Sunday, June 12, 2011

Long ol update

It feels like I have so many people to write back and let them know how our lives have been going.  I wrote a message to my family letting them know ALL that has been happening. I thought I would share some of it with you. There are no pictures in this post, but I will be posting pictures about all of them later.

Hi everyone,
I’m so sorry we’ve been out of touch lately. I know I have received so many emails asking how we’ve been, and I’ve had a few messages from people wanting to chat.  First off, let me say that the easiest excuse is that we lost our phone.  The girls used it to talk to their dad, sometimes while lying in bed.  Then it either gets lost in the chaos of their room, or down the side of their bed… then lose power, never to be found again. J  Well, I ended up finding it… in a plastic storage bin.  I remembered where it was because I was the one that put it there.  I had found it next to Xanthe’s bed and didn’t want it ringing in the middle of the night and waking her up.  So I put it between two blankets inside the plastic bin and told myself, “That is a safe place, but try not to forget it.”  I should have learned my lesson from the bajillion other times I’ve said that to myself and then proceed to completely forget about it.  Anyway, it got taken downstairs first thing in the morning while I was in my morning fog. J

Second reason I haven’t answered back much is because usually the ends of the months are really busy for me with the Magazine. I'm really sorry I haven't kept in touch but I will try harder for sure from now on.

Anyway, here goes my update.  It might be kind of long.  I know how much you all love details.  Don’t we all? 

So, let’s see…  Maybe I’ll structure it like a Christmas letter, by each person.  Haha.  I’ve never done a Christmas letter so, here you go!

Brian-Brian’s job is consistently busy and stressful. J  He has a lot on his plate right now and is depended on for quite a lot.  He loves what he does, though, so that’s a bonus.  As far as church stuff, he was asked to be Sunday School President last year, and we lost our Gospel Doctrine teacher so instead of finding someone new, they just asked him to teach it. So he’s doing double work. J  Everyone loves him as the teacher.  He is quite smart (as you all know… I can brag FOR him) and only plans his lessons about an hour before.  He’s taught Gospel Doctrine a few times in the past… I think this is his 4th or 5th time teaching.  He’s also been the one doing the Polite Society website so that keeps him really busy.

Christy-Well, things are going well here with me. I’m kept really busy with the kids, the magazine and church.  More on the kids later.  As far as church, I’m the 1stCounselor in Primary for children. It’s not as busy as I thought it was going to be.  I stepped down from the Out & About Discovery Group because I just needed to scale down the commitments I was taking on.

The magazine is going awesome and we've had a lot of people who love it and a lot of amazing people involved.  

My health is a big thing that keeps me consumed.  After not feeling good for many years with my fibromyalgia and trying so many other things, I knew I needed to try something more intense. So, I’ve turned to a woman who suffered with fibromyalgia for 10 years and finally couldn’t take it anymore.  She has done a ton of research and put together a whole cookbook and detox diet to help with the candida yeast.  I was a bit scared of it at first because of how rigid the detox diets usually are, and how horribly my body reacts to them. But she provides all the herbs and cleansing products (all organic) and it has helped. I haven’t had a diet coke in 2 weeks, and I’ve been completely off refined sugar and dairy.  I’ve given up yeast breads until the yeast is completely out of my body and I can start building up my immunity to things. But I can say I actually feel great.  I’m still detoxing but only after 5 days, I never got that horribly fatigued feeling that I usually do.  And if I do, it only lasts for about 2 minutes. Then it goes.  I don’t need to take naps every day, even if I have lost sleep the night before (which lack of sleep is a huge trigger for an FM flare-up).   I haven’t had cravings at all and I have seriously felt amazing.  I have setbacks every once in awhile but I know it’s going to take time. It’s amazing what healthy eating will do for a person.  I just seem to forget sometimes.

We also have a girl over here named Brittany, who is my cousin's girlfriend.  She came over to help me as a nanny and be sort of help me with projects, take care of the kids and just be an extra set of hands. It has been great and such an extra help.  With Brian working long hours and me having to shuttle the girls around all over the place (we live 15 minutes from the base and their school), it has helped a lot.  We also brought her over to have her help me while I was detoxing and be a second person while I was trying to figure out how to get better.  She is staying in a different room than our guest room so WE STILL HAVE A GUEST ROOM if anyone wants to come visit. J  Just a little heads up that after this summer, we only have one more summer here and then we move back in September of 2012 (unless we extend which we’re not sure if we are going to do). 

Xanthe/Xoe-I’m gonna put them together here for the things they are doing together and then split them out if they have some individual things.  So, the both of them are really busy.  So busy with after school things that the bus system actually called and asked if they could take their route off the list because they were never riding the afternoon bus.  Here it goes-three days a week they rehearse with their Step Team (sort of like Stomp). I’ll be posting videos on the blog soon.  They really are amazing.  They have some rhythm and are the only white girls on the team.  And they all have nicknames.  Theirs is “Oompa Loompa” and the teacher introduces them as such when they leave the stage.  Kinda funny.  There were 12 girls, but it’s now down to 6 (people have moved away or had to quit for one reason or another).  The girls were really  nervous for their first performance (actually are nervous for most of them) but they end up doing great. They are born performers. It’s in their genes, I guess. 

So… another day of the week they are in a club called “Smart Girls.” It’s a club within the Youth Teen Center that they go to after school sometimes.  It’s a club just for girls to I guess just.. .hang out. I don’t know the real reason for it but it has been good for the girls. Xoe ran for President and won!  She was so excited. She’s really learning how to take charge and not let the other girls walk all over her.  The Smart Girls planned a “Lock In” where they all slept over at the teen center, made t-shirts and did a bunch of other fun stuff.  They can tell you the story about someone putting a pizza in the microwave for too long and it was smoking throughout the Center.  The fire department had to come and everything.  And this was all taking place at 2:30 a.m.  Needless to say, I was not happy to get that call.  Especially since they had a soccer game the next morning at 8:30 a.m.

Good segue-They also have soccer two days a week. They are seriously really good.  That must also run in the family.  They play defense (which I was “schooled” by them that defense was no longer called Fullback) and are really fast runners.  I get parents commenting to me all the time about how fast they are.  One time I watched someone kick the ball from mid-field and Xoe ran down the field and passed three other players twice her size to get to the ball first.  Xanthe loves soccer so much that she even brings her lunch just so she can play soccer during when they’re supposed to be eating. 

Their grades are going well.  They have got the whole “different classrooms for different classes” down.  They call them blocks here and they only have four classes every other day.  They swap so that the classes are longer and they are getting longer instruction time. They love some of their teachers, and others not so much. They are getting great grades.  I have gone to an awards ceremony every quarter to see them presented with an Honor Roll certificate.  I think they just do it for the book of coupons they get from the base stores here for free food and stuff from the bookstore and shopping center. They get free magazines, movies, meals from the food court and coupons for stuff from the clothing and hair product store.  Hey, whatever works, right!?

Then every Thursday they go to Young Women’s (a church group for 12-18 year olds).  I know I’ve posted about that a lot on the blog, but they love it and they have a few really great girls that are older and act as role models and treat Xoe and Xanthe like their friends and little sisters. The girls are going to Girls Camp at the end of June.  Crazy, huh? J 

Some other quick things-They babysit for their Young Women’s President who has a 2 year old and 6 month old and needs helps so she can even work on her church stuff. 

The girls are carrying on their unique trends and are into everything style, models, fashion, makeup, etc.  They’ve asked for my advice on makeup so we have little makeup lessons here and there but soon I will teach them the basics with eyeshadow and liner and how to use light makeup to still look good.  (Not that I know all that much. So when they’re in California or Utah, they would LOVE pointers). They both also have said at one time or another they want to be a cosmetologist. Guess lots of things run in the family… just not from me.  Hahaha. 

They also take after chris with their love and talent of art.  They want to paint all the time, and they draw all over the place.  They create fashions in this fashion sketch book all the time.  Every time I look through it I am amazed. I really would love to get them art lessons, but haven’t had much luck finding something over here.  They have also expressed an interest in modeling and the photographer who takes most of the pictures for the magazine offered to take a free shoot of them. Amazing, huh?

So… here is their schedule.  I thought it would be fun for you all to see.  Keep in mind that with this also needs to be built in driving time, dinner, homework, friend time and hanging out at the  YS (one of their favorite things to do).

Monday-3:00-4:30-Step Rehearsal, 4:30-6:30-Babysit for Young Women’s President
Tuesday-4:00-5:00-Smart Girls, 5:30-6:30 Soccer
Wednesday-3:00-4:30-Step Rehearsal
Thursday-3:00-4:30-Step Rehearsal, 5:30-6:30 Soccer, 6:30-8:00 Young Women’s

Spencer-Spencer is a crackup.  He’s still super smart and amazes every day.  He’s  not yet talking, but babbles a lot.  We are still going to see a developmental pediatrician but they have narrowed it down to something called Apraxia.  The only way I can explain it is that the information goes in (cuz he understands everything you say to him) but the intricate muscles and brain signals it takes to move the mouth aren’t working quite right.  The funny thing is that he has now moved on from loving the ABC’s and us quizzing him on mixing them up, to loving the phonics.  He knows all the phonics for every letter (we know this because when we go through ABC books, if we say the wrong sound for a letter, he won’t let us turn the page until we say the right one) and can sound out 15 of them.  “The Letter Factory helped us with this and so they’re not quite sure where to go at this point.  It’s not a very serious thing at this point, just something where we give him more opportunity to communicate through sign language and he’ll pick it up as he goes.  We’ll be doing exercises to help show him how to move his mouth and strengthen things.  I know a couple of people, actually, who’s kids have had this and they end up speaking between ages 3 and 4.  It’s a little frustrating at times but now that he knows about 50 signs, it’s become a bit easier. 

Spencer goes to a little preschool that the Early Development people set up for us.  It’s a regular preschool that they just pay for a slot for.  It’s to sort of integrate spencer with other kids and learn from them. He wasn’t great on his self-help skills but has learned so much from them.  So many of the caregivers fall in love with him and even have asked for us to go in and teach them some signs so they can do it with him. It’s awesome and he has had a great time making friends and getting into a fun environment.  He’s super smart with matching games and all the toys he sees on Baby Einstein.  Once he turns 3 he’ll be going to a special preschool on base where they’ll work with him to help his development delay with speaking and self help skills.  We’re looking forward to that.  We’ve heard it’s a great program.

He’s still super obsessed with Thomas trains, any train or car or airplane or bus or tractor, for that matter.  He is such a boy.  He has started playing rough, climbing on furniture, wanting to ride on our backs, and playing in the sandbox.  He absolutely loves the park and loves having us chase him. That kid has some stamina.  He just never stops.  He’s also funny with his TV shows. He’ll get really obsessed with a TV show and watch it all the time, then never want to watch it again.  Some of the ones he’s done this with is, of course, YoGabba, then Mickey Mouse, Dora, Diego, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, SuperWhy, LeapFrog, Teletubbies, The Wiggles, Veggie Tales, and Thomas.  He still loves Thomas. That’s the only one that’s lasted.  He’ll watch them for like a month straight (cuz remember we don’t have live TV), and then not want anything to do with them.  Right now? He’s on a Phineas and Ferb kick. It’s pretty funny. Guess what? I absolutely LOVE that show.  It’s such a crackup.  Sorry if you disagree that he watches TV shows… but I think it’s great as an extra activity and has actually helped with his language and development.  Anyways…

He’s great at shape sorting and LOVES the game “Perfection” where you put the 25 shaped pieces into the random holes. He just doesn’t like it when it pops up so we don’t do that.  He’s great at his colors and numbers and loves to count things.  He also loves everything Lightning McQueen and Bugs Life and plays with all the Cars cars.  J   

We’re having the nap issue that many of my friends are having with their toddlers.  Where he goes to bed so late if he has a nap, but can barely make it past 5 p.m. if he hasn’t.  He takes 3 hour naps, which is golden time for me, so I hesitate giving them up. But that means that we’re all up til 10:00 til he goes to bed. 

Some other things-He also won’t let me cut his hair, he runs any which way when I call his name thinking it’s a game, loves, loves, loves reading books, loves to go on walks and explore, loves his sisters and has to have 5 blankets on him at night.  Haah.  It’s the little ones I made for him when he was a baby, but I have to count them for him. He can count on his fingers and tells me every night how many blankets he wants. It’s probably cuz that’s how many fingers he has on one hand. If he had 20 fingers he’d probably want 20 blankets.  He also loves this Baby Einstein music I have that he can turn on himself that is attached to the crib.  If I turn on the wrong song, he gets up to push the button to turn on the right one.  Hmmm, I guess that’s all I’ll tell you now. There are more things I can think of but maybe I’ll do that later.

Family-We love it over here. We just took another Holland/Belgium/Amsterdam trip with the kids.  We went with some friends this time and it was great hanging out with them and their kids.  The kids just loved the water park, and didn’t care that the Amusement Park wasn’t open. We did the Keukenhof again (tulip festival), Amsterdam, Belgium, and Brian surprised me with an extra day there to go to a little town in Belgium called Brugge.  Very old school town with horse and carriage and beautiful architecture. He climbed this extremely large tower but I passed with  my fear of heights and all. We also went to this place called MiniEurope with a miniature scale the size of Xoe and Xanthe of every major country in the European Union. I’ll post pictures on my blog sometime too.

The girls will be coming home soon. We’re hoping to get them there by July 4th so they can hang out with everyone. The only problem is they’ll probably be going through jetlag. It might be good for them to get out of the house though.   I’ll let you know the schedule once it’s finalized.

Well, I hope that was enough of an update!  Happy reading!
Love and miss all of you!

1 comment:

Charise said...

Hi hunnie,
This is your cousin Chari. I LOVE your posts! I read them faithfully! It is so fun to know more about your life. I have two special ed sons... and so I totally get your life with Spencer... my favorite saying is "Life doesn't have to be perfect, to be wonderful." That so totally sums up my parenting life. It is really wonderful, but so far from perfect!!!

The Team Davy extravaganza was AMAZING!!! We had so much fun. It seems like it was a big success, judging by how much fun everyone had there. Many people mentioned you, and you were thought of often. Your family loves you and are all so proud of the fantastic mommy that you are.

Thanks for the regular updates. We love you so much!
my blog is if you want to check it out.