Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Well That Sucks

I have been working on getting the kids more involved in the upkeep of our apartment. They are finally really catching on. The great thing is that the apartment stays a little tidier. The down side is that the kids put stuff where they think it looks best. Rachel did some tidying on Saturday, so we all had to wear flip flops to church on Sunday. Today we found some of our shoes in the bottom of the toy bin. At least they were all matched up neatly together, though.

CJ decided that the apartment needed to be vacumed today. There were lots of stray items on the floor and it just seemed easier in his head to suck them all up. Sooooo, does anyone know how to dislodge a pair of girls' panties out of a vacume cleaner? Don't worry. They're Rachel's. There isn't a vacume big enough to suck mine up.

So, We're Moving

We've been living in this place for almost ten years now. We're happy here. Really happy. We have amazing memories with even more amazing friends here. All of my children's doctors, schools, friends, well...basically their entire lives are here.

Byron has enjoyed his job here, but that job is coming to an end. By this time next year, it won't be there anymore. The doors to the plant he works at will have closed for good, and anyone still there will be standing in an unemployment line.

We figured Byron would be in one of those lines, too. We started getting his resume together, and then he got a call from the HR department of his plant around Halloween this past year. They wanted him to apply for another position within the company. He told him that position was one he'd looked at, but it requires a PhD., and he doesn't have that. He has a bachelor's degree. They said they were aware of his credentials, but still wanted to know how soon he could be there for an interview. He left the following week.

His company is a little bit slow at getting things done, and somehow they forgot to tell him the job was being offered to him. Eventually, though, we got word that he had been offered the new position complete with an increase in salary and relocation package. The problem? Relocating.

At the time, the whole thing sounded very exciting. That lasted all of about 15 minutes before reality set in. We had to get the house ready to sell, find a new house to buy, find all new doctors and schools, and so much more. By some miracle that can only be attributed to a loving Heavenly Father, our house sold in a matter of nine days. NINE DAYS! Yeah. We didn't see that one coming.

Part of the relocation package was corporate housing until we move into our new home. That's where we are right now. We're about 40 minutes south of the town we have lived in the past ten years. At least we're still sort of near our friends, right?

We also bought a great house in the new state that even seems to be in a great ward. There shouldn't be a thing to complain about. Nothing. In the past several months, our family has experienced nothing but amazing blessings, and the truth is that those blessings just keep on coming.

So, we're moving. We're moving. We are taking our children and all of our belongings and leaving everything we know and love behind in exchange for a new life full of new adventures. Yep. Moving. That's what we're doing.

We went and closed on our new home last week. I was beyond words excited. Byron and I flew there together, and the anticipation was killing me. This house is everything I could have asked for in a house, and it's within our price range. It has a finished basement I can use as a dungeon for the kids to play in, plus an extra bedroom down there. It has a lockable workspace for Byron where can put storage and important documents. We have a huge master bedroom with a great master bathroom. The kitchen has more storage than I could ever dream of. It's perfect.

We got the keys to our new home and drove over to it. I was sooooo excited. We opened the door, walked in, and I cried. There is nothing wrong with the house, but just standing there in that house that now belongs to us was all I needed to be reminded of the fact that we no longer live here in this place. We now live in that place. I didn't expect to have that sort of reaction.

So, we're moving. We're really moving. Yep. Moving.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm Not Judging, But...

Yesterday in Relief Society, one of the Sister M. Little gave a GREAT lesson on judging others. It was a wonderful reminder of what we should and shouldn't be doing. Because of that, I'm going to do my best to NOT judge the genius in question.

Actually, it probably isn't really judging when I have no idea who the person is, right? I didn't see, come in contact with, or witness the person I'm talking about. Since it's not a specific person I'm talking about, I can only assume it's safe to say how I really feel. (Like anything else has ever stopped me before, right?)

Liam had his 18 month well visit today. That meant hauling my sorry butt along with five little monkeys 45 minutes north of my current residence to where we just moved from. (We're in temporary corporate housing until we finally move to our new state in a few weeks). The kids did great this morning. They all got up, got dressed, and did as they were told so we could make the appointment in time. They were a little bit noisy while we waited in the exam room, but it wasn't anything to be ashamed of. Overall, they did great. Things continued to go well during Liam's examination as the doctor informed me that he's doing great, looks totally healthy, and is right on course for living a "normal" life.

Then we stepped out of the office. Literally. We just had to step outside the office building to have something go wrong. Drezden was making every effort to be a good boy and make great choices when he suddenly stepped in the result of someone else's not so great choice. Gum. Sticky, gooey, germy, melting in the sun, nasty GUM.

He didn't tell me he'd stepped in the gum. That would be too easy. Instead, he quietly walked to the van, climbed into my seat, and stood up. This resulted in gum all over my seat. He couldn't stop there, either. He had to try to clean his shoe...with his hand. In seconds, there was gum all over his hands, which he tried to wipe off on his shorts and shirt. You can only imagine how this ended up. Just picture the worst imaginable story line for "If You Give a Mouse a Piece of Gum and Erase All Common Sense From His Mind So He Decides to Drop It On the Ground Right Outside a Pediatric Office". I'm pretty sure that's the next title in the "If You Give a Mouse" series of books.

Okay. I'm not judging the original gum chewer here, but SERIOUSLY????!?!?! Really, dude? You couldn't find a tissue to wrap your gum in? Or swallow it? Or put it in a flower bed at the very least?? You really just had to put it on the sidewalk right outside a medical office that children come in and out of?

I mean, come on people! I am going to avoid judging here, and try to put myself in the shoes of the original gum chewer. I can only assume you had a valid reason for dumping your nastiness right where some kid (namely mine) was bound to walk. I will simply assume you were innocently chewing gum when you suddenly saw me across the parking lot. Obviously my radiant beauty took you by surprise so much that you choked on your gum. You were so desperate to live that you allowed some good samaritan walking by to perform the heimlich maneuver on you, right? During that moment, the gum went flying from your mouth, but you were so glad to be alive that you forgot all about picking it up. Plus, you were in a rush to track me down and get my number. You must not have found me because you never did ask for my number. What? Was my beauty so much that it actually intimidated you? Yeah. I get that a lot. I'm working on toning it down, but nothing seems to work.

If by some odd chance the above scenario isn't what happened, and you were just too freaking lazy to actually throw your gum away, then I'm totally judging. Shame on you, freak!! Because of you, I had to drive home sitting on documentation about childhood immunizations so that my butt wouldn't be permanently attached to the seat. Seriously, dude. I'm judging. You suck.

Okay, that was uncalled for. You don't suck. Still, if I find out who you are, you are totally off my Christmas card list. So there!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Imagination is Fun. Who Knew?

Today is the first official day of summer vacation for the kids. We have no toys at the apartment, which means nothing to do for a good two months. Let's think this through, people. Small apartment+five kids+no school+too hot to play outside-toys=way too tired Mommy.

Within hours of school being out and everyone being home, there was already weeping and whaling and gnashing of teeth. "Moooooooooom, she looked at me". "Mooooooooooom, she's breathing my oxygen. I was here first so it's my oxygen". "Moooooooooom, he farted near me and now the air is gross." "Moooooooooooooom, he is making me watch Sponge Bob, and I don't want Sponge Bob. I want iCarly." "Moooooooooom,......" And it goes on and on and on.

What is it about kids that makes them think that speaking ten times as loud at an octave that so high pitched that all dogs in a 50 mile radius are running and putting their paws in their ears will result in a positive outcome? At what point do they decide that screeching and stomping and acting like something requiring an excorcist is the way to get what they want?

Knowing that I was up against rough odds, I ventured out to Target while Byron stayed home with the little heathens...er...I mean gifts from Heaven. I wanted something they could all enjoy, but wasn't expensive. I knew it had to be something they'd never seen before or it would lose their attention as fast as I brought it into the house.

I picked up three barrels of monkeys, five $.79 matchbox cars, a bucket of plastic army dudes, and a four-pack of play-doh. I was going out on a limb because these toys all required the children to *gasp!* use their imaginations and actually *double gasp* play together. There were no buttons to push to make them interactive toys, no tickets spit out of them, no loud sounds or flashing lights. They were just plain old toys.

I brought them home, put on my body armor, alerted local law enforcement that I was requiring my children to use their imaginations, and used a long stick to gently push the toys in their general direction. They were like tigers hunting their prey. They hunched down and gently walked circles around the toys, patted at them a little to see if the toys would fight back or be easy prey, sniffed them a bit, and finally went in for the kill.

To my surprise, the little humans are actually pleased with these very simple toys. They've played together WITHOUT ARGUING for a full hour. They've built full jungle war zones complete with army guys, monkeys hanging from trees, and fancy cars driving through to rescue fallen soldiers.

What does this story teach us? Well, I think it goes to show that contrary to popular belief, using one's imagination is actually fun. Who knew??

Thursday, June 3, 2010

He's a Fifth Grader Now

Aiden and Mrs. Shelton
I love how she just freely hugs him, and you can see that he adores her.
Today was supposed to be the boys' last day of school, but our van's cooler is broken and we're living in a new city 45 minutes away. With that much distance, I can't take the babies in the van with no cooler. To make a long story short, yesterday ended up being their last day of school.
Aiden has the privilege of being in a class with Sherri Shelton as his teacher. She was so wonderful for him. This was a year of ups and downs at home for him. Between Liam getting sick now and then, moving, and all the other chaos that comes with living in our home, things could sometimes get a little rough for him. Mrs. Shelton made sure he always felt loved and listened to at school. And she was SO UPBEAT all the time. Being the goofy joker that Aiden is, he needed someone who could have fun with him.
She even applauded him when he and his friend, Dylan, performed a..um...hmm...what's the word for it....interesting...demonstration of light sabre dueling at the third and fourth grade talent show. Mrs. Shelton makes a point of acknowledging all of her students' hard work and accomplishments.
We're moving on to a new school in a new state with new teachers and hopefully new friends next year. I'm so glad Aiden has the foundation Mrs. Shelton gave him under his belt. Thank you, Mrs. Shelton, for your amazing hard work and dedication to our Aiden.

Our Kindergarten Graduate!

Our Graduate
CJ and Jim, his bestest buddy EVER
CJ and Mrs. Cowart, who might very well be a saint.
CJ with Mom and Dad
Showing off his cowboy boots, which he wears every day on the wrong feet with his pants on backwards...or shorts in this case.
By some miracle, CJ survived a full year of Kindergarten. He knows more about reading, more about counting, more about sharing, more about practicing self-control, more about teamwork, and a lot more about how to drive a teacher completely bonkers.
Yesterday was his Kindergarten graduation, and he was so proud of himself. His buddy, Jim, came just in time to see him march in with his class. Being the CJ that he is, he did a goofy little dance when he saw us, and then held up the line long enough to ask what was for lunch. Figures. Silly kid.
He proudly sang the three songs they've been practicing. I felt like I already knew those songs because he's been singing them around the house for a few weeks now. When his name was called, he shook his teacher's hand and then Mr. Traw (the principal) and Ms. Dowell (assistant principal) with great pride.
After the ceremony, we followed him to his classroom for pictures. He was so excited to show Jim his stylin' cowboy boots. He wears those boots every single day. Usually on the wrong feet, but who is counting?
So, now we move on to our new school. I don't know that we'll ever find another teacher as amazing as Mrs. Cowart was. She was always fair and firm and loving with CJ. It takes a special person to make as much of a difference in his life as she has.