Saturday, February 25, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

The boys on a Holiday morning

The boys - ahem, Paleontologists - are busy this morning excavating our garden in search of dinosaur fossils.  Yes, Miles is wearing safety goggles - he is a cautious paleontologist.  Their kind secretary brought them out some hot chocolate - complete with marshmallows.  Go, boys, go!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunday church drawing

by Jonas:
I adore his labeling.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A LOVEly Valentine's Day

So I think everyone had a good day.  Here is a picture I took in the morning - while their valentine shirts were still clean (it didn't last long. . .):

Yes, this was the best I got!  I'm not sure what Lucy's problem was, but it might have been something about me taking her BooBoo away.  That girl.  But I love the picture because I love these kids.

When we got back to taking the boys to school, the girls had some fun.  I painted Lucy's fingernails for the first time - holy hard.  The polish was practically off before I got to blow it dry.  But she still loved it and would look at her hand and say, "Wow."  Totally worth it.  She had to go to bed before her special treat from me (a chocolate sucker), but she did get to enjoy some pop-rock candy in the morning.  It was awesome watching her eat it.  :)  Love her.

Emmy and her lovely nails (we did her toes, too).  She was so happy about the polish.  We went to Mostly Music today and had a lot of fun there.  We also delivered her valentines to some of her friends (mainly walking around the neighborhood) and that was really fun and special for her, I think.  Of course the yummy treats of the day made it extra sweet for her as well.  Love her.

Jonas had a really good valentines party at school - filled with cupcakes, cookies, valentines, oh my.  When he got home we all looked and read his valentines.  So cute.  Of course he thought the little messages on each valentine were totally specific to him ("See, she does think we bee-long together!"  or "Why did she say that to me?  She doesn't like me."  It was too adorable.)  Love him.

Of course Miles had a wonderful day.  He loves this type of stuff - really, what kid doesn't?!  He had a fun valentines party, too - filled with treats, games, and valentines.  The above Valentine was one of our favorites.  :)  "Happy Valentine's Day, Miles.  Your true lover, (I blotted out her name just b/c)."  How awesomely funny and sweet is that!?  Love him.

I got the kids and Ben some extra-special treats from Gertrude Hawks - mine and Ben's favorite chocolate store we found while living in New York.  The kids kept saying "yum!" as they ate their "Valentines kabob" tonite.  It was perfect.  Ben sliced up some of his chocolate-covered-apple-rolled-in-nuts and shared some with me.  Yum.

So a good day.

P.S.  Love Ben, too.  A lot.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What happens when their Boos get washed

(remember:  the girls' boos are like unto linus' blankie.)

Yes, it's kind of sad.  But it also makes me laugh.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


scene:  The family was in the family room getting ready to read some bed-time stories.  Miles wanted to read a couple of nursery rhymes - well, instead of reading it, he asked, "What are little girls made of?"

Emmy replied:  "Salt!"

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Silverton 2012

I wish I could say it was the best trip ever.  But I can't.  But I really wanted to - I wanted it to be a totally fun family trip.  While it was still good, with moments of great bliss, it fell short of being "great."  Oh well, there is always next year.  At least I think so. . .

I am always good at "lowering my expectations" when trips involve kids - so I don't get super-deflated when it's less than ideal.  So I'm not sure why I had such high expectations this time.  Perhaps b/c I just really needed (wanted??) a good, relaxing, and fun break.  But I think my family is still quite young - my kids, not necessarily Ben and me - and so that does present challenges.  

Anywho, it was a good trip.  A trip worth taking, yes.  The objective of the trip was met - letting the kids go skiing.  So I can't complain too much.  Just a little perhaps.

We drove up Friday morning in not-horrible conditions.  It had snowed overnight, but the roads weren't completely snow-packed.  Yes, I closed my eyes for the 5-mile stretch of mountain-pass craziness.  But Ben is a rock-star of a driver.  We got to the ski area and Emmy was the first one to ski with Ben.  Then Miles.  Then Jonas.  We (minus Ben and Miles - now skiing) checked in to our "house" a little after noon and that was good to just chill, unpack, let Lucy nap, etc.  Jonas was the last - per his request.  He did well, but his last run he looked miserable.  He wasn't feeling so hot.  We went back to our place and Jonas took about an hour nap.  I woke him up and tried to get him to eat something, but he wouldn't and fell back asleep.  He finally woke up when we started the movie, ate 3 bowls of cereal, and felt somewhat better.

Saturday morning.  Jonas was doing a little better - but not really good.  But he was still determined to ski that day.  Ben had wanted to ice skate on the rink all day on Friday - he and I were going to go after the kids had skied, but it was being "resurfaced" at exactly the same time.  Bummer.  So Saturday morning he took the 3 oldest kids to the rink.  Per Ben, they lasted less than 10 minutes.  Ben was so sad and frustrated.  Yes, the car did say it was -4 degrees, but still. . . Another bummer.  So we just hung out at the house until a little before 11 (the ski area doesn't open until then and that was our check-out time).

The order of Saturday went Jonas, Emmy, and then Miles.  We rented a sled and the kids enjoyed that for a bit.  Miles wore my gators and that made all the difference for him and playing in the snow.  Jonas felt okay while skiing and then got progressively worse as the day went on.  We finished up the day - and Ben and I still didn't get our date on ice.  There was a big group playing hockey.  Besides the fact that Jonas looked and felt like crud and so we had best be on our way anways.

In terms of skiing, I think the kids did really great.  The boys finally got the snow-plow and so they could ski on their own.  The whole slope.  So that was really fun.  Jonas really got on with the snow-plow on Friday, Miles not until Saturday.  But Ben gave Miles the "Most Improved" award so that was good for him!  Miles surprised me by wanting to do the large jumps and also by wanting to go down a steeper run.  He did get a little out of control on the steep run and crashed into another little girl.  But, besides the drama (which apparently this little girl thrives on. . .), all was well.  Miles even tried the steep run again - this time without incident.  Awesome.  Jonas just did great.  I hope we can take him again when he feels better, though.  Emmy was pretty much harnessed-up the entire time, but still did well.

Here are some pictures to make my post even longer:

Hanging Out:
 Eating breakfast.  I'm even in the picture.  :)

 Funny picture, but it does show the lodge where would hang out, warm up, eat, color, etc.

 Jonas, Emmy, and I played some pick-up sticks at the place.  Jonas is building a contraption here, I think.

Friday nite movie-time.  Jonas was quarantined in the back - he'd just awoken.  We did let him join the other kids on the couch. . . :)

The only one I got of just Ben.  He enjoyed that he didn't always have to follow right behind the boys.  So he got to do the jumps himself at times.  Wahoo.

 He enjoyed the sledding spot!  He was pretty much the only kid that figured out how to use the steering and brakes.

So cool!  Skiing down the mountain!  I was very proud of him.

 Another cool kid cruising down the slopes.

 He had fun - but couldn't steer.  And wasn't feeling great anyways.

 The snow-mound is always fun to play on!

See, yep.  Pretty much feeling miserable.  Poor kid.

 Wheee - she loved sliding down the mound of snow!

 I love this picture - it shows Lucy giving Ben a sweet head-hug.  She gave lots and lots of hugs to Ben that trip.  Maybe she missed him or something.  It was so adorable.

 Cute Emmy with the lodge behind her.

 Skiing at the end harness-free.

 Yep, no steering control.  :)

Plain tuckered out!

 There she goes!

 She couldn't do much in the snow - but she certainly could eat the snow that stuck on her mittens!

 Yay, she loved snow-eating!

And my favorite picture of her!  So cute!  She is laughing at Emmy sliding down the snow.  What a doll.

Oh this post almost wore me out as much as the trip.  Though not really at all.  Good times for sure.  Great times to come, right!?

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Da Boyz

Now it's on to the boys' updates.  Miles is a pretty great student - at least I think so.  Thus, I - at times - think boarding school would be so great for him.  His wonderful qualities do him well at school-like settings.  His not-so-wonderful-and-more-like-horrible qualities do him poorly at home.  Ben and I are often "beside ourselves" with that boy b/c we don't know what to do with him that we haven't already done, blah, blah.  His "problems" are hard to describe really.  But it pretty much boils down to:  1. him being a supreme pesterer  and 2.  him not having any clue on when enough is enough.  A game can go from fun to cries in a matter of seconds when Miles comes around.

But, with all that said and done, Miles truly is a wonderful kid.  I'm amazed at how he can be so thoughtless (not mean-spirited thoughtlessness, just genuine thoughtlessness) one minute and so sweetly thoughtful the next. He is a very tender boy.  He is very helpful.  He is a great cleaner - when made to clean.  He's really in to his legos.  He creates fun games to play - until. . . it becomes not fun anymore.  He 2 favorite things, as he declared in his classroom on Monday, are playing and cooking.  He decided he wanted to do gymnastics.  I really wanted him to take art classes (the kid is very artistic and creative), but gave him the option and he choose gymnastics.  Even after his trial class, he still wants it over art.  Alrighty, we'll see how it goes. . .

He's an amazing reader.  He pretty much reads a book a night.  A full-sized kid book - like 75-100 pages.  He especially likes the Magic Tree House books - but reads pretty much anything.  He recently read some Roscoe Riley books and some Ready Freddy books, too.  When he finishes them at night he comes down and tries to tell Ben and me everything that happened in the book.  Sometimes we let him.  Other times, we just have to cut him off.

(It's now a few hours later that I am writing this.  I could end Miles' update on a really, really sour note - seeing as that's how he decided to end my evening.  But I'm biting my tongue.  Really hard.)

So on to Jonas.  The poor kid who gets the brunt of Miles' "crud" as I'll nicely call it.  I hope as Jonas gets older he'll just rise above it, rather than whine about it.  But I can't say I blame the kid.  He's been dealing with it since just a baby:

and this:

Oh brother.  Oh bother.  But he'll be all the better for it, right?

He, too, is a really great student.  But I don't threaten boarding school on him.  For a kindergartner I think he's a really great reader.  He's also a great writer - with pretty good spelling and penmanship.  He has a best-buddy at school - Jake.  He's a somewhat close neighbor and so we know him and his family.  Jonas tells me all about Jake's rifles and BB guns and how he's going to go shooting rabbits with Jake and his dad this summer.  And on and on.  We had Jake over for about 4 hours last Friday and Jonas could not have been happier.  He's also in to his legos lately.  He loves to build his boat, take it down, then build it again.  Finally today he started creating flying objects with his lego pieces and they were really cool.  He always talks of making an airplane crash for some reason.  But then one day, when he thought he was going to have to fly on an airplane, he exclaimed, "No, I don't want it to crash!"  Funny boy.

He really likes little babies - especially Lucy.  He's totally cute with little ones.  He loves to make banana bread and - lucky him - we got to make it today.  I found a clearance lunch box the other day at Target - it was Mario.  Jonas has played Mario like twice in his life, yet loves Mario.  He saw the lunch box and has begun using it for his snack-box (he's only 1/2 day, so lunch for him).  He's very protective of his box and doesn't want Lucy to even touch it.

For the very most part, he's a lovely boy to have around.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Only Girls Allowed

So I don't know what has been up the last couple of weeks - but life is crazy busy.  I don't know with what.  Truly I don't.  But just trying to maintain and keep-up on the every-day type of things can just be crazy I guess.  I haven't posted much in a while, so I thought I would just do an update.  Today I'll just do the girls.  I tend to get wordy and long with my updates, so it's probably best I split it up.

Lucy is just about 18 months old.  Nursery-age in Mormondom!  Wahoo.  I simply adore having her around me at church, but of lately she has become quite a handful and/or distraction.  Here's hoping she goes right in  to nursery without any problems (hahahaha).  She talks a lot.  A lot of gibberish.  And a lot of sensible words - such as skate (as in, "Dad, take me on the ice rink!"), buckle (as in, "Someone unbuckle me so I can get out of the car!"), monkey (as in, "I wish Cotton was a monkey."  $1 to anyone who knows where that comes from without goggling it. . .), book (as in, "No way can you put me down without reading me a book even if you are pressed for time, Mom."), snack, (as in, "I'll make a huge mess of whatever you give me."), and so on.  She pretty much wants to do whatever her siblings are doing - especially Emmy.  She truly loves and adores her.  She loves, loves, loves babies.  "BABY!" was all I heard from her last week when I took 3/4 of the kids to Target.  "Baby, baby, baby. . ."  And on and on and on.  We went down the baby aisles and then it was all she could talk about.  Our friends at church had a little baby doll that they let Lucy play with during sacrament meeting.  She refused to give it back nicely so it's currently at our home.  She, like her big sister, likes to undress it - or have me undress/dress it multiple times in one second.  I don't get it - Mom, did I feel the need to nakify (how's that for a word) all my dolls?  She likes to wear shoes.  She likes it when Emmy puts chapstick on her.  She's eaten my deodorant a few times (why more-than-once is beyond me. . .).  When I tell her to be nice, she says, "Niiiiie" and then hugs me or pats my face.  And, like her big-sister once again, she has a "Boo" (though we usually call hers a "BooBoo") that she sleeps with and carries with her as much as possible:

Now on to big-sister Emmy.  Or little-sister.  Whatever.  She's a sweet little beauty.  She's been sick this week, though.  Poor gal.  So I originally diagnosed her with a UTI.  Classic symptoms showed up at church during sacrament meeting (classic timing, too, I guess. . .).  She started c/o her bum hurting - which is pretty close to her perineal area, so I figured I knew what she meant.  She had to pee lots.  She claimed when she went that it stung her, etc.  So Ben took her to the doc's on Monday morning and he doubted she had a UTI, but thought something more along the lines of basically a skin-irritation rash.  Okay.  Her signs of a UTI started disappearing, but then came other signs.  Like fever (over 102 - I couldn't wait for it to finish.  Things to do you super-slow thermometer!), low-to-none appetite, tired, etc.  So then we thought she had something else (strep again?!) and that we were just fooled by the original UTI symptoms.  Today, she woke up, feeling pretty spry.  Wahoo.  No high fever.  Slight appetite.  Definite increase of energy (riding a tricycle on the ice rink. . .).  Yay, I thought.  Then the doc's nurse calls:  she has a UTI.  Are you kidding me!?  I actually laughed when she told me.  So anyways, I guess they want her back on antibiotics.  Sheesh.

Anyways, what a ridiculously long paragraph about my girl's UTI.  She probably won't be thrilled about this when she's a teen.  Poor babe.  Other stuff about Emmy.  She got her haircut on Monday - pretty much her first one.  (She had a "trim" once just b/c her brothers were getting haircuts. . .).  It's really cute.  It's not a big change - just basically cutting off her thin, whispy ends.

She now loves doing school with me and wants to do it everyday.  She has made huge improvements.  HUGE (sigh of relief inserted here).  She knows all her letters, sounds, and can write most of them well.  When we first started she knew none of this - especially writing.  Now, without me "teaching" her or having her practice writing the letters (that will come later. . .), she just does it on her own.  It's pretty much beyond awesome.  Which brings me to a slightly related topic.  We will probably not start her in school next year.  She'll turn 5 the end of August and so she does make the deadline, but we think we'll wait.  Not because she's not "ready."  But we (Ben and me) think it could really benefit her and her personality to be the oldest in her class, as opposed to the youngest.  That's what we think now.  We'll see where we stand in a few more months.

She'll be starting gymnastics class next week.  I gave her the option:  ballet or gymnastics.  She choose gymnastics and so we'll see how it goes.  We went to a "trial" class to make sure it's what she wanted.  She loved it.  But I truly think I loved watching her more.  She is such a little beauty and, oh, those pointed-toes that just come natural to her!  So I'm excited for her to be doing this weekly (thank-you tax refund. . .).

She loves love Lucy, but does get slightly "annoyed" with her as well.  Ever so slightly, though.  She's good to her.  She loves her dad.  And, yes, she still loves her "boo":