Sunday, August 24

Growing Up, Having Fun in Ohio

We're still here in temporary housing. Our house will be ready on Thursday for the movers and for closing.
I've been here a week and already know probably a quarter of the people in the ward. I've gone to five (eight if I include non-church related ones) activities this week...that helps a lot. Already feel like I'm a long time member of their Relief Society because of how welcome they've made me feel and I've thrown myself into it. They love sports as much as I do and we've had volleyball and softball practices this week-and yesterday, at the Stake tournament, my first hit was a home run. My second hit, I only made it to first base but the sister behind me made a home run, I nearly pulled both my hamstrings so I had to sit down with ice on both of them for the rest of the time. I was satisfied though and it was fun even though I really overexerted myself.
The first Sunday here, so many people welcomed us I can't even remember half of them, and a family invited us over for dinner. Talk about on the ball.
One mom who is about my age isn't military, and has been here a little longer than me. She hates not knowing anyone, and I'm realizing how much you simply learn to get really involved quickly in order to make the best of each assignment. I'm trying to help her to feel more welcome and a part of things because I understand how it is when you're not used to moving around. I really love it here. One of about ten families has been here for a long time. Otherwise, I hear, families come and go as they are mostly military or just students with young families. The Young family, I've gotten to know already pretty well. I absolutely love them. Their fifteen year-old son watched Angela while I practiced volleyball in the gym. Each time I went to check on her, he was either singing to or playing with her. He's extremely talented in piano and voice. I wanted to stay just to listen to him. He was obviously having the time of his life with her. And I'm sure she enjoyed every minute of it. So sweet.

At a book store here, they have bi-weekly story time. On Saturday's they have themes for their story time. It's more than I ever imagined, I mean the kids do a craft related to the theme and have treats each time. This week, we read a Fancy Nancy book, made princess crowns and feather fans, they handed out stickers and little paper dolls with different outfits, and brought pink princess cookies served with milk. Everything here seems to be geared toward young families and people go all out to make the children in their lives their main priority...complete opposite from most in Los Angeles.

They just reorganized the RS Presidency. I'm excited to really get involved with everyone and everything. I want a calling.
It may take a while since there are so many new families due to the semester starting soon at more than one University here.
There are tons of YM and YW and two nursery's. Hyrum has two Sunbeam classes out of which I think there are two girls and the rest boys. So Hyrum has already found plenty of buddy's to hang out with.

We just signed Ginnie up for gymnastics/dance. I've just got to get her started on something. She's so talented and after the open gym yesterday, she's really excited. She's going to the older nursery since that's where she went the first time, and I tried taking her to the younger one since she is supposed to go there, but when she walked in, they were all babies/toddlers, half of which were crying and with runny noses. Ginnie took one look and wanted nothing to do with it. So, since she doesn't have a problem keeping up with the older ones, and feels that she fits in better there, they said they don't mind her going there. They were playing with play-dough at the beginning. Ginnie is pretty mature and tall for her age. So I'm glad they let her stay where she feels comfortable.

We're trying to get Hyrum into pre-school but we'll see if there are any openings. I happen to not be very good at working with him consistently on letters and numbers. I mean, I have always read to him a whole lot and he's picked up plenty that way-but I just can't fill in for pre-school. So I'm crossing my fingers hoping there is an opening for him at one school in particular.

Just hanging out on the chair

Angela is a crazy girl. She grabs whatever is in front of her with precision and strength and doesn't let go easily. Today, Ginnie was holding her peanut butter and honey sandwich eating it close to baby Ang while Daniel held her, when without warning, before Daniel had a chance to do anything about it, she had a handful of it in her mouth eating it. She did it twice in a row. That's how she is whenever she sees and smells any kind of food. She gets all hyperactive and complains, reaches for it with all her might. She's practically jumped out of my arms quite a few times-I have to be strong with her. When we put her down on her belly, she scoots to the side, backwards, almost spastically because she's so eager to just get going. She scoots backwards on her back as well, pushing her feet against the floor and arching her entire back off the floor like it's nothing. I don't know what I'm to do with her. It's the craziest thing seeing such a petite little powerhouse. She's going to be crawling any time now at this rate. She's got a feisty aggressive side that I'd seen little of until recently.

I'm excited to see my kids excel at their talents and to just learn outside our home as well as in.

Friday, August 22

Rustic Aviation Park

This is by far the most amazing park I've ever seen. It's almost all wood and is HUGE. I can only capture so much on camera. But it's fun for all ages. Dan and I were equally as excited to explore and play as the kids were. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18

The Zoo

Hey, where did you come from Dad?

While in Minnesota, we went to the zoo with my sister-in-law and her daughter. Unfortunately, I didn't have much space on my camera, so the few pictures I got were mostly of the fish tank. These are pretty cool though.

Hello Ohio!

We've FINALLY reached our destination. Got here Saturday night and had Church early Sunday morning. Our ward is only about FOUR times the size of our old one. There are lots of young families and teenagers and older, middle-aged couples.

I've gone to a playgroup this morning, I've got volleyball and softball practices, a lunch bunch (potluck and playing), a softball tournament to go to this week. The gym on base has a play area right next to the treadmills.
Our house is literally across the street from the mall which has Target and Walmart, Best Buy, Kohls and many other shopping places within a few blocks of each other.
We live within walking distance of the Elementary School, and the biggest city park.

On top of all these things, it's beautiful, green-lots of trees and openness. I can BREATHE for the first time in three years.

I've already got a couple friends and met plenty of others, a babysitter lined up and feel so welcome. Have I died and gone to Heaven? I feel like I've come out of Sodom and Gomorra and entered the city of Enoch -- okay, okay maybe a little over the top, but seriously, compared to the last place I lived, I feel like I'm in Heaven. I'll let ya know when reality hits.
I was feeling overwhelmed to say the least at the task of settling in and just figuring out where things are, what my schedule is going to be, etc.
Now that I've spent the day organizing my schedule, getting directions to various activities, and cleaning the temporary house (yes, house) that the military has given us to stay in for the next couple weeks before our new house will be ready for us, I feel a whole lot more excited about things.

So many people to get to know. So much to be happy about.

I'm already Ohio's number one fan.

If it wasn't so far away from both our families, I'd highly consider coming back here when we retire.

Thursday, August 14

"And he who is faithful shall overcome all things and shall be lifted up at the last day." Doctrine and Covenants 75:16

Saturday, August 9


We're staying at Dan's younger brother Steven's house with  his wife and two sons.  I've loved our stay here.  They are two of the best people I've ever met...and have made us feel welcome and comfortable.
I couldn't be more blessed when it  comes to in-laws.  And I'm not sure how many people can say that.
It's been a party.  Minnesota is beautiful and green and the people here seem to be more down to earth than most in Los Angeles.
Though it's been hard on the kids to travel and move so much from place to place, it's been a big treat for all of us being able to spend so much time with family and some friends.

My two girls are really enjoying getting to know one another.  One of the best parts of motherhood is watching siblings interact.

Any time Angela sees or hears either her brother or sister, she immediately directs her attention toward them and starts squealing, talking baby talk, and trying for all she's worth to get their attention.

She'll be four months old soon.  And as is consistent with her personality, she's eager to do everything before her time.

We can sit her on her bum and she balances with her hands in front to the sides a little, bent pretty far forward, nonetheless, she can hold herself there for quite a while.  I would have never known had Hyrum not just sat her that way one day.
I've let her suck on a nectarine and a couple other things, and if I pull it away, she gets a little mad.  So I don't think she'll be picky.
Having fun watching my children grow and learn new things.

I played with Ginnie and Hyrum at the park for close to three hours yesterday and realized as I sat and played imaginary games in the dirt, that so much time has gone by since I really played with them like that.  Where have I been for the last six months?   They've changed into more mature, smarter, more imaginative and a little bigger kids.  They're so much fun to hang out with when my focus is right.  I'd still like to improve in the area of playing with them more often.

Thursday, August 7

The Wheeler's

We've been visiting two of Dan's married brother's out of three.  And pretty much all of my kids' Wheeler cousins other than themselves.
These are two out of four families I haven't had much of a chance at getting to know.  Tonight, we went over to Dan's oldest brother's house and had a delicious dinner and homemade icecream.  We drew on the sidewalk with chalk, played in the backyard and I had the funnest time getting to know my sister-in-law whom I thought I didn't have much of anything in common with.  Come to find out we have more in common than most I talk to.
  It was great to see different sides of her than the few I've seen because of lack of opportunity to really get to know her.
One thing I've really come to realize is that everyone has their own trials that they're dealing with.  No matter what we may think we see on the outside, we never know what is going on.  That's why I love really getting to know other people and why they are the way they are.  That helps me to be a whole lot more of an understanding, tolerant, supportive, compassionate person.
I want to be someone with the ability to see right past any false pretenses, weaknesses, insecurities, and straight into the heart and soul of the individual I'm talking with.  That's a gift I'd like to acquire over time.
Another quality I'd like to have is the ability to be the type of person that nearly anyone can be comfortable around.
To add a little character, I also want to be my silly self around anyone and everyone and just have fun, not worry about trying to live up to society's unwritten rules and standards of what proper is.  I want to be myself, and encourage other's to be themselves as well...all in a respectful and considerate way  of course.
I so love all my in-laws.

Sunday, August 3

On the Road

   It's been fun seeing old friends from our dating days here in Colorado.  Still feels like home.
Time to keep going on our trek across the country.
Next stop, Omaha.  Then on to Rochester, MN to visit a couple of Dan's brothers and their little families.
   So glad we're finally back together and feeling like a family again.  After being apart for a while, it takes some adjusting.
   Everyone's sick except me now.  I got it first minus the cough.  Grateful I'm well enough to take care of everyone.  Dan's glad he's back with the family especially because he has a mommy/wife to take care of him.  He's got a fever and I really hope he sleeps well tonight because we have some driving to do tomorrow.  I'm going to take all the kids with me in the van so he doesn't have to worry about them.
   We've discovered something new about little Ang.  We think she's going to be a lefty.  She's advanced in many ways...seemingly determined to do anything and everything before her time.  She's grabbing and playing with toys like a pro and each time she does, her left hand gets there first and opens more quickly than her right.  She's obviously had a bit more practice with her left.  I have a feeling she's going to be into EVERYTHING when she's old enough.  She's the most entertaining baby to watch because of her determination and animated personality.  On top of her new found motor skills, she's discovered her voice which she loves to hear squeal in high pitched tones.  She's even started to say what sounds like "ma" when complaining and there's no mistaking how she's feeling at any given moment because of her facial and vocal expressions-an amazing communicator for a three month old.
   I just love her more every day and we're so grateful to have her as a part of our family.  Kids are such a blessing and joy to have around.
   Although Angela cried most of the first trip from LA to UT, she seems to be getting the hang of being in the car.  As long as she has someone or something to entertain her, she's good.
   Anyhow, I'd better get to bed so I can wake up early to get the cars loaded and get going.

Stellaluna and Cardboard Butterflies

  My thoughts have been turned to a famous LDS blogger.  Josh Weed is his name. He had come out with a post about four years ago decla...