Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My early birthday present from Miles

I had to beg him for this gift . . .

The gift of cutting his hair!  Now, I like long hair in boys.  Funny, I also like bald hair in boys . . . But Miles didn't like doing his hair and also has NO clue how to do hair or how to style his hair.  And it was just getting long and unruly.  And his hair long in the winter time is just kind of flat . . . as opposed to a more wavy look in the summer.  He still had some curl, but not much.

Anyways, I've begged him to get it cut.  But he didn't want it buzzed like Ben did to Jonas a couple of weeks ago.  (Also, the gal that I would have do it couldn't do it this week, then we are gone next week . . .)

So I found a video on youtube and got an idea of a non-buzz cut.  (Besides a "buzz-cut," I've never really cut my boys' hair.)

Here is Miles' "BEFORE" look:

I look at this picture and think, "This doesn't look too bad."  But, really and 99% of the time, his hair looked . . . not good (i.e., ugly and messy and super unkempt).

He is pretty wimpy at getting his hair cut!  "OW!" was a frequent exclamation made by him.  I was using trimmers with guards on them.  Seriously child?  He's goofy.  He does HATE the hair on his body, which makes him super itchy.  But I, being the professional I am not, did make him a cape out of a trash bag and even clipped it so it was extra-tight around the neck.  :)

Here are 2 "AFTER" pictures:
I think it turned out alright!  It's not perfect and there are some longer hairs here and there and some unevenness here and there, but for a first time, it ain't too bad.  :)  I did a shorter guard on the bottom, a longer one at the top, and then "blended" in the 2 with 2 other guards.  Whatever.  (Oh, but it was so hard at first because I was shaving the bottom part and the top part was soooo long I couldn't even see what I was doing.  Yes, of course I should have shaved all of his hair a bit first of all, but I didn't think of that until too late!  It was nuts.)

Handsome, handsome.  Even with a slightly-wonky mom-cut and in a trash bag.  :)

Thanks, Miles!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Well in the process of taking up our floor we have come across a bit of history.  Not only the history of the ugly linoleum that once graced these kitchen floors.  But newspapers from long ago.

There is a weird and random hole in our kitchen floor.  Upon further inspection (by Miles, perhaps?) it was discovered that newspaper was down in that hole - about 4 feet down maybe.  Anyways, a few days later we were able to get the paper up:

 The date:  June 4th, 1963.  Cool, huh?

 JFK was President!
And we just thought this was funny.

Then yesterday Ben was pulling up another wood and saw this:
Hmmmm, another 1963 paper?

Can you see the date?!  February 13, 1909.  Super crazy.  It looks like this paper was published in New York and was some sort of paper for "young people" that was religous-based.

So cool.  We'll have to leave some sort of hidden treasures for people . . . in a hundred years . . . that decide to "update" the flooring in this house.  :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Destruction Zone

Well we are getting new flooring on our main level.  A good friend of ours will put it in during Spring break, when we will be gone.  Perfect timing.  But before that we are ripping out the old floor.  Well Ben is pretty much ripping out the floor.  The rest of us do the other odds 'n ends.

 This was the first day - starting in the back "yellow room."  Go, Ben, go!

 The worker and his borrowed tool.  Thanks to Randy for all our handy tools!

So here is the subfloor in the yellow room.  What you can't see are the thousands of staples stuck in there - that all need to come out . . .

 Here was the hideous linoleum that was uncovered (after like 6 layers!) in our kitchen.  So ugly.  But the kid on it sure is cute.

 Oh here I am removing staples.  I now have a serious kink in my neck.  It hurts.  I can't rotate my neck to one side.  The joys.

 And here is the state of our kitchen now.  Lovely.

 Lucy helped Ben out on Monday - removing the old hardwood floor in the dining and living rooms.

 So cute.

 And this is what it looks like now - except all the hardwood floor (behind Lucy) is totally gone.  We worked on removing the nails last night - luckily they are a bit easier than the staples.  Unluckily, I don't think it's good for my neck . . .

Tada!  Ben has done a great job - now we just need to tediously get out all the staples and nails and then I think it will be ready for Randy.

Only 9 more days living like this . . . :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Check out Emmy in the picture below (St. Patty's post).  See that cut on her forehead?

Originally I was told that a scissor just fell on her head.  I told her that scissors don't just fall from the sky.  I already knew what happened . . . "Why, Emmy, were you trying to cut your hair?"

She has gotten these little baby-hair-wisps that she wanted to get ride of apparently . . .

She's has been embarrassed as people (adults and friends alike) have asked her what happened.  I told her that's all a part of a little something called


I love it when they naturally happen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

A day where we do a whole bunch of stuff that really has not much to do with Saint Patrick.

Oh well, it's fun!

 We always start the day with green milk and green smoothies.  And green mustaches.

There they all are in their greens.  No pinching on them!

We finished up the day with reuben sandwiches, roasted cabbage, and green jello.

Erin Go Bragh!

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Letter X

I hosted preschool at my house this week and we were on the little X.  So we did some eXercise, ate white-chocolate pretzel sticks made in to the letter X (which, ummm, the kids LOVED and asked me to tell their moms the recipe), did an X-ray craft, and had a scavenger hunt where X marked the spot (the treasure = dum-dums).  It was fun!

Years ago I bought a yogo DVD for kids.  It's like "ABC yoga" or something.  It's adorable:
 A is for alligator. . . (and, yes, I used our camping pads for yoga mats!)

 B is for butterfly . . .

 M is for mooo and meow . . .

 P is for pedal-laughing . . .

 W is for wheel . . . (I love how you can see the video in the back and Lucy is doing what she's supposed to be doing!)

 And Z is for zigzag breathing . . . The video is about 30 minutes - the kids did each and every letter exercise . . . and were hungry and tired afterwards!  They were super cute during the whole thing.

Here is our cool x-ray craft.  The kids got to squirt (with syringes) special "x-ray ink" to show their hands.  Super fun.

They are a really good group and it's fun to have them all over!

Monday, March 09, 2015

I now have an 11-year old

Daylight savings = kids waking up later, right?!  Wrong if that child has a birthday in your house and can't sleep and wakes up all the other kids . . . Ugh.  Seriously they were all up at like 5am their body time.  Oh well, let the party begin . . . (actually, I had Ben go in and tell everyone to be quiet and keep the lights off!)
 Ben and I made this plaque for Miles - it's his Cub Scout earnings and a recognition of his Arrow of Light.  I really love how it turned out.  Oh, and if the slope-y bottom part (his belt loops) is bothering you, don't worry, it bothered us too.  Ben is going to have it supported with a wooden dowel instead.

 Miles got to open a couple of gifts in the morning, as tradition goes.  He opened a headlamp (for his scouting adventures, etc.) and then I let him open a book.  He knew what the book was because last week he checked out a book from the school's library and it was the exact book I had bought him.  I told him in a sort-of round-about way to not start reading it for a bit . . .  and he got it.  :)

 Lucy was my cake-making helper.  :)

Miles was given an opportunity to go skiing on his birthday (with the whole family), but wanted to go to school instead - he didn't want to miss it.  Same with Jonas.  What weird kids I have!  Ben was off today and was able to take Miles out for some Chinese buffet.  It was a fun outing for the two of them.

After school the kids came home and we had Frobscottle for snack - as requested by Miles, as found in his Roald Dahl cookbook.  It was an interesting drink full of kiwis, lime juice, raspberry yogurt and cream soda.

Then Miles opened his gifts.

 I took this picture for genealogy's sake.  This is the case that held the pocketknife that my grandfather (Miles' great-grandfather and my dad's dad) had bequeathed to Miles when Miles was just barely over 1-month old.  Miles was my grandfather's first great-grandson.  It's a "got-everything" sort of pocketknife.  Miles has known about this knife for quite a while and would periodically ask me, "Can I go look at my knife?!"  Why did my grandfather have me give it to him on his 11th birthday?  Because he (Grandpa Galbraith/Marlin) was smart and knew that's when Miles would start Boy Scouts.

 This was Miles' big present from us - he picked it out and knew it was pretty much all we were going to give him.  A huge Lego RV set.  Fun, fun!  (Yes, Emmy, you are adorable.)

 He also got this Lego Minecraft set - partly from his own money and some from his grandparents' money.  He - and Jonas - were pretty in to it.

His choice for dinner was elk pasties.  We haven't had that in a long time and they were yummy.

Later we watched an Ice Age movie.  Funny stuff - it's just what Miles loves.  :)

 Miles requested this cake - a campfire cake.  So easy and fun.  :)

My friend, when telling her about his cake, told Miles we should roast marshmallows over it.  So we did!

Happy birthday Miles!

Dear 11-year old boy,

Happy birthday Miles!  You are getting old.  I just read your letter from last year and I could totally just copy and paste it - edit a few names and words, and, voila, I'd be done!

You are still full of noises.  In fact, I just had a breakdown on Friday morning all due to you and your noises.  I wish you had a volume knob so you could still make your noises, but I just couldn't hear them constantly.  But then life would be too easy and I wouldn't be tested (and failing like I am now!).  I was talking to Jonas' teacher (who was your 3rd grade teacher as well) and her son, one year older, is a noise-maker as well.  So I guess I have at least another year of this . . . sigh.

What else did I say last year?  You're still a part of Quest and love it.  Malachi is probably your best-friend.  And you still like to get dirty.

You finished up your cub scouting and earned its highest award, the Arrow of Light.  It took a lot of work - from both you and myself (I, being your mother AND den leader AND Cubmaster).  But you really did want to earn it and I really wanted you to as well.  I am proud of you.

You are finishing up your last year at Northside.  It's been a great 6 years for you at that school.  I think you will miss it.

You did your first season of wrestling this past year.  It was a really great experience for all of us to be a part of.  You really surprised us at your first matches.  You didn't know anything about wrestling, yet you won a couple of matches!  You impressed us with your strength and endurance.  You have already talked about doing it again next year and so we are excited about that!  The middle school even has a team and so hopefully  you can be a part of that.  It's an independent-type of sport and so I think it's a really, really good fit for you.  I hope you'll like it and continue on with it.  I really think you could be really good.

You continue to be very, very creative and artistic.  You had a painting of yours showcased in our town's local art gallery.  You have (and have always had) great attention to detail, which helps in your creativity and artistry.  You got a stop-action movie making set for Christmas this past year and have made many fun and interesting movies.  One movie, Clay Wars, had over 800 pictures in it.  That is a lot, no a ton, of work.  Click.  Move objects.  Click.  Move objects.  800 times of that.  Wowzers.  Your focus on what you want to do is extremely impressive.  Your focus on things you don't want to do (ahem, homework) is less-than-impressive and often a struggle.  Let's hope you get a job in something you LOVE to do because then there will be no stopping what you can accomplish.

You had your first "girlfriend" during your 10th year, I guess.  In fact, she was the one who asked you to be her boyfriend.  You said yes but not because you "love" her anything.  It really didn't mean too much and we don't see her (Keely) very much.  She's . . . oh. . . about 3 feet taller than you.  :)  You have gotten very in to trying to make money - in several ways.  One way is by doing extra chores around the house - like helping Dad clean out the garage, cleaning the disgusting-ness of the cupboards underneath the sink, etc.  But you also sold some things.  Some things to Keely.  For a lot of money.  You sold her a few lego pieces plus one Harry Potter lego figure (which I wasn't super happy about because HP anything is worth holding on to).  Anyways, she gave you $20 for it all.  When I found this out we talked about it, looked up prices for lego figures (not cheap), etc.  I didn't feel good about you taking that much money, but you were under the impression that Keely got the money from her mom and that her mom knew what Keely was buying.  Which wasn't totally correct, but wasn't your fault.  Anyways, we didn't see much of Keely after that incident . . .

You've always been . . . you.  A little bit different than most other kids.  But you like that - in fact, this past year especially, I think you have made specific choices or done certain things to make sure you are different than your peers.  You are now more purposeful in being different.  Which is pretty cool. In a writing-response at school you wrote, "I try not to blend in with the crowd.  I am different in many ways like going to Quest, running the wrong way, and not playing video games every day.  Sometimes my mom says, 'Please act normal!'"  Haha.  Actually I think I say something more along the lines of, "Please pretend to be normal for a little bit."  I definitely love how unique you are and how confident and comfortable you are with yourself.  But, yes, at times I would love to just be around a normal-acting boy - if there is such a thing . . .

I'll finish with the acrostic you wrote in your class:

I'll just finish - for reals this time - with a short explanation of maybe why you wrote those descriptions.  Mathematician - you love math.  You almost always win Krypto at Quest.  Independent - I've already mentioned that.  You are not afraid to be alone - even when surrounded by many people.  Learner - you love school and reading, including non-fiction books galore.  Electric - I don't really know, but you do love light bulbs.  And, finally, Strange - which I've already talked about.

Have a great day you weirdo!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Barnelopet 2015

We went to the Barnelopet last year - although Ben was not able to come then.  This year, we all made it - yay!  Last year it was so super snowy - but this year it was so super sunny and hot!  We had a good time.  It is put on by some nordic volunteer group and is just a fun event.  We rent the kids' skis for $1 each - plus a little "donation."  So that's awesome.  They do a little bit of "lessons" and then there is a "ski-race" at the end.

Here are a bunch of pictures, mainly of Lucy.  :)

 We started the day out with too much sunblock for Lucy.  :)  Awesome.

 Our polka-dotted Emmy.

 Our good friends, the Berwangers, were there too.  Emmy and Ava are great friends and so it was a lot of fun for them to ski together.

 This is the beginning of the long, "5K" race.  I think they said it isn't quite a 5k, so I'm not quite sure what it is.  At least 2 miles.  The boys did it and I tagged along.

 While we were out on the long race, the girls did their race.

 Go, go, Lucy!

 Sorry, she's just too cute - even from behind.  She was the last of the pack, but finished the race all on her own.

 She is even cuter from the front.  What a ski babe.  :)  (Ben didn't get a picture of Emmy in the race because the older kids were going to go twice around the loop.  But everyone just ended up doing it once and so Ben never got a shot of Emmy.)

 And here come the boys (with me behind)!  It's a pretty good trail - with some uphills and downhills.  The boys did well - they kept a good pace and never complained when we had to climb.  I was impressed.  And Jonas wasn't last place this year - someone was behind him and he was so happy about that.  :)

 All done.  Very fun.

 Our barnelopet children.

After the race we ate some lunch and then went back out.  Emmy had a major fit and was sent away.  Ben had Lucy on his back on a pack and they toured around for a bit.  I encouraged the boys to go up the hill and ski down in the powder.  It was hard and Jonas fell a lot.  :)

It was a fun day up in the beautiful snowy Grand Mesa.


Friday, March 06, 2015

Lucy and her cartwheels

As I say in the video, Lucy does cartwheels everywhere.  She is actually really, really good.  I mean, you'll look at this video and be like, "Sure, her carthwheels are fine."  But ask a 4-year old to do one.  Then you'll get that Lucy is actually pretty great at it.  She does them everywhere.

Now I'm not doing this to brag.  Seriously.  Yes, the girl has a mean cartwheel.  But it's just one thing that she excels at.  I mean, she's good at gymnastics - but nothing compares to her cartwheels.

Although she just started doing near-perfect bridges tonight . . . :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Ward Pinewood Derby

Well this time our whole family had the opportunity to race in the pinewood derby.  The Elders' Quorum hosted a "Chili cook-off and pinewood derby" for everyone.  Our girls were particularly excited to make and race their very own cars.  I had a car too.  Everyone but Ben did - he helped cut out all the cars, of course.  I did all the axle sanding on the girls' cars - the boys just used their old wheels and axles.

Anyways, we had about 45 cars in all racing.  I think it was a fun night!  Besides the fact that it was dominated by the Distel family.  Brother Wade Distel is quite an amazing pinewood derby car maker.  He made himself one, as well as helped his wife and his 5 kids all make one!  Plus he cut out a few other cars in our ward.  He was the grand, undefeated champion.  The last race was between 3 Distels.  :)  I think Wade spent 6 hours on his paint-job alone - which was amazing.

Anyways, it was a fun night and my kids had a great time racing their cars.

 Lucy and her Skittle car.  She lost out pretty quickly . . . not totally sure why.  But Lucy still had a lot of fun racing it!

Emmy and her cool racer.  It was a pretty fast car actually . . . but was out after 4 or 5 heats.  She loves her car.

 Jonas and his car.  His was actually pretty fast too and held on for a bit.  Go, go, Jo!

 Miles.  So Miles.  His bird's nest car.  With a real egg.  That we made him hard-boil.  This kid.

 A close-up.  I think it was one of the first ones out.  :)  But he did win "Most Fragile" award afterwards.  At the very end of the track it always flipped over and did some endo-dives - it was very egg-citing.  Ha.

 The girls and our cars.  My car was a flip-flop car - can you tell?  It wasn't very aerodynamic and was out fairly quickly as well.  But we all had fun racing, for sure.  Our first pinewood derby race!

Here's a close-up of all of our cars.

 Emmy was excited after her first race - 1st place by a long shot!

This is what happened to Lucy's car after it was out . . . the skittles somehow ended up in her tummy.  Awesome.  (Oh, Ben is in the picture - in the background!  He managed the computer programming for the race.  He did great.)

A fun night!