Monday was MLK day and, sadly, we missed the opportunity to properly observe it. I resolved that this will be the last year that MLK passes without a family discussion on race relations, a book (picture and/or otherwise) on the subject, some form of media, and, possibly, a cake for Dr. King. Here’s to you, MLK Day 2019! In the meantime, I discovered http://shouldertothewheel.org/ and have found it very helpful.
We spent MLK Day 2018 doing normal activities and in the evening we had dinner with the Blosils. Jenn Blosil will be nannying our kids while we are in Mexico next week, so we had dinner with her and her family. I have long admired Jenn Blosil and followed her through her American Idol journey, and I also watch the new songs she posts. I love her voice! We are so lucky she was available the week we were gone, especially since she’s so busy with her music career these days.
We always enjoy the Blosils, and my favorite are their stories of raising their eight kids, six of whom were boys. I find their stories extremely comforting, especially with Ammon at the stage he’s in. They can roll out anecdote after anecdote about children getting lost, children on top of the roof, children throwing potting soil everywhere, children getting lost again, children drawing with permanent marker on the walls the day after a $6000 paint job took place, children running naked around the neighborhood, children getting lost (again and again and again), and even accidentally rolling over a child with a car. All of their children not only survived but thrived, and Abe and I have been constantly impressed by how full of light each member of the Blosil family is. We love them and are so grateful ours get to spend so much time with Jenn next week!
I made bouillebaise for dinner. I should have taken a picture, but I will make it again because it is probably the most delicious thing that’s ever come out of my kitchen. I also made a triple chocolate mousse cake, and I had Abe immediately bring the leftovers to a neighbor because I am still dieting and really can’t hold out long against practically my favorite dessert.
While my mom was at the mall last week she purchased The Living Scriptures App. This is a huge blessing to our family! I loved watching scripture videos on Sundays growing up, and we enjoyed watching some together as family for FHE tonight.
My other favorite part of the evening was Face Timing with Grandma Forsythe, whom I love so much. She told me these family history related facts: She was born in Berlin June 2, 1941. She spent WWII in Eastern Germany. Her paternal grandma was from Poland and her paternal grandfather from Prussia. Her maternal grandparents are German.
She has some of the most disturbing WWII stories and young childhood stories that I have almost ever heard. Some day I will record them here.
I was so excited to learn about her Polish and Prussian ancestry though! I collect bloodline discoveries the way some people collect spoons (although do people really still collect spoons??? I can’t imagine this is still a thing, so I should have come up with a different analogy but am way too tired to find a better one).
Anyway, this is what I’ve “collected” for my children’s bloodlines: Filipino, Polynesian, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, Danish, Swedish, Scandinavian, German, English, Irish, Scottish, Jewish, Polish!, Prussian!, Native American, and, according to my DNA test, from some of the Caucuses and “baijan” countries. They also have ancestors who came to America on the Mayflower, so they are…early American? Is that a thing? I don’t know if it is, but I think it’s a neat fact.
Ammon spent Friday night puking repeatedly in between Clarissa’s frequent wakings, and that was very convenient because Swathi was being induced at the time. Abe and I got to check our phones almost hourly through the night to see if she was dilating.
At 4am Abe and I decided to just stay up and do Insanity, but after about five minutes I collapsed on the floor and then crawled back to bed. Abe powered through the whole hour-long work-out before likewise coming back to bed. At that point we lost track of Swathi’s progress, which is crazy because I think right as we fell asleep her water was broken, and two hours later little Meera was born!!
We are so, so excited for Clark, Swathi, and Soren–not to mention ourselves! I marveled at how beautifully our families have paralleled in growth. Soren and Ammon are nine months apart (I found out I was pregnant with Ammon the day Swathi gave birth to Soren), and Clarissa and Meera are even closer–a mere five months apart!!! Our children are so lucky to have wonderful cousins their own age. It’s a beautiful thing, and Meera is such a special addition to the family.
The kids had Friday off, and in the morning we went in to Mary’s parent-teacher conference. Mary is doing so well in kindergarten. She is very respectful and sweet, and she plays well with all of the other kids. Her teacher, Ms. Shawntel, said she wishes all the kids were like Mary. This was great to hear because right before the conference Mary and I had a piano practice where Mary was screaming all sorts of crazy things at me, and respectful really is the last word I would use to describe her behavior. It was very reassuring to know that she understands how to behave for her teacher at least.
The girls spent the afternoon playing with each other, Ammon, and Clarissa.
In the evening Abe and I went to a dinner at the Harpers’ house with the Bakers, Lydia went to an Indiana Jones birthday party, and Mary and my mom went to the Lion King Jr., where our friend Olivia Marshall played young Nala. It was a full evening! Ammon stayed home with our sweet babysitter, Eliza Freestone.
I am actually very, very grateful for my amazing life that I don’t deserve at all, but this week I spent a lot of time in my “spot of despair” on the couch. When I am in my spot of despair, I am usually holding, nursing, and changing Clarissa, and the world seems to close in around me. I end up feeling glued to both my baby and the couch, and after a bit I feel incapable of doing much at all. It’s a yucky feeling. The lack of natural light really doesn’t help.
Anyway, I spent a lot of this week in my spot of despair and so am fine that I didn’t religiously blog every single day. It was, in the scheme of my blessed life, a perfectly forgettable week.
These first four pictures are of a get well card from Lydia. I was feeling sick after Ammon puked all night on Tuesday as well! I felt ill myself the whole next day, and Lydia made this sweet card complimenting my cuddles, cooking, and harp practices (this demonstrates her forgiving nature because that day we had two hours of awfulness at the harp), and her desire that I take medicine. (Note the picture of all the pills). She is such a sweet, sweet girl.
This morning Mary and Ammon played so well all morning I didn’t have the heart to stop them and enforce piano practice.
They were playing, “cupcake” with the blocks.
I wanted to get Ammon’s penchant for profuse apology on video, but I missed it. As soon as I left he started saying “sorry! sorry!” to Mary on repeat. We love his sweet apologies, and hopefully one of these days I will get them on video.
Here was Clarissa rolling around on the blanket I made her. The doctor said I should let her have more floor time, so we are trying to improve that.
On Sunday Abe held his first Elder’s Quorum council, and it went incredibly well. The Relief Society council was…lively. I actually enjoyed it a lot, but it definitely was not calm or quiet. There was, at one point, a debate on–of all things!–name tags. I am afraid I was a rather vocal advocate for the use of these, but there were several people adamantly opposed. At the end of the council, we had decided on one action item completely unrelated to name tags, and that was to pray in our visiting teaching companionships for the sisters we visit teach.
For FHE we tried to get the new Living Scriptures app working, but it wouldn’t load onto our TV. I am contemplating rearranging the downstairs so that the TV can be closer to the kitchen. During FHE Ammon attempted to scale a giant bookcase next to the TV. Abe immediately pulled him off and spanked him, which sent Ammon into hyperventilations and lots of exclamations of “SORRY!!”. We both cuddled Ammon immediately and explained that he just can’t climb furniture. Even though the bookcase anchored to the wall, I fear the anchor could come loose. So I am seriously considering a re-arrangement of the downstairs so that I can monitor him even while he’s watching a movie. Also we are seriously going to get the security cameras I ordered two months ago up this week.
Abe instituted Saturday morning chores for the kids a while back, and on Friday night Lydia scrambled to perfectly clean her room. She wanted a free morning on Saturday, and she was also so proud of her hard work. My favorite part of the video is where she proudly proclaims, “nothing but carpet!”
In the evening we tried to go to The Lion King Jr. at the Covey Center, but it turns out that it’s playing next week. I think I have some sort of clinical condition that prevents me from getting dates and times correct. At any rate, it was rainy and cold so we headed to the mall’s play place and let the kids play before going grocery shopping.
I finished my Annie Liebowitz master class, but I didn’t do any of the photo exercises. I did learn concepts, though! I haven’t applied any of them in any of my photos except one. Yesterday as I was nursing it occurred to me that my frame of vision captured the story of my relationship with Clarissa–or at least a major part of it.
It’s too bad we didn’t have more complimentary colors here, especially with that red pillow. Also, I need photoshop and don’t have a great eye for composition. ANYWAY, the point is, I have to start somewhere, right?! And this photo does, at the least, tell a story that means something to me. That’s the sum of what I learned from the class: Learn to SEE, and take photographs that tell stories that mean something to you.