I like this picture that Elisabeth snapped for Nora as she danced in the kitchen :). It's pretty normal to have someone singing, dancing, humming, playing the piano, or doing something musical at all times of the day.
Saturday was busier than usual. I went for a 5 mile jog with my neighbor Lisa, took Jane to a gymnastics evaluation by 830am, Scott went for a jog, I went to a funeral of a sweet neighbor, took Annabelle and Charles to Federation(piano thing where they're judged on a piece or two) and Scott and I went to the temple. We came home and had dinner with the family and then Scott, Charles, Annabelle and I went to the adult session of stake conference where we sang in a family choir. The stake conference speakers were awesome, their names are Brad and Sandy Harris, and they taught us how to better prepare our children for missions; they just published a book called, A Parents Guide to Raising a Successful Missionary. A few things they mentioned that they think are extremely important (which they learned from their own experience from working at the MTC for years and from interviewing many, many mission presidents) are to: 1) make sure your child has an 'away from home' experience where they are gone for a week or longer; many kids come to MTC and it's their first time away from home and they feel very home sick and want to go home. This can include scout or young women camps, going to school or working away from home for a summer. 2) teach them to work; allow them to have a job that's not working for mom and dad; give them responsibilities at home, get them involved in sports or music where they need to learn to work and be disciplined. 3)give them leadership opportunities; allow them to lead. Allow them to be in charge of something. For this one I thought we should have the kids start not only helping make dinner, but once they're 10-12, have them also write down the grocerys they need for the dinner, we'll give them the money and they can come to the store with us and buy the ingredients and then make dinner on their own following a recipe. They also mentioned that many of the new missionaries have communication problems because they're so used to texting and emailing that they get really nervous and uncomfortable if they have to make a phone call or talk to an actual person. They suggested putting limits on usage, teaching them to only use electronics as a tool(ie calendar, scriptures, talks, etc but not for gaming and facebook and time wasting things), and putting them away in parents bedroom each night after a certain time. I also think it'd be good not to get electronics out until all important things are done like chores, scriptures, piano, homework etc (I do this for myself too; I do not even look at my phone until after I've read my scriptures and exercised), and to put them away during dinner so the family has time to connect.
After stake conference we stopped by Kneaders where all pastries are half off on Saturday night after 8pm, and we got each of the children a treat and took them home to share. Elisabeth was wonderful and babysat twice that day, when we went to the temple and during stake conference! We have really good kids and we are so grateful for them and all their hard work.