Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Fun 2014

We took the kids to a bug festival in State College.  Above the kids are having a cockroach race.  We had an interesting time looking at many dead and many live bugs, including watching a spider eat another spider inside a cage.
The kids and I have loved fall.  We spent a couple afternoons planting tulip bulbs so that our yard will look beautiful this coming spring.
We enjoyed making a gingerbread haunted house.
We had fun at Way Fruit Farm pumpkin patch.  We ate apple dumplings, held bunnies, picked out pumpkins, went on a ride, and picked apples.  Home school is still going well.  We are currently in a math unit that the kids are enjoying.  I love the artistic nature of the Waldorf program.  We are also having fun with lots of Halloween songs, stories and poetry.  Ryzen is now officially walking!  He was doing really well on the trip and within a few days of being home he just took off.  He walks everywhere now!  He still nurses and wakes up at night!  I know this needs to change and we are starting to make some progress. I think one of the reasons I've decided to nurse him so long is because I feel like it's my special bonding time with him.

19 Ticks
Yes, that's how many ticks that Mira had on her this week.  Ryzen opened the back door and she got out and headed into the forest behind our house.  When she came back in the was covered in ticks.  Dane took some tweezers and pulled off 15 before he gave up and we called the vet.  The vet found 4 more, and gave her Frontline (a topical solution) to kill any others that may be on her. Not a fan of ticks, no sir.

Aria's prayers
At the end of Aria's prayers each night, we've taught her to try and listen to see if she gets any inspiration in response to her prayer.  She's basically implemented that by saying things like, "Heavenly Father, if there's anything you'd like to tell me, please do."  And each night she reports to us that she heard Heavenly Father say something like "I love you very much."  Earlier this week, she reported an interesting experience.  She said she was told something to the effect, "Aria, you need to work on your prayers."  (Sometimes she says a pretty casual prayer without much thought.)  She found that very surprising and interesting.  A response like that gives me a little more encouragement that she may actually be listening to the spirit.

Northeast Trip

Last month the three kids and I drove from our town in State College, Pennsylvania all the way to Boston, Massachusetts- a 7-8 hour drive.  I was quite apprehensive about driving all that way with Ryzen, who is only 15 months old, and no other adult to help.  I had Ryzen seated next to Aria in the back seat.  Aria was a wonderful big sister.  She handed him snacks, drinks and played with him whenever he was in need.  We listened to two full books on tape and the kids only watched one short movie during our entire drive.  I was relieved with how well the drive went.  The only trouble came when we got to Boston.  We arrived at 6:00 PM .  The traffic was awful and even with my GPS unit, I kept taking wrong turns and getting into the wrong lanes.  It was stressful, but we finally made it.  My sister Sharalee and her family just moved to Boston about a month ago, so we got to see her new place and hang out with her for a few days.  My parents had also just flown in from Utah.

On our second day we went to a farm and picked apples.

My parents and I, along with the kids, took a 7 night cruise from Boston, all the way to Quebec, Canada.  Below is a picture of our first stop in Bar Harbor, Maine.  On our first night on the cruise I stayed up a little later then the kids to read a book.  After I had read for a bit, I checked my phone.  It said it was 2:30 AM! I couldn't believe it! How had I read that long!  Of course, I figured it had to be wrong, but I didn't know what time it was.  Ryzen woke up at 9:30 AM for the day (at least, that's what my phone said).  I wandered around the ship with Ryzen in my arms.  Hardly anyone was up.  Finally a worker told me that it was only 5:30 AM!

Below is a picture of our stop in Charlottetown.  The kids had fun collecting feathers and sea shells along the rocky inlet.  
One night on our cruise the waves were high and the wind was howling.  Our boat rocked quite a bit during the night which made for a challenging sleep.  When we awoke the next morning Aria's tummy was not feeling well.  She threw-up twice during that day because of the boat rocking. Thankfully the rest of the days were fine.

The kids loved swimming with my dad, and we tried to go swimming every day.  Ryzen wasn't allowed in the pool, so this made it challenging for me to swim because Ryzen never wanted to leave my side.  He was very clingy on the trip, probably because everything was so new.  I had to be holding him all the time, and if he was in a stroller then I had to be holding his hand.
I was crazy enough to bring these kids to many of the formal dinners.  Things usually started out well, but the kids would drink a glass of chocolate milk, a glass of apple juice, be completely full, and then spend the rest of the time getting into trouble- especially Ryzen.  My kids were the only kids on the entire boat, except for one other little boy.  Most of the old people on the ship were very kind and made comments about their own grand-kids, but we also got our fair share of disapproving looks. :)
My parents were so kind help out with my kids!  They could have had a much more relaxing trip without us, but they wanted us to come along.  I came and knocked on their door every morning with Ryzen around 6:30 AM and woke them up, so that we could hang out in their room until Aria and Zade woke up.

We enjoyed listening to this man play songs in the city of Quebec.  Ryzen started crying while we were listening and this man played him a lullaby.

After our cruise was over, we took a bus from Montreal to Vermont to visit my sister Shannon.  Unfortunately, we arrived late at the bus stop, so my parents missed the bus and had to take a later one that night.  The kids loved playing at the beach at Lake Champlain.
Aria and Zade pretended to build a beaver dam in the water.

I stayed at Shannon's house with Ryzen and my parents stayed in a hotel and took the older kids to sleep with them every night.
The water at the lake was so shallow that you could walk out 60 feet and the water would still be below your knees.
Here is picture of my mom and Shannon's baby Ashlyn.