Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chile Tour

Well, we're heading out today for our trip down south. We'll be in Pucón for a week from Saturday to Saturday. Should be fun! We'll be spending tonight and tomorrow night in Concepción where all NINE of us we will be (I found out last night) crashing at the home of one of his mission companions! Look out, here we come! In Concepción Corey will be giving two talks, a fun little schpiel on his experience so far - it's a good presentation, he gave it to me and the kids last night. I'll try to get a video of him in action. This chance to inspire others here in Chile will be a fulfillment of a dream he had back in fall of 2000 that's led him on this journey. He's a great speaker and has great stories - they'll be eating out of his hand! Check out this flier for it on Start Up Chile.

He always says that if MovieMouth isn't successful, it still make a good story. :)

Not sure if I'll be able to blog from down south, so maybe we'll see ya from there, maybe I'll just be posting a lot after we get back on the 9th. Love you all!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stuff

When we first decided to go to Costa Rica, the question we received most frequently was "What are you going to do with all your stuff?" We didn't really know - ended up storing some, but selling a lot on craigslist, and lending some things out to family and friends. Corey and I started to kind of chuckle when we kept hearing that question though, cause it made it seem that people hesitate to move forward with ideas or dreams because of their "stuff".

I love the book "Clutter's Last Stand" by Don Aslett. I remember one part in the book where he says that stuff drains us of our energy - even if it's just sitting on a shelf or in a box... it emotionally calls out to us to remember it, to account for it, to dust it, to protect it - sapping us of our time and emotional energy. I see that a lot with my kids and their legos. ;) A good deal of their free time is spent searching for legos, gathering their legos, hiding their legos. I frequently hear them call our to another when they have to go to the bathroom, "Watch my legos! Don't let Lily or Abi touch my legos!" I have to remind them "Your sister is more important than plastic!"

So, I've been thinking of our stuff we left behind cause I am missing a lot of it. One of the hardest things for me right now, emotionally, is my lack of clothing. I miss my maternity clothes in storage and my shoes! I am excited to return to the US and find my bins of stuff and breath out a sigh of relief - I've been wearing the same pair of sandals since September. 2 of the 3 skirts I packed for Costa Rica were not with elastic waists and don't fit me now. My already small selection of clothes is getting smaller. I am rotating between 2 shirts and 2 pants too. As for the kiddos, I think I might throw/give away most of the kids clothes here - these clothes have served us well over the past 7 months and it's time to relieve them of duty. I might keep a few of the things that aren't totally worn out and stained. A lot of it though, I wouldn't mind if I never saw it again. I just got excited as I thought about going to make a drop off at the DI. Oh the little things I took for granted in my previous life! This experience has made me more grateful.

Brazil did too... I used to complain at BYU student housing about the laundry - I hated walking it over to the laundromat. Wah wah wah. Then we moved to DC, everything was good there, then we went to Brazil, where I spent a good amount of time washing clothes by hand. I repented of my murmuring at BYU and am pleased to say I have never murmured about laundry since. Even here in Chile, where it's a little annoying to wash whites and try to line dry so many socks. I don't mind shirts and pants, those are big pieces of laundry, but all the little socks gets a little annoying. But I haven't murmured. I am just grateful to have a washing machine.

Shortly after our return to the blesses US of A, I plan on going to buy that flourescent pink box of mexican popsicles from Costco and eat all of the coconut ones. I did that several times to calm my nerves when we were moving out. I ate them as I sat on the couch in the garage. Mmm. I can't remember what they were called. I just tried to find them with a google image search for "costco popsicles coco pina" and was surprised to see the first picture was one of my kids, and there was another kid in row two! The flavors were coconut, pineapple, strawberry, and mango. Go buy some of those if you haven't tried them, hopefully they still sell them. They are yummy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nothing To Report

We're in our routine here. Helps time tick-tock away. We are glad to be here, but also pray every night that time will go quickly and we'll be back in the US soon.

Corey wanted us to go to the South of Chile before we headed home, so we are going to check that off of our list after next week. We are leaving Thursday and visiting a few towns where Corey will give a little presentation to some Universities on behalf of Start Up Chile. Then we'll spend Saturday through Saturday in Pucon. Should be fun!

I'd blog more, but wouldn't you know, as soon as I sat down to do this, Abi came in and is requesting/nagging my assistance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Abi Loves Corey

Corey with Abi in "the hold" on another Family night

At 8:00 p.m. everynight, I switch from Mother to Drill Sergeant and turn into the "we must follow the schedule" enforcer. Brush teeth! Go to bed! Followed by the warning: You have to get up early!

Wednesday night we were a little later than 8 because we were trying to make up for missing Family Home Evening on Monday (due to Back to School Night). But I still tried to hurry things along cause the kids still had to be up at 6:45/7:00. We had a hard time sharing the lesson cause of constant interruptions and jumping on the bed and fighting and talking and someone still hadn't brushed their teeth and on and on - we finally finished at 10, and then Corey and I wanted to just go to bed too, Lily was screaming and didn't want to go in her bed. Corey was able to calm her down and get her to sleep, the rest of the kids were supposed to be in bed, but Mel was writing in her journal, (so proud of her diligence, but... "go to bed!") and Hyrum wanted me to try and get two tightly fit legos apart ...

"Hyrum, can't this wait till morning?!?!" I sigh as I fidget with it, finally got my nail in between the pieces.... "There! Now GO TO BED!"

Hyrum: "You're so MEAN!"

Me "Hyrum, I'm trying to help you so you're not so tired in the morning..." He imitates me and repeat what I said in a high voice as he rolls his eyes and wobbles his head. Whatever, I walk out and close the door and feeling like I hate night time!! It does not bring out the best in us.

Corey and I lay down, not in a good mood, trying to breath and relax. "So! ... how was your day?" Then a little shadow of a person comes in and goes to the foot of our bed to lay down. Abi. "Abi, go to bed."

"But I don't have my Cindewella Pillow" I ask "Where's your pillow?" Corey answers "Lily has it. Well, unfortunately Lily's a ticking time bomb so Abi's gonna have to go without tonight.

"Abi, Lily has the pillow. You can use the other pillow."

"I don't want to use Wesley's pillow! I want my Cindewella Pillow!"

"It doesn't matter - go to bed" (We have zero listening skills in the p.m.)

This happened several times. She would sneeks into our room again to try to sleep on the little bench at the foot of our bed. We'd tell her she has to sleep in her own room. She'd whine about her pillow with the wrong cartoon character on it. Corey said "You can come and sleep in my room in the morning after the kids go to school..." which touches on another sensitive topic for this little 3 year old "...but I DON'T HAVE A SCHOOL!"

"Abi, GO TO BED!"

"Waaahh!!!" and the crying insues again as we take her to her room and close the door. We lay down again and try to calm our nerves.

Once again, a little shadow walks into the room very quietly. She pauses and chooses her words very carefully as she faces our bed.

Another pause, then a sweet little voice breaks the silence...

"I hate you Dad..." and walks out.

I turn and look at Corey... "Did she just say "I hate you"? Corey stands up and smiles as he goes to talk to this little one and I start totally laughing. The kids had been watching Church videos and commercials on Sunday and the one comes to my mind of the dad who keeps being called into his daughter's room to get her a drink of water, a blanket, her doll, on and on, then she calls again, the Dad goes in and says, 'Now what do you want?' And she said, "Dad, I love you." That's what's supposed to happen, but we're not that family yet. ;) Well, there was only one kid in that commercial, maybe that has something to do with it. Someday I hope we can make it to that level of happy living.

On the ride to take Wes to school the next day Abi told me she loved me, and I asked her "Do you love Daddy?"

"Yes!"

"Last night did you say 'I hate you Dad'?"

"No!" She denied it. That's good I guess. I hope they have selective memory when they're adults about what happened during their childhood - maybe we can be that family in the commercial after all, if only in false memories. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Random Videos of the Birthday Boy

Celebrating 9 years of mini-Corey, aka Ethan.

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Happy Birthday, ya crazy kid.

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If the flip camera gets left down, the kids quickly fill it up with nonsensical videos like this. No offense to the kids, but I usually delete most of them cause they are too long, too random, and don't show people half the time, but are videos of the kids walking around letting the camera roll for no apparent reason - future family historians don't have time to wade through all that. I gotta clear them out for them. I'll keep one or two though, so my kids can know how weird they were. :)

Lily Eats My Soup

Lily is my best soup eater, followed by the children in this order: Ethan & Mel (tied for 2nd), Hyrum, Joseph, Wesley. Abi won't eat it, she won't even acknowledge that I ask her to eat it or offered it to her. Beans and vegetables! Who wants some? Yummy yummy!

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I love Lily, she gobbles it right up like it's ice cream or cereal. Warms my heart.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Learning How To Jimmer in Chile

Kids were all flossed and brushed, and so we're ready for the BYU vs. Gonzaga game!

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Half Time - BYU's doing great and we're making a fun memory for those kids that were able to survive the half time family scripture reading (3 fans down: Ethan, Hyrum, and Abi)

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Game almost over, BYU's got a solid lead. (2 more fans down: Wes and Mel are out)

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BYU 89 - Gonzaga 67

Fun game to watch, Jimmer makes us non-basketball fans love basketball. It's fun to watch people who are great at stuff do their thing. (Great quality over the live stream too - technology is amazing)

I Love Date Night!

We've made date night more of a priority ever since Corey had a phone call with our friends in Costa Rica - he was talking on a Friday night to Dannan Royal and seeing how they were doing... they had been without a car for a few weeks and having their fair share of trials and stretching in many areas like we have, and yet they were out on a date. Corey said "If they can make it a priority, we don't have an excuse..." and so once again we recommitted ourselves to making time for us.

We were 4 for 4 on our Friday night date nights until last week when I went to a baby shower for a lady in the ward instead (She is beautiful and 50 years old and this is her first baby, a girl, a total miracle baby. Everyone is so excited for her!)

We thought we could try and make up out date night by going out on Saturday, but Saturday we all went a birthday party for some friends that we knew at BYU (the kids had a great time dancing, the only time I've seen gringos out-dance the Latinos). So we missed last week, but are back on track now. Had a date last night - current score 5 for 6 - we left after we got the kids in bed which ended up being 10:00. We left Joe with the cell phone and walked over to the mall. It's fun to talk as we walk. We were laughing and catching up. (I love date night!) We ate at Crepes and Waffles - a light pre-midnight snack - Corey had a chicken Parmesan crepe and I enjoyed a shrimp teriyaki pocket. They always have live a live music band playing - last night it was a group of Chileans impersonating the Beatles, they were really good! Corey was skeptical at first that they were lip-singing, and after closer examination decided they were legit. We wanted to listen to them outside, but the only area was the in the open air smoking area and after sitting for 30 second it was too much, so we went inside. Could still hear the music but couldn't see the performance that well. We finished our meal in time to catch the oncore of "Twist and Shout" which was fun. They had a hard time pronouncing "twist" properly which we thought was cute, but they were great.

Above: Corey's Ceviche from date night #2 - so pretty! I need to learn to serve up dinner fancy looking like this.

For my personal history records, here's where we've eaten of the restaurants at the Parque Arauco Mall:

Date night 1 - Tierra de Fuego
Date night 2 - Asian Bistro
Date night 3 - Tony Roma's
Date night 4 - La Perla del Pacífico
Date nigth 5 - Crepes and Waffles

Our first date night was great cause it had been several months since we'd gone out, so I really enjoyed the salmon that night and would like to enjoy it again, and at Crepes and Waffles tonight there were so many great looking items on their menu too, I think we're gonna have to go back there. Or atleast take the kids on one-on-one dates there (something else we need to again recommit ourselves to - going to put it on the calendar) So many restaurants, so few date nights before we head home in May/June/July. The days aren't so fast, but the weeks go quickly. Enjoying our time here, I'm feeling a lot better energy wise with the pregnancy. Still try to take a little rest everyday, but am up and taking care of the routine - reading my scriptures in the mornings then able to get the kids off to school and exercise - very grateful for that. Life is good!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When and Where?!?

Tuesday I was feeling anxious and panicking about the future and how things were going to all work out for us to return to the US, mostly fretting about the when and where - when are we leaving, and where will we land?

A friend had told us in September before we left for Costa Rica that they'd love for us to rent their house when it was available - another friend is living there now as they build a home. Their home is going to be done next month, so since they'll be moving out by April 30th, I figured it was a good time to touch base with them again and see what they were thinking and if it was still available for us to rent.

After a quick phone call (which said phone call had such great quality - it sounded like we were still living in the same neighborhood - isn't vonage incredible?!?) she said that that house is our whenever we want it! She even said "This is the Wride's house" I feel like I have a home! :) Isn't that great!? That takes care of both the where and the when! I have no more stress! We're free and on our way, the future is bright! Corey was hoping to have the option to stay until June, so lucky boy, you got your wish if you want it! The kids will get a little more time in school to make it worth their while, and we'll be back for the vacation in Park City and the birth of the baby, it's a beautiful neighborhood with trees and a gorgeous view of the mountains, sigh! I loved going on morning walks there, it is a little corner of heaven. And we'll be back in our old neighborhood and so it really will feel like coming home cause it will be familiar, we won't have to adjust to a new school or new neighbors and ward, not that I have anything against moving and meeting new people, but we have had our share of adventures this past 6 months and I need to take a breather. I was so grateful after talking to her I cried. Such a blessing, thank you Lord for once again preparing a place for us.

I'll let you all know when we're throwing the open house party!

Placenta Previa

So, since my miscarriage scare last month, I took it easy for a week, the next week all the bleeding/spotting stopped, and then for the past 2 weeks I've had quite a bit of black gooey discharge that's made me keep my guard up, but since it's not blood red I'm not majorly concerned, but do try and take it easy when I exercise... doing my regular resistance training and then cardio on the stationary bike and that all seems to be okay.

I had an ultrasound again on Monday and from what I understood with my limited knowledge of Spanish medical vocabulary, I think I have placenta previa, I'm guessing it's just marginal and not complete? But will find that out for sure I hope in another 6 weeks at a 20 week ultrasound.

So, Just thought I'd ask if anyone out there has had an experience with that or know someone who has? The only person I know was my friend Kristy in Costa Rica who had been bleeding the same as me when I did miscarry in October last year - her baby was okay and she actually just delivered this past week. Going to try and contact her to see the pregnancy and delivery was. Anyone else have advice or experience with that? I'm still surfing google to see what I can find.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AT-AT Lego


The AT-AT was Hyrum's Christmas present. He is very proud of it. Right now the AT-AT is serving the roll of our family pet. He is very easy to clean up after, I've hardly makes any noise at all. :)

These pictures are from a little gathering with the Avarells and Grieners from Utah in January. Now they've all left and are back in the promised land. We're excited to go back home too.


Yesterday and today we've been thinking of the "how to" and trying to figure out our plan of attack for departure and I've begun to feel my stress levels rise - typical for me and moving as I wonder how or if it's all gonna work out. I must needs focus and breath and relax.

Luckily the AT-AT doesn't need a pet carrier, we'll be able to disassemble him and pack him up very nicely. Glad the kids won't have to say adieu to another pet.

My Life - Back to Reality

My schedule for the rest of my life (here in Chile) looks like the following during the school week Monday - Friday:

6:00 - wake up, personal scripture reading (I'm 10 for 10 since I last recommitted myself!)
6:30 - wake up kids, make and eat breakfast, make 4 school lunches, help find shoes and books
7:30 - leave to take JMEH to school, school starts at 8:00
8:15 - exercise
9:00 - bath and shower, snack
10:00 - clean the house, laundry, dishes
12:00 - lunch for WAL
12:30 - leave to take Wes to school, school starts at 1:00
1:15 - hopefully I can get Lily out of the car and into the apartment without waking her up, she takes a nap while Abi draws and I hopefully blog or something (less frequent posts means that this ideal didn't happen)
3:00 -go to pick up JMEH, they are out at 3:20
4:00 - try to see if there is something that the kids' teachers are expecting me or them to do. The communication is getting difficult. I don't really speak Spanish very well (they talk too rapido) and I can hardly read what they say worth a darn. Google translate isn't helping much either - I don't know these words they're using!!
5:00 - Go pick up Wes from school - out at 5:30
6:00 - Home and make dinner, eat dinner, we have 2 hours to do homework, but usually they seem to need to unwind and just goof off (free time)
7:30 - I start telling them to floss and brush
8:00 - I start to count heads as to who has listened to me and who hasn't. I usually end up being the task master over 5 of the 7 kids, with a brush and floss pick in hand, making sure the job is done.
8:30 - family Scripture reading and prayer
9:00 - lights out and quiet (this is the ideal, but rarely happens... Usually kids are fighting over who's got what spot and who is bugging who and who just kicked me in the face and who is jumping on the bed (Abi) and yada yada until 10:00 which is when I give up and turn off the lights and go hide under my blanket and wish it all would just go away so I can try to go to sleep and be ready to do it all again tomorrow!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Coldplay for the Kids

My kids love the song Viva La Vida by Coldplay and it's been on repeat here all day. This is for their future reference - (they want the lyrics, Ethan wants to sing it for his class)

So here they are kids!

VIVA LA VIDA
© Universal Music - Mgb Songs

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets that I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead!
Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never
never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Sew Your Shoes


Abi doesn't tie her shoelaces, she sews them. And she insists on sewing them, she will not let me help. I tied her shoes for her as we were hustling to go out the door and when she realized it, she let me have it "I want to do my shoes!!! I want to do my shoes!!!" and thus freaked out until I untied them so she could do it herself, which sewing of her laces took too long and then I was freaking out. But she did do a good job, especially considering her thumb was bandaged up at the time...

Her finished work, and well, I guess it works. I don't think those will come undone or that she'll be tripping over her laces. Good job Abi. I need to learn to pick my battles, to let the little things go, to slow down. Especially at night time - now with the kids in school and us all getting up early, I become a bit of a monster at night as I repeat my tirades of " _______! (fill in blank with child's name) Come floss and brush! _________ ! Stop jumping on the bed! ________! Lay down in your bed! _______! Did you floss and brush yet?! _______! Come in here for scriptures! Will you guys all lay down and be quiet so we can read! ________! Be quiet! It's time for family prayer!" and once I'm about to explode, then they actually are finally quiet enough to be able to hear and then, of course, I'm also just feeling so full of love and peace that I'm ready for scriptures (not) but we read cause it's important and a family goal and we always have a great discussion and a good 25 minutes of talking and reading and eventually do feel the love and peace that come from the scripture. Right now we're in Ether, and I was so impressed that (although it took some repeating) they were able to follow who is who and who did what in Ether 7. Then last night we read Ether 8 and I left them hanging and begging for more (love it!) as they wondered what was going to happen to king Omer - Is Akish gonna kill the king and serve his head to Jared? As I just typed that, it made it sound like a bad thing to be reading my kids... What are these stories!?!? It's real life, very toned down, with the Lord's 2 cents on the story sprinkled throughout. So the book is good, but if they ever make a "Jaredites: The Movie" we might not be able to see it. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ice Skating

Corey took the kids ice skating over at the mall a few weeks ago. I had been laying around the house feeling like garbage, thus the kids were stuck in the apartment too. He thought they should leave the house once that day. (He's such a good dad.) I stayed home with Lily.

So since I didn't go, I don't know for sure the drama behind these photos, but knowing my children and their personalities, I have a pretty good guess... feel free to correct me in the comments, kids, if there is anything you want to add.


~~~~~~
Hyrum was having a hard time getting a hang of skating on ice


(Look at that sad little frown on him! Break my heart)

Corey left Hyrum to figure it out cause he's got two other kids hanging on him. Joe is a great helper

Mourning the difficulty of life...


Wes gives his try at complaining vs. trying

Abi comforting Wes

Abi's out for another go with help of older siblings - love it when they become functioning members of the family!!!

Corey able to help Hyrum out for a bit... Hyrum's liking it (his cheek is giving away the fact that he's smiling - but trying to hide it from the camera - there must be no evidence of him enjoying himself!)

Joe's not afraid to enjoy life

Nor Mel

Nor Ethan

Wes is feeling pumped, ice skating ROCKS!


I think I see a trace of enjoyment in that hesitant smile...

Abi's having fun!


Wes is going it alone! The confidence radiates off his face.

Go ABI!!!! Look Ma! No hands!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cupid

I need to get a camera... I feel like I can't post if I don't have a picture. But I guess I still have a lot of pictures here that I haven't posted yet, so these are not up to date from this week, but it'll have to do. Here's a couple from Valentine's Day -


Melodie dressed up Lily as a Valentine's Day cupid


(Isn't she cute)


Of course the older brothers don't ever want to be left out of something funny, so Joe decided to put on the get-up himself. Not as cute as Lily, but we'll give you marks for effort I guess. :)


Abi got really mad at Joe when she saw him wearing her little slip -

"JOE! GIVE ME MY DRESS!!!"

She hasn't been wearing it much lately - actually now come to think of it, I haven't seen it in the laundry for a while either... I wonder if Corey took it? He doesn't like her wearing it, especially in public like downstairs at the common play area... "I'm not taking her out in her négligé..."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Podcast on Abraham Lincoln


I gotta run Wesley to school, but wanted to quickly recommend this link - Corey shared this with all of us yesterday - EXCELLENT!

Abraham Lincoln, God's Humble Instrument

"Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of The United States, was sworn into office at a time when the United States was engaged in a terrible civil war which threatened to tear the country apart. March 4, 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of his taking office. Author Ron Andersen discusses the life, service and death of this remarkable man."

Listen to Episode 11

I'm totally loving the Mormon Channel - amazing stories, uplifting, edifying, much better than the stuff I find on the news. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs ups, 5 stars!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wesley's Turn for Pre-Kinder

Now it's Wesley's turn:
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As the video was ending there, you can hear Wesley "This back pack is so big - woah whine! It's making me fall over!!!" The Kindergarten classes were full, but they had room for Wes in the pre-kinder class, which was okay by us. It's a half day, and starts when the other kids finish... I picked them all up today (a short day) at 1:20 and Wesley's class started at 1:30:

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He seemed pretty shy/scared/sad going in, we all said prayers for him while he was gone. I told the kids that's what I'd done all day for them too - pray pray. (I think it worked!) ~ they all came home with smiles and lots of tales to tell. I'll try to document those. Wes seemed well when I picked him up, but wouldn't kiss his teaches on the way out - we gotta work them up to that custom. I bought him a new smaller Toy Story 3 backpack, so now he's excited to go tomorrow.

Here's one more video... Lily, who fell asleep on the drive to school to pick them up the kids, woke up after we parked at home and was delighted to see her older brothers and sister again. I got her out of her carseat and said "Lily! It's Joe!" to which she said "DOE!" as she stretched out her arms to him for him to hold her. (You can hear how she says "Joe" in the video):
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She loves all her siblings, but I think Joe has a special place in her heart - he would be able to rock her to sleep when she wouldn't fall asleep for me. He has a magical touch with her that I lack. She loves Doe!

First Few Moments of the First Day of School

Walking to school:
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Hyrum already at the head of his class:
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Melodie - no tears, but Corey said she looked like she was on the verge...
Hang in there Mel! I spy Joe too:
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Ethan - clapping not knowing why:
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Mel - wrong color socks - sorry Mel! Honest mistake - I didn't know:
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Singing the National Anthem:
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Good luck kiddo! When it gets hard, just think of your reward for sticking it out:
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...And They're Off!

Last night: shopping for school supplies from 6 - 9 p.m. I was sooo lost, didn't know over half the words on their huge lists of things they need to bring to class. I was getting pretty frazzled - told the kids "I think I'm feeling now how you'll be feeling tomorrow..." But I learned some new words after I came home and spent a half hour on google translate. Now I know what cera means - wax. And that lápices de cera means crayons. I didn't have a clue. They still need a lot of things. I'll try to get it before next week. But they got their gray pants and black shoes though, so they should be permitted to enter the school. (These guys are serious! Mel and Joe are really excited about their "lab" coats that are obligatorio if you want to do science. As Corey and I keep saying to each other with a smile, these guys are serious about their education.)

Got home from store 9:30
Late dinner
Floss and brush
Kids in bed at 11:00 p.m.

Corey and I were up until 1:00 a.m. - Corey working, me hemming up Melodie's skirt and dividing up the school supply booty into the designated backpacks.

First day of school:
Rise and Shine at 6:30 a.m. (it was still dark, big shock for the kiddos, they haven't been up this early for a loooong time. Kinda nice to get back to reality!)
Sliced apples to help their bodies get going
Get dressed in your uniforms!!! (they're so excited, and think they look so stinking cute)
Toast and eggs at 7:15
On their way down the elevator 7:30 with Corey, "I think you guys are feeling a lot like I did when I came on my mission... I was all excited, all dressed up, then after I got their I was like "huh? Hey wait, I don't know what they're sayin'?!"

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They all laughed. They are all excited, yay! Even Hyrum, with the help of a generous Lego bribe. Hope it goes well tomorrow and the next day too, love those little guys.

Bonus: Wes, Abi, and Lily all slept through getting the school kids out the door!
Wesley goes at 1:00 today for his afternoon kindergarten. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ready for School to Start?

I was so excited to come to Chile for 6 months so that the kids could go to school and get really good at Spanish. Then it was pointed out to me by Corey that it's summer in Chile in December, and that means summer vacation. The kids and I arrived here on December 9th, which was the very first day of their summer break. Another summer vacation?! I love having the kids home, but was also bummed cause I knew that would be time when they weren't learning Spanish as fast as they could be if they were in school. Still, what are ya gonna do.

We've been spending the past 2 months trying to figure out what we needed to do to get them enrolled - The problem is that the schools here in Chile wouldn't talk with us without being able to show them records to confirm what grades the kids would be in. And federal law in the US won't allow parent's to request school records, the request has to come from the individual school, so we were in a sort of catch 22. Luckily the people at Start Up Chile are amazing and super helpful and have connections with the Ministry of Education and were able to help us out and pull some strings. After helping us get temporary visas for the kids, we then got them their Chilean ID cards, and we were ready to talk to the school, and after 3 trips and a few emails and phone calls they were officially registered yesterday and enrolled today. And just in time to, since school starts tomorrow! Corey just left with them all to go back to the school again to get their uniforms. :) I sent the video camera with them, so I'll post that when they get back!

It was quite the run around process getting the visas (but much better than paying $400 a pop in Costa Rica, or driving to Argentina after our 90 days in Chile were up...) - We did it last Thursday and Friday - it involved a cab ride to the the Internacional Police Office -


to checking our background and such (Corey thought the cab ride would be best so we didn't get lost or have to worry about parking - it was smack dab in the heart of the city). Not too long of a wait there, still it takes a while to repeat the process 8 times (Corey's already got his visa). Then it was off on another cab ride to get the Chile ID cards


Lily entertaining us with kisses in the car. And do you like her outfit? She dressed herself and insisted on wearing Abi's dress that fits length wise, but it a little large around the neck and shoulders. Lily accessorized with a matching pastel pink hat.


She also had us laughing as she said a prayer - I'm sure praying that we'll arrive safely since she'd be the first to die if we crashed. 5 people in the back of a cab. Corey and the other 3 kids were in another cab - we're a 2 cab family.

Trying to focus on her prayer and not let Joseph and Ethan's laughing at her cuteness distract her.

We arrived in time at the ID place - it closed at 2 and we were in line at 1:45 so they let us in. Lots of waiting again and telling the kids to please sit and be quiet, watch where you're going, keep your feet in when people are walking by, don't be so noisy, etc.


Abi's mad at Wesley for something in that picture above - doesn't she look so threatening?

The big kids were great help with Lily. Around 2:30 it was our turn, and after talking to the guy for 2 minutes, he told Corey he needed a paper which he didn't have, so we left and would have to come back the next day (Friday) so we could register for school on Monday.

We took the metro home instead of a cab - the kids loved that part

Seven kids waiting for the subway.

Lily was mad the next day when we were back in line again -


This time we waited for an hour and a half, but I did remember to bring treats. Good! But the treats didn't really help the kids with the wait, it seemed to just cause them to pester me more. Bad. Come on Tiff, what did you expect?

I took the kids outside for a while while Corey waited and filled out paper work. The kids fed the pigeons.

After taking everyone's pictures we thought we were done and went to play on the playground. Corey called us back in - we weren't done - gotta finger print everyone. These guys are serious. both hands, all 10 fingers. Don't you go breaking the law, Mel, or they'll find ya!

Abi had a new bandage wrapped on her from the night before which we had to take off for her thumbprint. She was not happy about it and thus is scowling very angrily in her ID card. I did get to see her thumb though. That nail really is glued on.

And that reminds me, as soon as I get the photo off of Corey's iphone, I'll post about that check up - pretty funny cause it made Hyrum pass out. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cerro San Cristobal

Another month has gone by. Last night the kids were telling me how Costa Rica went by slowly, but Chile is going by super fast. I had to correct them, that it was just the first month that went by slowly in Costa Rica, then once we got into the routine of our adventure it started to zip by, and since Chile is just a continuation of the adventure, time is still booking. I admit though, February seemed to go particularly fast. That's a good thing, cause we're all excited to go back home.

Corey was on the local Utah news this morning on KSL. Go Start Up Chile!

Last Saturday we went with our friends Angela and Gabriel and their daughters to the Cerro San Cristobal.

video

It is pretty awesome - a the top there is a statue of the Virgin Mary donated by France in the 1920s - called la Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción. You can ask Mary for a blessing or leave her a thank you note, and you can see the entire huge city of Santiago - amazing how big this city is, it just goes on and on... some good pictures on this website.

The kids were curious about what all the candles were for...

video

Just happened to run into the Mission President and his wife from the Vina Del Mar Mission. Pretty cool, love missionaries. On our way down the stairs Abi wasn't satisfied with just walking - being an adorable little girl she had to jump down the stairs. She was checking out her new exercise shoes - (thanks Mom!)

video

For fun with kids in Santiago, I would like to highly endorse the Parque Infantil at the Cerro San Cristobal park - too bad my camera was broken. We did get a few videos, but we're definitely going to go back when I have a camera so I can document it a little more, cause this park was seriously sooooo cool, I wished I was a kid again and that all my siblings were here with me to play - we would have had so much fun! My kids were in heaven, Wesley said "This is a dream come true!" then he expounded - "This park can be Indiana Jones, Ben 10, Star Wars, hot wheels... it can be all the games!" They ran around lost in their imagination for the next two hours.

video

Luckily for us the bathroom was locked and we had to finally call it quits so Abi could use the bathroom, otherwise we never would have been able to get them to leave.

When we go again I'll get some footage or pictures of the stone castles and wood bridges - totally out of an Indiana Jones movie set.

Merry March to you all! May this month be busy and productive and may time continue to march on so we can return triumphant from Narnia.
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