In November, right before the last post we took a family trip to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. My mother-in-law had been talking for months about taking the kids to the aquarium so when I found out the aquarium offered free admission to home school families, with up to four adults, I was sold. So we planned on my in-laws going down to Monterrey where we would stay at a hotel Monday night and then go to the aquarium Tuesday. The weather was great. In fact it had been so great that the first outing in Monterrey, Pacific Grove, was a bust. We went to a grove where monarchs usually congregate during the winter months. So despite it being late November there were only a few trees with butterflies. The worst part came when child #not going to disclose decided to step on a butterfly on the ground for whatever reason. That is an offense punishable with up to a $1000 fine, besides being not okay on any level. And it was done in front of a docent. Oh the things kids do. Then we went to Asilomar State Beach. So awesome. The kids had so much fun running in the sand and the sun was just setting and it was gorgeous. The kids went back to the beach Tuesday morning while Zach should have been sleeping. Zach didn't sleep and the kids loved the beach. I think we should have just gone home from there. The Aquarium was a bust for sure. I thought the kids were going to be enthralled with the animals. They love going to the zoo near our house, but the aquarium just wasn't there thing. Thank goodness the tickets were free. Maybe when they are older it will be more interesting. But the 1 and 2 year old were just not that into it. Oh well. It was a good time overall.
December was marked with the addition of two new baby chicks. We wanted to try and 'save' our lonely depressed Whitey hen, so we got her some playmates. They are named 'Sarah' and 'Valkyrie'. Both are Rhode Island Reds and we are hoping that there typically more assertive natures will shake up the pecking order of our flock and allow all seven to be in the same area together without any being dominated into submission which was happening with the Big Reds and Whitey. It is amazing to watch how quickly chicks develop and become able to take care of themselves, even if it is in a box only a square foot in size. Those same chicks are now almost 18 weeks old and are holding there own, on their own side of the fence albeit. Now it is only a month or so until they start laying eggs. Woohoo, more eggs.
Christmas was Christmas and nothing stands out to vividly. Sad, but true. Molly turned six just before Christmas and I think we did a great job making sure that she had her day despite it being Christmas Eve. Six years since that fateful day in the mountains. Such a great memory.
January was good. February was great. March was rainy. Really rainy which was amazing. March was Julia's birthday, she's now five, FIVE. Crazy. She's a pistol. So sharp, so aware, so determined to do what she wants when she wants to, even if that means sitting at the dinning table for THREE hours because she doesn't want to wash it. Really, that has happened, a couple of times.
Speaking of chores. I OFTEN have to remind myself that there is importance in making sure that the kids are doing their assigned chores. We don't ask them to do hard things, or things that take a lot of time (except to clean up the messes they made). They do things like clear and clean the table, sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher, sort out their clean clothes and put them away, straighten their rooms. Some things they do a lot, like the table chores they do after every meal (or I try to have them do them after every meal) and others only happen a couple times a week. In all there is about 30 minutes of work a day, but some days the girls make it last for HOURS!!! It is frustrating, tiring, insane, and so necessary. Cassidy has finally figured out that I will have them do their work or they will sit. She knows to just do it and then she can play and do whatever. I need to tell myself that although it takes so much longer to have the kids do the work, they NEED to know how to be a productive member of a family and they NEED to know how to do these skills that will have to do for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they can learn that there are things that just need to be done and that it does no good to fight and stall and resist, it is much easier to just DO them. That is my work, to get them to learn how to do the things that will help them as people once they leave my house.
What else? Oh yeah. In February I learned that there were more tickets available for the Provo City Center Temple open house. With the love I have of the temple, and with the old Provo temple I HAD to take my kids to that open house. I NEEDED to take them inside a temple open house. So we drove out 750 miles to Provo Tuesday morning, went to the open house Wedneday afternoon, saw some old friends Wednesday night, saw my mission president and wife Thursday afternoon, visited with Joe's last mission companion Thursday night (whose parents' are the current president of my mission) and then drove home Friday morning. A quick LONG drive trip. We loved being there except for the pollution which was awful (3 of the 5 worst cities in the country were in Utah that week). We took the kids to see the Jordan River Temple as well as the open house. Oh my goodness. The Provo City Center temple is GORGEOUS. It is absolutely spectacular. I will forever be glad that we took those days to show the girls just how much I love the temple. And we got to be in the temple together, which won't happen for the next 11 years. Coming down with the flu on our way home was a nice way to end the trip. Actually it was awful, but I wouldn't take back the trip to avoid that nasty bug. It was so worth it.
|Our buddies, there are TEN kids between us, all under seven years old.|
|The Hobsons, the best mission president and wife, EVER|
|Will and Zach, pizza eating buddies for life|
|The princesses in there favorite accessories|
|Don't let that smile fool you, the rest of the ride home was all crying and fighting and a couple of movies|
|Snow was probably their favorite part of the trip, except for Zachary, he HATED the snot|