I open to the inner depths of my being with courage and compassion

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So Long, Farewell

Hello Readers, (If anyone is still reading this after 8 months or so of silence!) I am going to be getting this blog printed into book form and then deleting it. I am deleting a bunch of posts that don't transfer to book form, like videos, and links to other websites. But overall the book will include many highlights for our family from 2007, 2008, and the beginning of 2009. It starts when we started building our house, and when I became pregnant with Edward. It covers other special times like Adrienne starting Kindergarten, Colette becoming a big sister, Edward's first year and beyond. Holidays, my random and sometimes strange musings. Our big trip to California, and our yearnings for Mike to return from his extended work trip to San Diego so we could really settle in to our new home. Since he has been home, that's exactly what we've been doing, and now we are such a busy family that instead of being able to chronicle these moments, I have to try my darnedest just to live in and soak them up! So that's what I'm going to do. Maybe there will be a season in my life where I can start up a new blog for another period of time in our family, but for now it's - Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our little climber

So, this is what we've had to resort to in order to keep Edward off the desk, counters, and table. No chairs!

The girls playing on the computer...

The dining room...

Our bedroom!...

Just like people have to put their dishes away, they have to put their chair back in the bedroom after they eat! Yesterday as Adrienne was putting her chair back in the room after breakfast she said "This is a very weird thing that we do." Indeed.

This might look ridiculous but I couldn't do ANYTHING without him climbing up on something! I don't know how long this will last, but I hope not too long!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I'm FINALLY catching up here. I was about ready to just call it quits on the blog. Everything else just seemed more important than doing this. But I haven't been feeling well since Friday so haven't been able to do those more important things. I'm working my way up to Adrienne's birthday party. I'm stalling because it's going to be a lot of pictures.

So, about the title...This is what I get when I ask the girls to get Edward dressed. They put him in a pair of their pajamas! I realized after taking this first picture that his nose if very snotty (and he's holding a marker that I confiscated...whenever he can get his hands on a writing implement he immediately takes it to a wall! Thank goodness for those magic eraser things!). So I wiped his nose and took several more, but this one was the least blurry! The interesting thing about him wearing this (because I was lazy and didn't change him right away) was that I noticed that I handled him much more gently when he was dressed in girl clothes! I never would have thought that there would be such a difference!

Yesterday we got all the kids new Carter's pajamas at Costco. They are so hard to resist whenever they get a new bunch of designs! Within minutes of getting home from Costco they were in their new pajamas!

And this is what a spacey mom I've become. Don't know how I managed to buy pajamas for a 24 month old girl that we don't have :-P

Paper Route Update

Not that anyone cares that much, but I am really excited about the changes to my job of delivering paper routes!! One change is that the paper is distributed on Fridays instead of Saturdays now so for the first time in 6 1/2 years I have my Saturday mornings back! Which actually gives me back my whole weekend because I could never stay up very late on Friday nights because I had to get up really early Saturday mornings, and I'd also be wiped for any fun on Saturday night after being up so early and driving so long! We didn't leave town much because we'd always have to find a sub (which isn't easy since I have 6 hrs worth of routes), and I'd missed a lot of special occasions like baby showers, and even 2 of my sister-in-law's weddings!

It used to be a twice-a-week paper distributed on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Last June they dropped the Wednesday paper and so it was only once-a-week, distributed on Saturdays. Kind of nice to have a normal week all week, but not so nice to have our pay cut in half. Since then we've adjusted financially, and now we'll have to adjust even more because the other change is that I dropped a route which cuts the current pay by 20%. But that is also a really great thing because I am down to 4 hours instead of six. I don't want to deliver papers forever! So it's nice to start phasing it out. Probably in about 2 to 3 years I'll be able to give it up for good. When Mike's income makes up for it, or I start the nursing program - whichever comes first.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A preview

I lost my whole Friday (which is something else to write about), so yeah, I got behind with other stuff again. I think I'm just going to have to keep the catch up really short. All that I need to write about or add pictures for are: (October) A few more from Halloween, Colette's birthday party, New neighbor friends, (September) First-day of school pics, and (August) Legoland.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I can't think of a title :-)

It turns out I wasn't behind at all in November, so I can skip over it to October. Only first I wanted to put in a few pictures that I overlooked because I thought they were taken in November, but were actually in December.

I said that Colette has a thing for long hair. This is how we discovered that. She found this clip that has fake hair attached to it. So we were playing around with it taking these pictures, but Colette continued to wear it everyday for awhile.

It's so weird, all of a sudden the kids are eating their dinner (even the veggies!) with minimal complaints! I'm not surprised about Colette, she would only follow Adrienne's lead at times. But Adrienne used to be such a drama queen about it. Monday we had breaded chicken with brussels sprouts and she didn't love the brussels sprouts, but she ate them anyway and didn't complain too much about it. Tuesday we had curry chicken with potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Same thing...didn't love it, but ate it anyway with minimal complaint. She even discovered she likes potatoes! She was regretting the mashed potatoes she'd been missing out on from past holidays. Last week we had pot roast and veggies and she discovered she likes beets too! Today we had spaghetti and there are mushrooms and onions in it, but they hardly seemed to notice. This is so great! Maybe by the time Edward's fully eating with us at the table he'll have a better example to follow and the veggie struggle will be over! Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself here!

I think it was the discovery that she liked beets that really got her opening up to trying things. Also, I'd been meaning to get them involved in the cooking because I know that's supposed to help, but it doesn't always happen. I've found that even a tiny amount of involvement can go a long way. Today I let them break the spaghetti in half and put it in the water. Then when I was dishing up the noodles they each asked for one extra noodle. I think that little bit of involvement made them appreciate their noodles more.

Well, I was going to catch up on October, but after spending my time on what I just wrote about and putting in those pictures I've run out of time! Gotta get the kids to bed and other stuff. Oh well!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So I haven't kept up with my schedule I set for myself on catching up here. There've been higher priority stuff to take care of. But, in keeping with another New Year's goal of trying not to be so perfectionistic, I'm reviving my old motto from when I was a teenager..."It is better to shoot for the stars and miss, than to aim for the gutter and hit it." I'll still get caught up, I just can't put a timeline on it right now. Too much stuff to catch up on from the winter break and I need to plan Adrienne's birthday party for next week. I just don't want to be talking about August in February! I had some dental work done today and that's screwed up my schedule for the rest of the day because once the numbness wore off my jaw ached which then made my head ache, so I took pain meds and now I'm loopy. My dental for this year after insurance is going to cost $2700 :-P Then I'll need one more crown replaced next year and hopefully that will be all for a long time! *fingers crossed* I'm going to try to up my tooth care regimen to try to prevent any more problems. I brush twice a day and floss nearly daily, but I'm going to try to brush after everytime I eat (should help with the no snacking portion of my diet) and make sure I floss daily instead of nearly daily. Hope that makes the difference! They only get bad when I'm pregnant. That was an unforseen expense of having these little ones, but it's a small price to pay I think :-)

It snowed again Sunday. I had just finished writing about how the snow had nearly melted away and when I pulled myself away from the computer after working on the post for 3 1/2 hrs it was coming down strong and by morning there was about 5 inches. It delayed school for 2 hrs. Mike didn't go in to work (it was his first day due back), but it wasn't because of the snow...he was sick. But in true Washington form, the snow is nearly gone today from the rain.

One thing I forgot to mention about Christmas was that the girls said that they got more than they would have expected and were very satisfied with what they got. That was nice to hear since we didn't spend a lot of money (more than we'd originally planned on, but still not a lot) and we didn't get all they had wished for. I wouldn't be one to get them all they'd wish for anyway, just based on principle -- don't want them to get spoiled. Plus they also don't always really know what they want.

Anyway, that didn't catch me up on anything, but wanted to check in :-)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Catch up: December

So, to reach my goal of catching up on this blog I'm going to do a month a day. December today, November Monday, October Tuesday and September (and end of August) Wednesday!

So this isn't really my news, but something cool for my parents and my aunt's family. You may have heard about how President-elect Obama went on a vacation this past week or so to Hawaii. Well he stayed in the houses that my parents helped my aunt's family to build! My mom and dad spent a year there building those houses. My cousin Jeff was the cabana boy for the Obama's. Kind of cool!

December...Hmm, what happened? I didn't mention it on here before, but when we came back from California, Mike drove back down and stayed there until a week before Christmas. He was on a project at the shipyard down there and we came back for Adrienne to start school while he stayed there for the duration of the project. The reason I didn't mention it is because I didn't want it out on the internet that I was manless with three kids. Speaking of, I do still plan on going private, I just haven't gotten around to doing it. I just need to do it before I talk about a few certain things that can wait for now. So if you haven't already, email me your email address so I can add you! (konkymillers@msn.com) Those of you that have already, I've saved your email to me in a folder called "going private", so no need to email again :-)

Back to December. So...Mike had come back for the weekend twice while he was gone, but by the time he came back for good we hadn't seen him for 2 months! We talked on Skype a lot, but of course it's just not the same! It's been so great to have him back! Edward is really taken with his daddy.

Christmas was good, and I don't think I'll write much more about it than that, and instead I'll put more time into loading up some pictures in a bit.

Other stuff...I permed my hair. I used big rods, so the curls are big and I don't think it looks as permy. I like the way it looks, I'm just concerned because I lost a lot of hair from the damage it caused. I don't have a lot of hair to begin with, so I don't like to see that. It's not too bad as it is right now, I'm just torn about what to do when the perm starts to grow out. I want to keep it up, but not if I'm going to lose a bunch of hair every time! We'll see. I don't think I have any pictures of it....wait, I can pull a picture off my mother-in-law's blog from Christmas that shows my hair with the perm.

(we were on our way out the door when this was taken...you'll figure out why Adrienne's wearing snow pants in a bit)

One thing about December that was quite enjoyable for me for once was the snowfall we got. I was starting to feel like such a scrooge toward snow in the past several years. It seemed to always snow right when it interfered with paper route delivery and just always seemed to make my life so much harder! The fact that route is only once a week now as of June helps, and the first time it snowed it was on a Saturday after I'd already delivered my routes and so I was able to just sit back and enjoy it! Same thing for the next weekend, I'd just finished route and then it snowed and that was when it really hit. It continued to snow that week, but it didn't matter as much because by the time I had to do route again I just had to do my best, but I didn't have to worry about the stands that I couldn't reach because of the snow build-up. It did add some time, but it was kind of fun...as my driving in snow abilities improve the funner it is rather than scary. Yesterday on route was the best it's been since it first snowed, most places it's melted away most of the way. So I did enjoy a lot about the snow, but one thing that made it tougher was that we couldn't drive up and down our driveway for several days. Not even in Mike's 4x4. We left the Saturn on the street the first night we couldn't make it back up and somebody smashed out a window! Nothing was stolen because there wasn't anything worth stealing, but it was really the last thing we wanted to be dealing with in the cold, and driving around in the cold with a window smashed out wasn't fun! All in all though, it wasn't that bad because it only cost $15 to get a replacement window at the wrecking yard and it was't that hard for Mike to install. So for several days we got to feel like rugged outdoorsy people walking up and down our driveway in the snow anytime we went anywhere. The kids too because we couldn't always carry them, but they were good about it. I only felt bad when we came home from somewhere and we had to wake them up just to walk up our steep snowy driveway in the dark. But they're troopers. After the window was smashed out we kept our car at Mike's parents house at night and his dad would so kindly come bring it to use for the day in the morning. Anyway, enough about the bad part of the snow, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story of how it was a lot of fun too.

This is Edward's first real experience in the snow. He was sick though so really wasn't that into it. I wouldn't have made him go in it, but I didn't expect the snow to stay so long. Usually it comes and then within a few days is washed away by rain. I wasn't prepared for him and so he's wearing a pair of the girls socks on his hands for mittens :-)

Trying to humor me with a smile even though he's feeling lousy

Colette was a little big for this. Adrienne was way too big. But I took each of them on a very short walk in the baby sled anyway.

Colette has a thing about long hair as you'll see in pictures from November as well. My mom got her this wig to play with. She looks so cute and she likes it, so I think we'll be growing her hair out. Adrienne wants to keep hers short and is due for a cut now, so it will be the first time in a long time that they'll have different styles.

We were so antsy and excited for Mike to come home. We wanted it to feel real cozy and homey after being by himself for so long. We had a whole extra day because Mike had quite the ordeal getting home. He left the day after it snowed in L.A. and so he had to take a very long treacherous detour and it took him 48 hours to get home instead of 24. This was the house the first day we were hoping he might make it home. We basically spent the day waiting in anticipation and thinking of more and more things to do for him...that's what the writing on the window, snowflakes, snowman, etc. are about.

Made him cookies and spaghetti, and got his snack cupboard refilled with pop tarts, cookies, cereal, applesauce, popcorn, etc.

I think this was the next morning when it had snowed a little more.

It was so pretty. Colette and I were both taking pictures out our bedroom window.

Her turning the camera on me above, and that shot she took below:

Mike home at last! Like our sad excuse for a tree? I was so happy that we'd have no use for that puny 2 ft tree ever again after being out of the trailer. But with Mike getting home less than a week before Christmas and Edward so young that he would have only destroyed any presents or ornaments, it had a place in our home for another year. I was going to get rid of it, but realized it might be fun for the girls to have in their room. So I think we'll hold onto it for awhile after all :-)

The next time they'd played in the snow since that first short time up above when Edward was sick. Edward was dressed warm, but not warm enough to play in the snow so I put him in the Jumperoo in the garage looking out at the girls playing so I could play with them too.

Sorry these next few pictures are so blurry! I'd just gotten our better camera back when Mike brought it back from San Diego and hadn't refigured it out yet. The girls packed down the snow on the front steps and made their own personal slides. Over the next several days they spent hours sliding down the steps!

I started to make an igloo, but never finished. The girls really didn't seem that interested in it anyway, so maybe another year when they are into it. I was using a 5 gallon bucket. I was able to start another row on top of this one too.

More of the girls playing:

We got Edward out right before we went in, so he wouldn't stay wet for long.

The van got twice this much more on top of it before it was all said and done.

Another day playing in the snow. Our neighbor to the north of us called and offered up their yard for our kids to play in since they are an older couple and have none. It was very nice of them! We took them rice krispy treats as a thank you, but they weren't home.

Adrienne had just thrown a snowball in Colette's face. She was crying over it (don't blame her) but quickly perked up for the camera.

Then I lectured Adrienne about not throwing snowballs at people's faces and told her how it hurts. I asked if she wanted me to throw one at her face. It was a rhetorical question, I just wanted her to consider what that would feel like, but she said yes! So I did :-) Not hard, of course, just so she could feel the sting of what she did to Colette. She got it...here she is afterward :-)

There was so much snow, but it just would not pack. To make a snowman you basically had to make a pile of snow and then carve one out as I was starting to do as you can see in the back. But Colette preferred to make blobs of snow and call them chickens (maybe it's the farmer in her again).

I realized that the bank connecting our yard to theirs would be perfect as a slide, so here they are after I carved some out with my body first.

Colette still working on her chicken, the slide didn't call to her at first.

Just one of the pretty view (sorry these are all over the place, but that's how my picture-taking was going)...
Back to the sliding

Another day...I wanted to take pictures of the girls with their new beautiful hats that their Aunt Rachel made for them for Christmas.

Okay! Christmas morning! This was the living room right before the kids came out (actually the yule log was playing on the computer...you'll see that in a minute).

Instead of happy faces, Colette comes out whining and crying for me :-P

There...see the yule log?

Looking at the goodies in the stockings

Edward wasn't too crazy about Kota the dinosaur at first. It took him a few days. Also notice the curtains we'd just put up! So nice to have Mike back so we can get back to work on all that stuff.

I took pictures of them opening gifts for awhile, but then just wanted to be part of things, so what you see above is just the beginning of things.

There will be more pictures below from the aftermath of opening gifts, but first, here are some pictures of the FHE binder I worked so hard on:

The cover

Front page

First plan of the year

This plan is for the lesson the week of Adrienne's birthday. The lessons are pretty simple and we can also just do an activity if we so choose, so we'll probably just write down what we like about her for that one.

Some of the lesson topics I got from LDS.org where they have some prepared lessons. I planned out what lessons would be when on an excel doc before I laid them out. Filled in for people's birthdays and holidays and such. Then I put in the topics for the prepared lessons on LDS.org. Then I had to make some up. And I also made wild days as you'll see below. As far as who does what, that was just determined by a rotation that starts with oldest to youngest.

The other time consuming part of this project was finding pictures to go along with the topics

And changing fonts and colors and such.

I was running out of topics so thought I'd let each family member have a week where they can choose the topic.

Another for a birthday week

I made 52 FHE plans, but I'm obviously not showing them all here. Just a sampling. Here's the final one of the year:

Now back to the aftermath from Christmas. These Cars characters are for Edward and are almost as tall as he is :-)

Emma, to answer your question, this is what I got Colette instead of a live cow :-) It's a little barn with three board books in it.

When I was trying to figure out what to get her I discovered that she loves the I Spy book we have. So I got her another one that is bigger and prettier.

We've been reading the Disney fairy books for a few years now. We've read all of them and so I check once in awhile to see when they come out with new ones. These were a few we hadn't read yet that we got for Adrienne.

One of my most favorite presents I got when I was a kid was a Caboodles cosmetics case. I was probably 10 or so. It felt sorta weird getting some for 4- and 6-year-old girls, but they've got their girly stuff (hair ties and clips, bath paint, chapstick, etc.) and they have to keep them somewhere!

The aftermath of the girls tearing into their gifts. Evidence of 4 different gifts here: Playdoh, Lincoln Logs, a science lab kit, and a nail art kit:

Colette's stroller, and Colette's cabbage patch baby on the left with the brown hair and brown eyes like her, and Adrienne's on the right with blonde hair and blue eyes like her!

Auntie Diane gave Edward a plush Dumbo like his daddy had when he was little :-)

Adrienne's most favorite gifts were the Pokemon related ones. She got plush Pikachu (thanks Diane), and Minun and Plusle. Her most favorite present of all of them is the Pokemon handbook you can see in her backpack here:

And Pikachu in her lap while she plays her Pokemon game she got from Auntie Camille

Mike's pile of loot

Kota is really cute and gets much more use than I was anticipating. They love him! It's almost like having a pet :-)

These aren't from Christmas but from earlier in December as I work my way back through the months. This was just Edward being sneaky trying to get into the garbage. I'd put on latches awhile ago when he first started trying to get into the garbage. He stopped trying when he couldn't get into it anymore. Then the latch broke, but he'd already stopped trying so it didn't matter for a long time. Then he made the discovery :-P So I had to fish out the last extra latch we had :-)

I ordered a few things from Gymboree when everybody had these great deals before Christmas. Their Halloween costumes were on sale, and so I got Edward this vampire costume for next Halloween. Get it? Edward....the vampire?? He's so adorable in it!

That's our December! This is probably the longest post I needed to get up. I think it's my longest ever! The ones in the coming days probably won't be so long, and I wasn't quite as behind those months either. I don't know what time it's going to say that I started this, but it's 6:41 and I've been working on it almost non-stop!! Bleh.