letters, food storage, and Lydia calls me out.

Ack. Bedtime got obliterated by my family history project. Originally this project was a barter; I promised to transcribe family documents in exchange for the closet space they occupied. But it was a trap! The letters I am transcribing are enthralling. I feel so close to my beloved grandma, and I’m getting to know my grandpa for the first time ever. It has been incredible.

We also ventured to Eden Foods, an emergency supply food company. Boy, they are prepared for the earthquake over there! The man who sold us the food had read all of the same books and reports we have been reading. He also recommended a new book, Awakening to our Awful Situation. When I heard the title, I laughed harder than I have in years. Actually, I absolutely believe the title speaks volumes of doctrinal and geological truth. It was just so funny to have been knee deep in crisis preparation for weeks on end and then to have someone put the cherry on top with that kind of title.

Long story short, we had emergency food storage for dinner tonight, and it was very tasty. I think if we ever invite people over for dinner (I have sworn dinner hosting off indefinitely, but just in case), I think we’ll serve them Eden Foods. Only 5% of the population is remotely prepared, and I think it would be a great reminder to our friends that we should be using food storage. Whadduya think? 🙂

Lydia did a great job calling me out tonight. I had just reprimanded her for accidentally rumpling some of my letters as she reached for a coloring page. She looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m not a grown-up.” I looked back and thought, “You know, you are absolutely right. You’re not a grown-up, and I should not pathologize your childish behavior. You are, after all, a child.” Out loud I said,”You’re right, Lydia.” I hope I apologized, but I can’t remember. Anyway, the point is I’m proud she stood up for herself. I like it when my kids defend themselves with reason and not with screams or tantrums.

Mary and Lydia had their first day of ballet for the season. They looked very cute in their tutus.

Abe took some really cute pictures of Ammon today. I’m so crazy I’m going to include them all, even though they are basically all the same picture. In the close-ups I just want to nibble his toes.

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Family history and 72 hour kits

Yesterday I spent the morning doing family history with my mom. I had the job of transcribing captions from my grandfather’s WWII photos. He was a navigator in the South Pacific, and I felt like I was reliving history. I have never felt closer to my grandfather.

Then I discovered lunch-time hot yoga and fell in love. The yoga is only an hour, so going doesn’t feel like a massacre on my schedule.

On the heels of yoga, we headed to Let’s Play Music. That was a downer because we lost Lydia’s homework booklet and CD in the very first week. I felt so bad and disorganized. This Friday we are organizing the office and I hope that we can get some systems in place to prevent that in the future.

In the afternoon we had a play date with my friend, Carlee. This was the type of play date where the moms visit while the kids play. Ever since moving to Utah Valley, most play dates seem to consist of moms dropping off their kids to play. While I have discovered that the Utah Valley play date allows me to do more housework (assuming the kids are old enough to play independently), I usually prefer the first type. Visiting is always the best part for me. I enjoyed talking to Carlee.

After the play date and dinner we had FHE. Mary and Lydia demonstrated their drawing skills and then the grown-ups discussed and ordered stuff for 72 hour kits. I am about to Google emergency ponchos as soon as I hit “publish.”

My bed time is back on track, too. That’s why I’m blogging in the morning. If I blog at night, I can’t make it to bed before 10pm. 9:30 is the goal, but if I am in bed by 10, I consider it a win.

 

Family council

Yesterday we had a great Sabbath. Our home teachers visited in the afternoon, we had a lovely dinner after that, and in the evening we held family council. Abe attended a lot of meetings after church and so I wonder if he got quite as much rest as the rest of us. On top of PEC he had a stake priesthood meeting. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently they do that in our stake. We must have been out of town for it last year.

My mom sent this throwback picture of Mary to us. Wasn't she adorable??

My mom sent this throwback picture of Mary to us. Wasn’t she adorable??

The kids played while we had a family council on emergency preparedness.

The kids played while we had a family council on emergency preparedness.

Book club and temple

Abe and I went to the temple tonight and then I headed straight to my book club. My book club has become a safe space, and I absolutely love the women in the group. We stayed after the official discussion (which was in itself wonderful) and talked about Visions of Glory. The earthquake is coming. That is a seismic fact. We just have to get prepared.

I got a lovely letter from my friends, Jean and Ashley, today! I am posting the pictures of the letter on the blog because they made me smile. I thought their “#1 in LDS-ness” award was so funny. If only they knew more Mormons! …But if they did, I’m sure I wouldn’t have won the award. 🙂

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play day

Yesterday I went to yoga in the morning and read our book club book, Being Mortal, for most of the afternoon. The day before had felt very busy, so yesterday felt like a nice break. The kids had a fun evening playing with the neighbors for hours. The days and evenings are getting cooler, and we’re cherishing the opportunity to be outside before it gets much colder.

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Lasagnas for everyone

Today I spent most of the day making lasagnas for people in the ward who have recently had babies. In the evening, we enjoyed the gorgeous weather by going on a walk. The girls rode their scooters and Ammon enjoyed his stroller.

Ammon eats all the time. As in: I feed him a bottle when he wakes up, take him directly from there to his high chair, and after that he gets snacks and another bottle. On walks such as the one we took tonight, Ammon reclines in his stroller whilst stuffing his face with kale puffs. By the end of the day he looks like a little engorged balloon and I have no idea how his stomach is holding it all in. 

He also has a lot of teeth coming in. That means our nights of continuous sleep have left us. Last night was particularly choppy with Ammon’s waking and Lydia’s nosebleed.

Mary is regressing in her potty training. She has wet the bed three nights in a row and I am sure she will wet the bed again tonight because she refused to go to the potty before bed. I placed her on a bunch of towels.

Abe comes home in just a few hours! I might stay up and read my book club book.

Here are the pictures from our walk today:

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Nana’s post

My mom sent me a document about Mary. Ever since my mom moved in, Mary can be found in her room coloring. Here is what my mom has to say about the situation.

One Example of How Mary Has Charmed Me Into Being Her Minion

Last night, when it looked to Mary like I needed enticement to continue playing with her, she insisted –

“OK! OK! NOW – the next step is –

I’ll put on the stickers.

Your job is the cutting and taping.

This is called working very hard.

Don’t you want to do it?

To do it correctly – this way.

Follow along as my finger goes.

The next step is to tape it.

We are working on cutting.

That’s the first step.

Let me go get some instructions.”

She ran out of the room to make a jar full of instructions. However, she quickly returned and her conversation to me of this sort went on for another fifteen or twenty minutes as I periodically objected that it was getting too late. My objections were feeble against her charm- mostly I acted like her minion and did whatever she insisted was my part.

date night river walk

Jean left this morning, and that was sad. I hope she comes again soon.

Abe got in last night, though, and that was happy. We haven’t had a chance to talk much all week. To remedy the situation, we walked by the Provo River for an hour and a half this evening for date night. We talked each other’s ears off. It was great to reconnect in the beautiful setting on such a gorgeous evening.

We are thinking of embarking on Dave Ramsey’s get-out-of-debt program. We still have lots of school loans and mortgages on our Utah house and our Chicago condo. I looked up the condo on Zillow and realized the market has not bounced back yet. We would have to pay someone to buy our condo. That’s sad. But hopefully with Dave Ramsey’s help, we can get rid of those school loans! We talked about Dave Ramsey a lot on our walk. Other topics included: Following the prophet, preparing for the Second Coming, and how to forgive.

Here are pictures from the day:

Beautiful Utah.

Beautiful Utah.

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Abe and Ammon reunited. Ammon rewarded by saying, "Dada" tonight! He learned "uh-oh" about two weeks ago, which puts "Dada" in second place. He said "Mama" shortly after that. He tripled his vocabulary tonight! :)

Abe and Ammon reunited. Ammon rewarded by saying, “Dada” tonight! He learned “uh-oh” about two weeks ago, which puts “Dada” in second place. He said “Mama” shortly after that. He tripled his vocabulary tonight! 🙂

Lydia’s recital and Qualtrics party

Today was a full day! In the morning we all went to look at a house that popped into my inbox from Zillow. I loved it, but there are things we would have to change for it to work for us.

Then Jean, the kids and I all went to the Provo Rec Center pool. Jean took the girls down the big slides while I watched Ammon. It was so nice to not have to watch all three kids by myself! I am going to miss Jean so much. I wish she could come back next week already.

After we finished at the pool we went home and got ready for Lydia’s harp recital. She did a great job. I was so proud of her, and I was so proud of how much she practiced for her recital. Tom and Suzanne came down to see her too, and of course Jean and my mom were both there. I taped the recital so Abe could see it when he gets home (in half an hour!!!!).

As if that weren’t enough excitement, we picked up Mary and headed to the Qualtrics work party after the recital. The girls got their faces painted, we ate food truck food, slurped up snow cones, and watched the fireworks.

It was a full day!

After the recital.

After the recital.

Mary got stars.

Mary got stars.

Lydia fell asleep on the way home from the party, but we got a picture of her peacock while she slept on her pillow. She daydreamed about being a peacock as soon as we put her in her recital dress. She thought that a peacock's colors would match her dress and wanted to be cohesive.

Lydia fell asleep on the way home from the party, but we got a picture of her peacock while she slept on her pillow. She daydreamed about being a peacock as soon as we put her in her recital dress. She thought that a peacock’s colors would match her dress and wanted to be cohesive.

Lydia chatted in the yard with another little harpist after the recital.

Lydia chatted in the yard with another little harpist after the recital.

Sundance ski lift and Heber Creeper

Yesterday we left Ammon with a babysitter while we drove to Sundance and rode the ski lift. Jean and I were deep breathing and trying not to panic as the lift rose high above the ground, but the girls were delighted. Mary turned to Jean and exclaimed, “Isn’t it wonderful?

It was wonderfully beautiful, and there were many times when we rode in complete solitude. I loved hearing the wind and seeing the breathtaking views of the mountains. When we reached the top, we started hiking, but we only got about ten minutes down the trail before the girls decided we should head back. We were trying to catch the Heber Creeper, so we acquiesced and rode the ski lift back down.

The Heber Creeper was lots of fun. The last time we rode it the weather was quite hot, but yesterday there was a nice cool breeze blowing through the windows. Lydia decided she was not scared of the train “robbers,” but I still observed her snuggling close to Jean when the robbers boarded. Mary decided she was still scared and hid her face in my lap with her hands over her ears.

After the train ride we headed over to June Pie to pick up a shepherd’s pie and a sour cream lemon pie for the trip home. They were delicious.

The sad part of the day came when we got home. I realized I had left no instructions for our poor babysitter. She had to sit in Ammon’s room and listen to him cry for hours because she did not know to feed him or that it was okay to take him outside to play. I felt so bad. Hopefully she still wants children after that ordeal. Ammon seems slightly traumatized too. This morning he put his head on my shoulder and cuddled for thirty minutes. I just love him.

On the trail in Sundance.

On the trail in Sundance.

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The Heber Creeper.

The Heber Creeper.

Views from the train.

Views from the train.

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We made it to the top of the ski lift!!

We made it to the top of the ski lift!!

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Mary was scared of the robbers.

Mary was scared of the robbers.

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View from the train.

View from the train.