Here we go. Jeff went on an overnight trip with the Navy last night to take all his aptitude and physical tests and meet with a career counselor. He left yesterday morning and will be back sometime tonight. It was the first of many days apart, I'm afraid. But, I did rather well. I didn't have to cry myself to sleep or anything! Today we'll make our final decision and hopefully know a little bit more about where the future is going to take us. It's begun!
. . . well, more like water. Today we took a trip to Great Falls National Park. We took Loralee and Jeremy with us and had a grand old time. We brought a picnic lunch,
hiked to the falls,
had a nerf war (Jeff deserved it--he had to miss all his big wars because of his APX boss),
ate ice cream, and everyone but Jeffy and me climbed all over the rocks along the banks of the Potomac River. It was a fun day and Jeffy did really well, thank goodness. You can see that when we got home everybody was really tired! :)
It was so nice to get out and do something together; we haven't done that in quite some time. I hope we get to do more things like this before Jeff ships out!
This last weekend was Stake Conference. At the Saturday night Session, I learned a lot of things, and I want to make note of them so I don't forget them. This is as good a place as any, so here goes.
The theme was along the lines of making the home a gospel-learning place, and using the church programs to re-enforce them, and not the other way around. I learned a new approach to teaching Sunday classes, whether they're Sunday school or relief society. Most s already know much about the gospel. One speaker suggested that class time is the perfect opportunity to discuss how to teach principles to your family. So instead of a teacher's priority being getting through the material on a certain subject, it should be discussing ways parents can teach that principle to their children. With a class full of s, there can be many different ideas that can help parents make the main place of gospel learning be the home. I really liked that idea and want to try it the next time I teach s (whenever that may be.)
They presented ideas for getting more involved in the direct teaching of your youth and primary age children and how to effectively re-enforce at home the principles they learn at church activities. The Stake Young Women's President showed us all the booklets, pamphlets, and helps there are for parents and leaders of youth. I didn't know there were so many. It made me commit to going through the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet as a family so our kids (and us as well) understand completely the standards they are expected to live, and why they are important. It really hit me again how important parents are in kids' lives. The Stake President made a good point. He pointed out that the home is not only where kids learn principles of the gospel, but social skills, communication skills, work, any kind of interaction with other people is basically learned in the home. Keeping a home peaceful is important, but if everyone is in their separate rooms watching tv or listening to music, no interaction is going on, and that's not so great. The role of a parent became much clearer to me through the conference. We are responsible for providing for children's needs, but much more importantly, we are responsible for teaching them everything about how to become the kind of person they ought to be. Big responsibility, huh? But I loved learning these things and became more excited to be a parent and to be able to mold my children into faithful men and women of character. I hope this will help me to remember the things I learned and the commitments I made.
Here is a video of Jeffy on his tummy. He's getting pretty mobile, but not in the typical way! He can scoot around now, but he goes backwards, and usually in circles! It's way cute. I recorded it on my phone, so the quality isn't great, but it's something to see! :)
We're joining the Navy! Jeff is enlisting to become a Nuclear Engineer. He will go to Basic Training for 8 weeks, then off to a 18-month Nuclear Training immediately after. That training will give him about 100 college credits, so after a few filler classes, he'll get a Bachelor Degree. From there, he'll probably spend some time doing nuclear kinds of things (I don't really know very much about it) on an aircraft carrier. He'll continue his education, hopefully at the Naval Post-Graduate University in Monterrey, CA. This coming week we'll know more exact dates and specifics. We'll be apart for his Basic Training, then together for his Nuclear Training, then apart for his deployments, of course.
We've been looking into joining the Military for some time, but making the decision to actually join took a little while. Jeff's wanted to "be a soldier" since he was a little boy, but I took more convincing! I am very excited for some aspects--free housing on base and a housing allowance off-base, shopping at the commissary and base shops, job security, and health insurance! But, I'm not especially looking forward to deployment times, but that comes with the territory. I've agreed to it now, so I guess I can't complain now! :) This enlistment will be for 6 years, so if it's horrible, we can get out then. But, in the nuclear program, there are huge re-enlistment bonuses, so that just might entice us to stay longer.
So, that's our big news! We will not be returning to Rexburg in the fall, or probably ever. Jeff finally chose a career! :) It will be a big change for us, but I think it will be a good one. We went to the temple this last Thursday, and both prayed and got a very strong answer that this will be a good thing for us. I have to admit I'm excited for the new adventure! (And it goes without saying that Jeff is excited too! He's already training to get ready for Basic Training.) Wish us luck!
Jeff and I were finally able to go to the temple this morning. We haven't been able to go together for a long time, and it was such a treat. It means a good four or five hours alone together! I loved it and hope we get to do that more often.
Then we came home and went to the pool for the first time as a family! Jeff got little spiderman swim trunks for Jeffy and they were so adorable! It was a fun afternoon. The water was kind of chilly, so Jeffy didn't stay in too long. Jeff swam 1000 yards (is that right? yards?) and it was fun for me to watch. He doesn't have any goggles of his own, so he wore my sister's bright pink ones. Hee hee. Afterward, he said he hasn't felt that invigorated in a long time. Sounds like we'll be making trips to the pool regularly. I just hope the sun stays out longer in the future, so it won't be so cold for Jeffy! He ended up just taking a nap in the stroller, wrapped up in a dry towel.
Speaking of chilly days, the weather here is weird. There are thunder storms almost every other day. A few weeks ago, one turned into a tornado and we were on tornado watch. It happened just a little while before school let out for the day, but they held the kids there till it was over, and made them crouch down on their knees and cover their heads out in the hall. Normally the kids walk home from school, but that day they had to be picked up. When my mom got there, Loralee, my 11 year-old sister, was crying her eyes out, as were many other kids in all different grades. They were scared out of their wits. So anytime the sky starts getting dark, Loralee gets scared, and we have to reassure her that everything is ok. The nice thing about storms is at least it gets rid of the intense humidity for a little while!
Of course, I can't publish a post without pictures! The first one is Jeffy relaxed in the arms of his daddy. The gash on Jeff's head came from running into one of the pillars you can see in the background in the dark. There was a huge bump too. The second one is a testament to how messy babies can be!
I'm becoming much better at blogging! I've been looking at lots of other blogs for ideas and have found many websites completely goaled toward customizing blogs. I didn't know there were so many cool things you could put on here. This is a lot of fun! Thanks to Laura for getting me on board!
Here's my patriotic baby! Thanks Gramma for the cute shirt!
Today was a nice day. Jeffy woke us up very early today-5:15! And it wasn't a "I woke up! Feed me and I'll go back to sleep." It was more "I'm awake! Play with me! Where is everybody? Get me out of here!" So I did. Jeff played with him while I put the traditional cinnamon rolls in the over for a special breakfast. We haven't had cinnamon rolls in a really long time and they sure were yummy! We had a nice dinner tonight too. Dad made steak and Mom made yummy potatoes, jello salad, rolls, and corn. We ate on china with crystal goblets. Cheesecake for dessert! It was actually a more relaxing Sunday than usual, for which I was very grateful. I haven't gotten any presents for him yet, since he wants to have a say. He'll probably get magic stuff. No nerf s this time though! :) It was a nice day. Yay for my wonderful husband who is a very devoted and nurturing father. I couldn't be more blessed.
Here we are, at the end of another week. In some ways time goes by quickly, in other ways, it just crawls by. I'm cooking dinner every night for everyone, and that is a big job. And it's hard with Jeffy. I need help most days watching him while I cook, but sometimes it's hard to get help. Today I made pizza for dinner, and you would think that that would be easier than most other things. Wrong! I worked from 4:00 to 5:30, cutting toppings, making dough, etc. It seems like pizza should be easier than that. Oh well. I'm really getting to know what it's like to be a mom--you work hard at making a nice meal for your family, and inevitably, people complain and whine about how they don't like it, how it tastes funny, or how they just want cereal. Go figure! :)
I saw the first firefly of the summer last night. I was outside, sitting in a swing waiting for Jeff to come home. I noticed a plane up by the moon and watched it fly by. I saw a little light by it and thought it was another plane, but it disappeared! It was fun to watch it flicker on, then off, and try to guess where it would come on again. I like fireflies. They're a very familiar and comfortable reminder of past summer memories.
It seemed liked Jeffy had all kinds of problems today. He's sitting up by himself, but can't get into or out of that position by himself. Today he arched his back and twisted at the same time, and would end up falling and hitting himself. He hit his face right on the floor, hit his mouth on the rocking chair I was sitting in, and others. I feel bad. I'm right there by him, but sometimes he moves so quickly, I don't have time to react! Poor little guy's going to get tough!
I'll post a few more pictures of Jeffy, just because it's fun! Goodnight!
We've been here about a month and a half and now I remember why I told myself I would never live at home again. It's been very challenging, for a lot of different reasons. Summers are never much fun for us because of the way Jeff's job works--he works six days a week, basically the whole day. But, top it off with a million little kids in the house and things just get chaotic. And when it's not chaos that I created or can control, it drives me nuts. And school gets out next week, so they'll be home all day. What do I do? I think I'll hide in the basement all day. How I wish that door had a lock! My one consolation--my 20 year-old sister is coming home from Italy a week from Saturday and she can help me tame the mob. Or at least give me a break from it every now and then. Yay for Natalie! :)
I had a special moment tonight. I put Jeffy down for bed, and at first he seemed fine. Then a few minutes later I heard him cry and I knew his pacifier had fallen out. I went in and tried to give it back to him, but he was upset and cried for a few minutes first. He finally took it and I stayed by him, stroking his face and gently playing with his hair. He calmed down. He didn't fall asleep, but just lay there calmly. I stayed and continued lightly touching his face for a good 10 minutes until he dozed off to sleep. What an amazing thing--to have a child, know that you're the most important person in his life, and know that your touch and your voice soothe him like nothing else can. I had an overwhelming feeling of love for him, and gratitude for the plan of salvation which allows us to have families and experience on a smaller scale the joy of having children. It's moments like these that make the hard days worth it.
So this is a blog I actually created about a year ago when I was expecting Jeffy. I forgot all about it until I was looking at pictures of our niece, Clara's, birthday and I went to make a comment. It linked me to this old profile, so I updated it and here we are again! Good thing, because I've been trying to do this for months, and now everyone can finally watch Jeffy grow!
A little update about our lives. Jeff and I are in Leesburg, VA for the summer. Jeff is installing security systems for APX and we're living with my parents to save money. That's proven to be quite more challenging than I thought, but we'll save that for a later day. Jeffy is five months old as of yesterday and is just getting to be more and more fun! And, we have a big announcement . . . he slept all the way through last night!!! Hooray! He went to bed at 8:00 and slept straight till 6:30. Wow, I can't describe how ecstatic I was! Way to go, little tyke! Of course, this didn't just happen out of the blue; it took a little training. I decided a little while ago that I'd had enough nighttime disturbances, and that it was time for Jeffy (and me) to get more sleep. So I put him to bed at the normal time and made a bed for Jeff and me out on a couch pull-out bed. When he woke up, I didn't get him. When he screamed, I went to make sure he was ok, then went back to bed. He screamed quite a bit, but it wasn't too bad out where we were, and I don't think Jeff even woke up! Each night he woke up fewer times and now last night he made it all the way through! Suffice it to say that I'm feeling a lot more energetic these days!
We also went to the pool for the first time last Saturday. Well, I guess it wasn't the first time we'd been to the pool, just the first time in the pool. And Jeffy loved it! First we sat in the baby pool for about 1/2 hour. I sat on the bottom and Jeffy sat on my lap. The water came just above his tummy. At first he wasn't quite sure he liked it, but then he relaxed and started to play. Then we braved the "big kid pool," which was a lot colder. It took a little more time to get used to, but he enjoyed that too. Yay! I think we'll go every Saturday.
Well, that'll be it for this post. Now that I think I've figured out how to manuever around the tightest internet security ever, I should be on here a lot more often! :)