About Me

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Our adventures started in amazing Alaska, but have since taken us to beautiful Spokane Valley, Washington. Our family consists of Nick (Dad), Becki (Mom), and our four boys: Alvin, Alex, Rilie, and Jackson. I enjoy homeschooling our kids and we're excited for what adventures Spokane has for us.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year & New Resolutions...

Hello All,

Although, I must confess... I feel like I'm typing into cyber space waiting for someone to pick up my digital note in a bottle. If you're out there... please let me know.

I don't typically make "New Year Resolutions". I think it's a silly time to make a resolution. The holidays are busy, emotional, and crazy (in the good way and sometimes the bad way). How is one going to make a healthy realistic goal that builds one up, rather than tear them down even more? Anyways... regardless, I feel drawn to making one this year. This year's goal is a return to simplicity. It's an easy goal I return to about every few months. I go through my calendar, agendas, and to-do lists. I nix off the items that aren't essential, and enjoy the next several weeks of being a mommy, wife, and friend. After a couple months, some more non-essential craziness clutters my life and we start over. So, here's to another SIMPLE new year :D

The holidays have been wonderful. We are so excited to go to my parents' cabin. Alvin & Paul are really excited to go snow machining and shoot off fireworks.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! This morning has been wonderful. This year, we went minimal on presents and it's been nice. I must admit, I was anxious for them to wake up and enjoy the morning as a family. I couldn't fall asleep until after midnight and was wide awake by 5:30am. Nick and Rilie woke around 6:30am and Alvin & Paul around 7am.

One of our traditions that I love is the kids help pass out the gifts, then we open them one at a time talking about the person who sent the gift. The boys opened their stockings: Pezz Dispensers, Bath Toy, Travel Game, a few goodies (emphasis on few). Santa graced our home with a box of home-made blocks for all three boys to share. Alvin & Paul were so cute, they opened their cards first and we talked about who sent them.

Last night, we visited with Grandma & Grandpa Anderson. Aunt Tasha & our cousins the Moses were there. Grandma Anderson put together a lovely Christmas activity for the kids. There was a paper tree with ornaments all cut out ready to be glued on. Each ornament had a number & scripture on it. Each number lead you to a question that the scripture answered. It was a great way to bring us back to the reason for Christmas. The kids enjoyed all the matching and gluing. Hannah and I always love singing Christmas Carols together. She has such a beautiful voice. Nick received Talisman, a role-playing board game. He and most the house enjoyed learning how to play it.

After the Anderson party, we drove around town looking at Christmas lights. We found a whole neighborhood decorated from roof to foundation. It was amazing! Nick and I shared what we liked and what we didn't. We keep talking about when we have a home and how we want to decorate it. After that, we helped our tired boys get into their jammies (Alvin, not so tired). We read the children version of the Christmas story & put out Egg Nog and Auntie Sam's truffles for Santa. Alvin's plan: Stay awake all night and once he heard the jingle bells of Santa's sleigh, he would fall asleep.

The morning has been so peaceful. I think toning down the gifts and treats made a HUGE difference. The boys have been quietly building with their Legos. Rilie went back to sleep awhile ago... and Nick and I are ready to take a quick snooze.

Merry Christmas to All!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deck the Halls

I want to find a Christmas backdrop... any suggestions?

Tis the season, and I don't want it to slip by to fast. I want to enjoy baking, giving, and singing our way through the Christmas season. So bring out the red marker and block off my calendar for festive memory making fun!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

My life isn't exciting enough to post in here often.

Things are going great! Primary is going so well. We're visiting kiddos and really connecting with our teachers. The teacher training went awesome! Great spirit, great teachers sharing such touching stories and testimonies. So grateful to be in the Primary and I am so grateful to have such awesome people in there with me.

Nick is so anxious. This is his last full time semester (where did the year go!). His classes are brutual. Last minute assignments are a regular occurence. Any time he catches up another 5 assignments are put in the box. I'm so glad he continued fencing. It's a great opportunity to get his mind off school and just enjoy something. He's lost 10 pounds. Not that he had weight to loose. He is actually getting some ab definition... which he may not want me to post :) There may be a six pack in the near future. Okay... I better stop, good thing he doesn't read my blog!

Alvin is doing so incredible at school. I've been horrible at going over home work after school. Math has just taken off. He's staying in the classroom and only leaves... maybe twice a week, even then, they said he really doensn't need much help. Such a blessing! His ability to read is picking up. He's reading the same books the kids were reading at the beginning of the year.

Paul is doing so well too. He beams every time I come into the classroom. He loves it when I choose him first to work on a project. He's also really happy I'm in primary. He has this whole "That's my mom!" attitude, which is so flattering. I hope it lasts :) He loves crawling into Rilie's crib and playing with him. Rilie loves it too. We are going on 4-5 weeks of no hitting at school. I don't care who you are... that's amazing!

Rilie turned 1 this month! It was so much fun. He isn't walking yet (he'll stand for a few seconds, if he doesn't realize he's doing it), but maybe by Christmas? His conversations are so mixed with different sounds. He is definitely mimicking our conversations. He is very shy around people he doesn't see a lot, there are a select few he will just go to. Two of them are our nursery leaders... which will make turning 18 months so much easier! He loves to play catch. Loves to chase. Loves hide-in-seek, peek-a-boo, and opening and shutting things. He sometimes sings to himself... so cute.

We are all excited to get on a plane soon. The kids and I have a count down. We got their State IDs today. I don't want to fiddle with the paper work or stress about people believing my adopted kids are mine. They're pictures turned out SO CUTE! Alvin keeps asking me, "Mom, are my dots there?" (his dimples).

Another special thing this month, we got lots of visits from Rilie's birth family. It was so great to see everyone.

I wish you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And challenge you to post 5 things your grateful for:

1) Warm home full of laughter
2) Warm body that functions when I treat it properly (and even when I don't treat it as well as I should)
3) Warm husband that I get to snuggle with over the holidays
4) New friends that I get to enjoy and learn from
5) My kids... for being MY kids :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catch Up :P

Nick... chugging along in school. Gets home around 8 - 10pm most nights. Good news: His professor decided to listen to his students and review his grading. The class was failing. Now he has a strong passing grade. He no longer is stressing about passing it and having to retake 18 credits because his credits would expire before he was able to graduate. Big load off our shoulders. He just started intermediate fencing class, loving it!

Alvin... doing much better at school. Things were getting worrisome. We were able to change part of his IEP to better suit his needs. He's rocking at Math now... instead of being behind. Reading is coming slowly, but it is coming. We love his classroom and resource teacher! He has gone fencing with his dad and loves it! Nick was surprised with how engaged and focused he was.

Paul... doing great! No longer pestering the others kids. He's learned how to write to one hundred and can read all the books his teacher sends home. Building his confidence in art, he compares himself to Alvin and it drives him nuts he can't make the picture how he wants it to look. But, we take him through his picture detail, by detail, and then post it up for the world to see. He's getting more forgiving with his 5 year old fingers. Paul went fencing with his dad too, but did not care for it as much.

Rilie... crawling and climbing into everything he can. He has 4 teeth. Eating a ton! Got his first ear infection. Currently is trying to get a large ball out, from under a chair it is stuck under, by pushing the chair around the room. Loves cause and effect, particularly opening and shutting doors. Still a thrill junkie!

Myself... Preparing for the Primary Program, coming up soon. Preparing for teacher training, Primary Goals, Ward Mission Goals, and other Primary related things. Tired, but loving it. Still volunteering in Alvin and Paul's classroom. Considering P90x. Spending lots of time on the floor exploring the world with Rilie... thinking of a hobby or talent to develop, but not really wanting too. Loving my Thursday potlucks. Making lots of friends in the ward. I have new AMAZING visiting teachers that have invited me to do many things lately. It's great to feel like you're part of something.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Volunteering at their school

Today was cool enough to wear a sweater! I love fall! We've had a beautiful September. It's been bright and sunny for days now. Which made the cool fog that settled this morning that much more mystical when the kids got up.

Last week, I started volunteering in the boys' classrooms. It was a lot of fun. In Alvin's room, I do the reading tests with the kids. It went really well, and calmed my fears over how behind Alvin is or isn't. He's doing just fine! YEAH! In Paul's room, I did apple prints. They had read, "10 Apples Up on Top", so we stamped 10 apples above one another on a long sheet of paper.

I got to Paul's room a little early and was able to watch their math lesson. It was so much fun. The teacher had a drawing of a kid on the board with two dashed lines. One was above their head and one was around their belly-button. The kids were supposed to draw a picture of something taller than their self (pink sticky note) and something shorter than their self (yellow sticky note). The teacher then stuck each sticky either above the head or around the belly of the drawing. What a great hands on way to teach math concepts.

I LOVE MY KIDS SCHOOL! While I think home school is great and plan to do it when my kids are older... I am so glad I gave our neighborhood school a chance. They amaze me!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coming along...

School is chugging along for the three boys. Paul loves kindergarten! He's coming along well and finding words to read. He's also beginning to read stories back to me. Alvin is enjoying it this time around... although after two years of preschool (making this his 3rd first day of school), it's not as fascinating to him anymore. He enjoys the friends, change in scenery, and what not... but I can tell this year will be harder for him. Nick is LOVING fencing. His teacher represented the US in one of the past Olympics, which is cool. They have been fitted for suits and masks. He has learned he enjoy the Pistol grip over the French grip. He's hoping they'll be allowed to hold their swords today.

Other than that... I am learning how to balance my expanding world. I remember my dad telling me, "If you see your kids as in the way, they always will be. If you treat them like the highlite to your day, they will become such." It's so true. Instead of scheduling my day out by hours, I schedule it around naps. Rilie and I play till his first nap, then I work on my calling; then we play till his second nap, then I clean the house. If he skips a nap, I don't fret about my calling or house work. It's taking a lot of faith. Not that I don't want to play with Rilie... there is just a lot to learn about Primary (like preparing for a Sacrament Program) and it really affects the family if I get too behind on house work. But, switching to this method has really helped a lot. Thank you for inspiration!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Winding down...

Summer is winding down. I love autum. I have decided it's my favorite time of year. I love the crisp cool air, smells, and bold colors. Going on walks this time of year is my favorite.

The boys (Nick, Alvin, and Paul) start school this week. I am happy and sad. We'll be buying some gym shoes for Alvin & Paul tomorrow, other than that we are all prepared! Backpacks packed; teachers met; and both are eager to go. This is Nick's last full time semester. He realized he needed 1 CR extra to graduate (on top of expected classes). He is VERY excited to take Foil Fencing. It will be 5 weeks long, so by the time the other classes begin picking up steam it will be over. He'll still have one more class next semester. The plan is for him to be working by Christmas and graduate in May. It's gone by so quickly, I can't believe it's been a year since we started this adventure.

We spent the last weekend doing fun family stuff together.

Friday, we went to the zoo. Alvin's favorite animal is the porcupine. Paul didn't express a favorite but had lots of questions :) They had a new bear cub that was quite the escape artist. In 2 - 3 weeks, he had escaped 3 times. They lined a section of the inside with plastic (so he couldn't climb out), wired a lower section (inside & outside) with hot wire to discourage trying. After several sensory experiences with the hot wire, the cub turned downward and started digging!

Saturday, we went to the Imaginarium. This was especially fun, because Rilie's birth dad came. We hadn't seen him since Christmas, so it was a special occasion. It's cute watching men hold babies that are scared of dropping them. He will always have a special place in our hearts. His paternal grandmother was there (b. dad's mom). It was so good to see both of them. Rilie showed off his crawling, climbing, and chewing skills. Not much babbling, but Alvin did a great job at making him laugh for them.

Primary is going well. I am becoming more familiar with everything... but still have a ways to go. I finally got my binder organized for my brain. Now, I am getting all the notes, comments, and suggestions organized into one giant TO-DO list.