Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A LOT more Mish-Mash

Here are some more random pictures of what our family has been up to lately:

We started a little 1'x6' garden for the kids using the square-foot gardening method. They each get 2 one-foot sections. Here is Jonas huffing and puffing as he carries over the watering can to water.

Cute little Emmy - I help her decide what to wear in the morning. An hour later she's gone through oodles of other "outfits." This was a pretty great one. She loves her "klip-klop" shoes (I bought them as "Sunday shoes." She wants to wear them all. the. time. They are already pretty scuffed.)

Lucy seemed entertained enough as we worked in the garden. She tasted all sorts of grass and dirt.

Jonas planting his peas, I think.

This gal can't be of my blood! What, holding a chicken! What?! She even chases it and grabs it since they run away and are now big and fast. But look how big Princess Nora is! Yikes. Despite my dislike and/or fear of birds, I'm pretty nice to our chickens. I feed them a gourmet salad most days - and a couple times a day, sometimes, too. Gourmet salad for chickens is what, you ask? Dandelion greens - oh they love them so! Also, as I was out back this afternoon I noticed that the chickens were excessively chirpy. It didn't sound right; I knew something was wrong. Yep, turned out their water container was completely dry. I was proud of myself for understanding "bird talk." (In fact I have told Miles, waaaaay before today's incident, that I can tell when his bird is chirping b/c he needs fresh water and food. Just call me Mrs. Doolittle please.) (Wanna know something funny, though? I was pretty petrified of putting the water container back in their coop with them all inside. I did not want them stampeding towards me to get to their water! So I kept banging and banging on the coop until they all went outside to their chicken run. Then I quickly opened the latched, plopped the water down, and closed the latch up again!)

Emmy - the princess-pirate. At least that is what she looks likes to me. This is her "smile like a princess" pose. Why does she think princesses are so sad looking?

Wow, what a great get-up! I have an adorable video of Jonas (down below) but it is sideways! So mad! But I posted it so you can still hear Jonas' adorable giggles. I thought the camera was on "picture mode" and so I was going to do a vertical shot. Turns out I still had it on "video mode" and you can't take vertical videos. Lame.

This is Jonas' new friend/toy: Buzzy-bee. How nice of Jonas to feed him some Cheerios, huh?

The Jonas Brother.

And this is pretty long and monotonous. But it's my Miles. So I love it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mish-mash (including a graphic Quote of the Week)

This is Miles yesterday afternoon (sidenote: one of our "elderly" friends in the area got the kids some PJs. the kids all adore them and put them on as soon as we got home from church!). Miles made some cookies - all. by. himself. He asked me yesterday morning if I wanted some "quiet time to take a nap." Uh, yeah! He then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to do a surprise. Make something. On his own. We reviewed some rules: like follow the recipe exactly (we had caught a glimpse of the recipe, found in the Friend, while he was perusing it during Sacrament meeting). Miles had told me he only had to microwave it, but Ben saw that there was no heating/cooking involved. So we tried to slyly tell him that if it said not to cook it, don't cook, or if to cook it on the stove, cook it on the stove, etc. After several *tryng* minutes, I felt that he was actually going to follow the recipe. Towards the end he came to me (I was in the office talking to my sis) explaining that the cookies were just too sticky and he just haaaaaad to cook them. I told him that that probably wouldn't make things better. Then he came back all delighted b/c he realized that if you put them in the fridge, they hardened up! He was very excited and proud of his cookies. The whole family enjoyed them as well.

Jonas went around one morning taking pictures of Emmy. This one is pretty great.

And for the *graphic* quote of the week. It's a little embarrassing - on mine and Ben's part. Mainly because we hadn't told our boys the correct anatomical name of their boy parts (ha, there I go again, skirting the use of its real name. But I don't like the word.) We've just called it a "pee-pee" for as long as I can remember. But, suddenly, one evening during bath-time I told Ben that I thought we should tell the kids its real name. He readily agreed. So after telling them it was called a "penis," Jonas goes and pats his backside and, in all seriousness, exclaims,

"And this is my pooh-nis."

Pee-nis. Pooh-nis. Classic. Teehee.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lucy at 9 months +

Lucy was 9 months on Monday (these pictures were taken on Tuesday). She remains pretty much awesome. She finally sleeps through the night. I put her down sometime between 7-7:30 and she doesn't wake up to feed until 4-5am ish. Lovely. She'll then go back down until 6:30-7, when the whole upstairs starts rumbling with siblings.

She's also become mobile. Eeeeek. It's great, though, and not-so-great, too. Now I have to scour a much larger area for small objects, etc. She's not crawling, but scooting around everywhere. Each day she improves in her abilities. She thinks it's great - the whole being mobile thing. It's wonderful.

She loves books. She adores looking at baby books - i.e., books with baby pictures in it. She gets so happy when I get one down from the bookshelf. She also loves, loves, loves turning book pages. Loves it. It's definitely one of her favorite pastimes. She loves flipping through the hymnal at church too. If she gets the chance, she also loves to eat the pages up.

Speaking of eating. . . she's eating cheese, bread, cracker crumbs, cheerios, and yogurt. Apparently, as I discovered yesterday, she strongly dislikes avocado. She liked it at one point, but man she did not like it yesterday. In fact, that is something that I should for sure get on video. If I remember, you just might see her reaction to avocados.

Lucy is pretty much the pride and joy of our family - we all just adore her to pieces.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phyllis Whicker, Mom, Grandma, Jelly-Bean Grandma

Phyllis Works Whicker 1918 ~ 2011 Phyllis Works Whicker, 93, passed away at home on May 12, 2011, in Murray, Utah.

Phyllis was born February 27, 1918, in Salt Lake City to James Earnest and Hazel (Huff) Works. She spent her early years in Delta, Richfield, Sugarhouse, Holladay, and Oasis, Utah. She graduated from Hinckley High School in Hinckley, Utah. She attended Utah State University and ultimately graduated from the Woodberry Business College in Los Angeles, California.

She married Henry Ford Whicker on October 15, 1938, in Murray, Utah, and, after Ford's death in 1984, was later sealed to him in the South Jordan Temple. Phyllis worked for the First National Bank of Murray for many years. That bank eventually became Walker Bank & Trust, then First Interstate, and finally Wells Fargo. She retired in 1980. Phyllis truly enjoyed serving in various women's organizations: She served as president of the Murray Junior Women's Club and the Salt Lake County Firemen's Auxiliary. She was also a captain of the Hillcrest Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Although Phyllis survived her husband by 27 years and endured the challenges of macular degeneration, she was the ultimate example to all who knew her, never complaining and always eager to live an active life.

She is survived by two daughters, Karen (George) Ellis of Los Angeles, California, and Dixie (Jim) Galbraith of Midway, Utah. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Derek Galbraith, Erin (Chuck) Huband, and Emily (Ben) Maxwell, as well as five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by an infant son, Raymond Ford Whicker, and a grandson, Brian Ford Galbraith. Funeral services will be at the Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary (4760 South State Street in Murray) on Monday, May 16th at 11:00 a.m. There will be a viewing at the mortuary on Sunday, May 15th from 5:00-7:00 p.m., and preceding the funeral from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy, Utah, immediately following the funeral.

As you can see, my beautiful Grandma passed away last week. It was rather sudden and completely surprising - but, being that my Grandma was 93, it was not completely unexpected. She died in her home. The home she had been able to live at for the last 61 years. It is a wonderful, wonderful home - built by her father and her husband, Grandpa Ford. What a blessing it was for her to live in her home and, yes, to die in it. My grandmother was legally blind and could only see peripherally (and that was probably pretty blurry as well). But she knew every nook and cranny of her home and went about living there with no difficulties. It would have been tragic for her to end up living the last few days, weeks, or months (or even years) in a nursing home or other facility - she would not have been able to do a single thing on her own since she wouldn't have been able to see or know what to expect. So I think we all found great comfort that she lived the past 6 + decades of her life in her sweet home.

My Grandma was such a beautiful lady - inside and out. She always looked elegant. Even when pulling weeds, or picking tomatoes in her garden, she was dressed nice, hair done, and make-up on. I had never, not once, heard a single negative comment from her - or even a complaint. She was always optimistic and up-beat. She didn't let blindness get in the way of her living life. She continued to go to movies, plays, out to dinner, etc. She was always great to be around due to her positive attitude.

My kids know her as "Jelly-bean Grandma." Grandma had a little jelly-bean machine (exactly like those small gumball machines) and whenever we'd visit, the kids would get a couple of turns on the machine for jelly-beans. When she'd visit us with my parents, she'd bring a baggie for each of the kids. Even when my parents came without her, a baggie was prepared for each of the kids. Such a thoughtful little treat that my kids adored.

So we'll all miss her. And will forever love her. . .

Here are a few recent pictures. Some I've posted already, but I enjoy them.

Grandma Whicker's Burial

The pall-bearers. I don't really know the first two men (neighbors, I think), but there is my father, my brother, Derek, and George (married to my Aunt Karen).

I wanted the kids to have a little part and I think one of them earlier had mentioned sending off balloons to Grandma (we have an "older" friend here in town that takes us with her to send off balloons to her mother on important dates such as Mothers' Day, her mothers' birthday, etc.). So we got a balloon in honor of each great-grandchild (5) and had the kids send them up to her.

Up, up, and away to grandma. . .

They did so great the entire weekend. They were so good at the viewing - they were so interested in seeing Grandma, had many questions - many, many questions. It was awesome. At the funeral they did great too and remained mostly quiet for all of it. Miles and Jonas even listened.

She was perfectly delightful.

There we were. Karen (my aunt) and George were there, too. But out of respect to my lovely mother (knowing she would not be pleased with herself in the picture!), I won't show the one picture I got of them. But it was great to see them again - they are wonderful people. At the luncheon afterwards someone came up to my aunt and told her how much she looked like Phyllis. My aunt replied, "Thank you. I take that as a compliment." So true - my Grandma was such a beautiful lady and Karen does look so much like her!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jonas "graduates"

We had a little preschool group this year - 4 of them. They were a sweet little bunch. They met once a week for 1 1/2 hours - we'd rotate whose house it was at. You could really tell a difference in the kids from the beginning of the year to now - a good difference. :) They are ready to be kindergarteners. We celebrated their last day with a "graduation." So fun and cute.

Ammon, Kolter, Faythe, and Jonas. So adorable.

Of course Emmy came. She even got to be a part of it.

{Sort-of} Saying the Pledge of Allegiance. (How did I miss until now that they all have the wrong hand over their heart???)

Jonas accepting his diploma.

The best part - treats!

Jonas got a little sheet about him, here's what it said:

I like . . . to ride bikes, build forts, and to write letters.
My favorite letter is . . . P
My favorite number is . . . 10 hundred
My favorite color is . . .blue
My favorite holiday is . . . Christmas
My favorite field trip was . . . going to the Pumpkin Patch
My favorite subject or activity was . . . learning about weather.

Such a cutie. But bring on Kindergarten!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

My lovely cards, lilacs, and rhubarb pie.

So Mother's Day was really a lovely little day. I got delicious smelling lilacs from our yard. Sweet and thoughtful cards that Ben had the children do. Plus more random notes from the kids hidden throughout the house. Plus artwork from Miles from school, a potted plant from each boy, etc., etc. It was fun. Ben sent me out the day before and I got 3 new shirts. Plus we had our first rhubarb pie of the season. A great day.

Here are the insides to the cards Ben had the kids do:

What do you like about Mom?
M: I like her because she's my mom. I don't know.
J: Um, that's she a nice mom.
E: She helps me clean my room.

What do you like to do with Mom?
M: I don't know. Learn how to make crafts.
J: Play with her. . . Minotaurs.
E: Play with her. . .Play princess game.

What's your favorite thing about Mom?
M: How she looks. . . I think. I don't really know.
J: That she always gives me treats when I tell her I want one. (I don't)
E: Playing with Lucy with her.

What do you want to do for Mom?
M: Give her stuff. Like stuff I've made.
J: Make her happy.
E: Make her a note that will say, "Happy, happy, happy Church day!"

Why do you love your Mom?
M: I love her because she's in my family.
J: Because she looks nice. Because she looks beautiful.
E: Because she is so sweet.

Then I got a few other notes from Miles that he did at school:
"Dery Mom,
I'm glad that we have a small number of kids. I love are family because we have fun. I will even help you make dinr. I like to here you tall me haw to make a kraft."

I'll put the correct spelling of some words you might difficulty figuring out in brackets.

"My mom's rele [real] name is Emily Kiana Galbrath. Then it was chanjd whin my mom & dad got mered [married] - to Maxwell. She has bourawn hair & blue eyes. She like to rede [read], wer flip flops all the time, and her mom's haws [house]. She wrks. At my bresday [birthday] she got me a pet tatpl [tadpole]. I love my Mom."

And I love my children that call me Mom. All 4 of them. All of the time.

P.S. Ben and I are lucky to have 2 wonderful mothers in our lives. We love and admire them greatly. We love how wonderful they are as supportive mothers in our lives now, and the great grandmas they are to our kids. We are blessed.

Fishing Derby Day #5

Our 5th year at the local fishing derby day. A few fish were caught, rods were given to us, and free hot dogs for lunch - plus, warm (too warm almost!) and beautiful weather. It was a good day:
Lucy was such a great sport - she just mainly chilled and pulled/ate the grass. What a great fishing buddy.

Oh I love Miles' true smile shining through in this picture.

As Ben said, "Emmy in the one-minute of her fishing." Love it, though.

Miles caught 2 fish. He wanted them both to be released back in the water. Which is fine. I'm frankly surprised that he hadn't asked us to do that earlier. He was quite worried about the fish not being able to breathe. I think they both survived.

Sweet little Jonas. He wanted to catch one so badly. It pained my mama-heart. So towards the end I finally had got one and it was a big one - seriously! I had Jonas come over to start reeeling in "his" fish. Ben came to help and was surprised that it was a big fish. Too bad that within 2 feet of coming to shore, that darn fish got away. I was so mad. But at least Jonas could claim that he caught the biggest one. :)

When Lucy was bored pulling and eating grass, big sister Emmy helped and fed her some Cheerios. What sweet sisters they are. Love my girls. Love my boys.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Time for . . . Updates

I feel like I haven't written much about my "other" children, i.e., Miles, Jonas, and Emmy. Lucy gets updates monthly, but my others have been left out for a while. So here I go.

Miles. He is getting a few weeks away from finishing up the 1st grade. I think he's had an excellent year. I judge that mostly by the fact that he loves school. Loves it. To me, that is one of the best things to gain. We just did a read-a-thon fundraiser for 4 days. I picked out 20 books for him to read from the library and he did pretty great. It was fun having him read that much.
Miles is scared, or "doesn't like", a lot of things. Mainly germs, diseases, etc. He thinks that there are diseases or germs just about everywhere (and, okay, he's probably close to right). But he's dealing with his fears and other irrational thoughts okay. They are not consuming him and so I hope this is just a phase. We'll see.
He got a tadpole habitat for his birthday - almost 2 months ago. We sent in the coupon for the tadpole and have been waiting and waiting for warmer weather for it to be sent. Well it arrived today. And oh the excitement. Only to release it into its habitat and see a dead tadpole. Totally lame and sad. Miles handled it very well, considering. Mr. Dead Tadpole is now buried in our backyard. I immediately called the company and they are mailing out another one ASAP - let's hope it has better luck.
Miles likes to leave little treats under our pillows for us to discover as we go to bed. Things like chocolate, marshmellows, gum, notes, etc. It's pretty adorable. Unfortunately we usually have just brushed our teeth. . .

Jonas. He's great. With the exception of when he whines, he is so darn good! We ask him to do his chore, and he runs right up to do it. No complaints. He can be such a good breath of fresh air. Pleasant, silly, and fun to be around. He's a definite goof, too, and can be so entertaining. He hardly ruffles anyone's feathers (except when he whines). He has loved being outdoors as often as the weather allows. Swinging, playing in the tent, creating games with Emmy, etc.
We have a little index card with each kids' name on one. Once they get 10 stickers (for doing good acts) they can go to the "prize box" and choose something. Jonas was the first to get his first 10 and now is cruising right along with his next 10. I think he not only is trying to be good, he really and truly wants to be good.
He got his kindergarten shots last week. Due to the time I took my 3 kids and had to chase down my 2 boys through corridors, under chairs, etc., I had vowed I would never take them again. So Ben was the lucky one. Jonas was pretty furious when I told him he had to get them. And I guess he did throw a pretty sweet fit at the office for Ben - but, fortunately, no running away. And poor little guy got 4 (!) shots. He didn't feel terribly well that night nor the next day. He told us he's not getting his shots when he's 11 (that when the nurse told him he'd have to get them again). So now he's all ready for school! Eeeek.
When we were doing our little read-a-thon with Miles, Jonas went and got some "Bob books" (beginner books) for him to read. It was awesome. He's a good little reader.

Emmy. Definitely my sugar and spice. Wowzers. We still do our school each week - it's not as organized as with the boys, but it's what I can do right now. We have workbooks, memory-shape games, counting exercises, etc., so it works. She used to not be very in to it at all, and truth be told, couldn't even count to 10 (gasp! I admitting my child is not a super-genius. yet. . . .ha.). Couldn't or wouldn't, I don't know but I could guess. She just doesn't care about learning quite like my boys (weird, huh?). But lately she has been much better and has been a joy to do school with. I hope it continues.
She went to a birthday party this week . . . all alone. No parent and no sibling. We've never left her anywhere all on her own, so it was quite the deal. She couldn't stop talking about it the days leading up to it. It was so fun and makes me want to invite friends over for her birthday in August. :) She had a fabulous, fabulous time! It was just great for her to do something all on her own. A rare occasion in our household of 4 little ones. . .
She is adamant about being a princess when she grows up. Miles and her were in an argument about it just this morning. Miles trying to convince Emmy she couldn't be a princess due to his reasoning that older people are Queens, not princesses. I tried to sort and soothe the whole mess out.
I don't put her to nap everyday. And on the days I do put her to nap, sometimes she doesn't. Which is okay since she usually just stays upstairs and does whatever quietly. But she still needs naps. We will sometimes find her, before dinnertime, fast asleep in a cozy nook on her bedroom floor.
She is full of wonderful expressions and wonderful dialogues. True delights. She is full of wonderful scowls (that she can maintain for almost an hour) and wonderful screams. Sugar and spice indeed.

And that's it for now. (Lucy will get her own special Update later this month, marking her 9-months.)