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Sunday, November 15, 2015

In which Peter grins at himself, and other kid things.

Resa ~

Well, probably the most exciting news is that Peter took several steps several times this week. Yay Peter! He's so proud of himself, too. The biggest grin you can imagine.

Of course, he gave himself that same grin at dinner tonight when he caught his reflection in the sliding glass door...

Speaking of Peter and his accomplishments this week, BJ took the kids to the park on Saturday. Peter climbed up to the medium slide, which is a circular slide, and slid down by himself. He climbed up to the tallest circular slide, too, but the girls distracted him and he forgot to slide down. I might be ok with that.

A local radio station started playing Christmas music before Halloween. I started listening to it while driving this week. One day I confessed to BJ that there might be Christmas music playing when he got in his car to go to work. That same day he started playing Christmas music on the piano. I think we were both spurred into the season by waking up to snow a couple of mornings this week. I will admit to having felt less justified at listening to it once the snow melted.

Have we told you about Clusters at Kessa's school? It's one of the reasons we decided to switch schools. For 6 weeks before Christmas and 8 weeks (or is it 10? I can't remember) after, the kids get to do Clusters. Basically, it is 1.5 hour long lessons once a week, that are non-common core. The teachers all teach them, and parents are invited to teach if they want. (This time only 3 aren't teachers. Hopefully more do it next time.) As to topics, the sky is the limit. (Speaking of the sky... BJ decided to teach about the moon. :D Surprise!) They've done mummification, soap creations (that's the one Kessa is in right now), 3D art, a cappella, jewelry making, dance, etc. But the key portion that scares me as a potential teacher... the classes are student-led. Meaning, the teacher isn't supposed to make a lesson plan. They're supposed to let the kids decide what to do and how to do it. And at the end of the session, they are supposed to have a good, service, or performance to give to an authentic audience (meaning: not parents. We support them no matter what. They want an audience that actually cares about the topic.) Anyway, it's been fun for BJ. You should ask him about it.

We hung up our Thankful tree a few weeks ago. But recently Kessa decided we should all write, "like 10 each." So we just filled up all the leaves I had cut. It was starting to fill up the tree (and we wanted to cut more later), so we decided to let the wind blow some leaves off. We do live in Lehi, after all.

In an attempt to get rid of some of the toys in this house, I asked the girls to give some toys away before we got new toys for Christmas. We put them in a big Rubbermaid tub and I set them on the couch temporarily, then left. When I cam back, both girls were sitting inside the tub, playing with all the toys that they don't like, or they don't play with anymore. lol.

Abby just asked me to turn up the volume on the iPad. “It's just so nervous.”
Abby was stomping around in an obvious potty dance. She saw me look at her and declared quickly, “I'm a stomping elephant!” (That girl is very creative at insisting that she doesn't need to go to the bathroom.)
Me: I can help you go potty, but then you won't get a sticker. 
Abby: I don't want a sticker; I had too much food. 
Me: [blink] I have no idea what that means. 
Abby, angrily: It means nuffing!
Tonight we were acting out the story of Peter healing the lame man in Acts 3 (Kessa requested a story about jumping. The lame man leaps when he is healed.)
Kessa was the lame man, leaving Abby to be Peter. Except she didn't want to be Peter!Hazards of having a sibling named after a bible character. (Someday we should act out the Abigail story, as that's who she was named after.)
So we called her Simon for the duration of the play. :D Thanks, Peter, for having two names!


<3 Tianna and Co.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This is Halloween; this is Halloween.

Hermana Homer ~

See! I promised I would write tonight! Didn't I promise? 

I've been reading my old blog. The one I started when I was single (with BJ's help, actually. Go figure) when I went to Jerusalem. The other night BJ and I were reminiscing about our courtship and he mentioned something about how he first started to like-like me when reading my blog. Specifically how I took touristy things and made them spiritual and applicable to bettering myself. I knew this, but it hit me right then that I should go back and read it and see what about my blog that intrigued him so much. I don't remember being all spiritually awesome.

Teresa, it has been the best experience ever. I have been impressed with my own spiritual impressions. I have forgotten a lot of them. There were several times I would say things like, "I know why I'm here now. I needed to learn X, Y, and Z so I could go home and implement them in my life." The thing is, Resa, I still haven't mastered those things. They were all things I needed to hear again. And likely I will need to hear them again multiple times through my life. It made me want to make little signs out of them and hang them throughout my house as little reminders. And so many things I completely forgot about. It was like learning them afresh.

I've spent a fair amount of time the last few days wondering why I was on such a spiritual high then, when I don't feel like I am now. I have concluded it is due to my high level of spiritual immersion. Day in and day out I was in class learning about the Bible. I was going to holy places and learning the stories around them, then singing hymns (we sang soooo many hymns there. It was fantastic). I looked out over Old Jerusalem during almost every sacrament meeting. My even my relaxing Sabbath day activities included things like going to the Garden of Gethsemane, quietly read scriptures and write in my journal for an hour, sing hymns in harmony with 4-6 other students, then go back home. Because of my major, I already knew a lot of the things we were learning, so I became a mentor to many people. That combined with my love of story telling made me quite popular around test time. :) But that also meant that I was constantly telling and retelling scripture stories and discussing their pertinence to us today. With my whole life immersed in scripture, how could I not spew forth spiritual insights with every blog post?

I tell you this not to pat myself on the back, but more as a bit of advice to you. You are currently spiritually immersed. You spend all day reading, thinking, and talking about Christ and the gospel. You are service-minded. Because of that, you are going to have a lot of spiritual insight. You are going to get a lot of inspiration about things you need you change and do better at, both on the mission and when you come home. You will learn and grow so much! Please, do yourself a favor. Write in your journal often. Write in detail. Someday, you will be back to focusing on yourself, and won't be quite so in tune with the Spirit. Let your mission self teach your future self again sometime.

Ok, off my preaching platform here. :D 

Halloween! It was a busy week. Tuesday Kessa got to wear her costume (a fairy) to ballet. Wednesday Abby got to wear hers (a white kitty, patterned after Creampuff) to music class. That morning she christened her kitty self Lily and wouldn't answer to anything else. Thursday Abby got to wear her costume to Joy School, where they did a Halloween parade and sang us songs. It was super cute. Unfortunately, that's also when she started showing signs of being sick. By that afternoon she was asleep on the couch, miserable, and with a fever of around 102ยบ. She spent the rest of the day wanting nothing more than to cuddle with me.

Honestly, of all illnesses my kids could have, a fever with no other symptoms is probably my favorite. Because they just want to cuddle, and I don't feel any guilt dropping everything else and just laying around with them all day.

Unfortunately, it meant she didn't get to go to Trunk or Treat on Friday. But, though her fever was gone, she was still rather miserable all day Friday, so she didn't really miss it, I think. She fell asleep on the bean bag chair while Kessa and I were gone.

Backing up a bit, Friday Kessa got to wear her costume to school, had early out, got to wear it to the dentist (she had a cavity filled) and got a piece of candy for it (ironic, that). Then after dinner she and I went to Trunk or Treat.

Saturday we went to Cornbelly's for the afternoon, then came back and trick or treated. (Peter finally dressed up this time and went around. He was a pumpkin. I figured he's a boy, thus he must want to do something gruesome like be a cannibal, right? ;) haha) They got So Much Candy. Thankfully, they happily agreed to do the Switch Witch again. So now they each have 5 pieces of candy and the Switch Witch has a gallon sized bag stuffed full of candy. Awesome.


Kessa, trying to convince us to let her stay up extra late tonight: But I'm speeding nice!
Editor's note: We're wondering if this is similar to being storming night. haha.
Kessa, singing: I'm going to stone, stone, stone my sillies out.
Abby, telling me that there were monsters where I was: It's OK. They are bad, but they won't hurt nice.

Alright, I'll get this sent now. Good luck heading back to the states! Get lots of sleep. Have too much silly fun. And draw a maze for Kessa. Did you ever get the card she sent you, btw?

<3 Tianna and Co.