Monday, December 31, 2012

Florida

My parents are serving a mission in Jacksonville, Florida so we decided a quick trip to visit them would be awesome during the holidays.  Map quest put the trip at 12 hrs 12 minutes from doorstep to doorstep, and although that wasn't what we were looking forward to, we decided it beat the costly alternative.

We left a couple days after Christmas and started our six state tour down south.  Our children traveled awesome!  Matt and I seriously don't think they could have done better.  Maybe we should clarify ... we knew Wes, Kate and Sophie would be able to handle it.  Joshua was the big question mark.  But we made the trip down in 14 1/2 hrs, and the trip back in 13 1/2.  He did great and we timed our stops according to when his crankiness before nap time would be.

We didn't prepare like we should have for the historical and site-seeing part of the trip.  And now in hind-site  we're kicking ourselves for it, but I guess that means we'll have to swing back down again sometime, although not in time for my parents to still be there. 

Joshua started to really have a hard time in Georgia and we were trying to find a park to run around and play for a while, but the GPS took us to a non-existent park in the middle of what looked like the bayou from Princess and the Frog. 
 
My parents later told us that the stuff growing on the trees is called Florida Moss or Spanish Moss.

My parents live in a cute little 2 bedroom apartment and were so nice to let our family overtake their place for 4 days.  

The first full day we were there we went to Amelia Island and Fernadina Beach.  Our kids could have stayed there a couple of hours looking at all of the seashells.  


Then we went on to St. Augustine, America's oldest city.  I can't remember exactly, but the trolley guide lady said that it was established something like 55 years before Plymouth Rock, and 40 years before Jamestown.  It's a tourist trap and so awesomely beautiful with it's palm trees, Spanish architecture and fun, walkable streets, shops and historic places.

Here's Wes standing before the oldest school house in the U.S.




 When it got dark we got on the Holly Jolly Trolley, and outfitted with our 3D glasses that make the lights look like stars/snowflakes, we toured through the city again.  It was so beautiful.

On Sunday we went to my parent's ward and were able to meet many of the people they've talked so much about over this last year.

Sunday afternoon we decided to take a drive around nearby historical Kingsley Plantation.  It turned out that the gates closed at 5 p.m. and so the only shots we got were from the outside of the gates.  But the drive into the area was awesome and I kept thinking we'd happen upon an alligator because of the tropical/bayou feeling of it all.  I'm sure my parents thought I was a little dramatic about the whole thing, but it was awesome to see such different foliage than Maryland's.
 Here's a shot from just outside the gates.  The white half-structure on the left and the building on the right were the living quarters of the slaves.  My parents said they've been white washed or something, in the renovation process because they weren't that white when they went there before.
 On the way back from the plantation I had to take a picture of this house on 6-foot cinder block stilts because it's right alongside one of the gigantic rivers there.
I wish we would have gotten pictures of all the states welcome signs as we were driving.  But we were just plowing through and hoping to make it before there were too many meltdowns, but with the five new states we visited, Wes, Kate and Sophie's state number is up to 24, and Joshua's at 11.  

It was awesome to spend some time with my parents and to have our children be with them while on their mission.  I can't believe I never got a full-on picture of them, we were too busy looking at everything else. 

We love you Grandma and Grandpa!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Getting some air

Our little monkey is about to move up to a bed ... mainIy out of necessity and safety.  He figured out how to cIimb out of his crib a few weeks ago, and is making regular practice of it now.  Good thing Matt's winter break is aImost here and making bed frames for Kate and Sophie so Joshua can have one of their's, is on the Iist; moved up in priority, actuaIIy, due to our Iittle Air Jordan.

video
(If there's some way I couId have Matt construct a computer keyboard with aII keys that actuaIIy worked consistenIy, that wouId take priority too:).)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

And then they were 7!

(I didn't mean for this to be such a lengthy flashback, but it is:))

I just realized I haven't documented a momentous occasion we had a couple of weeks ago.


 Wesley Jack and Miss Kate turned 7! 

Now where did that time go?  It seems like just a couple of years ago Matt and I went to an Aggie Basketball game, went home to bed, woke up to go to the bathroom (me, not Matt;)), and whamo, Wesley's sack broke with an ensuing gush of fluid.  Then the crazy mix of feelings: giddiness, panic (since it was November and they weren't due until January, although that sounds worse than it really was (5 weeks premature)), and the overwhelming feeling of can we really be parents?

Backpedal a bit ... I vividly remember how heavy and stretched I felt as I walked to the car after the game, and how I supported my belly with my arms and hands as I walked.  I also vividly remember walking with Matt around the entire outside of the hospital when we realized the front door wasn't open and we'd have to go in through the emergency room doors, all the while I was leaking more and more fluid - sorry if that's too much information, but it is still very fresh in my memory:).  I remember the bite in the air .. it was a really cold night, and I was the first of many other women who came in that night, which the nurses said happens when temperature and other meteorological statistics plummet.  I also remember sending Matt home during the night so he could get some sleep, since I wasn't going anywhere and wasn't feeling any contractions they said I was having.  We only lived 6 blocks from the hospital and so it's not like he was far away - that way we were both able to get some sleep before the big entry into the world the following afternoon.

I also remember the disappointment I felt when I learned my doctor wasn't on call that weekend.  He had been with us through five years of childlessness.  But when the morning came, a Sunday, I thought of the perfect plan.  I was serving in Young Women's at the time at church and my doctor's wife was serving with me too.  So Matt called her to let her know that I wouldn't be at church because we were having our babies.  Twenty minutes later my doctor walked in, huge grin and all.  He said he wouldn't miss that day for the world.  He said that some of his most spiritual experiences were while delivering babies, so missing part of church was okay by him.  How awesome was that?!

After many hours of nothing, the show had to be prodded, so I was hooked up to a pit drip, wheeled into the operating room (in case they needed to perform an emergency c-section, which they didn't), and we soon had a beautiful baby boy born.

I'll pause here for a moment to describe what I remember.  When Wes was delivered they weighed him almost immediately and Matt announced that he was 6 lbs.  I was amazed! That's pretty big for being so early.  When the doctor's briefly let me hold Wes, I remember  how beautiful he was.  He had a perfectly round head, and beautiful skin color and beautiful features.

Soon after Wesley was delivered I remember my doctor's demeanor changed.  He got right down to business and said, "we've got to get the other baby out quickly, so I'm going in after her." or something along those lines.  I remember him adjusting his gloves and then putting his hand so far inside me that it was really uncomfortable, even with the epidural blocking the pain.  Kate was still very high.

My doctor pulled her out, legs first and I remember seeing her limp little body flop around.  I don't remember any panic or fear.  I've wondered about that, but I think part of me was still in shock or la-la land about
the whole ordeal, and part of me knew that she was going to be okay.  Matt says the assisting doctor told him our little girl needed help breathing and could he be given permission to do all he could to help her.  Of course, Matt said, and they whisked her off.  Matt was able to go see her shortly thereafter in the NICU, but I didn't see her for a couple of hours.

When I saw Kate my feelings were very different than those I felt when I saw Wesley.  She looked so much thinner than he did.  Her head was so much smaller than his that I worried.  Her birth weight was 5 lbs. 4 oz., but she was a half an inch longer than Wes.  The combination of the two just made her look so thin.  But still, 5 lbs. 4 oz. is a fantastic weight for a preemie.  She had the same coloring as Wes, but other than that there were no other similarities.  She just needed more time to grow.

Kate was on a ventilator over night, but then after receiving medicine for her lungs, was able to go to an oxygen tube in her nose.

After 10 days in the NICU we brought them home, just in time for Christmas.

Wow, what an awesome 7 years it has been.  Wes and Kate are not alike at all and we love it!  They are so different in demeanor and looks, that I don't think of them as twins any more.  Here's a short list of what they are at this age:

Wes:  Very particular about everything; detail oriented; responsible; likes to be right.

Kate:  Loves everyone in the world; is very kind; doesn't like schedules/restrictions.

Matt's often said the reason we couldn't have children for those first few years is because Wes and Kate needed to come together.  We LOVE them so much!  Our home wouldn't be the same without them.  They are not shy at all and so full of life, which means our house is pretty raucous (boisterously disorderly) most of the time:).


(I need to scan in some pictures of them as babies since I don't have them on this computer)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gallery Debut

So much paperwork comes home from school that sometimes I glance at something and its contents may not completely register until later.  That's what happened with a letter sent home about some work Kate had done in art class.  I looked for the same letter in Wes' folder but there wasn't one, but still I didn't think much of it.

When Matt came home from work he said, "do we need to go to this?", so I looked at the paper again. 

Your child's artwork was chosen to be displayed at the Ward Museum's 'Life on the Eastern Shore' exhibit.  Or something close to that.  Then it stated the date of the reception and how long the exhibit would run.  So we packed up everyone tonight to see what it was all about.

There was a gallery displaying several art projects and pictures from area schools, grades K-12.  And sure enough, Kate's Blue Heron was among them.



It was such a fun event and I'm so glad we actually went.  There were treats, wreath making with wood wreaths and cloth acorns, cool art displays since it is a museum about water fowl ... mostly carvings that were really beautiful; it was just an enjoyable, spur of the moment evening. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I don't know that today could have gotten much better.  We celebrated Thanksgiving by ourselves and at the end of the day Kate said, "Mom, this has been a really fun day."

We did all of our traditional dishes and added a couple new ones that may have made the keeper list.
(Some day this room will actually be done.  I still haven't gotten the wallpaper backing down ,  going on  five months now, but maybe by Valentine's Day?)
At our house we think Alton Brown is nearly immortal, and his turkey didn't fail us.  We also tried some awesome crescent rolls and cinnamon butter, and French Silk Pie.

The weather was so beautiful and so Matt was able to work outside on a few projects.  Our kids had a good mix of outside and inside time.  Overall it was just awesome.

It's nearly bedtime now and so we broke out the pup tent to put up in the living room.  This just about completes a perfect day for a child;).

So thankful for Faith, Family and Friends.

Attempt

We have a yard full of trees, no exaggeration.  There are 21 in the front yard, and almost that many in the back.  And that's AFTER we've taken down 13 or so.  Anyway, it makes for LOTS of clean up during the Autumn leaf and pine cone/pine needle dropping season.

Yesterday Matt said he wanted to take some pictures of our children in some leaf piles and in our Japanese Maple, before hauling away a bunch of stuff.  His hope was to maybe get a picture we could use for our Christmas card.


  Pretty good, but I think we may need a few more photo sessions:).

Common Knowledge?

Sometimes I discover something that I never knew, and then I wonder if it was common knowledge to everyone except me.  But I think this may be one of those regional things where you may not know it if you didn't grow up around it?  Maybe?

The first time I ate brussel sprouts was on my church mission to London.  The English love them.  Maybe that's a blanket statement, but in my first area of Slough, I had brussel sprouts nearly every week at dinner appointments.  I really liked them and said to myself that I'd have to eat them when I got back to the States.  Later on I wondered if I really liked them, or if it was the gravy I remembered, since the English have a reputation of having a dinner plate full of food and then pouring gravy over all of it; a fact, in my experience.

Matt stopped at a farmer's market yesterday while doing some pre-Thanksgiving errand running, and picked up this baby. .... the sprout, not the cutie next to it;)

Did everyone else know they grew like this?  I didn't.  When Wes and Kate came in carrying these green sword-looking items, it took me a minute to figure out what they were.

So, 16 years later, I've had brussel sprouts again.  A hit with Matt and me, not as welcome for our children, but they did try them:).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Flitting

Today's one of those days that I'm flitting from project to project and while passing the computer thought, "I should blog an entry right now."  And since Joshua is still napping, I will;).

My sister and niece visited this weekend;  and although it was much too short, it was so nice to have them.

We met up with them at this lovely place, Mount Vernon.

We love Mount Vernon.  Our children seem to love it too, which is a bonus when you want to take visitors there again and again.

How refreshing to learn about a wonderful man and leader, George Washington.

It was a bit brisk and we weren't totally prepared, clothing-wise, but we loved the time with family!


 I started to write that the gardens are my favorite, and then I stopped because the house is so beautiful, so I'd just have to say that I love it all.  If only we had more land and a view like he and Martha had of the Potomac.

Love it all:).


Thursday, November 1, 2012

New beginnings, a family visit, Sandy, and Halloween:)

We're fully enjoying Autumn around here, and have a whirlwind round up to log here.

*Today was Sophie's first day of a new preschool.  She's been loving preschool at our local YMCA, mainly because it includes swimming, and her friend from church goes there, too.  It was kind of a fill-in until her other preschool started.  It's at a high school through a tech program, and so it didn't start until today so the high school students could get training on running a preschool. I didn't take a picture, but will at some point, I'm sure.  She was so excited.  It's pretty deluxe and so she'll have tons of fun learning opportunities.

*My sister and niece are coming for a visit!!  Woohoo!  It's pretty rare to have family visits to these parts, so we're beyond excited.  My niece is a smarty and is checking out William & Mary for school next year so they're flying in today for a campus tour.  This pretty much requires a visit to us and so we'll be meeting up with them this weekend to visit Mt. Vernon and then come to our home for a couple days.

We're just thankful that Hurricane Sandy didn't disrupt their plans, although it's such a devastation for many others.

*We pulled through Sandy without any structural damage.  We had some limbs down and our yard is a mess, but we never lost power.  Our rain gauge was getting its workout though, and we logged about 9" of rain.

These are pictures of one of our city parks.  When you live in a city of rivers, there's bound to be flooding.



This one is a field right by our house that was just plowed from its seasons worth of corn.

School was canceled for W, K, S and Matt Monday and Tuesday.  So we had fun doing all sorts of indoor activities.

*Halloween went on as usual.  It was a little colder than our days had been last week, a result of Sandy, but really wasn't too bad.

 Matt = The man with the Yellow Hat, Joshua = Curious George (so appropriate for him right now), Wes = Batman, Kate = Ninja, Sophie = Pirate Princess, Me = Professor Wiseman (from Curious George)

Can you tell who's personality came through on these pumpkins (above).  In real life you can see the bling around Kate's pumpkin's eyes.


Our good friends "the Incredibles" came trick or treating with us:).  (Hope it's okay I posted this;)).

It was a fun night.  We headed downtown after hitting our neighborhood, but have decided that maybe next year we'll go to two or three more streets right around us that the kids go through on the school bus.  So much fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Catch Phrase

Tonight we were playing a board game ... boys against girls.  Sophie was asleep, Joshua not a player, so it was Dad and Wes vs. Kate and Mom.  We had to bypass certain words in Catch Phrase, due to them being not in the realm of 1st graders, but this one was hilarious.

Matt: (knowing he'd have no clue, but being funny nonetheless) 
"Wes, who was the greatest basketball player ever?"

Wes:  (Scrunching up his face in a 'what?' expression, then it quickly turning to a light-bulb moment) 
"YOU, Dad!"

Kate:  "No.  President Monson!"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Making piles

Sophie's favorite question right now is, "can I make a pile, Mom?"

Of pillows, cushions, and blankets.

I've normally said yes very easily, but when the whining and prodding about cleaning up afterwards became such a hassle, I started saying no.

We had a little talk though and I'm hoping she's onboard the 'clean-up train'. Anyway, here's an awesome picture of one of her piles.



Then she started jumping off the back of the couch into the pile.  I do allow such rambunctiousness around here sometimes;).  

This is a photo of our living room, and at the time, I was sitting in the family room.  As I was sitting there I thought, "wow, that would make an awesome picture."  So I asked Sophie to wait while I got the camera.  Then I asked her to jump into the pile while I tried to catch the perfect pose.  It took at least six times, but she wasn't complaining;).  (*sidenote, not to worry about poor Joshua getting squashed, he was well in front of her).


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Laundry Essay

Actually I probably won't attempt an essay today, I've got to go pick up Sophie and Drostan (friend) from preschool in a couple of minutes, but here are short thoughts.

My mom called yesterday and before parting I asked her, "did you ever have a hard time with getting laundry through the whole washing, drying, folding, putting away process, when we were young."  Her response ... "No."

That was it.

No.

I shouldn't have been surprised.  Our house growing up was always tidy, neat, clean, no piles, nothing.  My mom insists that it wasn't always that way, but since I'm the youngest, there wasn't the stuff around that younger siblings bring.  But I don't believe it.  She's always been clean, and I sit here wondering, why didn't I get that gene?

Our house isn't a pig sty, although I have used that phrase when talking to our children; along with hurricane, bull in a china closet, tornado, etc...  But it's not like we're living in squalor, but it's just not what I want it to be. Yet.

Anyway, back to laundry...

Yesterday I implemented, yet again, another 'system'; this one, from a friend who washes on Tuesday and Friday.  She doesn't plan anything on those days except washing.

After my first day, I declare it a success.  There is still one load waiting to be folded, and diapers still in the dryer, but at least they're not in the washer from overnight;).  So three loads washed, dried, folded, put into cubbies, (for everyone to put away themselves, I'm not the maid/servant around here .... ?  another phrase I may have used before;)) one in the basket ready to be folded, one in the dryer ... I'd call that success.  We'll see how it holds.  I'm confident.

Here's my little laundry helper.  He's standing on a step stool.  (there are no 4-ft one year olds around here)
However I am swift to take away the laundry stick after it's been properly used.  It has been ill-used in the past:).

Somehow the pictures became their own post, so keep scrolling to see the laundry prince.  He's worth it;).


What was lost has been found

My sister called the other day and said, "is your camera really lost,  or do you just not have one?"  HAha!

It really was lost, but guess what, Joshua found it!

There was a soccer Saturday when Matt was hunting in Utah, so I was trying to manage a busy little beaver (Joshua) by keeping him in the van, with the windows partially down, so I could watch the game.  (Our seats were 15 feet from the parking strip, not to worry).  I glanced over at him once and there he had the camera dangling out of the window!  WooHOO for busy little boys who crawl all over and under.  We had cleaned the van with the strict intent of finding the camera, knowing that many things can get lost there, but couldn't find it.  He, however, is amazing, and was the winner.

So no excuses now, blogging friends, family and journal, we're back!

I'll leave you with a parting picture that Matt captured this summer during his Summer Science Camp.  It was one night when Saturn was visable and he put our normal, little camera up to the lens of a very expensive University telescope, and captured this amazing picture.  Yes, folks, look closely,  that's Saturn, rings and all.  Pretty cool.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This is what happens when you leave your phone unattended


After picking up Wes and Kate from school yesterday I was unloading groceries with Wes' help.  Kate was in charge of a couple of items but never came in and never came in.  Sophie was no where to be found for a minute either, but I just went on my way starting dinner prep.  It was only last night when I was trying to upload 1st school day pictures that I found these on my phone, taken in the van.  Two little crazies taking each other's pictures.  {Kate's is taken while suspended over the back seat into the trunk hatch.}

Monday, August 27, 2012

1st Day - 1st Grade



It was a great day for all.

Wes didn't eat breakfast because of nerves, but when we picked him up this afternoon his first words were, "Today was the best day EVER!"  So we're happy he was so happy.  He's got a great teacher ... in fact, I'm so impressed with both his and Kate's teachers. 

Kate was very concerned about not being able to 'play as much as Kindergarteners do', her words.  But she was beaming today too, after school. 

Sophie and I didn't stare at each other very long like we did after last year's first day, we just got on with the day. 

Matt's day was great and he reported one student has already dropped his class because he said they needed to be able to do Algebra.  My first thought was, "Helllllooooo,  this IS college, and this IS a Physics class", but then again, I'm pretty rusty at it too now, although my excuse is it's been nearly two decades since my one and only Calc class.

We still haven't found our camera and so had to document with my phone ... not so bueno, but at least it's documented.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Morning Thoughts

The other evening after sitting on the porch I said to Matt, "I feel like we live in an aviary."  All the chatter and heavy air reminds me of walking through the doors of a tropical rendition at the zoo.  Add all the bugs and other wildlife, and it's a world away from the atmosphere of where we spent our childhood.

Then yesterday as our bishopric member was welcoming visitors to church, he said, "It's called 'Humidity' ... the air you wear."  Isn't that the truth.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Almost too much to cover

This is what happens when you don't journal regularly, plus it doesn't help when you lose your camera and don't have pictures to document all the fun you've been having.  It's almost too overwhelming to start, but I guess this is where the Reader's Digest version comes in handy...

Summer has been awesome.  We've been busy and relaxed, all at the same time. 

Matt successfully finished another year of summer science camp, thus providing for our summer travel fun to see family - hooray!  He also had a great experience teaching a mini semester with a small class.  It makes a huge difference in attitude and effectiveness in the classroom when you only have to correct 8-10 homework/quiz/test sets, rather than 40, or 80, or whatever he usually has.

Wes, Kate, Sophie and Joshua have tan lines and sand permenantly under their toenails, due to our many days at the beach. 

We just got back from a trip to see family in the West.  The first four or five days were an adjustment and Matt and I not-really-seriously talked about changing our plane tickets to fly home early.  It was totally due to the adjustment of traveling with a young family and trying to see and do too many things; but after the adjustment, we easily could've stayed another week. 

While in Utah we introduced our children to the Temple Square experience, toured the Conference Center, saw the new City Creek outdoor mall {beautiful}, went to Kennecot Copper Mine, played at Fountain Green Lamb Days where Wes and Kate entered their first ever 1 mile 'lamb scram'.  They did awesome.  We also got to take in an Orem Owlz game where our niece sang the national anthem, how cool is that? Then up to our 'home away from home', Logan, for a couple of days.

The B family reunion is usually the Friday of Lamb Day week, but due to a sister and her family living in Denver, and unable to come until the following week, it was delayed.  We camped up Log Canyon in sheep camps; so cool.  I've decided that's the way to camp ... in a queen sized bed, fully sheltered from Mother Nature's elements, which she displayed.  (;   It was so great to be with family. 

Our last four days were spent at my parent's house in Ephraim.  They're on a mission in FL, and so we just hung out, played with their toys, played at the park and the tennis courts, went to the new Manti pool {will definietly be visiting there again!}, and loved not having a schedule.  Matt would go during the days to work with his dad, and I admit to having the kids watch a movie during Joshua's nap so I could turn on the fan {I love the sound of fans}, read my book for a while, and then catch a few winks myself. (:  It was heavenly. 

A memory I don't want to forget is the first night we got to Fountain Green.  Here's the background ... during Lamb Day week there's a softball tournament.  It's a family tradition to either play in the tournament, or be a spectator every night that week.  So when we got there no one was home.  We walked over to the park and started saying our hello's.  The awesome memory came when Sophie {4 years old} re-acquainted herself with her cousins, Autumn {4}, Jessie {4}, and Misty {4}.  Within a few minutes everyone was back to the business of watching the games or playing at the park.  This is when Sophie, Autumn and Jessie were all holding hands together in a circle, trying to walk back to Grandma's house, whilst still ALL holding hands.  So picture a slow moving circle of three children, trying not to trip over each other.  It was priceless.  They soon decided it was easier to walk in a line, although that meant not everyone could keep holding everyone's hands.  {Just a side note ... Misty is a newly-turned 4 year old, and so she's more interested in her own imaginative world right now, and couldn't be bothered with the dramatics of the older four year olds at this time ... maybe next summer(:  }.

So ... we made it back to the eastern shore safely and are still not adjusted to the two-hr time difference {poor Joshua, especially}.  It's been awesome though ... Matt's been bottling up a storm since all of our tomatoes are on right now, I love having a husband who preserves food more than I do, and I don't feel guilty about it.  We've been cleaning the house top to bottom.  It helped that while we were gone we had a painter come in and paint our dated wood windows and trim/floorboards.  We figured it would be the best time to do it so we wouldn't be in his way, nor he in ours.  It gaves us an amazing boost of organization, and kick starts our rennovation. 

That'll be the recap for now ... meanwhile, piano lessons resume, daily life continues, and we're happy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

School's Out

Summer has officially begun.  Wes and Kate ended up having a great school year, but we are all so excited to be finished (except Wes}.  No more buses to run to, no more rush, rush, out the door.  I'm excited to create our own schedule and continue our learning at home. 

We made a list of 50+ activities we WILL do this summer and it's pretty aggressive, but we're so excited.  We'll keep a good record:]. 

We decided to celebrate by going camping.  While at the beach last weekend Matt suggested we camp on a Friday night so we could watch the sun come up over the ocean horizon the next morning, and dutch oven our breakfast on the beach. Cool, huh?  Problem is, since we live near a heavily tourist-visited area everyone else had the same idea so weekend reservations are totally filled for the summer.  Our next option would be a Tuesday night since Matt doesn't teach on Wednesday. 

I called another camp site we've been eyeing and they require a Friday and Saturday booking during the summer.  So we bagged that idea and decided we'll camp there during the week a different time too. 

In the end our backyard was as good a place as any, not to mention free, and so up our tent went with our kids gathering sticks for a pretend campfire.  S'mores didn't happen, but we'll get stocked and ready for them at a moment's notice.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

6-year old milestone

Last night Wes came down and said his tooth hurt.  All four of his and Kate's front teeth are loose, but Wes' bottom right one was ready to come out.  After test-wiggling it again I said, "Do you want to lose your first tooth tonight?"  He said with some hesitation, "Yes!"  So we grabbed some toilet paper for extra grip and pulled.  After a few attempts and a few "That's okay Mom, I'll go to sleep now" moments, it finally came. 


Matt said I was just as excited as Wes.  Well of course I was!  This is momentous in a child's life.  I very well remember my first tooth-losing moment.  It was terrible.  I have pictures documenting me hiding in the corner of my grandparent's home while my parents tried to convince me it wouldn't hurt too much.  Then I have the 'after' pictures of a beaming 6-year old with a fresh gap in front.

Like the dentist said at our last visit, "They're not going to get much out of corn on the cobb this summer".

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quick trip to Hawaii

Not really, but this was a funny conversation tonight that I have to document.

We've had a lot of fighting in our house lately.  A. LOT.

Hitting, punching, stick throwing (causing a head wound), it's all been here.  So we've had many discipline moments and lessons about love at home, and so on.

Tonight, just moments after Matt had given a really good scriptural thought about the Savior's love and how we should love one another, we had another incident while brushing teeth before bed.  So I said, "that's it, I'm going to Hawaii."  (Notice there's no exclamation point at the end ... my tone of voice wasn't exasperated, just flippant.)

Sophie then asks, "why are you going to Hawaii?"  To which I answered, "I need a break."

She pondered this for a second and said, "When you get back can you lay down with me?"

Friday, May 18, 2012

There is beauty all around


Sophie and Joshua are my exercise buddies.  Our friends passed along a jogger stroller to us several weeks ago and I've loved the freedom of exercising outside whenever I want to, rather than having to wait for Matt to get home, or do it before he leaves in the morning.

The other day after visiting a friend's blog I was getting a little melancholy about our children not having a neighborhood of church friends to play with (documenting purposes ... closest are 12 minutes away, can't really complain since it's really not that far but I do sometimes anyway;)).  So I decided to shake the blues by going for a walk.  Quickly my thoughts turned to the blessings we have living here.

1 - Beauty.  It's so beautiful here.  Green, green, green.  We've had a drought for the last 18+ months, but for the last few weeks it's been perfect ... rain about every two or three days.


2 - Wildlife.  We came upon this little guy (or gal) while on a bike ride.  I thought turtles moved slow ... not so, or at least not this one.  He was bookin' it.  When we circled around to get a closer look he was already 20 feet down the gutter.
 

3 - Birdwatching. I guess that could go with wildlife, but we commonly see flashes of red and blue flying outside our windows.  Seeing cardinals and bluejays in real life is awesome.  Our neighbors think it's so funny that we're so awestruck by them.  I guess it's all about what you're used to.


4 - Missionaries - we love having the missionaries over a couple times a month, and Matt goes out with them another couple times a month.  It's pretty cool that when Friday night rolls around our kids automatically ask if we're having brownies for dessert because the missionaries are coming.  It's an opportunity not as often experienced where there is a higher concentration of church members.


The other thing that's great is that it makes it extra special when we see our extended family.  We just booked our plane tickets for a visit to the West this summer.  Our kids are beyond excited.  It's amazing to think it's almost been two years since we last saw many of them.