Thursday, May 31, 2012

Almost Kid Free

Ivy & Jamey stayed at my parents' house after our trip for Sam's graduation and Memorial Day. So, Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.

While they were gone, we got the bedrooms rearranged. First off was emptying all the toys out of the playroom. Then we moved Bethany to the "former playroom." Next, sort toys and get them upstairs. Put up the bunk beds in Ivy & Jamey's room. Lastly, set up Livy's room. It was a busy few days here.

I learned this week that having three kids is more than three times harder than one kid. I'd say exponentially harder, but I think "one to the third" is still a small number. One kid is super easy, and three is not. 

Book Review - Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

May Book

Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
by John Gottman and Nan Silver
266 pages

I accidently ordered a British version of this book from Amazon. I know because of words like "learnt, analysed, and practise."

This book is about half questionnaires, quizzes, and discussion points, so it's a short, easy read. Unless you stop and do all the "work." Then it would take forever. Because I was reading this on my own instead of with Jeremy, I didn't go though much of the work. I answered some of the questions, but it's really designed to be done together. I think.

Overall, I like marriage books, because I think it's important to address problems right away before they get huge. I wish there were an easy way to get all the questions, etc. from this book into a big jar so we could pull one out and talk about it every day.

Along those lines, I think Table Topics would be a great way to start conversations we wouldn't think of.

Principle #1: Enhance your love maps
This is all about knowing your spouse--little things and big things. Like who they sit next to at work, what they're struggling with, and what their hopes & dreams are.

Principle #2: Nurture your fondness and admiration
This was about remembering the good things and having a positive image of your marriage and relationship. 

Principle #3: Turn toward each other instead of away
The example to describe this principle was a parenting one: about a husband who made fun of the way his wife parented while he was with his family. Then his family undermined her parenting preferences with the grandkids. The wife was upset. Instead of being worried about his parents, the husband had to start defending his wife's choices and be on the same team as her. It's all about being a team and being on the same side. 

Principle #4: Let your partner influence you
This is just as simple as it sounds. Let your partner influence your choices and decisions. Take them into consideration.

Principle #5: Solve your solvable problems
There were a lot of pages dedicated to conflict. Because we don't ever have any conflict, I skipped these chapters. 

There are a couple types of conflict: problems you can solve and those you won't. This was about identifying the solvable problems you have and then solving them. 

Principle #6: Overcome gridlock
This chapter was about those problems you can't solve and how to at least come to an amicable disagreement. Like me accepting that Jeremy will never like tomato soup. 

Principle #7: Create shared meaning
I might have liked this chapter the best. It's all about traditions, rituals, and customs in your family. I like traditions. I like having special things we do because it's "the thing" we do.  

I think this is a good book. Probably better to read together. Maybe for small group in the fall. :) 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

See ya later Levi & Ally

Levi & Ally are moving to Germany with the US Air Force. They've been in Alexandria for the last 10 days or so. Levi left for Ramstein on May 29, and Ally leaves on June 5.

They'll be in Germany for three years. They're going to have to put together a list of fun things to do, because we're going for a visit!!

Hanging out at the fire

Uncle Levi & Jamey have the same hair cut

Playing, playing, playing

Hey Look!

Uncle Levi & Livy

Uncle Levi & Ivy

Auntie Ally

Ally's parents at graduation

More pictures from Memorial Weekend

Between the kids and me taking pictures Memorial Weekend, I think we have more than 200. It's close to impossible to pick which ones to show off. Here's a few more. :)

Crawling around the church after graduation. 
I had to tuck her dress into the bloomers, so she could get around.

Happy Graduation!

I think Jamey took this one.

Doing a long workout in his tri suit

Daddy's #1

Washing those dirty feet!

Livy would like to be walking all by herself.

Helping Grandma get ready for the party

I LOVE this picture!

What a cutie pie!

My kids adore Bailey (Jamey calls her Baywee)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sam's Graduation

My brother Sam graduated from high school last weekend; he participated in the LEARN at Home graduation in Alexandria. We went up on Friday afternoon and stayed through Memorial Day.

Ivy crawled in bed with me, so all the girls slept together. 

We found this rocker in the garage. 
There are pictures of me in it when I was about 9 months old. 

Sam was riding Ivy's bike. 

All tuckered out after lots of playing.

This pretty girl found Mommy's makeup.

Helping Grandma cut watermelon for "Sam's Big Party."

Finding flowers

The graduation ceremony was at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Alexandria. The home school graduation is pretty neat: the graduates each get to talk a little bit, and the parents also speak. 

Waiting for graduation to start.

Sitting by Great Grandma, singing hymns

Making faces!

The few pictures I took of the ceremony were all blurry. However, you'll have to check out these posts to see all the funny pictures Ivy and Jamey took. 

Eating all the M&Ms

Great-Grandma Marian

Playing puppy with Lily's leash

Ivy and her BFF Sophia

Ally and her brother Andy

Ivy can touch the leaves while she's swinging.