Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mobile Moments February 2012

I have recommitted myself to post all of my fun phone pictures each month.  Here are February's random adventures.
Devin is strong enough, tall enough, and coordinated enough to give "foot rides" to both kids at the same time.  Nicholas has finally learned to hold on, which makes the ride much more exciting.
Nicholas loves to eat.  Sometimes he gets really mad, so mad that he can't figure out how to eat.  I feel bad that I laugh at him when he gets really ticked.  Poor kid, there is food right in front of you!
Anna loves to make cards.  She loves to cut, glue, and write notes. Valentines Day was right up her ally.  I asked her who she wanted to take Valentines too and she started rattling off a long list of people.  She is so thoughtful.  There were her friends, but then there were some random people too.  She had a great time writing them little notes and then we went around the neighborhood delivering her cards.  She loved every minute of it.
Sometimes we find toys in strange places.  We found a toy in the fridge once, I'd love to know how it got there.  I was cleaning some things up one day and found out little Mother in the oven in a pan.  I'm not quite sure what she did wrong or what sick and twisted "cook the mom" game was being played, but it made me laugh.
Nicholas is finally getting to the point where he can entertain himself for quite a long time.  I needed to make bread one day and he was happy and we just both went about doing our thing (Anna was reading books in the other room.)  When I finished making bread, Nicholas had created quite the mess.  He was completely happy and I didn't mind.
Nicholas loves cars and he also loves planes.  He has a toy plane that he flies around the room.  He even makes a cute little flying noise.

Anna's favorite thing to do on Thursdays is go to the library.  As soon as we walk in the door, she throws her shoes and coat on the ground, drags her library book bag to the couch and plants herself there for a long long time.  I love all the stuff I can get done while she is "reading" her books.
 Anna knows how important it is to be comfortable while reading.  Her new favorite spot is her rocking chair with a blanket.
I feel pretty strong about the importance of supporting your husband in his calling and not complaining if he is gone a lot for meetings and other church responsibilities.  When we were first married and Devin would go camping with the scouts I would try and make a treat for him for when he came home.  Devin had a pretty busy weekend with camping with the scouts, scout meetings, and Home Teaching.  Anna and I decided to make Devin some muffins to show him how grateful we are that he is one of the "good guys" that does his duty.  Anna loved making the muffins.  She did most of it all by herself.
Nicholas's new favorite book is my visual aid book for all my primary songs from when I was chorister. The binder is big and heavy, but he pulls it out and drags it to me, plops down in my lap, and waits for me to start singing and turning the pages.  He will sit there through all the songs in the binder.  He is learning to say Jesus which makes my day.
Kids wrapped up in blankets are just cute.
This is one of those really manly pictures of Nicholas.  With an apron and shopping basket he is ready for all kinds of manly things.  Look at his hand and wrist.  That kid knows how to hold a bag.
Often while I am cooking dinner Anna cooks dinner too.  She even does the dishes when she is done cooking.  Hopefully that is a habit that will stick when she does real cooking.
I'm the cool mom that kicks balls in the house with her kids.  ....nothing has been broken yet, no one has gotten hurt, and the kicking isn't that strong yet.  I'm sure when those things start to happen I will no longer be the cool mom telling the kids to kick me the ball.
French toast is so much better when you dip each piece in the jar of jam.
Nicholas has reached the "if I'm not holding the spoon or fork I'm not eating" stage.  What a mess.  But this is good.  If he feeds himself, I don't have to.  I just wish it wasn't so messy.
Anna knew what to do with a broom the first time she picked one up.  She started sweeping with it.  Nicholas on the other had, knew what a broom was really for...flying!!!  Any time he sees the broom he hops right on and makes flying noises.  We might just have to have him dress up like Harry Potter for Halloween.

I love popcorn.  Always have, always will.  We have found that popcorn is a favorite snack of both of my kids.  Don't worry, I just pop the corn, no butter or salt, so it is way better than other snack foods.  Anna and Nicholas will gather around the bowl and stuff their faces until the popcorn is gone.  Ok, and I help eat it too.
And that is February!!  Happy Leap Year!

You Know that White Stuff???

This has been a VERY, VERY, VERY mild winter.  Devin has not shoveled once this winter.  Last year our kids didn't get to play in the snow much.  Nicholas was a newborn and Anna always had a cold.  I was really excited to get some good snow play time this year.  Unfortunately you need snow in order to play in the snow.
A miracle happened Tuesday, it snowed!  It stuck to the ground!  Not a lot, but it was enough to play in.  I didn't care that both of my kids had bad runny noses.  Who cares!  They need to play in the snow.  We pulled out all the snow gear and had a great time.  This was Nicholas's first experience in the snow.
He did spend most of the time like this...
and this...
Anna was in heaven.  She was out the door and playing long before Nicholas was ready to go.
She enjoyed having another little person to play in the snow with her.
Anna was able to build a snowman.  It was really good packing snow.
We had to do a little defending to protect the snowman from Nicholas.  Nicholas just wanted to give the snowman a hug and touch his eyes and nose.
We didn't stay out for too long.  The kids had a great time.  When we came in they didn't want to take their snow stuff off.  They had tons of fun running around in their snow bibs.

I had Activity Days that same day, so Devin came home to watch the kids.  He took them back out to enjoy the snow.  Both kids loved it!  Hopefully we will get more snow, but at least we got to play in the snow once this year. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Favorite Things

I thought it would be fun to write about some of our favorite things.
Nicholas loves nursery rhymes, songs, and finger plays.  Not a day goes by without him pulling is Disney Nursery Rhyme book off the shelf and begging for Mary Had a Little Lamb.  "Little Lamb" is usually what he asks for.  He loves the Jim Gill's version of My Bonny.  (Both of my kids love all of Jim Gill's stuff.  It is fantastic music especially for the car. I need to video Anna singing If You Go to San Francisco, it is so cute! )  Another one of Nicholas's favorite songs is "If You're Happy and You Know it."  I caught a little bit on video.  He wouldn't do the stomp your feet and shout hooray, but the clapping is cute.
The number one favorite at our house is Rock-a-Bye Baby.  Every night after dinner the kids pull the blankets out and ask Devin to do Rock-a-Bye Baby.  It might not be the best activity to do right after dinner, but we haven't had any problems yet. :)
When Devin gets tired of Rock-a-Bye baby the kids are pretty happy being pulled around the house on a blanket.

Nicholas can say quite a few words.  Two important words in his vocabulary are "puppy" and "hat."  He loves his puppy and doesn't like to go anywhere without a hat.
We love puzzles at our house.  Nicholas likes to pull out the animal pieces and make the animal noises.  He also loves to just dump the puzzles out.  Anna and I see who can put the puzzles together the fastest. It works out well, Nicholas dumps, and Anna and I put them back together.
It is fun to combine toys.  Anna and Nicholas will pull all of the cars and Little People out to make big cities.
Anna made the connection that our Noah's Ark set was Little People, so he had to join our city one day.  It looked like Noah was calling the city to repentance.
Of course, one of the best parts of building a city is to destroy it when you are done playing with it.  Nicholas is really good at that.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why I Love Our Budget

I am head-over-heals in love with our budget.  Not many people can say that, but it is true, I really do love our budget.  Our budget is build around the old fashioned concept of saving up for things.  I know for some people, saving up for stuff is as old fashioned as churning butter.  But believe me, it works and is wonderful!  I am not going to go into the details of our budget system (if you want to hear more I'd be more than happy to share) but I wanted to share one of the reasons why I love our budget.
Like I said, we save up for things.  When we went on our honeymoon to Disney World we had a great time.  As we were flying home we decided that we really needed to save up so we could do it again.  And that is what we have been doing for the last five years.  And because we have stuck to our budget, we were able to save up enough money so we could go to Disney World again.  Happy 5 Year Anniversary to us!!!!  It was totally worth sticking to our budget.  
Enjoy the pictures of our fun.

We had a ton of pictures like this on our honeymoon.  This was when we were waiting of the bus to take us to the parks.
 We went to Hollywood Studios the first night because they had extra magic hours.  We went on Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coster and Toys Story Mania several times.  So much fun!!!
 Tuesday we went to Epcot because they opened early.  I had to laugh as we were headed off to the park we got a text from my brother Peter, "Are you up yet, are you headed to the parks?  Why haven't we gotten any photos of what you are doing?  Don't waste your time, it's all about efficiency!"  It was 8am in Orlando, which means it would have been 6am in Utah.  Funny Peter!  We went on Sorin' several times and Test Track a bunch too.  The park was pretty dead, the lines where great, if you could even call them lines.

 The longest line we wait in all day was for Spaceship Earth.  Anyone who has been there would know that since the ride is constantly moving the line moves pretty quick.
 We were good to never cross the forbidden lines while waiting.
 We were the only ones on the boat in the Mexico ride.  Weird to have a whole boat to ourselves.

 We stayed for the Illuminations firework show that night.  It is such an awesome show.  I love the lights, the fireworks, the music.
It was great to go to Epcot just the two of us.  Some of the highlights of the day were.
The Orange Chicken in China--TO DIE FOR!!!!
The Great American Adventure--The perfect show/place to nap.
The Weather--I wish I would have remembered my sunglasses and shorts.
Dinner in Italy--Good food, yummy pasta.
Not Having to Lug All the "Kid Stuff" Around With Us--We were on the go all day, sprinting from one end of the park to the other and we didn't have to worry about a stroller or if we were going to fast for a little person.  We got off Test Track at 8:55pm and were able to run to the lake and see Illuminations at 9pm, something we never could have done with kids.
 Wednesday we went to Animal Kingdom.  We love the Expedition Everest ride and were lucky enough to be the very first ones on it.
 After going on it seven times in a row we decided that if we went on it again we might just lose our breakfast.  I guess that means we are getting old.  Seven times in less than an hour is pretty good.
We enjoyed the rest of the park.  It is the most relaxing Disney park.  We love the safari and were able to see all sorts of animals.

 We went on quite a few walking tours and saw birds, bats, tigers, and much more.
 We went back to Expedition Everest .... three more times.
 We also saw a really neat bird show.  We went to the Lion King show, wich is my favorite "live" show at all of the parks.  I love the music, the dancing, the FIRE, and all the cool stunts.  We also saw the Nemo show...well Devin did, I really tried to stay awake, but it was my nap time I guess.
 We went back and went on Everest two more times, making the total for the day twelve.  Not bad.  One of the employees told us of a couple that keeps track of how many times they have been on it together.  Their record is 42.  We are up to 20 now.

 Highlights of the day:
Enjoying the park, not rushing around.  It is such a beautiful park!
Learning that if you say, "allergy" at a Disney Park it is just like saying, "bomb" on an airplane.  Though I did get my ice cream sandwich cookie sandwich without any chocolate and it was delicious.
Lions, bears... Too bad.
Everest 12 Times!!!
 Since Animal Kingdom closes early we went back over to Epcot for dinner in Japan.  We have heard good things about the Hibachi grill in Japan.  Oh, my, oh my!!!  Our cook was amazing.  Tons of fun to watch him cut, cook, and grill up our food.  He made a really tall volcano out of onions, the top blew off and in his broken english he said, "windy."  It was funny.  The entertainment was good, but the food, I have never had such good food in my life.  The steak was the best I have ever had.  I could have eaten a whole plate of steak, and I don't like meat.  We will definitely go back there again.  It was so good!!!
 Thursday we headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  We were first in line for Space Mountain, but a very nice man decided that he HAD to be first and cut ahead of us.  Really!!???  Whatever!  After going on Space Mountain a few times we went on the cars.  I was hoping to get a peak at the new Fantasyland.  I am so excited for all the new additions!!!
 We then went over to Splash Mountain.  We were shocked, only a 5 minute wait, WOW!!!  We went on that a few times, until we were wet enough.
 Then we headed over to the Haunted Manson.  I had read about their new interactive lines.  They have all these fun things you can play with in line.  There really weren't any lines, but we stopped and played with all the cool stuff.
 Back again to Splash Mountain.  It was hot, we didn't mind getting wet.
 We then went over to Fantasyland and went on all the classic rides.  It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Snow White.  Devin wouldn't go on the Tea Cups with me and I didn't want to go alone.  Where are my nephews when I need them. :(  Here is a cool view of the new Fantasyland expansion.  You can see the Beast's castle.  Sooo exciting!!!!
 The best line of the day, can you say that????, was the new Winnie the Pooh line.  They have so much stuff to play with in line.
You can crawl through Eeore's house.
 Pop up veggies in Rabbit's garden.
 Pull gopher out of his burrow.
 They had tons of stuff you could do with bees, moving them along the line.  They also had these big boards that had what looks like dripping honey on the screen.  As you touch the screen the honey moves and you can find hidden pictures behind them.  Needless to say there were many kids who were sad when their parents told them it was time to go and get on the ride.  They were having too much fun playing in the line.  Way to go Disney!!! Make the line more fun than the ride.  They are working on the Peter Pan line right now.  I can't wait to see what fun things they put in that line.

 We went to the Crystal Palace for dinner.  They put a cute little heart on our table because it was our anniversary.
 We had a great time meeting Winnie the Pooh and all his friends.  I have to be honest, while we were at Magic Kingdom and at dinner I missed my kids like crazy.  We kept saying, "What are we doing here without our kids."  Magic Kingdom is the kid park.  We had tons of fun, but we missed them.
 One of the highlights of dinner was that they had root beer. Isn't that a standard?  I guess not.  But we were sure happy to finally have some.

 Magic Kingdom has a new night show, or should I say shows.  While you are waiting for the Wishes fireworks show they have a live character show that is great.  But then they have a new amazing show that they project stuff up on the castle.  It was so cool!!!  I am amazed at what they were able to do.  They change the color of the castle, make it look like the bricks are popping out, all sorts of cool stuff.  Then they have the Wishes firework show, which is great.  So you basically have 30 minutes of great nighttime shows.
Highlights of Magic Kingdom:
Being "almost" first of Space Mountain.
5 Minute line for Splash Mountain
A nice nap during the Carousel of Progress.
Mickey's Philhamagic.--My favorite 3-D show.
All the new stuff to play with in the lines.
Dinner with Winnie the Pooh and friends.
The new nighttime show.  FANTASTIC!!!
 Friday we went back over to Hollywood studios.  It was nice to go to the shows without kids.  It is more of an adult park, and it was nice to not drag our kids around a park that they wouldn't enjoy as much.  It rained that day.  The Lights! Motors! Action! car show was great.  The road was so wet, it made me hold my breath as they were driving so close to each other.

 Muppet's 3-D show was my napping spot of the day.  I do love it, I just can't stay awake.
We went on a ton of rides and saw lots of great shows.
We ate dinner at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.  It was so funny!!  Our waiter treated us like kids.  He was making sure we ate all our vegetables and kept our elbows off the table.  There was a group next to us and there was a lady who didn't touch her vegetables.  He wasn't going to clear her plate until she took at least two bites.  He even "threatened" to come over there and feed her.  All in good teasing of course. Good times!
We then went over to Tower of Terror for one last ride before the park closed.  We got really lucky.  As was got off, we thought, maybe we could get on one more time.  We ran around to the front of the line, just as the employee was shutting the gate.  Darn!  We even had fast passes.  She smiled, opened the gate and said, "Come on in." Sweet!!!  We were the very last ones on the ride.  Last in library.
 Last down the empty hall.
 Last on the elevator.
 They even let us go on our own elevator with two employees.   SO COOL!!!
 I love being one of the last ones in the park.  The parks can be busy and crazy, but at night they are so pretty.
We had a wonderful trip.  It was the first trip I was excited to come home from.  We were so excited to pick up our kids.  Special thanks to David and Marhe for watching our little friends for a week.  We owe you big time!!!
Here's to saving up!  Hopefully we'll be headed back in 5 years for our 10 year anniversary.