29 March 2015

Darth Vader...er...Dog Vader

We have a dog. We have a dog. We have a dog. Strange. Justin sent me a photo of a Scottish Terrier last Sunday. Tuesday after work the family was on the road to Chappell to meet Tank at the Animal Rescue Center. Oddly, Evelyn was mostly ambivalent around the dog. The kids were thrilled to meet Tank. Less than 30 minutes later we drove off with a dog in our van! We paid $50 for the dog. He is a Scottish Terrier and Schnauzer mix, weighs about 32 lbs, is 6 years old, crate trained, potty trained, mostly house trained, and very well mannered. I packed a dinner picnic to eat while in Chappell. It was too cold outside for a real picnic. The Franken's invited us to invade their home and use their dinner table for a quick meal. On the drive home Justin and I were discussing dog names. I suggested Darth Vader (knowing his love of Star Wars), from the back we heard Phillip say, "You mean DOG Vader?" YES!!! That is his new name. We enjoyed visiting with Becky. Justin ran to the store after bedtime to get some food and a bowl.

Dog Vader is settling well into our family. He is a very calm dog who tolerates the kid's shenanigans. I am trying to get used to the smell of a medium-sized dog. Not my favorite scent. Amelia loves to take Vader on walks. Wednesday she took him on 12 walks around the block. Poor dog was so tired by 9 pm he went straight to sleep with no whimpering. Everett, Evelyn and I washed his crate after lunch. Evelyn was fascinated with the soap bubbled water. He only barks on occasion, like when a dog walks by, or when we close the bathroom door while the kids are splashing in the bath. Evelyn was not so keen on the idea of a dog in the house. She would cry each time his nails clicked on the floor. Already she is doing much better, she loves to pet him and try to poke his eyeballs.

I finished sewing three outfits and appliqueing a shirt this week. I think they turned out super cute. Amelia enjoyed two days of spirit week. Thursday was crazy hair day, we did a good job at the crazy part. Friday was 70s day. She looked like a go-go girl! Friday I brought Vader to her school for show and tell. We arrived in the middle of a 70s music party in the gym! Everett was thrilled to join in dancing to YMCA. Mrs Belieu is the best teacher ever. She asked awesome leading questions that Amelia answered to the class. Phillip is still a bit shy of Dog Vader, he likes the idea but not the reality.

Thursday I volunteered to help Evelyn Hornbarger paint faces at the Booster Club Bingo fundraiser. Justin had to help the George family move after work. I put on Evelyn's squeaky shoes and shuffled the kids over to the High School with a prayer in my heart. We signed in, got Bingo cards, and paid for pizza and soda. I sat the kids at the table nearest the face painting area. We painted over 100 kid faces in 2 hours. Evelyn spent most of the time parked on my lap or emptying my wallet! Yep, I can paint faces with a kid on my lap. Later she discovered how fun it was to crawl under the tables and run down the auditorium ramp. I was wiped out by bedtime. I heard that the booster club raised over $4,000 that night. I also donated a photography session to the raffle.

Saturday morning I had an impromptu photo session with two little sisters. We enjoyed the day outside working on the yard. Justin and Phillip changed the oil on my van. Amelia went to her first Women's Broadcast with me. She is just a month shy of her 8th birthday, close enough for me! The RS presidency had a waffle bar set up for dinner. Amelia and I loved the coconut syrup. Yum. I enjoyed sitting next to Amelia during the broadcast. We went out for an ice cream cone girl date after the broadcast.

22 March 2015

St Patrick's Day

Sunday evening we enjoyed our first picnic in the side yard. Justin roasted up fajita meat and veggies for us all using his charcoal grill. It takes a bit longer to get started and the coals evened, but the taste is magnificent. Evelyn was thrilled about eating outside on a blanket! She figured out how to drink her lemonade in a cup like everyone else by sticking her bottle in the cup. All the kids chattered during the meal. Spring is such a breath of fresh air, I feel like life can continue! We sure enjoy the Sundays that Justin gets to stay home and not travel to Cheyenne.

Phillip had his parent/teacher conference after dinner on Monday. He is doing so well. Cassie said she was not sure Phillip was ready for kindergarden earlier this year, but is now doing really well. He responds well to the trigger cues they use (focus, focus, everybody focus; 1-2-3 eyes on me; bubble in your mouth, etc). He is quite talented at drawing and forming his letters. Lately, he will bring me papers with strings of letters written down. He wants me to tell him what the "words" say. So far my favorite was "UPR DPR" he tried to write down what kind of birthday party he wanted, super duper hero party. His teachers report that Phillip is very kind and so willing to share everything with his friends. He often uses eye brow action to wiggle out of trouble. We treated the kids to ice cream after for their great conferences this time around. Amelia adamantly insisted on making a last minute leprechaun trap, 10 minutes before bed time. Lucky for her I had an empty oatmeal canister. She covered it with green paper, made a paper ladder, cut a hole in the plastic lid and then covered the lid with tissue paper. She weighted the paper with coins, hoping the leprechaun would fall in trying to get the money.

Turns out the leprechaun did try to get the money. He fell in! What we did not count on was the knife he used to cut a door in the oatmeal canister to escape. He took all the money with him. I think he was a little upset about the trap because he messed up our living room. Amelia even found her toy cat trying to catch our goldfish. Phillip laughed over his superman suit sitting in the highchair. We had green milk with our breakfast cereal. Everett had a really fun treasure hunt at preschool. Phillip's class leprechaun made a silly mess in their classroom. A nice Safeway employee gave the kids sugar cookies. I spent the day cleaning and making an Irish dinner for us and the missionaries. Amelia volunteered to clean the upstairs bathroom for me. She does an exceptional job cleaning the bathroom. I took her to see the new Cinderella movie after dinner. She wore her pretty Cinderella dress. The movie was awesome! Amelia said it was the best movie she's ever seen. I felt like the animated version was brought to life, even the way the actors moved felt like the animated version. We danced in the front of the theater while the credits rolled.

The YM hosted a fun activity playing hungry hippos, human sized. We blew up lots of balloons. The kids were rolled to the center on car maintenance dollies with a  rope attached, holding a laundry basket. From the noise level it was evident the kids had a blast. Amelia got to try out the game with Ella after the competition ended.

Megan cut Phillip, Everett, and Evelyn's hair early Thursday morning. I enjoyed getting to know her a bit better. She has a very colorful soul...meaning she loves color and pattern...it shows in her home and clothing. I do a terrible job blending my boy's hair, no one will show me how either. I don't learn well from videos.  The kids and I are enjoying a change of pace this week. I spent the latter half of the week in my craft room sewing stuff for Amelia's birthday. Thursday I made a flower crown. Friday and Saturday I made her a dress and cut out a dress for Evelyn and another for a doll. I can't even tell you how wonderful it feels to change pace and step away from photo editing. I have so many other interests!

I cleaned the basement on Friday. Justin came home early from work, so he and the kids were outside enjoying the warm weather. I took the chance to pare down toys, trash broken ones, and organize the closet. Jody brought over her Basset Hound, Alby, for us to meet. Amelia LOVED Alby! Evelyn cried most of the time because a huge dog was in our yard.

Justin is considering adopting a dog for our family. I am going along for the moment, I guess trying one out would not be so bad. So far we have not found a "hypoallergenic" dog. Justin sends me a couple pictures each week to pique my interest. Saturday morning we got up early and dressed the kids in their Easter finery. Kelly Sudduth took their Easter photos with her cute collection of live ducks and chicks. The kids were very well-behaved, so the entire session was done in 10 minutes! Yes. We had Miss Ella for the day. After the kids changed into Saturday clothes we drove to Sidney Feed to check out the dogs from Scottsbluff animal shelter. The shelter hosted a small event where folks could come see the available dogs. One dog caught out interest, Sherman, a Shar Pei/Hound mix. He was pretty handsome...for a dog. We might need to get a terrier or poodle due to allergies. We spent a lovely hour at the park. Evelyn is cutting another top tooth so was pretty darn cranky. We went back to the feed lot to meet the rest of the dogs. I wanted to check out a cute bathing suit at Cabela's so we had some lunch then went shopping. Justin took Amelia, Ella, and Everett to a new member baptism at the church. I stayed home with the grouchies while they napped...I sewed! Amelia and Ella organized a lemonade stand all by themselves. They charged $0.75 per cup. Dang! Inflation! Still, they were cute enough to rake in over $9...minus a dollar they gave me to cap for cups. Evelyn was quite thrilled to sit near Ella with a sippy cup drinking lemonade and yelling nonsensical words at passing cars. Ella is a very good babysitter. She stayed near Evelyn as much as possible. I was cleaning up the kitchen when Ella came in crying. She had a Razor scooter accident and earned some brilliant scrapes on her cheek, nose, chin, and lip. Poor kid! I spread some ointment on her face and had her rest for a while. Our friend Jennifer showed up to hang out with the kids for a while, sipping on lemonade. She is a good soul. Justin and I got to sneak out after bedtime to catch the new movie "Insurgent." Our popcorn was really gross, way too oily, and too many kernels. I think we got the bottom of the popcorn machine dregs.

Amelia was quite delighted to get a manila envelope from the White House and President Obama. The kids wrote letters earlier in the year at school. She got several sheets of stickers, four photos, a letter, and two autographs. She was quite excited! Justin took initiative and solved the missing back up set of van keys. We did not want to spend $400 at a dealership so never got a set after Justin's went missing last year at Lake Mac. He spent under $20 to get two sets of keys! He programmed the key fobs himself ordered off the interwebs and cut new keys. Yay!