Things every night

So this week we had something going on every night. Weeks like this keep us busy and also make us grateful for our little family routines and traditions.

Matching in their striped pajamas
Matching in their striped pajamas

Monday night was probably the most “normal” (is that even a thing?) night of the week. We had family home evening. Sarah taught a lesson about the sacrament. We’re almost done with all of the lessons in the little nursery manual that we use. Eliza reminds us every week that we have to do family home evening. We always have an opening song and she leads while we sing. Eliza almost always gives the opening prayer. We have a lesson from Sarah or I which usually involves pictures of Jesus and a bit of an activity. We then have a closing prayer, read scriptures and have our family prayer and go to bed.

Tuesday I had scouts. We made trebuchets out of our lashing staves. It was a pretty good activity. Near the end we started running out of tasks for everyone to do so it got a bit crazy but still was fun. Sarah had the kids at home that night and got them to bed.

Wednesday Sarah went to a baby shower for three sisters in the ward. The husband of the sister hosting the shower works with me and I was supposed to bring him home from work. I unfortunately forgot until I was almost home and I had to turn around and go back to work to get him. Oops! After the shower, Sarah went and practiced her musical number for the stake women’s conference this weekend. She and two other ladies sang a song for the conference. I was home with the kids and we did our normal night routine with baths and scriptures. The kids have been having fun bubble baths these last few weeks. We let them have their bubble bath first and then drain the tub to do the real bath.They love playing in the water.

Thursday Sarah was out again at a choir practice for the women’s conference. I got to stay home with the kids again and we had a fun time. I got some time to read my book which I’ve really been enjoying.

On Friday evening, Sarah was gone one more time to do a dress rehearsal for the women’s conference. This conference was quite the production. They had different rooms in the church all setup as different scenes from the scriptures. The had the sisters divide into groups and go through each of the rooms. In each room there was a musical number and a sister doing a monologue. Because the sisters rotated through the different rooms, Sarah performed her musical number five times that morning. The conference sounded pretty cool. I put the kids to bed and then finished my book (book 12 of Wheel of Time for those interested. It was awesome. I found myself cheering at parts!) Sarah came home and we went to bed after getting preparations made for Saturday.

Saturday, Sarah was at women’s conference all morning until around 2:00 pm. I took the kids to the park for a little over an hour. They had a blast. James has gotten more courageous and will climb up the steps now and go down the big twisty slide on his own. Eliza will climb up almost every ladder there. The only one she hasn’t figured out yet is the spiral one but I think she will do it when she realizes she can go up the other side of it and get off on the platform. After the park, we came home and tried to fly our kite. That didn’t go so well. James fell of the back porch while he was trying to go down the stairs frontwards (silly boy) and got a bloody lip and a scraped up head. We came in and had baths and lunch and got ready to go to the temple.

Eliza climbing on the twisty ladder at the park
Eliza climbing on the twisty ladder at the park
James was brave to go down the slide by himself.
James was brave to go down the slide by himself.

Saturday afternoon we all went down to the temple together. We decided to take the kids because the family we usually leave them with had had a crazy week and we thought they didn’t need a contrary James and a potty-training Eliza on their hands on top of everything. The kids enjoyed the temple. Eliza even got to go inside to the little bathroom before the recommend desk to go potty. Sarah and I switched off doing initiatories and staying outside with the kids.

James wanted to walk all around the temple by himself.
James wanted to walk all around the temple by himself.
James and Eliza at the temple.
James and Eliza at the temple.
Family selfie at the temple.
Family selfie at the temple.
Eliza smelling the flowers
Eliza smelling the flowers

Today we had church. I went straight to home teaching and then to Deacon’s Quorum Presidency meeting. We tried to go to choir but Eliza fell down the stairs and then our van wouldn’t start. Then we had a little dinner and I ran off to a youth fireside at the church about addiction recovery.

Whew, it was a crazy week!

Jamesy Talking

Eliza has started calling James “Jamesy” this week. We’re not sure where she got that name because we have never called him that. She is so cute with him. She has been getting better and better at sharing. While she tries to share sometimes, she often will say “I had it first” and take the thing away. She has done this even to us. She has also started praying by herself. At night for her personal prayer she will say several sentences on her own. Usually thankful for things that have happened in the day. She always reminds us that she needs to do scriptures and prayer at morning and at night. Today in church when it was time for the prayer on the water she started reciting the prayer before the priests started. I was totally surprised. She knew the first few sentences by herself and then repeated the prayer after the priests. She is getting better and better at being reverent and I just have to gently remind her these day to fold her arms.

James's first time swinging. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
James’s first time swinging. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
Eliza loves the park!
Eliza loves the park!

James has started talking in his own little language. He will come up to us and make a bunch of sounds and just be so pleased with himself. We’re sure he thinks he’s making sense to us and that he’s communicating but . . . we have no idea what he’s talking about. It’s really cute though. He does have a few words that we know. He has words for mama, dada and Eliza. When he sees her he will point and say “zaza (daida)” and get so smiley. He is eating better and better these days.

James is starting to learn how to fold his arms for prayer.
James is starting to learn how to fold his arms for prayer.

We parents had a crazy week. One or the other of us was gone every night this week. Monday we were all home for FHE and that was good but the rest of the week was nuts. We had scout court of honor on Tuesday that we all attended. Wednesday, Sarah was gone to the family history center, Thursday Sarah had bookclub and I was prepping for my scout camp this weekend. Friday I was gone camping and Saturday we were actually on a date.

Eliza made a tail out of her snuggle.
Eliza made a tail out of her snuggle.

Our friends the Larsens invited us to go with them to Top Golf with them for a birthday party. It was kind of last minute but we decide we’d just go. We got one of the young women to watch the kids and went with them. Top Golf is a glorified driving range that is somewhat reminiscent of a bowling alley. We got some tasty food and then hit balls for 2 hours. We had  a good time and both of us did pretty well considering that we’d never actually hit a golf ball before.

Before church this week Eliza wanted to do the bunny's hair.
Before church this week Eliza wanted to do the bunny’s hair.

A week of early mornings

This was one of the most busy weeks of the year for me at work and that led to kind of a crazy family week too. I was busy almost every morning this week with our annual NI Week conference. I had to be at work super early in the morning to catch the bus downtown to see the keynotes at 8:30 in the morning. This time they actually talked about the product that I’ve been working on for the last several years and that was nice. I had hoped it would get more attention but it didn’t. At least we didn’t have to keep our mouths shut about it this year!

Adam's product I've worked on for the last 5 years was announced at NI week this week.
Adam’s product he’s worked on for the last 5 years was announced at NI week this week.

We’ve had an interesting week with food. James is a bit of a picky eater. When he likes what he has, he eats like a champ. When he doesn’t like it, it’s a tantrum fest to try to get him to eat. He has an issue with textures. He doesn’t like anything that isn’t a perfectly smooth puree or something that he can pick up with his fingers. We tried homemade green beans and broccoli this week and he didn’t like either. Eliza still eats anything you put in front of her. Sometimes she likes to steal the attention from James by asking us to “help her.” Basically this means that she wants us to feed her and she doesn’t want to feed herself anymore.

James was so hungry that he tried to eat the oven one night while dinner was still cooking.
James was so hungry that he tried to eat the oven one night while dinner was still cooking.
Eliza helped mommy make pizza. She loved poking the crust.
Eliza helped mommy make pizza. She loved poking the crust.

On Wednesday we were invited to Lydia’s (Eliza’s friend) birthday party. We went over to our friends’ house and had cake and ice cream. They played some kid games like Duck-Duck-Goose and London Bridge. Eliza didn’t get it at all and just wanted daddy to hold her. When they got out the balloons and bubbles everything was better. She loves blowing bubbles and she’s still asking to sleep with her purple balloon that she got from the party. We’re glad that she has such a good little friend in Lydia. They get to play a lot and get along pretty well.

Eliza loved the bubbles at her friend's birthday party.
Eliza loved the bubbles at her friend’s birthday party.

On Friday we had a bunch of kids over before dinner while their parents were out doing missionary work or going to the temple. It was fun to have a house full of kids! Eliza and daddy were at the pool before and we had a great time. She loves swimming. This week at the pool she found a noodle that another girl had left in the water and we borrowed it. She liked holding it and kicking her way around the pool. She’s not super fast but she’s getting the hang of it.

Eliza and James playing on mommy and daddy's bed on Sunday morning.
Eliza and James playing on mommy and daddy’s bed on Sunday morning.
Eliza helped James read the scriptures while mommy was preparing dinner.
Eliza helped James read the scriptures while mommy was preparing dinner.

On Saturday we were also busy. In the morning Eliza helped Daddy mow the lawn. Last time we tried this she was super afraid of the mower but this time she kept on wanting to help push. She would get a pair of gloves from the garage and then come ask if she could help. She would hold on to the handle and push with me all over the lawn. When we got to the back yard she got bored of that and decided to ride her bike instead.

Eliza helped daddy mow the lawn this week. She actually pushed the mower for the entire side of the house and then got distracted by her bike.
Eliza helped daddy mow the lawn this week. She actually pushed the mower for the entire side of the house and then got distracted by her bike.

Also on Saturday we had our mini block party. We decided it was a success. We had three families come. Our next-door neighbors came and two families from the other end of the street. Two of them have kids around Eliza’s age and it was fun to see them get comfortable with each other and start playing. We pulled our grill around to the front and put up some shade and just grilled some meat. People that came brought meat and some sides to share. It was pretty low key but we got to meet some people and had a good time.

Eliza wearing daddy's boots. She had one on backwards before this and walked halfway across the room before she realized.
Eliza wearing daddy’s boots. She had one on backwards before this and walked halfway across the room before she realized.
James is just as cute as can be.
James is just as cute as can be.

On Monday, Sarah took dinner to a lady that she visit teaches that had recently moved out of the ward. She took her a lasagna (that was delicious by the way). She thought that she was just going to be there for just a few minutes to drop off the dish but she ended up getting to stay and talk for a while. It has been fun to see her interact with this lady and become her friend. Sarah and her companion have been one of the few contacts this family has had with the church and they have been diligent in reaching out to them and have built a good friendship with this sister.

Eliza got her chair out and was reading outloud to herself.
Eliza got her chair out and was reading outloud to herself.
Eliza made this Lego tower all by herself.
Eliza made this Lego tower all by herself.

The busy week that could

This has turned out to be the busy week that wasn’t supposed to be but we made it through and are all still happy and only somewhat less sane than when we started the week.
Eliza "sleeping" on the stairs with her water, her fish, her blanket and her tower
Eliza “sleeping” on the stairs with her water, her fish, her blanket and her tower
Monday Eliza had her 2 year doctor appointment. She had to get a blood test (they pricked her toe) and her HepA booster (I think that’s the one it was). She was a champ with both of them and loved her “sticker” on her toe. She was pretty tired that day and wanted to rest but she wasn’t cranky too much. She actually had a few days of feeling a bit lethargic but by Wednesday evening she was back to her normal self. We were also happy, and a bit surprised, to find that she’s in the 61st percentile for weight and of course still in the 98th percentile for weight. We fully expect her to be over 6 feet tall. Please keep you eyes open for good families that have tall boys so we can get some marriage arrangements done! Also if you know of good places for tall clothing let us know.
Eliza tracing her hand. She's asking to color more and more.
Eliza tracing her hand. She’s asking to color more and more.
The other exciting thing that happened on Monday is that my car broke down on the way to work. The electrical system totally just cut out. I had to wait for a tow for about two hours and was sweating bullets. Turns out that the power cable for the battery had complete corroded through and had to be replaced. I hope that this car lasts us for a while and that we don’t have to buy another one soon.
Eliza loves the cloak that Sarah made her for her birthday. She also loves to read.
Eliza loves the cloak that Sarah made her for her birthday. She also loves to read.
Tuesday I had to drive some kids to our stake pioneer trek. It was a three hour drive both ways. I had a good time talking with the boys I drove out. I’ve only heard good things from their experience. I’m glad that I get to work with such stellar youth.
Watching our yard's bunny
Watching our yard’s bunny
Tuesday night we heard from Dad Arnesen that my Aunt Kathy had passed away. She had been living with my parents for two weeks since she had her prognosis from the doctor that she only had two weeks to a few months to live. We all thought she’d last more than the two weeks but she died exactly two weeks and a day from the time she had her prognosis. She is a great lady who had a hard life and we miss her. I was able to travel to Utah for the funeral on Saturday and it was good to be with the family.
Thursday Sarah got to get out and about and got some shopping done. She went to a baby shower that night for a lady in our ward and had a good time. The kids were so tired that I had an easy time getting them to bed and I had a chance to get my tickets for the funeral.
James and Eliza playing duplos
James and Eliza playing duplos
Eliza was so tired that she fell asleep at the table.
Eliza was so tired that she fell asleep at the table.
Grandma Arnesen found these cute slippers for Eliza. They are some of the last ones that Great Grandma Arnesen made.
Grandma Arnesen found these cute slippers for Eliza. They are some of the last ones that Great Grandma Arnesen made.
Friday and Saturday were whirlwind days. I worked a normal day on Friday and then flew to Utah that night. My flight from Houston to Salt Lake City was delayed several times and was not a good experience. I finally got to Salt Lake around 1:30 am and Mom Arnesen picked me up and I went to their house and slept for a few hours.
The funeral and viewing were on Saturday. It was good to see my family and to spend time with my cousins. I have a crazy, fun group of cousins. They are all different from me but I like that we all can have a good time together and be a family. I think we have come long way from years ago in our relationships. My mom and dad both gave great talks at the funeral and the spirit was strong. I got to dedicate the grave which was a new experience for me.
I came home late on Saturday night. It was actually early Sunday morning. Today we had a fairly normal day of church and then had dinner with our neighbors.
Eliza got a starburst candy from a friend at church. We asked her not to eat it until we got home. She was very obedience but opened it and fell asleep before we got home.
Eliza got a starburst candy from a friend at church. We asked her not to eat it until we got home. She was very obedience but opened it and fell asleep before we got home.
Rebekah got James this cute bow tie.
Rebekah got James this cute bow tie.

 

The many faces of James
The many faces of James
Here’s to hoping this next week of some vacation is restful!