Thursday, August 11, 2011

Countdown to grad school

Titres, skin tests, CPR certification. All the stuff I didn't know I needed to have before grad school is now messing up my trip-to-Utah plans before school starts. Grad school also wants my immunization records. As another 40-something classmate has also found out, we can't get those records because they no longer exist. I've had a few booster shots in the past two years that will count, but it looks like I will need a few more.

I've spent over $500 on textbooks for this upcoming semester, including 5 books for neurology alone. I love neurology but I will admit to some apprehension of the seeming insurmountable workload from that class alone. I need to pay tuition this week, too, and give information on my insurance for my SHIP waiver.

Kids school supplies have been purchased as well as most of the school clothes they will need. Still waiting anxiously for information on meet-the-teacher night as I still don't know who they will be.

Slowly things are being checked off my to-do list. I will admit to a small bit of anxiety in the realm of "Can I really do this?" But I know that this goal of grad school is a righteous goal and I will have all the help I need to accomplish it. God is great. He will not leave me alone.

I've been marveling at all the huge milestones our family will see during my two years of grad school:

* Firstborn has an interview this Sunday to be ordained an elder after which we will start marking off the checklist of everything to be done before his mission. He can turn in his papers in November. He'll leave for his mission sometime in February. He is hoping to serve in Africa like his grandparents.

*Secondborn will turn 16, be ordained a Priest which will allow him to bless the Sacrament. He will also start driving and dating (in my church, dating doesn't start until you turn 16). If you ask him which one he is more excited for between driving and dating, he will certainly tell you driving.

* Thirdborn will turn 12 and be ordained a deacon, which will allow him to pass the Sacrament. This is a big deal and he is so excited at the thought.

These are huge milestones in my church and my kids are really looking forward to them. Here is to the next two years. They will be monumental.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Camping at Horsethief Reservoir

We went camping up at Horsethief Reservoir. It was too overcrowded. We were lucky to get the last spot available. Since Mr. Wonderful and Firstborn were coming up later, Uncle Nate supervised Secondborn and Thirdborn in the making of fire. They tried flint and steel. Then they tried matches. Thirdborn spilled matches everywhere. It took a lot of tries but they finally got a decent fire burning.

Uncle Nate was so patient with the young pyromaniacs. He deserved a gold medal.

The boys ran to the lake to try to catch fish for dinner while Nate, Eliza, The Love Magnet and I waited back at camp.

Thirdborn came running back to camp with a huge fish. We were surprised he caught one so quickly. He told us he did not catch it, but that he found it. He thought a boat must have hit it. He wanted so badly to cook it for dinner. Mr. Wonderful and Uncle Nate had to point out that the coloring was off and that it would probably make him very sick if he tried eating it. Thirdborn was so disappointed. He really wanted to have trout for dinner. No way. Not this fish.
Finally it was time to cook brats (my back-up plan for dinner) and s'mores for dessert.
Thirdborn LOVED s'mores!
The Love Magnet loved s'mores!

Did Secondborn like s'mores? Not sure.

We kept the fire going pretty late. It was fun to sit around, watching the stars.

Three of the four tents we had between the eight of us. Plenty of room.

The morning was cold. Good thing we had three Eagle Scouts (Mr. Wonderful, Uncle Nate, and Firstborn) who knew how to build fires.

No, Thirdborn did not have a black eye. That was dirt all over his face. He slept with that all night and claimed he had just washed it.
After Mr. Wonderful's fabulous dutch oven Mountain Man breakfast, it was time to go fishing.

Mr. Wonderful bought a pink and yellow little kid's tube for The Love Magnet to play with. Secondborn decided to commandeer the apparatus for the more worthy pursuit of fishing.
Secondborn got pretty far out on that little tube. No fish were biting, though.
Thirdborn had great fun rescuing dragonflies from the water. When I asked him why he was doing that, he replied so he could use them to bait his fishhook. No fish were caught and we had to head home.
We stopped at Fisher Park in Cascade to see if we could catch something. By this time most of the campers looked like they were ready to head home to hot showers.
I just had to compare height between Firstborn and Secondborn. Yep, Secondborn has almost completely caught up to his bigger brother.
The Love Magnet fully monopolized Aunt Eliza. Poor Uncle Nate was trumped by his more popular wife.
Thirdborn had to try one last time. No fish were biting, not even in a small, fully stocked pond. *sigh* Maybe next time.

Fun at the Discovery Center

Uncle Nate and Aunt Eliza came for a last minute visit. We were so excited to have them over! First we took them to the Discovery Center. Nate disappeared with Secondborn to try all of the cool science experiments. Thirdborn and The Love Magnet beelined to the TVstation exhibit where they played with a green screen and pretended they had Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak.
Aunt Eliza tried out the bed of nails. Yes, she really is on a bed of nails. It is magic!

The Love Magnet played in the veterinarian's office helping all of the sick stuffed animal toys. After that we headed to the Boise Fry Company for a snack. We loved hanging out with Nate and Eliza!

Finally, the actual birthday.

Good morning, Love Magnet! It is finally your birthday!

Your brothers all gathered to sing to you.

Thirdborn made you a gourmet birthday breakfast for his gift. Firstborn took you on a surprise date to Build-A-Bear where you made a cute Rapunzel Princess Bunny. (The next day, Secondborn took you on a surprise date to a movie with popcorn and treats).

You wanted a birthday picnic at the local park, mainly because there was water to swim in.

You requested meatball subs, doritos, potato salad, watermelon, and rootbeer for your birthday picnic. You even helped shop for all the ingredients.

Auntie M and Uncle D came to celebrate with us.

Mom made you carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting. You weren't sure that you would like them, but after your first bite you declared the, "Delicious!"

Time for one more quick swim before going home for presents.
You decided it was the Best Birthday Ever.

Nine Great Things About The Love Magnet

1. She refers to her parents as Mother and Father. Not sure how she decided on this moniker as the boys refer to me as Madre or Mom and Mr. Wonderful is called Dad. She is constantly asking "When will my father be home?", or telling me "Mother, I love you so much!" I love it.

2. She refers to everyone by first and last name as one name. Its Janebrown, Johnsmith, get the picture. We think this stemmed from several kids in her school classes sharing the same name. What she used to separate them, she now uses for everyone.

3. The Love Magnet loves to help with the dishes or laundry. I hope this continues.

4. She prays like she means it. Every prayer is a regular conversation with her Heavenly Father. She blesses everyone she can think of and usually for specific blessings such as they will get better from being sick, or they will be able to sleep, or not be scared.

5. She shows appreciation for every meal multiple times. I get thanked for making a particular dinner the day of, the next day, and possibly several weeks later.

6. Whoever you are, you rank as her best friend.

7. The Love Magnet loves to write letters. I get one nearly every single day.

8. She loves to read to anyone who will listen. Today she read Snuggle Puppy to a van full of sleepy people on the way home from our camp out. Captive audience.

9. Unconditional love. She has it. She is willing to share it. Hopefully she is teaching the rest of us about it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sorry, folks. I'm trying as hard as I can to blog about The Love Magnet's 9th birthday, but for some reason, my pics are not posting. They download fine onto Facebook, just not on Blogger. I shall persevere and hopefully soon you will enjoy the pictures of the girl who enjoys her birthdays more than anyone else in the world.

8/6/2011 - I switched to Mozilla Firefox and everything is working great. Thanks to Marvelle for the tip!