10 May 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Spoiled! I was completely spoiled today. I startled awake at 6:50 to Amelia hovering next to our bed holding a crusty cookie sheet with breakfast in bed. So darling! I ate soggy Wheaties with a large serving of milk in the bowl and a large glass of water (she knows me well). On the "tray" was a cute tissue flower, a card, and a gift all made at school. Her puppy dog eyes and the way she patted my arm while I ate made me smile and feel so loved. Phillip's card was epic. Apparently, I like to go on trips to marry my boyfriend. Hey, I will take it. All day I got big, sloppy wet Phillip kisses; small, dry butterfly kissed from Everett, and Amelia laying on my lap. Everett kept whispering in my ear "I love you, Mom!" Little kid whispers are the best: wet, slithery, and utterly adorable. I love when kids learn how to whisper. Justin replaced my broken backdrop stand with a new one! It even has air-cushioned control and a super nice carrying bag. The best was Justin making Shrimp Scampi for dinner. Everett could not wait to have shrimps for dinner. He spent a good, long while repeating over and over: "I love shrimps, you cooked the shrimps yet? I love shrimps! Is dinner ready?" His slurping tongue sounds topped off his exuberance.

It snowed 4-6 inches over the past 10 hours. Church was shortened to just Sacrament Meeting. The wind was bitterly cold. I hope the farmers crops survive, I hope my flowers and garden survive. All the kids enjoyed making snowmen, throwing snowballs, and stomping in the heavy wet snow.

Elder Lance was on Skype after nap time. The kids and I enjoyed chatting with him for a while. He is growing so much! I cannot believe his mission is almost over, only 3-4 months left!

Ninja Turtle Party

Everett and RJ celebrated their upcoming birthdays this month. RJ was keen on having a Ninja Turtle party, Everett was ambivalent so we ran with it. Sarah and I met together a couple times to hash out a list of games, food, and ideas. We totally planned on having their party at the park, you know, outdoor games. The forecast got worse and worse as the week wore on, Sarah finally decided to offer up her house for the festivities. Quite a few kids cancelled because of the weather. Still we had a pretty good turn out! Amelia caught a ride with the Hornbargers out to Ella's house for her 8th birthday party. We dropped her off then invaded the Wood's home. Sarah helped me assemble the food plates of ninja turtle fruit and veggie faces, cheese cracker/pepperoni plate, the failed Oreo sewer lids, and fruit drinks. Sarah's cakes turned out really cute!

The pack of kids mostly played in RJs room, some ventured out to "Throw Pizzas in the Box" games. When it was time to snack all the kids grabbed plates and dug in. The highlight was a ninja turtle pinata. For me, the best part were the kid's facial expressions as they tried to hit the pinata. Everett was so adorable while opening his gifts. He has a real knack for making folks feels special and loved...with his high pitched voice and enthusiasm. The boys really enjoyed the birthday song, accompanied by Phillip on guitar. RJ blew his candles out carefully, one by one...Everett spit on his cake. I love how different and smart these two boys are. Sarah: WE DID IT. No more parties until August. Well, except for the one next week. LOL.

**Everett's birthday is still a couple weeks away.

Field Trip Week

Amelia got to visit Mrs Nienhuser's farm with half of the second grade. Evelyn Hornbarger and Michelle Rognon took turns watching Phillip, Everett, and Evelyn. When Phillip woke up he was coughing and whining up a storm. I was sure he was not feeling well. Luckily, I still got everyone dressed. He decided he felt well enough after being awake for 30 minutes. I really enjoyed going with Amelia and her class. I got to help Mrs Belieu with most of the boys and a couple girls. Mrs Nienhuser had 13 stations set up around her farm yard. We were assigned to the three combine machines first. Each combine will cost half a million dollars, he had three. Not to mention the grain carts, tractors, and other necessary farm vehicles. Mr Nienhuser had three farm hands to explain each machine and the different loader functions (wheat, corn, and furrowing). The kids got to search for pennies in a hay stack, it was harder than the kids thought. Another local farmer brought her milking goats and a couple 4-H chickens, yet another brought a couple sheep. The kids learned about planting and garden care, they got to plant Mrs Nienhuser's garden with broccoli, cabbages, peppers, and squash. That is a tricky way to plant your garden! The kid's all time favorite was learning about an acre, they got to run around an acre (6-7 times). After a picnic lunch we learned about grain bins and farm safety. The last three stations focused on green houses and watering methods on a farm. I really, really enjoyed learning more about all the hard working farmers around us, especially with Amelia right beside me. My heart sank this morning when we got slammed with 4-5 inches of heavy, wet snow, there goes the wheat crop?!

Tuesday morning I arranged for our preschool group to tour the local post office. I love the old mail boxes in the lobby, the acoustics are a plus. The Post Master took the boys on a tour showing them what would happen to their letters they wrote each other. Highlights were stamping their letters, sorting their mail to their very own house slots, picking up a mail bag (it's heavy), sitting in a mail car that is still running at 35 years old, and seeing where Santa stores local gifts at the Post Office in the grimy basement. After looking at the photos I noticed how many other little kids we had in tow, all five of us have babies, I have an older preschooler! No wonder this year was so challenging. Mr Postman gave the boys some USPS gifts of pencils, erasers, rulers, and color books. We enjoyed a nice snack of pretzel rods and cheese in the cold drizzle outside. So much fun!

Tuesday night Evelyn woke up 4-5 times with herself and her bed covered in barf. I used up all the available towels and blankets to fix her bed again for sleeping. I gave her 4 baths between 2-4 am. She finally settled on my chest to sleep, only to barf down my bra, the worst ever. The best part of having sick kids is the extra snuggles. The next day I kept the washer and dryer busy with 5 loads of laundry. Phillip woke up with barf in his bed, then he barfed on the carpet after a terrible coughing fit. I finished the 4th load and was in the bathroom sprucing it up when I heard the terrible sounds of another kid barfing. Everett did a fantastic number painting the walls and carpet in the hall with barf. It was pretty amazing. I got out the carpet cleaner and cleaned up barf as best I could. We stayed inside dressed in comfy clothes. Outside it was rainy and wet, perfect for a day spent inside.

The kids and I spent an hour at the bank to figure out a way for me to cash all the checks I got from the Dance Steps photos. Every parent wrote me a check to Apple Green instead of Jennifer Call as requested on the order envelope. I finally decided on opening another personal account, with a tag as "in business as..." Our bank is very difficult to work with when it comes to cashing checks. Hoping this new account will remedy the issues. During the course of being there, Evelyn pooped in her diaper, Everett had to pee twice, and Phillip tripped and conked his head. I think everyone sighed in relief when we left! I sure did.

Evelyn is showing her independence more and more. From brushing her teeth 20 times per day, getting shoes on, finding her own snacks (and dumping them), to ripping off her diapers. She has reached table monkey status. This week I found her on the table after breakfast helping her self to tomatoes covered in syrup.

Our dog tried to enroll in the circus this week. He practiced jumping out of a moving vehicle. I was on my way to pick up Amelia from school. Vader jumped in the van like he usually tries to do. I let him come along this time. I rolled the driver's side passenger window down a bit so he could hang his head out the window. Next thing I see is a black streak vaulting out the window. He hit the asphalt at 25 MPH, ducked and rolled like was a natural. Thank goodness no one was coming the opposite direction. My first thought was "Oh Crap, our own dog hates us and wants to attempt suicide rather than live with us!" Totally (ir)rational, right? I raced out of the van and scooped up our now dirty, wet, and sandy dog and put him back in the car. Poor thing shook with anxiety for 10 minutes after. The amazing aroma of wet dog followed us all the way home. He seems to be just fine after his circus trick. Guess our dog fits right in, crazy to boot.

Uncle Jared made the long, arduous trek from Virginia to our home. He arrived after 4 pm on Friday for a very short visit. Little stinker left early the next morning. The kids loved on Punkle Jared as only kids can. They really, really thought watching him play Jelly Jam was super amazing. Jared requested a meal of meat and fresh vegetables. Our neighbor came over too since she agreed to watch our kids while we adults went to see the new Avenger's movie. I had a mini session in the rain right after dinner. It was sopping wet outside, but the images we got are super fun and different. I was able to squeeze in 6 of 9 mini sessions in Thursday evening before the weather turned craptastic. I will have to reschedule the rest for another Saturday. Justin had a wonderful time practicing parental interrogation skills while grilling Jared about his Fiancee Lisa. I was giggling almost the entire time. We all enjoyed listening to Jared talk about college and Lisa.

Pinterest can be very misleading. I tried to make chocolate covered oreos, they looked nothing like the images on Pinterest. Afterwards I realized most of the oreos were made with a chocolate mold.