OK. Here's the final installation of our year in review. Has the potential for boring, so skip it if you wish. (The last two posts were maybe more entertaining.)
Mr. Lamadingdong landed such an AWESOME teacher this year. He's been memorizing all kinds of things like the preamble to the constitution, the Gettysburg Address, etc...He continues to work hard in spelling and is getting really good at it. Talk about a weakness becoming a strength!
He started Boy Scouts, so here we go again! (Secretly, I love it!)
This kid's name is very special (his real name) and we have talked a lot about why he received the name he has. We gave him to the Lord when he was a baby, just as another scriptural son was dedicated to God, and his first name reflects that. His middle name can remind him of a mighty man who gave himself to the Lord, and this has been a theme for 2011. He's taking his life seriously, and has been studying and praying on his own.
Some of his church leaders challenged him with a pledge that he can choose to sign when he's 12. We talk about it a lot.
"As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I will discover the "Divine Power" within myself and:
Honor women, girls and children,
Magnify the Aaronic Priesthood,
Become an Eagle Scout,
Fulfill my Duty to God,
Graduate from High School and Seminary,
Receive the Melchizedek Priesthood,
Receive temple ordinances, and
Serve a full-time mission."
What inspired leaders! He's thought a lot about what each one of these would entail and is taking the commitment seriously and hasn't signed it yet.
Football is still huge for all the guys at our house. They spend a lot of time looking at scores and discussing teams and strategies and watching games. That's about the only thing he and Mr. Cool share--the rest of the time it's like oil and water, or dynamite and a blow torch...
He's also big-time into board games, Monopoly is his favorite. (Grandpa calls it Monotony.)
Mr. L likes to process things and rarely stops on a dime. Once I figured this out, our relationship has gotten a lot better. I need to ask him to do something and then count in my head to about 10. THEN if he doesn't respond, I can take it up a notch. In my mind I used to accuse him of trying to annoy me and others, but I really think it just takes him a minute to process. He's such a sweet boy; I need to always give my family the benefit of the doubt.
The Princess had a very fun summer. She's got some fun friends who are in and out of the house all the time. Her baptism was quite well attended, and our inspired bishop called her up at the very end and asked her to stand on a chair. He then asked her to look out at all the people that had come just for her, who loved her and supported her. She also knew that there were some who were ill and couldn't come, etc...The bishop pointed out to her that she had a lot of people who care about her and will help her to keep her covenants, choose the right and be happy.
Then Princess got put into a 3rd/4th grade classroom with a great teacher and some snotty little girls. They made her life miserable for a few months until we got things worked out, but by then Princess had decided that she would just rather stay home every day. She has become the queen of hypochondria--everything from a sore throat, a sore toe, to feeling too crowded--I tease her that she has a bone in her leg. When she denies that that is the problem, I ask her how she walks without any leg-bones.
Princess spent a very creative month or two contriving to stay home every morning, and even calling me from school. I finally took her to the doctor. It took a higher authority to convince her that she HAS to go to school every day. She is learning to like it again, and her inspired teacher has introduced some music and acting to the class which has thrilled her to no end.
I still read to her each night. We're plowing through the Caroline Years of a Little House series right now, and I love the books at least as much as she does. This is sometimes the only thing that gets me through the whole bed-time routine.
Now, I know that I am doing a year-end review of each family member, but it's my blog and I can do whatever I want, so I feel moved to register a complaint at this juncture.
We start with scriptures and prayer about 7:30 p.m. From that point on, my night is dedicated solely to BEDTIME, yet the last person often doesn't straggle in to kiss me goodnight until 11:30 or even midnight. Then, the Handsome Prince, who takes the early morning shift, starts the whole get-up-and-get-ready-for-the-day routine about 6:30 a.m. It often takes me until at least 10:30 to complete the task with the little girls. This means that at least 8 hours of each day is spent just getting people ready for bed or out of bed and ready for the day. Sheesh!
She learned how to ride a two-wheeler this fall, and is also getting really good on the roller-blades. Little P can climb just about anything, and has scaled the lamp-post outside, several trees, and can climb the door-frame of the house to the top unassisted.
She continues to hold the world record for tantrums, and is really packed with a punch. The only way to end a tantrum is to distract her in a subtle way. This kid CAN stop on a dime, and usually does--the tantrums don't taper off, they just end. She turns it on, she turns it off. Stinker.
Little K continues to provide comic relief. She says or does something funny every day. Today she came to me with a paper and pen so I could write a letter to Santa. She asked for a sled and some skiis.
Yesterday when I returned from volunteering at the school, she asked me if she had been in charge while I was gone. (She LOVES being in charge!)
Little K is the supreme helper in the family. She helps with laundry and dishes and especially baking.
Every afternoon after we get Little P off to kindergarten, I put the caboose down for a nap and turn on a movie for K (then I clock out for an hour). It started out the Backyardigans or Barney, but one day she declared that they were stupid baby movies and asked for Phineas and Ferb. I think big kids influenced this one. Anyway, every single day she wants to watch a show with an apple cut up into slices and put in a bowl. It rarely varies, and if we're out of apples I'm in trouble.
She has a couple of cute little friends and has been known to be a little bossy. The cutest little guy next door sometimes provokes her and they have had knock-out-slam-down fights. She is P's shadow and is quite interested in spelling and reading right now. They play together in a super-cute way.
The Caboose has perfected the arts of climbing and naughty. She can now climb a stool to the stove and access the microwave, climb the toilet to the counter and use the sink, and she was scaling the crib to the top of the dresser until I one-upped her and lowered the mattress almost to the floor. I have to use a stool to get her in and out. (HA! We call it monkey-prison! FYI: Little P can escape monkey prison if she is sufficiently furious. Sigh.)
Caboose now wears a onesie under all her clothes, as she was a little too free and easy about her diaper and its contents. Eeewwww...
Family Home Evening is her favorite thing ever, and it's so fun to watch her spin around as we sing. We bought her a circle of bells and she rings them as we sing, "Jingle Bells". The Christmas Tree lights are and endless souce of fascination.
If it's organized, she can be depended on to fix that; if it is clean, she'll tackle it, no job is too big or too small. She does help sometimes, though, and can put things in the trash, down the laundry chute, or into the dryer. She is just so proud of herself when she's helping. She also loves to help with baking.
Kid is an amazing snuggler and it just feels so right holding her in my arms. I mourn each stage as she leaves it, yet the sigh in relief at the same time. I think being a grandma will be funner in some ways, but won't be the same...
All I know is that this new season in my life is a good one. I used to hear women say they were done having kids and Hallelujah! And I felt dismayed. How could someone feel that way? Well, now I completely understand--in fact, last night I dreamed that I was pregnant again, and I spent the entire night feeling sorry for myself.
We've settled into our new home and community and feel so blessed to be here! We love the Savior! What a blessing to know that we have been bought with a price and that He loves us with a perfect love!
We have a good income, beautiful home and yard, kind neighbors, peace, safety, enough to eat and what we want and need. We've been blessed with a huge, loving family and amazing friends. It was a beautiful, blessed, exhausting 2011!