05 June 2011

Interviews, Garage Sales, and Soccer Games

So, it’s been a long (but mostly good) week. Michael flew to San Diego early Sunday morning for the week so he could interview. He had three interviews, and they all went well. Right now we’re just making some decisions about which one to pursue. It will still be a while before anything’s set in stone, because with physicians they have to negotiate all the terms of their contract and have lawyers review it and everything. But the idea that we might actually have a job set up this far before it’s actually time for him to graduate is really exciting (Michael still has a year to go with his residency training). It would be so nice to have everything worked out in advance with a job, so there would be one less big thing to worry about next year when Michael will be taking his big board exam, we will be trying to sell our house, and working out all the details for another cross country move.

While Michael’s been off interviewing, and enjoying swimming in my parents’ pool and playing with our cute nieces, the boys and I have done our best to keep busy (and not think too much about the fun we were missing out on in San Diego). :) The nice warm sunny weather this week has helped with that too. On Memorial Day we went to the parade in Fairport Village, which the boys enjoyed (even though there wasn’t much candy thrown out at all). Then we went on a walk along the canal in Pittsford with our newest garage sale find: our three-seater wagon. Since then Camden has been asking every day if we can do a canal walk again, so we’ll have to do it again soon.

On Wednesday morning Isaac had speech therapy, and then we went to a Moms Club playgroup at Center Park. The boys enjoyed playing on the playground, and walking up to the top of a tall hill and then rolling or running down it. And all the little kids enjoyed petting Brax. (Oh, that reminds me – I want to get another dog, but Michael and I agreed to wait on that until after we move. But I decided what I want to name our next dog, if it’s a girl: Berkley. Brax and Berkley. Isn’t that cute? Michael doesn’t think so, but I do). Anyway, on Wednesday I finished the 7th Harry Potter book. I liked them quite a bit, although I don’t think Kolby will be old enough to read more than the first two books for a while. Now I want to get the movies from the library and watch them again, since I read the books.

On Thursday I had to water our vegetable garden for the first time since we planted this year, because we actually had a few days in a row without rain. The garden seems to be growing pretty well – we have lots of green strawberries, and some are already starting to get a little bit of a red hue to them, and a couple of the tomato plants are getting flowers, so that’s pretty exciting. That morning we went to the library, and they were having a book sale. I assumed the book sale would be a table or two of books for sale in the library, but it was actually in a separate building in the shopping center there, with rows and rows of tables covered in books. There were about 5 tables of kids books. So, we spent a while there, and ended up leaving with a big set of 32 ‘Eyewitness Books’ – they are these big books with lots of cool photos and little facts about all sorts of topics, and I used to love them when I was a kid, so I was pretty excited to add them to our library (and to get them for really, really cheap). Plus, some of the books for sale there were discarded from the library, but I think some of them were ones that were donated to the library and that they sold because they were duplicates, because this set didn’t have any library stickers or pockets or anything, so that’s nice. So, we’ll definitely be on the look-out for more of those, since there are tons more of them, and the boys have really enjoyed them so far.

That afternoon the boys had their piano lesson, then after dinner it was off to the church for the monthly women’s meeting.  They provide babysitting, so the boys went along.  There was a class about basic photography, and I was looking forward to it.  I have a nice camera, but I’ve always just used the automatic setting and then done different things like used the ‘sports’ or ‘indoors’ settings, but not done too much with things like the shutter speed and ISO (mostly because I don’t want to miss the cute shots of my very quick children while I’m trying to mess with the camera settings).  But while we were there I was trying out different things with the camera, and seeing what worked and what didn’t, while Brother Mathews was teaching the class.  What I heard of the class was really good, but the boys had a hard time, and we ended up leaving a little early that night.  (But, I do have to give the boys credit – other than being difficult for me that night at the church, they were really quite good for me this whole week, and I didn’t have to deal with any of the mischief from the prior week – like the syrup incident).  Anyways, here are a few of the pictures I took during the class while I was messing around with the camera settings, and since then I’ve even tried to use some different settings while taking pictures of the boys (I suppose there’s nothing to stop me from switching it back to ‘automatic,’ if one of the boys is being really cute and I’m afraid of missing the moment). 

On Friday morning Isaac had speech therapy again, then we headed out to a nearby neighborhood garage sale before Lijah had school.  We made out pretty well at the garage sales.  From two different sales, we collected 11 new ‘Magic Treehouse’ books to add to our collection for 25 cents each.  The boys and daddy have been having so much fun lately with their tradition of reading these books together, that I was excited to find so many more that we didn’t have yet.  And I found a ripstik (a kind of skateboard that several of the kids around here use) at another sale for just a few dollars, and got it for the boys.  It’s this skateboard that has just two wheels, that the wheels can rotate in any direction.  And to ride it you get on and then move your legs back and forth to create momentum (so unlike a skateboard where you have to kick off the ground to go faster, with this you don’t take your feet off the board, and you can even go uphill).  I think it’s cool – I really want to try it, but the last time I used a skateboard (when I was a teenager), I went down a hill, got going too fast, and skinned up my leg.  I just can’t see how I’d take care of the kids if I happened to break my leg on it or something.  Anyway, I was thinking the boys might need to be a little older before learning to use it, but then I watched a youtube video about how to learn to ride one, and then I saw lots of videos of little kids (ages 3, 4, 5, and 6) doing it.  Kolby and Lijah had fun practicing it the other day, and I think it’ll be fun for them to learn.  My one rule is that no one can use it at all without wearing a helmet. 


On Friday evening the boys finally had their first outdoor soccer practice of the season.  Kolby and Lijah both enjoy soccer (even though Lijah keeps calling it basketball by accident).  I didn’t get to watch much of the practice, because the younger boys insisted on going to the nearby playground, but I was able to see some of it, and get a couple good pictures of each of them playing. 


After the practice, we went to the Pittsford YMCA for a free family night, where the boys enjoyed pizza and a bounce house, then spent an hour in their adventure play room until the place closed at 9pm. They had a ton of fun. Too bad we can’t afford a YMCA membership.

On Saturday morning we got ready and headed to the soccer field for the boys’ first game. We were assigned to bring both the snacks and drinks (because we have two kids on the team). I asked what they usually bring, and they said juice boxes and chips – we don’t even eat that kind of stuff at home, why would we want to give it to kids after they’ve gone and done some healthy exercise? So, instead I cut up a bunch of oranges and brought capri sun flavored water (which was on sale at BJs). I waited to cut up the oranges until right before we left, since it was sprinkling a bit in the morning and I didn’t want to have 20 sliced oranges if the game happened to get cancelled, but luckily they didn’t cancel it. We loaded up the wagon with a picnic blanket, diaper bag, oranges, drinks, water bottles, balls, and Courtland, and enjoyed the game. The three younger boys even sat through quite a bit of it with me. Kolby and Lijah’s team tied the other team 4 to 4, and they have there next game tomorrow night. And, since they’ve missed so much of the season due to all the rain, they are making up the games at the end (so let’s cross our fingers for no more rain for the rest of their games). After we passed out snacks, we headed to the airport to pick up Michael. He was pretty worn out after a red eye flight, but we got home, the boys opened some fun birthday gifts that Nana and Papa had saved up and sent for them, including an adorable little hoody sweatshirt that my mom made for Isaac.  Thanks Mom, it's so cute!!!  Maybe I'll have to have you teach me to sew when we move there, if I could ever learn to sew such cute boy clothes as you can.

I dropped Lijah off at his friend, Lia’s, birthday party, and we had lunch. Michael took a shower and got in a short nap before I picked up the babysitter and Lijah, and we went to the temple. Our babysitter said that she doesn’t take payment for babysitting for people to go to the temple, which was really nice of her.

Then we had a roast for dinner. We’ve got this great new (and easy) roast recipe that is sooo good – just take a roast and put it in the crock pot. Then put in three seasoning packets: ranch dressing, Italian seasoning, and gravy. Then cover the roast with water, and let it cook on low all day (we did it for about 8 to 10 hours long). It is the juiciest roast you’ve ever had – it just falls apart. And it’s great for using the extra meat for BBQ sandwiches the next day. (Just make sure to cook it all day – we did it once and waiting until the afternoon to start it, and it was still good, but not nearly as juicy as if you cook it all day).

After dinner we went to a second free family night at the YMCA in Webster that we had heard about – someone here has a website called ‘Kids Out and About’ and it lists all sorts of fun kid’s activities, and has a section of all the free activities, which is where we’ve gotten some of our fun ideas lately. This one was all outdoors, and the boys had lots of fun. There was a large inflatable maze and giant slide that they went through over and over, and even Courtland went through and climbed the rope ladder to go down the slide repeatedly. Then they had a little area set up with a circular wall that was about 2 or 3 feet tall, and the kids would all jump in and play this game where they would roll this ball at each other. You could touch the ball with your hands, but if it touched you anywhere bellow the knees you had to jump out of the circle for that round, and if the ball bounced out of the circle the one who threw it had to go out. There were lots of kids playing, and they looked to be about age 5 up to young teenagers. Kolby and Lijah had lots of playing round after round of that game. Michael and the younger boys also did some hula hooping (and Michael said his abs hurt when he woke up this morning). And then there was a climbing wall that was way fun – it was really tall (at least 2 stories tall, if not 3). Unfortunately Isaac was the only one who wore shoes, while all the others wore flip flops, and shoes were required. But Isaac let his brothers use his shoes, and all but Kolby fit into them (even though Kolby tried the climbing wall with Isaac’s shoes halfway on). All but Courtland ended up trying it, and they each got up the wall about 10 feet high or so before they were done. And Michael climbed to the top too. It was a really fun night, and even better because Michael was home to enjoy it with us.

This morning Camden threw up when he woke up, and Kolby then threw up as he was walking out the door to go to church with Michael and the other boys. So the two of them ended up staying home with me. We watched ‘The Other Side of Heaven,’ a movie that I love. And the others just got home from church. I’m hoping that this is a very quick stomach bug, and it doesn’t run through all the kids. They seem to be doing ok so far this afternoon. We’ll see.

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