Dream Home

On Monday I drove past the dream home I found on Zillow, and then I texted Abe and asked if we could maybe make an appointment to walk through it with his dad sometime. Tom was so sweet and offered to come down in the evening.

The home was almost perfect. It didn’t have a great living solution for my mom and it was out of budget, but wow, did it have everything else down. On display in its office was a book that I have read and love, The Not So Big House. The book extolls the art of designing a house so that no space is wasted, and this house completely reflected that philosophy. I loved it so much.

I also died over the fact that next to the house was the sweetest mini-orchard and garden. I found out later that it doesn’t come with the house, but it was so over-the-top to have an orchard right there. Kitty corner from the house was an actual orchard, and, oh, it was beautiful.

But we can’t afford it, so I just content myself with dreaming about it all the time. It’s a nice place to go in my head when the clutter and dark color scheme in my house are driving me out of my mind.

A great Sabbath

On Sunday I taught a lesson about fellowshipping new members and less active members, and I learned so much from the comments of the class members. I loved hearing stories about how God ministered to them when they were the “lost sheep.”

Clarissa has needed more attention this weekend, so after church I nursed her a bunch and then made some minestrone and pumpkin cookies. Mary helped me make the pumpkin cookies.

After dinner Abe held a fabulous FHE. He taught a lesson on the Sabbath day, and he used our wagon of blocks to show the kids how we take out activities we normally do and replace them with worshipful activities on Sunday. He did a great job teaching.

Normally the kids are all in bed by 7:30, but yesterday they were wired. At 8pm they were all still awake. Perhaps the kids’ game of “lost at sea” made them hyper.

They are in a boat sailing to either Hawaii or Disneyland.

Then when the girls went into their room, Ammon built his own boat.

Saturday clean-up

On Saturday Abe and I slept in, but the kids got up late so we still squeezed in Insanity. I hadn’t worked out since re-pulling my groin, and we were both exhausted from the exertion for the rest of the day.

We mostly spent the day cleaning the house. I prepared my lesson for Sunday while looking for houses on Zillow. No matter how much we Marie Kondo the house, it always feels cluttered. That leads me to believe it is slightly small for seven people, and then I daydream on Zillow. I found the PERFECT house, but it was twice as expensive as our current house, and we just can’t afford it. Even if we could buy it, we’d probably walk around feeling broke all of the time, and that’s no fun either. I spent the rest of the day feeling slightly depressed.

Abe did an AMAZING job cleaning the house, though, so that helped.

Mary has been begging to put up our Christmas lights, so Abe obliged and put them up yesterday. Lydia spent a minute outside before declaring it was way too cold and hastily retreated to the house. Mary gleefully shivered her way through putting up the lights, and then she colored pictures of Santa, reindeer, and such and taped them to our front door. Instead of a wreath, pictures currently adorn our door.

Dino museum and MVP Abe

On Friday I took Ammon, Mary, and Clarissa to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. We were going to go to the zoo again for Mary’s 100 chart reward, but on the way it started hailing. We opted for the indoor museum instead.

I felt really blessed because I didn’t know how I was going to get Ammon out of this exhibit. Clarissa was strapped to me, and the only entrance/exit to this exhibit was one for kids to crawl through. Ammon came out JUST as Clarissa was starting to fuss. Honestly, I felt so blessed at that moment.

I tried to contain my squeamishness about sand and let the kids play in the sand dig. It was so hard.

When we left, Ammon threw a huge, uncharacteristic tantrum because he wanted to dig in the other pit. I had Clarissa strapped to my front, and I somehow dragged Ammon and the stroller to the far, far away front door and out into the hail. Once we reached the outdoors, Ammon threw himself down on the ground in the hail. By the grace of God and with Mary sweetly pushing the stroller, I managed to drag Ammon through icy puddles and to the car. It was a nightmare, but we survived.

In the afternoon Abe played in the Qualtrics bowl. He was a superstar! He made a lot of amazing plays and got called MVP by some of his friends. This was extremely comforting to Abe, who bemoans the deterioration of his body on a daily basis. He is continually amazed at how much less athletic he feels and how his body doesn’t do what he wants it to do. This, he has concluded, is a combination of aging and his desk job, in spite of his standing desk. His great playing in the Qualtrics football game put him on a high for the rest of the day and made him feel young again! It also made him sore all weekend long.

For dinner I was in the mood for some soup and quiche. It was cold outside! I made potato leek soup, arugula salad, and a spinach quiche. It felt like a nice ending to a crazy day. Since I made so much pie dough early in the week, it was a really easy, nice ending to a crazy day.

Clarissa the pea pod

On Thursday I put Mary and Ammon in the basement while I focused just on Clarissa. I read to her, played with her, and dressed her up so I could take pictures of her.

By the time I took this picture Clarissa had peed. She was trying to not cry but clearly wasn’t very happy. She lasts about two minutes max after she wets herself, and then she’s inconsolable. Often she starts screaming the minute the pee hits the diaper, but I think she was happy to be getting attention here, so she tried so hard to be brave.

This year I AM going to take a photography class. I really, really want to learn how to take good pictures. But in the meantime, isn’t Clarissa so cute?

In the evening I used leftover pie dough to make a soprasata quiche.


Funny Bunny “I-Cweam”

Today Mary hit one hundred on her Funny Bunny chart, and after school she suggested that we get ice cream to celebrate. The deal is she gets a field trip for every filled out chart, but since we can’t do that until Saturday, Mary thought ice cream would be an appropriate immediate celebration. The other kids concurred.

Ammon gets very excited about anything related to food and squawked out “I-Cweam!!” every time we got into the car after that. (He also dragged a chair over to the cookie jar today and discovered a bunch of candy that I didn’t even know was in there. I never use the cookie jar so I don’t understand how he knew it contained treats. He just has a special connection to beloved food items, I suppose.)

I also had a play date with my friend, Heather. Her daughter, Olivia, is literally the cutest girl I have ever laid eyes on. I love talking with Heather and bombarded her with questions. She works for Mormon.org and answers the hard questions that the Temple Square missionaries kick over to her. She was a joy to talk with.

Last night I pulled my groin AGAIN after taking a kicking, screaming, heavy Ammon out of the bath. The floor was wet and I slipped. My groin almost snapped in two! It really hurt. So today I rested a lot and limped when I wasn’t resting. Right now I am just sitting while typing and my groin is throbbing. I am so sad because I have been looking forward to doing Insanity with Abe tomorrow because he gets home in a couple hours and we were planning on hitting our work-out hard in the morning. Maybe it will heal overnight???? I can hope, right???

Dinner for my friend

On Tuesday most of the day revolved around grocery shopping and making dinner for a friend who had surgery because of an ectopic pregnancy. I made her one gruyere, soprasata and leek quiche and one apple, leek, and gorgonzola quiche. My friend was up and energetic when I dropped off the food, which I found astonishing because half of the blood in her body is currently not her own. She is amazing.

I let Lydia skip climbing. Okay, the truth is that I didn’t tell her we were skipping because she would have protested. I just didn’t take her and she didn’t notice. Phew.

We came home and I made pizza and brussel sprouts for dinner. I took it easy after that and focused on Clarissa, who had been neglected all day long. I put the kids in front of a movie while I bathed, nursed, and interacted with Clarissa. She really is so low maintenance, but after ignoring her the whole day, I just couldn’t do that any longer. She deserved my full attention.

Also, I have been under-utilizing the pictures I get from Lydia’s teacher. She takes pictures of Lydia all the time and posts it on the Bloomz app. I always forget to post them! Here is one from weeks ago. The eighth and ninth graders wrote their own myths and told them to the first and second graders. Each little kid got to listen to one big kid tell them a myth. Lydia really got into the myths and regaled us all at dinner with the myths her partner told her.

Abe leaves on another trip

Today Abe and I got up at 5am to do Insanity. Both of us were feeling tired, but we are always so glad to have done it–and it is so fun to work out together. Abe had to leave on another work trip today, so I was glad to get some time with him before he left.

I spent the whole rest of the day teaching the kids. I did sight words with the girls, story time with Ammon, and helped both girls practice their instruments. They both gave me a run for my money, but I am happy to report I didn’t yell. Maybe therapy helped?

I also folded a lot of laundry. Thank goodness that’s done!

Also, it was Fifties Day at Lydia’s school because today was the fiftieth day of school. She dressed up and had so much fun.

Primary program and German dinner

On Sunday the kids had their Primary program, so Tom and Suzanne came down to see them perform in church. The girls did great! Lydia very sincerely annunciated every.single.syllable in each song, and Mary charmed everyone with her red glasses and clear speaking.

After church we had a German dinner. Lydia is taking German in school and is in love with all things German, and I have been promising her a German dinner for ages. While I cooked, Tom and Suzanne helped the girls make gingerbread–baked in Germany!–turkey centerpieces.

We told Ammon he was going to “cook” his turkey. That just meant he got to nibble the gingerbread while the girls actually assembled their turkeys.

We had braised red cabbage with apples, potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce,  mustard aspic (so much better than it sounds), rye bread, chicken bratwurst, regular bratwurst, tofurkey bratwurst,  and Rittersport chocolate for dessert.

After it was all over I went to bed at 7:30pm. Lydia and Abe stayed up later. Lydia is plugging through The Little Princess, which is way above her reading level but we love her for trying. She read for an hour while Abe prayed and studied scriptures. Lydia told me in the morning that after Abe finished his scriptures and prayers, he let Lydia eat some late night ice cream with him before bed. He is such a good dad.

the zoo and sushi-making date

On Saturday Abe and I held to our 5am wake up and did Insanity before starting the day. We love working out together, and on Saturday it is really nice because there’s not the same mad rush afterward to get ready for the day.

We did still sort of hustle though because we wanted to be at the zoo when it opened. Every time Mary finishes one hundred repetitions of one of her pieces, we take a field trip. She actually filled out her one hundred chart for Mary Had a Little Lamb a couple weeks ago, but we were all too sick to take a field trip. Yesterday was the first day that we could, and I was so glad because it was such a beautiful day for an outing.

After the zoo, we stopped at Trader Joe’s and stocked up before racing back to Salt Lake to get some material from Jo-Ann’s and drop Mary off at a birthday party.

While Mary was at her birthday party, I whipped out a circle skirt for Lydia. Monday is Fifties Day when kids dress up from the Fifties, so I thought a circle skirt would be cute. Sadly, I bought the wrong color thread and so all of my mistakes showed through on the waistband. The petticoat I made for underneath was made of practically invisible tulle, and so I sewed practically blind and ended up with a petticoat with no elasticity in the waistband. Just as despair set in, I realized Lydia had a fifties style dress in her closet!!! Hallelujah.

As soon as I finished the petticoat, the babysitter arrived and Abe and I headed out with Clarissa to a sushi-making class with our neighbors. There is a fabulous Asian market that our neighbor Josh has been telling us about for a long time, but we’ve never gone. Finally we went last night to the market for the class, and I was so glad to discover it. It’s a gem and I would have totally missed it had we not gone for the class. It’s practically hidden from the street.

After the sushi class, Abe, Clarissa and I headed to Harmon’s for a late night grocery run. We wanted to prepare from the German dinner on Sunday. Since we are used to going to bed between 8pm and 9:30pm these days, the 10:30pm bedtime on Saturday felt like midnight. We slept in two hours the next morning until the kids got up after 7am.