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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ali's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, February 1st, 2014
12:04 am
Posting silence
Haven't posted much this week because I'm trying very hard to finish a copy edit before I leave on Sunday! However, I think I need some sleep so I can do a good job tomorrow. HOpefully I'll get a real update up soon. :)
Monday, January 27th, 2014
9:11 pm
Snow Day...er, bitter cold day, I suppose
Brenna had the day off school today due to bitterly cold temperatures (as in, the temperature was -30 or so, with windchill. Brrrrrrr....

I worked on my copy edit, went grocery shopping, and hung out with Rachel in the morning. Then I worked on my copy edit, read with the kids, and cleaned the house in the afternoon. I also taught the kids to play Dungeon Roll, which was fun. :) Brenna had her next piano lesson this afternoon, and did a great job. Then we had crockpot chili and homemade bread for dinner--perfect for a night like tonight! Brenna also has no school tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. The kids may go to Rachel's for a couple hours so I can get more of my copy edit done.

No pictures today, as I mainly just tried to hibernate! Our heaters just can't keep up with this cold!
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
11:14 pm
Brenna's fever was gone today, and the La Crosse Winter Rec Fest Mighty Mites Hockey Jamboree was today. She still wasn't feeling great (her throat was REALLY sore), but she really wanted to go. I told her she could try, but that if she got too tired or too much in pain, that we could leave early. So, instead of having 20 minutes of practice, and 4 games, she did 20 minutes of practice and one game. But she had a good time, and I'm glad she was able to participate, even if it was only a little bit.

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Since she was hurting so much, and a glance in her throat showed white spots, I thought she might have strep. So, off to urgent care. The good news is that she doesn't have strep. The bad news is that she actually had Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Apparently, she is definitely not contagious, because the fever broke, but they can't do anything for her throat other than ibuprofen, liquids, and smooth foods. Usually there is a rash on the hands and feet in smaller children, but apparently it can just present as headache, fever, nausea, and mouth/throat sores in older kids. Fun times. Hopefully she feels better soon, since I can't give her much to help her throat!

Afterward, we headed home to do chores and hang out as a family. I also finished the blessing dress set I was making for my friend. I hope she likes it, and that it fits the baby!

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Now, bedtime so I can be "on" for Primary tomorrow. Plus, we get to go have dinner with some friends--we're making homemade bread, and they're making lamb stew. Yum! I'm so excited. :) And I get to go, since Brenna isn't contagious!
11:07 pm
Friday was both a hard day, and one of the best days I've had in a while. None of us slept much Thursday night, because Jonas had a lot of phlegm in his throat, and ended up needing to sit in the bathroom while we created steam with the shower (Chris took that one), and Brenna woke up a bunch of times because she was very sick and had a high fever.

Also, our car was still in the shop. So, we had to get the kids up and going to get Chris to work. On the other hand, I got a lot of work done, the kids were fairly subdued, but mostly cheerful (even though Brenna kept throwing up), and I got to read lots of books with the kids and work on my crochet project. We also picked up the car, and had a lovely time together as a family--probably the nicest, happiest evening we've had in a long while. It was really, really nice.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
9:28 pm
Well, the good news is that the clutch in the car wasn't bad. The bad news is that about five different things are not working, so we get to pay over a thousand dollars to fix it. yay.

Got to work more on my copyedit, hung out with Jonas, and tried not to freeze. Cub scouts was fun, and Brenna enjoyed Activity Days. Otherwise, today was pretty much not a good day, so I think I will just go to bed and pretend it didn't exist!
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
9:58 pm
Got a bunch of work done today, and got in a copyedit for a fun sci-fi novel. Yay! I love that kind of work! :)

Jonas and I also read a bunch of books, did math, and folded and put away laundry today. Not the most exciting day ever, but sometimes you just need a day where you can cuddle with your child and enjoy.

Unfortunately, Chris's car is NOT behaving, so we had to take it into the shop. Hopefully whatever is wrong will be a cheap and easy fix (please, oh please, oh please!).

Brenna did great at tap class (they started learning their recital dance today), and she didn't have hockey because the Winter Rec Fest is going on and usurped their ice time. Caprese salad and baguettes for dinner, because sometimes you need a bit of summer in winter!

This evening I finished all my purple minion mittens (I think). Now to finish my Totoro mittens and a baby blessing dress and I will be well on my way to finishing my current project list!
Monday, January 20th, 2014
11:43 pm
Half-off Monday
Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so Chris and Brenna had the day off. However, Jonas still had Joy School and dance class, and Brenna still had piano lessons, so it's was kind of half a day off for us. :D

Brenna came with us to Joy school, and we had fun learning about wild animals with Simon, Theo, and the Knudsens (the others couldn't make it). Then, Jonas did great at his tap class, and he was excited because one of his classmates had a birthday, and she brought little bags of cookies for everyone. :D

After we finished our morning chores, we headed home to play with our friends the Hiltons. Sarah had to work, but Chris and the boys were able to come play. :)

Then Brenna and I left for her piano lesson. She did a great job, and is still diligently practicing (two weeks in), so hopefully we can maintain that momentum. :D

In the evening we watched a movie with dinner (pizza balls), and had family home evening. We are working on memorizing the articles of faith. Jonas knows the first one, and most of the second, and Brenna is very strong on the first four. We'll get there!

Tomorrow, it's back to work and school.
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
11:06 pm
Ward Conference Sunday
Today was Ward Conference, so all the stake leadership was at our ward council meeting this morning. Well, everyone but the Primary leadership! :P The stake Primary president called me yesterday to let me know they wouldn't be able to make it--one of the councilors has a son going on a mission and today was his farewell, and the president was calling me from the emergency room where she was with her son. So...they'll come another time.

Church went well (Allie and Zana both came), but sacrament went waaaaaay over, which kinda messed with my Sharing Time preparations! Normally it'd be a lot easier to cut down, but today I had guests from the ward come participate, so it was kind of crazy. It all worked out, though, so that's good.

This afternoon, we hung out with the kids (and I must have been super tired, because I actually napped for a bit!), and then Chris made us curry for dinner. Yum!

Brenna kept hearing noises and seeing things in her room, so after Jonas was asleep, we had her go sleep on the top bunk in his room. Hopefully that will help her not be scared.

I continue to work on my purple minion mittens. Got the second pair done, and started on a third (I have the eyes attached, now I need the buttons, mouth, and teeth). I also researched baby blessing dress patterns because I may make one for a friend's baby, at her request. :) Should be fun!

Also cute Jonas quote for the day:
Chris to Jonas, "Can I hold your hand?"
Jonas: "Sure, my pinkie is available!" and he offered Chris his pinkie to hold.

Jonas also got in trouble for chasing Brenna around asking her "Are you my mummy?" (reference to a Dr. Who episode).

Tomorrow, Chris and Brenna have the day off, but Jonas still has joy school and dance class. Busy day!
Saturday, January 18th, 2014
11:49 pm
Today, I got to sleep in until 7:30 or so, which was lovely. Then I got the day started in time to get Brenna ready for hockey at 10. She did great (they had a shorter scrimmage session because one of the older teams had a jamboree today right after). Then, home to do chores and feed the kids lunch. In the afternoon, the kids went outside to play for over an hour, and Chris and I watched the first episode of the new season of one of our favorite shows: Face Off. It was fun! I also worked on more mittens. I need more gray yarn before I can finish one batch, and I'm currently in the middle of adding the details to the purple minion mittens.

Here's what the first finished pair looks like:

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The next set has two eyes, but I think I like the look of the one-eyed ones better.

I also finished up planning for Sharing Time tomorrow, and printed out everything I need for it.

We made black bean soup and homemade bread for dinner, and had the missionaries come over. Always fun. :) Now, I am very tired, and it's time for bed!
Friday, January 17th, 2014
12:33 am
Captain Underwear Head!
This morning, Jonas was getting dressed and came in and asked, "Is this the right way to put on my underwear?" He had put them on his head, with his face peeking out from one leg hole. When I looked at him, he grinned and ran around shouting, "I'm Captain Underwear Head! Fear my wrath!"

That boy sure makes me laugh. :D

Today was a pretty good day. Did a bunch of work, then Jonas and I read together, did some math, had a dance party, and went on a walk together before coming back to dance some more. It was a lot of fun. :) Jonas is really coming along with his reading, and his math. He still struggles with the fine motor control needed to write very well, but I'm not particularly worried about it. Maybe I'll let him go to town with a pair of scissors next time. He'll like that. :D

Later, after Brenna came home, Zana showed up to play, and then Dale did, too, so the kids had a great time together. We had green beans and bbq chicken drumsticks for dinner, and watched Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters with the kids. Then roleplaying with friends, which is always fun. :)

Tomorrow, Brenna has hockey, and I'll have to clean up the house because we might have visitors. Good times!
Thursday, January 16th, 2014
10:36 pm
Today was pretty fun. The morning was filled with work, as it usually is, but then Jonas and I had fun reading and doing math together, and I taught him the joy of stuffing an entire quarter of an orange in your mouth and sucking all the juice out of it. He was very enthusiastic. :D

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We also made brownies together because it was Dale and Allie's 11th birthday today and we wanted to make them a treat.

Later, when the mail man came, we gave him a brownie fresh out of the oven to counteract the bitter cold, and Jonas tried out his photography skills. I was rather impressed! I thought he took a great photo of our mailman. :)

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After that, it was on to a dance party, and then Raquel came over and cut Jonas's and my hair. I love my new hair cut! :)

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It was fun to hang out with Raquel for a couple hours. :)

Then, I started the orange chicken for dinner and let Chris finish making it while I took Brenna to hockey. After, I dropped her off at home and raced over to the church for the Relief Society activity. It was about increasing the tools in your parenting "toolbox." It was a good activity, and there were Hmong Golden Eggrolls afterwards. YUM!

And now, it's bedtime for me. Yay, Friday!
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
9:41 pm
What? It's time for Kindergarten registration already?
Today, we dropped off Brenna at school, then headed over to the school district administration building. It's time to register Jonas for kindergarten for next year! Crazy times, I tell you! It took about 10 minutes from start to finish, and now all I need to do is drop a letter off at his future school (I want to request a specific teacher for him).

The rest of the day was spent working, going to the library, and reading and doing math with Jonas. I also planned Cub Scouts (we worked on our living with wildlife requirement). The boys were very well behaved and I think they had fun. :)

I also got to hang out with Rachel there and back, which is always nice!

Otherwise, today was fairly uneventful. It was cold, and it snowed more. Kind of sums up winter in Wisconsin! :P
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
9:29 pm
Snowy day, and back to dance and hockey
Last night, it snowed a bunch, and it kept snowing throughout the day. I did chores in the morning, then before lunch, I took Jonas outside to play. We were hoping to make a snowman, but the snow wouldn't stick together. Sigh. But, we had fun, anyway! We stomped out giant letters in the snow with our footprints (we spelled "Jonas," "Brenna," and "Dale," per Jonas's request), we had a snowfight, and we ran around in the snow.

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Then it was time to head inside to eat lunch, read books together, and do some math. After that, it was time to get Brenna and River from school. We hurried home and I got Brenna into her dance clothes and had her do spelling and math. Chris wasn't feeling well today (came home really early, he felt so miserable), and he had a paper to write, so I took Jonas with me and Brenna. While Brenna did her tap class, Jonas and I read "The Cat in the Hat Came Back" and then we got Brenna into her regular clothes to run to hockey. Jonas had fun playing in the bleachers while Brenna played hockey. She did a good job and worked hard, listening to the coaches. :)

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Afterward, we came home and finished dinner (I had PB&Js for the kids to tide them over 'til we got home), then got the kids into bed. Now, time to get some more sleep for me! Tomorrow, I go register Jonas for kindergarten for next year. Crazy that it's already time for that!
Monday, January 13th, 2014
7:50 pm
Joy School, Dance, and Piano, oh my!
Today was our first day back to having Joy School after the Christmas break. Jonas was thrilled to play with his friends, and I love the chance to talk to mine! :) We learned about Transportation today. Kathryn made super cute truck and car cut outs out of cheese, which the kids just loved.

Afterwards, it was time to head to Jonas's tap class. Today was the first time back at the dance studio since Christmas, since everything was shut down last week because of the cold. He had a great time and was excited to get back to making noise with his feet.

Most of the afternoon was work, but then once Jonas and I picked up Brenna and dropped off River, we headed over to the Robinsons for Brenna's very first piano lesson. She was very attentive and did a great job. Hopefully she'll retain the excitement and be happy doing her piano practice every morning. :)

Afterward, she and Jonas played outside with Zana and Allie until dinner time. After dinner, we had FHE. We are working on memorizing the Articles of Faith so the kids know them and understand them, and so Brenna can work on that requirement for her Faith in God award.

Tomorrow, I may see about getting Jonas registered for Kindergarten for next year.

And now, to try to unearth my desk from the piles of paper upon it. Again. :P
Sunday, January 12th, 2014
9:40 pm
Today went well--another successful Primary day. :) We got another teacher and an assistant Den Leader called. Still have a couple to go, but we're slowly whittling down the open positions. :)

We also had our home teachers and our visiting teachers come over, which is always nice. Otherwise, it was a pretty slow, nice Sunday.

Tomorrow, back to our normal routine! We didn't get to have dance classes start back up last week because of the cold, so it'll be nice to start those up again. Also, tomorrow Brenna starts piano lessons. Hurray! :)
Saturday, January 11th, 2014
10:21 pm
Busy Saturday
First, a very happy birthday to the amazing Megan! You are wonderful, and I hope you had an excellent day. :)

Today, Brenna had a choice between playing hockey at our normal ice arena, or going to Tomah to play against the kids there. We'd never been to Tomah, so she decided to go there. So, she and I had a nice little road trip. I drove (obviously), and she read to me.

Once we got there ...and figured how to get inside..., she did a great job, and had lots of fun. :)

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Afterward, we drove the hour back, grabbed a fun lunch treat (yay Happy meals!) for Brenna and Jonas, then picked up Jonas from home. Our hospital has been building a new section/building for the last three years, and it opens next week. Today and tomorrow are the open house. They were having a teddy bear clinic, which helps de-mystify shots and ivs and broken bones and such for kids, and I thought the kids might like it. We also took their hour-long tour of the new facility. Jonas was very talkative throughout--making comments and asking pretty good questions, actually. I think he amused the tour guide and the other members of our group, judging by the smiles and chuckles his comments elicited. :P The kids (and I!) were also happy to see Cheri (the child-life specialist from the clinic). She was running part of the teddy bear clinic. Jonas was telling the lady demonstrating blood draws how to do them and explaining that he knows all about them and he was sharing his story with her.

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We also stopped by the donor wall that has Jonas (and a bunch of other CMN Hospital Heroes and other people)'s picture on it. Jonas thought it was pretty cool. :)

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The kids were also a fan of the little water bottles and sandwich pieces from the new bistro, the waterfall wall in the new healing gardens, and the pen and paper they were giving out. :D

After the tour, we headed home and just hung out for a bit before making dinner and watching a show together.

Brenna had an interesting choice of headwear--

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All in all, a very nice day! Well, other than the fact that I had to pause writing this entry to help Brenna --poor girl, she went to the bathroom, and her nose started gushing blood! Her nightshirt looks like she was in a slasher movie. But she'd doing better and back in bed, so that's good.

A funny quote from each kid to round out the entry:

Jonas: "I wish I was a Time Lord, because when I lick things I could know what they are."

Also, every night, when I put Brenna to bed, I say "Question, comment, and/or concern," and she can share any question, comment, or concern she has. Brenna's question tonight? "Explain time and space, please." I guess that's one way to try to extend the time before bed....

I ended up telling her that people spend their entire lives and careers trying to do so. We did briefly discuss the idea of linear time, folding space and man's desire for time travel, but I told her that we'd have to have many discussions about it when it wasn't bedtime! :)
Friday, January 10th, 2014
10:00 pm
Yay, Friday! :)

I got Brenna up and out the door on time, which is always good, and I got work done earlier than I have been because I actually tried to consistently work instead of being distracted by Candy Crush. Go me! :)

After, Jonas and I delivered the last of the hats to our friends at the clinic, and found out that Jonas's next scan day has been set up--February 28th. So that is good to know. Then, it was back home for lunch, then Jonas and I did math together and read books together until Chris got home. Kathryn picked up the girls from school, so Jonas and I played Bookworm Adventures together until Brenna was home.

We had a nice relaxing afternoon--the kids played very nicely together--and then we watched Dr. Who with dinner. I got one and a half mittens done (will finish up the second mitten in the morning), so I'm slowly making progress on the pile of "to-be-made" projects.

Tomorrow, I drive over to Tomah with Brenna for hockey. Should be fun!
Thursday, January 9th, 2014
8:23 pm
Running in circles
Today was one of those days where I think I got things done, but mostly I just felt like I was running around in circles! The majority of the morning was spent in a Primary meeting (lots of good stuff accomplished, though), and then I made English toffee with Clarissa before heading off to finally do my Sam's Club shopping for the week. Then home for work and then we picked up Brenna. Poor girl wasn't feeling well today, so we skipped hockey practice. Hopefully she'll feel better by Saturday, since we're supposed to be playing in Tomah that day!

Ate grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner, as I'm in full on "It's cold, so only hearty comfort foods" mode, and now I need to finish up some Primary stuff before continuing work on the endless pile of mittens. They're fun to make, but you have to make two for every person! Imagine that! :P

Off I go!
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
9:47 pm
Back to the routine
Brenna had school today, which was nice. We got her and River there (on time!), and then Jonas played and watched some Netflix shows while I got my editing done and planned Cub Scouts (still working on getting myself a replacement...). Then, we read some books together and went to the library to get a whole new stack, which is always fun.

Then, it was back home for lunch. Then I got to talk to Janci for a long time, which was awesome. Then off to get Brenna--we ended up with a full car on the way home--we took Brenna, River, and Zana, Dale, and Allie.

I made a chicken and rice soup for dinner, which was super tasty. Zana came over to play, but Brenna was playing a game with Chris. I ended up playing a game of Tsuro with Zana instead. :)

Tonight was also Activity Days, so we had Zana, Brenna, and Alana with me and Rachel in the car. Those girls can get crazy!

Cub Scouts went well and now I get to sleep. Not a particularly exciting day, but a good one. It's good to have those some days. :)
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
10:05 pm
Another day off school
Since Chris's car was dead, the kids and I got up and (mostly) ready for the day so we could take him to work. Then, even though I didn't bring my grocery list with me, we decided to just head to the store afterward so we didn't have to go out into the cold any more than was absolutely necessary. And, go me, because I got everything I'd written on my list, without having it with me. :) It's the little things.

Afterward, we headed home, and I called up the towing company that was going to replace the battery on Chris's car. They didn't make it to us until almost 2 p.m. (oddly enough, they've been super busy the last couple of days...), but at least I got our car on the list! Then I spent most of the morning getting things set up for a very exciting trip (more when it's closer). I also managed to get my work done. Then, lunch time with the kids, who played super nicely together all morning. Afterward, Jonas read to me and Brenna and then Brenna read to us. Part way through Brenna's story, the tow truck guy came to fix the battery. It ended up taking about an hour (My toes and fingers were freezing!), and Brenna sat and read to Jonas the whole time, while I was watching/helping the guy. Then it was time to go pick up Chris from work.

When we got home, Zana, Dale, and Allie came over and wanted me to crack open the rest of Brenna and Jonas's geodes. Brenna and Jonas very kindly shared the broken open geodes with their friends.

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We also tried the experiment where you throw boiling water into the freezing cold air. I think I had too much water, as some of it just splatted, but the majority did in fact turn straight into a cloud of water vapor. It was fun! :) We also set out two little bottles of 7-up on our front step and brought them in several hours later. When we opened them, they turned into 7-up slushies! Might as well have some fun with the freezing temperatures, right?

The good news is that school is back in session tomorrow. Not that I want Brenna to leave, but it means it's warming up, at least slightly. and that's good.

Now, off to bed so I can get stuff done tomorrow!
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