Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What makes them special...

Kate and Owen had to make a flower with petals listing off what makes them special.

Owen:
I like reading.
I am nice to others.
I'm a good friend.
I love Math.
I'm a good BFF.
I'm really SAFE.
I am a good student.
My BFF is Maddelynn.

Kate:
I like to eat a lot.
I like Mrs. Baker.
I love my family.
I like my school.
I love parties.
I love donuts.
I like lunch.
I love candy.

Yep.  That's about right.

Grammy and Poppa visit

Our Grammy and Poppa Miller are the best. We feel so loved when, every few months, they make a trip up to Roseburg to see us and their grandkids! This time did not disappoint. They flew here for a one week stay, and while they were here we had so much fun. We went to Wild Life Safari (twice- it's Terry's favorite), Dino's (and a lot of other yummy food), and the boys spent a day golfing 36 holes at Bandon Dunes while Kathy and I worked on my food storage and finally filled up my 55-gallon water tanks that have been empty for 2 years! It was the best! We also did the usual soccer practices, dance practice, and we got to watch Owen in a soccer game. We love them so much and I especially was grateful for their company. I had been in a bit of a funk, stuck in the drudgery of day to day nonstop laundry and dishes, and I feel like I've been kick-started back to life a little bit. :)
Lucy, Joslyn and I drove Terry and Kathy to the Medford Airport, and, after stopping by the Medford Temple,  we stopped at a little farm and pumpkin patch before their flight.  We were able to get in the pen and pet the goats.  Terry bought some goat food, and we unwisely started feeding the goats while we were still in the pen.  They started getting aggressive towards each other, and the next thing I knew, one of them lowered their heads and did a warning type ram into the side of Lucy's face!!  I grabbed her immediately and got right out of there, and she kept petting her cheek and saying "Oww" in a soft sad little voice.  My sweet baby.  Luckily I saw the whole thing and the lamb didn't get her too hard.  Lesson learned.  Sorry baby.  We made it up to her with hot dogs and milkshakes and 100% access to a salt shaker.
    

About Reverence

I have had a rough time with my kids in sacrament meeting lately.  Lucy and Joslyn are especially difficult.  One Sunday last month, the two littles were being really challenging, and on top of that, my seven year olds were being irreverent as well.  Kyle was out in the lobby with Lucy during the last talk, (I had already taken Joslyn out twice for time out) and Owen was trying to lay down on the floor in our pew, loudly complaining about how hot he was.  I ended up grabbing him from the floor and tossing him out of our pew to go join Kyle.  Not my finest moment, and as soon as the closing prayer was said, I ran out into the parking lot sobbing.  haha This never happens- but apparently I had had enough.

Needless to say, I knew things had to change.  After trying multiple warnings and a few other fruitless ventures, I had a friend recommend something BRILLIANT.  She suggested I have Joslyn practice being reverent.  So every day for a week, I pulled our dining room chair out to the middle of the room and had Joslyn practice sitting still and quiet for 15 minutes.  If she started acting too irreverent then we'd start the time over.  The first day we only had to start over once, although a few days in, it took us almost an hour to get the 15 minutes of quiet in.  

On that day, we kept having to start over and I was starting to get frustrating so I told her we were done for the day and I put her in her room for a time out/nap.  She was so sad that I had put her in there, and as I walked away, I heard her just wailing!  Wailing things like "Heavenly Father!  Please!  Let my mom come and open the door!  Please Heavenly Father!  Please!  My mom!  She's a good mom!  Please!  I want her to open the door!"  It was so incredibly sweet and funny.  I had never heard her wail/plead like that before.  I gave her a minute and then opened the door and we went back up to try one more time and she didn't more a muscle for 15 minutes.  I had to give her the biggest hug afterwards.  She's so sweet.  

It was a real revelation to me actually.  I don't think Joslyn had ever had to sit quietly and still for an extended period of time.  How could I expect her to do that in church if she had never had to do that before?!  We practiced every day for a week, (after the above incident she improved dramatically) and Joslyn's behavior in sacrament meeting has improved 100%.  I haven't had to take her out in the hallway once.  Things are looking up.  

Bike-a-thon

Josi's school had a little bike-a-thon the other day. It was pretty adorable. We hadn't bought Josi a bike yet so she had to use a little tricycle that was way too small for her. I couldn't help but reminisce about when Kate and Owen were doing the same thing, and Josi was the same age as Lucy is now.  Joslyn gets so shy around other people.  When it was her turn to ride, she ducked her head and opened her mouth and slowly moved forward.  I was cheering for her and she ended up doing laps around the 2 little boys she was riding with.
  


Day to day

I feel very blessed that I get to stay at home with my kids. These pictures are all just memories I get to witness as I stay home with them, along with the day to day happenings in the Miller home.

Lucy eats all of her food with her fingers.  Every sandwich I make her, she opens up and scraps out the inside.  I personally think she's a little young for a carb-free diet.
 
  One random morning my kids brought me in some eggo waffles with whip cream on them.  They were so proud to have made me breakfast in bed all by themselves.  It was so sweet.  
Josi loves searching for rain puddles.


It's been so much fun watching Josi and Lucy bond while Kate and Owen are at school.  They are becoming super cute little buddies.

General conference weekend
 
Josi looked so old this day- with real jeans on and a messy bun.  We just got her this new bike and she rides it everyday.
 
At Owen's soccer practice.
   
I was cleaning my room one afternoon when this note came flying into my room in the form of a paper airplane.  Kate had already asked multiple times about dinner and I told her not to ask me again.  I love this note because it is SO Kate.
 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It must be Fall

Our good friends the Speers have an apple orchard, so one night they invited a few families over to make some apple cider. We started out in the orchard, where Mike shook the trees and we threw all the apples into the back of his truck. Then we drove the apples up to his driveway where he had a homemade apple press. It was really impressive. We threw the apples into it, it had a motor and mulched up the apples. Then they would crank the press down and juice would come out. We filled tons of jugs and ended up taking two home. It was really delicious straight out of the juicer, and it was a fun night for all.
 



Also, BYU season! We had a group of super fans over for the Texas game and I made these sugar cookie bars from Pinterest. Right now we are 3-0 and it's been fun watching the games with friends.

First day of school

School started September 2nd.  Kate and Owen are in second grade and their teacher is Mrs. Baker.  They still love school.  They like being in the same class.  First day went off without a hitch.  It's been nice getting back into a routine.  One of my favorite parts about them going back to school is the funny stories they come home with.  Kate came home on the second day of school with a story I had to write down.  She told me that a boy she didn't know came up to her on the playground and said "This isn't a joke- I like you!" and ran away.  Then later he passed her a note that said, "We are just friends."  As she's telling this story she making big hand gestures and rolling her eyes and she said "It was stressing me out!"  I said "It's okay if he likes you Kate.  Why does it make you feel stressed out?" And, no joke,word for word, she said "I'm like, come on, it's the second day of school and you say you're in LOVE WITH ME?" She finished by throwing her hands up in the air and doing a major eye roll.  It makes me laugh thinking about how "stressful" her teenage years are going to be.


I spent the rest of the day with Josi and Lucy, and upon realizing that their favorite playmates were gone, I realized that I am going to be getting a lot less done during the day time than I originally dreamed.  These girls wanted my attention, all day.


Josi started school the next day.  Instead of going to the YMCA this year, I'm taking her to Kate and Owen's old preschool.  Earlier in the summer I took her there to get her feeling comfortable.  One of the ladies from the front office came up to Josi and said "Are you excited to come to school here?!"  Josi crossed her arms, turned her head, and said "I'm gonna spank your bum bum."  So... yeah.  She doesn't say those things in a serious way or a disrespectful way, she thinks she's being funny.  Granted, the lady laughed so I guess it was.  When I say she's my wildcard, I mean that I just really don't know how she's going to react to different situations.  Sometimes she is super awesome and funny and goofy, and sometimes she's so shy and scared that she's kicking and screaming.

So the morning of her first day, I forgot to get a picture of her at home, and by the time we were at the school she was in close to freakout mode.  I went to drop her off in her classroom and she grabbed onto my leg and wouldn't let go.  I had to pry her off of me and walk away with her kicking and screaming.  It was SUPER discouraging.  This happened a lot last year and I just wanted her to have a better experience.  So it made me pretty sad.  When I went to pick her up the teacher said it took Josi a lot longer than she expected to warm up.  She basically refused to participate and sat in the corner for most of class.  She wouldn't even come out for snack time.  At the end they did a volcano craft and then switched groups to do another craft.  Josi refused to rotate so she did the volcano twice.  But that means when she came home she got to tell this awesome story about the cool volcano craft they did.  I think it helped her realized how much she liked it there.

The next night I took her to a BBQ at her school.  I ran into one of the head teachers.  (She taught Kate and Owen and therefore couldn't just judge me as a parent on Josi's behavior alone.  haha)  She laughed as she told me that one of the teachers asked her "What do we do when she kicks us?"  I was a little mortified and even more discouraged than before!  So imagine my relief when I dropped her off on her second day (she goes 3 times a week) and she went in with a somber face but no kicking and screaming.  And when I picked her up and her teacher told me "she is just so sweet."  I can't even tell you the gratitude and relief I felt.  And she's loved it ever since.  She loves to go to school, she's never sad about, they do tons of fun crafts, and the teacher loves her!  It's helped me learn a little about Josi.  I realized that I think she was so scared and shy that she acted out, but as soon as she decided she liked it and was comfortable, she's pleasant as pie.  Boom.

Before school    

After school
 
I put Lucy in these pjs one of the nights I was super discouraged.  Because, come on, look how awesome she is.  How can you be sad with these funny pjs and her double chins?