Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 Years/Birthday Dinner Out

Mike's been with Deseret Industries (D.I.) for 5 years now.

Now THAT'S a sentence I didn't think I would be saying 5 years ago.


His super-kind boss gave him the company card, and told him to take me out to dinner somewhere nice, in celebration of him being there for 5 years.

My parents were in town to help us move, so we took advantage of the babysitting, and went out to his celebration dinner while they were here.  It also happened to be Mike's birthday.  He told me he wanted a cheesecake, and since I had no idea which box my springform pan was in, we decided to go out to the Cheesecake Factory.

Neither of us had ever been there before.

It was good.

Really good.

In fact, I will probably never eat out again, because that restaurant has ruined all other restaurants for me.


We haven't been on a date since October, and it was sooo nice to be able to go out together!

I didn't take a single picture.

I also was super careful to only eat a few bites of cheesecake and only some of my dinner, so I could share it with the kiddos the next day.

(I'm a mom through and through).

But, it accidentally got left out on the counter overnight, so it was a no-go.


Even with no pictures and no leftovers, it was still such a fun night!  I'm so thankful to my parents and Mike's boss for a great night out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Moving Week. Part 1.

So, in the process of moving, we have had so many kind people offer to help us: offers of trucks, of moving boxes, and of loading/un-loading help.

So. Kind.

Mike's boss offered to bring us a D.I. "pod" (back of a truck), which we could fill up, and the the driver would move it to our new place.

So.  Kind.

We were supposed to have 2 pods, and were going to use our friends and ward family to help us.

But, D.I. ended up needing one of the pods at the last-minute, and we had to get it loaded/un-loaded/re-loaded again (with a 2nd trip of stuff) quick. So, Mike and I loaded half of our houseld into one pod Sunday night, by ourselves, then we bribed the kids with Jolly Ranchers** and un-loaded it all as a family into our new house on Monday, and then Mike and I loaded the second half of our household into the pod again on Monday night.

I felt like She-Ra* carrying mattresses and dressers and our couch out to the pod.

For realz.

Luckily, my parents came up and helped us un-load the second.

Because, I was pretty dead.

I had only been getting 2-3 hours of sleep per night the entire week before, with packing/last-minute kids' school stuff/Primary/moving, and I was exhausted.

And we hadn't even gotten to the un-packing/cleaning the apartment part.

The kids has stuff lined up at school, we had family in town, we were all tired and cranky, both of our homes were a mess...

... and then the Stake President visited us.

* She-Ra is an ultra-cool girl superhero that I liked as a child.

** Jolly Ranchers rock.  I give them to my kids on car trips, and we have contests to see how long we can last while sucking a single one.  This time, I gave everyone a Jolly Rancher, and we had a contest to see who could bring in the most boxes while still sucking a single Jolly Rancher.

Adam won with 33 boxes.

For realz.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Space Derby

Adam got to participate in his very first Space Derby tonight!

We only had a week to make the rocket, and we totally forgot about it, with getting ready to move.

We quickly did it last night, and I was so mad that we didn't get to spend more time on it together with Mike.  I love when they do stuff together!  He liked his rocket, and had a lot of fun racing!

He ended up with 4th place.

Out of 4 boys.

But, I'm pretty sure that had something to do with him losing 3 out of the 4 rubberbands, that are needed to propel the rocket. 



We all had a lot of fun and are proud of his hard work and being a great sport!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lemon Sharks & Field Day & 11 Years

I'm pretty sure the kids have the world's most patient P.E. teacher.

Because during P.E. last week, the kids tie-dyed shirts.

She tie-dyed shirts with over 300 kids.

And considering, it takes a lot of self-pep-talk to get me to tie-dye shirts with my 3... I am in awe.

They came home with them in bags. We let them sit 3 days, then washed. They looked awesome:

The shirts were for the upcoming field day... with each grade having a different color.

Today, it was (finally) field day!

But, first, we got to go this morning and see Grace get her award for passing ANOTHER A.R. level, and become a LEMON SHARK!


She is at a 2nd grade reading level, and is reading Junie B. Jones books as fast as she can.

After the ceremony, I went to a doctor's appointment (I'm anemic), and we got a call from Adam.

His pants had ripped, and he desperately wanted new ones before field day began:

And, I have to say how impressed I am with all of the awesome kids at the school: no one made fun of him or teased him.

We brought him new shorts, brought Grace to school, and then "celebrated" our 11 year anniversary with a burger (I only have 3 months to become un-anemic) and a tired 2-year-old before heading back down to see field day and pick up the kids.

They had an AWESOME field day!  Running, basketball, hula hoops, water games, a chalk drawing contest, and jumping.  The school fed them a picnic lunch, and they had popsicles. 

They both declared it the "best day ever!"

I'm so thankful everyday that Heavenly Father led us to this school.

It's been such a good experience!

I'm also so thankful everyday that Heavenly Father led me to Mike.

Being married to him has been such a good experience, too!

(Okay, WAY more than just good.)


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Box Top Shoppe

Adam and Grace's school has a fun "Box Top Shoppe", where the kids can redeem Box Tops for Education for prizes.

It's the best box top idea I've ever seen; the prizes are cheap little things, so the school still makes money, but the kids are crazy about collecting them so they can earn their cheap little prizes.

(We are always happy to take any box tops off of your hands from all y'all, by the way).

Anyway, today the school had a "blowout" sale, and Adam and Grace got a ton of fun stuff with the box tops they've been saving!

The kids also got a candy (Fun Dip or full-size Butterfinger) just for redeeming their Box Tops today.

I was trying to get Grace to go with the Butterfinger, but she ignored me.

And then as we parted, after I dropped her off at her class, she turned around, glared, and said,

"And all of those Tootsie Rolls better be there when I get home."

For rudeness, right?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grocery Snake

When I'm not stealing cookies to keep Josh entertained in the grocery store, I steal an extra bendy-tie-thingy from the produce section.

For shame!

He likes to pretend they are snakes.

Which is all good, until he throws it down my bra, when I'm leaning down to get something off the bottom shelf.

Then I have the lovely choice of either digging into my bra in the cereal section OR living with a piece of itchy wire while I shop, listening to Josh bawl about his missing snake.

And, that, my friends, is why I generally steal cookies to keep him entertained, rather than going the "snake" route.

(Because heaven forbid I would just prepare and bring the poor child a snack from home.  Good grief!)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Little Wolf!

A few weeks ago, I realized that Adam was almost 9, and hadn't earned his Wolf yet. I panicked, and then looked through his book. We realized he was almost there. I asked him to make a goal of how many arrow points he wanted to earn, along with his Wolf badge, and we got to work. He earned his badge, just in time, with 3 arrow points! He was SO excited!!!

Apparently, so was I.

 Getting jewelry makes me giggle. 

No, not really.  Almost being stuck with the pin, makes me nervous.

Which makes me giggle.

We are SO proud of our Wolf and all of the hard work Adam put into getting his awards!

Afterward, he and I went out for frozen yogurt.

Not to celebrate his badge, per se, but I owed him a date.

Because he (finally) managed to go a week in school, without getting into trouble for talking!


Maybe next year he will earn both his badge AND his frozen yogurt trip a little sooner in the year.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Adam, the Blue Shark

Adam (finally!) graduated his A.R. level and became a Blue Shark!

I only say "finally" because this boy has a ridiculously high reading/comprehension level (12.9+ grade), but his principal said he couldn't start more than 1 grade higher.  He loves reading Harry Potter and Rick Riordan books, which have a 5th through 8th grade reading level.  It's been a struggle to get him to read the required 30 4th grade level books.

(I hate that it may come off as though I'm bragging.  I'm really not.  He reads like crazy night and day, and it has paid off..)

We had fun going to his assembly and celebrating his hard work!  He earned a certificate and a movie/popcorn during the school day!

Way to go, Blue Shark Adam!

We are SO proud of you!!!

First Swim

Josh has no fear.

We took them for the first swim of the year (had to use our apartment swimming pool while we still live here) today. He ran to the pool and jumped in... no floaties, no life vest.

Mike and I looked at each other for a split second, with looks of, "Did he REALLY just do that???" before Mike jumped in after him.

We got his floaties on him, and he spent the rest of the time jumping in off the side, insisting on swimming on his own, and kicking like crazy.

Grace, on the other hand, stayed huddled with me the entire time... she was completely scared to venture out on her own.

Which is weird, because she's always been a little fish in the water. Adam did great; he still remembers how to swim (yay!) and had fun jumping with Josh.

(But NO diving... he learned his lesson last summer). 

We had a fun afternoon, and know tnow to NEVER let Josh anywhere near water alone.

Ever. ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

3 Little Kittens

My sweet friend, Michelle, picks Adam up for school on Monday and Tuesday mornings, since Mike doesn't get home from Red Roof Inn until 8:45 or so.

I opened the door this morning, so Adam would be ready when she got there, and 3 cute kittens ran into our house, from behind a trash bag I had left out last night.

They.  Were.  Darling.

Josh and Grace were in love; I was in love.

Mike... notsomuch.

(Though he was a doll, and bought them a can of food on the way home from work).

We put them in a box, fed them, and brought them to a no-kill shelter.

As sad as we were to see them go, we hope they will go to a new home...

... and I'm happy that it was a cute kittens rather than nasty pigeons who came into my house this time.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day!

I woke up to sweet gifts from these darlings that made me a mother:

A homemade bracelet, jewelery box, a bookmark and sweet cards from Adam.  A plate and card from Grace.  See's chocolate Lollypops from Josh.

After church, Mike had to take a "nap" from 4:00-11:00 (because he works at Red Roof Sunday evenings).  So, I made dinner (sandwiches and fresh pineapple) and Texas sheet cake for dessert:

I spent the rest of the day trying to keep the kids quiet, stopping fights, changing diapers, cleaning messes, giving kisses and time outs.

Basically, I spent Mother's Day being a mom.


And, then we got to Skype my sweet mom/Grammy:

I know that I've mentioned it on here before, but I struggle every. single. day. with motherhood.  It's not something that comes naturally to me.  I have read more parenting books and spent more time on my knees pleading with Heavenly Father to help me be a good mom to these sweet kiddos, than I could ever count.

But, I think that my struggle with it, has made the experience even greater for me... it makes me appreciate the good moments and their fleeting childhood more.  The more I put into it, the more I get out of it; the more I love them, the more love I feel from them and Heavenly Father.

It helps me to put my struggles into perspective.

I love those 3 more than I ever could have imagined I would.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Teacher Appreciation

Man alive, do I appreciate my kids' teachers!

I can't believe how much both Adam and Grace have grown and learned this year, and all of the time and love their teachers put in to teaching them.

I showed the kids a bunch of ideas I found on Pinterest, for teacher appreciation gifts; they decided they liked the cups + lemonade packets + a note that says, "Thanks for quenching my thirst for knowledge."  I did candy bars for the teacher assistants in their classes.

It's such a small thing for the HUGE thing that they do: loving and teaching my kiddos; but I hope that they know how much we appreciate them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stinkin' Sweet

Every day, we drop off Grace for her PM kindergarten.

And (almost every day, unless he's angry) Josh asks her for a kiss.

I love their sweet relationship... they are so close, and I hope it stays that way.

And... I hope he fares okay next year, when his playmate will be gone all day at school.


I hope that I will be okay, too.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

After-School Fun

At the kids' school, the teachers are required to teach an after-school class. 

There are all sorts of fun classes offered, but Adam and Grace could never find one they both liked on the same day.

And as much as I want them to experience so many things, I was not about to pick one up from school, kill an hour, then pick another one up an hour later, 4 days a week.

Finally... in the last quarter of school, they both found a class they loved on the same day!

Grace did Zumba, and had a fabulous time exercising and dancing:

Adam did art, and had a fabulous time painting and sculpting:

I can't even imagine how hard it must be to teach 25 kids all day and then teach an after-school class!  The teachers at their school are AWESOME!

Adam and Grace are loving their after-school classes, and Josh and I are loving getting an extra hour together each day.