Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Official soccer mom!

Tonight after we put the kids to bed Eric overheard this from behind Viana's door: "Is soccer the greatest thing ever?  Well, no, school still is.  But it's the second greatest thing!"  Viana had her first soccer game tonight and had a blast!  And I had a blast laughing my head off at the adorable pandemonium!  Luckily the chaos only lasted for the first few minutes, because Viana has some goooood kids on her team.

Viana has only had one practice so far and is not totally confident in her skills, so during warm-ups she was a little nervous and timid.
But when the opening whistle blew there was no restraint to the raw magnetism for that one ball and 8 little kids!  It was everything I ever could have hoped for!  (You can see Viana's pink leg by the ball)
Yeah Viana!!  
The siblings enjoyed the park and gorgeous end of summer weather.

This was so cute, Viana and her little friend Malia we're having a great time, at this timeout Viana ran over to her and said something like "I kicked the ball 4 times!"  She was so excited, it was soooooo adorable.
And when they weren't in they were the best little sideline cheerleaders!!
Although I don't thing we're supposed to keep score Viana was sure happy to report that they had won 10-6!  I am so happy that she enjoyed her first soccer game!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Time out

Sometimes the kids are in time out just long enough to fall asleep!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Then there were three...

 Wednesday night, after the first day of school, Viana said to me, "Mom we are the luckiest family in the whole world.  You know why?  First, both of our grandpas are famous.  Second, we're going to have the biggest family with the smallest house in our neighborhood.  And third, we have a boy cat with a girl name with only three legs."  Viana is right, we are the luckiest family in the whole world.
See how quickly our family embodied the theme to Have Joy?  All of those statements are mostly true, but the third statement is now officially true.  Anabelle, our boy cat, has three legs.  And three legs only.  You can't even tell from the left side...

But then he turns and BAM!  Three-legged cat.  Most adorable three legged cat.
Here is the story:  Tuesday night was a emotionally fitful night for me, I was just so anxious about sending my two big girls out into the world again.  So I planned on getting them off to their first day and coming home to take a nap.  Which I did.  During my nap Ram and CharlyAnn came in and told me Anabelle's leg was bleeding.  I mumbled in my sleep something like, Ok, I'll look when I wake up.  So when i did wake up I went to go see what I thouht was maybe a scratch from a thorn or something.  Well, I couldn't find Anabelle anywhere.  Even when I went to get his food--a time when he will ALWAYS come--he didn't show up.  I was surprised but not too worried yet.  I filled his bowl and then went back inside.  Then about every 30 minutes I would go out to see if I could find him.  I never could, and his food wasn't getting eaten.  At that point I began to question the seriousness of the "bleeding leg".  At about 1:15pm I went out again and this time he finally came hobbling out of the bushes.  His right front leg was a mangled mess.  It was split open from the shoulder all the way to his paw, and his fur had separated about an inch so all of his raw muscle was exposed, plus his elbow to paws area was totally twisted and turned in a very unnatural direction.  Overall there really wasn't much blood.  Well, I went into overdrive adrenaline mode. I went inside and got a towel, picked him up and set him in the laundry basket.  I called a friend who had recommended a vet to get the vet's phone number.  So far I had stayed very calm.  But as soon as I called the vet I just broke down crying.  I mumbled something like "I just found our kitty with a cut on his leg." And the receptionist asked if I wanted to keep the cat, like I think she thought I had found a stray, so I said, "Yes, it's my cat! Can I bring it in?"  She said, come at 1:30.  It was 1:16, and the vets office was on the far side of Richfield.  So I threw the kids in the car and left to an unknown location.  I forgot to ask were the office was and had never been before.  But, I started driving and Anabelle kept trying to climb out of the basket, so I flipped upside down on him, then he tried climbing through the holes, so I had no idea how I was going to drive somewhere I didn't know in less time than I had with a severely injured cat that wouldn't stay put, nor how I would get my girls in one hour from their very first day of school.  Luckily, the spirit drove my car straight to my visiting teachers house.  I got out, knocked on the door and when she answered I just started crying all over again.  I summed up what happened and asked her if she could pick up the girls after school.  She could!  She wanted to see Anabelle so I showed her and she said, "Do you want my dog carrier to take him in?" I did!  Then I asked if she knew where Dr. Kelseys office was, she did!  She gave me perfect directions.  So in that one stop all of my fears and complications were overcome.  And I somehow drove the speed limit all the way there and got there at 1:39.  It was pretty amazing.  Vets are cool because they're not as busy as people doctors, so we saw the doc right away.  The whole time they thought my cat "had a cut on his leg" so he was pretty surprised to see that it was no "cut".  He said it looked about a day old (which we later found out it had happened Tuesday night) and is theory was that he had jumped up in the undercarriage of a car and when it started his leg got caught by a fan belt or something when he went to jump down (which happened to be roughly the case, he was under a van and the driver did hear a very strange noise when they started it Tuesday night.  They thought it was their power steering going out since it didn't work after that, and when they checked the fluid the next day one of their belts had come completely off the track.  Anabelle is usually really good about coming out of cars when people get in them, but it had been a super big thunderstorm that night, so he was probably just sleeping in there for protection, and he usually jumps down (or rides along! as happened once) safely, but we're thinking that the fan belt came off and snapped over to where he was splitting open and mangling his arm.  No one was blamed and everyone was forgiven, including Anabelle incase it actually was his fault that the belt come off initially) Well, the Doc said it was too bad of an injury to set or stitch, so that options were amputation or putting him down. (Cue more tears from Halcyon).  Cost wise it is about 4 times as much to amputate than kill the cat, so I told him I'd have to talk to my husband and that he would call him (because he'd be able to control his emotions better).  So, I made it back in time to pick up the girls from school (more blessings) and acted just as happy and cheery as I could.  We drove straight to the seminary and I was feeling so bad to have to dump this on Eric after his first day of students.  But I did.  In Eric's mind there was no decision to be made.  We save Anabelle.  I was so relieved to hear that!  I seriously was nearly committed to burying our cat!  Who knew you could get so stinkin' attached to a cat in 2 months??!!  I felt so much burden lifted to know we would only have to tell our kids that Anabelle would now have three legs and not that he died.  So Eric called the vet and he said he'd do the amputation in the morning.  Thursday was a LONG day just wondering how everything went.  Plus we hear they do amputations with a machete...(just kidding Dad).  But at 4pm the doc called and said we could come pick him up (we had him neutered and all shots done while he was down for the count!).  We went to get him and it was such a happy reunion!!  Anabelle actually recognized us and was plainly happy to see us!  We took him home and left him in the carrier my VT lent me.  That night after we put the kids to bed Eric and I went out to let him out. He was so happy to see us.  He just purred and purred.  Then he got down and RAN!  On three legs!  And then he caught a dragonfly!  With three legs!  The same day as his surgery!  It was amazing and reassuring and comforting and inspiring and so cute.  And now we are seriously committed to Anabelle.  Sealed deal that we love this little cat.  He has done SO WELL.  It is amazing to see him adapt.  And he's happy and doing so great.  It is wonderful.  And we're pretty excited about the good learning experience and exposure this gives to all of us about tragedy and disability and overcoming obstacles, and above all--HAVING JOY...even during the hard times!  And hopefully Anabelle has learned to never go in the undercarriage of a car again!!!

We missed it in May, but it was back in August

Generally we go to the carnival when it shows up in Richfield at the end of the school year.  But we missed it this year and promised the kids we would make it up to them.  How lucky were we when for the first time ever they decided to have a back to school carnival too!!  And so we went and even got unlimited wristbands.  Totally worth it.  The kids went on this contraption 100 times.

We just sent our two year old with her flowing skirt into the jungle of ropes.
Luckily her big sister would come rescue her flip flop when it fell off and throw the rungs...

The kids also loved the FUN SLIDE

They LOVED the strawberry ride.  They giggled like idiots.

Brooke insisted on riding on the headless bee...creepy carny ride...
The most unique part of the carnival was this snake!  It had nothing to do with the carnival other than they both happened to be at the same park at the same time, but it was still uber cool!!

Viana and Brooke LOVED the ferris wheel.  They went on it 6 times.

Hooray for a good time at the carnival!  It may be a somewhat seedy place, but we love it!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of School!!

We had the best summer ever.  It was perfect in every way.  And it was a lovely way to end summer to have two excited and very happy girls to be starting 1st and 2nd grade.  And yes, tears were shed on my part.  Secretly though, at 4am...oh dear, when will I even learn to sleep??  The girls were absolutely adorable.  It was so fun to send them to school together for the whole day.  

 I wanted to walk them over to the school yard to make sure they felt comfortable and knew where to wait etc.  They were both true to character.  Brooke felt timid and wanted to stand right by me and do exactly what she needed to and made sure to give me a good-bye kiss.
 Viana was off as soon as we got there, storming the playground like she owned the place (technically she does, since it's the K-2 playground :)  I thought, well, good luck, I love you too! as I spied her far off in the distance already telling wonderful stories (I'm sure) to her teacher--who she assured me is the best teacher in 2nd grade.
I can't believe how fast time flies!!  I am so proud of these two big girls and was happy to hear a shining report from each after school today!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to school feast!

Have you seen those fancy schmancy back to school feasts out there in the blogging pintrest world?  They're out of this world choochy and super cute. I liked the idea; however, we are Carters, so this is how we roll...AND WE LOVED IT!!  We had it for FHE the Monday before school, and mostly loved it for the intro of the family theme.
Whereas some families break out the heirloom china and cook up some filet mignon, we let each kid pick out a 97cent party decor from Wal-mart for decoration, and let them each pick a favorite food.  So our gourmet menu was cheese pizza and jell-o (Viana's pick) corn on the cob and pudding (Brooke's pick) mac and cheese and chicken wings (Ram and Daddy's pick) and we all voted on orange soda in glass bottles.  The kids were totally into it, and we felt as fancy as kings and queens.  Viana even busted out her super good manners for this feast!
 After a delicious dinner we looked at one another and said, "What's a motto?" to which we all replied "Nothing, what's a motto with you?" (Movie quote again!)  Anyway, Eric and I unveiled the family motto for the 2013 school year!
So imagine that this is painted super cute...I just didn't have time, so crayon on paper on wood will do just fine--remember this is Carter style!
 HAVE JOY!!!  We had a really great discussion about what it means to have joy, how we can have joy, how to help others have joy and most importantly to have joy even during difficult trials.  It was awesome.  Then we gave kids zipper pulls to put on their backpacks to remind them of the theme.  They are the least ghetto part of the night!

They were super excited about them!

So, our first back to school feast was Carterifically splendid.  And we are now prepared to have joy!