Monday, March 31, 2008

Mother of 5?!?

OK, I know my Mom did it with 7, and maybe we were spaced and she had time to adjust to the idea and the sheer quantity of us, but whoa. I watched a couple of boys for a few hours Thursday and then all day today and it was nonstop. Maybe it has to do with the chemistry of 3 boys. They certainly know how to turn the house upside down! I have to say the highlight (sarcasm) was when the 2 yr old climbed up to the very top in the McDonald's playland and then decided he was too scared to go down the slide. After sending some older kids to try to help him down, unsuccessfully, I ended up going after him myself. At least I wasn't 8 months pregnant this time (last time I had to do that Savannah was not quite 2 and Gunnar was in utero). Gunnar: "Mom, you have to take off your socks or you won't be able to get up the tubes!!" I have to say that for all the running around, those boys sure were fun. It's so amazing to find out about who exactly these little people are, even if they're not your own. It takes a village, eh?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gunnar's 5!

Our big boy had big plans for his birthday. He decreed that we would eat dinner at Cafe Rio, then go play arcade games and go in the bouncy playground at Boondocks for an hour. Following that, we could head home for presents and that order. Well, all righty then, Your Birthday Majesty! We followed his plan, and 4 hours later we had "Partied Until We Were Purple!" (his words!) We all had a good time, even Sydney, as she walked from game to game in the arcade pushing buttons and checking out the lights.
Gunnar got a cool aquarium lamp from his grandparents that he LOVES. This boy may be 5, but he sure needs a little light overnight. It's so cool, I wish I had one in my room! He also asked for a Jack-In-The-Box, which his big sister obliged him with. GO figure! Added bonus, Sydney also loves it! :) His Dad got him Jenga, which they've been playing all day. And Aunt KC came through with some cool Cheeky Monkey plates and a Leap Pad Rattatouie software kit. That's not all he got, but those are the highlights.
We celebrated the day after, so he really had 2 days of birthday. This mom was glad when it was up though because she had heard her fair share of, "The Birthday Boy gets to do whatever he wants, even if the Mom says something else." NOT.

Soccer Mom

Our little Savi started Soccer this week, and Chris mentioned that now I'm officially a "Soccer Mom" LOL. She is very excited because she is playing on a team of 9 girls, who are all from her group of friends, and the coach is one of her best friend's Dad. We had 2 practices this week and her first game is on Tuesday. She claims she isn't good at soccer and she doesn't "get it", but I assured her that all of that will come with practicing! So far she believes me! Whew. She is quite a runner though, at practice yesterday they did a few laps around the field and she was strides ahead of the group. Wish I could sprint like her!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear Daddy!

This post is a bit late....I finally put the pics on the computer! Chris had a birthday last week and we celebrated with take-out Olive Garden, birthday cake and presents, followed by a wrestling match! I think the kids won.

We love our Daddy! He is a snowboarding, yard working, tree hugging :), hiking, biking, camping, all around fix-it type of guy. He's always working on a project around the house or yard or planning an outdoor adventure. He plans on taking Savi on a backpacking trip this year and she's pretty excited about going REAL camping, vs. the car camping we usually do, now that she's old enough. You can tell from the pictures that he's a local favorite, and a wonderful Dad!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Easter Sunday! The kids enjoyed the things the Easter Bunny brought of course, new Spring pjs, sandbox toys, candies and bubble batons. Sydney loved the marshmallow bunnies, see Syd Pic of the week, which she proceeded to shove into her mouth one after the other. I think she got about 5 in before she spit them back out and decided one at a time was much better.
Easter is my 2nd favorite holiday, following Christmas. But Spring is my favorite season by far, and that has everything to do with Easter. As I contemplate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I can see rebirth all around me. In the buds of the crocus and the tulip greens shooting through the dirt. The fuzzy buds on the Aspen and Magnolia trees and the yellow green shoots on the willows. It fills me with such a happy and peaceful feeling. I am so grateful for the sacrifice that was made for me, so that I can return to the presence of my Creator and live again, and I am also grateful that He has given me an annual reminder of that rebirth. It's a beautiful display of His love for His children. I hope you all have traditions to help you celebrate this special time of year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Unwelcome Opinion

This week it has been mostly sunny and warmer and my kids have been venturing out into the neighborhood with greater regularity. I love that we live in a relatively safe area that doesn't have a lot of non-resident traffic because my kids can come and go and I don't have to watch them the whole time. There is a circle 1 house down off of our street and the kids tend to gather there with their scooters and bikes, they also shoot hoops at our neighbors, whose driveway I can see from my front windows.

Gunnar was out a couple of days ago and happened to see one of our nieghbor's adult son smoking while working in his yard. Being Gunnar, he of course approached him and let him know "Smoking is bad for you, you could die. And besides, Jesus doesn't want you to do it." This guy responded that he didn't want to live to be an old man, and he doesn't believe that Jesus exists, and for that matter, neither does Satan. He also told him that he went ot the same church we go to when he was little and now he knows better.

Gunnar promptly ran home to relate the story to me and I was floored. This is an adult, telling a 4 year old that something his parents and all the adults in his life have taught him is not true. HeLlo?!? My response to my trusting curious son was something along these lines, "Well buddy, I know he's a grown up, but he's obviously confused. We know that Jesus loves us, so he exists. And Satan, well confusing people is one of his best tricks. If he can get someone to think he doesn't exist then it won't matter to them if they make bad choices, will it? OH, and this is a guy who smokes even though he knows it could kill him...I wouldn't listen to him if I were you. Why don't you just not talk to him when you see him around."

Shortly after this I was talking a walk to a neighbor's house with all my kids and the same guy happened to be in his yard. Gunnar crossed the street and told him loudly enough that I could hear, "My Mom said I shouldn't talk to you anymore." He responded that he thought that was probably a good idea. Nice.

I haven't confronted him, and I don't think I will. Gunnar basically already did, and the problem seems to be averted. But, did I do the right thing? What would you have done if you were in my place?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SpOiLeD rOtTeN!

As we head into our Spring Break weekend it seems we don't have to look very far for activities to keep us busy. Here are a couple of fun things we did this week that we wanted to share.

The first is an annual tradition that our awesome neighbors put on every St Patrick's day for the children 8 yrs and younger. Maybe you want to steal this idea and spoil your own neighbors?... It's a Gold Hunt. They have a large yard and have spraypainted a couple Home Depot size buckets full of rocks, gold, of course. The day before the event they have their kids hide them all over the yard. There are also a couple of golden eggs hidden extra well with $ inside. Each child's admission is a bag of wrapped candy. The kids go hunting and the candy is combined in a big basin, mixed, and then apportioned into cute sacks. When the gold has all been found it is traded for a big bag of goodies. Last year it fell on Saturday so they also did a hotdog bbq picnic in combination. My kids have come to look forward to this every year! It's really cool because St Pat's was never really a big holiday for me, not being Irish, but now it's taken on some new excitement.

The other fun thing we did was go to our local Classic Skate, they have skates, scooters and bouncy play areas. After each parent teacher conference session is over the school sponsers a family skate night for free! We have never been to one of these events until last night, but now that we have I feel we may have yet another tradition on our hands. The kids scootered around until they dropped. Savi even tried skates for the first time. Poor girl fell on her behind so many times, but she kept on trying with quite a bit of determination. Maybe we should have her practice on the grass for a while first! The baby was dancing and bobbing her head to the music and loving the light show as we looked on. A fun time had by all! When I was a kid we went to Cal Skate every once in a while, which was very similar, except back then it was only the 4 wheel skates, no inlines, no scooters. Wow, I'm starting to feel old.

We are definitely spoiled with all this free entertainment lately!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Baby Ruth!?!?

We are always on the hunt for a good family flick. A week or so back Chris and I were talking about Indiana Jones and all the good adventure movies we enjoyed as kids and Goonies came up. I had totally forgotten about the existance of this great Steven Spielberg movie! I quickly went to our local library online and put a copy on hold. 2 days later it's waiting for me to pick up, that's service!

The kids absolutely loved this movie. I had forgotten that Chunk drops the S*bomb though, whoops. Love the Truffle Shuffle, the Cindy Lauper video at Mikey's house at the beginning, the old red white and blue Pepsi cans and all the other 80's stuff in the film! My kids love slapstick humor and "spooky" stuff, which the Pirate treasure hunt, the very bad guys and the "monster" brother with a face only a Mother could love all provide. My kids loved all of Sloth's lines including, ROCKY ROAD!??! BABY RUTH!?!? BAD MOMMY! and SLOTH LOVES CHUNK! I too remember repeating these lines with my brothers pretty often after seeing this in the mid-80's.

Now we're waiting for the old Indiana Jones movies from the library. I think they're more popular right now because of the new IJ movie coming out this year.
I loved this genre of movie as a kid because it was exciting to see other parts of the world. It was as close as we got in International Travel, for sure. My Mom made a point of taking us to see E.T. and Jurassic Park, and probably others that I can't recall. I still rib her about the time (right before the era of VCRs) the TV Guide had E.T. listed to play on a Thursday night at 7pm. We were so excited. Mom had the popcorn popped and we all had glasses of Deseret punch (yum!) and were all seated as the show comes on, "Da da da da da da, da da da da da"...Entertainment Tonight......aaahhhhhhhh bummer. I can still get her to blush as she says GOOD GRIEF and gives me a swat for bringing this up! She was as bummed out as we were. Thank goodness for VCRs, and now DVD players, we can have Family Movie Night any night we want!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Birthday Season!

...or should I say CAKE season? This quarter for Enrichment we celebrated Relief Society's Birthday. I was asked to help by making a birthday cake that was one of several cut up and enjoyed for dessert. I opted for carrot since it is one of my faves. I have never possessed the talent that my Mom does of being able to decorate cakes, so I wasn't able to actually put little frosting carrots on it, but I did get the colors right. If I can say so myself, it turned out pretty cute.
This week each of my big kids has also been invited to a "friend birthday party". Savannah is going to Isabelle's PJ party, in fact is there as we speak. And Gunnar is going to Brandon's Super Hero Training Camp tomorrow. Brandon's Super Hero Mom is 3 weeks away from her due date and is hosting a bunch of 4 and 5 yr old boys, and it was just about the coolest invite I've ever laid eyes on. I am way impressed.
The kids decided that since Aunt KC gave them Webkins in Jan. during her visit, they would like to share the wonder of the Webkin with their dear friends. If you have not heard of these, I don't know what rock you've been under, but they are virtual pets. You get a cute stuffed animal, anything from a monkey, a frog or a magical pony that you can cuddle, and it has it's own code, which you register on the Webkins site. You then are shown your pet's living space and you have $2000 in Kinz Cash to start out with. You furnish their room, feed them, play with them, and when you get low on cash more can be earned by playing arcade style games that are actually very educational. Gunnar's computer skills have skyrocketed (thanks again Aunt KC!!) since he adopted his Cheeky Monkey, which he named "Chris", "cuz I really like that name". Last week I was helping earn $400 playing games for Gunnar so his Monkey could buy a fancy potty. "He really had to go!" Wow.
So, we set about finding a store that carries them locally, since we did not have time to wait for shipping. Enter Red Balloon Toy Store. Just about the coolest toy store ever. They have ANYTHING a kid could possibly dream of, including Webkins. They both ended up with dogs for their friends, Isabelle of course will get a little girly yorkie with a ponytail and bow on top of it's head, and Brandon's is a golden retreiver. Fun stuff.
If that's not enough, we also have Chris' birthday coming up next week and Gunnar's exactly one week behind his. We will have cake till the cows AND chickens come home. And we've been busy finding all the things on the birthday wish-lists. What a month of celebration!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Free Rice

Twice in the last 24 hours, someone has suggested to me that I should check out this site. Not only does it improve your vocabulary, but you get to help feed the hungry just by playing. They donate 20 grains of rice per correct answer to the UN. In under 10 minutes I earned 1000 grains. OH, and I felt really smart while I did it too! :) You should check it out, it's as fun as playing solitaire.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Have any of you seen the video of the FL Mom that power-washed her 2 year old at a do-it-yourself carwash? I know that I have had really hard days as a Mom and sometimes they just push you over the edge. I too, must admit that I have snapped and said or done things I certainly wouldn't have wanted documented on a survellience tape. But, I can't for the life of me imagine what infraction would warrant spraying my 2 yr old with 1200 lbs of pressurized spray. Tough love or child abuse? What's your opinion?

Monday, March 3, 2008

In like a Lion

March, that is. We welcomed the month with a windy night and a snowy day. We got a few inches on Saturday that made the tree branches just gorgeous. Dad stuck the kids' feet in the snow right outside the door yesterday and we got 3 cute sets of critter footprints.

Savannah had school off on Friday, but that didn't stop her creativity from flowing. She wrote a 20 page mini book called, "I love Sydney when..." with illustrations and all. It is really cute. I think my favorite is " I love Sydney when she bobs her head to the music in the car". We are so blessed to have her as a Big Sister for the baby. She is so helpful and loving. She has such deep and tender emotions for her siblings. It is wonderful to see her try to express them.

Not "Invadable"

During the course of the last few days I have rushed out the house and forgotten to put on any jewelry. As we were heading down our street on the way to run an errand I said "Oh, I forgot my wedding ring - I feel so naked!" Gunnar replied, "Why do you wear a wedding ring anyway?" I explained to him that it is a reminder of how much his Dad and I love each other and that we promised to spend our lives together. It's also a sign to other people that we are married and therefore, not available to date other people. He says, "Oh, kinda like the sign at the Chinese Restaurant over the thing I wanted to order last time? The one that said Not Invadable?" Yeah, kinda like that. Kids say the darndest things.