Tuesday, May 1

Family Update

Although we are just renting, we're having fun using this as our "practice house" because we think we may be able to build our permanent home after this assignment depending on if Dan is able to get a follow on to the Academy to teach Physics in Colorado Springs.  That is where we are planning on raising our family.

I have built a garden box, and we planted our garden and flowers.  We also leveled and put down lining for grass, and have finally planted our grass seed (just saw the first of it yesterday popping up).  Here in Albuquerque, it is mostly desert landscaping, and they have a law that only forty percent of your yard can be grass.  I've painted and almost finished drilling together our giant sandbox for the kids (12'x8') and will soon put it into the ground and fill it with sand.

I am ordering a couple small trampolines and digging holes in the ground just beyond the grass for them.
Anyhow, we're having fun getting that all put together, it's a big project, our backyard is huge and pretty much all dirt at the moment.

I am due with a baby boy on August 10th.  We are planning on naming him Joshua Dale, and although it's expensive, I am having a home water birth with midwives.  I have no more desire to give birth in hospitals if I can avoid it-and I think Dan and RaNae (my sis-in-law and her husband) are onto something (delivering their last three unassisted in their home).  Midwives are expensive-and the only ones covered by insurance are certified nurse-midwives (who generally work in hospitals these days).

Hyrum will soon be eight.  But our kids are all now even ages other than him.  Six, four, two.  Sarah is sort of potty-training herself.  She usually goes one to two times a day in the potty.  She talks a mile a minute and so fun to have around.  Angela has had a bit of a speech delay, but is quickly catching up now, and it seems that Sarah is helping her with that. They are good little friends and a great balance for each other's personalities.
Virginia is way beyond her year in school.  She'll be going into first grade, but has been complaining about being tired of doing homework that is too easy.  I try to supplement with math pages, and she reads a lot (probably more fluent than Hyrum at this point). I would have her skip a grade, but I think that social and emotional development are important with her age group. She is about level in size to Hyrum, and most people think she's eight with the way she acts, and her size.
Hyrum is an artist, and is into Sonic right now (Sonic the Hedgehog on Jaroo.com).  He's been struggling with anxiety and stress, and has unfortunately been the target of some bullying.  I'm doing my best to help him learn skills in dealing with it, because it seems that all his "friends" have and are continuing to do it.  He is forgiving and kind, and very well-behaved at school-I hope he is able to work through it, and be stronger for it.  I feel it important for my kids to attend public school so they can learn early on how to deal with different people and situations away from the comforts of home.

Anyhow, that's about it.  Daniel's work at the research lab is going well.  He is doing contracting (says it feels an awful lot like babysitting) getting people to follow through and get along has been quite the challenge for him.  He'll be happy when their biggest contract is met in a couple of years, and then he'll opt to be done with the assignment and be able to move on.  It has been more stressful than other jobs he's had throughout his career.

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