Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of School 2014

Really? Did this day really happen? Yes, all five of our kids started school today!  Even snuggle bug Elden.  I am still in shock about that.

Yesterday morning we pulled in from our wonderful weekend Iowa/Nauvoo trip.  I had a pretty busy morning getting everything cleared away from our travels and enjoyed a long nap.  Last night for family home evening Lee gave each child a father's blessing for the start of a new school year.  We had hot fudge sundaes and started playing Monopoly.  Shanna and I are almost out of the game. Lee and I also went to a friend's house so Lee could give her daughter a blessing.

I was very proud of myself and got out of bed this morning when my alarm clock went off at 5:15am.  I have to give myself a pep talk the night before of how important it is to get up when the alarm initially rings. If not I keep hitting snooze.  I made some cinnamon rolls and in between rising and baking, I went running.  Lee cut up some peaches for peaches and cream...yum!  I was going to do hot chocolate too, but didn't get that far.
Aug 19 2014 First Day of School

Clark was the first off to school. Lee and Clark rode bikes over to the middle school.
Aug 19 2014 First Day of School (2)

Our 6th grader!
Aug 19 2014 First Day of School (4)

Something funny and something frustrating happened today to Clark.  Funny part first.  When Lee and Clark got to the middle school they didn't know which way Clark should ride to get to the bike rack.  Seems simple enough, but students aren't allowed in the parking lot.  What was funny is that the volunteer directing traffic and then the principal, had no idea at first on how Clark should navigate his bike to the bike rack because they never had someone ride their bike to school. (Whew, long sentence!)  Well, as long as they had been working there I suppose.  Crazy, right?! There is even a bike lane leading up to the middle school, granted it's only been there a year or so. I am not surprised, but then again I am.  Middle school is prime bike time! 
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The bad, frustrating bit was the whole rest of the day. After a sixth grade meeting in the auditorium, they moved to the cafeteria.  Then the students were informed that if their name was on a certain list they had to stay in the cafeteria.  By law students that didn't have the Tdap vaccine couldn't attend class.  I knew this and Clark had received his before school.  But the only reason I knew this was from the elementary school nurse.  Never once from the middle school did they say anything about the vaccine...as far as I remember.  Poor Clark called once this morning while Lee and I were on our way back from dropping off the kids, and then two more times while I was in Harrisonburg this morning.  Someone at the school called my cell phone about 11:30 and informed me what was going on. Clark was waiting around to go to class until his shot record could be brought in. Right before noon I went to the office with Clark's shot record.  She copied it and then I left.  I made a vague comment about Clark being able to return to class and it seemed like the office lady understood my meaning. Apparently not.  Something happened because the nurse never got the shot record.

I rode my bike to the school to ride home with Clark at the end of the school day.  Instead of greeting an excited 6th grader, a frustrated 6th grader walked out.  He had been out of class ALL day.  He didn't meet a single teacher, didn't go to a single class.  And his backpack was still full. I couldn't believe it!  I was there right before noon with his record.  What in the world happened?!  I called the school after I got the other kids home, but the nurse was gone.  When I told an office lady what had happened she was very surprised.  Tonight Lee and Clark went to Lee's office and made yet another copy of his vaccination record just in case they can't find his tomorrow morning.  He can whip that one out of his backpack and go to class.  Poor guy.  What a horrible first day of school. At least he didn't have any homework, right?!

Okay, back to the other kids.  More first day of school photos!
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I tried to be very excited for Elden.  He happily went to school this morning.  The parents can't take the kindergarteners to class because they want to avoid any last minute drama.  I did not cry, but was still sad that my little guy was going to school.  I came close to crying the night we went for his kindergarten orientation.  But I didn't. 
Aug 19 2014 First Day of School (18)

The girls are in the same class this year.  We are all excited about that!  It will be interesting to see how it goes.  It should go well as they are different from each other.  I sometimes have to remind myself that they are twins! Shanna picked out their matching outfits about two weeks ago. 
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After dropping off the kids and stopping by the house I went to Harrisonburg and met up with some friends at Mr. J's Bagels.  It was so fun to chat with them and have a distraction for the morning.  Too bad I didn't get there sooner!  I was about 20 minutes late! I ate a yummy cheese bagel with spinach, parmesan cream cheese.  I also bought a hot chocolate and put hazelnut creamer and half and half in it.  Yum! 

After a fun visit I went to....Sharp Shopper!  So weird that this is my life now.....school days without kids.  I found a great deal on Babybel cheese! Well, great deals aren't really found at Sharp Shopper, they're just always there. But the items they offer do change since it is a grocery outlet store.
Aug 19 2014

Despite being sad about Elden attending kindergarten, I am looking forward to the "new" schedule.  I have a few plans and I don't think I'll be bored in the least. If anything, I am really good at wasting time! Elden was so easy at home, that it won't be much different with him not here. (I will miss those afternoon snuggles though!)  A common comment I would get ALL the TIME was "you have your hands full". Lately the "new" common comment is "what are you going to do with yourself all day?"  Too funny.  It definitely is weird.  This is not what I had planned for my life, but I fully embrace it and am very happy with five kids. The other four kids had a great day at school and Elden was beaming when I picked him up.  He loved being at school and even saw Shanna and Haley in the hallway.  I heard they waved at him--so cute. Today after school Elden told me "Mom, I love school".  Seriously, I can't believe he is in school!  I am excited about lunch dates with Lee!  Hope you all are enjoying the last days of summer (if you are, enjoy them for me too), or the start of the new school year!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Paul's Temple Weekend

We squeezed in a big trip this past weekend, right before school started.  Friday night we left for Iowa/Illinois and drove all night.  We arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois Saturday morning at about 8am.  My oldest nephew on my side of the family, Paul, was going through the temple that day to receive his temple endowments.  He is going on a mission to Hungary to share the gospel of Jesus Christ for two years.

I love the temple!  We are so blessed to have temples just as the people did in ancient times as recorded in the bible.  The Nauvoo temple is a special temple.  It's the second temple the early members of my church built.  The government and angry people ran the church members out of Nauvoo close to the middle of the 1800s and later someone burned the temple down--if I remember right.  The temple was rebuilt in the early 2000s, keeping to the original temple structure as much as possible.  It's gorgeous. Some things done in temples are make sacred covenants with God to be obedient and serve Him, and be sealed/married to your spouse for time and all eternity. Also baptisms are performed for people who have already died. People stand in as a proxy for the deceased people.  There are certain acts that need to be performed while we have a body, like baptism and being sealed in the temple.  Read more here about temples and the purpose of them!

Our plans changed last minute that morning and we were able to go on a wagon ride around Nauvoo. Last time we were in Nauvoo in 2011 we did the exact same thing, ha ha.
Aug 16 2014 Nauvoo

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The Nauvoo Temple!
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There were over 350 brick homes in Nauvoo, and once the town boasted a population of about 12,000--back then it was larger than Chicago! So sad that these early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had to leave their beautiful city.  But they were blessed and found refuge in Utah.
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Before we attended the temple we were able to see Paul receive the Melchizedek priesthood, being ordained as an Elder. Later we dropped our kids off at my brother's house.  His awesome wife Shawna watched them for us as we went to the temple with Paul.  It was wonderful being there with him!
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We had a nice Sunday.  Paul gave a great talk, as did a high councilman that was visiting. I also enjoyed the lesson in Relief Society about raising children in light and truth. Afterwards Deb made an awesome lunch and we enjoyed visiting.
Aug 17 2014 Cedar Falls

I wish these cousins could see each other more!
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My awesome sister Deborah!
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Look at these beauties.  Deborah made chicken enchiladas--a recipe that we used growing up.  I haven't made these in years.  They were so yummy!
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After lunch we snagged some ice cream and headed out.  We were a few minutes from their house when I remembered that I forgot sandwich items to bring with us for dinner. We turned around, picked up the bread and cheese, and a movie too that I forgot to borrow from them.  (We left some clothes there too, but completely forgot them!) Thanks Deb for the food and ice cream!  The movie I am borrowing is Condorman.  Anyone seen it?  It's a fun comedy/adventure with Michael Crawford.  You know, the Phantom of the Opera guy and all.

We had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed seeing my parents again (we saw them when we were at Lois') and my brother Sam and his family and of course Deb and her family! After driving all night, we arrived back at Lee's Walmart office Monday morning at about 7:45 am.  He decided to just stay there instead of going all the way home. After unloading, unpacking, starting laundry, cleaning the van and updating the budget, I took a nap. It was our last day of summer....I couldn't believe how quickly it had come!  Hope you had a great summer vacation everyone!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Last "Summer" Days

The end of summer vacation crept up on us too fast!  And now today was the first day of school, boo hoo.  I wish we had two more weeks of summer...at least!  Here is a bit of what we were up to before school started.

Lee recently got a pair of blue sunglasses. They are very fun and trendy.
Aug 3 2014

Clark had to get his TDAP booster shot.  The other kids were very happy that they didn't have to get a shot!
Aug 4 2014 (2)

Clark survived! He said it actually didn't hurt. 
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Nothing like starting your morning with a friendly game of Battleship!
Aug 4 2014

Our neighbors and friends brought us this fun treat over a week ago.  S'mores brownies with ice cream!!!
July 31 2014 brownies from the Clarks

One afternoon we went to the school playground.  That was a failed outing.  On the way there I think someone had a little bike wreck.  Then at the school my front tire got a hole in it which made Clark wreck.  Then on the way home something else happened too.  It was good we went and did something, but yeah, everyone came home hurt and/or grumpy.
July 31 2014 Clark and Cal with Haley inside

There is a fun park just a few miles away from West Virginia--Riven Rock Park.  We usually go there about once a year and the kids always love it. 
Aug 5 2014 Riven Rock Park

Some of the kids found some crawdads. Spelling on that?
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As you can see, the Rock part is appropriate in the name of the park!
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Cal has been using his spending money from jobs to buy Mixels.  And Clark received an amazing Ninjago dragon set for his birthday from our friends.
Aug 6 2014 Legos

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My friend recently had a baby girl--I held a baby shower for her. We babysat her one Saturday afternoon.  Shanna LOVED it.  She even went through the diaper bag and looked at everything.
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Early on a Sunday morning I drove up to Lois' to spend a few days there.  We made it to her house in great time--about 2 hours and 5 minutes (about 8:25 am) but we were still late for 9am church.  We left about 6:20am so I thought we'd get to church on time.  Oh well. Lois has fun play clothes and the kids enjoyed dressing up!
Aug 10 2014 At the Heits

On Sunday we went on a walk in the Kentlands.  Elden saw a frog and Reed caught it.  Blake named it Ribbit.  Elden is holding it here.
Aug 10 2014 Kentlands Walk with frog

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Cute Rhett!
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Lois, Lois and Ruth
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Lois' friends get together for each others' birthdays which is so fun! It was Mary's birthday and we met up at Doorly's home for a potluck lunch and water fun for the kids.
Aug 11 2014 Maryland

The Saturday before we drove up to Lois' we were at a park.  Cal was jumping to grab a rung on the monkey bars but for some reason didn't grab it and fell on his back.  Somehow his right arm was involved in the fall and he got a buckle fracture.  He had a temporary splint on and Audrey and I taped it up well.  Also while we were at the park Lee saw one of his friends from optometry school!  They live in Chattanooga, TN and happened to be passing through.  What are the chances, right?!  He enjoyed catching up with him.
Aug 11 2014 Maryland (2)

After Doorly's, Lois, Mary and I went to Lois' community pool.
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Elden enjoying some melted cheese with a serving fork.
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Lois received a bounce house from a friend.  She set it up one day, but it wouldn't hold enough air for the kids to jump in it. 
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Our last day we went to a park and later had ice cream cones at Lois'.
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Have you ever seen Mike Aubrey's HGTV show Real Estate Intervention?  I loved that show!  It was fun seeing one of his personal listings in person!
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We drove home on a Wednesday afternoon.  Clark went with Lee to his 6th grade orientation and the kids and I headed to church for a young women's activity.  They played minute-to-win-it games. 
Aug 13 2014 Minute to Win it Games YW

I joined in with the Oreo game and got it in my mouth!
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After about 5 days with a split, I took Cal in to get a cast on his arm.  Thankfully he only needs the cast two to three weeks.  I am hoping for two!  In our 11 years with kids no one has ever had a cast.  I am hoping this is the last one!
Aug 14 2014 Cal's cast

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Cal picked black. 
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After watching the dr. wrap the cast, I thought, I could totally do that!!!
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The kids had meet the teacher night at school last Thursday.  It was a sad night for me!  I can't believe Elden is in kindergarten.  My sweet little baby is at school!  He went on a bus ride for the first time after the kindergarten orientation.  Elden enjoyed the ride.
Aug 14 2014 Elden's first bus ride

Hope you all had a great summer.  There were some summer activities I wanted to do but didn't.  Maybe next year.  Or during the weekends.