5 bottles of antibiotics, a nebulizer, and a suction machine. Bronchitis, pink eye, hand foot mouth disease, ear infections, sinus infections, stomach flu (Xander and Mommy). Aaaand that is why none of you got treats from the Clarks, or any presents in the mail. It was more than I could handle. It all was manifesting itself before Christmas and it is finally going away. AHHHH So much coughing!! We met our deductible and our maximum on our health insurance so we made a huge trip to the Doctor. All 4 were seen and treated.
So no, we're not inactive from church and we really do like our friends and family, but we just needed to stay away from everyone because we're highly contagious.
*Scripture study last night went really well mainly because Mckenzie asked if she could braid my hair. Um, Yes! I read while she braided away. Normally I expect the kids to either sit still or draw what we're talking about- but all rules are out the door if you want to play with Mommy's hair.
We are finishing up the Book of Mormon- trying so hard to get it done before her baptism on February 1st. She stayed up way late the other night and read several chapters by flashlight. I wasn't sure how the comprehension was going but the next day she went off about stories she read. well, alright.
*The Pom Pom store. So each child has a jar. The girls have bigger ones. When they do their morning chores, help around the house, play the piano, or I catch them being good I give them a pom pom. It's those fuzzy little colorful balls from the dollar store. Each Pom Pom is worth a nickle. I have a Pom Pom store with little prizes that have pom pom price tags on each item. At the end of the week at Family Council we count poms poms. We put a money value on them just so they can pay tithing and put some in savings but the rest they can buy something out of the store or trade all the remaining pom poms in for money and save up for something big- a trip with mom or dad to the real store and get whatever they saved for. The pom pom store works awesome for Xander and is half in half with Julia. Kenzie already has saved enough the past month and half to buy a rainbow loom.
I have a clipboard for each child with several clothespins clipped on one side. Written on the clothespins are the things I expect for them to do that day. When the chore is finished, they move the clothespins to the other side of clipboard- on the other side of the clothespin it's the chore/verb in the past tense. Practiced, made bed, and so forth.
Sounds pretty awesome and it is- but it's rocky. It was really bumpy at first as we tried to work out the kinks and I almost lost the children's excitement because it wasn't organized. Plus I'm a scatter brain from time to time so I forget to reinforce and sometimes it is late going to bed at night so I forget to hand out pom poms. Other times I frankly don't have it in me to care about the pom poms and so it will die off for a couple days. Other times I lose it and go crazy mom on them and threatened to take out 20 pom poms for fighting, it usually works but I really didn't want this to be a negative thing. Sitting outside or sitting in the corner should be their punishments. I don't want those fuzzy cute happy balls to be associated with anything too sad...but oh its tempting. Once I was being a bad mom (just once) and I said to Julia that I was going to take out some pom poms if she didn't stop what she was doing. Well, obviously that was the wrong thing to say to Julia because she just took out the balls and started throwing them all over the room "FINE! Take the stupid balls!!" Oh precious child of mine. She will be the type that will have the most delicious bowl of ice cream in front of her and she won't eat it out of pride. May this all turn to strengths someday.
Julia spelled her name wrong in this notebook she earned from the pom pom store. It was the end of the world in the Clark home for about 2 hours. I did all I could as her mother. Nothing worked. She had to sit on her top bunk and just figure out everything on her own. She finally got over it and she was back to being Julia- fun and creative. But oh boy. How I love that huge spirit. How could I be so lucky to know and raise someone that is so unique and beautiful.
Julia loves Legos. She got some for Christmas. It's a Daddy Julia thing. It has been great for those two. Chay loves to build Legos and Trios with the kids. He will sit and watch cartoons with them and I can hear him giggling right along with the kids. That's my man.
On New Year's Eve we were pretty lame. Kenzie might be 8 but she still doesn't understand the excitement of the year rolling over to the next at midnight. So asleep they were at midnight and asleep they'll always be until they actually want to stay up. That night we had a family night and we did our annual gift to the Savior. It was a tradition my Mom started when I was a teenager. We opened up the gift that stays wrapped all year and placed on my bookshelf in the piano room. Inside the box were our written gifts to the Savior from the year before and the old ones from previous years. It was fun to see how handwriting has improved. Fun to see how we try to improve on the same things every year- visiting teaching, home teaching, temple attendance, scripture reading, health- our hearts are good, right?
My favorite part of the night was when we went around and bore our testimonies. Some shared stories of how they helped others and some were real testimonies. It was neat and it was good practice.
Last night there was a snow storm and so the air is cleaner. What is up with this place? I read on the news that we should consider wearing masks when we walk outside???? I'M NOT A FAN!!! Drives me crazy. I feel like we're living in the middle of a mini natural disaster, or downtown Hong Kong.
Chay took the kids on a 4 wheeling ride and to play on the hill by our house. It took us 20 minutes to get 3 kids ready in their snow gear. Hard work. I told them that I am locking the door and they can't come in for at least an hour to make it worth putting all those layers of snow clothes on.
Do you think there's room for Sam?