Sunday, January 10, 2016

Catching up

I have given up on trying to catch up on this blog. Truth is the first four months in Austin was kinda hellish. Yes there were some highlights but it was rough going. We are still adjusting and I think things are going better little by little so I've decided to just go from here. I'll catch up in my blog book later but I have no motivation to try to re-create posts I never got around to.

For now I am starting to feel a little more comfortable with the area. Sarah has branched out and done quite well really. She is friends with all the kids her age in her ward, some in her classes, and has tapped into the exchange student population at the high school-- which is actually a fairly decent number. She has a good friend named Hannah from Germany who has been able to connect her with a Norwegian fellow that she tells me isn't so hard on the eyes. She's decided to go to BYU Idaho and is fighting her feelings of envy that the rest of us are leaving for Switzerland. Today in church she gave a talk, then had to go straight to the piano to accompany a couple of singers, and then had to teach her YW class. We try to remind her days like that are not necessary, but this is Sarah we are talking about. She never wants to be told something might be too much for her.

Rebecca is another story. She has not made friends with Texas. The girls in the ward are giggly, sweet, touchy-feely, seemed shocked at the slightest things, radiate light, and belt out High School Musical together every time she's with them. As you might imagine none of those things seem to be endearing them to our dry-humored middle child. Also they are not familiar with Forest Gump, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Edward Scissorhands, Me Earl & the Dying Girl, Fantastic Mister Fox, Million Dollar Baby, etc. None of them have watched The Office and none of them knew who Heath Ledger was. They in turn can't believe she's never seen High School Musical. This presents a significant problem for Rebecca in addition to the fact that she left her soulmates back in Springville. After being bullied out of the high school we moved her to an alternative school here where she sits for 7 hours a day working on packets. She spends a good amount of that time trying to find positions where it would be impossible to sleep only to find herself being shaken awake by a classmate two hours later. There is a girl who doesn't bathe unless forced and when she politely said "no thank you" to the boy next to her who wanted her to get together with him on some off time he began to draw broken hearts and push them in her direction. Fellow students crawl under her desk acting like a dog then go through her stuff and tear random things apart only to tape them back together. They have 6th grade relationship discussions about who likes who (there are 20 of them to chose from) and which one Rebecca must secretly like. She says it is not uncommon to hear multiple people sniffing in class because they are quietly crying with torture at being at this school having to face another day. It's rough to be sure.

And early morning seminary? Let's just save that for another day.

John is being a pretty good sport but has his meltdown days. Going from a dozen potential playmates just on our street alone to zero has been rather upsetting. Then add a 3-year-old brother who wants to be everywhere you are and do everthing you do and you have a recipe for 11-year-old madness. He really is good with Will most of the time, a whole lot better than Nathaniel ever was with him for sure, but every kid has their limits. I have found it incredibly difficult to find things to do with two boys this far apart but I work really hard at it. We're doing the best we can. When you're 11 and your most regular playmates are your lil' bro and your mom-- well, you know. I try to remind him that all is not terrible in the world (same as I try with Rebecca) but that never really helps. When you're in it you're in it and hopefully sometime before my kids leave the house they will realize they create their own happiness. We're all working on it. It's a family project. He started karate on Friday and hasn't wanted to take off his uniform all weekend. It's within walking distance of the house and they teach dicipline, hard work, seeing things through, accountability, and how to fight each other and chop on stuff. I think Peter and I may be on to something big here.

Will is doing just fine. He loves preschool and is starting to ACTUALLY USE WORDS!! He pulled his bridge out of his mouth again today so there goes another $200-$500 to put the dang thing back in. I'll be calling around tomorrow for another pediatric dentist. Santa brought this awesome trike that has been the greatest thing. Seriously a game changer for me in terms of being able to go for long walks & have him get some energy out as well as get him out of the house.

Went to this Sculpture Museum on Saturday where they had a birdhouse building activity for the kids. John made one and Will made a birdfeeder out of a tangerine. He was into it.

Enjoyed some Chilis afterwards thanks to my dad!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

First haircut at the salon

So I finally did it. Knew it needed to be done & I was actually really happy with the way it turned out.

Dinosaur Tracks in Leander

Found this place via the internet and had to trek into a 
sketchy path off a highway and under a freeway overpass. 

It was pretty hot for the boys but they had a great time catching turtles, frogs, and searching for the dinosaur tracks. Unfortunately Will had himself a meltdown and I had to carry him out kicking and screaming for about a quarter mile. Good times.
In case there was any doubt about the size of my feet here they are in an actual dinosaur track:

Concert at the park

Spent August & September of our time in Texas sick

Tried to drag ourselves out of bed for some live music at least one night at a nearby park in Leander. 

Wouldn't think Bluegrass could be so cool!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Will starts preschool

One great thing about Texas is they have great recourses in their schools. As soon as we got here and I brought in Will's test results for his speech they suggested we get him in this program right away. This was great until I learned it was four hours a day five days a week! I was concerned not only that this was going to be too much for Will, but I had never done this with a child this young before. They'd always been my home buddy. 
Gratefully he adjusted fairly quickly and now goes to school happy most every day. We started noticing improvements in his speech right away. 

Coming home on the bus!

Unfortunately for Will school starts at 7:45am. He was pretty shell shocked in the beginning:) He's never been a morning guy.

Here he is with his new backpack all ready to go!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Canoeing down the Austin River

Blood moon in the distance

Only things for kids do in Texas summers-- swim & catch critters

And Will gets beet red in the heat...

So that's about it. Oh, and maybe hang out with mom in Ross.