Saturday, April 27, 2013

All Wrapped Up

I got distracted the other day (probably by Facebook), and discovered this had happened:

Ella had taken the whole roll of twine and wrapped our house in it. I knew the "circle" was fun to chase each other around, but I had never thought of wrapping it up.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


So.  Remember when Clark lost his job and our lives were turned upside down?  We're still upside down.  All along people have been asking how it's going, but lately I've had a lot of, "So, what are your plans?"  Um, our plan is to find a job and then for him to work there.  That's the plan.  I've got nothing more concrete than that.

But it turns out that living your life on hold is not very fun.  In fact, it sucks.  You feel like you have no control, and you are just stuck.  Waiting.  Endlessly.  It's hard to know whether you should live like you are about to move, or if you should just pretend nothing is happening to maintain some sense of normalcy, if for no other reason than the kids.  (Think of the children!)

We've basically opted for the later.  Not too much has changed around here, other than Clark is home all the time, and we have cut back on the budget.  So life goes on, and suddenly I'm the chairman of the parent board at the preschool next year, and I'm not sure they fully realize that chances are we'll move sometime over the summer.  I've tried to warn them, but I'm not sure it's sunk in yet.  And then, maybe we won't.  The unknown is overwhelming sometimes. 

Anyway, the point is, we decided that we needed to have SOMETHING to look forward to, or we'd go insane.  And since it's a real possibility that we won't live in Michigan for much longer, we thought it was high time we paid a visit to Kirtland, while it's still a short drive away.  And since Clark doesn't have to do things like take days off, we went in the middle of the week during spring break.  Left on a Wednesday morning, spent that afternoon and the next morning seeing the sights, and headed home Thursday.  It was quick, but it was exactly what we needed.  We did everything on the cheap, which turned out to be pretty easy because all the church sites are free!  Except for the temple, which was a nominal fee.  But still, a pretty affordable trip. 

I had never been to Kirtland before, so I thought it was absolutely fascinating.  And the girls did pretty well.  It helped that we had some understanding missionaries, who kept the tours simple, and let the girls set the pace.  I'm pretty sure it was best for us to go during the slow season, when we could be the only people on the tour through Historic Kirtland.

Here we are at the Whitney store! 

And the temple.  Oh, the temple.  It was so beautiful.  SO beautiful.  I was very impressed with our tour guide, she was great.  I'll admit to being a little skeptical of a Community of Christ tour, but that was completely unfounded.  It was spot on.  And we even got to sing The Spirit of God, in the temple!  And on April 3 to boot (the day the Savior appeared in the temple).  That was a very special moment.  I'll never forget it.

And apparently on this trip Julia decided to have "open mouth" smiles. 

On Thursday morning we headed out to the John Johnson home in Hiram, OH.  I'd heard from my dad that it was worth the drive, and he was right.  That home has the spirit there.  From the moment you walk in, you feel it.  And we were the only ones there, too.  The sweet couple who took is through the home let Julia and Ella linger behind  when they wanted to (watched by one of them, to make sure they weren't wreaking havoc on the home), which made all the difference.  It allowed me to really focus on what happened there, instead of on keeping my kids quiet.  Here we are at the front door.  Again with the "I'm going to eat you" smile.

So while it was a whirlwind trip, I'm so glad we did it.  It gave us all something to plan for and look forward to, and it was a great experience.  And honestly, more than anything else, I think we just needed the change of scenery.  Even for just one night.  I feel like I'm still trying to navigate life with Clark home all day, and I'm not sure I'm doing it very well.  Doing something different was very much needed.  For our sanity. 

Hoorah for Kirtland!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pi(e) Day!

 The past few years, Clark and I have made it a point to celebrate Pi Day (3/14).  It's kind of the perfect holiday for us - a celebration of math and dessert. 

This year I made 3 pies - Banana Cream, Chocolate pudding, and Apple.  And may I say, the apple pie was to die for.  I only got one piece, but oh my, it was delicious.  So good, in fact, that I had to make it again for Easter Sunday.  Partly because Julia begged me, and partly because I couldn't stop thinking about it.  In fact, thinking about it now is making me salivate.  Let's look at the close up:

Doesn't that look amazing?  It was amazing. 

We invited some friends over, and had quite the spread.  Delicious pastry abounded.  And we even had a recitation of pi to some crazy number of digits. 

I've seen the article floating around Facebook about how we need to calm down on the holidays and make life easier for everyone.  Pi Day gets a mention among the holidays that have been invented and talked up at school, resulting in kids coming home with high expectations.  And sure, Pi Day might not be for everyone.  But boy howdy, this holiday was made for me.  I love that we do this holiday at our house.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dr. Seuss Day

It'd be a shame if I didn't take a minute and blog about Dr.Seuss Day at Julia's preschool.  They usually have a potluck dinner for the families of the preschoolers, but this year they decided to mix it up a bit and have a Dr.Seuss celebration, on his birthday.  It was SO well done.  I mostly took pictures of the food, because it was all so clever!  Pink Yink Ink Drink, Put Me In the Zoo animal crackers, Moose Juice and Goose Juice, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish, Truffula Trees, and Hop on Pop-corn.   So fun!

They also had activity stations, with Seuss-related games.  Here we have the photo booth, and the fishing game. 
(By the way, Ella's shirt is NOT an announcement.  It's a hand me down.  And one of her favorite shirts, much to my chagrin.)

The Sneetch machine was a BIG hit - my girls were over there for at least 20 minutes, just going through and getting stars put on and taken off. But did I take a picture?  No.  They were occupied, so I occupied myself with chatting with adults. 

All in all, it was a fabulous day.  I think everyone had a great time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dancing Queen Part 5

Julia continues to be a Dancing Queen.  Or should I say a dancing MACHINE.  We crank up the tunes, and she busts out all sorts of moves.  Like these....

Or some of these....

To see previous installments of our Dancing Queen, click here.
PS: Ella is a pretty cute little dancer, too.  However, her awesome moves are still developing at this time.  (Direct quote from Ella: "Mom, if you ask me if I want to go to Meijer and get a cookie, I will say, 'Sure!' at some point, but not at this time."  The kid slays me.)