At the beginning of each school year I have what I like to call my “honeymoon stage” with our new schedule.  It’s when all the hustle and bustle of the “extracurricular monster” has yet to work his sneaky fingers into all the nooks and crannies of life and we mosey along smoothly getting to what needs to be done. Sadly my honeymoon stage has come to a screeching halt and I find myself rushing from one thing to the next trying to listen to five children tell me something at once. newshot It is a conscientious decision.  Dave and I have carefully picked what we will put on our plates. But that doesn’t mean I’m in love with being crazy.  When you have five children it all adds up more quickly that you are ready for.  Max and Elle have to leave at 6:55 for school. By then we are done with scriptures and breakfast.  I get to hang out with these three for some quality time after that ‘til they leave at 8:20.  2012-08-21 misc 59620 …unless that “quality time” involves nagging and nagging and nagging them to get their morning stuff done.  Then it isn’t so much “quality” any more 🙂 It’s a good thing I’m so in love with them.2012-08-21 misc 59616 Claire’s bike-riding posse:2012-08-21 misc 59618Love these girls. I adore Elle’s friends too.  Here are a few of them:2012-08-10 endofsummer 59400 The two on the left below got split into a different high school this year.  We are all pretty sad about that but happy that they still get together when they can.2012-08-10 endofsummer 59399They don’t generally pose like that in pictures (ha ha)…they are making hand signals to show off their rivaling mascots. This is more like how they pose for pictures:2012-08-10 endofsummer 59402They are goofy 🙂 A few people have asked what these kids do for fun around here.  They basically sit at each other’s houses and talk, a lot of times they bake, or they get creative. For example, a couple weeks ago they begged for a ride to Goodwill and made this big video about their adventures there. Pretty creative I must say. Having a “mud-fight” is also a great cure for boredom…2012-09-12 iPhone 60414 Seriously, can you believe this?2012-09-12 iPhone 60418 It was a church activity put on by some very nice (and hard working!) people who got it all set up like that.  (Elle begged to sneak back into our old ward for it 🙂  I was mesmerized enough to go watch for a little bit….2012-09-12 iPhone 60421 …and got his “gift” from one of my fav. girls as a reward: 2012-09-12 iPhone 60423…along with mud splatted on my white shorts. I know, serves me right for wearing them after Labor Day 🙂 Max’s club volleyball has begun in full-force. They are pretty determined that they need to take state this year, so they are practicing hard. They practice for almost five hours on Tuesday and Thursday each week. This is how Max’s hair looks after that. 2012-09-11 misc 60266 Yeah, I’m thinking it might be time for a cut… (More funny stuff about that fluffy hair back here.) There is pretty much not a moment when he is home that there isn’t a volleyball bouncing off the walls. I have a love/hate relationship with that little fact. I love Max’s friends too but he would be mortified if I made them pose for a picture… The kids swim pretty much every single day.2012-08-31 misc 59895 I finally grabbed some “clearance” swim suits at Old Navy so that we could outfit all the swimmers that need them all the time over here.2012-08-31 misc 59894 Grace (my “gatherer” child) has sure had some fun of her own with her friends.2012-08-10 endofsummer 594132012-08-10 endofsummer 594182012-08-10 endofsummer 594202012-08-10 endofsummer 59430I’m SO grateful we are surrounded by such good, nice kids around here. I forgot to put this  in Elle’s birthday post, but these girls pulled through with the traditional birthday candy bar poster:2012-08-11 elle's birthday 59433 Claire has taken up being a videographer and a photographer.  Some day I will be both over-the-moon and horrified at the things she has most likely captured of our day-to-day life.  I think this one depicts a lot of how she sees her mother:2012-08-19 misc 59608 She took this one of Max too which I love.2012-09-02 iPhone 60000Can you see that glimmer of love he has for his little sis? Dave’s parents came for a visit.  We love when they come to town and are looking forward to having them around more often in the winter.  After dinner Nana had a nice heart-to-heart with Elle about India:2012-08-22 misc 59628 And we played “Ripple.”  2012-08-22 misc 59633…apparently Max got a bad card 🙂 We have some great memories of playing games with Nana and Papa.  They are the best. Lucy is really into writing. 2012-08-22 misc 59630 And writing.2012-09-11 misc 60251 And writing. Her handwriting kills me with cute-ness.  (I know: I’m cheesy as can be, but seriously is it not darling?….) She also draws:2012-08-26 misc 59850 …and draws and draws.2012-08-26 misc 59843(That white-board Claire got for Christmas is Lu’s pride-and-joy right now just in case you were wondering.) She is in such a great phase right now.  2012-08-24 misc 59816 She’s gaining so much confidence in Kindergarten and is seeming to keep up really well academically.2012-08-24 misc 59818 It’s been awesome except for the occasional begging for other’s “treats” at lunch and bawling reported in the halls from her big sisters because she wants to buy a pencil-topper and doesn’t have a quarter.  That makes my heart ache but I think we’ve talked her through it pretty well by now. I hope.2012-08-24 misc 59821 Crazy Hair Day is always a hit around here.2012-08-29 misc 598672012-08-29 misc 59866 We brought bread to some of our leaders we are missing and are SO grateful for in our old ward after we made the switch-over (back here).2012-08-29 misc 59887 …and made some really late-night deliveries.2012-08-29 misc 59888We still have more to go but can’t seem to get around to the bread-making part. I read a good half of this hefty book before book club last month:2012-09-05 iPhone 60346“Half?” you may ask…”what’s the big deal?” …or maybe you wouldn’t ask knowing my track record for book club the last few months.  But I’m coming back.  I hefted this thing all over India and Thailand…2012-09-05 iPhone 60347 …and learned the most fascinating things about Catherine the Great who lived in Russia coinciding dates with all we were learning about Indian history.  That made it even more interesting.2012-09-05 iPhone 603502012-09-05 iPhone 60351I learned so much from all the characters in that book based on all their memoirs.  I’m so impressed with the author and all the fabulous information he painstakingly gathered for that book. Grace is in ALP for math this year (“Accelerated Learning Program). 2012-09-06 home 60140It’s tough stuff but she’s rocking it. Elle has started stepping in helping to read with the little girls when I can’t get to helping everyone at the same time at night.  She has finally caught on to my secret: it’s awesome to have your hair done-up while you read.2012-09-06-home-601413_thumb More when I can pull it together, but in closing I must report on my new church calling as the Junior Primary Chorister:  I don’t think too many of the kids have caught on that I haven’t a clue how to lead (or how to sing for that matter).  But the teachers aren’t quite as clueless.  One of them (who happens to be an amazing musician) has kindly pointed out that there are some conducting classes coming up and some resources where I can find some instructions in the meantime.  Lucy decided that she simply must adhere herself to my leg the whole time I’m up there trying to maneuver my way through the songs even after some serious talks about being a “big girl.” Today (attached once again safely to my leg), she decided it was a good idea to pick her nose whilst I was bumbling through the songs we are in crunch time to learn in time for the primary program this Sunday.  Yes, you heard that right: This Sunday.  Yeah, nothing like jumping right into it.  But boy, I sure like those kids already.  And the teachers and other primary leaders are the bomb.  Wait, is that like from the 80s?  You know what I mean 🙂 

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  1. I was also called as primary chorister just before the program. It is stressful to act like you have everything under control, when you don't 🙂

  2. Lucy's printing skills amaze me…her little letters are just perfect! She definitely has an eye for detail. And I so get the busy schedule…even when we try to minimize with a big family it's crazy right now.

  3. My son attached himself to my leg too, when I was primary chorister! The day he started running circles around me and the poster I was holding was the day I decided he was really just milking me for the chance to be up front! 🙂 Not that that's what Lucy is doing; it was just pretty funny. Good luck!

  4. I'm sure you'll be an amazing chorister! The children are so blessed to have you leading them. My 6 yr. old son (on most Sundays) is "that kid" who struggles with sitting still and listening. But it never ceases to amaze me how when singing time begins…it always seems to calm him and he so enjoys singing with his friends in Primary. I honestly believe he learns more about the Gospel through the Primary music than really any sharing time object lesson or sunday school class.

    Just think of all the little testimonies which will blossom through your new calling. 🙂

    Good luck with the upcoming program!

  5. We just finished our primary program, hooray! And I usually have a little one attached to my side as I play the piano.Do you have any books about the history of India that you would recommend? I loved your pictures, they are amazing. Now I want to go to India and would love to learn more about it. Thanks!

  6. Lucy's handwriting is darling. I love that age.

    I am also curious to find out what calendar/organization thing you are using. I need one like that. With 6 kids I have been using a wall calendar but I can't take it with me.

  7. It's not like you need more resources when your time is already limited, but I loved browsing through my son's sister-in-law's blog when I was Primary chorister – The Crazy Chorister. She has some great ideas that are easily adaptable to personal circumstances.

  8. Wow, in the picture of Claire doing Elle's hair it's like looking at a mini version of Elle:) Claire is the image of her & Lucy is so much like Grace.

  9. Oh, lucky you! You got my all-time favorite calling! I had to leave my little singers behind when we moved, but now I'm the assistant personal progress advisor, which is probably going to be just as fun. (Never been in YW's before, and I'm so excited!) Don't let anyone tell you that you need to know how to lead music for the junior primary. The only qualifications are a)loving kids b)understanding what a great tool music is for teaching the gospel and c)being able to completely ignore the adults in the room and make a complete fool of yourself just to get the kids excited about singing. It's super fun!

  10. I agree with Ruth, all you need to be is brave enough to act silly up there, that's what the kids want. Once I replaced Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam with Starburst and threw starburst candies in the air during the chorus. The kids went CRAZY with joy. I took the calling with a bit of annoyance and it became one of my favorites! Good luck!

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