Thursday, October 31, 2013

Life is good- even without Internet

We are now living in our new house. After almost a week of being without regular access to the internet we are officially online again. It has been a little crazy trying to juggle things without being able to just pop onto google and map out a location or look on Yelp for a good fix-it man. It was one of those times a smart phone would have come in really handy! But hey I can't complain. It has all worked out and things are starting to fall into place.

My kids keep telling me "This place is starting to really look like home". We aren't totally box free yet. We have many more things to put away before we can say we are done but we are getting there. Now I just need to start getting my kids back onto a school schedule. We haven't been doing much as far as studies for the past week. Sophie has even had to miss a few days of her online classes because we just couldn't find anywhere she could access the internet. We did monopolize one entire morning of a lady (in our new ward). She offered her home and her wi-fi so Sophie could sit and participate in her classes. Sophie will have some catching up to do with assignments for these classes.

The move has been good so far. I admit the first night in our new home I had the feeling "What did we just do". I felt a bit depressed. I had taken my three younger kids to our new ward's Trunk or Treat (Sophie and my husband went to return the moving van) and was a bit sad. I didn't know anyone. My kids got lots of candy, which they loved, but didn't really have anyone to play with. When we returned home Sophie came running in, excited to tell us all about the Trunk or Treat at our old ward. She had spent the day with one of her friends and helped the young woman with the games and activities at the event.  I was so tired and already somewhat blue that her enthusiasm and tales of our former ward made it even worse.

But the next day was Sunday and we went to church. The ward was very welcoming and many of the ladies introduced themselves and the young woman leaders and primary leaders took my kids under their wings and shuffled them off to their different classes. Henry came home from church telling me all about his new class and how he loves this ward already. He hasn't even had scouts yet but already loves it! Molly was worried her new teacher wouldn't like her or not know her name but those worries were in the past when we picked her up to head home. She was all pumped up and singing new songs that she learned in class. Sophie's young woman leader came and picked her up Sunday night for a youth fireside and she came home "all smiles". We have attended Young Woman's this week and even have been invited to a Halloween party tonight. My kids are looking forward to Trick-or-Treating tonight in our new neighborhood. Evidently there are a LOT of kids and we will be busy passing out candy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Everyone Loves the Piano Guys!

As I was reading my email, looking and facebook and my blog reader I clicked on a link that started us on an hour long video watching fest.

It was a link to one of the Piano Guys videos.

Once the first few notes were plucked Molly came running in saying "Oh... piano guys". She knew exactly what I was watching. After watching that video we had to watch another and then another while all the kids asked me to play their favorites.

The boys love the Cello Wars.

Or Charlie Brown

The videos are so fun to watch. They are often on location in some amazing setting.

Their enthusiasm for music and the way they are really look like they are enjoying playing makes these videos are so fun! My kids could watch them all day.

If you haven't heard the Piano Guys play then you need to take some time and visit their youtube channel and watch some very fun and beautiful music. But just know that it will make you loose track of time and then get a late start on your day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quiet Kids - Review

I have taken personality tests many times. The Myers-Briggs is one of the most famous ones. When I take this test it sometimes comes out INTJ and other times it comes out ISTJ.  I guess I can't decide if I gather information intuitively or through my senses. In either case that first letter, the I, tells me I am an introvert and not an extrovert. I get my energy by being quiet and alone rather than through interactions with other people. 

Knowing this about myself, when I saw the book Quiet earlier this year I knew I had to read it. It was very validating and at the same time not that helpful. It told me a lot of good things about being an introvert but didn't necessarily give me any ideas as to how to be an introvert in an very extrovert oriented world.

I recently saw the book Quiet Kids on NetGalley and knew I needed to read this one. I was really glad I got to read and now review this book. The book has many of the same information about introverts, perhaps not in as much detail, but this one also gave suggestions to parents of introvert children on how to help them excel or use their gifts in navigating this extrovert oriented world.

To be honest I didn't really learn anything new. Being an introvert myself I found that I naturally do many of the things suggested in the book. I did receive some new ideas and suggestions but it also helped me really look at my kids, how they learn, interact with others, and spend their free time.

I have two introverted and two extroverted children. I realize now why what worked with my older two doesn't seem to work with the younger two. It isn't just me getting tired or busy or overwhelmed (At least not exclusively). The younger two just get their energy, gather information, make decisions, and orient themselves to the world around them differently than the older two and even myself.

I wish there was a book with strategies and ideas on how an introverted parent can help their extroverted children thrive. I often feel like I am holding them back. They want to socialize and be out and about doing something while I am happy to sit back and watch quietly. They are often loud, crazy and in my face right when my energy level tells me to go recharge in a quiet place.

I love that there is more information about introverts and about the power of introverts rather than just on how to bring them out of their shells and be more extroverted. It helps me understand myself and my needs as well as the needs of my kids when I read the tips and strategies found in Quiet Kids.  This is a great read for anyone who knows they are an introvert or have kids that are introverts.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Life goes on

Life around our house doesn't ever slow down. 
Molly loves her pink princess dress. I was shocked the other day to see how much she has grown in the last year since we shortened the hem for her. My mom made this dress for her for her 3rd birthday. She often asks me if the dress still fits. I figured pictures would be the best way to show my mom that it does still fit. But it is now too short. She is growing up! I am going to have to let the hem down. 

We are slowing packing up all our stuff. I say we but it is mostly me and sometimes my husband that go through all our stuff and decided if we really need it enough to move it to the new house. I have sorted through our bookcases full of books and boxed up most of them and taken several bags of books back to the library. I say back to the library because that is where I picked them up. I can't believe how many little 25 cent pictures books we have picked up from the used book shelf over the years! We are still taking a lot of books with us when we move. 

 I am still trying to do school each day with the kids. They have all their usual activities for another two weeks. They are very sad to be leaving their co-op friends, piano, choir and cub scouts teachers/leaders. Henry is so sad to leave gymnastics. They are also very excited to be moving too.
 Sophie is still hard at work on her online classes. They keep her very busy with the different projects she is assigned. There is a lot of readings required too. She often feels a bit overwhelmed with everything on her schedule.  Perhaps our move will be good since it will eliminate some of the extra things and she can focus on her assignments.  She has almost completely taken over my computer :(
The boys are keeping busy with their school work too. I feel pretty lucky if we get scripture, history, math, some writing, and some reading in at the moment. The extras will have to wait until I have a little more time on my hands. 

I don't have the energy to give a detailed run down on what we have been doing for school, so this is the best I am going to do as far as a review goes. In a few weeks I should be back in the swing of things.... hopefully.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


 The last few weeks have been extra stressful for our family.  We received news that our already expensive rent was going to increase and not just a little. We weren't expecting a blow like that. One little email changed a great day into a day full of uncertainty.

We quickly set to work  crunching numbers and looking at different options. Finding another place to rent in our area was quickly crossed off the list since all rents in our area are up that high.  So we either go and live in a part of town that wouldn't be as safe or we needed to do something different.

We switched our strategy and started to think perhaps it was time to buy. No, we knew buying something in our neighborhood wouldn't work. Prices for homes here are out of our price range. We started to look a little farther out of the area where we could afford and the commute wouldn't be too bad.

Three days after receiving that email we were in a new community about an hour from where we currently live looking at houses with a realtor. He showed us two houses that night. The first was nice and could work but there were things about it we didn't like. He took us to a second and just getting out of car I remember saying "I like this place better". We went into the back yard first since he was having a little difficulty getting the code to open the front door.  The big back yard was eye popping. Nothing we had seen in this area had such a big yard. We were almost sold right there!

We finally got to go inside and tour the house. It isn't a big house, only 3 bedrooms, but it does almost double our living space.  The house had been put on the market that day.  We went home and thought and prayed about it. We put in a bid for the house the next day. They received several offers that week. The housing market in CA is crazy! We finally were told, about a week and half after we initially even started looking at houses that our offer had been accepted. The fun, eyes rolling!, then really began.

Getting all the paperwork done for a home loan and such is a lot of work. My poor husband has been stressed out beyond anything trying to meet the tight deadlines that getting this house is demanding. But today we can officially say the house is ours, our loan is approved, and we are moving.

We are a little sad to leave. We have been in this town since we married. Our kids don't really know of any other place. We have had years and years of memories made here. We are a little nervous about the changes that will have to be made in our lives but at the same time we are excited. New experiences are like that.

We are gathering boxes to move our plethera of books.  I have already started to weed out many to donate to the library. The boys have already packing up some of their legos. There is a lot more to dig through and pack up. That is one good thing about moving. We will get rid of a lot of the stuff that is just hanging around that we don't truly need. What a fun couple of weeks we have before us! At around Halloween time we will be in our new home. That is some fast turn around.

The stress isn't over yet! I hope we make it.