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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

*Happy Holidays*

Christmas is coming and we made it official by setting up our tree & lights. We've been able to keep Rilie out of the tree mostly. Alvin & Paul keep saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone. They are so sweet and in the holiday spirit. They still don't understand the radio though. We are listening to the Christmas station, and the boys don't understand why I can't just play the songs they ask for. I've explained there is a DJ out there picking the songs on his computer and they come into our car in waves, and I can only choose which DJ I listen to. It hasn't settled in. I'll have to make a Christmas mix of their favorite songs.

This Thursday, I will be 10 weeks along. We're meeting with our OB next week. I'm excited. The boys really want to come and listen to the heartbeat. I'm torn, if there is bad news... I don't want them there. If it's good news, I do want them there. The logical thing to do is to keep them home, but they have their hearts set on it. We'll see what we decide.

Work is going well for Nick. They are very happy with him. He's been a great help at home, which has been heavenly. It's fun watching him play with the boys. We've had plenty of cabin fever this winter. Typically, I take them sledding, swimming, or ice skating after school. Right now, it's all I can do to get off the couch to meet them at the mail box. Nick enjoys playing different games with them, light saber battles, etc. Hopefully, my next trimester will be full of energy and the desire to work on projects.

We wish you all a happy holiday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Goin' on up...

Things continue to go well for us.

Alvin's homeschool curriculum is beginning to appear at our door. I hope to have all his curriculum by Thanksgiving. It's amazing how quickly he is learning. We've gone from not knowing how to write, to writing a paragraph (fairly independently) in 2 weeks. It's amazing.

Baby is still growing. My progesterone began to fall, so they've increased my dose. Baby has a strong heart beat. We haven't heard it yet, but we got to see it on the ultrasound. I am still very tired, although we found out that is a side-effect of the medicine I am on. So, I've got a double whammy!

Nick's work is going well. His team is finishing up a project right now, so he'll be working late nights. I'll miss the yummy dinners he's been making. Time to pull out the crock pot :)

Paul is loving school and really opening up at home. I think he enjoys having school be a special thing only he goes to. We're having more snuggle time when he gets home, which is very nice!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Surprise! Surprise!

Well, by now most of the world knows we're expecting! It is so weird and cool.

We were filling out adoption papers again, so it was quite the surprise. I know people think adoption gets people pregnant, and I don't wish to argue with others' personal experiences, but for me... we're pregnant, because we're meant to be. We adopted, because we were meant to adopt. I don't feel like adoption is a fertility program, nor should it ever be seen as such. The children who are adopted, deserve better than that. As for now, I'm enjoying being pregnant, but don't think we are done with adoption. I still feel like there are a few more spirits we are meant to bring to our home through adoption.

We are including our boys as much as possible! We found a short clip for a baby growing from week 1 - 9, and my boys LOVE it! We get out objects that represent its size. Last week, it was the size of a sesame seed; this week, it's the size of a lentil. I don't know about you, but that is some major growth! In two weeks, it will be the size of a grape with fingers, toes, and most of its face formed. Our baby will actually begin looking like a little baby. We are very excited!

I am so grateful for all of my miracles, because all of my children are miracles! Each way they came to us was miraculous and guided by the hand of God. I am so grateful to be their mother, and I am grateful they are all my own. If you ask me which ones are mine, don't be surprised if I say all of them, because they are ALL MINE!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homeschool Plunge

Hello digital world!

This week, Alvin & I are taking the homeschool plunge. It has been a blast so far. I'm still waiting for curriculum, so we are doing our own thing. I'm focusing on reading, writing, and math. I have Hooked on Phonics boxes from ages ago for math & reading. He's flying through it.

For writing, we are practicing brainstorming thoughts/ideas into a paragraph. On the first day, we decided to talk about snow. I put the word in a box in the center of the board. Then I draw verticle lines below & above, and horizontal lines left & right. Making four boxes outside the center box with "snow" written in it. He has to come up with 4 thoughts regarding the subject. I help him come up with ideas, "How does it feel?", "What do you think when you see it?", etc. We then flesh those ideas into a simple sentence he copies in his writing journal. Today, he wanted to write about my visit to the doctor and how they "stole" my blood. That expose went much quicker & with much more enthusiasm :)

I'm excited for this next adventure. Nervous some days, but overall excited!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Chapter... page one

Nick graduated (check) Found a new job (check) Found a bigger place (check) Worried about my kids making friends in their new school & ward (double check!) Are we okay (so far... check).

A lot has happened. We're still in AK. We're still trying new things and we're still moving forward. Summer was a blur... lots of to-dos and not so letting go and having fun. I'm hoping next summer will be better.

I am helping plan our 10 year High School Reunion. I'm nervous and excited. I'm grateful it will be a laid back picnic, followed by bars, and a Sunday brunch. I'm helping with the picnic and wishing everyone well with the rest of it. It's funny out of the 4 other ladies helping out, I only recognize two of them. Hopefully the big day will go better.

While I may not have the same figure, I am excited to brag about my amazing husband... people will be shocked we're still together. Best friends turned senior couple turned break up that went down in flames turned cold & distant eventually turned into forgiveness and best friends again turned married with three amazing kids.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

General Conference

This Conference hasn't been as peaceful, but that happens when you add a 16 month old to the equation. I stopped trying to take notes during the second session and just sat on the floor with my boys and half listened to everyone and everything. BUT I was able to feel the spirit of it and the boys' ears kept perking up "Mom, did they say prophet?" "Did they say scriptures?" It helps when you bribe them with chocolate chips and a few words to listen for.

As for working out, I had to take a sabbatical. Mid-March, I over did it and I have this line in my buttocks that hasn't healed. I can walk for 30 minutes every other day now and do all the mommy & household things I need to do. Which is a major improvement. I was lame for the first 7 - 10 days.

Exciting new, before this all happened... I ran 2 miles straight. For my birthday Nick and my parents went in on a jogger stroller for me. It's awesome! I love taking Rilie out in it.

School is out in 7 weeks. I'm prepping our "Summer School" for home. Figuring out what Alvin needs to work on. Right now, the plan is Hooked on Phonics (M, W, F) with Math & Science (T, R). I've highlited special days & birthdays as well, we can make birthday cards & art part of the writing practice. My goal is only an hour a day, done in 20 min intervals. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring is here, I think?

Hmmm.... I'm tired. Emotionally, physically, and I'm sure some other parts of me are just tired. Nick is in the last 6 weeks of school. We still haven't found a job, but we have some more time before we get the final word from the job he REALLY wants. I go through boughts of thinking maybe I should start babysitting. Then I remember we don't have enough seats in our car to bring said children to Alvin's appts, and picking up the boys from school. So, faith is all we have and it's pretty good to live on.

Alvin is exploring defiance, but it's not too bad. He tries to argue his point and talk over me. I'm working really hard at not feeding the cycle (by yelling and arguing back, just ending it). Which means I have to bite my tongue and just send him to his room until he's willing to speak respectfully. He comes around, so I know it's just a phase... at least that's my mantra. GOOD NEWS! He has his annual speech evaluation. He scored in the average for all but two categories. Instead of upping his appointments, we'll actually be DECREASING! YEAH!!! For him and me!

Paul is just full of energy and joy. He is full of confidence with his new skills he wants to try out over and over again. He loves hide-and-seek. He is a strong reader, but not really interested. At school, they have a special reading group. You have to complete 5 Bob books, then you can join. Paul has been ready & able since February, but just forgets to turn in his books. It isn't a battle by any means, he'd just rather do something else. Lucky his teacher isn't pushy. She is amazing! Now his best friend is in the reading group. So, he is a little more motivated.

Rilie is mimicking our everyday activities. He likes to try and write, he actually holds pens in a tripod grip! He loves reading books. Crawling on the kitchen table is a favorite (okay, that's not mimicking anyone that I know of). Singing is a past time of his... his whole body gets into these whimsical poses as he stares at something unseen and sings. I think I have an artist on my hands.

I have been enjoying the sunshine! I can now run 2 miles straight . I'm prepping to summer school the boys myself, again. Just for an hour a day. For science we're going to learn about animals. Where and how they live, what they eat, etc. Alvin wants to learn about animals that eat people. We narrowed down the list: Lions, tigers, bears (oh my), snakes, sharks, and vultures. So far, Paul just wants to learn about dogs. Maybe we'll study the different breeds.

Primary is going AWESOME! I love my kids. We had a Primary Activity this week. Lauren lead games in the gym, Becky Marvin helped the kids dip Cake Pops in chocolate, and I helped them make Thank You cards. We separated them by classes: 3 - 5 years olds, 6 - 8 year olds, 9 - 11 years olds. We had a HUGE turn out. Next time, we'll take count.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Teaching, No Greater Call

I've been reading the manual, Teaching, No Greater Call and I am totally in love with it. I've had it since Singles Ward and only now am I really diving into it. I didn't realize it delved into parenting & Visiting Teaching. I can't believe all the tips and counsel they give. I'm finding so many answers to so many things. My favorite sections are Creating a Learning Atmosphere, teaching different ages, and teaching techniques. I'm feeling really good about my Sharing Time lesson this week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Facing my underwater demons

Today I jumped in the pool! My goal was 4 laps... but I was able to pull out 36!!! They were not pretty or elegant, and I inhaled lots of water. But, I am so proud of myself. My new Visiting Teacher came over to introduce herself with a plate of brownies. Yes, we celebrated :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

My break is over... ready for more!

Two Fridays ago, I woke up with a whacked out shoulder & neck. I couldn't even lift Rilie. I went to a chiropracter recommended by a couple friends. Tomorrow is adjustment 4 of 4. The massages have been painful, but good. Apparently, the years of bad posture and lifting children caught up and exercising was just the last straw the broke the camel (or my) back. I learned a lot of good things... like Omega 3s are a natural anti-inflammatory, and I'm back to pushing hard.

Today, I was going to get in the water... since that is my weakness with the three events. But, CSI was airing part II of an episode I never finished in college (roommates fav show, but I did enjoy watching it with her from time to time). So... biking and elliptical it was!

I don't know what to call what I do on the elliptical ... it wasn't walking or running... something in between?? Whatever it was, I did 1.75 miles in 25 minutes.

Biking 6.35 miles (35 minutes)

Total burn for the day: 510 calories!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 4 & 5

Falling behind here...

Things are going great. Yesterday, I ran 1.61 miles & biked 6 miles. Today, I did a full body work out with weights. I found an awesome website full of routines, www.muscleandstrength.com. Every exercises has a video showing you proper form. I also completed a second workout playlist. Things continue to go well.

As for a new goal, I've been talked into joining a group of sisters doing the Pink Cheeks triathalon. It's considered a "sprint" triathlon: 5K run, 10 K bike, and 30 lap swim (not sure what size the pool is). I'm actually getting really excited about it. I'm already jogging 1/2 the 5 K & biking 10K three days a week. I just need to get swimming down. My friends reassured it's not crazy competitive. Apparently there is an older man that runs it in a tutu.

It will be a fun road trip with some awesome sisters!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pictures of my boys...

It's so hard to catch still pictures of moving kids... but these are some good ones. I hope to get more shots of Alvin and Paul that aren't just blurrs :)

My three boys

Rilie with bed head. So cute!

A box and a flashlight... what else could a boy need.

Paul & Rilie tickling.
Check out Paul's missing tooth.

Alvin & Rilie sword fighting

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 3...

Day 3.. It took me 28 min 22 seconds to finish 2 miles. I'm pretty proud of that, Wednesday it took me 15 minutes to do 1 mile. Today, I ran for 1.5 miles straight. YEAH!!! I biked 5 miles on double the incline. Today, total calorie burn +500. Total for the week 1500 calories.

There is a 5K at the end of February, but I"m nervous about cold & ice. My friend said they probably keep the streets/path pretty clear. She's probably right. Would I be ready by then???

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 1...

Day 1 of Working Out

I am blessed with a ward full of sisters that love to run races and the like. For a year they've been encouraging me to do a 5K with them. A couple weeks ago, a friend who is training for a triathlon found a great deal at a local gym. It's affordable and has a free day care for our little ones. I spent the last week thinking about it: Will I commit? Am I wasting our resources? On Saturday I made the decision: Yes, I will commit! Which was cool, because our Home Teachers came over on Sunday and shared the message about the need for missionaries. They talked about the different aspects for couples to prepare: Spiritual, financial, and health. He encouraged us to read D&C 89 and see how it can help us prepare for a mission when the time comes. Another affirmation, that this is what I need to be doing.

I now have a schedule in place. I'm really hoping and praying I can stick to it. Up early to read scriptures & take my medicine, guide the kids in their morning routine, get Rilie ready, eat breakfast, take the kids to school, head off to the gym, back in time for lunch and naps. It's a delicate balance with some key components. I can't eat breakfast for an hour after I take my medicine (so, can't be late there). If I over sleep, scriptures study and medicine are missed and mom, kids, and Rilie are overly rushed out the door. This also means, mom and dad can't stay up late... which was developed over the last semester when he didn't get home till 10pm.

The good news is not only will working out & study the scriptures not conflict anymore, I have naps to pull together Primary & Family business. There are a lot of good things that can happen, I just hope I will make them happen.

Here's to Day 1!