2014

2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Emmy's 7th Birthday

I don't remember having a hard time falling asleep on my birthday eve.  Christmas Eve, of course.  But birthday eve, no?  (Right, mom???)  But Emmy sure does.  She was up way late for her - around 9:30.  She cried, couldn't fall asleep, switched rooms, etc., etc.  But, of course, she finally fell asleep.

Well around 6am she and Lucy were up.  Sheesh!  After I bit I let the kids come down and check out a few of the morning birthday surprises.

 And she's 7!  Well, not technically - and my kids get technical, trust me.  In fact, she wasn't 7 until like 10:30 on her birthday night.  But whatevs.  :)  It was still her birthday!  (Although remember what I think?  It's MY birthday of Emmy and her bornday.  :)

 Emmy really, really wanted a pet.  I really, really didn't want her to have a pet.  But the boys wanted to buy her a fish and I thought I could handle that.  Emmy was really excited!  I think she named him Blue Fish.  Awesome.  (Name change as of this morning:  Princess of the Sea.  Awesomer.)

This was Emmy's big present - an our generation doll, horse, bed, and 7 adorable outfits.  I found it on craigslist, close to Littleton.  Jim and Diana picked it up.  Then we lucked out and a family friend was driving from Littleton to Grand Junction.  So while Ben was up in Junction last Saturday for a church meeting, he picked the stuff up.  And it was totally worth it.  She LOVES it - loves it all.  By 7:30am the horse had been fed and groomed and the doll had changed outfits 3 times and had taken a nap.  :)  And I had gotten a big and unasked for hug and "thank you so much!"

Aw, she loves her.  Now we'll need to come up with a good name.

At our house, it's always a family affair.  Even dressing the dolls - which, oddly enough, is something Jonas really likes to do.  :)

Breakfast time!  She got her fun cereal, but also a special bonus:  left-over from last night's dinner - a coconut roll!  Her favorite food is coconut and so she was happy to have that yummy roll!

Aw, she was still lovin' on her doll and horse.  :)

We sent the kids off to school and then Lucy got to help me make the cake.  Lucky girl!

 I checked Emmy out for lunch and we got some bagels.  Fun, fun.

Then we spent a little time at the park before checking her back in.

I finished up the cake that afternoon.  I am pretty sure it's my worst-looking cake ever.  Ha!  I just laugh every time I look at it.  I mean, it was the easiest cake of all - except for Olaf, whom I totally bombed.  :)  But the kids thought it was great.  This was the cake requested by Emmy.

After school we headed out to one of Ben's co-worker's (Laura) house.  She has horses and we thought it would be a neat experience for Emmy and the rest of the kids to ride one.  Emmy is in that girl phase of loving horses . . .

Here were are driving to Laura's; Emmy brought her doll, which was dressed in her 4th outfit for the day.  :)

Emmy was really, really scared when Laura brought the horse out.  So scared!  Slowly she started warming up and would allow Ben to get within a 5-foot distance of the horse.  Finally, she groomed the horse (named Princess) a bit.  But she still wasn't sure about riding her!

But Jonas was.  He was first up!

During Jonas' ride, Emmy said she wanted to be next.  So she was.  Her fear was totally gone and she really loved it.

Then both girls got to ride together - so cute, so very cute!  (Laura held the reins and walked the horse.)

After the kids all had a turn, it was Ben's turn.  Laura didn't hold the reins for him; he got to go all by himself.  :)

 
Then Ben took each of the kids with him.  They went "fast."  They all loved it - well, except for Lucy who didn't go again.

 While one kid was on the horse, the others were in the barn playing with the cute baby bunnies.  So fun.

We left and came home and had dinner, then opened the rest of her gifts, then played, then did homework (darn school-night!), then had cake and ice cream.  (It was homemade coconut ice cream and was pretty awesome.)

 Miles lighting the candles . . .

 Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you . . .

I think her wish was, "I wish I don't have to go to school tomorrow!"

Unfortunately it did not come true.

It was a great day celebrating and loving our great Emmy girl.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Emmy,

Happy 7th Birthday!  You're getting older - you know it and love it.  Although you wish you had all the privileges your brothers have.  But don't worry, you have way more than they had at your age.  We tell you this, but it doesn't seem to really help . . .

This past year was your first year of school.  You went all day.  All day long!  It was a little long for you, but really you loved school and had many friends and so you were usually excited about going each day.  Your first teacher, Mrs. Arrechea, was fabulous and you really liked her.  This year you have Mrs. Brummit - just who you wished you would have!  I think she'll be fabulous, too.  You started 1st grade with only one other girl from your kindergarten class (plus some boys), but you're making new friends already after the first week.

You are a fun girl to be around.  You have just about the best giggle in the world.  When you're happy, you just giggle and giggle.  You giggle at gymnastics.  You giggle while playing.  You giggle a lot.  It is so sweet and cute to hear you giggle.  When you're happy, you're happy!

But . . . when you're not, you're not!  Aiyiyi.  You can be so sweet and so adorable, and then so none of those things.  You almost have a switch - a happy or not-happy switch.  It's either up (happy) or down (not-happy).  And, really, let's be honest:  your not-happy could probably be better described by saying MAD.  That's what happens when you are not happy:  you get mad.  If I tell you anything that doesn't sound like fun to you, I get a big "UGH" and a really mad girl.  "Emmy, it's time for chores."  "UGH!  I HATE chores!  Why do I have to do chores!  Isn't that what parents should do?  I HATE chores."  Something like that.

So you have very happy emotions (evidenced by the best of all giggles) and very mad emotions (evidenced by what I said up above), plus you have very tender emotions.  You have already started crying at sad movies.  You try to hold it in because I think you're embarrassed by it, but I think it's cute.  We watched this movie Hachi a month or so ago and it was pretty much the saddest movie I have seen!  You would agree.  I was holding it in pretty good, and then I looked over at you and you were just about to burst.  So I told you it was okay and then you broke loose and just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  It was very sweet and tender of you.  We both agreed that we will never watch that movie again (although it is sweet and based on a true story).

You did soccer, dance, and gymnastics this past year.  You are, so far, our best soccer player.  You just go after the ball and enjoy playing.  You were so fun to watch.  You were in dance - and although you didn't love going to dance practice each Friday afternoon, you LOVED your performance.  You were in the Polar Express and were sooooo cute.  You got to move up to another gymnastics class.  You are the youngest girl in your class.  The other girls are good and so they are great examples of what you can do, too.  You really like gymnastics and hardly ever complain about going (unlike when you did dance).  I love listening to you giggle during your class (that Coach Kirk is sure one amazing coach!).

You are a weird eater.  I would love to say picky since you hardly ever eat much of dinner.  Yet you beg to eat school lunch more often.  Say what?!  It's true.  You and your brothers get to chose one school lunch a week - and you want more.  You don't really like sandwiches, nor tortillas wraps, nor much else for a decent homemade lunch.  Last year you did pretty good with PB and banana and honey sandwiches (by pretty good I mean maybe, on a good day, eating 1/2 of an already teeny-tiny sandwich), but I don't think you're in to them this year.  We'll have to find something for you to eat!  Besides sweets and treats. I know you'd eat those.  :)

You are brave and often times do things your brothers won't do.  You still remain a great big-sister to Lucy.  She drives you nuts at times and you make plenty of mean faces at her, but you do put up with a lot.  You let her play with you and your friends.  In fact, just today she was invited to your friend's birthday party and you didn't complain at all.

You wish Jonas and Miles were nicer brothers ("I HATE brothers!  I wish I never had brothers!") and I think someday they will be.  I'm pretty sure that most of their friends will have some serious crushes on your because 1.  You are a super fun girl and 2.  You are a super beautiful girl.

You're a good girl and I love you tons, Emmy.

Love,
your mom

Monday, August 25, 2014

Adventures of Urban Chicken Farmers

So I mentioned to Ben how one chicken always stays away from the others, never comes out when we drop off food scraps, etc.  So Ben went to check out the situation this morning and couldn't find the chicken and was convinced it had somehow escaped.  Later in the day we saw the other chicken.  Then Ben started thinking . . . a few weeks back when Ben's sister was here she (Debbie) found an egg - by our little chicken.  We hadn't gotten any eggs since . . . So Ben thought maybe the chicken was brooding over her eggs.  I went out with Lucy in the evening to dump in some corn cobs and found the little spot where the chicken goes and hides . . . and lays her eggs.  It was quite the process to get her off her eggs, but we (not meaning me, of course!) did.  What a fun chicken adventure (fun because I didn't have to get too close to any chickens!).

 Ben held the chicken while Miles got the eggs.  The chicken was not happy with Ben.

She probably wasn't happy with Miles stealing her eggs either.

Cute.

All the kids were excited about finding the hidden stash of eggs.  And climbing on the coop was pretty fun, too.

Little Lucy watching all the action from down below.  :)  So sweet.

Unfortunately, we weren't sure how old the eggs.  We did the "egg test" to see if they were good and bad - and they all floated, supposedly meaning they are old and bad.  But I don't quite buy it.  Because not ALL of the eggs would be old, yet they all floated.  I think it's because they are miniature eggs.  Anyways, we didn't eat any of them.

Hopefully, somehow, we can get the chickens to lay in their laying spots!  :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sailing Away . . .

It's time I post about our sailboat.  It's crazy that we have one.  It's weird.  Yet, as one neighbor pointed out, it looks like the boat has always been at our house - it just fits.  (Our house kind of looks like a boat!)

This is kind of a long story.  So if you don't want to read it all, I'll tell you know how it ends:  we buy a sailboat and it's pretty much all my fault.

So two years ago Ben saw a sailboat for sale . . . whoa, let my backtrack a bit.

So many years, before Ben and I met, he took a sailing trip to Alaska.  He fell in love with sailing and has dreamed many times of doing a trip like that again.

Maybe 5 years ago Ben saw a sabot for sale (how many times will I say sail or sale in this post, I wonder!?) and we ended up buying it.  It's tiny - as in, meant for one person.  Ben took me out once (there are some benefits to being short) as well as the kids (minus Lucy).  He loved his little boat.

Okay, now back to 2 years ago.  Ben saw a sailboat for sale - in our town, probably about a mile or 2 away.  We pretty much drive past it on our way to church, friends' houses, etc.  So he took Lucy one day and checked it out.  He loved it and told me all about it, including the price.  I said no way.

So during those 2 years we probably have driven past the boat many, many, many times.

Well about a month ago I was on my lovely long Saturday run.  I ran past a garage sale and saw a cool-looking sailboat.  It was small and wooden and neat looking.  When I got home I told Ben to go check it out for fun - and maybe it would be super cheap?!  So Ben rode his bike out there and came back and liked the boat.  Then he told me the price and we both scoffed.

Later that day Ben was telling me about the garage sale and how he could tell the man just wanted to get rid of his stuff.  So I said (there is where my brain turned off for a bit . . .), "Why don't you go there and offer him half.  Or just tell him if he's ever interested in selling this is what you'd pay."

Ben thought it was a fine plan and so later that day we went out to the man's house.  As we're driving out there we drove past the sailboat that had been for sale for years . . .and Ben said something like, "This is the boat I should offer on."  Anyways, we drove to the other one and Ben spoke with the man selling the boat and was told he wouldn't even talk at Ben's offer.  Fine.  Really.

So we're driving back and I ask, "Well do you want to stop at the other boat and make your same offer?"  (My brain is still shut off.  Also, just some FYI, the boats were asking the same price.)  Ben said sure and so we stopped off at the house with the sailboat that Ben had checked out and had thus dreamed about ever since.

The seller was not there, but Ben did talk to his son-in-law - who gave Ben hope with a positive reception.  Ben left his number and was told the seller (Randy) would call him.

Randy ended up calling him that night.  Ben spoke with him and told him our offer and Randy said something like, "Well the economy has been really rough on me and my family and so I'll take it."  Then Ben and I were kind of like, "No!  Ack!  Really?!  We're going to have a sailboat.  Huh?!"  I think we were both kind of excited, but also nervous about spending more money (we had just bought the truck that very day).  But we also felt bad about backing out of the offer - after we had raised Randy's hope.  But we also knew we don't make a purchase, a big one like this, because we don't want to hurt someone's feelings.

But Ben got more and more excited about it.  And we gave Randy the check.  And it was our's.  It hung out at Randy's house for about a week before we brought it home.

Of course the kids are super thrilled about it.  I think they have played in it every day (except Sunday) since we've gotten it.  It's like their club-house or something.  We may have to stop their playing, though, as we don't want to ruin it before we get a chance to sail it!

Ben needs to take his friend (with lots of sailing experience) and play around with it.  Then we'll all go for a sail, I guess.  Monday is the day, perhaps.  I'm still nervous about being on water with my kids, on a boat, etc.  Of course.

Anyways, that's the story of how/why we bought a sailboat.  And, no, we haven't named her yet.

Here are a few pictures, none of which are super good:
 Here is the boat, 2 years ago at Randy's house.

And here it is tonight, at our house.

Ben got the sails up tonight (I guess there are 2, but I only got this picture with one of them up).  He is now VERY excited to go sailing!  The lightning rod - I mean, the mast - is like 25 feet tall.

Another picture.

Here is Jonas helping out.  This is the spot where everyone sits.

Popeye.

So there is an inside cabin-like thing.  We can actually all sleep in it - since we're so short.  :)  Here is a table that folds down and you put some cushions down and it's a bed.  (We do want to reupholster the cushions, someday.)

Here's the other side.  Under that metal lid/plate is a stove!  Then there is a little sink that uses a pump for water.  And another sitting/sleeping area.

This is at the front of the boat - another sleeping spot.  Crazy.

And there she is.

I still wonder, "What was I thinking!?"

P.S.  Even though it was because my brain was shut off that I agreed to buying the boat, don't you think that since I did agree, I should be able to paint the ugly wood on the inside whatever color I want?  Like turquoise.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Any they're off to great places . . .

With Mrs. Brummit. 

 With Mrs. Reich (Miles' 3rd grade teacher, too).
 With Mrs. Pearson.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

The day Lucy turned 4

Oh what a day!  Full of fun:


 She and Emmy woke up bright and early - per Ben's report (I had headed out to exercise early so I wouldn't be so late to start the birthday celebrations . . . :)

Her birthday fun cereal and a present, or two, to open.

After a couple hours of doing chores (for the rest of us, the birthday girl decided not to join in the fun of chores and decided instead to play with her new toy . . . birthdays come but once a year so we had to let this go . . . :) it was time to let Lucy open the rest of her gifts.  We saw no sense in waiting since the rest of the day was pretty booked and we were all home!

 She loves all her gifts - especially this cash register.  But really, each and every gift she has already played with lots and lots.  Love that.

The girls playing with another toy set.

The party table - here was our activity table for Lucy's party.  Woodland fairy headbands, fairy gardens, glitter globes, pixie dust necklaces, dessert plates, oh my!

There was a ward party that night and so we did something special for lunch.  Lucy chose "colored noodles."  We did add some butter and parmesan cheese and it was a hit.  :)

Lucy got to have a party this year - remember, we are on the every 4-year plan for friend-parties.   It was a fairy party and she invited 4 friends - Lila age 4, Ellie age 4, Jenna age 3, and Sarah age 10.  :)  Sarah is our sweet and loved-by-all-my-kids neighbor.  She was camping with her family at their cabin and even drove down for it - for Lucy's sake.  What a gal!

The girls came and we face-painted their cheeks.  They got to choose what type of fairy to be:
 Lucy was the Rainbow fairy.  Lila the Flower fairy.  Emmy the Ice fairy.  Ellie the Snow fairy.  Jenna the Princess fairy.  Sarah was the Fire fairy (but she didn't make it in the picture - I think she was fixing what I had painted on her.  :)

We then went out front and the girls planted flowers and fairy houses and pebbles and made a little fairy garden.

So cute!

Lila and Lucy having some fun just playing in Lucy's room.

Love this picture taken by Jonas.

 The girls then colored a fairy and we made glitter globes (we laminated their fairies, put them in baby food jars, then added some glitter and baby oil).
 I think the girls really liked them; they did turn out pretty cute!

Miles helped Lucy with her globe.  Adorable.

Then it was time for dessert.  We made these little "fairy teacups" and the girls loved them.  The cups were filled with frosting and the girls could dip their strawberries in it - or use their knives to spread it - or not eat the strawberries at all, like Lucy.

We were singing the "Happy  Birthday" song at this point.  I love her expression!

 Yum!

 I just like this picture.  :)

Then we made pixie-dust necklaces (which are adorable) and Lucy opened her gifts.  All of which she loved.

Then it was over!  Such a fun and good group of girls.

Another picture of Emmy and Lucy playing - with new dress-up clothing Lucy got for her dolls.

Okay, so I adore this gift so much!  It was homemade (except the doll, of course).  It's a little bassinet and then converts in to a purse:
 Um, LOVE.  Lucy loves it, too.  :)

The girls played, the boys went to pick up our sailboat (more on that a little later), and I cleaned.  Then we got ready for our ward party, a 1950's Sock Hop.
 I made the girls poodle skirts and it was kind of fun and kind of not.  I will never make a circle skirt again without a serger.  I think the crew looks pretty good for a 1950s-look?!

The sock hop was super fun - the kids LOVED it.  Miles got to DJ it with his record player and 1950s record songs.  That was fun.  The girls loved dancing, doing the twist, jump roping, hula hooping, etc., etc.  Emmy is the cutest hula-hooper in the world!  I really need to get it on video.  In her poodle skirt.  To die for (if your her parents  :).  The gym was amazingly decorated!  It was really awesome.

We left just a bit early to come back for more birthday festivities.  (The kids couldn't eat any sweets at the sock hop.  We're mean.)
 Lucy, her cake, and her siblings.  She has declared herself the Rainbow fairy (for the past month now) and so we decided on the rainbow cake.

Jonas lighting her candles.  Lucy takes this seriously apparently.

Make a wish!

And this is what eating cake and ice cream at the Maxwell's looks like.

Whooowheeee, what a day!  What a FUN day celebrating a FUN girl that is LOVED beyond measure.