I don't think I've ever been able to sit through a primary program without crying. Today was ours and it was no exception. It was sweet and powerful to see and hear over 200 children up there. They had to sit on boards laid over the choir seats and down the ramp and into the first three rows of pews. They did a great job and I loved seeing my kids in the midst of all the others. The best part was when the kids sang the first part of "A Child's Prayer" and the teachers sang the second part. That touched me so much knowing that Heavenly Father really is there for all of His children and that He really does listen to our prayers. It also gave me the reminder of how precious my own children are and how I need to treasure them. Anyway, good program.
At the end of the meeting the Bishop got up and told us that our ward would be dividing again next week (it was just over a year ago that we divided the first time). This time around feels very different. It's much more bittersweet because I know so many more people in the new part of the neighborhood that most likely won't be in our ward. But our ward is busting at the seems and needs to be split, so I'm excited about that.
We had a really great Relief Society dinner this week. I'm on the RS activities committee so I always know what goes on behind the scenes. We had about 75 people there, which is the most we've ever had (and only one guy watching all the kids in the nursery--including all mine. Yikes!) I was supposed to make some neighborhood signs that we could put out on the day of the activities and it was a huge pain! They were 2'x3' (two sided) so they were pretty big, and I was trying all sorts of things so that I wouldn't have to waste money on vinyl. Con-tact paper didn't stick, so that was frustrating. I finally cut out the letters onto poster board with my Silhouette, spray painted the letters on, and then touched up some of the over spray. I think they look good from far away, which is where they are supposed to be seen from. But now I have to put a new ward name on them. Good grief.
Jared had the State Doubles racquetball tournament this week. He won second place in the A division for the second year in a row. I came to watch the final match. I get so nervous for him! And also, I'm pretty sure I am the bad luck charm because he usually loses when I come, but I also come when he's playing harder teams. Anyway, he has a lot of fun playing in the tournaments.
Erin and Alex had a piano recital a couple of weeks ago. They both did a great job and have gotten a lot better since they started a year ago. Their teacher was having a baby so they have a break from lessons until January. I have to say, even though I'm glad my kids are learning piano and like it (most of the time), it's so nice to not have to worry about practicing every day and going to lessons for a while. We're all enjoying the little break.
I joined a babysitting co-op just recently in the neighborhood. There are 10 shifts during the week (everyone has one set time) and then we each take a Friday night every 10 weeks. Everyone starts with 30 sticks and then you pay 1 stick per kid per half hour. I have the most kids, so if I left them all for a Friday night I could use up my sticks pretty fast, but mostly I use it during the week when I only have 2 or 3 kids. I like it so far. I figured I should take advantage of it before I don't need it anymore. Yes, there will come a time when I don't need a babysitter anymore. I am really close to being able to leave my kids home with Erin. I can see the babysitting light at the end of the tunnel. But for now, the co-op is handy.
We really do have a neat neighborhood. In the spring and summer someone started a produce co-op so that we could just go a few houses down and get fresh fruits and veggies. It was great! And then there's my next door neighbor who started building furniture and selling it. She is keeping pretty busy, too. She keeps wanting me to work with her and put some stuff I have done on her sight. I'm excited to do it, but also a little hesitant. I sometimes wonder if anyone will like my style and sometimes I can be a perfectionist, which gets in the way. I don't want to sell anything that's not perfect. I also have a hard time doing things with a baby around. But it's a dream of mine to do it with her. Someone, just kick me and make me do it already!!
The leaves are changing and it's starting to get cold. I am determined to finally get a better winter wardrobe this year. I'm really not excited about winter clothes, but I live in Utah so I really should resign myself to the fact that I need them. I even broke down and bought some boots. Two pairs, actually. And some sweaters and some skinny jeans. You read that right, folks. I am finally joining the 2010's.
I did a clean eating challenge in October. At first I thought it was just a "Hey, we're all going to eat better" kind of thing. Come to find out, my neighbor (different neighbor--the one who's also an instructor at the gym I go to) kept sending me all sorts of recipes, tips and motivation. And it cost $25, which I didn't know about at the start. But, it was waaay worth it. I lost 6 stubborn lbs. of baby weight and 3 1/2" off my waist. Okay, part of that amount was because I stopped nursing at the end of September, so it was kind of cheating. But I did feel good and only had two headaches the entire month. It was amazing how many treats kept coming my way though. I think four people brought us cookies, the kids kept bringing home candy from church and school and I even got a bag of chocolates on my car when I went to the temple. Seriously! I didn't even eat a single piece of candy at Bunco where they had three buckets full of candy on each table. It makes it so much harder to avoid those things when they are constantly around! And I don't know that I could live that way forever. But, every little change for the better makes a difference, I suppose.
Speaking of nursing, I am so relieved to finally be done! I feel like I have my body back and am free to go places without worrying about her. As much as it is hard to see the baby grow up, I have to say that the first year is always a little demanding and that once they hit a year, it's always a big relief. Now she is walking all over the place and doing all sorts of cute things. Part of the reason why I had to stop nursing when I did is because I really want to get Lasik on my eyes, and you can't even have your evaluation until you are done nursing for at least 2 months. But I need to find out if I am a candidate before the end of the year so that if I am, I can put money into our HSA for it and then do the surgery in January. That's my plan anyway. I hope I can do it and I hope I don't go blind.
In other news, our trusty van hit 100,000 miles recently, though I completely missed the moment. Dang it! Eventually we'll have to replace both of our cars that we're made last century (both '99's), but they've been great cars and even greater is the fact that we have no car payment.
And last but not least, Halloween. I was a huge Grinch this Halloween, if that's possible. We're lucky we got any pictures at all. I didn't want to go Trick-or-Treating with the kids, so Jared took them and I put the bowl of candy on the porch and watched a movie. Good times. As for costumes? I had everyone go down to the basement to find something in the dress-ups. Erin was a cow girl, so I had to buy her some new boots (which she will wear all winter anyway). Marissa was a fairy or a princess, I'm not sure. That would depend on if she found her wings or not. I did have to buy her a crown. Connor was a dinosaur. So cute. Hallie was the same thing that all of our girls have been when they were one, a lady bug. I guess it's good we kept it. Alex didn't want any of the costumes in the basement. Two days before he needed his costume, he told me he wanted to be the old man from Up. I thought it was a great idea, so I went to DI and found a bunch of stuff he could wear including a wig, the belt, the suit coat and I got a chair that we were going to make into the cane. I also went to another store to get the glasses. Seriously, it was such a great costume. They were supposed to dress up for their recital and he had it on, that is until 10 minutes before the recital started. As in, we were getting into the car when he told me that he didn't want to wear that costume! Errrr. His costume in the end was Batman, for the third year in a row. The one he didn't want to use. That's the last time I take time to figure out and buy stuff for a costume! They can wear a cardboard box next year. See? Grinch. Now on to some better holidays.