Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Birthday April/Spring Break

Happy B'day April!!

I sure hope you have a great day and year! It was so nice having April and her family up over the Easter weekend. My kids just loved having all of their cousins and their aunt and uncle here at their house. I hope you are able to get out and celebrate your day.

We just ended our week of Spring Break. It was much better than I thought it would be. We didn't do anything really exciting but enough to have a good time. The girls have had really bad coughs most of the week which kept us from doing a few different things. Mitty spent one day with a headache that just left him taking it easy most of the day. We did go to the movie with some friends to see Horton Hears A Who. That is when Emily's cough made itself known. She literally was coughing every few seconds. It was too much. I finally asked her if she wanted to go home and she said, "YES." Poor girl. I knew she didn't feel good if she was going to leave a box of popcorn, bag of candy and her little friend at the movies. My friend kept the boys so that they could finish the movie. The boys ended up going to the park after the movie and getting pizza with some friends in the ward. It was a nice diversion for the boys. Emily just came home and took it easy on the couch. Her cough was much better the next day but then Ellie picked it up and she has been coughing. You know the cough/runny nose thing. I'm constantly grabbing for kleenex. I took the kids to get yogurt one day too. They love to make their own creations. It's the best!! Todd took the kids to get donuts on Friday morning. They loved it.

The boys had baseball practice Saturday morning for 2 hours. I just couldn't sit out in the cold with Emily and Ellie still hanging onto their coughs. I ran up to Costco after dropping off the boys and made a return and picked up a few items and then made it back with a half hour to sit in the car and watch them practice. They love being on the same team. I just love that. Their baseball schedule is very nice this year. We only have 4 games on Saturdays between now and June 8th. That is so great. The earliest game on a Saturday is at 11:00. Most of their games are during the week. I can do this.

We ended our week with pizza and Yogurt Creations last night. I have really enjoyed the break this week not having to rush around in the morning. I don't have that much longer before these kids are out for the summer. We have a full summer planned already.

Too bad I don't have any pictures of this week. I think the only one is of the kids on Monday out in the hose.

It's late and I should be in bed. I ran on the treadmill too late tonight and so I feel awake. I fell asleep earlier on the couch and then woke up and felt wide awake so I did my daily jog. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March Recap....mainly through pictures /Gardening, Easter and Visitors :D

I hate that so much time has gone by but there really hasn't been any time to sit down and write out posts or post pictures. Now there is too much to write so my pictures will have to tell a story.

Nancy came to visit and helped out with mass amounts of gardening. It was a ton of work but so worth what it all looks like now. I have planted so many flowers and dug up so many ugly looking bushes that now I feel I can say I may have a green thumb. It is addicting and very fun to watch everything grow and look beautiful. We planted 3 fruit trees (3 in 1 apple tree, clementine and a navel orange). The blossoms on the orange tree are so beautiful and smell so good. The roses will be beautiful in a couple of months. I have enjoyed going out in the yard and hoping to see some new leaves on any of the rose plants. I am just now starting to see buds for the leaves. YEAH :D!! Todd got the drip system working out front on Saturday and now just needs to finish the back. Oh it works just great!

Last Friday April called and asked if she and her family could come up and spend the weekend. I was happy to tell her that the weather was just beautiful and warm and that it would be really fun to spend Easter with them. They got up here late Friday night but came over on Saturday morning and spent the day with us. April did her famous Easter egg hunt/store. She has 80 plastic eggs with numbers inside. A few eggs had a gold star (for the grand prize winners). She hides the eggs and then the kids were able to each find 10 eggs. Once they are done, each child gathers all of the numbers that were inside and lines up to pick out gifts from "her" store. Depending on what the number is they get to pick a gift out of a bag. It was a real hit and my kids loved it. Mitty hasn't been able to stop talking about it. He really loved the hunt/store and the company. We then took all of the kids and tried a new Mexican restaurant for dinner. It was good and all of the kids were so well behaved. Everyone had fun together. It was really nice to be with them. We topped off our dinner with yogurt creations. That is always a hit with the kids and definitely for me. Here are some pictures of our Saturday

Here are some cute ones from the restaurant and yogurt outing. The pictures say it all. The kids were having fun for sure!

Easter Sunday....

We decided to do a brunch instead of dinner. I loved it. I made 2 breakfast casseroles the night before so that they were ready to go on Sunday morning, cut up fruit, cut up a raspberry danish, and made orange juice. It was really nice and the food was tasty. Todd sure loved it. He loved it so much that he had the leftovers for dinner last night. It was nice having April's family join us at church. Everyone looked so nice...they looked so nice that I forgot to get a picture of all of them. I had the girls put their dresses back on so that we could snap a few pictures. I love the picture of the 3 boys..Joey, Austin and Mitty playing video games before church. They all look so handsome! All in all it was a great weekend! I hope to do it again soon.

Now, the kids are home this week for Spring break. Yesterday was a good day. The weather was great as you can see in the pictures. Sunny, warm weather always helps when the kids are home all day. I am hoping the weather will be just as good today so that we can go to the beach.
The kids were having a blast yesterday in the hose. The weather was very warm and perfect for some playing in the water. Ellie goes for any water. She loves it. She isn't afraid to get wet, that's for sure.

We sure have had some fun these last couple of weeks. The kids always hate to have cousins and guests leave. Mitch had a hard time Sunday night. He really loves having everyone around. I'm off to get breakfast for some kiddies who are now up. Why so early when they don't have to get up??

A few more pictures of the girls. I thought they were so cute in bed. Ellie loves to climb in with Emily before bed. We all 3 will lay together for a bit before Ellie gets into her bed. They are really cute together. They play more and more together as each day goes on. Ellie loves to be right in the middle of all of the kids. She is one of them for sure. She can hold her own too. That's my girl. Todd and I get a kick out of watching her with other kids. She doesn't back down for anything. Oh no! :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Prayer Was Answered/This Week's Activities

I want to document about an answer to my prayer yesterday. Mitch has been playing with a certain boy at school for sometime now and I can't stand this boy. I have never let him over and Mitch wouldn't even ask. Now that Casey started first grade, he plays with Mitch and this boy too. I was hoping that once Casey was on the playground, the boys would play together and it would end up that this other boy would be squeezed out. No such luck! Todd and I have really been talking to the boys about how the influence of kids who don't choose the right really bring us down and cause us to do wrong. I was a bit frustrated the other night when I heard some choice words that Casey then proceeded to tell me that this boy says. I really had the talking to with the boys and explained to Mitty that if he continues to play with this boy over time he will end up being in trouble with us or with teachers at the school. I said much more but I think they were getting it for the first time. The next day, Casey told me that he didn't play with this boy and that when the boy came around at recess he(Casey) just walked away and played with other kids. I was so proud of him. Casey told me that he whispered in Mitty's ear that they weren't to be playing with this boy. Mitty didn't really pay too much attention to that and kept playing. We rewarded Casey by taking him by himself to get Doc Burnstein's (ice cream store). I told Mitty that I would reward him as well for making the right choice and finding some other friends to play with. Yesterday morning my prayer was that Mitch would not have a difficult time finding someone else to play with and that the transition would be easy for him. Oh I was so happy when I picked the boys up from school and they were excited to tell me that they didn't play with this boy. I asked how it went and they told me, "Mom, we just played soccer with ________and ___________ and the boy played with some other kid." Mitty said, it was every recess too. Mitty acted better when he got in the car, he didn't act easily frustrated with anyone, and just was calm about everything. It was so nice and I know that by him not playing with this boy helped him to feel like he was doing the right thing. He later told us at the dinner table that he did feel better today. He got his own special trip to Yogurt Creations last night. I am more than happy to take them on special outings to reward them for good things that they do.

Going back to earlier this week, the kids had a minimum day on Monday and so I took them to McDonalds and then to the park. The weather has just been beautiful...mid to high 70's and sunny!! I love it. I can't help but sit outside and enjoy the warmth from the sun. I have some cute pictures of the kids playing together.

Yesterday, I attempted making a carnitas dinner and it was a success! It took half the day but it was sure good. I made pico de gallo, guacamole, beans and served with warm corn tortillas. We all loved it. I have been on a mission lately to make new dinners and try new things. It has been really fun and tasty! The same ol same ol starts to get boring and makes cooking not so fun. Last week it was a new recipe for meatballs/rice and another one for baby back ribs. Both were good and the kids loved it.

I found Ellie like this the other day on the couch. She had crawled up and layed behind Emily and opened up a book. Too cute. I love these shots.

My roses came yesterday and I am dying to get them planted. They will have to wait until Friday. Todd has Friday off. I better go and get the kids moving in the right direction this morning. The morning hustle can be a bit tiring if I don't get a head start.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Trip To The Library

I put out the effort and took the kids to the library on the way home from school. My last experience in the library with all 4 kids was not good and so we haven't been back. I feel bad that it has been awhile. Too long, really. It's funny how my head works overtime on thinking of things that we can do to help Mitty pass off items in his scout book. I thought this would be fun for him to learn how to get a library card for himself and see how the library works. I had him fill out the application and he did a great job. He knew all of the information and took it back to the man at the accounts desk. Mitch was so excited to put a card that has his name on it in his wallet. I was very surprised to see that the library had really changed since I had been there last. It is all self check out now with a lady supervising the area of about 7 computers. All of the books have a bar code and we just scan them in. It was pretty easy. The lady was kind enough to see that my hands were completely full....holding Ellie who wanted to get down or reach for everything, manage the other 3 children who were dying to scan the books themselves but not being patient to take turns and then the system bogging down because the kids kept scanning. We made it through just fine. Every child took their turn of scanning the books which was fun for them. It was just strange to not have the typical librarian workers checking out our books. Oh how my children's world is so different than when I was a child. Everything now is "do it yourself" or every company you call is has an automated system. You never talk to a "live" person. It got me kids never see me go to a bank. Is there really a need to on a daily basis? I never go into a bank. My bank isn't even local. I can do everything I need to online or through the mail. I can get money at the grocery store. It's just a different world. I remember my mom taking my dad's pay checks to the bank all of the time. I remember lists that my mom would make of things to do and banking was always on there. Now we have direct deposit. Oh, it's a beautiful thing for sure!!

Anyway, we had fun and the kids were very good for me while looking for books. I found a book in the children's section about American Heroes that I got for myself to read. I am actually excited to read it and share with the kids about heroes in our country. They are sponges right now and want to know about everything so I'm going to give them the info. I thought about picking a subject each week and teaching them about it. We could turn it into a weekly library trip to find out what we can about that subject. We'll see how it goes. A mother's head is constantly going. Well, at least mine is. I find it hard to sit and relax. I really can't do it at night. I am constantly working on cleaning something, picking up the house, folding clothes, doing bills, or exercising on the treadmill. I feel guilty just watching a show without accomplishing something at the same time. Oh, it's a bit exhausting. Thank goodness I don't have any babies keeping me up in the night. I was blessed that the girls (last 2 children) slept through the night from early on (Emily was 6 weeks old and Ellie was around the same time). The boys were a bit different. Mitch was the hardest for sure. Oh the things that we learn from the first child.

Here is a cute picture of Ellie that I took today. I love that she was in action walking to me. She is so sweet and cute. I had to stick her in here somewhere. She was great at the library sitting at the little kid tables doing the puzzles. She would get up and down from the little chairs and get another book from the younger age bins. It was pretty cute. She is so careful when she turns the pages of a book. Is that normal?? I love it. She will lay on the floor here at home and page through each page of the Friend magazine being so careful each time she turns. That is a girl thing I think. Casey did a number on some books when he was her age.

I better go and get us ready for the Blue and Gold dinner tonight. The time is fast approaching and the kids are looking for food. Wish me luck! I love that Mitch gets so excited for these events. It helps me to be excited too.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Geesh, Another Week/More Random Happenings

It seems like a week is just flying by lately. What is that?? I guess a busy life with 4 children can make life feel like a blur sometimes.

I'll start where I left off....Last Thursday when I was waiting to pick up Emily from preschool, I had so many mothers make comments about Ellie's new pair of shoes. I just love them and think they are the cutest shoe for a little girl. Emily got a pair similar without the red in them. I couldn't believe that each mom who came in spotted her shoes and had to say something. What is even cuter to me is her tiny little foot that sits in them. :D

The boys both had a clean bill of health from the dentist last week!! Oh, how I love to hear that their teeth look great and no cavities. Music to a mother's ears. :D

We headed up north again last Thursday night to finish up some errands that seem to be ongoing. (We don't live close to a mall.) We enjoyed a couple days up there and came back on Saturday night. We took the kids on a hike/park trip one afternoon and they had a blast. They found a stream and had the greatest time exploring. Emily had to go to the bathroom at one point and there wasn't a bathroom around so we tried to become one with nature but she wouldn't have it. (That's my girl :D) She had such stage fright. I got her all situated but she just kept telling me, "I just can't go." She held it and we made it back (1/2 mile) to the bathroom. Way to go Em's!!

Ellie tends to have this look on her face often.... She did well and actually fell asleep on our way back.

Sunday was a good day. It sure was nice not having to get up for early church since we rolled in the night before at 12:30am. Our ward meets at 1:00 and it does have it's benefits. Ellie is doing really well in nursery which makes me feel so much better. I haven't been taking her since I have primary to teach. My class meets right after Sacrament so I have kids waiting for me. Todd has taken that duty of dropping her off at nursery and it has been so nice not having to deal with that. She is liking it and does fine in there. Yeah!! My class is doing just fine. I only had 2 boys last week which is nice. Next year it will be a big class.

I really love how my Monday's are so calm. I don't have any obligations that day meaning, no preschool, no dance, no church meetings that night, etc. I love that I just clean and do laundry and don't have to be anywhere. I pretty much caught up the laundry from the weekend and picked up the house.

We have started a new routine around's called Kitchen Manager. The kids rotate nights to be kitchen manager and they are loving it. Todd came up with the name. On 'their" night the kitchen manager picks the menu for dinner, sets the table and gets to pick where everyone sits( the normal fight of who is going to sit by dad is what instigated this kitchen manager). It has helped and now the kids have made a drink manager. Another child does the drinks (decides what drink and makes it for each person). They love it. I think it is pretty cool and it helps me a lot. I love to see the kids so excited to help. Last night Mitch picked meatballs/rice and I picked broccoli. It was so easy and the kids loved it. Mitch went on and on about the meatballs and was still talking about them today. The sauce was great...equal parts of grape jelly to chili sauce. It's easy to make a ton of that for a family.

Today has been beautiful with weather in the 70's, blue skies and such a nice breeze that crosses through the house. I love to feel a bit of a breeze in the house when it is warm. I wish I could say that this weather will stay but it never does for too long around here. The kids were so good when we got home from picking them up at school. Mitch is so self-motivated. I love to see him at work. He just digs in, gets busy and doesn't stop until it is finished. He did his room, organized all of he and Casey's shoes, made his bed, emptied out trash cans in the entire house, vacuumed his room, put his clothes away, took out the main kitchen trash outside, did his homework and organized his drawers. He did it all so fast. He totally can focus and get a job done. It's a wonderful gift!!! He also doesn't seem overwhelmed by a big job staring at him. He just digs in and does it. Casey and Emily followed after a bit and really helped me with the clothes and vacuuming. Casey vacuumed the family room, dining room and living room, and put clothes away. Emily helped with her clothes and putting away little toys back into place. Thank you kids for being so cooperative today. It was wonderful to have so many jobs done that I won't have to stay up late and do tonight.

Just some random thoughts. I had no idea that boys were just as picky as girls are. Mitch is so concerned about his look and if it looks cool or not. He just got a pair of plaid shorts and literally wants to wear them every day. He saw the Volcom symbol on the back and has fallen in love with them even more. Oh, we have created a monster. Everything has got to be just right....the shoes, the "no show" socks, the right shirt (he is loving some Quiksilver shirts he has), and the right kind of jacket with different outfits. I thought only girls cared this much about their appearance at 8 years old? Maybe it is just the genes and he just can't help it. I was very particular with how things looked and we know Todd was and is. :D Todd loves it. He is so funny. I just thought I had a few more years but I guess not. Mitty has been asking such funny questions lately like, "how will I know if the girl I'm dating or want to marry is a member of the church?" I'm thinking, good job for even thinking about making sure she is a member. :D haha He's got a girl at school that likes him and Casey told me that the girl went up behind him and kissed him on the back of the neck. Oh boy!!

I better go get dinner going before this crew is begging for food. Casey is the manager tonight and has picked tostadas for dinner! Yeah, my favorite and oh so easy to do.