Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Swing Man

And in happier parenting news...look what my kid can do now!

It is official, 3 down, 3 to go.  But this kid can now swing all by himself. It finally clicked on Thursday and he has been swinging ever since. That is all he wants to do and he loves it. I am so glad we have a swing in our back yard. 

Way to go Eli. We are so proud of you.

The Denti$t

Almost the first thing I did when we got here was to get my little girl into the dentist.  Her teeth were horrific and we waited to get them fixed with the move to Utah. It is a lot more affordable here and that was important because she was not on the insurance. And this could not wait, they were so bad.

The final verdict was 14 cavities. Holy crap! 14! This is what happens when you steal mom's candy, hide it in your room and eat it every night before you go to bed for about a month.  Candy is expensive.

It is a darn good thing I didn't wait to get her in to the dentist.  About 4 days after her initial appointment with Dr. Moffat, this girl goes and gets an abscessed tooth.  Do you see that swollen jaw? The bad teeth were probably aggravated by everyone getting sick. The abscess was pretty wretched. Usually I just let things play themselves out before I rush a kid to the doctor. But after asking my friend Paisley about it, she was really worried and told me to get her in ASAP.  

The dentist put her on antibiotics and pain meds and we waited for the big appointment, when all teeth would be fixed at one time at the hospital. Yes, the girl had to go to the hospital for her appointment because she had to get general anesthesia. 

Here she is right before they took back. The appointment took several hours and after 5 hours total, I was able to take her home.

But look at this horrific tooth, the abscessed one. They couldn't save it, so the doctor pulled it out. Now there is a big hole in her mouth.

I am just glad we are done and you can bet that there will be no candy anywhere near a bedroom!

Moving in and Unpacking

It is always hard settling in a new state, new house, new neighborhood. But it sure takes the edge off when you can lean on good friends. As I was driving into Salt Lake all by my lonesome with five stir-crazy kids, I contacted by close friend Melanie. She invited us to come hang out at her house for the afternoon, because I still wasn't able to go to my place yet and hanging at a hotel with five children is not too much fun for anyone.

We went to Melanie's and the kids played for hours and she even fed us all dinner. It was such a relief and a huge burden taken off of my back.

The moving truck was parked in front of my house when I pulled up Wednesday morning, on April 2. It was a beautiful sight. The movers were professional and just as anxious to be done as we were. It took less than two days to get everything in the house and to get stuff assembled.

Rinar's brother Lyf was so kind to drive this beast up to our house from his place.  Look at this elk... Rinar's prize winning monstrosity.  And now it has found a home on the wall of our living room, lurking over the fireplace.  Am I the best wife ever?

 I have been buried in this house, unpacking and arranging stuff.  Then to top it all off, I got really sick.  I had a horrific cough for over a week and a fever for a few days. It was the pits and didn't allow me to get the strong start I wanted.  I am only now starting to feel like myself again, besides this whole pregnancy thing, of course.

I focused on getting the school room unpacked and organized first so that the kids could get going again. I hate to have them miss long periods of time. At one point, I was sitting at the table trying to enjoy what I had accomplished, instead of focusing on what I still had in front of me. This enabled me to enjoy a sweet little moment with Harry. He sat right across from me and kept busy coloring and singing.  He was happily occupied for quite some time. Harry is happy as long as he is in the same room with me.  He is definitely my mama's boy.

 This was also another sweet moment I enjoyed. Eli just kept on staring out of the large windows in our kitchen area. This went on for at least 5 minutes. I wasn't sure what he was looking at, but it was really quite simple. He was just staring at the beautiful flowering pear trees that engulf the view up there. I didn't want to forget this either.

 Life seems to be getting to normal around here. We are settling in and finding our place. The house is wonderful and the neighbors seem to be very friendly and open. The neighborhood is top-notch. I am so pleased with this little part of the world. I look forward to really making it our home. It is not going to be hard to do. And we keep marching forward. 

First Awakenings in Salinas

After an invigorating drive down the California coast, we were able to get an amazing breakfast Monday morning at First Awakenings.  My cousin Sue and her husband Chris own this gem of a restaurant in Salinas and it did not disappoint.  Since it was the Monday after Easter and a pretty rainy, drizzly day, the restaurant was pretty slow.  This was quite wonderful for us because we were able to visit with both of them for a while. It sure was awesome to be able to reconnect with family.  Sue is my Uncle Ron's daughter. She and her sister Debbie are the only cousins I have on my Dad's side of the family.

The restaurant is so charming, situated in downtown Salinas, the home of John Steinbeck. It is a very quiet farming community really close to the Pacific ocean.  This is what I ate for breakfast, and it was delicious.

We headed up the coast after breakfast and stopped at a beach along the way. It was overcast and a little cold, but the kids were in heaven. They got so absorbed in playing that the time we spent there was but a moment. It was interesting to see their little personalities and how they chose to spend their time. When we were at Cape Cod a few years ago, Zach stood in front of the waves and "conducted" them, while Raef busily built something in sand. Nothing much has changed after all these years. Raef found something to build while Zach stood in front of the waves.

Eli is also a builder, I guess. This is what he did the entire time we were there and he just loved it. He made a canal system and then he wanted water. I gave him a cup, but he soon realized it was not easy to fill a cup from an incoming wave. It was near impossible. But Eli made a discovery: when you dig down in the sand there will be a pool of water. Way to go, kid!

A lady found this washed up on the shore. Isn't that fantastic? Harry and Julia just loved it.

We soon were on our way to San Francisco. We got there at the perfect time, right after lunch. We dropped Rinar off at the hotel and then I hit the road. I wanted to get through Sacramento before rush hour, and I did.  After a brief stop in Reno to pick up some frozen elk meat, we made it all the way to Winnemucca and then stayed in a little hotel off of the freeway.  The drive was uneventful, thank goodness.  On Tuesday, April 1 we pulled into Salt Lake City and were ready to start our new life in a new place.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Monterey and Big Sur

The movers came to our house on Thursday, March 28 to pack everything up. Then everything was loaded into the truck the following day.  Everything went pretty smoothly and the house was cleaned and completely empty by 5pm.  We said our goodbyes to a few of our friends and neighbors and then hit the road for a little vacation. The truck would be in Utah by Wednesday and Rinar had to be in San Francisco by Tuesday. 

I always wanted to go to Monterey and had never been able to, so why not take the opportunity while we had a window and it was still relatively close? We stayed in Vacaville on Friday night and then left early Saturday to get to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is a pretty big aquarium with an even bigger reputation. And boy, was it crowded. This is what happens when you decide to visit on Easter weekend. Still, the kids had a lot of fun and we were able to see just about everything.

We stayed in Salinas for the weekend. I really wanted to see the views that Monterey had to offer, so after church we took a little road trip down the coast to Big Sur and back.

Look at these views...fantastic. It was kind of cold, but it was crystal clear outside.

Since it was a little cold, I had to relinquish my coat to Zach, who was woefully under dressed. Look at that kid. He had no worries about the fact that the coat was a very girly shade of pink.

We stopped at several scenic spots along the way. We would make the kids get out and do a little hike. They tolerated it.

And then they didn't. Well, only one kid didn't. Eli was not happy when he saw hike in front of him to make it down to the beach.  He grumbled all the way down the path. 

When we got to the bottom, the sand was great, even though the water was absolutely treacherous. I didn't even let them put a toe in, it was really that scary.  But all of them had so much fun playing at the beach. They were engrossed in it.

And then we had to leave...and once again, someone was very displeased with the news. Eli grumbled, cried, moaned, and complained all the way back to the car. He did not want to leave.

Right before we turned around at Big Sur, there was this amazing coastal ranch. It went on for many miles and was enchanting. I just couldn't believe there was a ranch of this magnitude in such an expensive place. I mean, this has to be one of the most expensive coastline addresses in the world. But there they were...lots and lots of cows. They seemed pretty darn happy. 

Before we went back to the hotel, we decided to do the 17 mile road in Monterey. This is where Pebble Beach is, the famous golf course.  And by the way, it really is a pebble beach, very large pebbles actually.

Our first two days in Monterey were wonderful. It was refreshing to be out in nature, enjoying these beautiful heavenly creation with my six most favorite people in the whole world.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I am really still struggling to decide if I like the number 6 better than the number 5.  Five seemed like such a nice, complete, well-rounded digit. It seemed so final. Not like...5, but more like 5!

But I guess I am just going to have to start liking the number 6.  I am trying hard to like that number, but it has really been difficult.  Just when I think I have everything figured out and life seems to be getting into some type of groove, life steers me into a completely new direction.  Well, really it is not a new direction.  It is just the same direction, the direction I thought I was getting away from.  Now it will be just more of the same for about the next 4 years or so.

For many years, Rinar and I prayed and hoped to have a few children.  We really did a lot of praying and hoping. It got hard as the months would come and go, and still nothing. Then finally after a long wait, we were blessed with two little boys and we have adored them ever since.  But it was a long time before #3 came along and he only came to our family with major medical help. It was hard. I said I would never do IVF again, such was my misery. But for some strange, uncanny reason, I decided to do it again. It was definitely a prompting from the spirit, because I would have never gone through IVF of my own choice.  And then before we knew what hit us, Rinar and I had really done our part to multiply and replenish the earth.

Holy crap! Five kids. I have five kids.

The end...  Okay, I guess not.

I figured it out pretty early on, but waited a while to tell Rinar. Then I finally took a test to confirm my suspicions.  But I waited another day before I dropped into his office unannounced and slammed the test down in front of him.  Yes, he was incredulous. So was I. I still am.

Life is changing again for our family.  Six.  But let me be really clear...6!!!

The end.
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