Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to School 2012

Last night after a long, fun, hot last day of summer vacation, we ate grilled brats and salad for dinner, then had baths and family night. We talked about a theme for the year and the kids got blessings from their dad.  For the theme we chose

and we read THIS (you should, too).

It was a semi-smooth bedtime, everyone asleep by nine, except me, of course, because I had 4 loads of laundry to fold by the light of The Daily Show (which I haven't watched since the first week of August; the DVR is getting full). I got settled into bed at midnight (still 78 degrees in my house, ugh, I like to sleep COLD), then Niles started wailing around 2am. He was wild, thrashing, whiny, out of control. Teething again. Or still (his little molars have been swelling like marbles under his gums all summer long, I kid you not. Cut your teeth already, poor baby!

Finally after a little milk and some pain meds, we finally got Niles (HB) back to sleep around 4. Heidi was up at 6, all excited for the first day of school. She and Addie got all decked out for school in the skirts we made at Activity Days last week. Addie helped Heidi make a leopard-print duct tape wallet in the six o'clock hour. I got up at seven, so tired from wrestling the honey badger (HB), and started making blueberry pancakes and bacon with ranch apple juice for breakfast.

James and Richard came straggling upstairs at 7:30am and ate breakfast while I got dressed and finished up everybody's last details. Then we hit the road just before 8, dropping the girls off at Eastside Intermediate School, then escorting James to meet his teacher and find his desk at Winans Primary School (around 8:15am, just in time for the bell). Rich went to his office and I came home with a VERY TIRED Niles. I put Niles down for a two and a half hour nap (which just ended) and cleaned the kitchen and started prep cooking for the rest of the week's dinners. I have time to blog again! Time to hear myself think! Time to clean and create and study and be mesmerized by the sounds of Ira's good. School is REALLY good.

Not that my heart isn't tugged a tiny bit sending my kids off for another year, especially James, alone at his school. But that's life, right? I'm not overly sentimental and I take their independence and progress as a compliment and a reassurance that our family is on the right track. But I do get a twinge (I have a soul), so I was touched while driving home and listening to Writers Almanac on npr. I found today's poem pretty apropos:

Years From Now When You Are Weary

and worn out, wondering how you'll pay
a bill or make the rent or meet a deadline

set by some thoughtless boss—and kid,
such days will come—remember yourself

at five: hair light from the sun or just from
being young, new lunchbox pasted

with butterflies, how you hung your backpack
on a hook, then wouldn't let me take your picture

 on the first day of school, sending me
 out of that classroom, to the car, to my job

where a pair of bats flapped in the hallway.
Bats may be just bats, but one darted

into my office, quick as the boxer's head
that bobs and weaves and never gets hit.

It landed and hung from the drapes, upside
down, as you hung in my body for a while.

Bats are not the only flying mammals.
That afternoon in line for the bus, you cried,

so tired you thought you'd fall asleep
and miss your stop. Years from now, child,

in some helpless dusk, remember that fatigue
but how you made it home to me anyway

in the care of a kind farmer—bus driver.
Recall that once I arrived late, your bus

gone, and when I found you, carefully seated
by a coffeepot in a corner of a dim garage

at the school bus lot, you just said, Let's go,
Mama. Don't tell anyone about this.

-by Julia Kasdorf

I love poetry.

I also love these kids. A LOT.

Heidi (thrid grade) and Addie (fifth grade) at Eastside school...FIRST DAY...wearing their owl skirts we made last week at Activity Days.

Heidi found her friend Brittany right away. They are in the same class again!

Addie found her desk and met her teacher for the first time (Heidi got to do this on Monday night at Thirda Grade Open House).

James at his desk...FIRST DAY of the first grade!

Look at my boy, all geeked-out excited to be back in school...he LOVES it. I miss him, bt I get the feeling he doesn't miss me much at all with all those books and things to do and learn.

I wish my kids, and their classmates and teachers and school workers, a happy & blessed year of learning & growing!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

And so it begins...

After morning chores, the girls decided to ride bikes adn go to the park with friends. When they left at 10:30, I was still working in the kitchen. They told me that Niles and James were playing in their room downstairs, and they took off.

 I finished my work in the kitchen then went out back to water the plants. I found a pair of Niles' shoes and brought them in, which reminded me that it had been awfully quiet for 15 minutes. I went downstairs to put the shoes away and check on the boys. James was reading quietly on the bed. I listened for a second--silence.

"Where is Niles?" I asked James.

"I don't know. He went with the girls," James replied, not even looking up from his book.

 My heart began to race. The girls had gone out through the garage, left the door open, and rode away almost 20 minutes earlier. I checked all the downstairs rooms, including the secret room--no Niles. I had been up stairs before and had not seen or heard him come up, so my mind freaked out--had he followed me out back? Had he tried to follow the girls? Was my 15-month old baby wandering the streets of Livingston!?!


I ran up the stairs and checked the garage first. I called his name and closed the door. I called out the back door, then ran to each bedroom and bathroom. I checked Addie's room last as I prepared myself to exit the front door and run down the street calling his name. As I opened Addie's door, I found clear evidence of The Honey Badger, but silence...

(yes, that's my flute on the ground)

Not unlike Goldilocks, Niles had tucked himself right into Addie's nicely-made bed (the girls weren't allowed to leave until their rooms were perfect)and settled in for his morning nap.

And I am blogging at my desk, still waiting for the heart palpitations to stop.

I'm having 2006 flashbacks of my naughty Heidi monkey...but this time, I know something I didn't know then:  we will both survive. PHEW!

Monday, August 06, 2012

In Which I Share a Great FHE Recipe


Set up tent or blanket fort

Set up s'mores stuff for dessert, even if you only cook the marshmallows over a candle

Gather your materials:
  • Scriptures
  • THIS talk from the July Ensign
  • THIS printable page from the April Friend
  • Your family standards/rules, written out somehow
  • "My Gospel Standards" poster

Summarize the Ensign article in kids terms; read the story of Alma's people in the scriptures then discuss other groups that Heavenly Father has called out away from wickedness since the time of  Adam til today. Apply this to us and point out that even thought we haven't been physically removed from our society, we have been commanded to leave the things of the world behind and choose good things. We need to keep wickedness, unkindness, contention, etc. out of our home and keep the Spirit in. How do we do that? [This is the part where you discuss Gospel and Family standards and focus on the particular issues your family mght be having]. Set some goals, close with a prayer and ask for divine help, then gobble some s'mores. Done.

I'll let ya know how it goes.

When We're Helping We're Happy

We don't have much to blog because we've just been swimming and cleaning/packing...not super exciting, but good. Here's Niles joining in the fun on Saturday 8/4.
Niles Helping from MelinFamily on Vimeo.


Dear Loved Ones,               The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for us…and now we are 8! We got a new German daughter, Kristin...