12 April 2015

The Dirt before the Bath

We were all sooooo tired after our trip. Amelia woke up with a headache and sore throat. I let her stay home, more to help with preschool. I quickly whipped up a lesson on the letter W. The boys loved making the letter W on chalkboards and paper. Our main activity was outside digging for worms. A light mist helped bring the worms closer to the surface in my garden box. At first the boys were just scraping the surface. Once I showed them how to dig deeper we started finding worm after worm. Once we collected 20 worms the boys chose their favorites to take inside. Then we measure the worms using paper clips. The boys compared the real worms to gummy worms. Both types of worms were pretty close to the same length, the real worms were quite a bit skinnier. I made "dirt cups" for a snack with pudding, crushed oreos, and gummy worms. After preschool we all took a nap and vegged until after Evelyn woke up. Then we worked on emptying the van and car top carrier.

I had a hard time recovering from our trip this week. By Thursday I had a nasty migraine and sore throat. I cancelled the second day of preschool. Instead I fell asleep on the couch until after 11. The kids watched TV while I held down the couch. Evelyn spent time toddling around and cuddling with me.

Friday we had the pleasure of taking photos of Mrs Cassie's new baby girl, Ryah. Phillip prayed that Cassie would be able to come over with her baby during dinner prayers the night before. Ryah was not so keen on getting her pictures taken. She wanted to be awake! She also loved having her legs fully extended. Still I managed to get some good captures with her and the family. After school the kids and I did a little garage sale shopping. I scored a cute antique sled, doll high chair, etch-a-sketch, and tiara.

Saturday we worked as a family to get the garden box ready for spring. It was so warm I ended up seeding peas, green beans, carrots, chard, cucumbers, and red peppers. I will cover my garden with plastic tomorrow if the weather permits, I need to get more clamps first. The kids were keen on playing with water. I asked them to hand water the dry spots in the lawn. They watered the spot under the swing making a lovely mud hole. Soon the kids looked like vagabonds covered with mud. Evelyn was not so sure what to think of the mud on her feet. Justin grilled pork steaks for dinner. After dinner the kid's state of dirtiness devolved into a sticky mess. We let the kids roast marshmallows. Soon Everett and the baby were naked and covered with sticky marshmallows. Phillip had marshmallows on his clothing. Evelyn gave Vader some loves, leaving a face print of sticky mess on his back. I feel a sense of satisfaction when our kids get dirty from playing outside. Even more so after a bath and yummy lotion.

Justin texted me before we arrived at church saying the Betony's were there. I visit teach Nora Betony. She only comes once in a great while. I love this lady. She gives the best hugs ever in spite of her small stature. I told the boys Nora and Jimmy were at church. Phillip ran back to his room for Squeaky the Bison, because his Indian friend would love to see his Bison. When we got to church, Phillip wanted to go give Jimmy a hug. He scooted up a couple rows and popped up next to Jimmy wearing a shy smile. Bless their hearts. The scene was so delightful. Everett wanted in on the action. He was too shy to go himself so Phillip helped him over. Then both boys were a little shy, Justin helped them give out hugs on his way down from the stand. It gave us much pleasure watching the Betony's receive lots of attention. Sometimes miracles happen when you least expect one.

After church today the Primary had a "Great to be Eight" program. Sister Peters and her counselors did a great job with the program. The little kids were in the nursery with sandwiches, bubbles, and 3 young ladies to control the chaos. That allowed Justin and I some nice alone time with Amelia. We are so excited for Amelia's baptism on the 30th of May. She is ready! We all felt a sweet spirit in the room as the Bishop spoke about baptismal requirements. Sister Hornbarger and her daughters sang the song Brother Hornbarger wrote for his daughter Julie's baptism last year. It is a sweet song, talking about little steps it takes to be baptized and how to return to God.

Easter Conference Weekend

We left quite early at 5:02 am. It was cold and dark outside. Justin joined us in a parting family prayer before we pulled out. I put on my new audio book, courtesy of SLC Library system, Bloody Jack #9. This series is an amusing series about a girl pirate in the 1800s. I love the blend of history and comedy. The narrator is quite brilliant as well. The kids napped and stayed quiet until 8 when we started a movie. We ate breakfast in the van. We lunched at McD in Rock Springs! That is good speed for us. The kids enjoyed the fun saddle chairs. Everett started his poop issues that continued the entire trip and into this week. He pooped in his pants 8 times, and peed about as many times. He was having way too much fun to stop and listen to his body. When we got home he contracted a bad case of the runs. I let him wear pull ups for a couple days. Gross.

We stayed with Charity, Kenny, Libby, Mason, and Reagan Wednesday and Thursday. Melissa came down with her kids, Ethan, Grant, and Katie. Thursday Raquel came down with Emma and Elijah. It was a fun party. Phillip was so excited to hang out with Mason. He stayed glued to his side until Elijah, Ethan, and Grant showed up. The adults chatted on the lawn while the kids went crazy outside. It was heaven! I ordered some Papa John's pizza for the crew. We all swooned over the bacon cheese pizza. I hardly recognized Charity after she lost 60+ pounds. That is like losing a wayward 9 year old child. Good job girl! The next morning I found Phillip in Charity's room. He was just talking with Charity. It was so random! He started talking about her quilt yarn things, saying one looked like a tulip, then another like a spider, and yet another like a dead spider. The conversation then morphed into what Phillip is scared of. He is terrified of Zombie Cows. Thursday I did a little shopping at Smith's Marketplace for Easter stuff and ingredients to make everyone Bulgogi. Raquel showed up while I was gone. Emma is so tall now, wearing cute red glasses. The girls disappeared into the basement working on a plan to create a city in the basement. Amelia worked hard on a mermaid ballet show.

Amelia got all dolled up for some baptism photos at the Bountiful Temple. Emma, Reagan, and Evelyn accompanied us after dinner. The girls sang "Chile con Carne with beans" all the way up and back from the temple. I am not sure what the fascination is with that song. Must be some annoying pre-teen stuff. Reagan and Emma helped stroll Evelyn around the temple grounds while Amelia and I took beautiful photos. Outside was so cold especially when the wind picked up. Towards the end Amelia's skin was a blue color with purple lips and fingers. She donned her coat between photos. She did so good considering how cold it was outside.

Grandma Baerwaldt received quite the invasion when we stopped by. Poor buddy, her dog, hid under the bed until Grandma moved into the living room. Grandma's poor face is all bruised from several falls she had last week. Her leg was purple and blue from more bruising. I was grateful the kids were very polite and did not mention her injuries. They enjoyed snuggling on her bed watching cartoons. Amelia and Evelyn got to pet buddy once he emerged from the bed. Grandma told me that my cousin Sarah was visiting in Utah with her sister Christy. I arranged to meet them at Chik-fil-a for lunch down in Sandy. I have not seen Christy in years! She brought along her cute little baby, McKenzie. Sarah and BJ had their two gorgeous girls with them. We took over a couple booths and visited for a good hour. During that time Everett had one of his accidents. Another pair of undies joined the trash fest.

Evelyn finally napped 30 minutes while we drove to James and Miekka's home. I was so excited to see Courtenay and John's new home. It is literally in James and Miekka's back yard. There is a path worn between the two homes. Courtenay gave me a tour of their new home. It is gorgeous! She has her hands full moving in, decorating, and caring for 3 cute kids. The girls stayed up late talking around the table with a bowl of popcorn and peanut M&Ms. The best. The best ever. I miss my family more when we visit. It is hard to live so far away, but Nebraska is home. We love it here too. I doubt we will live in Utah again for a long, long while.

Saturday was so wonderful. I napped through most of the first session of conference (not awesome), even took a no-doze that did not help. The kids played with Legos while we listened. Amelia scored 75 pieces of candy marking down each time she heard key words the Miekka passed out on paper. Between sessions the neighbors had a little egg hunt. They have quite the set up with all the families congregating in the back common area. The trampoline is prime real estate. James started smoking ribs. John arrived back home from a short trip to Colorado with Everett to pick up a new space trailer. Everett and Phillip were joined at the hip from first hello. During the second session James told me Everett Lynn was outside with his poopy undies around his ankles. So much for planning on not doing laundry. Dinner was delicious with smoked ribs, hot dogs, potato salad, green salad, and asparagus. John let Phillip stay to play with Everett, Amelia stayed with Seth, Lia and Jacob; the rest of us went to Charming Charlies and Smiths. I scored some cute new photo props. At Smith's I got some food storage items to flesh out our dwindling canned goods. Once again we stayed up late, this time to bake bread, cinnamon rolls, and cakes. Miekka did most of the baking. I think she stayed up until after 1:30 baking.

We watched morning Sunday conference with the Lances, snacking on cinnamon rolls. I stayed awake this time by repacking bags and getting stuff back in the van. We drove to Mary and Dorrel Henderson's home in Draper for another Easter Egg hunt and afternoon Conference session. Everett pooped again. Evelyn was a beast because she was so tired. Conference was sort of a bust for me this time. I finally gave up and took the kids outside to play and scream without distracting the other adults. On our way home we stopped to wish Grandma B a Happy Easter. Jana was there when we showed up. As we left James and Miekka showed up! The rest of the evening was spent at Grandma Debbie's home. Sarah, BJ, girls, and her brother joined us for dinner. Mom decked out the garage with tables and chairs. We enjoyed a lovely dinner of lasagna, salad, carrots, vegetables, and bread. The kids played an involved game of Fight Training with Jared's collection of Nerf weapons. Easter would be perfect if Justin was with us. We Skyped with him several times while we were in Utah. James, John, Jana, Joseph, and Jeff were all in attendance some with kids, one pregnant, and Joe with his girlfriend. We had all kinds of fun conversations going on. Mom's house was rocking and rolling. It was awesome. The kids were so tired by bedtime that tears and tantrums reigned. The boys were very excited to sleep in Grandma's new bunk beds. Amelia and Evelyn slept with me.

**Evelyn wore three different outfits throughout the day. I had too many cute outfits for her to wear. She had to wear the "Easter outfit" that matched the kids, plus the cute one Amelia wore 6 years ago, AND a bunny outfit I found a couple weeks ago. PS: she looked adorable in all three outfits.

Our trip home seemed long and drawn out. My book ran out half way through our way home. I struggled to stay awake. We made it home by 6 pm. Vader welcomed us with lots of barking, tail wagging, and chasing. Justin got off work a while after we pulled in. I only unpacked the main body of the van and vacuumed. I forgot it was my turn to teach preschool...the next morning. I did not want to make a huge mess I could never clean up before the next morning. Justin ushered the boys into the bathroom for a much needed bath. Phillip was quite impressed with dyeing Easter Eggs...or something...because the boys decided to dump an almost full container of tub colors. The water turned a brackish brown color. Their legs were dyed a lovely brown color. Thankfully, new water and lots of soap solved the issue.

Cold Enough to Play in the Sprinkler

Monday March 30th, was a hard day. All the kids were whining and acting like they were getting sick. I nearly cancelled our planned trip to Utah. It got worse as the day progressed. After putting the kids to bed I called Miekka and told her that we might not come. Tuesday dawned and the kids were happy again. The trip was back on. Still a little whiney but not as bad. We spent Tuesday packing and making messes. We left early, early Wednesday morning. Well, early for me! the kids and I pulled out at 5:02 am. Justin and Vader stayed home to hold down the fort. Justin stayed to earn money to support our kids who like to waste food and create mounds of laundry and wife who likes to thrift more clothes than the kids could ever wear.

Monday was "Dress to the Nines" for Spirit week. Amelia wanted to go full out so wore a gorgeous pink princess dress with a crown. She cracks me up! Tuesday was PJ day, we did not get a photo of that, just imagine her in a purple My Little Pony PJ set.

It was a little warm on Monday, like 72 degrees outside. The boys were getting on my very last frayed nerve. I suggested they go run around in the sprinkler, more to water the grass than anything. They did and LOVED it. Now all they want to do is don swimsuits and get wet, even when the thermometer says 65 degrees. I was quite surprised that Evelyn joined into the fun and got wet. She loved standing on the outer edge getting sprinkled a bit. Tuesday morning we visited Jen at the Rubbish Room, Phillip calls her his pickle friend. He helped her set up her furniture outside with his big muscles. Evelyn sat in a cute blue chair, and would not budge. Jen gave her the chair. LOL. We love our pickle friend. In between packing I sewed up a new outfit for Mimi, Amelia's monkey friend she got at birth. Her previous outfit was shredded. Mimi looks like she has a new lease on life with a little new stuffing and outfit. The kids played again in the sprinkler Tuesday after school. When we came back from Utah our yard went from dead yellow to bright green! Just compare the photos!