, and he has already mastered the alphabet and sounding words out. He is good with numbers, and he loves stories and games. What he needs is one-on-one help with his fine motor skills and his pronunciation. He can't seem to master holding a pencil correctly, and his drawing and coloring is about the same as his sister (who is almost 2 years younger). So, we are practicing every day - he is writing his name pretty well now, and we are doing some informal speech therapy each day as well. He really loves it. I'll need to make sure that I arrange some play dates for him more often, but he loves doing his worksheets with me and reading to his sister. They both remind me every day that we need to do school and they sit up to the table together. It is so sweet, and I am loving this time with them. I was so worried about keeping him home, but I know that this is the best thing for him, and I am glad that I did. I think that I was worried that other people would judge me for not sending him, I don't know why.
This weekend I went down to "Time Out for Women" with a group of women from my Stake. Friday was crazy trying to get ready to leave and I was feeling bad about leaving Nate with all four kids because I knew that he had things that he needed to do on Saturday. I almost wished that I hadn't bought the ticket - but I had - so I wasn't going to waste it. Nate was so supportive and encouraged me to go and have fun and I really did. I enjoyed the music and the talks, and it was great to spend time with friends and make some new ones as well. Of course, I also left with a few goals (in no particular order):
1- Write handwritten letters more often
2- Do family service projects
3- Give compliments freely (5 "split-seconds" a day)
4- Stop comparing my worst to everyone else's best (a constant problem for me)
5- Tell my kids every day how much their Heavenly Father loves them
To be honest, I thought that the speakers were good, but I didn't feel "in need" of most of the stuff they talked about. Not that I'm doing things perfectly - not even close - but the focus was on having "joy" and I think that I do. I have challenges and frustrations, like anyone, but I fully recognize that I have been extremely blessed, and I love my life. I am doing what I choose to do. I have an amazing husband who supports me in every possible way, and wonderful kids who love me unconditionally and who teach me new things every day. I have a home to live in, a car to drive, food on my table, and clothes to wear (although I can't say that I like any of my clothes - I really need a personal shopper ... and a clothes budget :).
The first speaker was a counselor/therapist who talked mostly about improving your relationship and communication with your husband. He was great and said some neat things, but to be honest I don't have any problems communicating with Nate. He is a great listener, he lets me vent whenever I need to, and he doesn't get bored or annoyed when I don't want to follow his advice. He vents to me also and we usually feel the same way about things. I think that we have the best marriage in the world (and I hope that you all think that yours is the best!)
I cam home to a house that was even cleaner than I left it and kids who were happy and well cared for (and luckily starving - leaving a nursing baby for 24 hours and forgetting to take your pump is not a good idea). Somehow Nate had mowed the lawn, taken the trash to the dump, cleaned the garage, mopped the kitchen floor, and done 3 loads of laundry - all with the 4 kids underfoot. What can I say, he is a Super Dad.
We had great church meetings today, and this should be another good week, but even busier than last week. Sam and Isaac have set some new goals and we made new chore charts today- hopefully that will help them to be more successful at meeting their goals. We were able to confirm that the city league basketball doesn't play on Sundays (at least not in Sam's division, next year it looks like we won't be so lucky), so he is thrilled that he will get to play. That doesn't start for another month, but he wants to add that and go back to gymnastics so I told him that he has to show me a few weeks of being able to handle everything that he has already committed to before we can add more (but I do really want to get him back to the gym - he does so well and he really loves it).
We are looking forward to a big ward campout this weekend, Nate running a half marathon and having his aunt and uncle visit the next weekend (and General Conference), and his parents visiting the next weekend (and I may run the Tuft's Women's 10K in Boston on Columbus Day, I'm still deciding). After that my sister Ruth is coming to visit and is leaving her kids here while she and her husband go to a conference in Vegas for a week (7 kids for a week will be interesting - ages 9 months, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and barely 7 - but the cousins are SO excited to see each other. It will be great - as long as I don't have to go anywhere with all of them!)
Next month is also packed with Young Women's meetings - one big meeting with all of the YW Presidencies in the Stake, meeting with 3 new Presidencies to train them, our first trek council meeting, a dance, and then we start in on all of the YW in Excellence programs in November. It just never slows down but I love it, this is such a fun calling.
I just hope that sometime in the next month we get to go on a date. Our weekends have all been overscheduled, and the friends we used to trade babysitting with have moved away, so it has been a while. Hopefully we will figure that out - although we are working in the temple together on the 14th, which will be like a date. So, that will be nice. With Nate home most nights now it feels like we get a date every night when the kids are asleep. I'm getting so spoiled! He'll be done with this client (in Boston) next month, and then he'll go back to traveling every week instead of just once or twice a month. It will take some adjusting again, but luckily we'll have the holidays to break it up.
Sorry, this post is SOOOO long - I really should write more than once a week. If you held on this long you must really love us - we love you too! Have a good week!