Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sometimes I Force Myself to Laugh...

... so that I don't cry.

Like when Josh dumps gallons of water onto the floor, so that he can go swimming:

I laughed a lot while we dried the floor.

(But notsomuch when I had to do 2 extra loads of towel laundry that night).


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big Boy Bed!

Josh hasn't stayed in his crib at night for a long time now.

So, when we moved we decided not to put the crib up, and let him sleep on his crib mattress on the floor.

Boy wasn't exactly happy with that; he is smart and independent and HATES being treated differently than his older brother and sister.

But, we couldn't afford a toddler bed/bunk bed.  It got so bad that we were going to borrow one from a friend, when one got donated to D.I.  Mike got it for less than $10 and Josh was THRILLED when he saw it in his room!

I am so thankful for the kind people who donate to D.I. and for Josh's adorable new big boy bed!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Piano Boy

I feel very strongly that all of our children should learn how to play the piano.

If they want to learn an instrument beyond the piano, awesome.

I will support that.

But, they all will learn to play the piano.

I thought 8 would be a good age to begin, so I talked to my friend Jessica back in April, who agreed to give him weekly lessons.  He has a lesson once a week, and then practices at home daily.

Or, that's the idea, anyways.


We don't have a piano, and the keyboard we are borrowing is small, so we go a few times a week to the church to practice on the piano there.

He just finished his first piano book, and is getting pretty good!

This is a rather lame recording (my camera ran out of space and only got 9 seconds) of "Indian Song", his favorite in his first book:


He LOVES playing the piano!!!  I normally have to force him to stop practicing so he can do chores and homework, rather than begging him to practice.

I really hope that continues.

And, I LOVE how excited Grace is to start playing the piano in a few years... Adam's enthusiasm for it is contagious.

I really hope that continues, too.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lied Discover Children's Museum

Our 80 days of summer fun are well underway around here!

I'm not going to do a post a day with all of our activities. 

(You know, because, I'm having a hard time doing these once-in-a-while posts and all... a post  day would kill me.  And this blog).

I will do one half-way through the summer with our first 40 activities, and then the last 40 at the end.

But, some are so fun, that they deserve their own post.


One of our activities was "visit a museum."

We have wanted to go to the Lied Discovery Children's Museum since we moved here.  But, it's a little pricey.  And we could never really justify going as a family.

But, at the beginning of the summer, we went to a puppet show at the library, and the kids received 3 free passes to the museum:

And, since they were going to be free, it made it much more affordable to go there.  We waited for Mike to have a day off of work, when he wouldn't be catching up on sleep, and went!

There is soooo much stuff to do there!  I think my favorite part was the bubble section:

Adam, Mike and Josh loved the water tables:

Grace loved all of the "grown up stuff": grocery shopping, banks, airplanes, etc. 

Everything was hands-on, educational, and FUN!

We had a GREAT time as a family there today!

I'm so glad that we were able to get the passes and spend some family time together. 

Mike is still working his 2 jobs and sleeps on Sunday, Mondays, and Tuesdays.  The rest of the week he works at D.I. and has stuff to do for his calling, so the kids have not been able to spend very much time with him lately (me, too).  I'm thankful for days when it all works out and we can have fun as a family!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cubbing Down Under

Adam was able to participate in his very first Cub Scout day camp (last year's camp got cancelled) this past week, and had such an EPIC time!

The theme was "Cubbing Down Under"... all about Australia.

The leaders went above and beyond.

They made them "crocodile" vests and gave them hats and shirts... I thought they were adorable (Adam thought they were epic, of course).

He was able to paint, make Australian instruments, make Australian food over a fire, do archery, play "football" (soccer), build a box from wood, and lots more!

I was so ridiculously impressed with all of the time and energy the leaders put into it!

(Adam's group got to do the closing flag ceremony on the last night)


Grace, Josh and I were able to go the last night for a family barbecue.  We got to eat with Adam and see all that he had done and learned that week.  It was amazing!

I love the Cub Scout program more and more as time goes on.  What a great program for teaching boys skills, leadership, patriotism, service, and helping them to develop their talents.  Love. It.

Adam had such a wonderful week, and I am SO glad that he got to participate in day camp!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday, Adam!

I felt like the worst mom ever today.

Because it was Adam's birthday.

And not only did he have to celebrate it amidst our boxes, mess, dirty clothes (no washer/dryer yet), and craziness of this week, but he didn't get a present from us.

Because it was stuck in storage (we bought it 7 months ago), and could not get it out for a myriad of reasons.

He also didn't get the cake that he asked for.

He wanted a cool Beyblade stadium cake, and I just couldn't get it done/figure it out.  So, I went to him and asked for his second choice, and he sweetly said, "A Texas sheet cake."

And, if that happened to me when I was 9, I probably would have been upset.

But, he still declared it "the best birthday ever!"


He woke up early to streamers, a banner, waffles + bacon, and opened his present from Grammy and Papa:

An "EPIC!!!" Beyblade stadium + Beyblades.

Afterward, we went to our friends' house (who now lives exactly 1/10th of a mile from us.... sweet!) for a little birthday gathering.  They sweetly sang to him and gave him a super-fun building set.

When Mike got home, we ate a quick dinner, and Adam blew out his birthday cake candles:

And then, Josh took the battery of of my camera, without me realizing, and hid it on the shelf.

So that when we went to the kids' school's first annual swimming party (the school rented a community pool), I couldn't take pictures.


They spent hours swimming with friends, going down the huge water slide, and eating popsicles.

We all had a blast!

(And, yeah, it was after THAT that Adam said he had the "best birthday ever!", but you know, it still counts).


We love this 9-year-old of ours!  He is so funny and smart.  He is great at art.  He is a great friend.  He is awesome at cheering up his brother and sister.  He helps me soooo much!  We just love him so much!

Happy 9th Birthday, Adam!

Friday, June 8, 2012

End-of-School/Welcome Summer! Parties!

After the kindergarten picnic, Josh and I raced to get some balloons from the dollar store, put out the "summer fun" toys and fun that I've been collecting, and hang the banner that he, Grace and I had made this morning:

Wahoo!  It's summer!

These two have had an AWESOME school year!  We are so proud of them and all they learned and accomplished this school year!

After all that hard work, it was definitely time for some summer fun.

And we're going to have fun all 80 days of summer!

We kicked off our fun summer with a pajama brunch party this morning, hosted by my friend Danielle.  We all wore our pajamas, had a yummy potluck breakfast, had "pillowcase" races, and did a lot of playing/talking.

We all had a great time and it was such a perfect way to kick-off summer!

Happy, happy summer!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kindergarten Picnic

 Grace's class had an end-of-year kindergarten picnic today, with a little "graduation" surprise.

They had made cute graduation caps earlier in the week that they wore while the sang us 2 songs.  It was sooo adorable!!!

(I stink at taking video... the beginning/end are cut off.  You get the general idea.  Adorable!!!)

After the presentation, we ate lunch, visited and took pictures.

Her being done with kindergarten is so bittersweet!

Grace and her AWESOME kindergarten teacher, Mrs. E.!!

Our sweet kindergarten girl:

Grace's best friend, Morgan:

Grace and the awesome Mrs. G, the assistant teacher:

Grace and her friend, Valencia:

Grace and Max (who she claims she will someday marry):

We had such a fun afternoon together!

I am sooo glad that school is winding down, but saying good-bye to friends and teachers and moving on to the next grade, makes it all a (little) sad.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yeah, Books are Good for Reading...

... but they are also pretty good at keeping the pesky light out of your eyes, while you are napping.

Or so I've heard.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The A.R. Store

Adam and Grace were able to redeem all of the A.R. points that they have earned this year for reading in the A.R. Store this week!

Adam had read so many books that he got an iPod shuffle!

He has wanted an MP3 player for for-e-ver and was THRILLED to get one!

(He could have got a Kindle, so I'm trying to forgive him for going the MP3 player route).


He also got a shark tooth necklace, a stamp, and 2 pencil sharpeners.

Grace got a stamp, markers, and candy!

We are so proud of our super-readers!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Moving Week. Part 2.

Our Stake President came over, and sat among the boxes and chaos, while he called Mike to be the 2nd counselor in the bishopric.

And, as he happily accepted, I plastered a fake smile on my face and thought,

"Really!?!  We only see him about 2 seconds a week as it is, and now this.  Really?!?"

I know most wives would be happy/proud/thankful, and I'm pretty much a terrible/horrible/selfish person for being anything but that.

I'm working on it.

And trying to be thankful for the 1 second a week that we see him now.

After the Stake President left, Mike called his parents, because he needed to be ordained to a High Priest and wanted his father to do it.  He was being called on Sunday, so they were going to come up on Saturday and stay with us.

After he was off the phone, we went out to his birthday dinner, then came home, got a little sleep, and went to the apartment to start cleaning/repairing.

We were in that apartment for over 4 years, and it was pretty gross.  I mean, I'm fairly decent at keeping the house clean, but once we got all of the furniture out of there, the place looked disgusting.

We spent all of our time at the apartment Friday and Saturday, working crazy-hard so we didn't have to pay our landlord anything.  He was being super-nice to let us out of the lease early, and requested we leave it in perfect condition.

While we cleaned, my kids soaked up lots of Papa and Grammy time.  My mom served cupcakes and drinks at Adam's class "summer birthdays" party.  Papa and Mike went to the school with Grace for a Father's Day softball game.  They played basketball, drew with chalk, ate French fries, and had way too much fun!

On Saturday, I took a break from cleaning to help run our Primary activity.  We cleaned the chapel and made homemade rolls for the Sacrament the next day.  It turned out great!  Afterward, Papa took Adam on his Cub Scout fishing trip, while Mike and I worked more at the apartment.

Saturday afternoon, we were almost done, but we realized that we were running out of time with Grandma and Grandpa W* coming up soon.  So, I called my mom, who brought over Adam and Grace to help wash walls.

Apparently, it wore Grace out:

We got done just in time to grab some food to make dinner, and for my in-laws to arrive.

The rest of the weekend is a blur; I'm pretty sure that my lack of sleep coupled with working crazy-hard during the day caught up with me.  I was a tired, stressed grump.

I'm sorry to my parents and in-laws and kids and husband.

I really was grumpy.

Mike was ordained and set-apart, and I didn't take a single picture of Mike and his Dad afterward.  Which isn't the end of the world, but I love photography and documenting everything.  I hate missing something like that.  They left after church, and my parents left a few hours later.

We turned our keys in the next day, and our landlord told us he had never seen such a clean apartment, and there would be no extra charges.  Yay!


Moving week was horrible.  Crazy.  Stressful.  Exhausting.  If I swore, I would use stronger language.


But, we are in a beautiful house with space and a backyard, and everything is so ridiculously lovely that I keep pinching myself, because it has to be a dream.

So, even if it was a terrible, horrible, insanely crazy week, I would do it all over again.

In a heartbeat.

(And many, many huge thanks to my parents, for all of their help in moving/watching the kids/being there for us.  We could NOT have done it without you!  And many thanks to my in-laws, who came up last-minute for Mike.  It meant so much to us.)