Monday, November 29, 2010

10 Great Things About Thirdborn

Today my Thirdborn turned 10 years old. To celebrate him, here are ten fabulous things about him.
1. This kid understands gratitude. He is so grateful for everyone and everything. He never forgets to say "thank you".
2. Thirdborn loves learning everything science. He was so excited to receive a microscope/science kit and a crystal-growing kit for his birthday. He loves studying animals and can rattle off science trivia that would astound you.
3. If you are new in school then Thirdborn will be your first friend. He seeks out the new kids and pulls them into his group.
4. This kid can climb. Take him to a climbing wall and he will beat you to the top.
5. Thirdborn is my sensitive kid. If he sees someone suffering, he feels such empathy towards them. Many times I have caught him with tears in his eyes when he sees someone who is hurt, homeless, or just sad.
6. Thirdborn loves Scouting. He never wants to miss a den meeting and comes home full of facts and ideas that he wants to try at home. (Let me just add here: God bless his scout leaders!)
7. He has silver eyelashes. It's really from vitiligo but we tell him that the stars in his eyes caused his lashes to go silver. He thinks they're pretty cool.
8. This kid thinks out of the box. He comes up with the craziest theories and coolest solutions. I think it might have to do with having dyslexia. Some of the most creative minds had dyslexia.
9. He is the spitting image of his daddy. Of all of our boys, he looks the most like Mr. Wonderful. I really should put their pics side by side in another post and let you judge.
10. Thirdborn is my hero. He has really struggled with his learning disabilities, yet I have never witnessed him to have a bad attitude about it. He works hard every single day and stays positive.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Mr. Wonderful hung out with his little brother...

and Thirdborn played with the train sets, pinball machines, and air hockey table...

(seems more like Christmas than Thanksgiving, doesn't it?)

and the Love Magnet read aloud to anyone who would listen...

Secondborn made a batch of his famous Baconator Deviled Eggs.

Grandma Wonderful told of the lastest in the family history search. We now know that we have relatives who were abducted by pirates and made to serve as cabin boys until they escaped.

(Disney-Pixar will be calling soon for the film rights.)

I made my (famous only to me) Streuseled Sweet Potatoes.

(Actually they were very well received thankyouverymuch.)

Mr. Wonderful played with his little niece. She loved him, of course.

She smiled for everyone. Little Charmer.

Soon it was time to finish the platters and sit down for our meal.

We were requested by Grandma to each say for what we were thankful.

I'm thankful for this guy. Secondborn's sense of humor cracks me up every single time. I am so proud of his cooking. He is always so kind to others.

I'm grateful for this one, too. Firstborn has really shown his leadership skills as swim team captain this year. He is also learning to be more patient and it shows.

Thirdborn is my hero. He has really worked hard this year to do better in reading and math. He will be a great scientist someday.

I am grateful for the Love Magnet, too. Unfortunately, her pic did not load up and I can't figure out why.
Did I ever tell you how much I love my in-loves? Even when they threaten me for taking their pictures. They don't like cameras. Hah! Got Grandpa Wonderful anyway!

And the record-for-future genereations "What did you used to eat for Thanksgiving?"
Later in the evening, we went to another brother-in-loves house for dessert. Grandma played with my sweet niece.
While I snapped Wendywoo snapping. This is the chickie who is AMAZING at decorating. See her decorating blog here. She has promised to come do my house (that is if they ever come to Idaho again). In the meantime, you could hire her to do your house.
My nephew and the boys escaped downstairs to play video games. Mr. Wonderful traipsed off with his brother to try to find a frozen pipe. That left my in-loves, my niece, and I to eat pie.
Happy Thanksgiving! Today I am going to the movies and then off to the Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU. I hope you have a fun day planned, too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Over the river and through the woods

Actually, we should be singing "over the snow-packed freeway past dozens of flipped vehicles.." The roads in Idaho were horrible. We took it very slow and were relieved to make it past the border into Utah where the roads were clear.
I have really missed my mountains.
We made it to the Wasatch Front just as the sun started to go down.
The sunset kept changing as the clouds kept changing.
It became dark just as we reached Layton
Smack in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley is the home of the parents of Mr. Wonderful. Grandma Wonderful loves to collect toys for the grandkids to play with when they visit.
She even found a computerized chess board because she knew Secondborn loved to play chess.
We are so grateful we made it safely and are looking forward to Thanksgiving with family tomorrow. I'm making my usual Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole and brussel sprouts with bacon and mushrooms. Secondborn is making is famous Baconator Deviled Eggs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GRE panic........and calm.....

I took the GRE last night. And I bombed it.

Actually, it was a practice GRE, the third practice GRE I had done, and the first one I tried while timed.

I hated that little clock on the screen. It ticked like a time bomb and shattered my belief in myself. I scored horribly low on that practice test. After staring at the computer screen in shock, I started to cry. Hard. Then I got to my knees and started to pray. Hard. The tears didn't stop, they just came faster.

Please, Heavenly Father, I can't fail.

I know the taste of failure. It has happened so many times. My whole grad school future hinges on being able to score well on the GRE. I prayed and cried, cried and prayed.

Mr. Wonderful heard about it late last night after the kids were in bed. He heard me out, let me cry on his shoulder, counseled me, and promised to give me a priesthood blessing the next morning.

This morning, before the kids were up, Mr. Wonderful gave me a blessing in which he reminded me whose daughter I was and blessed me to have a calm spirit and clear recall of the things I studied.

I felt calm. I was so calm during my morning class that my classmates wondered what was wrong with me. Usually I am talkative - not this morning. I breezed through a quiz I had in class this morning, then left to review for the GRE.

This afternoon, I entered the testing center still feeling calm. I filled out the paperwork, hand copied the paragraph stating that I would not cheat, showed I.D., and stowed all my belongings in a locker - including a watch they told me I couldn't wear. They even made me turn my pockets inside out. All I could take in were two pencils and four sheets of yellow paper.

I walked in calmly. My hands weren't even shaking.

Noise reduction headphones - on.

Place paper, pencils, and I.D. just so,

Scroll through the directions.

Deep breath and quick stretch.


I think I rocked the essays. The quantitative was stressful. The problems I could not figure out in 2 minutes, I did a best guess of elimination and moved on. At least I finished the section with 2 seconds to spare. During the verbal, there were only two words I did not know but I could break them down and make a guess between two of the five answers available.

I did better on the quant than I thought I would but not great. I wasn't sure if I did well on the verbal until I looked up the percentage. According to the ETS website (if I understood it correctly) I did very well on the verbal.

I need to talk to my counselor to see if my scores were good enough for grad school, or should I take it again and hope for better on the math. I won't have my full scores with essays for two weeks.

Overall, I feel pretty good. Calm. Really calm.

Hopefully that feeling will last all through Thanksgiving break.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Trials, frustrations, and tender mercies

This past week was a short school week for the kids. Parent Teacher Conferences.

I dread them.

It's hard to go in with a good attitude, even though I know that all the adults present are there in the best interest of my children. But it seems that every session is more negative and rarely positive.

This year it was a lot about The Love Magnet's potty accidents that started this school year and seem to be getting worse. There were also behavior issues. Then there was the 'less-able-than-we thought'. I managed to make it through the entire session without crying (a record for me) but still had to mentally steel myself and try to inhale the tears back through my tear ducts.

In Thirdborn's session, it was to see his test scores and the grade equivalent of his reading level. I do not hold much to the grade equivalent. At one point I realized that my body posture was showing my attitude and quickly uncrossed my arms and sat up straighter.

Trials and frustrations.

Thankfully, Mrs. A, the resource teacher, took me into her room and showed me Thirdborn's successes and that told me that she didn't think his grade equivalent was accurate, either.

Tender mercies.

Firstborn's and Secondborn's teachers all had interesting things to say. Some positives, some negatives, and some surprises.


I spent yesterday working on an assessment project that I desperately need to score well to improve my grade. The teacher said not to stress to much about it. But it is hard writing a diagnostic when I've never done it before, especially when I have to make up some of the testing data.


Today I stuffed my freezer full of chicken from a fabulous sale. It feels good to know that we have food and food storage. It's my sense of accomplishment this week, where my family is concerned.

Tender mercies.

Today, The Love Magnet helped me plant 60 bulbs in our front yard. We pulled weeds and roots. We found worms. I had accidentally cut one in half. The Love Magnet just thought it was a mama worm with her baby worm and declared "Oh, that is so sweeeet!" We watched them squirm back into the dirt. We counted bulbs. My daughter made sure that each one she placed in the ground had the pointed side up. As we were digging in the dirt, I had a prompting: "Savor this moment". It was the first time I had slowed down all week and did something not involving a textbook. The air was warm and the sun shined on our backs - the last gorgeous day of fall.

Tender mercies.