26 October 2014

Standing Tall for All to See...Plus Pumpkins

Evelyn learned how to stand up free style this week. Monday I found her wobbling upright in the middle of the living room, no support near by. Tuesday she got on her knees, stuck her bum in the air, then straightened her torso. Since then she learned it is easier to go for leg presses over bending up from the middle. She looks so darn cute with her stubby legs barely clearing her skirts. I've tried all week to get a video of her standing, but she is not cooperating. Her binky is constantly near her this week, her teeth must be coming on. At 14 months she still only has two teeth!

The three younger kids and I went to Walmart on Monday. I hate dragging them all, since we usually buy more with the kids around. Phillip was the only kid with no costume so we quickly drove down that aisle. He nabbed an awesome Silver Power Ranger costume for himself. Then he escaped me and went back to get a Red Ranger costume for Everett. I found a green ranger costume for Everett a couple weeks past at the thrift store for a dollar, he was set. That is until his brother put a shiny packaged new costume into his hands. We picked up pumpkins for the kids to carve for FHE as well. Our weekends were packed the last month so did not make a trip to the pumpkin patch (frown face). The kids waited in torturous suspension as I cleaned up the kitchen and dining room (and waited for Justin to get home). I loved Phillip's reaction to the slimy pumpkin guts. Everett would not touch the seeds. Justin helped Everett carve a gnome into his pumpkin, and helped Amelia finish her carving of a minecraft princess. I helped Phillip carve a Daniel Tiger pumpkin. Evelyn was not happy so mostly cried and whined as we enjoyed our FHE.

My turn came up for teaching Joy School this week. I had the letter B, Butterfly, and color blue this week. Tuesday we read a book on the butterfly cycle, then made some crafts focusing on learning the cycle. We had butterfly snacks and spent some time outside wearing tissue paper wings and running around the yard. Thursday I picked the Very Hungry Caterpillar as the theme. Oh man, I was so excited. Once again something Amelia said a couple weeks ago made total sense: mom, sometimes it seems so much more exciting in my mind, when we do the activity the boys make it not so fun. It was chaos! Not quite what I had in mind of kids happily stringing caterpillar necklaces, carefully eating snack then taking turns in the cocoon and turning into butterflies. Phillip ripped the cocoon right off the tree branch before school even started. Still, I enjoyed the theme and bore in mind that the kids are only 3. I am grateful for Justin's help cutting out paper shapes for me and cleaning up more than usual. Check out our Joy School blog if you want!

Tuesday evening was Amelia's first parent-teacher conference of the school year. Mrs Belieu is so amazing. She poured raving reviews about our little Amelia Jean. We felt so buoyed as parents, Mrs Belieu told us some amazing stories. There are some cliques forming in her grade. Amelia decided to befriend all the kids, if a kid in class has a hard day, Amelia goes out of her way to be friendly. She has friends regardless of cliques. Course, she is acing all her academics, like out the water! I told Mrs Belieu the story of when Amelia corrected the tooth fairy for not writing a friendly letter correctly.

Phillip and his class earned a PJ party at school. The Sunflower class has a hard time picking up their play things at the right time. Mrs Cassie and Angie started a brownie point jar, working towards the party. He was very excited to wear his PJs all-day-long. So, so silly. Wednesday I directed the boys to go play in the yard so I could get dressed. Soon I heard hysterical laughing and knew nothing good was happening. I found Phillip and Everett with a rogue box of matches setting leaves on fire. At least Phillip had the forethought to burn the leaves on a piece of plywood (?). I questioned him: Mom: Phillip what are you thinking? What did the firefighters tell you about playing with fire? Phillip: mom, it is dangerous.
Mom: then why are you playing with matches?
Phillip: ???Eh, the box was just sitting there, I had to burn leaves to warm up my hands.
Indeed, the boys had their chubby hands over the wisps of smoke getting their chilly fingers warm. I was hoping for a few more years before dealing with pyro tendencies.

Amelia had the day off on Friday. We enjoyed her presence as we went thrifting that morning. I totally scored 5 handmade, vintage dresses from the 1940-50s, some soakers, leather baby shoes, and 4 adorable bonnets. Cabela's hosted Trick or Treat street later that afternoon from 2-4 pm. The kids were very excited to finally wear their costumes. I finished Amelia's Elsa hat moments before we left. I had all the hair attached but needed to braid it. We went to an awesome little copse of trees I found the day before to take a couple photos of their costumes. Evelyn was a fox, I thrifted the costume but added a bow and eyelashes to the fox to make it more girly. We stopped first to visit Justin at his new office. He moved down to the downtown office for the time being. The office is quite spacious! He even had room to store a huge tumbleweed on his filing cabinet. We left him there to finish some stuff. We never know what to expect at Cabela's. Some years it is over the top, other years are quite lackluster. This year only 4 rooms were decorated instead of 10-12. The rooms were pretty amazing! First was TMNT, then a room showing off the pumpkin contest candidates, then a Frozen room, a Mincraft room, and a scary room with bats. We had cookies after then went home. Justin raked up a large pile of leaves for the kids to play in. I love watching the kid's faces while they play in the leaves. It is like watching a slice of heaven!

Saturday morning Justin was able to calibrate his new rifle scope at the range in Potter. As soon as he got home we jumped in the van and drove to Cheyenne for a wedding. My good friend Candice married her sweetie, Brandon. They were married in the Lion's Park amphitheater. On the last leg of the drive we talked about how temple marriages are different. The reception was right next to the wedding site. The kids played on a nearby playground for a while. Candice lucked out weather wise! The weather was ah-mazing! At the reception we surprised the bride and groom with Halloween masks provided by her Mom! That was fun. Justin came down with a high fever on the way home. He stayed home from church today with a fever and general yucky germs.

19 October 2014

Poudre Canyon...pronounced Pooter

My poor bum. It is numb. My poor numb bum. Story of this week! I cranked through the 12 photo mini-sessions last week, that is around 96 photos I hand edited in Photoshop. Most of my editing was completed after the kids were in bed. I caught an hour during preschool and an hour in the afternoons while Evelyn napped. I absolutely hate having a back log. I would rather get the pain over so life can continue. In between all the editing we had some pretty fun adventures.

Justin was assigned the FHE lesson this week. Amelia left her unicorn, Sunny Days, at church on Sunday. After dinner Justin took her to pick up her unicorn and coat from church. On the way they discussed good FHE topics. Amelia suggested The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, because she made a foolish choice to throw a tantrum on Saturday. Justin picked up the gauntlet and gave a good lesson. Well, as good as can get with 4 bedlamites. Amelia created a game for us to play, she got the idea in Primary. She wrote several choices on paper, cut them into strips, and had the boys decide if the situations were wise or foolish. I was impressed. My favorites were: spit, wine, play with lonely pepol, feed the homeless and find them a home. Bless her little 7-year old heart. Later in the week she commented that sometimes the games she makes up aren't as fun in real life as imagined. Honey, I know that feeling!

Christmas magazines are pouring through the mail slot this time of year. Phillip is quite attached to the Fisher Price magazine. He is reading that magazine and carrying it around every chance he gets. He even took the magazine to Cheyenne this weekend to read in bed. He found the biggest truck ever. I help him say the name of the truck about 10 times each day: Supernova Battle Rover. It is the wheeled vehicle of the decade. This afternoon he decorated the Supernova Battle Rover with about 20 shiny stars. Amelia has her heart set on an American Girl doll. Everett wants....eh, everything and nothing.

We spent a couple lovely afternoons at the parks around town. Lily and Amelia met at the park on the North side, they played desert princesses. I love their cute friendship. Amelia named her pet dragon's mom after Lily. Amelia's dragon is Jean Amelia Snifflepiffle. Her mom is Lily Star Snifflepiffle. Her Dad is Justin Bowcut Snifflepiffle. She also has triplet siblings: Lynn Everett, Anson Phillip, and Justine Evelyn. I see a trend. Amelia had a fun PJ party at school on Thursday. She carefully picked her favorite PJs and shoes that were sleep worthy and playground friendly.

One major task of the week was cleaning the kid's closets and swapping the summer clothes for winter ones. This task always seems to make a huge mess. I have 3 garbage bags of clothes to consign for next summer. 

Phillip had a PT conference this week. He is doing quite well! He has quite the knack for drawing. He drew the coolest helicopter for his ABC book. Phillip can write his entire name now without assistance. The funniest part was when his teacher tested his counting range. He counted from 1 to 13 but then got distracted because his friend Logan was playing without him. My first thought was: SQUIRREL. He is all boy, through and through. He still has a penchant for spitting. My newest brilliant consequence is he gets to spit in the sink 20-30 times in a row. I laughed when he told me his spit stopped working after his first round of sink spitting.

Wednesday for mutual we had an Iron Chef event. We were given: a roasted chicken, bell pepper, cream cheese, strawberries, and some chocolate. The host home kicked in any other needed ingredients. Our group made chicken and cream cheese stuffed peppers, with salsa rice, and chocolate strawberries. The kids did a good job! We won points for creativity, presentation, taste, and overall tastiness.

Friday evening I had 6 more mini-sessions. I switched benches to mix things up. The other bench I needed was at Jennifer's house in the unlocked screen porch. I loaded up the bench and went home. Later Jennifer texted me saying someone stole her brand new Ugg boots from inside the porch. I felt awful. I did not lock the door behind me, not even sure I was supposed to. Phillip had a total fit about staying with the babysitter for an hour. In the end he came with me to the field. The weather was absolutely gorgeous!! Phillip was my honky pig holder. He lasted about 20 minutes. Thankfully, he decided it would be more fun to go to the park with his little buddy Elliott. Justin picked him up on his way home. I am glad the sessions are over. The next week will be another hellish editing week.

We stayed in a hotel in Cheyenne Friday night. The kids slept really well (yay). We met up with the Wagner family at Poudre Canyon in Colorado at 9:20 am. Kathleen is teaching Amelia piano right now. We traded lessons for family photos in Colorado. The canyon was bursting with fall colors. The Wagners are avid hikers, bikers, and fishers. We jumped at the chance to get out of dodge for a day. Looks like we plan on going back for a camping trip one day. I dressed up the kids for some autumn photos as well. After their photos the kids trashed their clothes crossing streams and climbing mountains. We all had a blast. Justin had to be back in Cheyenne at 3 for Stake Priesthood meeting. We snuck in a quick Target trip, a few minutes at Once Upon a Child for Phillip pants, and a dinner at Chipotle. The kids wanted to play at the Children's garden so we went for about 90 minutes. The Siler and Hill families were also there! What luck! Quinn and Noah Siler each took one of my boys and chased them around. My boys were heaven with their own personal best friend to play with. I loved following the kids around taking photos with my awesome lens. Justin and I attended the adult session of Stake conference at 6. When I say attended, I mean tried to keep the kids entertained and quiet so I did not get much. What I did glean was the theme, family history.

This morning we had a split live and televised Stake Conference. The first half was delivered in the individual buildings, the second half was broadcast from SLC. Elder Bednar and Elder Scott spoke to us all. The broadcast was televised to Nebraska, Wyoming, and parts of Kansas. Pretty cool.

12 October 2014

My baby pumpkin