Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Drives

This afternoon Bill asked, "Where would you like to go for a drive." A memory flooded my mind from many past Sunday afternoons and I replied, " I want to go over the river to grandma's house to watch Disney World and eat popcorn with the cousins" I truly wish I could recreate those wonderful Sunday evenings at Grandma Christenson's house and visit with my cousins and watch grandma pop the corn over the stove in the kettle. I can still see grandma poping the corn and making carmel to go over it. We always had so much fun with all those cousins in grandmas small house with the gigantic yard and garden.

Well, since I couldn't bring all that back, in reality we took a ride to a nearby park. The kids watched a movie in the car and I took pictures of the beautiful day as the sun was about to set. It was gorgeous as the sun danced off of the snow. It's days like today that I love the beauty of Virginia in the winter time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow is Calling: Play Today

Snow falling gently from the sky gliding ever so slowly to the white earth. So beautiful and yet so tempting. You can't help but go make footprints or play in it. It calls to you. I think because it's new, it's different. It beckons to you, play, take the day off, and jump in. Put everything away and laugh, even scream. You sled faster and faster down the hill. Get up, climb the hill with heavy legs. Find exactly the right spot plop your body onto the round sled, get a push, and some where between the top and the bottom you loose your self in the moment letting go of everything feeling nothing but exhilaration. And then the moment is gone. Crash landing plowing into the piles of snow at the bottom of the hill. You shake it off ,the pain the cold, the wet, and off you go again trudging up the hill. Loving every minute of the cycle smiling, laughing, screaming, chatting. Over and over again up the hill down the hill. You can't walk away until you're so cold and wet that your fingers and toes are numb and every ounce of energy is gone. Walking up that hill is just too much. However you stop build a small snowman and throw a few snowballs at each other. Not wanting the moment to pass but knowing there is no more to give. Wanting warmth and hot chocolate. Yet you are still reluctant to leave. Wanting to enjoy the moment to linger just a little longer. Their faces say it all!!!!


Jessica's good friend Virginia Rose joined us on our adventure. We had a great time sledding.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Snow Snow!!!!!!!

It happened a real snow day!!! No school and lots of heavy white stuff!!! We enjoyed seeing it fall from the sky last night , but even loved it more this morning. It's cold enough for the snow to stick around but sunny and warm enough to go out in hats gloves and hoodies and play for a couple of hours.

We shoveled the sidewalks and driveway.

We threw snowballs.

We played on the sleds.

And the kids made a snowman. It was perfect snow!!!

I know the kids will be back out this afternoon after they warm up and play some indoor games. Yes Yes Yes!!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rain Sleet Snow

Picture taken at 9:00am
This morning there was a little skiff of snow on the ground and the rain melted the snow. I wondered why did they call school off for this. It rained hard in the early afternoon even turning to sleet. But as the day wore on the and the tempratures dropped the rain turned into snow and now in less than an half hour the snow has covered the lawn the sidewalks and the cars. It's now coming down hard with lots of wind.

Pictures taken at 4:00pm

They have let the government workers leave two hours early so they can make it home before they shut down the metro and the buses. I know there won't be school tomorrow because today we were out for less than this. Love it!!! The kids will be able to play with the sleds build snowmen and make angels. Looking forward to wet gloves hats and mittens, and cold faces. Warming by the fire and drinking hot chocolate will be the highlight. Yippee Yippee

Pictures taken at 4:50pm

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lunch Break

Jessica and Emily after finishing their morning midterm exams returned home early enough for me to take them to lunch. They are so much fun so I took along the camera with us to Ledo's Pizza.

We chatted and ate some great food. Emily had Lasagna. Jessica had Stromboli, and I had salad. We all loved the bread sticks. We chatted, laughed and shared food. I sure enjoyed having lunch with my girls. Thanks Jess and Emily for taking a break with me!!! Now, they are on to their studies for the next set of tests tomorrow.

Change: Red Light Green Light

For family home evening we talked about how to monitor our rally cry which we came up with a couple of weeks ago: Through making daily scripture study fun, we improve family unity and develop patience and kindness. Tonight we decided to monitor two parts of it. Reading the scriptures daily and is the study fun(engaging and different). The monitoring will be simple using green to indicate that we met the expectations, yellow for almost but not all the way, red for didn't come close to the goal. This simple but effective measurement will be posted under the rally cry and we will evaluate it each week at FHE. The kids will help evaluate and put up the red green or yellow under the goal. The goal evaluation also includes personal scripture study so each person will keep track or the number of days read and the family will receive green yellow or red depending on the number of day scriptures are read in the week. this way each person is accountable to the group and helps to achieve the green light. We started reading the scriptures when we wrote the rally cry, 2 weeks ago and we have a green light yellow and a red. So we have work to do to improve. I'm confident that this will help us improve. We want only green lights!!!

As always after FHE you have to have a snack so we had a diet fudge ice cream bars!! You can see how much the kids enjoyed it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rhyming, Games and Finger Jello

This past week Bill has worked until after midnight so I had fun with the kids in the evenings. Down by the Bay where the Watermelons grow back to my home I dare not go for if I do my mother will say have you ever seen whale with a polka dot tail.... This was Lydia's favorite rhyme. On Monday at the dinner table we had so much fun thinking of rhymes to go with this silly song. We laughed so loud about a bear combing his hair, a bee with a sunburned knee and then Lydia would chime in again about the whale with the polka dot tail. we giggled until our sides hurt and we had tears in our eyes. We didn't want to leave the table.

On Tuesday and Wednesday after the dishes were done we pulled out a game we got for Christmas called Yamslam. Lydia can even play it without help so now she has a new favorite game. It's great!!! I must admit I'm learning alot about my kids. None of them are very competitive. They like to help each other win. They will help each other get the higher points and they want the other person to do well.

Banana Grams was the game for this evening. Making your own crossword puzzles. You have to know how to spell so this is was tough most of us. We Wards don't spell all that well. But its cool because it's a challenge to make big words. For a cool desert the kids made finger Jello ( fingers the choice of utensil). We had fun with the red stuff and not a single spoon was used. Awesome week. We missed Bill he would have just made it funnier!!!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jessica gets accepted to BYU Idaho!!!

Wow Jessica!! My Senior is ready to move on in life. She recieved her acceptance letter to BYU Idaho. She is waiting to see if she will be accepted to a couple of other schools. We are so excited for her. She told me today she can't wait to leave Manassas. It's an exciting time for her as she looks to the future, to moving out, to being on her own. As a mother, I reflect about when she was small. She has always been so helpful, kind obedient. I could look into her face and see how she felt in her eyes. She always was so patient. However, I wonder If I have taught her everything she needs to know or will experience have to teach lessons I should have. She is ready to go into the world in a few months, but I don't want her to go yet. She grew up too fast! Congratulations Jessy

Derby cars for girls.

Wow!! My girls get to participate in the first ever Manassas Young Women and Daddy pine wood derby races.

It's original fun and something they have never done. Today the girls cut out and sanded their very first derby cars!!!

Stay tuned for the races in February.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pigtails and Shoe Laces

"Mom I want my hair in pigtails. That means two ponytails" Lydia insists even pleads. After she slowly gets on her clothes she moves down the hallway at a snails pace to the bathroom. Again she tells me that she wants pigtails. It's always a little painful to do her hair because of the snarls. After a few cries we finish and it looks so cute.

Lydia loves shoes. So I'm fortunate that she only has 2 pairs of shoes, tennis shoes, and Sunday shoes this make it oh so much simpler for her to choose which ones to wear. It took a while to learn which shoes go on which feet but she has it figured it out now and can get them on the correct feet without help. Now we are begining to learn how to tie them. Learning how the bunnies ears go round and round and in and out of the hole seems so easy, when I do it. But I see the confusion on her face and know it's just because it is new. She'll get it!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Many Hands Make Light Work

Every school night before Jessica and Emily go to bed they make sure lunches are packed for the next day. They do a great job. Tonight they have decided on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a few sides. Even Lydia got in on the action and helped tonight! Sometimes I don't know how they come up with some of the lunches because I can't ever remember what we have left in the cupboard. Jessica is always willing to get up in the morning before seminary and heat up the thermoses. Then after seminary she heats up the soup or chicken nuggets, or leftovers, if thats what they choose. I think I have only made lunches two times since school has started. Thank you Jessica and Emily for always making sure everyone has a lunch!!! Thanks Lydia for helping them tonight.

Five Great Dishwashers

Tonight Austin and Emily work together doing the dishes. They did it without the usual yelling match of who's turn is it to wash, dry,or clear the table. I'm not sure why they have decided to cooperate tonight and the other days this week, but I'm glad. Lately each has taken to making dish time more pleasant. Maybe it's the hope that someday we will get a dishwasher that will work. But for the last year and four months we have been doing the dishes by hand.

Each child takes their turn and over time each has gotten better at the task and they complain less. Some may ask why so long without a dishwasher. Well it started out as a way to save the money for our trip last summer now it's just other priorities have taken its place. On occasion Bill and I talk about it, but for now we will continue doing dishes by hand. We use it as bonding time or get away time. It's a time of communication positive or negative. If I want a few moments alone I know that if I say I will do the dishes everyone will disappear afraid I will change my mind. I'm grateful for the hands that do the dishes each night. I know someday they will really appreciate a dishwasher after their experience of being dishwashers.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Emily: Women in Technology

On Wednesdays at 2:00 I wait outside Osbourn High school for Emily and Vivian so I can take them to BAE. They are laughing and smiling as they get in the van. As always I forget to open the correct door for Vivian we all smile at that error. They always change the the radio station because they don't like my gospel or country music. Emily manages to find a song that they both sing to. I like to hear them sing it makes me happy. I manage to make it to the Lockheed Martin gate and tell the security guard what we are there for. He opens the gate and we continue on our way to BAE. Vivian and Emily are 2 of the 3 girls that have been selected from Osbourn High School to attend a 6 weeks course to learn about different types of technology that are used at BAE systems. There are 2-3 girls from each of the many high schools in the area so its a big deal to be choosen. BAE a high tech corporation does a lot of government contracts with different fields of the armed forces. Emily has learned so much and has had such a good time making web sites, visiting their fab, using cad design, and using electronic kits. For the fab part she found out that they build and use semiconductors. She had to put on a bunny suit just like her dad does when he goes in the fab at Micron. Last year Emily participated in a similar weekend program at Lockheed Martin called Women in Engineering, however this course has been very hands on and more in depth. Emily likes the field of Technology but is not sure that it what she wants to do when she grows up. She has 3 more weeks and I'm sure that she will enjoy learning more about the things they do at BAE. It will also be a very good thing to put on a resume as she applies for college next year.