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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why Are We Still Living in Montrose. . . ?

That was the great question posed by moi as Ben and I were enjoying our 22-mile bike ride in Littleton this past weekend.  :)  It was such a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ride and I loved every minute of it.  Ben and I even stopped at downtown Littleton and went in a couple antique shops and then ate lunch (we went "all out" and even ordered an appetizer - fried pickle chips.  Loved.).

We decided to go to Littleton for several reasons:  go to the temple (check!), go out on an awesome 10th anniversary celebratory date (check!  check!), and, of course, visit Jim and Diana (check!  check!  check!).  We were a tiny bit nervous going out as 1.  Lucy had never been put to nap/bed by anyone other than myself or Ben and 2.  Lucy had never been away from both Ben and me for more than an hour or two, while awake.  But she did super fantastic because she has super fantastic grandparents.  Seriously.  

After Ben and I got back from our ride and lunch we hung out for about an hour and then headed out to the Butterfly Pavilion with our kiddos.  It was a really cool place - except for the actual butterfly place, aiyiyi it was soooo hot and humid in there!  :)

We had to head back today as Ben has work tomorrow (He does have every other Monday off - usually - and so we usually try and do our trips on a long 3-day weekend.  But it just didn't work out for any other weekend and so we just had a quick trip.).  It was short, but a really great and practically perfect weekend in Littleton.  If poor Emmy wasn't sick with fevers and such, perhaps it would have been perfect. . .

Ironically, I have tons of pictures but not-a-one of our date.  Bummer, but oh well. . .

 First things first with Lucy.  As soon as we got there she was already busy with drawing and writing.  She likes to say, "E, I, O."  It's awesome.

 At the Butterfly place.  This section was the "Creepy (Creeping?) Crawling things," or something like that.  Here is Miles holding "Rosie, the nice tarantula."  So gross.

 Cute, yet pig-nosed, Emmy looking at gross things.

 Miles' luck.  As soon as we enter the actual butterfly exhibit, one lands on him.  (Though a worker came by and asked him to gently nudge the butterfly off.  I guess they taste with their feet and our oils on our skin can clog up their tasters.)  Notice Emmy's frustrated face at not having any land on her.

 Lucy had to sit upon every bench we walked past. . .

 Here is Miles, the "brave boy," being the only volunteer to answer the question of "What does endangered mean?"
 Three cuties.  I love each of their expressions!

 Some cool black-and-white butterflies.  There are anywhere between 1,200-1,500 butterflies in there.  They were so pretty!

 This was the "marine life" exhibit.  Ocean life?  Sea life?  Jonas was touching . . . something.

 Miles looking up at the gigantic starfish.

 We took a walk around the nature trails.  What a cute dad with his adorable girls.  (P.S.  Jonas was totally scared of the prairie dogs we saw there!  He would literally run to me - help!  I had to remind him of his talk with Miles on the car-ride up - of him shooting a bear someday.  Hmmmm. . . might need to get a little braver Jonas. . . :)

 Jonas did braven up (really?  braven is not a word??) and held Rosie as well - with 10 minutes left until closing.  Awesome.

One of the highlights for the boys was catching squirrels in the backyard.  Miles had caught one earlier in the day (it was a catch'n release thing) and Jonas was soooo hoping to have caught one while we were away at the butterfly pavilion.  And so luckily he did!  He was ecstatic!
 Look at that excited boy!  It was so cute and fun to see them have that experience.

 Releasing the squirrel. . .

 The car ride home.  We had picked up some fun candy for the kids on our date - there is this really adorable little candy shop on Main St. in Littleton.  We decided on these gummy snakes.  So cute.  Sick Emmy, who really didn't eat much this whole trip, gobbled it all up - of course - in record time, too.

The boys decided to play with theirs for a little bit before devouring theirs up.

Our ride home was fun because we listened to The Tale of Despereaux.  Such a wonderful and delightful book!

I've already talked to Ben about going back to Littleton in a month or so. . . and we just might not return to Montrose. . . :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy 10th to Us

So this post is going to be pathetic.  But that's just how life is these days - well, not quite pathetic, but busy.  There is never enough time to get it all done.  So I don't have time for any lovely "10 reasons why it's great to be married to Ben."  But, believe me, they exist - and many more.  So I will let my lovely rhubarb pie (first of the season!) tell Ben what I think.

10 years, 4 cuties, pretty great.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Me

So it's 9:12pm and the day is at its end.  It's been a full day.  Full of the following:  a morning run (yay for Ben having to go in work later!), story-time with the girls, Jonas' friend spending the afternoon here (sooo easy as the boys just play and play), dishes washed and loaded and washed and loaded and so on, meals and snacks prepared, "school" with Emmy, Girls on the Run, fast dinner (prepared by Ben), Jonas' soccer game, bedtime books to kids, kitchen cleaned, floor swept, more miscellaneous picking up, chatting with Miles post Cub-Scouts, tons of receipts entered, desk cleared, and whatever else I missed.  Now I want to enjoy my guilty-pleasure of Modern Family (I don't feel guilty about it, except that Ben doesn't approve. . . :) and a popsicle before bed.

Good night.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Child's Prayer and more. . .

The scene:  we had gotten a jar of kalamata olives.  The kids were pretty excited about trying them out.  Jonas was asked (or asked?) to say the prayer and this is what he said near the end:

"Heavenly Father please bless that no one will like the olives so that I can eat them all."
Ha!  I totally busted up right then and there.

Ben and I were coming up with a few "getting to know you questions" for an up-coming ward activity/fundraiser.  One question we have is, "If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?"
Miles had come down and we were chatting with him and reading him some of the questions.  His answer to the above question:
"A food that would make me not die."
Nice.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Tongue

I also could have called this post, "Jonas' first soccer game."  But I liked The Tongue better.






P.S.  If you click and enlarge the photos, you can see why I thus named my post.  And there were plenty more shots just like them!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Barf-head

So barf-head is kind of like bed-head, but is compounded by the fact that there has been barfing and dry-heaving going on throughout the nite.  (Yes, poor baby!)  (P.S.  Ben did hold her/sleep with her in our bed for more than 1/2 the nite.  I also did clean her face and tried to comb out her hair at one point. . . Apparently, not enough. . .)




(P.P.S.  No, she doesn't sleep with her water-bottle.  It was just her first request when I went in and got her in the morning.)

Love her and hoping for a speedy recovery!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Sunday

Craziest photo-shoot ever.  The girls were so above and beyond crazy!  Emmy started it by her wailing and gnashing of teeth and then Lucy would take a turn (while Emmy stopped) and then Emmy would start again (while Lucy stopped).  It was insane.  Luckily the boys were darling.  :)

 I love this candid shot.

 Darling brothers.

 Yes, a cry baby.  But an extremely cute one.  :)

 She was still crying, but apparently did something mean to Emmy (like pinch her hand?)

 because this is what happened next.  It was Emmy's turn to cry apparently.

 Emmy was still crying and so Lucy was a little perplexed at what she should be doing.  She did find the pockets on her skirt.

 Cute sisters.  Sugar and spice - both of them!

Despite all their wildness I sure do love them.

Easter Sunday was good.  We spoke a lot about the Resurrection. The kids liked the eggs and scripture story.  The resurrection rolls were fun.  The videos were hard to watch (Emmy was scared when they depicted Christ being nailed to a cross), but gave a wonderful message.  And at precisely 2:12 I was done with my talk in church and so life was a little bit easier after that.  :)

I love the hope that this day gives to me.


Easter Saturday

So I think I use the title every year, Easter Saturday.  Oh well.  But just in case you forgot, the Maxwells do an Easter Saturday and an Easter Sunday.  On Saturday the eggs are hidden in the backyard and the baskets inside.  We get our sugar-highs out of the way for church on Sunday.  Sunday includes an inside egg-hunt for 12 eggs that have scriptures and items relevant to the scripture in each egg.  The scriptures tell the story of the crucifixion and resurrection.  The last egg has a scripture but has no "item," thus is empty. . .  We also make resurrection rolls as a family and watch some Easter-story videos.

Here is Saturday:
 Cute 'n cold.  It was a cool morning looking for eggs!  The kids had to wait until I got back from my much-need long run (remember how I just did spring break???).  The had scoured through all sorts of windows searching out the eggs.  The probably had located about half by the time I got home.  Cute.

 Lucy found this one all by herself - tucked inside the watering tin.  I thought it would be hard - but Ben aaid she was at the perfect height coming down the stairs.  Yay.

 The boys look so serious in their hunt.

 Not so serious here.  What a silly cutie!

 The boys had "accidentally" found Emmy's basket early in the morning.  But they didn't tell her, luckily.  It was in the hamper upstairs.  Fun!

 Lucy's basket was in the shower.  And she wasted about zero time to start eating those sweets - grass and all!

 Miles happily surrounded by found-baskets and goodies.

 Here they are having some fun with silly-string.

 Indeed, so silly!

 Just pure sweetness here.

 The boys got rubber-band-powered airplanes.  They are great fun. . . for one day. . . since that is all they last.  Poor Ben spent half his day putting them together and then repairing them and fixing them.  :)

Ben took the kids in the afternoon to the church to fly them there - a good break from the slight breeze and the surrounding trees and houses that tend to get in the way at times.  They had a lot of fun - but I think both came home with severely wounded airplanes.  :)

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Spring Break 2012

This spring break I was doing it solo - Ben was left at home to work, and my folks are, of course, on their mission in Japan.  Nonetheless I still went to my parent's home for a little change of scenery.  There were moments of pure "What on earth was I thinking!?" to "Ahhh, this is really great and nice."  I'm totally glad I went, but I am still wishing for the "break" part of Spring Break.  :)

I'll give a boring synopsis of our trip - just because.  I headed out after the morning session of conference on Sunday.  I got to drive in 2 hours of crazy, high winds ("Don't blow over on us you big, tall truck!" I kept thinking), and then another couple of hours in blowing snow.  Lovely.  Not.  But we got there in good time, the kids ran around for a bit, then Lucy went to bed.  Then I read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane.

On Monday I had decided to not do much since we just arrived and we didn't want to much hanging out in the car.  So we spent the morning just playing and what-not.  We did a couple errands ("I wish dad were here so we wouldn't have to come!"  Me, too, Jonas, me, too.) to the fabric store and grocery store.  Finally by late afternoon I thought we should get out - though it was quite cool and incredibly windy.  We rode bikes (or I pushed Lucy in a stroller) down to the park and the kids didn't even seem to notice the blasted wind - though there was the time where Lucy couldn't walk up-hill due to the force of wind, as well as Emmy couldn't ride her bike back because of the head-wind.  She just stood still.  Crazy.)  We had a 1-minute lesson for FHE and then had FHE treats, of course.  :)


Lucy off to bed.  Read more of Edward Toulane.  Then the rest to bed.  Or almost.  I was busying sewing away and Emmy was busy crying for no coherent reason.  Crying for 3 hours.  If I hadn't had made plans for Tuesday with a friend, we would have been high-tailing it home early Tuesday morning. . .

Tuesday I met a friend and her son Isaac at Wheeler Farm.  They have a new park there and the kids totally loved that.  Then we walked around the farm and enjoyed the animals - except the birds.  Ha.  Turns out my friend Rach hates birds, too!  Afterwards we went over to Rach and Isaac's home - which used to be my grandmother's house.  So that was really great being there again.  I had a good time chatting with Rach and the kids loved playing outside, inside, and in the crawl-space - of course!  Good times, but unfortunately no pictures.  Bummer.  But here is a cute picture and video (the kids adored playing with this toy each and every day!)

video


We got home that night, got dinner ready, ate, and got Lucy to bed.  Then we finished reading Edward.  Though Miles had gone that morning and read the last page - that boy!  (He might have gotten that from me. Though I might have done that on only a few occasions. . . )

On Wednesday we hung out in the morning making a lot of those bead creations that you iron to fuse the beads all together.  The boys went crazy with them!  In a good way.  In the late morning we headed out to a different park in town.  It was a lovely day - warm with a slight breeze.  Practically perfect.  After we got home and had lunch, I put Lucy down for a nap.  While she was napping I let the boys go frolicking about on their own (as I have mentioned in a previous post.).  It was such the perfect opportunity to let them do it and I was really excited for them to be on their own.



After I got Lucy up we headed to the Discovery Gardens at Thanksgiving Point.  We met up with one of my great college friends, Aubrey.  She and her family were down from Washington, visiting Aubrey's family.  It was really great to see her again - it had been awhile!  There was a lot of chasing after kids, making sure I knew where 1, 2, 3, 4 of them were, dealing with Lucy-fits, etc., but it was still a great time and I know the kids loved it all.

Chilling on a giant tire eating some snack.


Playing on the logs and eating snack!


The giant spider-web thing.  Very cool and very fun.

We didn't leave until about 6.  Which means we got back home a little after 7.  I had told the kids I would stop and get them some McDonalds.  But that failed since I only saw one and there was no way I was going to get off crazy constructed I-15.  Miles was a little perturbed, but settled down once I put in a book on CD.  Lucy fell asleep.  When we got home I got everyone a bagel and some LIFE cereal.  Then to bed.  Most nights (all nights?) I sewed while watching TV and read some books.  I always went to bed very late.  Zzzzzz.

Thursday was a hang-out-close-to-home type of day.  We did more bead things in the morning.  The couple that will be staying in my parent's place for a little while came over to look at some things.  Then we went to McDonalds - since they had missed out the night before.  It was horrible.  Lucy crying and screaming for who knows why.  Emmy crying because she dumped her water all over her.  Miles screaming so loudly while playing - thus making all the others scream.  Me warning them that if that noise were to happen again, we would be leaving.  We left shortly thereafter.  I was none-too-happy.  Their punishment?  No milk.  What I meant by this was that there was no way I was going to the store (which, ironically is called The Store) with 4 such unruly children and so 1.  they would not get the pudding they had wanted for snack - not enough milk at home, 2.  they would not get milk before bed - not enough milk at home, and 3.  in the morning the only option for breakfast would be oatmeal since. . . not enough milk at home.  So there!  :)  I did still get them a movie to watch while Lucy slept and they all enjoyed (though at times Emmy was scared) Happy Feet 2.  It did look pretty cute.

We went out for another bike ride to the park and the kids had a good time.  The boys went off a little bit exploring on the path and enjoying the "slimy snakes" they found (just water slime stuff).  When we got back my parents' good friend John took the 3 older kids on a ride on my dad's "machine."  A mix between a jeep and a dune-buggy?  I'm sure there is a technical term for it, but I don't know what at the moment.  Lucy had been very hard to deal with on this trip - extremely clingy, apt to cry at any moment - especially when unable to do what she wanted, etc., etc.  So her punishment for all this was this:
Ha - I made her watch TV!  How horrible is that!?  :)  But I was ready for a little break and a chance to get dinner together, pick up a bit, etc.  So I turned on the TV and it kept her entertained for maybe 15 minutes - impressive.  The older kids got back from their ride - which they thoroughly enjoyed - and we ate dinner and then went to bed.

Friday we got up and the kids got to watch Little Rascals while I cleaned and packed.  Then we headed out, stopping at IKEA first.  I dropped the kids off at the playplace (free!) and took Lucy around with me.  The kids can only stay for an hour and so I felt a little rushed.  But it was probably good because I probably would have just spent more money.  So after the hour I got the other kids (and they absolutely loved playing there!) and we had a little lunch there and then headed home.  Two hours of driving in wet conditions, more blowing snow, and such thick fog that I could only see about 100 feet ahead of me.  Luckily it did clear and it was smooth sailing.  Truly, my kids are wonderful travelers and I am so very thankful for that.

So a good time!  The end.