Sunday, August 29, 2010

A soft answer turneth away wrath...

This whole weekend I have just been feeling so ornery and cross. And even though I know it's unreasonable and no one in my family deserves my snappy, mean temper, I just haven't been able to shake it.  I hate it when I feel this way, and even more when I act this way.

Last night we went to Brian's company party and by the end I was in an even worse mood and had a horrible headache from all the wind, the dust, the loud music (which I enjoyed, but it was SO loud!) and the fun of waiting in line to go through a buffet five or so times, since no one else in my family is capable of carrying a plate of food for more then 2 feet with out dropping it.  (I always get such looks when we go places that are serving buffet-style.)  We got home with tired, ornery, and hungry children who were all desperately in need of baths. (And P.S. does it bug anyone else that when you go out to eat the kids pick and pick and declare they aren't hungry or don't feel well, but as soon as you hit the front door they are STARVING! grrrr....)

Jake was in the shower and taking much too long as usual, so I stormed into the bathroom to yell at him to hurry up and saw this...

I had to choke back tears as I said, "I love you too Jakers." 

"Yeah, and it was hard to write it backwards so that you could read it the right way!" he told me proudly. 

I am going to be a better mom tomorrow...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Truth in advertising?

Today while the girls were playing in the other room, I suddenly tuned into what Evie was saying.

"Okay Lila, this is called Permanizer. It will make the owies on your leg get better and go away... but you may experience constipation, sleeplessness, and dry mouth."

Man! Those drug company advertisements are insidious...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

'ook 'oup!

That is what Lila says every time I ask her what she's making.  For those of you who don't speak Lila-ese, I'll translate. That would be "Cook soup!"  (She leaves the consents off the beginning of words, which makes it pretty hard to decipher sometimes.)

I think this batch must be "cheese" soup!

Just like her brother and sister before her, if given a choice, Lila prefers to be in the play kitchen whipping up all kinds of goodies.  

I think I'll hang on to this picture for when she is a famous chef and they are doing a Chefography about her on the Food Network...

Monday, August 23, 2010

1st day of school...

Jake is now a 2nd grader! He had a great first day. The only hiccup was that we were in such a rush to get out the door we forgot to grab his lunch. He said his favorite thing today was meeting all the new kids.
 (Of course he also told me that all the new kids are girls... hmmm...)
He is very excited about an activity his teacher does where the kids earn pretend money through out the month for things like being on time, completing their work, and doing classroom chores.  Then at the end of the month each student brings two items and they have an auction with the money they've earned.  From how much he has talked about it today, I'd say his teacher has hit on an A+ motivational tool!
Time to turn in early... tomorrow we get to get up and do it all again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sassy baby...

Sun dress by Carter's 
Binkie by NUK
Hat by Aunt Caitlin

Attitude... 100% Sass!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back-to-School Shopping!

Who doesn't have a great memory of the yearly tradition/ordeal of going back-to-school shopping?  That is what Jake and I did this last Saturday. We headed out with our budget, our list of necessary items and a compromise that we would only be purchasing shirts with some way of clearly defining the front from the back.

*side note:  Many of you may have heard me mention that for some reason this genius child of mine CANNOT seem to be able of telling the difference between front and back when it comes to clothing, and therefore frequently dresses himself backwards.  It has gone from a mild irritant to something of a pet peeve for me.

We had excellent success and have Jake completely outfitted for a new school year.  He has 5 pairs of pants, 10 shirts, (all of which have collars, pockets or some well defined graphic on the front of the shirt, easily spotted clues as to which direction it should be worn...) socks, shoes, backpack, and no.2 pencils.  We are ready for the 2nd grade!

Although I am slightly worried that despite all my efforts I will still have to check his clothing for direction before he leaves the house.  While at Target he was trying on blue jeans.  The first pair he tried on and came to show me fit perfectly and he pronounced them "very comfortable".  The second pair was the same size, made by the same company, just a different style.  He came out of the dressing room and said, "Mom, I don't like these ones. They don't fit very well." I looked down, sighed and replied, "That's because they are on backwards, Jacob."  And let's face it, if a zippered fly can't clue him into which way is front or back, I just don't know that a collared shirt is going to make a difference...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cooking with the Great-one...

My kids love to help in the kitchen and cook with me.  A little while ago I guess Jake was talking to my Grandma about wanting to learn how to make bread sticks. (I don't know how or why that conversation came up, or why he was so specifically interested in bread sticks... but there you go.) My Grandma is a great cook, although she doesn't do a lot of it these days, and she offered to come and give the kids a cooking lesson.  It went great.  The first time around they made both bread sticks and banana bread and they turned out pretty good.  This time Jake decided he wanted to make zucchini bread. (Again, I don't know what prompted the desire to make zucchini bread. I have stopped trying to figure out how his brain works.)  So zucchini bread it is! Grandma-great found a recipe by Paula Dean, and we were ready to start cooking.

They grated the zucchini and zested the orange.

They took turns measuring out all the spices and other ingredients.

They stirred and mixed it all together.

Ready to go into the oven...

Perfection! And I can confirm that they are pretty darn tasty...

Another great cooking lesson with the Great-one!

Thank you Grandma for being willing to share your knowledge and skills with us, it's a lot of fun spending time  and visiting with you too!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Great Escape

So I guess all those times I though Lila was having a nice long nap she was practicing her crazy climbing skills... Arrrgh! I am so not ready for this. I was planning on her staying in the crib for at least another six months. Ah well, the best laid plans and all that.... guess someone is moving into a toddler bed tonight. Yeah. That'll be fun.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The camping trip...

Last month we went on an overnight camping trip with Brian's sister, Tracie, and her family.  This was Lila's first camping trip because the last time we went camping I was about 7 months pregnant with her... and the jury is still out on which is worse, camping while pregnant or camping with an 18 month old.  We still had a lot of fun, no injuries, and the kids completely wore themselves out playing with their cousins, so I am calling this a successful outing! And I have to give a huge shout out and thank you to my oldest two nephews, Mike and Jeremy-both scouts extraordinaire, who had our tent set up and van unload a half an hour after we arrived! I don't think that my little family could go camping without someone to help us and they did it with such great attitudes. It makes me very grateful for our family.

Brian used to be an avid fisherman, but because of his physical issues it isn't something he's gotten to do very much anymore.  Greg (one of the coolest BIL's in the world) found a lake with handicap access, which means we could basically drive right up to the lake and then helped get Brian all situated with a chair and ready to fish.

Jake and Mike fishing.  All of Tracie and Greg's kids like to fish and were so sweet about sharing their poles and letting our kids take turns.

Like right here, where Josh hooked a fish and then let Evie "reel it in" with some help from Michelle.

Evie and Josh with the fish "they" caught!

Lila, of course, just wanted to throw rocks in the water and was quite put out with us that we wouldn't let her just dive on in.

She was finally entertained by Greg's tackle box and stacking the jars of bait like building blocks...

Our family at the lake! (And photographic evidence that I was there... you can't see it but my knitting bag is hanging off my chair behind Evie. I don't do fish.)

Once the mosquitoes got so bad they chased us off, we headed back to camp for a late dinner and then sitting by the campfire for a little bit. (It is just not camping if you don't end up smelling like wood smoke.) Then off to bed in our awesome tent.  That night could be an entire blog post by itself, so I will leave you with a mental picture of Brian and I, each precariously balanced on the edge of an under-inflated, double-high air mattress so that we wouldn't end up trapped against each other in the middle while it fold in on us like a giant taco... and then I fell off my side which launched Brian off his and onto the kids!  We laughed so hard I was waiting for Tracie or Greg to come out of the trailer and tell us to be quiet!  After several hours of perching on the edge and not sleeping, we tried letting out all the air and just sleeping on the ground.  I think I caught a 20 minute nap just as the sun was coming up...  and then the kids were up and ready to go!

Lila with George and Clancy, whom she affectionately refers to as "gog" or "uppy gog."

This is what happens when you randomly yell to Evie, "Hey! Strike a pose!"

This is what you get when you say the same thing to Lila...

...or this.

She loved hanging out with her daddy in the Lila-sized camping chair.

So did Evie, our little cowgirl.

Jake, on the other hand, hardly held still long enough for me to snag a picture of him. He was far too busy hanging out with Josh and exploring the woods around our campsite.

After packing up and getting ready to head home (again thanks to Tracie, Greg, Mike and Jeremy... and to Michelle and Josh for keeping the kids entertained and out of the way...)  we drove up to see the Provo River Falls.  Lila crashed in the car so Brian hung out with her and I hiked down with the kids to a shallow area they could play in the water for a bit.

That water was COLD! Jake got to be very good at crossing these rocks to stay out of it.

Evie needed a little bit of help with her short little legs.

Josh, Jeremy and Mike waded out as far as their mom would let them go and then had contests to see who could stand the cold the longest! Crazy boys...

It was a very pretty spot with lots of neat rocks for the kids to climb and explore.

Josh and Jake, "conquering" the mountain.

Evie with "Unca Gweg"!

Thanks for letting us tag along on your camping trip you guys, we really had a blast.  That being said, I don't think we will be camping again this year.  Maybe next year when Lila is older and I have figured out an alternative to an air mattress...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Evie!

As was previously mentioned, we had two parties this last weekend for Evie's birthday.  Since her "actual birthday" fell on Sunday we I decided it would be a good excuse to have a laid back family barbecue.  I have to send out a BIG thank you to Tiffany and Steven who helped me get the back yard cleaned up and the food prepared. There is no way it would have happened without you. (Or at the very least I would have been a big ol' sweaty mess and a LOT less pleasant by the time of the party...) So thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!

And thank you to all of our family who came and made the day so much fun, and made Evie feel so loved!

A few high-lights from opening the presents.  We gave her a treasury of Fairy Tales because she is so very into princesses and stories about princesses right now.

The other night Brian was reading Cinderella to her and it ended with "... and they lived happily ever after."  Brian asked her if she knew what that meant and she said, "Yeah. They got married."  He then asked her if Mommy and Daddy were "living happily ever after"?  At this point I jumped into the conversation with, "Yeah, but we work dang hard for that happily ever after!"

(I can see I have my work cut out for me teaching her that while you CAN live happily ever after once you are married, being married doesn't automatically equal happily ever after...)

Rainbow Bright doll from Aunt Caite and Uncle Patrick. Boy, does that bring back memories!

A fluffy unicorn from Uncle Kaleb, who couldn't resist after seeing Despicable Me with my kids. She has slept with it every night since, and his name is Mr. Fluffy the Unicorn.  All three of my kids love to grab him and say, "It's so fluffy!" or "He's SO fluffy I'm gonna die!"  (If you've seen the movie, you get it. If you haven't... you should.)

A pink Leapster from Pa Dave!  She absolutely loves playing on Jake's and is thrilled with having her very own... especially since it is pink!  She also got a Princess game for it from her brother, and I am impressed at how quickly she has picked up how to work it on her own.  (The hardest thing about it has been making big brother stop hovering and "helping" her all the time!)

How many IT wizards does it take to install batteries in a child's toy?  

And last but not least, a minivan for her doll house!  She has been asking for a minivan for a month or more and I was really confused until we were in the toy aisle at Walmart and she showed me the one she wanted.  I was relieved to figure out that she meant a toy one, because a few weeks ago we were out running errands and out of the blue from the back seat I hear, "When I get old enough, I am so-o going to drive this van Mom."  (You have to imagine this said in the most teenager-ish voice you can.) Startled, I said, "Oh. You are, huh?"  To which she replied, "Sh'ah." And I was like, so-o not ready to be sh'ah-ed by my three year old...

She also got a pink princess backpack from Grandma and Grandpa T. with lots of little presents in all the pockets, a card with some crisp new $1 bills from Grandma-great and Grandpa Jerry, and an over-sized cupcake from Tiffany and Steven which turned out to be filled with all the princess bling a four year old heart could wish for!

We had brownies and ice cream sundaes for dessert, which went over well with all the children...

It was a great weekend, but I think if I ever decide to do two parties like that again I will make sure that I have a couple of days in between them to recuperate!

And now I will finish the birthday posts with a list of my four favorite things about my favorite four year old!

To Evie:

1. I love your attitude of gratitude! Whether it is throwing you a princess birthday party, letting you have bubbles in your bath or getting you a drink of water, you usually respond by throwing your arms around our necks and saying "Oh thank you for that Mom (or) Dad!"  It makes it a pleasure to do things for you when they are so genuinely appreciated.

2. I love your willing spirit.  I love how excited you are to do your daily chores and how you feel proud of accomplishing it by yourself a little more each day.  

3. I love your enthusiasm for life. I love that you are equally excited by going to the library or the grocery store as you are to go out to a movie or other fun activity with your family. You are a daily example to me of what Mima Kim always said, "Find Joy in the Journey." and I hope you never lose that part of yourself.

4. I love the sweet and loving spirit that you bring into our home.  I love that you still want to be cuddled and snuggled and that a hug and kiss can still fix most of your woes.  I love how you adore your brother and sister and how much fun you all have playing together.

But most of all, I love you Genevieve, and I can't wait to see what an adventure you will have being four!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Evie's Princess Tea Party

Ever since May when it was Jake's birthday, Evie has been counting down to her own!  And so for the last three months all I have heard about is how she wanted a Princess Birthday Party. (Right up until last week when she went to her friend Scout's mermaid themed birthday party and then she wanted to change it... gotta love 4 year olds.)  So Princesses it is!

All the pretty princesses! We started off with dress-ups and jewelry, because every princess has to know how to accessorize... 

"King Daddy" read a couple of princess stories while we took turns painting nails. (That is why they are all blowing on their fingers if you look closely...)

We played a game of "Kiss the Frog" where they put on lipstick and made a kiss-print on their paper, and then tried to pin it on the frog's lips.  I considered just applying the lipstick and letting them kiss the frog, but I didn't really want to try to clean red lipstick off my walls if they missed...

The Tea Table.  Everything pink and princess-y, including princess wands for place cards.

  We had heart shaped peanut butter and honey or ham and cheese sandwiches, grapes, princess fruit snacks and pink lemonade.  

After the tea party Evie opened her presents.

Then time for cupcakes and ice cream!

It was a perfect Princess Party for a pretty special 4 year old princess, thanks to all the princesses who came and helped us celebrate!