Thursday, March 28, 2013

My 34th Birthday

All in all, it was a pretty good day.  Actually, the night before Ben took me out to dinner and then we went shopping at JCP.  Should I say who came home with more clothing . . . ?  You guessed it, Ben.  :)  I love what he bought, though, so I was still happy.  :)  He's a funny man, though.  He has been slightly complaining about his wardrobe as of late and wanting some new things.  So while we're at the store he's checking out shirts and asking me my opinion.  My opinion:  ummm, I think you have something exactly like it at home!  Luckily, I helped him branch out a bit and get some new/different styles.  Anyways, I did find a swimming suit and so that was pretty huge.  We had a fun night.

Anyways, back to my birthday . . . After the boys came back from school I decided I wanted to go on a bike ride - I had a few groans and so I had to throw out, "It's my birthday!"  It worked.  I pulled the girls in the bike trailer and the boys rode with me and we were out for quite a while.  It was lovely and warm.  We rode to a little park where we stopped and played.  Then we played in a bush.  Yes, a bush.  A specific bush.  My kids really like it.  Then this walk-way path has recently put in some new "work-out" things - you know, a bar, some rowing thing for arms, etc.  The kids liked trying them all out.  So did I.  I think it's great.  Anyways, I was glad to get out on a nice day.

By the time we got back it was after 5 and Ben was running late at work.  So I started whipping up dinner - this is what I chose.  It was pretty yum and the kids (all but Lucy) did pretty great at eating it, too.  I also worked on my rice-krispie cake (with frosting, of course).  The kids had gone to the dollar store on Saturday (they had some gift card from one of our friends - from Christmas) and bought junk stuff for themselves and some things for me.

 Oh they were pretty excited about giving me their special gifts.  (Yes, Jonas is trying to be Japanese.)

And here they are!  A mirror from Emmy - I actually needed this.  Some muddy-buddies for me from Jonas.  I don't think I've ever tried one before.  I'll try and pawn them off to the kids - I don't think it will be too hard. :)  But I'm sure I'll have to eat one, too!  A snow-globe from Miles - he loves it.  :)  Soap from Ben.  I think the kids made him buy me something, too.  And a "magic towel" from Lucy.  Cool!

By the time kids were down, milk bought, hair cuts done (for Ben and Miles), dishes done, phone calls made, etc., it was pretty late.  Ben and I did watch one episode of The Middle, but he forgot to give me a back-rub during it.  I'll take a rain-check on that, then.  :)

Happppppy Birthday to meeeee.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reality check

 What it looks like:  Emmy finding an egg.  Reality:  Emmy finding an egg.

 What it looks like:  a Maxwell Easter-egg hunt.  Reality:  a very simple and "thrown-together-at-the-last-minute" Maxwell Easter-egg hunt.

 What it looks like:  Jonas and an armful of eggs.  Reality:  Jonas and an armful of eggs.

 What it looks like:  a happy Emmy finding another egg.  Reality:  2 minutes later Emmy was crying because she only found two eggs.

 What it looks like:  Jonas and everyone helping Lucy get an egg in the tree.  Reality:  Everyone Loves Lucy.

What it looks like:  4 nice and well-behaved children checking out their spoils of the hunt.  Reality:  a lot of bickering over "hey that's my egg," i.e., "I don't care if you found that egg, that was one that I had decorated!"  It was sort of spoiled by a 9-year old and then more spoiled by said 9-year old's mother who lectured the kids and went off on a few other things . . .

P.S.  We did this early since we are going to be driving on Easter-Saturday and Sunday.  We are going on our first ever not-visiting-family vacation.  I LOVE visiting family, but I am excited to be going a real vacation, too.

P.P.S.  I'm 34 today!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Video Contest

So I got an email from my sis one day saying, "You're doing this, right?"  I hadn't seen the link/suggestion she was referring to, so I checked it out.  The link was to a video contest by Design Mom.   And since I'm the little sis and still obey my older sis (Erin:  would you rather be referred as my "older sister" or "big sister"?  Or just sister.  :) I did it.  Yes, I wanted to do it, too.  But I do wonder if I would have done it if my sister had not asked me about it.  I'm super happy she did, though.  The video was fun to make - except when it wasnt.  :)  No, I don't think we'll win.  Yes, I think it was still worth doing.

Here is the link to the video, posted via youtube:


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peas in a Pod

These girls are the best of friends.  And by that I mean they love to play with each other (sometimes) and they also love to make each other mad.  Lucy really couldn't have gotten a better big sister.  Emmy is not perfect and has plenty of faults (mostly related to her being a child).  But being a sister is somewhere that she shines.  It's wonderful to watch Emmy interact with Lucy.  Now Lucy is fun and Emmy is indeed lucky to have Lucy as a little sister.  But Lucy (mostly related to her being TWO) isn't quite as grand when it comes to sisterhood as Emmy.  She can be bossy.  She can be rude.  She can be demanding.  But she is a hoot and I guess that makes up for a lot.

I love these girls.  Lots.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Going Green

 Jonas was the first one to start sporting a mustache - a green one, of course.

 Miles enjoyed his mint chocolate chip pancakes and green smoothie (made with spinach - but I decided to add blueberries instead of bananas and it made the smoothie a little more brown than green. . . ).

 Lucy loved her smoothie.  Oh yeah.

Emmy's pre-church outfit.  She picked it out all on her own.  :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Birthday Weekend

We started the celebration early as my parents arrived on Friday afternoon.  The boys didn't know they would be here that soon and they were surprised to see them picking them up from school.  Jonas just ran and jumped up on my mother and gave her a huge hug.  It was cute.  Miles' teacher came out right before Miles and when she saw my folks she said, "Oh I've heard all about you!"
My parents had a bunch of cute, little things from Japan for all the kids.  It was like a min-birthday for everyone.  Here's Jonas sporting the nifty headband the boys both got - my mom prompted him to do the peace-sign.  :)

That night, after dinner, we decided to play the flour-game with my parents.  We had played it before on a FHE night and thought it would be fun with my parents.  The first time we played, we played with an almond on top.  Oh, maybe I should explain the game first.  You make a flour-mound and place an object on the top of the mound.  Then everyone takes a turn cutting the flour - if you make the object fall down then you have to dig in to the flour (sans hands) and retrieve the object with your mouth.  So when we used an almond it wasn't yucky and so the kids actually wanted to knock it down!  I had bought some wasabi peas at Walmart, thinking they would be good.  They were hideously disgusting!  I don't even think I bit in to it - I placed it in my mouth, promptly gagged and spit it out, then rinsed and rinsed out my mouth.  Then I thought, "This will be perfect for the flour-game!"  And it was.  Luckily for my dad, he was a good cutter and never knocked over a pea.

I love this picture!  Emmy had knocked over a pea and just ate it.  She didn't like it, but she did it!

Ooops, there goes Jonas!  So fun.  I didn't get a picture of my mom (she actually took these ones) - bummer!  She had to go digging in the flour for the pea.  But she was sneaky and hid the pea under her tongue until the game was over.  I tell ya, those peas are gross.

Ah, birthday morning!  Ben and I had got our own special treat and got to exercise together in the morning.  I ran, Ben biked with me.  It was great.  So Miles and the kids got up and ate with Grandma and Grandpa.  There's Miles with his special sugary cereal:  Cookie Crisp!

Miles got to open one present in the morning.  He choose one from G&G - a mini air-hockey table.  Fun!  Yes, Jonas may like it more than Miles, but it's a fun game and we all played it and had fun - including Miles.

We worked on Miles cake in the morning, too.  Ben helped.  It's a "rock cake."  We dug out/mined an area and placed rocks and pebbles and the sort.  I like how it turned out.  So did Miles.

Then at lunch-time Ben and I took Miles out.  We had planned on going to the sushi restaurant in town, Sushitini.  Miles had talked about, told his teacher all about it, etc.  I knew he wouldn't love the sushi, but he was really in to the "idea" of it and so I thought it would be fun.  Well we got to the restaurant and it was closed - despite the hours posted on the door saying it should have been opened.  I was so bummed!  Miles was too, but was definitely handling it well.  Ben decided that as we decided what to do and where to go instead, he'd run in to the grocery store and buy a pack of California Sushi Rolls.  So he did.  And Miles had one:
He tried to act like he liked them, but he really didn't.  He even gave the thumbs up sign, but we weren't convinced.  He declined a second one.  :)  We finally came up with the idea to go to Dragon Wall - a Chinese buffet place.  It even had a sushi bar and so Ben's first plate was loaded with sushi.  Miles tried one and we were glad we didn't go to Sushitini!

He had fun loading up his plates with whatever he wanted - mainly fried bread, garlic bread, and jello!  I don't know why he didn't try more because he's actually a good eater.  But oh well.  He had fun.  He did eat the fried fish a couple of times.  It was fun just being the three of us.

Then we came home, blasted off balloon rockets my parents had picked up (which were super cool and fun - but by Sunday afternoon I had had enough of them going off!  :).

Then we got to try out Montrose's new play-place.  It is the only place in town like it.  I hope it does well!  My kids sure had fun:
The air-gun blasters were definitely Jonas' favorite activity!  He spent tons of time in there.  Miles liked it, too.

The little car-slide was super fun for Lucy, too.  There were 3 bouncy-houses there:  one obstacle-course, one big slide, and one zip-line ride.  All were really fun.  I think Emmy loved the bouncy houses best.  Lucy was totally scared of them.  Not sure why?  Miles just liked it all.

Playing some foosball with G&G.

After that we came home to open up the rest of Miles' gifts.  He patiently waited while my dad and Ben went to fill up my dad's car with gas.  Then they finally came home and it was time!
He likes all of his gifts - yay!

We ate dinner (his choice:  elk pasties) and then started Ice Age 4 (his choice).  The movie was super great and super funny.  Truthfully, I wasn't too excited about watching it.  Miles had already seen it at school, but loved it and wanted everyone to watch it.  And we did.  And it was hilarious.  We took an "intermission" for some cake and ice-cream:
A cute, big kid with his cool cake!  We finished up the movie and then got everyone ready and off to bed.

Miles wanted me to take a picture of his lego AT-AT walker.  He was so happy about it - and its small size probably made it all the more lovable to Miles!

Usually I get the picture of birthday-kid walking through his streamers in the morning, but it didn't happen.  So I got it at night-time.  :)

It was a perfectly fun day!  I can't believe he's NINE!

P.S.  Just for fun, here's a video of the balloons:

Saturday, March 09, 2013

To Miles on your Golden Birthday,

These letters are just getting harder for me.  One reason is because time is undoubtedly traveling at a faster pace these days.  I used to start these birthday letters like a week (at least) before your birthdays, have time to think about what I wanted to say, go back and edit, etc., etc.  Now it's less than 12 hours until your birthday and I just remembered I needed (and, yes, wanted) to write your letter.  Poor Jonas got a pathetic letter on his last birthday with a hopeful promise by me to write more.  I didn't.

Anyways, it's your golden birthday - you're turning 9 on the 9th!  Wahoo.  I hope you have such a splendid day and can feel the love I have for you.  I love celebrating birthdays and focusing on just one of my children.  Today that is YOU.  One of my birthdays gifts I give to you is that I will try my hardest to let you make all the noises you want - but only on your birthday.  Again, I'll try.

The gifts I (ahem, we, your dad and me) choose for you are gifts that represent who you are.  I'm really excited about them and think you will be, too.  Even though there is not any big gift, nor hardly any toys.  But you, like the rest of my kid-gang, don't play too much with toys.  You find household objects and create your own mess games.  It's creative.  But sometimes annoying ("Where is my ______?!"  Fill in the blank.).

You started the 3rd grade this year and I think it's been a big jump in your learning.  The focus of the other grades is basic math skills and reading.  By 3rd grade you now start reading not to learn how, but to learn.  It's neat.  You still read to read, of course!  By golly do you ever.  You really got in to the Harry Potter series at the beginning of the school year.  You read the first 4 of them pretty quickly.  Then I'm not sure what happened, but you just stopped.  Oh well, at least your reading did not stop.

You continue to be a smart, yet not the best-focused or organized, student.  Your teachers all like you.  We got to go to Yellowstone this past year and of course you loved it.  The little scientist in you was fascinated.  Especially by the small things.  Like the teeny-tiny geyser in front of Old Faithful ("Look, there goes Old Faithful!"  You:  "Yeah, but I wonder what the name of that tiny geyser in front of Old Faithful is called!?"  Splitcone, you asked the ranger.).  Mrs. Reich, your teacher, was just telling me that at school on Thursday you were in a group and doing your "science lesson" for the day.  It was on rocks, I think.  Mrs. Reich told me she leaned over to another student and said, "Miles knows more about this than me!"  So then Mrs. Reich had you teach for the next 15 minutes.  You are a sponge and soak up everything you read about - well, everything that interests you at least (which is still A TON since you pretty much are fascinated by everything!).

You were a great skier this year and got to do the lift and hills by yourself.  I was so impressed with you.  You were always the last kid on the mountain - just wanting to get one more run in.  I loved seeing that in you!  You also loved our ice-rink and had a lot of fun skating out there.  Yes, you needed steri-strips over your eyebrow once due to playing a "close-your-eyes-tag" game on the ice.  Not your brightest of moments. But that didn't stop you either.

You are an active kid - whether that's being active outside, in your room, or in the kitchen.  You always want to do.  But you only want to do what you want to do!  Okay, yes, most of us are like that.  But you really struggle with doing what someone else wants you to do.  I hope it's something you'll grow out of . . . ?

You began Cub Scouts this year and for the first 3/4 of it we (you and me) worked on it together.  The cubs were (are?) in a state of transition and so I had to really step up and help you with your achievements.  I liked working with you.  You were able to get them all done and thus earn your Wolf.  Awesome, Miles.  You got to participate in your very first Pinewood Derby and that was a joy.  You loved your car, you loved racing it, and you were super excited about its 4th-place ranking.

Well I better stop or Jonas will feel even more gypped (what, it's not j-i-p-p-e-d?  so weird!).

In summary, you are a neat kid.  Really neat.  You have very neat qualities about yourself.  Yet, you're not perfect and probably drive me more crazy than all my other kids (maybe even combined).  But I love you.  Lots.  I'm proud of you.  I'm proud that you're my son and that I get to be your mom.  You're fun.  You're exciting.  You're creative and smart.

Thanks for putting up with me.

I love you, Miles.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Miscellaneous Monday

I think the greatest time to weigh myself is Monday morning:  Post-Fast Sunday and Post-Working Out.  Yay!

 Jonas is finally Star of the Week in his 1st grade class.  All year they have picked out a name for the Star of the Week.  I thought it just meant you got to put up a poster about yourself, but I learned this morning from Jonas that there is more to it.  Things like writing on the board, etc.  A little over a month ago there were just a few kids left that hadn't gotten their name picked yet.  So the odds for Jonas getting picked were getting better.  Then a new kid came, etc.  Finally it came down to Jonas and one other kid (a new one).  Jonas was soooo hoping he'd get to be last.  And last he got - which is extra special because then he gets to have his poster up and be Star of the Week for TWO weeks.  Bonus!  He loves his poster.  I had gone through some pictures and had them printed at Walmart.  Jonas wanted every single one on his poster, but there were about 5 that just wouldn't fit.  I think he put plenty on there.  :)  I love it.  I love that Jonas' favorite picture is him holding Baby Lucy.  :)  So Jonas.

When did she grow up?  Sheesh.  She was putting on a gymnastics show and afterwards would give me a cone full of cork-board brownies.  Lucky me!

I've been drinking Almond Milk (the vanilla & sweetened type - which only has 3 more grams of sugar than regular milk and is 2000% yummier) for the past month.  It's "mommy's milk" as I have called it as I don't want to share.  I'm awesome like that (but I do let Ben have drinks of it at times . . .the kids don't seem too interested in it anyways).  Ben thought we should call it something else so as to not confuse it with actual mommy's milk.  Ha.

Miles' birthday is Saturday and my parents will be coming - it's been forever since we've seen them (except for via Skype) since their mission to Japan and so everyone's excited!  I'm super pleased with the gifts I've gotten for Miles.  Just this morning I was telling him, "Miles, you're growing up.  So you don't have really too many toys for your birthday."  Miles responded with, "I like books!"  Good, gotcha some.


Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Byebye Ice Rink

Today was definitely the last day of the ice rink - luckily it was frozen this morning and so there was one last skate.  The kids had a blast this morning!

The missionaries came over at 11 and helped Ben for about an hour in taking down the roof of the rink.  The kids are now having a grand old time breaking up the rink.

We'll miss this rink and I'm sure we'll be so anxious next winter to put it up again!

 Miles wanted me to take his picture.  Okay.

 The cute gang of ice-skaters.  Love them!

The "Gorilla-On-The-Ice" game is just . . . gosh I don't know.  I don't have words for it.  But I think it's awesome.

And let's now go to this afternoon:
 A very slushy rink (at least on the east side)!  The kids are having a blast out there.  I have absolutely no qualms about Emmy's outfit - I was just happy to see her put rain boots on after wearing her ballet shoes out there for the first 10+ minutes.

So fascinating!  The ice either froze or melted this way - in tiny tube-shapes.  You probably can't tell too well from the photo, but that chunk of ice is made up of at least 100 or so tubes.  Crazy awesome.

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Real Captain Underpants

Last time Lucy was Captain Underpants, it wasn't quite the real deal.  Now it is.  She is officially Captain Underpants.

She has been, by far, the easiest to potty-train.  The boys were pretty simple, too, really.  Emmy still struggles with staying dry at night.  Sometimes during the day, too - but that hasn't happened for quite some time.  And when it does it's totally a behavior issue or just I-don't-want-to-go-potty-until-it's-too-late.  Lucy is pretty much dry during the night, too.  There have been maybe a few nights in the past month that she hasn't been totally dry (I still put her in diapers at bedtime).  She has even awoken a few times at night to go pee.  Though, lately, she's been waking up and declaring to Ben and Me:

"I need Chopsticks!"


I need chapstick.  We get her the chapstick, she slathers it all over her lips and chin, and then we put her back to bed.

She's awesome.