Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The First Part of Job Hunting

Here we are in Casper, Wyoming.  Jeremy and I are out on a whirlwind trip of trying to find our family's next adventure.  This is more to help me keep my thoughts straight about each location.  I can't say I was a huge fan of Denver (we had to fly in there and drive the 4 hours to Casper), and most people have nothing good to say about Wyoming southeast of Jackson, but I thought the wild prairie was beautiful!  It is still a wild country with antelope, cattle, and deer wandering free.  Lots of horses, farms, some oil drilling and wind turbines, and the beautiful North Platte River.  It will be cold for the winter here, and it's windy, but having lived in Rexburg, Spokane, and New Hampshire, I don't mind the wind and the cold, and Jeremy likes it better than the heat as well.  The town is well cared for, over all, and it's because of the oil companies.  If anyone hasn't known this about me before, you will now, I'm quite the liberal, and I would love to see us NEVER need gas from the middle east again and have much more efficient vehicles, etc.  But after seeing what the oil and mineral industries do for the state of Wyoming, I get the Republican mentality here.  I can't say I've changed any other political point of view, but oil and coal have built a really good community here, and it sounds like in the whole state.  
The people here have been very friendly, most people seem to know each other or of each other.  There's a strong Christian community, 3,000 members of which are Mormons.  There's a lot to do, good schools, seasons, fishing, hiking, skiing, and a good community college.  I think our family would do well here, though we are both trying to not make a decision until we've seen the other locations, both of which are a similar size with a major river running through them.  We shall see where we go.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sometimes I Don't Want to Be Patient

I think we all want to report how much bliss we have with our kids, but sometimes I'm so out of bliss - really patience - that I just want to sit down and cry or throw my own tantrum.  Someone, please put me in time out.  OK, it's not that bad, but at moments it feels that way.  I don't know how to have three people ask me why about everything (like why we need coats, shoes, to eat, to go to the bathroom, or why we shouldn't swing brooms at sister's head), and still be a sane person at the end of the day.  Poor Jeremy comes home and it's all I can do to not snap out answers at everyone.  Then I feel so silly for even feeling this way because none of the things I'm dealing with all day are super significant in the long run.  But after wrestling with three girls to get them out in the car just to run to the post office, then have one of them get out of her seat, smile at me as she takes her coat off and grabs everything out of the console just to throw it around then looks at me like, "whatcha gonna do about it mom?" I tend to not be so patient.  I don't even want to be patient, then some one's upset because it is actually cold enough to need a coat even though she fought not to wear it, then someone cries because not all the neighbor's toys are out, someone else cries because their hat came off, some one's gloves got stickers from the bush on them, someone peed in their pants, someone is singing someones song (a serious offense to these little women), two can't share the same book, someone took someones hair clip, some one's coloring the couch, someone ran into the doorway, someone ran away with the bin of rolled oats and is eating it in the corner, someone needs me to help them reach the toilet paper, and, oh yeah, dinner needs to be done NOW.  

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only mom out there going crazy with all this.  Then it's like I hear the little angel/devil/parental advice voices going on as well.  Be more patient and loving, they just need your attention.  Don't give them attention!  They need to learn how to manage life on their own.  Don't miss these precious moments with them - just slow down and enjoy who they are right now.  Dang it - dinner's not ready and everyone is WAY cranky because they're hungry.  So many days it just feels like you can't win.  No matter which thing you try to do right.  And at the end of the day all I really want is to eat a Lindt dark chocolate truffle, sit in a nice hot bath, and read something.  OK, I feel a little better after venting all of that.  Life's really not so hard over all, but in moments I feel slightly like a lunatic.  Here's to another day, and I can say I've done a better job over the last two weeks of not yelling quite so often.  But sometimes I think I'll need to do a ton of volunteer/Mother Theresa type of work when they get older to make amends for all of the yelling and contention that's going on right now......

Those of you who never lose your tempers, don't condemn me too much.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween and Some

We made it to a Dartmouth football game.  Those ivy leaguers aren't exactly known for their prowess on the field.  But it makes for a great game to take our kids to.  We were able to sit just a few rows back from the field and made it maybe for an hours worth.  Nothing like 5 dollar tickets for two adults and free kids.  

 We love having that stove.  
 We decided to take a trip to Salem, MA this fall, you know, the place of the Salem witch trials.  We weren't able to see everything there with our girls, but  it was neat to see what we could.  This is Katie making friends with a girl at the town festival.  She is so attracted in anyone in any form of a princess costume.  
 I can't even tell you the name of this boat, or why it was there in Salem, but it's a replica of something that would have been around I think in the 1600's.  It sets your imagination on fire thinking about crossing the ocean in something like this.  

This is Katie up in the top of our cherry tree.  She's already fallen out of it twice, but keeps going back up.  Nothing broken yet.  
 Some of you may recognize the same witch outfit Katie has had for the last 4 Halloweens.  The twins outgrew the costumes they had last year, so you are seeing my best efforts to replicate Katie's dress for them.  The crushed velvet helps them look fancier than they are, but I'm pretty proud of myself.  They loved dressing up like witches and giving a good cackle.  

 Katie with our two surviving Jack-O-Lanterns.  She drew the eyes and nose for the one next to her.  Trick or treating in our neighborhood was a lot of fun.  All of the neighbors seemed to be out as families and we all just visited with each other.  The weather was great (Sandy missed us) and the girls had a lot of fun saying trick or treat, though Cora fell down the stairs of the first three houses we went to because she was so busy looking at her candy as she was trying to go down them.  

Family Pics 2012

We went with some family friends to our favorite farm and got some family pictures done.  Here's some of our favorites.  

 I love how the picture underneath all three of my girls have the same big smile that closes our eyes shut.  
 And that would be Cora picking her nose.  

 We picked our last round of apples while we were at the farm.  The apple picking has spoiled us here.  We got another big round of applesauce done, and it makes me feel like we're getting ready for winter.  
 Double fisting the delicious bounty.  
 There's Sydney helping us out.  

 We had to go to the pumpkin patch to get ready for Halloween.  Unfortunately, Cora wouldn't help but running through the house with Katie's pumpkin and it met an unglorious end.  But the other's did make it to our porch as Jack-O-Lanterns.  

My dear friend, Diana, that the girls love and call Sister Dewey, works at the farm on weekends, and we've been practicing a little folk music, so they had us play for a little after we finished taking pictures.  
There is something magical about being on a farm like this one, and even more so when you get to make music there, watch the big horses drive people up to the orchards, see kids come out of the corn maze with pumpkins, and smell the cider and doughnuts.  I have felt some sort of connection with the land here, as we've visited the farms over and over and seen how the weather and economy change what goes on..... I don't know.  I just like seeing the food grow and somehow feeling a part of it.  I guess it's fitting that our last fall here we took our family pictures here.  

Trip Out West

Although in the spring we were set on not making the trip this year, when my brother told us he was getting married in September we booked the tickets.  We spent two wonderful weeks visiting with family.  Actually, it was mostly me and the girls as Jeremy went about his job hunting from South Dakota to St. George, Utah to Washington.  That will be another post, but for now we'll just look at pictures.  

 At first, we weren't supposed to be there when Jeremy's parents were, but as our plans kept changing we were able to spend just about a week with them.  Those girls loved spending time with Grandma and Grandpa, Grandpa even gave them a ride on the four wheeler.  He later rescued us when I took the stroller to feed the ducks about a mile away and had both tires of the stroller flattened by some weird weed.  
 The girls adored having big girl cousins to play with.  I wish I would have got pictures of everyone, but here they are with two of their cousins running down the hill during one of their other cousin's baseball game.  
 Katie even got a pony ride out of the trip.  The twins weren't quite as adventurous as she was, she would have stayed on till the cows came home if she could.

 We then made the journey to Southern Utah and Katie LOVED showing her Grandma how fancy she could be.  
 Syd wanted a turn.  
 So did Cora.  

 I had forgotten about these flowers that are all over on the drive from Salt Lake to Cedar.  I really wanted to get a good picture of them in the flowers.  Too bad the flowers were in better focus that the girls and that Katie hit Sydney shortly after this picture was taken, preventing any retakes.  
 My mom's friend brought over extra dress up clothes which Katie couldn't get enough of.  

 The weather was so nice I took the girls up the canyon with my brother for a hike.  They were so excited for pictures, can you tell?  Maybe it's just the photographer.  I don't really like taking the pictures, or trying to stage the right picture, I'd rather just enjoy the time, but then I want to have something to help me remember what we've been doing.  It's a never ending battle.  

 And the family was reunited (from Jeremy's travels) in Salt Lake for the wedding.  Here we are taking a lovely picture at the fountain that about 10 minutes after this picture split Sydney's eyebrow open.  Our kids are talented like that.  And it was really great that it happened about 5 minutes before Jeremy and I were supposed to go in the temple for my brother Jeremy's wedding.  Good thing it wasn't too deep and someone had some tape so we could just tape it shut.  
 Cora, Katie, and Sydney.  
 Here we are with my dad waiting for Jeremy and Kate (How confusing is this with the double names?) to come out of the temple.  Notice the tape on the side of Sydney's head?  

 My Dad and Mom, smiling so big now that all of their kids are out of the house!  They were great fun the whole time, and great supporting their daughter that at times may be semi-psychotic trying to be a happy mom, especially on a trip far from home.  At least no one needed a hospital visit this time!  
 There's my sister Melissa next to Jeremy and my sister Ann sitting in the lower right corner all trying to manage the nine little grand kids who have no desire to be quiet or still in the lovely reception hall.  
 Aren't they sweet?  I have a new sister!  I'm so proud of both of them.  
 And here's our princess Katie with her friend, Kate (new sister-in-law)'s brother Tate.  She just thought the world of him.  Notice the flowers in her hair and her tiara?  She still tells people about her Aunt Kate's wedding where she got to dress like a princess and wear a sparkly tiara, have a princess dress with a ribbon on it, and flowers in her hair.  I have no idea what to do with such a fancy daughter other than to just let her do it.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Lost Summer

After waiting forever to get these uploaded, I'm remember why I haven't been blogging for so long.  I figured I better get something posted about our summer adventures, and, unfortunately, the pictures are backwards because blogger has changed on me and I have to figure this all out again.  

Adventure to Lake George:  So last February (maybe?) I read the book The Last of the Mohicans because a friend mentioned one of the main characters was named Cora and that she was an awesome character.  It was a really good book for any looking for something new to read, but you have to get through a very long and boring first chapter first.  Anyway, turns out it's historical fiction and took place just over two hours west of us.  We went to the town Glens Falls that had the cave that was in the book (I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know about that), there in the middle of a river, surrounded by factories and the town.  Then we drove up to Lake George to Fort William Henry.  It's now a big resort town and it was so strange to see all of the fancy cars and hotels and realizing there had been a horrific massacre there centuries before.  I got the girls out and we played at the lake.  The drive was unbelievable.  Anyone who only thinks of New York as a big city needs to see upstate New York.  It was rolling hills, rivers, farms, forests.... I was glad we made the trip.  

Here are some pics from Katie's 4th birthday.  She still sleeps with this pink castle stuffed with 5 ponies on her bed.  

And these are pictures of lakes of the clouds.  I think I mentioned Jeremy and I did Mt. Washington for our anniversary, and now I'm finally getting the pictures up.  The lakes are maybe a few hundred feet below the summit?  I don't know, but you're up there.  

I had to get pictures of our garden in.  It was another mostly successful year.  We branched out with green beans (which we loved), beets (which I never really found something to do with), and all kinds of delicious tomato plants.  Pele remained citation free this year, much to my relief.  

 That funky striped tomato is called a pear tomato.  They were yummy.  

I had to put a picture of Katie in a bonnet in.  Our church congregation had a primary activity for Pioneer Day (only known to us Mormons outside of Utah) and someone had an extra bonnet for Katie to where.  Love that girl.