FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY - Morgan landed her back handspring. About a month ago, Morgan came home from gymnastics and told us she nailed her back handspring. She proceeded to do a round off into a back handspring in our front yard. Then a few days later she just couldn't do it. Lance and I could not figure it out. At dinner last week, she finally told us why she was afraid. She had gone out to the front yard to practice her back handspring and fell on her head and never told anyone. Today she was able to conquer her fear- YEAH! When she got home from gymnastics, she moved the furniture in the bonus room and showed Lance her round off back handspring. It was so exciting! I think she was just as excited to surprise us as to have landed her back handspring. In the clip, she was on her tenth or eleventh back handspring, she was starting to get a bit tired! Just wanted to share~!
My three little gifts!
Morgan making her Aztec eagle hat and then modeling her finished project!
Morgan's Aztec Codex - a book where they wrote down things about their culture. There was one more picture but it somehow got deleted.
This is the beginning of Morgan's Lapbook on Explorers. This is our first attempt at doing a lap book but I wanted something that would be a good review of what we learned. I have heard quite a bit about lapbooks and thought we would try it. So far it is going pretty well and Morgan enjoys the project. I did talk to a mom who does notebooking. It is the same concept but she puts the projects on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and then puts them in the page protectors and keeps everything in a three ring binder. With an intense unit like Explorers and with so much information I think that would have been a better option. Since we started the lapbook we will finish it. I will post more photos when it is done. I love the concept of having some type of end of the unit book to show what we have learned. I want something easy to store and kid friendly assembly and use.
I just noticed this tree outside our house last night. The leaves are starting to turn. It may have been like this for a few days but I don't always stop to notice the little details of nature. I need to do that more often, I love the trees in the fall. We live by the mountains and I don't even notice them - sad isn't it. Lance notices them every day but he loves the moutains. I am more of a beach girl and not so big on the mountains. It's not that I do not think they are a beautiful and wonderful creation by God, just not my thing. Anyway (sorry for the little rabbit trail), we woke up Saturday to a very cloudy day. It looked like it had rained some earlier in the morning. I was so thankful for a rainy day. I had been wanting to organize closets and clean out summer clothes but just hadn't had the opportunity. I knew if the sun was shining we would be spending time outside with neighbors and enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I was able to get my closet and all three kids' closets cleaned out and organized. I could take stock and see what items were needed for the fall/winter season. I feel better having a focus now if we get out to do some shopping, at least I know what each child needs to be ready for this next season. (As I was cleaning out, Morgan tells me to look out the window. There was the most beautiful double rainbow. It was so awesome! We all just looked at it for a long time - but I didn't think to take a picture of it.) The weather has definitely cooled off and it feels so much like fall. I love this season - except for the shorter days. I love the sweatshirt weather. The perfect days for visits to the park, long walks, and sipping cider and cocoa. I am looking forward to the visits to the apple orchard and the pumpkin patch. For some reason fall seems so refreshing to me - the cooler weather, back to having schedules/routines, all the church and community activities start up- I am so excited fall has finally come!
Today has been one of those days - a day filled with a busy schedule and some roadblocks that could detour us from our schedule. Even though our day didn't go as smoothly as planned, we were able to accomplish the important things for today. On a day like today, when the focus could be on the negative it is freeing to focus on the positive and be so thankful for all the things that did go right. I wasn't in control of the situations today and for today I took that in stride. I wasn't frazzled, feeling panicked or "stressed out" which easily could have happened. We could see God clearing the path for us even though the roadblocks had been placed in our path. Here are a few examples:
- my neighbor had a later start to work today so he was home to help me get my car stared when the battery was dead
- the car dealership had a battery in stock and we were in and out of their in one hour and made it to the field trip (that I had organized) on time
- a friend stepped in to take Landon to a birthday party (Lance came home sick from work) which was at the same time as I needed to get Morgan from gymnastics
I like to have my plan, my schedule and stick to it and these little things today could have made my day seem horrible. It was not by my doing that I remained positive - God gave me peace, the sense of calm tokeep me focused and work through the situations instead of getting worked up about them. I know the things that happened today are little and insignificant but it definitely is a lesson to be learned and remember for when something big happens.
This is our schedule. There is a page for morning, afternoon, and evening. It is based off of Steve and Teri Maxwell's book Managers of Their Homes. The general ideas in the book are great starting point for making schedules. The original schedule is large but I used it last year and our schedule changed and this works just as well as a reference for me.
Here are my planners. I have a large desk calendar so Lance and the kids can see what is going on each week or for the month. I have a small planner that I carry with me and can add things as needed. I am a long range planner for sure. These calendars definitely help me keep our life in order.
What are some of your "life savers" for keeping your home, your kids, or yourself organized?
The competition isn't heating up yet because I know my competitor isn't sticking to his "diet" yet. I had to laugh last night when the kids were having zbops from the Schwan's man. This was the first time we have tried them. Landon loved it and was happily eating, Morgan didn't like them so Lance at hers. Landon couldn't eat it all so I told him we would cover them and put them in the freezer. Lance thought they would taste bad so he just finished Landon's off too while commenting on his "diet". Today our neighbor sent over some brownies. We sent them back since we are watching what we eat and they came back because they are "healthy" brownies made with whole wheat flour, splenda, and zucchini. Too funny! We have them and thankfully I am not a huge chocolate fan so they are not even a temptation for me, but I don't know if Lance can stay away from them. I think my neighbors are on my side and trying to help me win!
* a long nap on a rainy day or any day for that matter
* a fountain soda - Cherry Pepsi :)
* going to the movies
* reading a book
* sleeping with the windows open and curling up under my covers
* chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven
* reading a good book
* the peace and quiet of the early mornings
* a sandy beach - i would love to have some time in the sun and the sand - AHH!
* cuddle time with the kids
* Mabe's pizza (pizza joint in the town I went to college - my favorite pizza of all time)
* popcorn, especially at the movie theater
* getting real mail not bills or junk mail - I especially look forward to the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas when all the letters and cards arrive
What are some of your favorite things??
I am working hard to get to the top!
You can view Mauryn's 9 month photos (a little late) at www.wilsoncreekphoto.com/proofs/Cheney/924/ It wasn't her best photo shoot but they definitely show the many faces of Mauryn Cheney. I remember those nine month photos with Morgan and Landon were difficult as well since they had started having some stranger anxiety. They are fun - enjoy!
This weekend is our Ladies Retreat at church. The ladies from church are up in the mountains (smoke filled from all the fires) for the weekend doing a Beth Moore study on Loving Well. I decided not to go since I am still nursing Mauryn and I didn't want to deal with pumping (I don't really like leaving my kiddos for over night) and so I could be here to run the nursery at church. I had already decided not to go when I found out my friend Janna wasn't going either. We decided to have a girls afternoon today. It was wonderful! Our husbands (and another friend whose wife was gone) hung out with the kids and watched the BSU game. Janna and I enjoyed lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory - it was so yummy! Then we spent some time looking in downtown Boise at some of the fun little shops. It was the perfect day to just be outside walking around - temp in the mid 70's, sunny with a slight breeze. Today was a day that definitely rejuvenated me. The last few weeks have been so busy with getting school started and back into our routine. It was nice to do something that was just totally for me.
Landon is very excited about the explorer lunch. Morgan is hoping she can have some "real" food after she tastes what is on her plate.
Here is the explorer lunch: cheese, beef jerkey, rice, almonds, raisins, a day old biscuit, and water with lemon juice. Tasty!
For over a year now, Lance has wanted to do a Western theme in our living room. We purchased a picture of Lance's great grandfather, Kid Amby Cheney on a round up that would be the centerpiece of the Western theme. Little by little we have been thinking and planning but nothing was taking shape. In July we took a quick weekend trip to Montana. While at Lance's grandmother's ranch, we collected some items for our living room. While I was in MN, Lance took another quick trip to MT and collected a few more items. Below are some photos of what it looks like now. We still have some tweaking to do but Lance put everything up and organized while I was gone.
Mauryn is really starting to show her personality. I had to include this photo of her below. She likes to make funny faces and funny noises. Here she is doing one of her "faces".
While in MN, we were able to spend lots of quality time with our family. I hadn't been back to MN for 13 months. It was a LONG stretch. My parents came out in November when Mauryn was born but other than that we were on a family drought! It was the first time since we had moved here two years ago that I was feeling lonely for MN. I was so ready to get back for a visit. It was so relaxing. I have nieces and a nephew who adore kids and my kids adore them. They were all the entertainment my kids needed! It was so heartwarming to see those "older" kids with my kids. They just loved being with them. They are teenagers (and almost teenagers) and they gave up time with their friends to be with my little kids. They changed dirty diapers, gave baths, read stories, etc... It was great! My oldest niece is 17 years old. I was 17 years old when she was born. When they would come to MN to visit I would give them baths, change diapers, play with them - it is like it has all come full circle. Anyway, so fun to see the kids get some bonding time with the cousins. Since I only have 1 first cousin, this cousin relationship is so fun to watch!
Some of the highlights of the trip were: going to Walnut Grove, MN with my sister Karna and my niece Clea - we visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum, visited the dugout, played in Plum Creek and went to the Pageant; having our former neighbors come spend the day; Landon's ride in the fire truck and he even got to turn on the siren; visiting with my college girlfriends and their families; taking a mini road trip to visit Lance's sister Tammy and my sister Katrina; being able to meet my new nephew Sawyer Brown (born 8/2); visiting with my bible thumping pals, old teaching friends, and club ladies; afternoon swims at the local pool; gardening with aunt Shari and grandpa; riding on the 4 wheeler; going to Vikings training camp; eating at Culvers (4 times I think) - YUMMMY!!!
Our trip went remarkably fast. I thought that being gone for two plus weeks would get really long. I am a total homebody so a week is stretching it usually for me to be gone. I think since MN is still "home" it didn't seem to get too long. We had plenty to do when we were there but also had some down time - it was a good balance. We did have a bit of excitement before we got on the airplane in MN. It had been a rough afternoon before our flight, all the good byes to the cousins. Morgan was so so sad and so so tired. When Morgan gets too tired, she tends to vomit. She usually throws up once and then she is fine once she rests. It is just her bodies way of handling being overtired. So we get to the Minneapolis airport and stop off at curbside check. It was crazy busy so my mom was in the 2nd lane. I start unloading and have Morgan stand next to the bags while I unload until my mom gets closer. I am making the second trip to the curb and I see Morgan with this look on her face, I look at the ground and she has just thrown up on the curb. YIKES! I ask her if she is okay, she says she is fine. She didn't get anything on her just the curb. I go back for another batch of bags and some kleenex and come back and she has vomited again. Now I am wondering if she has the flu or what. She continues to say she is fine. I think I am in shock at this point, thinking oh brother this is going to be an interesting flight and I am not sure what to do with this mess on the curb. Really, I can't believe this was happening. Morgan is so embarrassed - I feel so bad for her. She is the type of kid who from age 2 would make it to a bathroom when she got sick. By now, my mom has parked by us and she is standing with the kids while I am checking our bags. The guy at curbside check was so crabby! Thankfully we got our bags checked and got on our flight. The kids all slept almost the entire flight to ID. Morgan was fine the rest of the entire flight - Praise the Lord! She fell asleep as soon as she was seated on the plane. The poor thing! We go to baggage claim and get all our bags except one. Of course it is the bag with my frozen breast milk in it. UGH! So I lost about 6 frozen bags of milk. I still have over half a freezer full that probably won't get used but still its the thought of losing that liquid gold .... The airline did find my bag and delivered it the next day. YEAH!
Here are some photos from our trip- ENJOY!