2014

2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

The day I turned 35

So I'm not really affected by my age - I'm 35 and I'm not embarrassed about it nor do I feel really old.  However, when I think that in 10 years I'll have a 20-year old and 18-year old, that makes me feel really old.  Not that I'll be 45, but that I'll have such old kids!  So maybe my parents feel really old seeing as their "youngest" just turned 35.  Weird.

Anyways, I had a really good day.  It started at 5:15 for my morning workout.  Ben actually woke up with me and did 1/2 my workout with me.  (He's been working out in the mornings with me - but usually for only 10 or so minutes.  But since he woke up when I did, we got to work out longer together.  How nice.  :)

I took Lucy to gymnastics in the morning and then we went to get me a pedicure (Ben had gotten me a gift card).  It was nice and I love how my painted toes look.  :)  Lucy just sat there the whole time asking questions like, "What is that for?"  "Does that hurt?"  etc.

Afterwards Lucy and I went and each got a frozen yogurt cone for our lunch.  :)  My favorite food!  I think Lucy loved it, too, and thought it was a pretty great lunch.

Lucy then took I nap and I talked to my parents and sister.  I also made my cake.  I got the "recipe" from here.

After school I had Girls of the Run.  My kids get to play at the playground while I help coach the girls on the run.  The other coaches had gotten together and planned a little surprise to celebrate my birthday:  cookies and Capri Suns.  That was nice and I'm sure all the girls were glad I had a birthday!  All 20 girls also sang to me.  Awesome.

After that we got home and then walked to dinner.  It's fun that we can walk to Main Street - where Colorado Boy Pizzeria is.  We had a very yummy dinner (the kids like it, too - especially the dough balls they get to play with and eat; plus just watching them make pizzas and stick them in the brick oven).  We walked back home and then enjoyed my cake.  It wasn't my favorite cake, but it was fun to try and still good to eat.

In the evening when the kids were up in their rooms, Ben and I watched episode 1 of season 3 of Downton Abbey.  Fun!

And that's how I the day I turned 35 went.

A couple pictures:

 What I woke up to.  Lovely, yummy, and fun.  :)

Getting ready to eat the cake!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A couple of random pics

I want to post these two pictures before I forget.  So here I go . . .

 After our ski adventure on Saturday we had enough time to come home and let Jonas change his snow boots and then he was off to one of his best-friend's birthday party.  There were just these boys there, plus the family.  The boys you see are Pete (on our left; the birthday boy), Jonas, and Ivan.  All three are the best of buds.  They play great together and just love being together.  They were all in the same 1st grade class.  Pete is now homeschooled; Jonas and Ivan are in the same class this year.  What a handsome group.  :)

While we were skiing on Saturday Ben was conducting his first funeral.  A lady in our ward passed away from cancer - she's had a terminal diagnosis for over a year.  Her mother, Nola, is more known in our ward - though neither come all too often.  But Nola is great and whenever Ben (otherwise known as Bishop) mentions her, he always speaks of her as a "woman of faith."  She is quite the character, too - in a fun way!  She's the type of lady that will just stand where she is and share her testimony (not because she can't walk to the microphone - just because I guess).  She loves our ward and has said that it is the only ward that "has the Spirit."  It makes me chuckle, but she truly says it very sincerely.  She's just sweet.  Anyways, Ben said the funeral went great and that it was a really great experience.  There were some blurt-outs (nice or funny comments) from the audience during a talk or two (from Nola and other friends!).  All in all it went great and I think that Nola felt peace and comfort and love at the funeral.
Nola and Bishop Maxwell.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Barnelopet

This definition of barnelopet is "children's races."  It's Norwegian and I think it usually (maybe not always?) refers to a cross-country ski race.

So the Grand Mesa's Nordic Council hosts a children's day each year.  I remember randomly noticing a sign for this a few years back but we weren't able to do it that year.  Again, this year, I randomly noticed a sign posted at City Market and so we decided to go.

We were all set to go on March 1st, but due to bad weather it was canceled.  Bummer.  But it finally got rescheduled for today.  Which was good and bad.  Good, because I really wanted to go and have the kids give a try at cross-country skiing.  Bad because Ben wouldn't be able to go.  At first he had a temple trip to go to, but that changed to conducting a funeral.

So we went Benless.  The kids had a really great time.  Once Jonas stopped complaining . . . Lucy, actually, was a bit of a pain.  She skied a little loop on her own and did really great, but then just kept crying.  Long story short, she ended up on me in a backpack carrier.

There was some "races" going on after some practice.  It was a pretty low-key race.  :)  The boys decided to do the long route - I'm not sure how long that was.  Around 1.5 miles I think.  I was nervous for them since they really hadn't done much of Nordic skiing.  Also, I was worried about them getting lost since I knew they'd be in the back, the very back, of the pack.  Luckily, some nice volunteer man stuck with my boys, Jonas specifically.  :)

Emmy did a short little race - and, although not fast, finished.  Then she did the loop again.  And again.  And again.  And maybe once more when her brothers got back.  :)  It was cute.

The kids got to wear and keep some cool racing bibs.  They were also given Norwegian flags.  Plus some really cool medals!  They were pretty excited about it all.  Oh and there was plenty of hot cocoa and cookies, too!

All in all, it was a great Nordic ski trip.  I think it was a bit too much for me on my own, but still worth it for my kids' sake.  I'd do it again!  :)

P.S. - We ran into Jonas' kindergarten teacher - who we haven't seen since Jonas finished kindergarten.  She's super in to Nordic skiing and her little boy, Jonas' age, is really good!

Okay, some pictures:
 Getting all registered.

Skis all on, let's go!  It was super snowing there the whole time (until we got in the car to go, of course.)

 Go, go Lucy!

 The other kids.  See, check out that snow.

Here's Miles coming in at the end of his race.

Finished, good work Miles!

Here's Jonas coming in.  :)  He fell twice right before the finish line.  I think he was a wee bit tired.

The girl in red was either the 1st or 2nd place finisher.  She encouraged and skied with Jonas at the very end.  She was sweet.  Jonas was last.  Someone's gotta be last.  :)

I don't think he was too bummed - thank goodness.  But I also think it's because he's still got quite an inflated perception at times.  :)  I was worried the boys would just be tired and frustrated.  But they really liked the ski loop and had a good time.  Yay!

There we all are - medals and all.  Lucy was awarded my medal.  :)

Finishing up the ski trip with round 2 of hot cocoa.  :)  Fun!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's day was full of green - green food, green clothing, and green nails for the girls.  No pinching was happening with my kids, that's for sure.  :)






The kids all got dressed in green - awesome.

We started the day with a green smoothie - lots of spinach, frozen green grapes, frozen pineapple, a frozen banana, key lime yogurt, and honey.  It was delish.  Then the kids got a "dessert" of Lucky Charms.  Lucky them.

I didn't send any "green" things in their lunch.  Whatevs.  But after school their snack was spinach tortillas that I had baked and we dipped them in salsa.  Plus celery with ranch (no, I didn't dye the ranch . . .).  Dinner was pesto pizza and pistachio salad.  Our green day ended with mint oreo cream pie for the FHE treat.  Yummy fun!

Warning:  a bit of "TMI" (too much info) is coming up. . .  I guess all this green had really affected Lucy because her poop at the end of the day was, you guessed it, GREEN.

:)

Emmy's eyebrows

I've posted this on facebook, but should have this in this record as well.  :)

On Sunday, at one point, Emmy told me her eyebrows hurt.  I was busy getting dinner ready for the missionaries and glanced at her and saw a bit of redness and said something like, "Oh maybe it's just dry."  (She does have eczema spots on her face.)

Then during dinner I think Ben noticed something about eyebrows and that they were a little off.  We asked her what she did, but she never told us.  Did you put tape and rip it off?  Use tweezers?  Whatever, she was pretty silent about it.

Then I used the bathroom and noted Ben's three razors (Which he doesn't throw away in the trash can so the kids won't have easy access to them.  Instead, he leaves them up on the bathroom counter, to which the kids still have easy access to them . . .:).  There was something about the way they were placed that I knew what had happened to Emmy's eyebrows.

Yup, she tried to shave her eyebrows.  With no water nor soap!  Ouch!  She's very lucky she didn't hurt or cut herself.

So I say it's not that noticeable, but then I look at the picture and think, "Hahaha, it's crazy!"  If you really stopped to look at her and checked out her eyebrows, then you'd totally know something was amiss.  I think it's pretty funny:

As I said on facebook:  Here is a picture of Emmy with bilaterally, shaved by herself, quite awkward eyebrows.

That girl.  :)

Cute Conversation

The other day Lucy stole some "ribbon candy" from Miles.  Miles got this candy on his birthday and keeps it up in his room.  When I caught Lucy I told her she'd have to tell Miles when he got home from school.  Of course by that time - the time the kids all came back from school - I had forgotten about it.

But you can't get past Miles.  Seriously, he is the boy that you can't ever sneak even a tiny piece of Halloween candy from his loot because he'd know.  So he knew that someone had taken some of his candy and he told me such.  Lucy was right there and so I told her she needed to talk to Miles.

And it was just too cute watching their little conversation in the dining room - just the two of them.  I won't write it all down (because I don't remember it all!), but this part was pretty great:

"Lucy, did you take some of my candy?"

"Yes, but it was an accident."  (Hahahahahahahaha)

"No, Lucy, an accident is where you like crash your car in to something.  This wasn't an accident."

"Ohhhhh."

"So I won't give you any more of my candy."

It was just adorable to see them talking it out.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A sick day with Emmy

I already posted these pictures on Facebook, but I want them on my blog, too.  So Emmy got sick Tuesday evening.  I had picked up her from gymnastics and she started complaining of her stomach.  "Well maybe you need to go to the bathroom, eat something, or something.  We'll see."  We rushed home and got ready and then headed out to get ready for the Blue and Gold Cub Scout banquet.  Luckily my partner Misty had done most of it for the evening.  As soon as I was helping kids out of the car at the church parking lot, Emmy told me again that her stomach hurt and that she thinks she is going to barf.  I quickly told her to get out of the car and get on the sidewalk.  As I was getting out my stuff from the car, Emmy barfed on the lawn.  And her tights.  And her shoes.  Poor girl.  She hung in there for most of the evening's activities (though not eating a single bite of food, including the cupcakes), but did manage to barf one more time in the bathroom - missing the toilet, but at least not on the carpet!  That night, around 11:30, she puked again - hardly anything, luckily.

So . . . of course she stayed home on Wednesday.  Frankly, it was kind of nice.  When she's sick, but not super sick, she is just a delight because her emotions are just even and calm.  We bathed, read lots of books (with Lucy, too, of course), cleaned the girls' room, and even painted:





I adore how their pictures turned out!  (I got the idea from here: http://www.thechocolatemuffintree.com/2014/03/how-to-make-abstract-kandinsky-painting.html?m=1)

It was a nice day.  Oh, and why is Emmy's hair in curlers?  Because she wanted them.

Now her hair will be curly for school.  :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Miles' 10th Birthday

 Good morning, birthday boy!  The big 1-0.

 Miles with his birthday chair and birthday cereal - his choice.  Fun!

 Here is his birthday camping cake.  Again, I think they always look better in real-life.  :)  It was a super fun cake to make.  The trees were awesome and I got the tutorial here.  Miles, along with the other kids, loved it!  Miles added his touch by placing a lego-man at the campfire.  Cool.

 The kids always get to open one present in the morning.  So right before church Miles chose a gift from Grandpa G. and Grandma Dixie.

 He opened a transformer, plus this lava-like thingy.  He loved them both!

Then we went to church for three hours.  :)  I was subbing in Primary and so I got to see them sing "Happy Birthday" to him.  The gal conducting primary chose the sang, "You've had a birthday shout hooray . . ." to which Miles said, "I haven't had my birthday since it is today."  So they sang, "You're having a birthday, shout hooray!"  Nice.

After church we had lunch and Miles changed quickly into his birthday shirt.  On Thursday or so he said he wanted a shirt for his birthday.  I told him I hadn't gotten him one, but then asked what he'd want on it.  "A lightbulb" was his reply.  (Better than "scribble," which is his favorite non-sense word that he says a lot.)  So I found something I thought he would like, added a bubble and some wording, printed it out on transfer paper and then ironed it to a shirt..  He loved it.
 The bubble says, "Have a De*light*ful 10th Birthday Miles!"

One of Miles' gifts requests was a lighbulb or LED light.  I didn't do that, but I did come across these LED balloons.  Perfect.  They all loved them!


Miles wanted to open one more gift before they got to watch a show.  I knew what it was all about and so I let him:
Miles really likes surprises.  Sometimes they are sweet, sometimes they are not.  This was definitely sweet.  :)

After that, they got to watch "Stuart Little."  It seemed like it was a cute show and I heard lots of laughing going on during it.  (I couldn't watch because I had dinner to get ready . . .:)

 Ben came home around 3:30 and so Miles got to open his gifts.  He got some great books to read, some fun puzzle games, a Harry Potter Magic Eye book, some clothes (thanks to Grandma Dixie!), a spy pen, etc.  His big gifts were a Q-ba Maze marble run and a 3-D puzzle.  He loves them so!
 This was just his first attempt with the marble run.  His latest one built is about 2 1/2 feet tall.  Very cool.  He also got this 3-D puzzle of the Neuschwanstein Castle.  (Per his request.)  It's going to be a great project!

At about 4:30 we had the Formisano family grace our presence.  Paul F. is one of Ben's best friends.  They've been best-friends since their teenage years.  He and his wife Shanna and their three kids now live in South Dakota.  They came over to Littleton, then to Grand Junction (where Paul's grandma and sister live), then down to our house for the night.  They stayed for the night and then Paul and his sister Lara (who came later and stayed, too) went off skiing to Telluride on Monday.  Shanna and I hung out here, went to storytime, etc.  Our kids had a lot of fun playing with their kids - I just don't have pictures of them.  I think Ben got a few on his i-pod and so I'll have to take them off sometime.

 So Miles had chosen a recipe from Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipe cookbook he had gotten for Christmas.  He chose "bird pie."  A savory pie, of course.  It sounded pretty weird . . . but ended up quite good.  Ben thought it was excellent.  :)  Miles and Jonas both had seconds.  Paul and Shanna and Lara that it was great, too.  The rest of the kids - not so much.  So there is the pie up above - the yellow peppers are suppose to be chicken feet.  Bird pie comes from The Twits book.  Awesome.

Then it was more playing, a quick visit and pictures with the Sister Missionaries since Sister Quist is going home this week.  Then on to cake:

A pretty cool bonfire, eh!?  I had stuck 10 candles in the firepit.  :)  (The girl in the pictures is Paul and Shanna's oldest girl, Olivia.  She and Jonas had a lot of fun playing together!)

Anyways, it was a great day, I hope, for Miles!  We sure are happy to have that noise-making boy in our family!

P.S.  Burnt pretzels STINK.

Miles' Birthday Eve Day

So Miles' birthday was on Sunday this year and so we decided that we'd do something fun on Saturday to celebrate.  Originally we were going to go to Telluride and sled, ride the gandola, and ice skate.  But Ben and I also thought skiing would be fun and so we let Miles chose.  He chose skiing, so skiing it was!  We decided that just the boys would go because 1.  it's just too much money for all of us to go and 2.  if the girls went then Ben and I would have to be 1-on-1 with them and thus the boys would just be on their own.  They were pretty much on their own last time we went skiing and so we thought it would be fun if they could have their dad all to themselves.

They went back to Silverton, Kendall Mountain.  I was a bit worried about the drive since it's scary even on dry roads - and it had snowed a bit the night before.  But all was well, thank goodness.  They really had a great day!  (We girls had a pretty good day, too.  After I spent the morning cleaning (fun!?), I took the girls to McDonald's for lunch and to play at the play-place.  They loved that and spent almost an hour playing.  I had forgotten a book and so it was incredibly long and boring for me!  Then we had a stop at City Market, then back to our home and the girls got to watch Brave while I did birthday-prep stuff.)  The boys came back by 6pm and so it was a good full day for everyone.

Anyways, here are a few skiing pictures:
 Cute, skiing brothers.



 Here is one of Jonas' crashes!  Awesome.  I guess he couldn't get his boot back in to his ski and so he had to wait until Miles and Ben got off the lift and could ski down to him.  :)  Jonas crashed a few times - more than Miles, but that's because he tries more than things (like jumps).  I don't think he minded his crashes.  He told me all about them.  :)

 Miles skiing down . . .

 The two brothers at the top of a run.

Jonas going down the "black diamond" hill.  More like a blue diamond at other resorts, but still a great challenge and great fun for the boys.

P.S.  It was their first time ever skiing with poles.  They were super excited about that!  :)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Happy Birthday Miles


Oh boy.  And I thought I procrastinated in writing Jonas' letters.  It's just a few hours away until it's your birthday . . . and I'm just now starting.

I think I've stated this before, but I just feel like I say the same things every year.  I mean, yes, you are growing up and such, but you are still you - with all the good and not-so-good that it entails.

"Noise with dirt on it," is the cutesy definition of a boy.  And guess what?!  It fits you perfectly.  To a "T."  This is the year of you and NOISE.  I blame my behavior for the past year solely on the amount of noise you make on an Every.  Single.  Day.  basis.  Most of your noises are nonsense sounds.

BLERK!

BEEEEEP.

ZOINK!

BOP!  LOP!  LOP!  BOP!

Lately you've been answering questions with a nonsense sound.  "Miles, have you done your homework yet?"

"Slurppers," or something akin to that is the reply I get.

You don't do this at school.  So, why, oh why, do you have to do it at home?

You've had all sorts of quirky phases and I'm hoping this one, too, will pass.  ASAP.

But these noises are just part of you.  They are just "so Miles."  So even though they completely annoy me, in some way I guess they are endearing to me (ewwww) as well - because they make up YOU - a boy I love.

DIRT.  You have always been a boy that gets dirty.  That's because you play actively.  You immerse yourself (quite literally in fact) in whatever it is you are doing.  I actually don't mind it.  (Only sometimes when I've just mopped our stupid - excuse the harsh language - white floor and you come tromping in with mud caked to the bottom of your boots.)  With just a pile of dirt and one of your tiny toys, you can spend hours playing.  I love it and think it's neat about ya.

So 4th grade is what you are in this year.  You have a brand-new teacher and she likes you and you like her!  Great!  The new thing about this year is that you are involved in the "Gifted and Talented" program that the district offers.  What this means is that all day Tuesday you are with this Quest group (which I always spell as Qwest, thanks to the phone company . . .).  You get to do both the Advanced Math group and the Quest group - I usually just lump them together, but you always correct me (there are a couple of kids in the Advanced Math group that are not a part of Quest, so I know, I know, it is different).  You really like it - it's a small group - maybe 7 of you?  There is just one thing I don't like about Quest.  :)  You bring home billions of newspapers - for crafts, etc.  Most of it just ends up in the recycle bin because we can't stand the 3-foot newspaper tower on our stairs any longer.  However, you did request that your birthday presents be wrapped in newspaper. . . and that I did.

I learned an interesting assessment at a Parent-teacher conference for Quest.  I was given a bunch of print-outs of scores in math, writing, reading, etc.  Your highest scoring occurred in the "Comprehension of Informational Text" category.  You scored a 7 - which means you have a 7th grade level of understanding on nonfictional stuff.  While I found this interesting, it is in no way surprising.  You've been a fan - and an understander - of nonfiction since you were 2.

You've been part of an "Earth group" at school this year.  You've gone to a few lectures, attended some after-school meetings, etc.  You've gone around to the classrooms to see if lights are out, monitors off, etc.  I like that you are involved with this group, I just wish it helped you turn off YOUR lights every morning.  :)  You did walk home alone for the first time ever after one of these meetings.  I watched you from my bedroom window - well at least watched you crossing Park Ave.  It's busy and nobody stops a lot of the time.  It was scary watching you - but you did look both ways and did arrive home in one piece.  Success!  But I like going to school and meeting you all there after school, and so sorry, but I'll be picking you up as long as you are at Northside.

Which is only 1 1/2 more years!  Aiyiyi.  Middle school?  I'm not so sure about that.  Let's not talk about that right now.

Last year you were kind of best friends with Kara.  She is now homeschooled and so we don't see her as much, but she is still a great friend of yours.  At the beginning of the year, I would say you were best-friends with Mychael.  I can't remember how her name is spelled, but it is said, "Michael."  I just think she spelled it a little differently.  She was so similar to you - a little odd and quirky!  You were the perfect friend-match.  But then she moved away.  Now I think you've found a best-buddy in Malachi.  He usually comes over once a week.  He's a great boy and I'm glad you are friends with him.  He is very funny and makes all of you (meaning you, Jonas, Emmy, and Lucy) laugh.  He even made me laugh one afternoon - real laughing.  It was quite awesome for a 4th-grader.  :)

Your classmates seem to like you.  When I go in every other Monday, I see you chatting and getting along with the other students.  They tell me things like "Miles is a Master at Origami."  Or the such.  You've made lots of origami things for your fellow classmates.  Oh, Origami.  That is something that you've gotten in to this past year.  It's definitely a talent and hobby of yours.

Well this is longer that I thought I would get, so I think I can call it a night!  I have tons more, in fact, I could say - but I better save some for your 11th birthday.

Oh, one more thing.  As your friend Kara told us the other night, "Being in the double-digits means you have more responsibilities."

So Happy Birthday and welcome to More Responsibilities!

I love you - noises, dirt, and ALL.

Love,
your mother

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Miles' Haikus

(The picture is unrelated to Haikus, but it is a picture of Miles - who just pulled out his tooth)

Trees
Trees are very tall
They swish and sway in the breeze
Leaves fall over head

Rock
The rock sitting still
Very bumpy, rough, and hard
Never moves an inch

Bushes
Nice, soft, and prickly
Little bird hiding inside
Nice, soft, and tweetie

Saturday, March 01, 2014

How Miles Spent His Rainy Saturday Morning . . .

building a bird-house thingy. The super impressive thing (it was a kit, but he still had to start with nothing, saw pieces, glue it all together, etc.) was that the instructions were all in Japanese. Awesome.

This kid Miles is interesting.  At times his focus is HORRIBLE.  Yes, caps are completely necessary.  But then he can spend a couple of hours working on something like this.  It all comes down to What Miles Wants.  If he wants to do it, he can focus.  If it's homework something he doesn't want to do, he has the darndest time focusing and just getting it done.

Let's hope his future job is something he loves and wants to do.  Good luck with that, right?!  Although I am sure, with Miles, that his future job will indeed be something he loves and wants to do - that's how life rolls with this kid.