Wednesday, August 24, 2016

School Begins - Phase 2

Well, they all made it off to school today. Busy morning with four different departure times: high school duo Joseph and Mel at 5:45, then Eth and Hyrum to jr. high jazz band at 6:45. I was late waking up Wes - got him up at 7 bu the still made it to the buss stop at 7:25 ~
Abi was awake to see Wesley's bus go by, then woke up Lily in a panic to tell her the bus just left. Lily was in tears when I got back from saying bye to Wes. It's okay girls, you're not late, there's plenty of time. Abi changed her clothes several times and then they were ready for another year of elementary school at 8:20.
So it was a busy but good morning. I helped the kids make their beds, and then (get this) the beds stayed made all day! Same with dishes! I loaded the dishwasher and the sink was still fairly empty at 4pm. It was nice to not have 38 cups in there by lunch from all the sips of water that the kids have had during the hot days of summer. So that's two good things about school starting. When I think of other pros, mostly I'd just rather have them home. But we've all had a good day. I finally clean my office.

So what do the Wrides do the night before school starts for everyone? Most people are probably in bed, but not us... we've got the men of the house playing Crusin' for a Bluesin at 10:30 pm.

It was fun to hear them play though, that's a fun song. This is their first day of trying it out... Ethan is hogging the music here cause he was sight reading it. He and Hyrum wanted to practice it cause they might play it for the Hello Day assembly on Thursday at their school. Can they pull it off in time? We shall see, one more day to practice. Pretty good for the first day though, Mel and I enjoyed watching them!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Somethings Gotta Give

We are almost in the full swing of things. And it doesn't appear to be sustainable. We might be running faster than we have strength. Maybe we have strength for it, but it's just gonna be really painful. It's gonna hurt and kill like the last miles of a marathon. ...not that I've ran a marathon. But I just read that Utahn Jared Ward, who ran the race of his life and placed 6th in the Rio Olympics, was unable to bend over to tie his shoes after giving his all for 26.2 miles. Yeah, that's about where we are or soon will be.

Corey is going out of town in a week for 10 days, and I can survive that okay. The boys have their auditions at the Soundhouse - hallelujah that I have another driver, thank you Joseph.  Shortly after Corey returns, there will be a new bundle of joy arriving, and that.... that might be when things hit the fan. Right now the kids are busy busy but I am able to keep the house pretty clean. Not so sure I'll be able to do that when Junior comes and nursing starts. I better clear the clutter out fast. I got 4 weeks.

So, right now the thing that is falling by the wayside is writing anything down here. I am still going to try to catch up blogging for the past two weeks. But after that, I might set a new goal to just post one picture a day or something doable. Here's our pic for today - Owen last night playing with Natalie's phone. He got his own phone and "tablet" for his birthday, and he'll poke around with the letters and numbers on those, but he really zones in with Natalie's cell. I think the magic might be the blue light, it's pretty cute.
This past week as the older kids started school I haven't really had a chance to sit at the computer at all, or if I do, I actually stay on task with things that really need to get done. But I just got up at 5 am with Joseph and Melodie - did my 12 minutes of planks, and I think this might be my chance to blog each day, atleast over the next 4 weeks. So I'll try to put something here and catch up, but apologies to anyone who follows this blog or to posterity who wonder why things are not documented well after the summer of 2016. That was right before we officially got in over our heads.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Layers

So... we've got another beautician in the family. Natalie is taking after her mother and has decided to just do her own hairdo, who needs to pay a stylist? I've been winging haircuts for 2 years. But Natalie, you don't have to do it alone, I'll help you! I'll give you a cut for free. No, free isn't good enough. So Natalie's spent the past few days taking off little snips of hair here and there...
Nothing too dramatic yet, so I haven't had to intervene. There haven't been any blunt cuts, she's been lucky to blend it very well for a 3 year old. But if she gives herself another trim or set of layers, it might be time to go for a full bob. It's all short on the sides. She hasn't reached the long hair underneath in back, so it's not too noticeable for the average passer-by friend and neighbor, but we all have noticed it.
Yesterday after church, Joseph found a clump of hair on the kitchen bench, next to the kitchen table where Hyrum had left out his homework and some scissors!!! tsk tsk. Today he left his homework with some scissors out AGAIN on the study desk, where his little sister found them and gave another quick trim on the piano bench. That section of hair just wasn't doing it for her. HYRUM. Do not leave scissors out again or the damage she does might be too great to deny.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mother Nature and Human Nature

Well, overall I feel that this year has kinda been bad for our attempts at helping the monarch population - kinda feels like we've had lots of butterfly fails. We had a lot of eggs on our milkweed, and I started off really enthusiastic as I had visions of tons of healthy caterpillars munching around for the kids to wonder at. Reality has been lots of eggs with caterpillars that never emerged, little dried up caterpillars in the first and second instar, and big caterpillars that were vomiting or had diarrhea. We had only 5 make it to the chrysalis stage. Four have flown off on their own to face the world. And today the last of them was to emerge. It turned black and the kids saw it at breakfast, and then they were off to school and I watched it for a bit but then went on with my day too. I came at lunch and was putting dishes in the sink when I saw that it had emerged but fell off the stick - it was laying on it's back on the counter. I don't think it's wings expanded as big as they were supposed to, plus one of them was bent...
His wings seemed to have dried apart (or he hurt his back?) cause after I picked him up his wings wouldn't come together. I just felt sad about it, poor little fragile guy, he was so close!!! I put him outside and he hung on a branch for a while, but I'm pretty sure he's not going to be able to fly. His wings don't come together.
Darn it, poor thing. So do I tell the kids? Oh, the drama of it all. Why do I get involved with these little critters? Reminds me of the baby quail we found once that we tried to help that I ended up accidentally stepping on. Or seeing the deer that got hit, I'd rather just drive by and not get involved. Why open myself up to the worry/pain/awareness of the frailty of mortal life?

So I made the mistake of leaving the empty chyrsalis on the counter. The kids asked about it when they got home from school. After a few answers of just saying he emerged and I put him outside, I ended up confessing that he fell off the stick and that I thought it was hurt, and that I knew where he most likely was, as I was pretty sure it couldn't fly. So Mel and I went out to check. Sure enough, he had fallen off the flower I put him on and was on his back in the dirt. Mel spent an hour trying to help him out - she gave him juice of a clementine and did an internet search about how to fix their wings. She was sure if we got it's wings wet that would help them straighten out. I doubt it sweetie. "Well, can we try to fix him with cardstock and super glue?" Mel, that would be way too heavy for him... he's gonna die. We just gotta let nature take it's course (although I do support euthanasia in cases like this.) Let's just squish the poor thing and then he can fly in heaven. But I left her alone with it to do her thing and went out to get some school supplies for the kids. When I came back home, I saw she had made a little home for it and put it by the kitchen sink. No, not here. I moved it to her room, cause I didn't want to see it. I don't want to be dreaming about injured butterflies tonight.
So it's in her closet now.

So. Some things you should just leave be. I'd say most of those things belong to mother nature. As sad as it is, a deer that gets hit isn't going to get any help from the vet... we need to let nature take it's course. Baby bison also fall into this category (though I agree it's sad and hard to watch/think about). I'd put butterflies there too, but will let my children try to help, I think it's good for their souls to exercise compassion for these creatures that can't help themselves. And then there are other things are more horrible but also infinitely more important because they involve HUMAN life. I speak of abortion, sex trafficking, countries where rape is part of the decaying culture (please read National Review article about Denis Mukwege and his efforts to help women in the Democratic Replublic of the Congo), and helping refugees. We might want to shrink from knowing about these things cause it's just too much, too painful, too far away, and we feel there is nothing we could do to make a difference anyway, but these are areas where we need to open up ourselves and our awareness and take them in and own it and help. Learn about it and decide a way that you can help, cause those things are so important and there is something we can do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

School Begins - Phase 1

Today was the first day of school for half of the kids. The older half. Joseph and Mel at the High school, Ethan and Hyrum at the middle school. I didn't get any pictures of them by the bus or on the front steps. We'll save that for the elementary kids. I guess I can try to get a picture of them sometime driving away in the family van. As for now, this is what the first day looks like when they get home from school: Homework on the couch.
(I'd really like to figure out a place where they can study that doesn't involve the kitchen table or the couches... something to shoot for)

Last night was a back to school stomp that Joseph went to. He got home around 10:30 and wanted to talk to Corey about girls and his friends... they talked until midnight. Reality came and hit him hard this morning. I woke him up at 5, cause he had to take Mel to early morning seminary, which started at 6 before his jazz band at 6:30. His alarm went off, but I went into get him at 5:05... "Time to get up Joseph..." First words out of his mouth: "This year's gonna suck..." You might make it, but not if you stay up chit-chatting until midnight. Although our midnight conversations with the kids are among my favorite memories. He said after that he lay in bed and still couldn't fall asleep until 1 a.m. "What's the expression... 'running on fumes?'" Yes, you do not have gas in your engine and you're gonna be running on fumes for today. We made up for it tonight though with an early dinner (4:30!!), scriptures at 7:00 with a before bed snack at 8. I could have been in bed a while ago at 9:15 and could have used it too - I've been up since 5 a.m. (I've been doing some light jogging on the treadmill the past week, which makes me feel like a champ - today I finished 3 miles of a walk/jog in less than 42 minutes!) with only a 40 min afternoon nap (better than my long naps in the bygone lazy days of summer). The sun had set but the house was still abuzz and I was the only one shutting down, so decided to stay up a little more to help the children remember how to go to bed... they seemed to be lost and wandering around wondering what was going on... "Voluntarily go lay down and go to sleep?!?! What's up with that?" Yes, it's possible, you can choose to sleep, you don't have to wait until your body just collapses from exhaustion. It took a bit of direction, but they might have figured it out... Corey and I are going to bed now too - before 10:30!! Pretty good for the first day, we'll see if we can keep this up.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Lego Competition

Abi challenged Corey to a lego competition over the weekend. Sunday was the day that the contest was set to take place. I'm not sure what the rules were or criteria for declaring a winner, but I heard that I was going to be the judge. After an afternoon of working, they still haven't finished. And I'm not sure some of the participants will get a chance to get back at it during the week, so we'll see how or if this contest officially ends anytime soon. I have seen some of the work. I liked Mel's "mini city" -
And Wes made a Lego Baby bank.
(Hi little Owen face! You're cuter than a lego baby!) (not that you haven't done a great job Wes, but you know nothing can compete with your little brother)
 Looks like Owen is trying to get his money.
I'm not sure what Corey or anyone else made. We'll see if they're all able to finish the contest next weekend.
On Saturday Corey took Hyrum out for breakfast for his birthday, and then they went by the Lego store where, as luck would have it, they got a new shipment of mini figures in. Corey and Hyrum felt around the packages for a bit and Hyrum was very happy to come home with a Lego baby for his family. Thus the inspiration for Wesley's creation.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Hyrum

We have another teenager in the house - Congratulations Hyrum, you're 13!
And we didn't have to put any "1-3" candles on his cake, cause there are 13 letters in H-A-P-P-Y- -B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y
He got his wish, good job buddy. During the week I went to find one of his requested lego gifts at the store, but neither of them were there. So I took him to the Lego store to find it today, and they weren't there either! You know you've got a serious lego kid when the Lego store doesn't have it. So I bought two girl lego sets for upcoming birthdays or Christmas, and Hyrum left with a minifigure. So sad. I came home and ordered his gift online, but now he has to wait a few days. He says he feels like his birthday shouldn't be over, and I guess it shouldn't since there's a gift coming in the mail. But Grandma Hibbert came by early with cash and candy, and Grandma Wride came by after lunch with legos and BYU looking Stance socks, sweet. But there's nothing else coming today for the birthday boy. But let it be known your parents have purchased a gift. Ethan was telling Hyrum today how Corey and I didn't get him anything on his birthday, which I couldn't believe was true, but I didn't record anything from us here on the blog, so who knows... my mistake not documenting that. I'll have to record or photo our gifts in the future to cover things. So, Hyrum, so you know in the future, on your 13th birthday you got an out of production Star Wars lego from us, plus I also bought you a minifigure at the Lego Store. He and I spent 15 minute trying to feel the minifigure packages for the babysitter, but did not succeed in finding it. The store guy said the baby sitter is a hot item and there probably weren't any left. Hyrum asked if he'd sell us the one in the display case.
No can do with that, so sad for the birthday boy. So we kept the spy guy we'd felt for instead and Hyrum wants to go back when they get a new shipment in to find the baby sitter, cause he just has to have that baby for his Lego family! Cause remember his mother minifigure is expecting... she must be due anyday!! Hopefully Hyrum will have a cute baby before lego mom delivers.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Snapshot

Ethan took a video today of Owen running around the front room. He paused it at one part and said it was the cutest picture ever. He took this screen shot of the still and I made him send it to me, cause it really is the cutest! Presenting our little Owen who is always on the go go go! We love you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Last Week of Summer

...Well, atleast for the older kids. The younger group has two weeks. But still, things are winding up. So how are the children spending their time? Mostly playing legos. Abi rides her bike, the older kids hang out with friends. The younger kids haven't played with friends much, but I suspect there will be a big gathering for night games before the summer is officially over.

But I'm totally going to miss them when school starts, mostly not having them here to help me. ...Not so much help with cleaning, cause they've been slacking at that, but they've been my angel helpers with Owen during the day.
They'll rock him to sleep when I try to exercise, they'll get him out of his crib when he wakes up and play with him. they watch him and Natalie while I run to the store. They are great kids and great helpers. I ran a few errands yesterday and told Mel that I'd buy her chocolate if she cleaned the kitchen while I was gone, including mopping it. It was just such a wreck, and the floor was so sticky from I don't know what, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. She cleaned it all up while I was gone - so nice!!! I gave her a king size Twix to say thank you, she totally saved me. She said Joseph helped too... he had a date planned for that night and they were going to come here to cook and play games, so he helped. Luckily I had more chocolate - I had a Resess PB cub for him. Joseph also cleaned out the van for his date, sweet. I was able to breath again. Also gave treats to my Owen sitters.
I guess we're all going to have to kick it in gear pretty soon... I've been lazy and we haven't been following up on the chore board. But the reality of school and schedule will start soon enough. Until then, we'll let them play legos, and I'll see if I can keep on top of the cleaning...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Caterpillar Drama

We have three chrysalis left. One is dark and should be emerging tonight or tomorrow.
It is really cool seeing them emerge from the chrysalis, makes it worth it. This one from yesterday is one of two that j-hooked and changed into chrysalis at the same time while we were at church last week. We thought they'd come out at the same time, but one of them emerged yesterday and the other one is taking it's sweet time and seems to be 48 hours behind which I think is a little weird. But what do you do? Not much to do for caterpillars except watch them do their thing. 

We had two more baby caterpillars but they dried up. We feel like their mortality has been a little worse than normal this year. Over the weekend, we had 6 caterpillar die - two little ones just appeared to stop eating and dried up, and 4 of the big ones were oozing green stuff and we did research and appears they were throwing up or had diarrhea - don't know if our milkweed was bad or if one of them was sick and got the others sick?
The stress of it was too much for Ethan, and he started to take it out a bit on us. The drama was just too intense. Corey was able to make the mood lighter when, after hearing this exchange between Ethan and Mel, he said we should do a new reality show for Animal planet called "Caterpillar Farmers". The confrontation sounded like a perfect clip...as they watched this guy hang his head back and ooze from the front and back...
Ethan - "He's gonna die!"
Mel - "You don't know that!"
Ethan - "Just get rid of them!! I can't take it!"

Ethan wanted us to just go put them all in the neighbor's yard where there's lots of milkweek. And be done with them. I was ready to send them off too. But Mel rinsed him off and nursed him back to health. He turned into a chrysalis yesterday, although he is a very small chrysalis compared to the others. We'll see what happens. The thought of a reality show made us laugh as we imagined the advertisements, featuring a pull away shot of the kids, arms folded across their chests, as the announcer says "This week, on Caterpillar Farmers!" Mel found another egg last night, so we'll see if that little guy emerges from the egg and can survive the first instar or not. We've had two butterflies and are hoping 3 more emerge. 5 out of 35 or so eggs? Gives us about a 14% mortality rate. I plan on asking my more experienced neighbor for tips of the trade to help us out if we do it next year.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Park City Highlights

We got back from Park City on Saturday afternoon. The kids had a great time as always. The Marriott up there always has something new each year. Sometimes it's big, like when the put up the outdoor bbq area or the fire pits. This year at the Mine, the kids liked playing with the big lego bricks.
They also had new furnishings - there was a new look in the owners lounge and another thing was the carpet - blue and black and gray. I felt like I was in a roller skating rink. Not a fan of the hall carpet, but ready to get my rollerblades on!
They've gotten away from the typical "mountain" color theme of pine green and maroon, doing a blue and gray color, like skiing, with accents of orange throughout the rooms in the pillows and pictures.

The kids had fun swimming with Owen again on Thursday. I admit, he's a cutie!!
Night swimming in the hot tub!
Owen thinks it's nice to just kick back and relax.
On Thursday night Wes was in the tub playing with Natalie again and started feeling sick - first he felt cold (in the hot tub mind you) and a little tired, so he went back to the room and I warmed him up with microwaved towels. He had a fever later that night, and Uncle Mark and Grandpa gave him a blessing. He was on and off sick for the rest of the trip. He slept almost all day Saturday after we got home. All the kids kinda crashed. I wish I had gotten a picture of Natalie asleep Saturday on the ottoman. They all looked wiped out from a week of fun, and that would be accurate cause they were. They love Park City, it is kid week! And a great way for them to end the summer before school reality hits. One more week and then it's back to reality for all of us. Sad to see summer go!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

First Monarch of the Season

This morning our first monarch emerged from it's chrysalis. This is the one I found on a morning walk. It is amazing! 21 days to go from hatching from a tiny egg to flying off into the world on their own.
All the big kids are up at Park City, so I didn't have anyone to share the miracle with. I tried to share with Natalie, but she's kinda wary of "bugs".
Natalie, this isn't a bug! It's a BUTTERFLY!!! Totally different! But she still ran away.
Oh well, we'll all be back when two more emerge on Sunday, so that will be fun. I came home from Park City yesterday and spent the day here with Owen and Natalie. But we're going to head back up now, so we'll leave Mr. Butterfly out on a tree branch. Good luck with your new life!
I'm still finding monarch eggs.  Right now we've got 2 in the chrysalis, 6 eggs, 2 tiny tiny baby caterpillars, 3 small ones, and 5 that are big and looking like they've survived the larva stage. Four in this picture~
It's a pretty fragile process. I'd say we've had over 30 eggs, about 75% of those hatched, and we've had atleast 10 die in the tiny baby stage, aka 1st "instar". I think 1st instar for us has just had a 50% survival rate. Still, better than the average... some say only 1 or 2 of 100 eggs will make it to an adult butterfly. Another site says out of hundreds of eggs only 3-5, which I guess means we've had a pretty good average for our yard. We're at about 25%, not bad.
(I've been reading up on caterpillars more this time, that image above is from this website) Pretty fun, I like begin a "caterpillar farmer" as Corey has started to call me. But I don't like worrying about them or having them invade my dreams. Guess it's part of the job though.
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