Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Grade

Best Blogger Tips
Eli is doing very well this year so far!  He made the transition from half day kindergarten to full day first grade quite well.  He loves school and is always so excited to get on the bus every morning.  I'm very glad to hear reports of "best friends" and how much he loves his class and teacher.  Here is his school picture - he told me he smiled for it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Made This Today

Best Blogger Tips

All by myself.  :)  It's just a workbench, it will sit in the garage - I'm not even sure if I'm going to paint it.  Right now some wood glue is drying.  The surfaces of this workbench are made from DMD board - I absolutely despise DMD board, and will never use it again if at all possible. It was super easy to cut, but it just seems flimsy and it has the weirdest smell!  This was a test run to see if I really can handle this type of project.  There are mistakes, of course, but it's not falling down.  It seems to be level.  I am still very uncomfortable with the circular saw, so hopefully that will pass.

Here is what I really want to make:

Isn't that nice?  Of course, it's ONLY $2,500 - it's on special!  Oh, that doesn't include shipping.  I'm going to do it soon.  My main problem looks like it's going to be finding flat boards.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Post That Took All Year

Best Blogger Tips
Sometime in late winter, I took a look at the list of posts I had made on this blog, and saw one with the big red "draft" indicator underneath.  I didn't remember even starting to to write it, but as soon as I opened it up, I knew - the post about finally becoming a RN.  I scrapped the whole thing, so here's the new post.  It needs to be made, because above all else, there are many thank you's that need to be said.  A year ago today, I was sitting in the NCLEX-RN testing center, so nervous I was physically shaking, with the biggest worry that I was going to vomit all over the place and be kicked out.  I knew NOTHING.  I had sat through countless classes, put in hundreds of hours of clinical time, and proven myself on so many skills.  Yet I was completely inept.  Of course, the reality was that none of this was true, but it's hard to see reality when you're trying your best not to throw up in the lobby of the testing center.

For those of you who are not familiar, the NCLEX-RN is the licensure exam that determines whether or not a nursing candidate is competent to practice nursing.  Of course, it is huge, and scary, and horror stories are told of it from the very beginning of nurse training, which doesn't help one bit.  I had taken a review course, which was fabulous, but I still did not feel confident.  I had delivered Daniel about 3 months earlier, and I was just starting to feel like I could think again.  I knew the longer I waited, the harder the test was going to be, so I went ahead did it.  After 75 questions, my test shut down.  75 is the minimum number of questions a candidate is required to complete.  I knew I'd either passed or tragically bombed it.  The next day I found out that I was done.  Finally.  I had passed, and this chapter was finally finished.  I started the process of working on pre-requisites when I was pregnant with Sophia.  I finished the actual nursing program and graduated 3 weeks before I had Daniel.  We were so busy.

The first person who I owe an unutterable amount of thanks to is my wonderful husband.  It simply would not have been possible without his sacrifice to finish the program.  At the end of each quarter, I would say, "Chris, I can't do this anymore.  I quit."  And he would tell me that he would support me either way, but he was sure I could do it.  My husband is often right.  :)  My kids also sacrificed - though of course they didn't really understand it.  I was often gone on the weekends for clinical work, and would leave to study and take exams.  A lot of family time was missed - it makes me sad to think about it!  To our parents, who helped out as best they could when they could, and were always available.  To friends and the church, who offered support, encouragement, and confidence when I simply didn't think I was going to make it.  To my clinical group: my fellow students who helped me whenever I needed it, who stuck by my side through a legitimately awful final clinical quarter, and who watched me and checked on me when I was quite ill and probably shouldn't have been there.  And of course, to my teachers.  Some were harder than others, but I learned a lot from all of them.

Because I stay at home with the kids, it's not really possible for me to work full time at this point.  I do use my degree, working 1 weekend per month at a camp for kids and adults with developmental disabilities.  I love it, and I love the campers.  I will tell you that there is no school on earth that could have prepared me for this job - they just don't teach you how to pass medications while a patient is in the swimming pool at nursing school.

Friday, September 13, 2013

First Haircut

Best Blogger Tips
First haircuts make me SAD!  I know that the kids start looking a little mulletish as their hair grows, but I love the curls!  Daniel had to get his hair cut today.  It was time.  I leave boy haircut decisions largely up to Chris - he's a lot more conservative than I am on the subject.

Here's the before:

And the after:

No matter how hard I try to keep this boy a baby, I just can't win.  He looks like such a big boy now.  ♥

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Isaac is Four!

Best Blogger Tips
Happy Birthday to my big 4-year-old!  Isaac is growing up so fast.  He has become a great big brother, and an awesome mommy's helper!  I'm excited to see what this next year brings for him.

A special Happy Birthday to Uncle Chad (my brother) as well!  He turns the big 3-0 today!  His baby will be arriving will be interesting to see if she decides to come on MY birthday!  I'd love to share!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting Along

Best Blogger Tips
I'm not sure what it is about groups of 3 kids, but at my house, it just doesn't work.  When Eli, Sophie, and Isaac are together, small skirmishes break out often, and sometimes it escalates to the brink of full blown war.  However, now that Eli is in school all day, Sophie and Isaac play so well together!  It's really amazing!  I don't want to imply that Eli is the problem.  Alone with Sophie or alone with Isaac produces the same great behavior.  They just cannot handle being in groups of 3!

They are out in the back, doing something - I'm not sure.  I try to stay out of it.  It always involves dirt and flowers and rocks.  Sometimes I hear them talking about making soup.

This picture is a little grainy because I took it through the screen and the glass so as not to disturb them.  I think it's funny how Sophie has a pile of flowers in front of her and Isaac has a pile of dirt.  :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sophia is Five!

Best Blogger Tips
Our sweet girl turned five years old today!  She picked Friendly's for her dinner out, and thoroughly enjoyed her ice cream.

Sophie got an American Girl Doll for her birthday, Marie-Grace.  She LOVES it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sophie's Week

Best Blogger Tips
We are in the middle of "Sophie Week."  :)  Which is totally fine.  I find that having a daughter brings about an entirely new set of problems than having boys.  We constantly fight against the "princess" nonsense - not princess as in she is a Child of the One True King, but princess as defined by our distorted culture which attributes entirely unacceptable behavior to the title and in doing so makes the behavior acceptable.

Today, Sophie had her first dance lesson of the year.  This will be her second year at this studio, and even after the first lesson I can tell that the teacher is moving them ahead.  I'm excited!  I was also glad to see a few of the same girls in her class!  We often find ourselves in a sea of boys, and I worry that she doesn't have a lot of close little girl friends.

On Saturday, we had a birthday party for Sophie.  She had a blast.  Lots of people we love came over to celebrate with us.  Her birthday isn't actually until next Monday, but we decided to do her big 5th celebration early.

We went to visit Chris' sister Jill and her family this past weekend, and Sophie got to have a sleep over with Cousin Reese in Reese's room.  Sophie was THRILLED.  She keeps asking when we can go back so she can do it again!