Monday, July 26, 2010

Mid-Summer Updates

A lot has been going on with us lately and our summer has been flying by. There's only five weeks until school starts! And with the way our summer's been, that'll be right around the corner. These are some things that have been happening:

Steve's Birthday.
Steve turned 32 on May 30. It was on Sunday and very low-key. The kids loved singing happy birthday--Fargo style, complete with the "cha-cha-cha-ooh-la-la-cut-the-cake-and-say-hi-yah!"

I swear my kids have inherited zero percent of my genes. This is Whitney's birthday present to Steve. If you look closely, it's every math problem that she knows decorated and written in an assortment of colours.

The trampoline.

We got the kids a trampoline this summer. It has been the best investment ever. We've had a fantastic summer. The kids have been on it every day we've been home.

Whitney helping Steve set it up:

Funny enough, I have zero pictures of the kids on the trampoline. I'll have to take some today and post later. I do have a picture of Whitney enjoying the sprinkler.

Theraputic listening.

A new therapy we've started with Joshua to help with his sensory integration issues. We tried the Wilbarger brushing protocol this winter, and though he enjoyed it, we didn't see any difference with the sensory sensitivity. I'm seeing similar results with the theraputic listening. He loves the music, but I haven't seen any difference with the sensory sensitivity. We've been trying the best we can to keep it up over the past few months. With all our traveling it's been tough at times.


I'm getting my Master's in Creative Writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead and took a 3 week summer school class in June. The craziest 3 weeks of my life. Both kids were out of school, I had to read about 80 pages a day and teach two lessons to a bunch of undergrads. The first night I taught I came home and cried to Steve how I didn't want to get my Master's anymore, how there's no way I could teach English 101 in the fall (I have a GTA for the fall). I had given an activity in class to re-write a scene of Cinderella and from that point on it bombed. I had an refugee student who didn't know the Cinderella story, and half my class did the assignment wrong. Steve (being the great husband he is) told me I'd get over it and do a great job the next time and love it. Sure enough, the next time wasn't as bad! I have to say this is where the trampoline was my saving grace. As I read my assignments and prepared lessons I let the kids jump for hours at a time. Didn't take all the bad mom guilt away, but it helped a little.

Steve's Dad

Steve's Dad passed away July 4, 2010. He had been struggling with cancer for about five years and finally his struggle is over. We feel so blessed we got to see him right before he passed away. The day after my class ended we drove the 10 hours down to Kansas City to spend some time with Doug. Then the kids and I drove down to Wichita to visit my parents while Steve stayed behind to be with his mom and dad. We said our good-byes Saturday July 3rd, and drove back up to Fargo. The next day Doug passed away. We spent a couple of days in Fargo, re-grouped, and then drove down again to Kansas City for the funeral. We were so blessed to have my parents come up and watch the kids during the funeral. Even with our knowledge of the gospel and of Jesus Christ, death is a huge concept for kids to grasp, especially at 7 and 5 years old, but they did a good job with it. Then my parents took the kids for a few days while Steve and I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah for the burial.

Here's a picture of Doug and Sandy with the kids last summer:

Some pictures of family gathered to honour Doug:

Sandy's Birthday
It was also Steve's mom's birthday while we were out in Utah and so we took her to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for her birthday

Sorry, I know this isn't the most flattering picture, but it's the only one I have of the group.

Well that's it for now. Despite all the craziness, we do feel very blessed. We know the Lord is always watching out for us. We'll see what the rest of the summer brings. We may still take our trip up to Winnipeg, but we need a couple of weeks to recoop from our travels. 40 hours in the car in 2 weeks time is a lot of travel, and I might have to bribe my kids to ever get in the car again :)