Monday, 22 April 2013

I've Still Got It

It is always difficult to come down from the high of a really great weekend. On Saturday morning, Zoe woke up early and headed to a volleyball tournament in Sussex.  Then we picked her up and took the whole family to Fredericton for a conference that was being held in our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For Mr. Level-Headed and I, we eagerly attend these conferences because it is an opportunity to connect with dear friends from all the Atlantic provinces and to be spiritually nourished, uplifted and enlightened. For the kids, it is nothing but one gigantic party! Can you imagine staying in a  hotel with some of your bestest and most wildest friends? There was swimming, there was X-Boxing, there was prank-your-sister-and-lock-her-out-of-the-room, there was get-back-at-your-snotty-nosed-brothers-and-make-them-pay, there was pizza, there was pop, and there was a whole lot of running and squealing. 

When we returned home Sunday afternoon, everyone was exhausted! Mr. Level-Headed took a nap, I read a book, and the kids watched a movie.  Everything was going pretty good until the boys broke out into one rip-roaring fist fight and mama decided that everyone had had enough screen time for the day. There was whining, there was crying, there was bickering and there was a whole lot of teasing. Feeling the resolve, the hope, and the energy that had been restored to me from our spiritual feast of a weekend fading quickly and noticing that it was only 7pm, I ordered everyone into my bed. I asked Avery, the only cooperative one of the bunch, to choose a book, and then we snuggled up beneath my warm, cosy duvet.

The whining continued:

Ugh! Not the Hobbit!

I know everything about this book!

Ahhhh! He's touching me!

He's breathing on me!

Then the giggles erupted:

She's tickling me!

He's making faces at me.

In spite of their interruptions, I kept on reading. Eventually, everyone quieted down. They snuggled deeper within the blankets, and they moved in closer to one another. Then nothing short of a miracle happened: one by one my not-so-little kids fell asleep. I was shocked, and very excited with this unexpected turn of events. Zoe went first, then Elliot and finally, Avery. With their warm, quiet bodies sleeping soundly beside me, I continued to read. I did not want this moment to end, and so I finished reading the lengthy chapter. Between the rhythm of my words and their slumbering breaths, my peace was restored. I looked upon their sweet faces and could not remember the last time I had put them all to sleep in my bed with a bedtime story. I did not move for the longest time. I sat there soaking up the beauty of this moment, reflecting upon the joy my family brings me, and thanking Heavenly Father for one more opportunity, and quite possibly my last, to put all of my babies to sleep.

This is going to be a fantastic week!  I just know it.

Due to the nature of teenagers, I thought it best not to include a picture of the sleeping Baby Girl. :)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Writer's Block

I feel guilty for not taking the time each day to post some of the shenanigans that have been going  on here lately, but try as I might, I just can't seem to do it. As disappointing as it may be for you, it is very unsettling for me. I have just spent the last forty-five minutes trying to write a blog post and it isn't happening. I get a paragraph done, and I erase it. I stare at the screen and take another go at it, but then I delete it.The words are not there. The ideas are not formulated. I've got nothing!

But, know this:

we are all happy,

we are all healthy,

 and we are all still crazy in love with this life we have created a ferry crossing away.

It's just for once in my life, I don't have the words to express how awesome it all is.

Grrrrrrrrrr! Stupid writer's block.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Great Lego Mishap

On Sunday morning, the boys woke up and excitedly headed to the basement to play because we did not have to go to church that morning. Twice a year, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints host a two day conference, which is broadcasted on the Internet for everyone to see. You can go to the chapel to watch it, but our family chooses to watch it from the comfort of our home. It was lovely! I got to spend the entire day lounging on the couch, eating lots of yummy treats while being spiritually uplifted, strengthened and nourished by the wonderful men and women of our church. I love conference weekend! You can check it out for  yourself here

Anyhoo . . . 

So, the boys headed to the basement to play with Lego. As they were going downstairs, they told me they wanted to build a gum ball machine. I was highly sceptical of this venture and told them there is probably a set we could buy to build one, but that they probably could not do it on their own.

Grrrrrrrr! Me and my adult brain really suck sometimes!

Thankfully my boys are not prone to listening to me, and they got to work in spite of my lack of encouragement.

Grrrrrrrr! Sometimes I can really be a lousy mom.

Thirty minutes later they came running up the stairs proudly carrying their newest invention:

The Jelly Bean Dispenser!
(we had no gumballs in the house)

My adult brain was blown away! I apologised to the boys and explained to them that all I could picture  with my limited imagination was the fancy gumball machines you buy in stores. I thought they were going to try and recreate one of them, which would have been very difficult; however, they did something even better.  They came up with their own design. They used their own imagination to create a jelly bean dispenser that worked! I apologised again and told them both how proud I was of them.

While they were presenting their invention, though, the jelly beans got stuck a couple of times. This would not do. So, they packed up their stuff and headed back to the basement. Eventually they came back up with an upgraded version of their jelly bean dispenser, and this time it did not jam. It also had a fancy basket on the bottom to catch the jelly beans before they rolled all over the table.

Again, I was blown away. The boys, pleased with the work they had done, left the dispenser on the coffee table and went back to the basement to play and create.

An hour later, Baby Girl woke up and joined me on the couch to watch the Young Women's conference broadcast.  These talks are directed to the young women of the church and their mothers. They are always very touching, very inspirational, and very tear-inducing. This was our favourite one!

While we were watching the broadcast, I looked over to see that Zoe was building something out of Lego. I chuckled because she always needs to be doing something with her hands. Then I gasped in horror!

Zoe, where did you get those Lego pieces?

They were here on the coffee table.

Did you take something apart to get them?

Yeah, why?

That was the boys' jelly bean dispenser. They worked on it all morning! AND it actually worked.


Unfortunately no matter how hard she tried and even with the pictures I had taken of the invention, she was unable to fix it. Avery took the news okay. He was upset, but he quickly forgave her after she said she would work on a word search with him. Elliot, on the other hand, was devastated:

I curse you and all of your descendants, Zoe!

Where does he come up with this stuff?

Eventually he did forgive and forget, but sadly, the machine is no longer. I just hope their doubting mother and their destructible sister have not squashed their inventive genius for good.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Our Newst Addition to the Homeschool Curriculum

As I laid in bed this morning, willing myself to get up and start our day, I heard a commotion out in the living room. Being the responsible mom that I am, I ignored it and carried on with my own morning routine. When I finally emerged from my room, I saw the boys in the middle of an intense sword battle. Upon further investigation, I learnt that the boys had set their alarm clock the night before to wake them up for Early Morning Weapon Training. Honestly, I would love to say I was shocked, but I think I am well beyond that point with these two. 

Now their off to the trampoline to work on their hand-to-hand combat manoeuvres. I have a sneaky suspicion that this is not going to turn out well.

Why can't they get this excited for homeschool?

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The Bestest Easter Weekend

Wow! We couldn't have asked for a better Easter weekend. The sun was shining, my sister, Hilary, was home for the weekend, which meant my entire family was able to get together for the holiday, and there was chocolate, oodles and oodles of chocolate. What more could I ask for? All kidding aside, though. I was truly humbled this weekend by the many blessings in my life. I have the most amazing kids, the most loving husband, and the most craziest, all-round awesome family a girl could ever ask for. There were eighteen people crammed into my tiny home on Sunday for Easter dinner! Eighteen! Truly, I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Here's a little peak into our weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of our huge homeschool Easter party that kicked the weekend off or of our family-filled Easter dinner. I guess I was having too much fun.

^^bubbles were blown^^

^^shorts and wool socks were worn . . . what a great look!^^

^^sunglasses and hugs were plenty^^

^^bikes were ridden^^

^^eggs were hunted for^^

 . . . the final tally came in at 70 something for Zoe, 30 something for Elliot and 20 something for Avery. We used to have an Easter egg equalisation program in effect, but we are adopting a new parenting philosophy now: the school of hard knocks.

^^clues were written^^

^^gifts were hidden^^

^^clues were found and solved^^

^^puppies were confused^^

^^backyards were trampled^^

^^surly teenagers grew tired and even more bossy^^

^^ at long last, presents were found^^ 

^^and finally games were played^^

It truly was the bestest Easter weekend ever!