Thursday, April 26, 2012

April Conference 2012

We love conference at our house.  I have really let go of the "conference is for me, so be quite children" mentality.  We try to do everything we can to help our kids to love to watch conference.  It is basically a two day circus, but it is worth it.
We did our Conference Posters for each session.  I got temple, scripture, and Jesus stickers to put up each time a speaker would say anything about temples, scriptures, and Jesus.  Anna really like listening for these words.
Devin was good enough to entertain Nicholas by spinning him all around.
The kids did a lot of wandering around.
Nicholas liked playing with the cute boy in the mirror.
I'll be honest, the sessions that I got the most out of were the ones in the afternoon when Nicholas was sleeping.
Anna loved being able to do all sorts of fun activities that we couldn't do while Nicholas was awake.
The funniest thing was somehow Devin's handcuffs ended up down with us.  Anna played with the handcuffs through quite a bit of the last session.
We enjoyed Priesthood Pie with my family as part of conference.  The "Pie" part doesn't really happen anymore.  It is more of a make something yummy for your husband.  I made a chocolate pudding cake for Devin.  It was a hit and super easy.  This was what was left after the first night.
It didn't take long for Devin and the kids to polish it off.

Nicholas loved every bite.  We finally caught on tape Nicholas making funny noises with this fingers.  He usually does this at the end of a meal when he is done and ready to get down.
Conference was wonderful.   Elder Holland's talk was my favorite.  I have been enjoying watching Conference without my children as I run each day.  It is so great!!!  The Young Women meeting was AMAZING too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Orchard

When we were looking for a house we knew we wanted land.  We wanted room for our kids to play, room for a big fat garden, and lots of fruit trees.  Well, we didn't end up with tons of land, but we wouldn't trade our neighbors and neighborhood any amount of land.
That said, we still decided to plant more fruit trees.  Our family loves to eat peaches and all sorts of apple products.  So, we bought two more peach trees and two apple trees.
Devin had the time of his life digging through the rock hard soil to plant them.
Anna had a blast helping him...any excuse to wear her work gloves.

We took pictures of the kids next to the trees.  Hopefully the trees will grow huge and have lots and lots of fruit.

This is my favorite sister loving brother by helping him stand still picture.

Mobile Moments March 2012

March is long gone, but here are our funny phone picture adventures.

Anna loves to play with my kitchen towels.  One day she decided that it would be fun to make letter shapes with the towels.  Her "A" turned out pretty good.
Nicholas has a sweet tooth.  His new favorite candy is suckers.  He can even say "sucker" and it is hard to resist giving him one when he says, "sucker pleeeeeeease!!!!"
I finally fixed Anna's Christmas dress.  I love it!  Can you tell that it gray part was too short and then I added a bunch to make it longer???  
Anna started taking dance classes.  For a girl who is not "girly" at all, she sure loves getting her dance clothes on and going to dance.
Anna finally tipped the scale and is now 30lbs.  Which means she is free to use a car seat booster with a back.  OH HAPPY DAY!!!!
It is a good thing that Anna was big enough for the smaller car seat because we spent quite a bit of time in March driving cousins around.   We got to drop my nephew Zach off at school a lot.  Nicholas was never quite sure if he liked Zach being next to him or not.  I think it might have been Zach's monster hat that made Nicholas wonder what was going on.  We also discovered that three car seats don't fit well in the back of my Subaru.  They fit, but it is a pain in the neck.
Anna and Nicholas are working to develop a new Olympic sport.  Bucket pushing.  They like to race around the kitchen pushing the buckets.  Nicholas is really good at it. 
For Activity Days we made bread.  Anna and I made some practice mini loaves.  She wanted to make a loaf with an "A" on it.  It turned out pretty cute.
Anna is really taking off with her reading.  I love it when I come into her room after putting Nicholas down for his nap and I find her reading,...REALLY reading.  :) :) :)  
We love having Anna's friend Avery come over and play.  The girls crack me up!!!  One day they gave quite the concert.  Maybe someday they will play a real duet together.
Nicholas loves to play with my serving spoons.  When I am trying to get food on the table or dishes done I let the kids play with pretty much anything they want in the kitchen. (no knives)
I really do think Nicholas eats as much as I do, maybe more.  He eats way more than Anna.  He loves to eat and makes a royal mess every time he does.  But he is happy and eating, and that is all that matters right?
Anna was feeling pretty sick one day.  Nicholas was so sweet with her.  Anna was laying on my lap and Nicholas would come up to her and pat her back and say, "It's ok Anna."  Too cute!
I love playing games with my kids!  One afternoon Anna and I spent a good hour playing all of the best classic board games. I must say Candyland is still one of my favorites.
We have been trying to recognize all the good things Anna does.  We have started a little "Rock Jar" and Anna gets rocks anytime she does something good.  We let her pick something special to do when the jar is full.  We were driving down the road one day and we passed Applebee's.  Anna asked what that big apple was for.  I explained and she then asked if she could go to Applebee's when she filled up her rock jar.  Sure!  She worked hard and we made it to Applebee's.  We even survived taking two kids to dinner and it was a pleasant experience all around. 
One of Anna's jobs it to help collect towels to wash.  We have found that it is more fun to throw them off the ledge than to carry them down the stairs.  Nicholas loves standing at the bottom and watching the towels fly down.  It is pretty funny watching him try to dodge the falling towels too.
Devin took the kids to Home Depot one Saturday to buy some parts to make it easier to water our garden.  Well, Devin and the kids were outside and somehow lost one of the pieces you see in the picture.  We spent a ridiculous amount of time looking all over the lawn trying to find it.  Devin was worried what it would do to the lawnmower.  About a week later I was playing with the kids outside and looked down and there it was!  No joke we looked in that same spot several times before.  Oh well, we are glad we found it. 
Each Thursday I get to drive Anna and Liz to dance.  The girls love dance!  They both fell asleep while driving home one day.  Miss Maddie must have work them hard.
One of my favorite things to do is watch my kids play with other kids.  I have a hard time getting stuff done when they have friends over because it is so entertaining.  Anna and Liz were playing one day and they decided to do each other's hair...WITH THE TOOLS!!!  Yes that is pair of pliers Liz is using on Anna and she was putting nails into her hair too.  I didn't get a picture of the saw in action but it was pretty funny too.

March means the Rex Lee Run.  I think I have enough Rex Lee Run shirts to last a whole week, all different colors too.  This was the first year in a long time that I ran alone.  It was a busy Saturday, but I just couldn't imagine not running this race.  I had a good run, it was windy, and left as soon as I finished.  I found out several days later that I took 3rd place in my age division.  Now I just need to shave another two minutes off my time and I can pretend to be 19 again. 
What do you do with two little girls for several hours.  Give them a bunch of glue, paper, scissors, and markers.  Anna and Liz were in heaven making cards for their cousin's birthday and anyone else they could think of.
My Grandma Beth found this awesome Wonder Woman costume for my sister when she was little.  It has been loved by many a child.  Now Anna is just the right size to be the next Wonder Woman.
We had a snow storm...weird!  Anna and Nicholas had fun playing in the snow. We rolled a bunch of big snowballs so that way when the snow melted that afternoon we would remember that there really was snow that morning.  The kids liked sitting on the snowballs.
Anna and Avery wanted to cut paper one day.  It was at that moment that I finally realized what all the junk mail is for.  You give all the adds and junk mail to your kids to cut out.  They had a blast cutting out food, toys, and clothes. It was fantastic!
Nicholas got a really cool elephant toy for his birthday from Chris and Chantelle.  He loves rolling it all over watching the different circles spin.
Nicholas loves to sit in boxes.  He loves it even more when he can get Anna to push him around in the boxes.   Anna is always up for the challenge and usually puts a whole bunch of stuff in the box with him.
If we were to say that Nicholas is curious that would be an understatement.  He loves to look at things in great detail.  One of his favorite places to explore is under our kitchen table.  He pulls a little stool over and then spends time poking his fingers into all the holes and playing with the joints and screws.  He loves seeing how things work.
Several days before Easter we always break our Easter Eggs and the buckets out.  The kids love playing with the eggs and hiding them for each other.  Anna loved playing Easter Bunny and  Nicholas loved picking the eggs up and putting them into his bucket.  I loved being able to get dinner ready in peace.
Devin and Anna had fun planting pepper and tomato seeds.  We shall see how we do at growing our plants from seeds.  
My mom's friend Susan came out to visit.  She wanted to get something fun for our kids.  We ended up getting a slide.  Our kids love it and the neighbor kids do too.  Nicholas has mastered climbing up the ladder and going down all by himself.  Anna and Nicholas also like to roll balls up and down the slide to each other too.
Conference weekend we got together with the Hendersons for Priesthood Pie.  At one point all the cousins were gathered around Nicholas.  He was their parrot.  The boys would tell Nicholas to say something and he would repeat it.  They thought it was pretty funny that Nicholas was trying to say so many words.

They you have it.  March!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lessons They Have Taught Me #1

I love learning from my kids.  I am trying to be better about slowing things down so that we can have great talks together and so that I don't miss teaching moments with them.  Today we had a great teaching moment, but I wasn't the teacher, Nicholas was.
We were at church and Nicholas was sitting on my lap during the sacrament.  Lately he has been doing this cute little "happy dance" wiggle thing whenever he is excited about something...mostly food.  He saw the bread coming and did his little happy dance.  He took a piece of bread and then looked up a the deacon and said the best he could, "Thank You!" The boy didn't respond, so Nicholas said it again, "Thank You!"
Nicholas saying, "Thank You" made me think about how grateful I am for my covenants.  It made me want to be better about telling my Savior how grateful I am that He would give His life and allow me to make convenants with Him to give my whole life.  I hope my kids know that I am grateful for my covenants.  They are what keeps us together and what keeps us headed in the right direction.  Saying, "Thank you" doesn't seem like enough, but it is a good place to start.
Thanks Nicholas for the wonderful reminder.   

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Only 19

I have a 13 week cleaning program that I do for the deep cleaning of my house.  Last week I was focusing on my sewing room.  It was one of those days when I should have been doing something else, but I decided it would be way more fun to organize all of my sewing stuff.  So...KABOOM!!!  This is what the room looked like at one point.  Honestly!??? How did I get all this stuff???
I had lots of fun, honestly I love projects like this, organizing all of my material and projects.  I have started a tub of fabric for all the scraps from stuff I have made for Anna and another tub for stuff I have made for Nicholas, in hopes that someday I'll make a cool quilt for each of them with the scraps of fabric that I have used for their projects.
After organizing all my material I realized that I only have 19 unfinished projects.  I don't know if I should laugh about only have 19 or be embarrassed.   But I have stacked them up by order of priority or easiness of being completed and hopefully I'll make some serious tracks in finishing those projects.

Sorry no picture of the finished room, but it looks fantastic!  Here is a picture of my table runner that I finished recently.  I love the colors in it.  Too bad it isn't one of the 19 projects that still needs to be done.


Anna has started taking dance lessons.  She would say, "It is the highlight of my life!"  She wishes every day was Thursday, because that means she gets to go to dance with Miss Maddie.  Anna is not a girly girl at all, but she loves wearing her dance clothes.
She also loves the fact that her cousin Liz is in the class with her.  It is fun for me to drive the girls.  I love listening to them talk.  It is fun to drill them about what they did in class.

I am very excited for their concert in May.  The concert is based on one of my favorite children's books called The Empty Pot by Demi.
This is the story that I read to my class on the first day of school every year.  I love the book it has such a great message.
Anna is working on two dances.  One she is a little Chineses girl (in a pretty stinkin' cute dress I must say) and the other dance she is a butterfly.

So if you will be in town May 25th and 26th  come see some cute little girls dance.