Friday, April 24, 2015

Charlie's soccer team

The rain cleared up long enough for Charlie to have his last soccer game and take team pictures! He had a lot of fun this season.

Also we had a little stomach flu going around between the kids this week. It started with Charlie and he stayed home from school once. Then Gwen, and she stayed home from preschool. And by the end of the week, Alec was feeling left out decided he was too sick to go to to school on Thursday. (I had a hunch he was faking it, but whats the harm in taking a personal day every once in a while?) As long as he rested for the entire day, it was fine with me. :) He never got sick but did manage to spend almost the entire school day within a few feet of the carpet. Either sleeping or reading Harry Potter. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New carpet and tile

Trying to decide between large checks or small checks in the laundry/mud room. 

We tried to save on money and demo-ed the old carpet ourselves. The kids sure had fun yanking it off the tacks and rolling it up with the duck tape.

Woooo-eee! We've had some problems with the connection between the house and the septic tank. Its been raining so much, we haven't been able to dig it up to see what the problem is. Our contractor, Joe will send some of his guys, usually Shane or Ross, to pump it out (a few hundred feet out into the yard) every so often. But that is basically like sweeping the dirt under the rug. It provides aesthetic relief (which is nice!) but doesn't solve the problem. I can't wait for the rain to stop. 

Plumbers came and fixed the piping in the floor of the 1/2 bath off of the laundry/mud room where we changed the location of the toilet so we could fit a sink in there. 

Also, this week, the carpet came! I was pretty nervous about how it would look on a large scale. I feared it would be too dark and purple-looking. 

And the tile in the upstairs bathroom got put in! I love how Wade did it with the striations going different directions.

We are getting so close!!!!!! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stake Conference, the Masters and school bus waiting

I LOVE this baby outfit that a good friend, Mary George gave us at a baby shower for Alec. For some reason I feel like I need to wait for a special occasion to get it out, but in doing so, I almost missed the chance to put Freddy in it all all! It barely fits him still and I decided the Sunday after Easter (Stake Conference...since we didn't go out of the house at all during Easter because of General Conference) would be a good time to get it out. 

We're SOOOOOOO excited to be able to go to the US Open this year. Chris insisted we prepare for it by watching The Masters. It has been a LONG TIME since I've laid back next to Chris and watched an entire day of a golf tournament..complete with falling asleep somewhere in the middle. That is one of the activities we seemed to do a lot when we were dating and newly married. Now we have 4 wiggly kids trying to sit on or in between us while we all watch. 

Waiting for the school bus I bet on having a child fall asleep, but I didn't think it would be Gwen. 

Another time we were waiting in the car. I can't remember the reason. Either it was storming, or we had just come from somewhere or were fixing to go somewhere soon as the boys come home. (I'm turning Southern)

And yet another time, we had some friends with us. Our kind neighbor drove by in her convertible and asked the girls if they wanted a ride down the street and back. I am really starting to love the South. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday morning runs

I'm training for another 1/2 marathon and am super missing my running buddies. The above picture was taken at the beginning of my 6 miler. The ones below were taken after. Chris was nice enough to meet me at the lake on Campus so I wouldn't have to do a there-and-back run. Its so much more interesting being able to run 1 way the whole time. The kids loved riding/running around the lake and catching dead fish while Chris did a run around the lake. His first official exercise session since before the transplant. Yay for getting in shape! Wish us all luck.

The flowers are beautiful here in the spring. These are the roses by our house, and the other picture is at the top of our driveway. I LOVE the twisty old tree behind the budding bush.

Lately, Frederick loves to cuddle up on the bean bag with a blanket and either some toys or a stack of books. His favorite book is "Peek-a-Boo". I love to see Alec being sweet with Freddy. Little babies open up a side of Alec in a way that nothing else does. He reminds me of Chris. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

State football practice

We were given the opportunity to watch the Mississippi State Football team practice! It was an event opened to all faculty and their families so Chris signed us up. We were given special badges and cookies and juice to start things off. There was SUPER loud music playing the whole time in the background with beeps or messages every now and then to signal some kind of change for the practice. There were SO MANY players and coaches with clipboards and support staff. We could tell that each practice required massive amounts of logistics. It brought me back to my highschool days, being a trainer/watergirl for my high school football team, but on a much larger scale. And by large, I mean gigantic! These football players are HUGE! I thought Chris was big, but he looks on the smaller side of average compared to many of the football players. When we were given a tour of the locker room, we found a pair of shoes that were actually bigger than Chris'. I didn't think that was possible. :)  

Easter and General Conference

During the Holy Week before Easter we tried to talk about Jesus more and I did a 7 day Testimony of Jesus Challenge were I studied specific aspects of Jesus life and role and journal ed experiences where my testimony of that aspect was strengthened. I didn't quite get to it every day but I had some good moments and I love the opportunity to really think about Christ. I should do it more often since I love how I feel when I feel close and connected to Him. Because of Him, really, truly all things are possible and joy, happiness and peace exist in my life.  Because He Lives, I love life. 

On Good Friday our Branch put on a musical fireside. I made the program (with some major printing issues and a pretty bad typo!) but managed to get there a little early still. The choir sang a bunch of numbers, I had a solo, "I Heard Him Come", the primary children sang some songs, Chris and I sang a duet "Were You There" and a YW sang a solo, and then we had a trumpet trio. Our choir director teaches trumpet at MSU and he got 2 of his students to accompany us on all but 1 of the choir numbers, and another YW played the flute. Our Branch President's wife played the piano or organ for every number (except Chris and my duet which was a cappella). We had potluck refreshments afterward. It was a nice evening, but I wish more people would've come. 

Easter Baskets in the morning. Hello sleepy-eyes. :) 

General Conference Weekend means no early-Sunday-morning meetings! 

We did our traditional Conference Cash and the kids could earn some treats by taking notes in their blank books. Let the record show that this picture was actually taken during the Music and the Spoken word. Chris did NOT sleep through conference this year. He listened, took notes and then made a completely scrumptious Easter Dinner Feast while I may have drifted off during the last talk. 

In between the sessions we did our Easter Egg Roll! My mom did this as a kid and I did it as a kid so we continue the tradition with much enjoyment. 

Frederick won!! Some sad siblings may have erased our bracket on the white board in an attempt to destroy the evidence. This makes Freddy the two-time defending champion and means he's held the title for his entire life. 

After dinner we had planned on doing an Easter Egg hunt, but ended up doing some service for one of our friends and took a family drive to pick her up from Lousiville to bring her home to Starkville. By the time we got home it was too late and kids were ready for bed. So we did our egg hunt the next morning before school. Both Chris and my phones were full and so we took pictures with the video camera but I haven't transferred the files to the computer yet. :) 

Spring accomplishments

Frederick has successfully cut in 4 molars and got his last rounds of immunizations until Kindergarten Boosters! Yay! Unfortunately this means the past few weeks have been full of crying, runny noses, coughs and crankiness. On one occasion when the poor boy was so miserable Chris held him until he fell asleep. He is such a patient and tenderhearted father.  Some of his worst moments happened at during the Soccer jamboree. It was also Conference Weekend, and we had pictures for Charlie at 10:45, a game at 12, then pictures for Alec and Chris at 12:30 and then a game at 1, then Alec had another game at 4 and Charlie another at 5. I love watching my kids play sports and my husband coach, but it sure is difficult to manage it all from the sidelines sometimes. Keeping Frederick happy within a 3 sq foot radius is tricky..especially when he's not feeling well to begin with. I had to walk around and hold him while he cried himself to sleep. I wish we lived closer to family where they could help us juggle it all.  

Also Freddy successfully sits still for a few minutes at the library! 

Gwen has mastered the game of Uno and plays it about a hundred times a day. I play some games with her, but I reach my limit way before she does. So she continues to play against made up opponents like Sachi. Somehow, Gwen always manages to win...apparently Sachi always forgets to say Uno when she has one card left, and Gwen never misses a chance to call her on it. :) Also Sachi, unknowingly, often changes the color to whatever Gwen's last card is for her. 

Also, Gwen earned a little date with mommy and we went to watch our friends in the Jr. High production of The Little Mermaid. Gwen got to stay up late past her bedtime to do this and almost every 10 minutes would ask me how much past her bedtime it was. Also, she took a bath and tried on at least 2 different outfits so she looked just right for her date. She's adorable. 

Charlie started playing Coach-Pitch baseball! He's so brave and willing to try new things, I love that about him. He is a good player and catches on quick. They do the 3 strikes and your out rule, but Charlie has always managed to get a hit and make it at least to first base. There are so many rules though! During his first game, as an outfielder, he was able to get the ball a lot but didn't quite know what to do with it when he got it. I was wanting to shout out and tell him where to throw it, but I confess I had no idea myself! We did a special Family Home Evening lesson the next Monday and used army guys to explain the rules of baseball. Alec, Charlie and Gwen paid attention so well, it would be nice if they wanted to learn about prayer or charity with that much focus! 

Charlie also has one more week of soccer before the end of that season. He's a good defender and team player -- he doesn't take the ball from his own teammates and doesn't always run straight to the ball but instead positions himself between it and the goal he's guarding.  Charlie also got Student of the Month a month or so ago, but I never got a chance to get a picture of him with his ribbon or in his Fantastic Kid t-shirt. He looked great in it. :)

Alec finished Soccer! Some of the moms on the team ordered trophies for the kids! Alec is very proud. He made some beautiful goals the past few games, so I hear. I was at Charlie's games and missed them but Chris described them to me in great detail. Alec is quite talented and is a great defensive player with good instincts and positioning and a powerful kick. 

Also, Alec got Student of the Month and touched a frog in our backyard! He's a great studentNormally, we're all pretty skiddish around bugs and animals and what not, so this is a pretty good accomplishment. He almost picked it up before it hopped away and scared us all. :) 

I finished my quilt from last year! Well, I still have to do the back and get it quilted and then bind it, but seeing the top all sewn together inspires me to keep quilting! I love how it looks and each square reminds me of where I was when I worked on it. The big flowers in the corners I did when Chris was in the Tupelo hospital for his chemo rounds before the stem cell transplant, and the red stars, I did in Nashville when he was getting his stem cell transplant. Also I changed the pattern a bit and did a tree by the house instead of a big flower because I wanted it to remind me of the big trees here in Mississippi by our first house we bought.

Chris accomplished a lot this year as coach! His team made so much improvement since last Fall. The boys listen to Chris, and pay more attention to the game and try to pass more, and are quick to throw in "down the line" and stand "goal side" of the other players they're defending.  Not only have they improved in soccer skills but they all seem to be good friends and trust Chris. The parents have been super kind and supportive. Chris really did a great job. 

Also, Chris and I have made lots of decisions! We've decided on carpet, paint, tile, linoleum, knobs, cabinets, garage door, and electrical fixtures (actually we delegated that decision to Joe... he really is so great). I think the last thing is toilets and exterior paint color. I forgot to take a picture of our three interior paint sample swatches until after they got prime-ed over. oops!