Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Look who is super cute in her new glasses

A few months ago Emma noticed that Lydia's eyes went cross eyed sometimes.  I didn't really worry about it too much at the time.  In July right before we were moving to Virginia I started to notice that it was happening quite frequently.  When everyone came to our house for the reunion people kept noticing and asking me what was up with Lydia's eyes.  She would cover one eye quite frequently when she was watching a movie or doing other things.  I asked her why she covered her eye and she told me it was because she saw two of everything.  She said it didn't hurt, she just had to figure out which one was the real one.  We decided we better get her eyes checked.  When we got here to Virginia I called an eye doctor in Lexington.  They wouldn't see a pediatric patient and recommended a doctor in Charlottesville.  Charlottesville is about an hour away.  I don't like to drive very far by myself so I put it off for awhile.  I finally called a different eye doctor in Lexington and they were very happy to see her.  We went and saw Dr. Hudson last week.  I really liked him. He was so good with Lydia and kept her completely comfortable.  He talked to her and asked her all kinds of questions to keep her interested in the exam.  He told us that she definitely has a weak eye.  Both of her eyes stray off at different times.  Her right eye was really bad at seeing up close.  He got her some lenses and now she can see 20/20.  She loved picking out her frames. She picked out ones with diamond sparkles on the side.  She looks so cute and she loves it.  I think I have washed her glasses at  least ten times a day since she got them because she wants them to be perfectly clean.  She is wearing a pink eye patch over her left eye a couple of hours a day to strengthen the right eye. I hope she keeps thinking it is great and cute to wear glasses.  I am glad we finally got her to the eye doctor and it will get straightened out.  It was obvious that we needed to take her to the eye doctor when a little girl in Dallin's class asked me what was wrong with Lydia's eyes.  After we went to Dr. Hudson's office we ran to Walmart.  A man came up to me and told me I should take her to an eye doctor because he could tell something was wrong with her eyes and his little girl had the same problem.  I told him I had just come from the eye doctor and we were getting her some help.  I think it is interesting how even complete strangers were concerned about her and noticed something was up.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

First day of School in Buena Vista, Virginia

The kids started school earlier than we are used to here.  The first day of school was August 17th.  I think the schools in Powell started about a week later.  Matthew and Emma started the day at 6:40 with Seminary.  It is nice that Seminary is only about a 4 minute walk from our house.  David, MaryAnne and Dallin got ready for school while Matthew and Emma were gone.  At 7:40 when Matthew and Emma got home we headed out the door to get to each of the schools.  David walks a couple of blocks down the hill to Parry McCluer Middle School.  It is on the same street we live on.  The only hard part of the trip is the big hill coming home.  I took Matthew and Emma to Parry McCluer High School.  It is on top of another big hill.  We got them there on time and then headed to Enderly Heights to drop MaryAnne and Dallin off.  The elementary schools here are divided by grade not where you live.  Kindergarten through second grade go to Kling Elementary.  I am glad we don't have anyone going there because we would never get everyone to school on time after Seminary.  Enderly Heights is for third through fifth grade so MaryAnne and Dallin both go there.  Enderly doesn't have any indoor halls, all of the classrooms, office, library, and lunch room have doors that go directly outdoors.  I don't think it would work so well in the Wyoming winters, but it seems like a fun idea here.  I took pictures of Dallin in his classroom, but we were running late and MaryAnne didn't want me to come in and take pictures in her classroom.  One thing that is really neat here is the minute of silence every morning.  The children say the Pledge of Allegiance and then have a minute of silence to pray or mediate.  I think it is a great idea.

Here are pictures of the first day of school in Buena Vista, Virginia:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Our trip to Charlottesville, Richmond, Jamestown and Virginia Beach

We have a lot of places we want to see while we are here in Virginia.  We wanted  to do some trips before school started so we could go a little farther.  August 7th and 8th we went to Charlottesville
(about an hour from Buena Vista), Richmond, Jamestown, and Virginia Beach.  It was a lot to see in only two days and we didn't really get to stay long at any of the places, but we did get to see them.

First, we went to Monticello which is near Charlottesville.  It is Thomas Jefferson's home.  We didn't want to pay to take a tour bus up to the house, but we thought we could walk up and see it without going in.  We were wrong.  We actually couldn't even see the home, but there was a cool museum area that was free.  The kids could try out some of his inventions and see what life was like for Thomas Jefferson.  It is really neat to know that 3 of the first 5 Presidents of the United States lived within two miles of each other in Virginia.  We also saw James Monroe's house briefly.  I enjoyed seeing the area the Presidents lived.

I don't know what these trees are, but I really like them

Next, we went on down the road to Richmond.  Neil had done some research and found a few good places to see in Richmond.  We started out at an art museum.  It might have been good for some people, but it didn't work out great for us.  I think we made the security guards nervous.  One guard followed us from area to area for quite a while.  I really didn't like him following us around.  I guess security guards aren't comfortable with a lot of children walking around the museum.  We were told a couple of times to step back away from the displays.  I was really ready to head somewhere else.  Next, we went to Marymount park.  We really enjoyed walking around the gardens.  I found several places that would be perfect for family pictures.  There were all kinds of different gardens.  I think the children enjoyed crossing the fish ponds in the Japanese gardens the most.  We also found the small zoo there.  They were setting up for a jazz festival so the park was a little busy, but we enjoyed it.  We also drove down Monument Lane in Richmond.  It is lined with statues of heroes of  the United States.  It was really cool to see.  I think it would have been even better if we had parked and walked, but it was still impressive.

Richmond has a really cool Civil War Museum that I wanted to see.  Friday night it was closed by the time we got there so we went first thing Saturday morning. Tredegar Iron Works was really important in the War. They have turned to Iron works factory into a Museum that was very impressive.  The stories are amazing!  I really enjoyed hearing the Civil war stories from the area.  Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy so there were a lot of battles that took place in the area.  

After the museum we went to Jamestown, Virginia.  It is the first English settlement in America.  It was settled in 1607.  It was amazing!  They are doing a lot of excavation and it was amazing the facts they could tell you about the past.  They have a skeleton that they know likely who it was and how he died.  I really enjoyed seeing Jamestown.   A sister in our ward told me that you haven't really seen Jamestown unless you have spent a whole day there so I guess I haven't really seen Jamestown.  The younger children had an activity booklet they were filling out and that kept them entertained and busy.  The each got a young explorer backpack when they finished.  We also saw Surrender Field where the British surrendered at the end of the Revolutionary War.  It has a neat monument that Congress ordered at the end of the war, but it was years before it was put up.  It is interesting that America had two beginnings in the same area.  The Revolutionary War ended to give America a new beginning at the same place that the first English settlement was established,

The highlight of the trip for most of our family was Virginia Beach.  The children were really looking forward to driving through the tunnel to get there.  The tunnel doesn't go through a mountain, it goes underwater.  They thought they would be able to see the water above them so they were disappointed when it just looked like a tunnel.  It was pretty cool to think we were driving underwater.  The kids absolutely loved the ocean.  It was the first time any of us had been to the Atlantic Ocean.  It was a stormy day and the waves were huge.  The tide kept washing you further and further down the beach and that made Neil and I nervous.  The kids did pretty well at staying together.  The waves were so big that they would come crashing in and knock you right over.  Lydia would go clear under, but she always came up smiling.  She loved the ocean! Joshua would take this adorable superman stance and face away from the waves and just wait to be hit.  I tried to get a good picture of his stance, but never quite caught it.  The older kids laughed and had a great time together.  MaryAnne and Dallin loved looking for shells and playing in the ocean.  Joshua loved chasing the seagulls. It was fun to watch him. Even though it was a stormy day they really didn't want to leave the beach.  They did like the little faucets to wash the sand off your feet.

We had a great little trip across Virginia.  It was fun to see the Atlantic Ocean.  I loved Jamestown and seeing where America really began.  Richmond was fun, except the security guard that followed us from room to room. I should have asked if I could take his picture.  I am so glad we made this trip before school started.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Neil!

Neil turned 47 on the first of September.  It was a Tuesday and a normal busy school day.  Bethany, Julia, Joshua, Lydia and I decided to go get balloons and take to one of his classes when it was getting out.  It was a fun surprise.  We didn't put 47 candles on the cake, but we did put them in the shaped of  a 47.  Lydia really wanted to put Minnie Mouse on Neil's cake.  He is a good dad to little girls and he willingly let her put it on.  I hope it was a good day for Neil.  I wanted it to be special.

Neil is a wonderful husband and father.  I am so grateful for him and all he does to help our family click.  It was fun to celebrate Neil!  I love you!!!

In honor of Neil's 47 years here is a list of 47 things I love about Neil:
1. His great smile
2. His good example of reading his scriptures daily
3. His willingness to read to us
4. His desire to be a good husband
5. His eyes
6. His willingness to serve others
7. His willingness to come to Virginia when I wanted an adventure
8. He is a good dad and lets little girls put Minnie Mouse on his cake
9. Listening to him play the piano
10. The way he supports our kids in their activities
11. He gives good advice
12. He listens to me and cares about what I have to say
13. He is willing to go on adventures on his bike
14. He is really good at figuring out how to do projects
15. He is willing to work on projects that matter to me
16. He makes up the words to songs when he doesn't remember the words
17. He watches BYU games with me
18. He is forgiving
19. He goes out of his way to say good morning to each of us each morning
20. He is always grateful for dinner.
21. He isn't picky about what is for dinner
22. He takes Matthew out home teaching
23. He goes to football games with me
24. He makes sure we go to the temple every month
25. Date nights on Friday nights
26. He dishes the ice cream on Sunday night
27. He encourages me and sees the best in me
28. Going for walks and talking
29. He is good at helping the kids with their math
30. He makes up good games for FHE
31. He is willing to help around the house
32. He does things just because he knows they matter to me
33. He does all the driving and doesn't get frustrated when I fall asleep in the car
34. He buys me hamburgers just because he knows I like them
35. He works hard so I can stay home
36. He teaches our children to listen
37. He loves me
38. He tells me things about his day
39. He is honest
40. He is willing to come watch me clog
41. He helps me figure out computer problems
42. He is my best friend
43. He is grateful for the things I do for him
44. He makes me feel beautiful
45. He is the spiritual leader in our home
46. He makes it a priority to spend time together as a family
47. He is perfect for me

I love you! Hope your birthday was wonderful!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The final day of driving to Virginia

Sunday August 2, 2015
                Dad came and woke us up this morning a little before 8. We all got ready for church and had breakfast. Dad said that the continental breakfast was incapable of accommodating our whole family, so some of us ate cereal in the motel room. By a funny coincidence, Julia, Emma, and I all forgot to pack shoes to wear to church. Emma and Julia wore their flip-flops and I wore my sneakers. Luckily I wore a long grey and black skirt so they didn’t show much.   
                We drove about an hour before we went to church in Chilicothe, Ohio (which none of us were quite sure how to pronounce). After church we ate lunch in the parking lot and got on the road. We watched Liken the Scriptures: David and Goliath; the one Dad, Rebecca, Julia, and I were extras in. I showed everyone our names in the credits.
                We drove without stopping until dinner time. We stopped on the side of the road next to a river. The hillside on the other side of the road was completely overgrown with vines of some kind. We also watched a The Lives of the Prophets. We played the sound over the radio instead of the headphones so Mom and Dad could also listen. Once we left Ohio we went through West Virginia and finally into Virginia itself. 

                As we came down the hill into Buena Vista everyone got very excited. Most of the kids got pretty loud. If our van was in a cartoon, it would have been bouncing up and down on the road with the noise and excitement. We drove through town and found our house. It’s a cute house with five bedrooms. There are three bedrooms upstairs and two on the ground floor. It also has an unfinished basement with a laundry room and a ping-pong table.Mom calls the basement the dungeon.  It isn't her favorite part of the house.   There was a lot of excitement as the kids ran from room to room exploring the house. Our new neighbors probably wondered what in the world was going on.  After everyone was done exploring the house Mom and Dad assigned bedrooms and everyone started settling in. We unpacked some of our things from the van and the U-Haul. I think everyone is excited to be here and ready to have a break from traveling. We have arrived at our new house here in Buena Vista, Virginia.

A vine covered hillside

The first Civil War site we saw. These signs are everywhere to let you know the history of the area

Taking a break

This is the sign that welcomes you to Buena Vista.  I love it.  I hope we have added to the happy citizens and not the old grouches.