Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Knight on the Town

Our typical family home evening consists of us singing a couple of Rock Band songs chosen by Parker (Ghostbusters and Spaceman are favorites) me trying to give a bit of a lesson, Colin and Carter fighting over who gets to choose the activity (and Carter stomping up the stairs when he doesn't get his way) and Alex muttering under his breath that family home evening is going to destroy our family. We continue to hold it each week, however. Not because we harbor any illusions that the boys are learning anything but we know there are blessings that come from following the counsel of our leaders.

Last night, we decided to try a different approach and take family home evening on the road. We met Nelson at work and then went over to the Trax train for a trip to Temple Square to see the new model of the inside of the temple (it is really cool and worth the trip into town if you haven't seen it). Here are the reactions from each boy--from my view, anyway.

Paxton--He was very nervous on Trax and at first did not want to be there at all. After a bit he relaxed and started to enjoy the ride. The Trax trip home was even better and he liked being on the "train." In the car on our way to ice cream we were stopped by the crossing bars of a real train. The rest of us groaned but Paxton was fascinated. We all cheered when the train passed and we were able to move again but he cried and cried. A good reminder that a train in your path is all about perspective!

Parker--He thought Trax was fantastic and that the next time we go to the beach house in California we should take this train and make sure to bring his cousin Logan with us. The visitors center on Temple Square was great for him, too. He was so excited to see everything and was just buzzing around. At one point he ran over to me because "he found conference!" He took me to a room that displayed talks from President Monsen and then excitedly showed me a "church remote" which was a podium with a touch screen on it :).

Colin--Colin was cooped up at home all day so he took advantage of being let out of the house. His inner wild child was unleashed but fortunately it was tempered a bit by being impressed with the temple model and all the displays. The highlight for him was probably playing Don't Break the Egg on Trax. He and Carter sat on the circle that moves going around corners with their arms wrapped around their bodies and tried not to move. When Colin's "egg" broke, Carter made him keep his hand on his head so his yolk wouldn't come out.

Carter--Carter was also very impressed with the temple model and especially the touch screens that also you to move through different rooms in the temple. He had the most questions and spent a great deal of time trying to see how everything fit together. It was fun to watch. He also tried to keep up with Addison as we walked down the street (see below)

Addison--The displays held less interest for Addison because he was more concerned with finding a missionary referral card to send the missionaries to the home of one his online friends. He and this friend spend a lot of time blowing up things and talking about religion. It is modern missionary work. Walking to and from Trax, Addison jumped on pedestals and leaped over walls and his brothers tried to follow suit. It is amazing that we have not had more trips to the ER in our life.

Alex--Alex was in true family home evening form. He wondered why we would ever take these boys out in public and why we can't control them more. I can't wait until he has kids! He was also very nice to the sister missionaries who offered him advice on preparing for his mission. I know he will be putting their counsel into action today!

Nelson--The visitors center feeds Nelson's inner historic geek (his outer one, too). I am sure he could have spent much more time reading every piece of information but he is a good sport about being done when the boys are. He also got to enjoy a little conversation with the missionaries. Right after Nelson was baptized, he had to talk to every missionary that he saw. The boys would joke that if he saw missionaries on the side of the road, he had to stop the car and jump out to say hi. Well, maybe it wasn't a joke. It was fun for him to enjoy that missionary feeling again.

We ended the night at Arctic Circle for ice cream. Addison said it was by far the worst family home evening we've ever had so I will take his teenage sarcasm to mean it was pretty fun. We might even venture out of the house again at some point. I am sure Alex will be thrilled!

Monday, September 27, 2010


When I gave notice to my manager about leaving my job, she said they were really going to miss me and asked if I would consider just taking a leave of absence or working part-time. They were willing to consider any schedule proposal if I was willing to stay. It was very flattering and tempting to take them up on the generous offer.

When we told the boys I was quitting, there was screaming, wailing, gnashing of teeth and cries that this move will destroy our family. According to them, an announcement that we were having another baby would be more welcome than me leaving my job (and that is saying something considering the reaction when I was pregnant with Pax). I felt so loved, needed and wanted.

I am choosing to look at this as further proof that we are doing the right thing :).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Directions

I quit my job this week.

I still can't believe I did it but as of October 22nd, I will officially be a stay at home mom. Or, I might become a go crazy at home mom--not sure which one will happen (most likely a combination of the two). This is not a direction I ever thought I would take in life. I have felt the guilt of being a working mother many times and have often contemplated giving up my paycheck, but one look at the finances, and I would decide the status quo would do. Life has been okay. First of all, I have a pretty good job. I am able to work full-time from home and be here when the boys get home from school, take Parker to and from pre-K and Pax only goes to daycare 3 days a week. Many moms would love a job that allowed them to work from home and I know how lucky I have been. It was working okay--not perfect--but we are doing okay. Second, my boys are getting older. Why quit now when it only gets easier every day? It would have made more sense 2 years ago when I had a baby, 2-year-old and 4-year-old. Third, I have actually had some free time on occasion. I have been able to read more books in the last six months than I have read in the last six years. Finally, financially we are in better shape than we have been since we were married. We have a lot of security and I am all about security!

BUT, and this is a big but, neither Nelson or I could deny that the spirit was saying it was time to leave my job. This was not just Lisa feeling guilty or the Knights reacting to a crisis (our usual life strategy). It was a clear and constant message that, for whatever purpose, I need to be focused on our family full-time right now. We took a look at our finances and it was clear that me quitting would not work. So, we did the rational thing and I quit anyway. It was a huge leap of faith and I generally like to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground.

It doesn't make sense but here we go! Succeed or fail, we are doing this and not looking back!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Typical Day

I am terrible about pictures. For a long time we have not had a camera and now that Alex has one, I keep forgetting to use it. I need to get into the habit but until a picture can offer a thousand words, I will just have to do a lot of typing. I thought a look at the typical day (is there such thing?) in the Knight house would be somewhat interesting in a few years.

6:30-6:45am--Addison gets out of the shower and tries to wake me. I either get right up so I can check the email or beg for 5 more minutes.

6:45-7:00am--Carter takes a bath and gets dressed while Addison yells at him that he doesn't have enough time. I grab clothes for Colin and attempt to dress him while he burrows deep under the covers. 80 percent of the time I give up and figure Nelson can take him to school. The other 20 percent I wrestle clothes on him, send him into the bathroom and put him in the car. Today I bribed him with the choice of snack if he would just get up and get on the bus. I offered brownies, donuts and french fries. He chose hamburger helper.

7:00am--7:15am--Carter, Colin and I head out the door and play chase down the bus. We start with one stop and then have three or four more depending on the time. Usually we pull up behind the bus and I give them the "you can make it!!" cheer and watch their cute little bodies run for the bus with their backpacks bobbing up and down. I really don't make them late on purpose just so I can see the cute scene every morning (I promise!)

7:15am--7:45am--Back to the house to get Alex and Addison. There is decidedly less of a flurry in getting them out the door. They grunt at me, grab their backpacks and go. Once in the car, I attempt to engage them in conversation about the day, the information on the radio, their future, etc. They are always happy to talk about any and all of those topics and we get in some great bonding time before they begin their day (hahahahahahaha) I monologue all the way to West to drop off Alex and then head to the bus stop to drop off Addo. 4 down, 2 to go.

7:45am--8:00am--Back at the corral Nelson has been getting himself and the P brothers (and probably Colin) ready for the day. I dash in to grab clothes, make a lunch and then head upstairs. Nelson gets everyone out the door and off for round 3 of the school drop offs.

8:00am--2:30pm--4 boys at school (hopefully making good choices), 2 at daycare, Nelson reviewing tax projects and me making call after call after call. In between calls, I throw in a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, wipe a bathroom--the stuff in all the good movies.

2:30pm--4pm--Everyone home from school and throwing coats, backpacks and papers all over the house while rummaging around for food. I put a snack on the table, pull out their homework and tell them to get started while I do a call.

4pm--4:15pm--I am talking to a student. Addison starts shooting aliens in his video game. Alex is downloading something to make the computer "better" and the C brothers sneak upstairs to watch t.v.

4:15pm--4:30pm---I come downstairs to find no one doing homework (the snack, however, is completely gone) so I start talking very loudly and get the Cs back to the table. Colin manages to do about three problems in the middle of telling me stories and finding shiny things on the floor before I have to head upstairs again.

4:30pm--4:45pm--Repeat 4pm-4:15pm

4:45pm--5pm--Go pick up Paxton from Jody's. Bring him back home. Throw him on the couch with a peanut butter sandwich and turn on Yo Gabba Gabba. Gently remind the boys to get back to their homework.

5pm--6pm--More calls for me while the boys alternate between trying to "quietly" come in to tell me how someone is hitting, yelling or ruining their game or being eerily silent which means I will come downstairs to one of Carter's creations. It is a toss-up as to what is preferred.

6pm--7pm--The witching hour (I know I am a witch every hour--I set myself up for that one). I am trying to get dinner going while carrying Paxton around and alternating between asking for help and cheering on the homework once again! We get homework wrapped up and dinner in some form and manage to get everyone to the table.

7pm--7:30pm--Nelson comes home and gets to eat with Paxton on his lap because I like the share in the joy of having Paxton constantly be a helper. We try some dinner conversation and sometimes get more than one or two word answers. At some point there is a guaranteed full sentence, though, from every one of them--"can I be excused?"

7:30pm--8:30pm--Parker goes around asking everyone to play Lego Rock Band. He can usually at least get dad to play. The rest of the house is in a hum of evening activity.

8:30pm--I start saying we need to do scriptures and give everyone a 5 minute warning.

9pm--We finally start reading scriptures and have family prayer.

9:30-10pm--Bedtime negotiations. Colin is tired but can't sleep without Carter in the room. Carter feels that he should get to stay up later because he is older and does not have trouble waking in the morning (true). This is usually resolved by Colin and I begging Carter to go in the room with Colin but not going to sleep. Carter finally gives in and storms upstairs.

10pm--10:30pm--Puttering around to get ready for the next day

10:30pm--Say uncle and head to bed. Try to watch a show to decompress but fall asleep within 5 minutes.

11pm--12pm--The A brothers start their homework.

Okay, next time I am just taking a picture.