We are finally back in Salisbury!!!  (WOOHOO! HAPPY DANCE!!!)  And we were the fist circuit to attend this years Circuit Assembly.  The weekend went by really quickly.  The kids were perfect.  The program -SO REFRESHING and ENCOURAGING!!  It was a great weekend and it was so nice to finally be "home" again!  Our newly formed Circuit is so large that we have already been divided into two weekends.  It was sad missing half of the friends.  So, They added TV's and gliders in the mothers room.  Such a loving addition because when you have to nurse, you don't have a choice but to go in there and it was relaxing and less stressful to not constantly be thinking "I'm missing the program...I'm missing the program...I don't wanna be in here, I'm missing the program!"  Each morning we were running late and didn't have much time to get settled before the program started.  So each day I ran to the nursing room to feed my baby when the music started.  The first thing I did was turn the TV's on and bump up the volume.  Then I settled in, relaxed, and fed my baby.  Because I was relaxed and enjoying the program and not trying to rush her, we finished up a lot quicker and were back in our seats in no time.
By the end of the weekend I was so completely exhausted.  It seems like my level of energy is so low these days, doing the smallest task wears me out.  No fun.
Some quick highlights....we had between 1200-1300 in attendance.  4 Baptised (it has only been a month since the convention, so this was no surprise), and we have somewhere near 450 pioneers for our circuit!  Last year it was about 250.  Each week in our congregation we are having more and more brothers and sisters join the pioneer ranks!  It's so encouraging!  I think we have about 35 pioneers in our hall and many many more regular auxilary!  The master has called for more workers, and they are answering that call!
I didn't get many pictures, but I thought I'd share just a few....
The newest family photo...wish Emmy was looking up!
I love her sweet face :)
And that's all for now!  Good night :)
2 friends of mine and I have all enjoyed the joys of being pregnant together.  We also all had baby girls.  We've been on a fun journey this past year and a half.  Both of sharing anticipation and excitement as we experienced the joys and fears of having babies.  It has been quite a ride as the first of us became pregnant, and then the last of us had her beautiful little girl.  I look forward to the future as our friendships, and our little girls friendships grow (and our older kids too :).  Good times!
2 Prego and one almost! at H's shower days away from birth
1 baby and 2 prego at my shower -12 days away from birth
2 babies and 1 Prego - at L's shower, weeks away from birth
3 Babies! 9 months, 5 months, and 6 weeks old!
Who's up for round two?!  Hahaha....juuuuust kidding ;-)
My firstborn is 8 years old today.  Trying to keep it together and focus on the positives so here goes...PICTURES!
one and walking adorably :)
2 and about to become a big brother!
3 and I just love those chubby cheeks!
4 and so stinkin cute!
5 and handsome like his daddy!
6 and so darn cute :)
7 and showing us around your 2nd grade classroom
So here you are, 8 years old, but it seems like yesterday that you stole my heart.  I knew I was pregnant almost immediately.  I was 20 when I found out I was pregnant.  I chopped my hair off as my last hoorah and regretted that decision majorly....you made my hair stop growing.  yay for those weird hormones.  I had nine months of dreams about who you would be and what you would look like.  The moment you were born, you looked exactly like I always knew you would...almost a replica of your daddy but a little bit of me thrown in so people could tell we belonged together in public.  Buddy, you have lived up to every hope and dream I thought you would be and more.  You are bright and dorky and handsome and so so funny!  You have a wonderful imagination, you love reading, and are a wonderful artist.  You are amazing.  I asked you the other day what you wanted to be when you grow up and you said "a missionary" you are so spiritual it blows my mind.  You've already given a few talks and are a publisher.  Your understanding of the truth and your love for Jehovah is so inspiring.  I love who you are and the adult I already know you are going to be.  You made me become a better person the moment I knew you were growing inside of me.  And the first time I held you in my arms, I knew that being a mom was going to be an awesome ride.  Thanks for all the laughs and silly jokes we've shared.  Thanks for looking after your sisters.  Thanks for the front row seat to watching you grow.  I love you, every bit of you.
I'm in shock every time someone asks her age and I reply "6 months"  Where has the time gone?  My baby!  Ok, let me lament no more.  I have  enjoyed every single second of this little ones existence.  She is pure sweetness and smiles 99.9% of the time.  

At her check up last week she weighed in at 16 ibs 10 oz and is 27.75 inches long.   Brother and sister were right around that same weight and height at this age.

What we're doing now:
sitting up on our own for about 30 seconds and then she slowly face plants :)  
"dada" is her favorite sound to make
she enjoys blowing raspberries with her mouth and she absolutely loves sticking out her tongue.
She has 2 bottom teeth
Wakes up about once a night
Slowly snakes her way around the floor, though nobody sees this happen.
Loves rolling from back to belly but hates belly to back, I think it scares her
Loves to put blankets in her face
Trying all kinds of new foods...avocado, bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, squash, pears, to name a few.  So far the only thing she hates is oatmeal.  She makes the funniest face when I feed it to her.
Loves drinking from my glass of water.
Loves to eat her feet
Loves being read to.
Still goes to all of the friends at the hall and smiles at every complement thrown her way :)

My siblings at 6 months...
A Random picture of Shakespeare I found as I was going through the old pictures heee hee :)  he's wearing all of baby Ethylwolfe's things :)
Today's post is shallow, I'll admit it.  :-)  But I'm posting it none-the-less.

I'm mourning over my hair today.
There's this thing I've heard my mommy friends talk about.  *That of losing your hair after child birth.*  I never had this problem before.  During pregnancy and after, I maintained 'normal shedding levels'.  You know, a strand here or there.  No biggie.

With this one though, yes, there was a definite difference.  Subtle at first, like how I noticed one day while mucho prego that I hadnt made a hair swirly on the wall while showering....those drive hubby crazy.  Or that I wasn't cleaning hair out of the drain. gross.  But it didn't dawn on me that my lack of shedding was due to pregnancy.  And after birth, there was still no difference.

Then one day a month or so ago, I noticed that my long hair was shedding.  hmm, that's weird I thought, I haven't shed in a while.  Now it's out of control!  I am losing hair by the handfuls and it's crazy!  In a week my hair brush has collected enough hair to make a wig. 

I've heard many different myths explaining this phenomenon.  Who knows which is true, but here they are...

1. Your body is suffering through shock from the whole birthing process.  It hits from 4-6 months after child birth and after that, your hair gets back to normal.  weird.
2. hormones.  Your body goes through several different hormone rushes/losses after pregnancy.  The most noteworthy is the one directly after birth.  Whoo, those are crazy days!  Lots of tears at all the beauty around you.  Tears tears tears.  But also weight loss...I like that part!  The first time I got to really enjoy that was this time.  I lost all my weight gained during pregnancy in 6 weeks.  I was happy.  Too bad the flab didn't disappear as quickly. :-/  Another few phases of hormone surges and we hit the 4-6 month phase where your hair falls out, a ton.
3. you don't shed at all during pregnancy, and at 4 months, your hormones get back to normal and all that hair that should have shed, now decides to fall out.  And is supposed to level out at 6 months.

The one common denominator is that 4-6 month mark.

So here we are, days away from Emy turning 6 months (WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!) and I'm hoping my hair will stop falling out any day now.  I'm thankful to have fairly thick hair or else I'm sure I'd have plenty of bald spots...maybe I have some in the back of my head and people are just being nice and not saying anything....

irregardless, I am unhappy about all of this and I'm contemplating going into the wig business.

Also, I'm terrified of my hair falling out even easier, and my hair is so long, it often gets stuck behind me or pulled by other people (mainly EMY!), so I find myself freaking out every time it gets tugged, in worry that a chunk is just going to fall out. :-/  I'm also afraid of going to the hair salon because who knows how much hair they'll pull out!  Not that I really use product on my hair as it is, but I'm product free until this shedding business is over.

I'm over it.  

So here is a shot of my hair collected after my shower yesterday.  The brush was cleared out before brushing and this is how many strands came out afterwards...is this normal? I hope not!  This clump is bigger than the amount collected in the past year!
What hair myths or woes do you have to share?

PS. Told you this post was shallow and would not make you cry!
Girly Girl alert
Last night was parent night for meeting with KennaKat's teacher.

First off, let me just say, I think this year will be such a great fit for both kids and teachers.

I walked into the Kindergarten room, and the teacher said "I'm not giving a formal orientation because we have all already met, and all the things I have to say I say on my blog, so please, sit down and paint a picture for your child and explore the room."

yeah...good fit :)

So I happily sat down and painted a picture for KennaKat and wrote her a note about the hopes and dreams I had for her this year.

Then I explored the class.  Snooped at KennaKat's work.  Eaves dropped on a parent saying 'how nice the art materials were', and the teacher saying "I believe in only the best quality materials, because our little artists deserve quality products to produce quality work"...words out of my own mouth!

yep, good fit!

I talked to the teacher and asked how KennaKat was doing thus far.  She had very positive things to say.  She said KennaKat is a leader in the class.  Always contributing and being thoughtful.  At the beginning of the school year, when they were discussing different responsibilities that they would have each day such as 'line leader' and 'table washer', KennaKat raised her hand and asked "what about the person that helps cheer people up...if somebody's sad, or having a bad day?"  And so a new role was created...

The 'Feel Better Person".
The teacher also said that KennaKat is a great artist.  For their first major art display, they created self portraits.  I really liked KennaKats :-)  She probably spent hours on that upper lip shading ;-)
So even though I miss my girl I'm happy to hear she is doing well.  Today starts my volunteering in the school.

Looking forward to it :-)

She also brings me gifts home every day that she makes for me throughout her day.  I love it!

On another note, isn't this baby just the sweetest?!
Tonight is 3rd grade orientation.  And today Ethylwolfe is taking his first test.  It's the first part of the big reading test for 3rd grade.  He's EXCITED.  Weird kid ;-)  I'm not worried, reading is his specialty!  As I kissed him good-bye, I said "have fun on your test!" He giggled.
I kissed my little Kindergartener this morning and said "good-bye" to my baby girl.

To say she was ready is an understatement.  She belonged in Kindergarten last year, darn that early cut off!  But I'm thankful I got one more year with her.  My best girl.  It has been a blast seeing her develop into a such a sweet fun girl.  As sad as I am to send her off to school, I am excited for her and all the adventures she will get to have.

It all started yesterday...
Her brother started 3rd grade on Wednesday.  How sad am I about that? Very!  He wanted a longer summer.  He dreaded going back to school.  His teacher last year was...well..to put it as nicely as possible...a terrible fit for him.  He did not enjoy second grade.  He was turned off to school.  I was hoping he would get a good teacher this year and I think he did.  In fact, when we met him a few weeks ago, he and I started feeling a lot better about starting 3rd grade.  We had hopes for a brighter year.
Nevertheless, he wasn't too excited.  It was that mixed feeling that puts your stomach in knots.  Anxious/nervous/excited -you know the feeling.

We walked him in to school, he wanted me to (I did an inside happy dance), we explored his classroom.  He's upstairs this year, feeling like a big kid!  His class has nearly every girl that has had a crush on him the past 3 years...great! (Eye roll)  

His teacher explained a few things and as we started to leave, he hugged and kissed me goodbye (another happy dance!)
Thought you might enjoy these shots of him and his teacher standing the same way :)
He came home talking my ear off!  He had a great first day and is very excited about this year!  YES!  I'm so happy for him.  I hope he continues to have a successful school year!
So back to my story... 
Kennakat, Emmy and I were left and we headed back downstairs.  We came to a fork in the hall and I said "Hey! Do you want me to show you how to get to your class?"  "sure!" she says.  "Ok, first you'll come down this hallway, and turn here..." At that point my voice was getting very high pitched, I got choked up and swallowed back the tears.  I stopped speaking for a moment, she looked at me and I said "let's just walk"  We got outside her class and there was her hook on the wall with her name in a butterfly.  A tear slid down my cheek and I said it was time to go.  
So we left.  

I left dreading tomorrow and she left eagerly anticipating it. 

The next day...

She woke up to her alarm clock, very excited about that, and we started our day.
As we made our way into the school, I had a very sullen look on my face.  I knew that if I could just make it to her class and say good-bye, I'd be fine.  That was what I repeated to myself anyways.  We were almost to her door and we passed a mom we knew.  She's very chatty.  I couldn't do chatty just then.  KennaKat walked on to her backpack hook without me.  Eventually I stopped the mom and said "I can't do this right now.  I'm trying to keep it together."  she laughed and I ran to catch up with Kenna.
My eyes were watery.  We walked into class.  I mumbled some sort of greeting to the teacher.  I could sense the slightest nervousness and hesitation in KennaKat as the teacher invited her to answer the question of the day.  I nudged her.  That was all she needed.  She then became a Kindergartner.  Off she went..I followed.  She sat at a table to play with a puzzle.
I watched.  The teacher smiled at me and I could read her thoughts through her teeth ("time to go mom!").  

I told KennaKat I was leaving. (An open invitation for last good byes, now or never, here I go...)  

She looked at me, wrapped her excited arms around me, said "I love you Mommy!" and that was it.  10 gallons of warm salty tears welled up in my eyes, I couldn't blink.  I smiled back.  I couldnt speak.  I kissed her, unwrapped her arms, nudged past all the other nostalgic parents and was in the safety of the hallway.  ("I just have to make it outside.  Don't blink until you get outside" I said to myself as I rushed through the halls.)

By the time I made it outside tears were slowly dripping in a single stream down my cheek. ( "I made it outside!" I thought to myself, I'm free to sob like a blubbering idiot!)  Then the principal turned around to greet me.  (nooo!  why do people have to be so friendly?!" I thought to myself)  I half waved, half smiled, turned and speed walked to my car.  I sobbed on the sidewalk.  Quickly ran past parents.  Tears gushing down my cheeks.  I boo hoo'd loudly as I rushed to my car.  Why did I park so far away?!   With Emmy on my hip, she looked at me concerned.  I quickly buckled her in, jumped in the car and left.  The tears stopped.  My eyes dried up.  Why did they pick now to stop?  I had this aching hole in my heart and there were no tears.  I made it a mile or 2 down the road, stopped at a light and they were back!  I sobbed until I made it to starbucks.  Today was a day I needed to treat myself.  I picked up my drink with a red teary face.  There was no sign of my sad attempt to apply make-up earlier in the day.  I was a mess.

Emmy and I spent the morning quietly.  I did laundry.  I showered.  Composed myself and checked the clock a few times to make sure I wasn't late picking her up at 11:30.  I made it to the school early.  Rushed in.  Entered her class and she jumped up to hug me!  She had had a great day and was excited to see me.  This made me happy.
Finished her first day of school!
We treated ourselves to lunch at chickfilet and she told me about her day.  

I am better now.  But it was tough.  I'm thankful I have Emmy at home.  Otherwise I'd be saying tearing eyed to my husband "I need another baby!"  He would look at me like I was crazy.  And eventually I'd get over it.  But thankfully I do have another baby, and I'm looking forward to the alone time that we get to share for the next 5 years!
Tonight she is assisting me in my talk on the ministry school.  She and I are a little nervous.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

I might actually have a full conversation with someone...
thought to self, "I need to lose weight."
got up and poured myself a glass of water
...and grabbed a handful of mini m&m's
We've all done it once or twice, forgotten about a camera or a memory card, thought you downloaded pictures that you didn't, found treasures you didn't know you had.

We brought our water/sand/shock proof camera with us camping a few weeks ago.  Our charger and camera had been put aside shortly after our move last summer.  Hubby decided he wanted to bring it along on our trip.  We found it.  Hunted for the charger. Charged it.  Brought it along on our trip.  Forgot to use it until we started packing up.  Everyone does that right? Right?!  I always have good intentions of taking pics, recording memories, yada yada.  Well, as we were packing up I handed the camera to the kids and said take some pictures.  They didn't feel like it, but I got a few.  

A week or so after getting home, I downloaded the pictures to the computer and up popped these guys.  Almost a year old, these have been sitting on my memory card, lost and forgotten about....
Clearly Ethylwolfe was taking all of these pictures...it cracks me up when kids take these super close up pictures of their face :)  Caught on camera annoying his sister by taking pictures of her all over the yard.  ah good times.

Also, there were the pics from our family beach trip September '12.  Hubby took Ethylwolfe, KennaKat, and Lani out on the Kayak and snapped these of the kids.
That about sums up the contents of the memory card...more pictures, unprofessionally taken, but moments in time forgotten about. 
This week has been so busy!  I am exhausted beyond belief, but a good exhausted!  We had the CO this week, well the sub CO, which just so happened to be a much loved brother and sister who recently moved from our cong to help out another cong.  It was so great to have them back for the week and enjoy a busy week of activity.

Emy and Kenna were really well behaved as they tagged along in service all week.  So many great pointers were given during the meetings for service.  I think you're doing something right when your kids are so eager to preach to people that they want to take every door, but seriously!  I want some doors too!  It's pretty funny to see me and Kenna kinda fight each other over who's door it actually is.  Applying the advice given has landed me with a good call.  I can't wait to go back and hopefully help plant some seeds of truth with her!

But with all the extra activity this week and a grad party on Saturday as well as taking my sister shopping and running here there and everywhere, I'm spent.  I feel like such an old lady!  We had beautiful mornings in service, and each day, Emmy conked out as soon as I put her in my wrap, so it was very pleasant.  I'm really enjoying this spring weather.  Even though the afternoons burst into the mid 80's to 90, you wouldn't know it from the morning.

I finally wrote my talk this afternoon.  I have been stressing over it for quite some time and it feels good to finally be done, and I think I wrote it well...cough.

We had a packed out house today for the Sunday talk.  The CO shared the video, which we had already seen when we visited D Drive the other month.  Thankfully we already saw it, because we had to sit in the back room which had a crazy glare on the glass.  I wish they announced how many we had in attendance, because every seat was filled, even the extras from the storage closets.  It's so encouraging when it's a packed house.  We had friends visiting from the Tagalog, Chinese, and Spanish congregations.  After the meeting, we went in service.  We are trying to make Sunday service a part of our routine.  And 2 houses into our day the rains came again.  Sigh. Wish we had umbrellas.  Next week we'll have a better day I'm sure!

So the other day, hubby bought me a sewing machine!!!  It's so cool with over a hundred settings and tons of other cool features, it also does quilting!  I can't wait to get it out of the box and get busy on my super long list of craftings that I want to sew.  But I am determined to read the manual all the way through and watch the how-to video before I start tinkering with the machine and mess something up, like I did with my older machine...cough. It's super light too, which means I can carry it around and tote it back and forth to my sewing lessons which I will one day get from a sister in my MiL's congregation who gives lessons.

We went strawberry picking this week....twice.  YUM!  And we may be going again sometime this week with some friends in the hall.  Needless to say, I've eaten my fair share of berries this week!  

So that about sums up the entirety of what I can remember.  This week is going to be super busy too.  I need a vacation :)
Being silly with some friends at a graduation party :)