Monday, May 31, 2010

Firsts

We experienced a couple of 'firsts' this Memorial Day weekend and it's really been enjoyable.

First we watched the PBS Memorial Day special Sunday night. I don't remember the official name, but it was a concert in front of the U.S. Capitol building in D.C. It was a great tribute to our soldiers of today and yesterday. It was also an opportunity for us to talk with our children about honoring those who've sacrificed to make our country free.

We also grilled shrimp on our little Smokey Joe. We were inspired by my brother's family. Recently they took a S. California trip and blogged about it every day. They were always grilling something. So I ventured out to the grocery store in search of shrimp. We are not really exotic eaters and so I'd never done this before, but now that I've shelled and deveined shrimp, I'll know next time that perhaps the $1 or $2 extra per pound to have that done for you is worth it.

No, it actually wasn't that bad, but I thought about the process too much, and when I do that, sometimes I don't want to eat it. It did turn out really well though. We used the instructions here, and then the recipe for the marinade here.

Wes and Sophie ate it up. Kate was a little leery.

We also skewered some green peppers and early squash, then cooked corn in their husks right on the coals. We topped it off with rootbeer floats and called it a success.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sweet Boy

Wesley is our sweet boy. We're still trying to figure him out sometimes, but one thing we know for sure is he has a big heart and is very sensitive. Sometimes that equates to a touch of wimpy-ness, or you might call it drama, but he is generally very kind.

He often tries to please people, especially Kate. Whenever he is in a situation where he has what he wants and Kate doesn't, he'll quickly give what he has to her, so that she feels better. I'm trying to figure out how to handle this sometimes. I'm happy that he's generous and caring, but at the same time I don't want him to give in, just because someone's having 'a moment'. Many times it truly is out of the kindness of his heart.

Wes is very sensitive to loud noises. Oftentimes in the car he'll sit there with his fingers in his ears the whole time because Sophie's too loud for him. But then again Sophie knows exactly what buttons to push with Wes.

Baseball is Wes' favorite sport and he's very determined when he 'practices'. From the get-go Matt and I realized that Kate is a natural athlete but doesn't really get into ball playing. She just loves running around like crazy. Wesley has a certain drive about him where he tries and tries and now he's become really good at throwing and hitting. He absolutely loves when we go to baseball games in our area of the minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

Wes has really developed his artistic side. When Kate was creating and coloring a ton a year or two ago, Wes never really had an interest. Now he's the art king. He loves drawing, cutting and taping. I've had to designate a tape dispenser just for him because he was constantly taking our office one and I could never find it, or there wouldn't be any tape left. I'll find all sorts of pictures or projects taped to the wall.

The other day while playing with his train, Wes stopped and ran for some paper. He came up to me and showed me what he'd drawn and asked if I could help him build the fort he'd colored. He'd drawn the couch cushions in a design and wanted to recreate it. I thought that was pretty good and told Matt we had a little contractor/architect/engineer on our hands.

We love our brown-eyed little guy. He loves to snuggle and kiss (as long as it's not on the lips, so funny), and asks me every night if I'll come in and knit by his bedside after Dad's finished singing songs. We'll keep him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I've struggled posting anything as of late, but will write a few sentences now. There's been so much to say, but since this is not a private blog, and even if it were I wouldn't post some things (gotta figure out that post option of not allowing the world to see).

I'll share just a bit, for record's sake, and then privately account for everything.

We are moving. And I'm very sad about that. Not that our current state has become our home of homes, but still, we truly love it here. We love our friends, our church family, and the easy access to adventures.

We have grown here. We appreciate family more, church more, and each other more.

The problem is we don't have a job. I don't feel sorry for us, so you shouldn't either. We'll find one, but just haven't struck it yet. That's where the test has been. There's been a high level of stress in our home (thanks to me), and our children have been affected (again, thanks and no thanks to me).

We spent a very nice weekend in Boston visiting more sites, John and Abigail Adams homes (what marvelous people), the Children's Museum, and a temple session (for me). We traveled home on a less traveled highway and enjoyed the winding roads and small towns along the way. We will miss this.

Our house is for sale. Our landlord has been wonderful and very accommodating, but it is still tough keeping a house clean and tidy for showing. But again, it's been fine (and only 4 days. Ask me in a month and maybe my hair will all be gone).

The blessing in all of this craziness is the peace and calm that Matt has been. He has been a rock. He's held his cool as I've lost it. He's responded optimistically as I've let the stress overcome me. He's answered with love as I've reacted rashly. I'm so grateful. He's such a good man; a gentle giant.

Now I'm committed to leave my old self (of the past few weeks) behind, and take on the day. The house is clean, the children fed ... now let's enjoy these last few weeks.