Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

What a day...

This morning I got up and hurried to get ready to run in the "Race to Feed the Hungry" (5k) with my friend Kristel.  I put my right contact in, no problem. Put my left contact in and felt as if I had dumped burning acid in my eye.  I grabbed the contact out and frantically flushed my eye out and it gradually started to feel a little better, although it was definitely still stinging.  I had run out of contact solution the night before right after filling the right eye case, had dug around in a drawer and found an old bottle of sample contact solution and had used it for my left contact.  Now that I felt like my eye had been acid burned I looked at the bottle and apparently this solution wasn't just the regular old 3-in-one stuff.  You had to use a special kind of container and it said not to put it directly on the contact.  Oops.

Plan B: run in glasses which I usually avoid doing at all costs.  Also wear glasses for the next week or so till I can get an eye appointment since I cannot seem to find my box of contacts that I just opened a week and a half before. Be thankful I have glasses to wear. Also hope that I haven't done any permanent damage to my eye.

I hurried off to pick up Kristel and left Chris and the kids.  He was still undecided as to whether he was going to try to come watch me run.  Once Kristel and I got there and walked up to where it started (leaving my phone in the car of course) I realized that it was a way bigger event than I had known and there were tons of people running.  Also, we waited and waited for it to start but apparently they had a lot of last minute sign ups and so started about 20 minutes late.  At this point I was wishing I had my phone to tell Chris not to try to come as parking would be crazy and I had no idea when we would finish.   

The race finally started and we had quite a nice run, but the course ended up being about 3.6 miles instead of 3.1 like it was supposed to be.  This made our time several minutes longer than it should have been which we thought was weird. Luckily I had my GPS watch to tell us how far we had run so we didn't think we had just run super slowly. As I rounded the last corner I could see Chris and the kids waiting for me by the finish and immediately saw that Elijah was hysterical.  I waved to them as we ran by, grabbed some water and went around to find them.  Poor Elijah's hands were terribly cold and he just would not calm down.  Chris had sped over there to try to make it in time, and then had ended up standing around waiting for 25 minutes in the freezing morning air because of the races late start. I think a combination of the cold, the loud music and the crowd just put Elijah over the edge. I have never seen him so inconsolable.  Isaac also started crying because he had wanted to run with me at the end, so as Chris made a b-line for the car with the Elijah, Kristel and I ran behind with Issac and William to try to make them feel better.  Finally Chris turned around and said I'd better take Elijah to see if he would do better, but he still wouldn't calm down so I ran for the van, buckled him in, got the boys in, hurriedly explained to Isaac who looked as if he was about to dissolve in tears again that I was just going to drop Kristel off and come home, and Chris took off.  Somewhere in this whole craziness Chris mentioned that the fridge and freezer in the house had stopped working some time in the night. Awesome.

Kristel and I hurried back to the other car, I dropped her off and got home as quickly as I could.  Chris had put Elijah down for a nap, so we started going through the fridge and freezer throwing a bunch of stuff away and salvaging what we could. While he was pulling stuff out of the freezer Chris spilled red berry juice all over the only pair of work pants he likes.  I quickly rinsed them and treated them, but don't have a whole lot of hope of saving them. Luckily though, we were able so save a fair amount of food and there is a fridge and freezer in the garage. Also it is cold enough outside that we could just set some stuff out there.  My parents are in Utah having Thanksgiving with my grandma so I can only imagine that this will be a fun surprise for them to come home to.

It was now about 10:45am, I had run 3.6 miles and had only eaten 1/2 a banana so I was famished.  I quickly ate a cutie and toaste an English muffin but realized the butter I put on it had kind of an "off" flavor and I couldn't finish it.  I also realized that I probably used some of that same stick of butter in one of my pies and so I had no idea what that would do to the flavor and edibleness of whatever pie it might have been.

I jumped quickly in the shower and got ready as fast as I could, and then ran upstairs to finish up one of the pies.  I had saved putting the bananas, toffee and whipped cream on the banoffee pie till right before we left because I didn't want it to get soggy or the bananas to go brown.   I had to try the whipped cream 3 times because the cream had gotten warm in the fridge and wasn't whipping properly.  On the third try it turned out okay, although not as stiff as I would have liked, and I was able to finish up the pie which looked quite beautiful.

At this point we were running late to get to Chris's sisters house 25 minutes away for dinner at 1:00.  They had scheduled it for that time because Chris had to work at 3:00 so we knew we needed to hurry.  Chris got the kids and pies in the car and then took off in his own car. As I hurried to lock up and grab the last couple of things I went to grab diapers and realized that our diaper bin was empty.  I found one diaper in the diaper bag and literally felt like I was having a panic attack as I thought about the implications of running out of diapers on Thanksgiving/Black Friday when Chris had to work both days and I would have to take the kids with me to the store.  I did some deep breathing flagged down Chris as he was pulling out of the driveway, and he told me there were a few diapers in the car.  Luckily I found 4 or 5.  Phew.  We could make it.

-Speed off to Katherine's house.- 

When we got there I lifted the trunk to get the pies out and saw that during the drive two pies had jumped on top of the beautiful banoffee pie I had JUST finished making and had made a huge mess.  Chris kept me (somewhat) calm and told me we could fix it.

At this point I was ready for the day to be over.  But Chris was right...we could and did fix it.  The pie didn't look quite as beautiful as it had originally, but was still acceptable, and we cleaned everything else up.

And then...everything went right.

It was as if up until 1:15pm we had been living in a Murphy's law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) universe, and then all of a sudden the universe righted itself, birds started singing and flowers blooming. Okay...I guess we didn't have flowers blooming in November, but the weather was beautiful. The big kids disappeared to go play with their cousins while we finished getting dinner on. Elijah was happy.  Dinner was (of course) delicious, all the big kids were old enough to sit at their own table and need minimal supervision, so we adults were able to talk and enjoy ourselves. Elijah happily ate everything I fed him and amused us by playing peek-a-boo. And while we were in the middle of dinner Chris got a phone call from work asking if he would be okay with going on-call instead of coming in.  Ummmmm....yes?!!

After dinner Trey (9) took Elijah outside to play. He pulled Elijah around in the wagon and chased the cat with him which of course Elijah absolutely loved.  The other kids disappeared again to play, and eventually went outside as well.  I am always happy on a day in the winter where my kids will go outside and gets some fresh air. It makes for happy kids and a happy mom. 

I made more whipped cream for the rest of the pies. It turned out much better than it had at my house, and everyone was very kind about the pies, even the banoffee one which at that point was more like soup than pie, but at least tasted super yummy. HA HA! I got really lucky with a new dark chocolate pie recipe and everyone raved about it.  It had the "perfect" texture. Phew!

Visiting was done, naps were taken, dishes were washed, the food put away, and goodbyes said.  Katherine gave the kids a really cool lego advent calendar as an early Christmas present.  They are SO excited about it.

And now we are home. The kids got in a little trouble because Chris found another place where they had written on the wall.  This has been a trend lately.  But it was actually okay with me because that meant that after they scrubbed it off (thank you Katherine for the magic erasers!) they got their pajamas on and went straight to bed a little before 8.  Minimal bedtime hassle. 

Now I am sitting here writing this book of a blog post while Chris is upstairs cleaning the kitchen.  I love that man.

It's been a long day, but a good day. A day to remember for the good and the not-so-good-but-will-be-funny-someday, which is why I wanted to write it all down in detail.  I have so much to be thankful for-not just in November, or on Thanksgiving Day, but all the time.  I hope that even when I stop writing it down every day, I will still remember to look for the good, the little things that make me smile, and the tender mercies every day.  One thing doing this has taught me is that even on the worst, or craziest or even on the most ordinary days there is always something to be thankful for if I just pay attention and remember to look for it. 

A few phone pics from the day:

The favorite chocolate pie


Pies and cheesecake.  Yum!

Isaac and Ozzie playing at the top of the stairs
Chris and uncle Roger enjoying their Thanksgiving nap

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Night Night"

Tonight I was trying to finish up the dishes and I could tell Elijah was tired.  I had changed his diaper and put his pajamas on, and he had found a pacifier (which I usually only let him have in his bed) and he kept doing things like laying down on the floor.  He finally got cranky enough that I stopped doing the dishes even though I was almost done, and picked him up and he immediately said, "night night".  Ha! It was very obvious that he was ready to go to bed.  I don't think I've ever had one of my kids tell me they wanted to go to bed before, although Isaac did used to fall asleep in his high chair.  It was kind of a stressful point in my day but I did have to laugh and appreciate that one little thing.

On a somewhat unrelated note, we finally cut Elijah's hair.  Yesterday the mullet he has been developing just got too much for me and I decided to take the clippers to it.  He is such a wiggly boy it was hard to get it all even. Chris tried to clip around his ears with scissors and it is definitely not the smoothest job since he kept trying to turn his head, but at least the mullet is gone. I really loved his longer hair and I am trying to get used to it short but I still think he's pretty darn cute. Here's a picture with his new 'do:

Eating his first oreo while I made oreo pie crust.  He devoured it and asked for more and wasn't very happy when I told him no. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Baby Girl

One of my friends has an incredibly sweet six month old baby girl that I got to snuggle a little bit today. I love my boys and feel pretty content at this point imagining only having boys but every once in a while it's nice to get a baby girl fix. Her chubby legs in her tights and her chunky little bum with a pink tutu on it was just so cute and fun. And she loves to play on her stomach and roll around all over which my kids never really did so that was fun to watch too.

Incidentally Elijah absolutely adores this particular baby girl and constantly tries to give her loves and hugs and stares into her eyes. It is hilarious and also a little alarming at times. I have to say the kids got good taste though because little Abigail is just the sweetest!

Monday, November 25, 2013


For my birthday a year or two ago Chris gave me one of those hand held electric back massager things and today the kids saw it and pulled it out.  They were trying to convince me to pay them "twenty five REAL cents for a massage" or one dollar for 5 massages every day, or 10 dollars for a hundred massages every day etc.

I kept trying to convince them that they were using MY massager to earn money so I should get to have massages for free.  They were pretty stubborn about needing to be paid though, (quite the little businessmen) so I finally convinced William that he should give me a massage and then I would give him a massage and then we would pay each other a quarter.

Of course after all that work to convince him, when I laid down on the floor Elijah though it was hilarious to come sit on my head or lay down on my back, so Wiliam ended up giving him more of a massage than me, which was hilarious because Elijah thought it was hilarious and was giggling and belly laughing like crazy on top of me, which made all of us laugh, except when I couldn't because he was bouncing on my head.

When I gave William his massage he could NOT stop laughing.  It was so ticklish to him everywhere that the only place I could use without him cracking up was his calves.  Of course, that didn't really stop me from trying out his stomach and his sides and his feet and his armpits :). And it was pretty hilarious that after all his negotiations he was content to have me hand him a quarter and then hand it back to me. HA!

Then of course Isaac wanted me to give him a massage and he was even worse than William.  They were all giggling like crazy and Elijah kept trying to climb on top of whoever was laying down, and my hair was a crazy mess and it was a lot of fun.  The whole thing was just silly and funny from the start to the finish.

My kids are silly and exhausting and messy and smart and helpful and helpless and crazy and cute and naughty and I love hearing them laugh.  I'm grateful I got to enjoy that funny little time with them today. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Heart Ache

The last few days I got a much needed break from my regular life.  It was really a lot of fun to go shopping and hang out and attend Time Out for Women, and not have to cook or take care of anyone except myself.  Kristel and I laughed a lot and did a lot of silly things.  It was a wonderful break.

However, right after we got to Salt Lake I got a phone call from my dad who told me he had run into the father of my best friend from high school. Stephanie's dad told my dad that doctors had found a cancerous tumor in Stephanie's one year old son Noah's abdomen.  My heart broke for her.

Noah is Stephanie's miracle child who she shouldn't have even been able to get pregnant with in the first place.  Her pregnancy with him was terribly hard resulting in her having to be in the hospital for over a month at the end of it while leaving her husband and two older kids.  And then Noah was born and he has been her sweetheart from the beginning.  He is the first of her children to look like her, and the happiest most endearing baby.  Stephanie told me that although she (of course) definitely loves her other babies and is so grateful to have them, Noah was the baby to teach her how much joy motherhood can really bring.

All this went through my mind when my dad told me the news. And my heart broke for them.

I had a wonderful weekend, but Stephanie and Noah were in the back of my mind the whole time. Saturday night I just couldn't sleep.  I kept thinking about them and wishing I could do something, and praying for them.  I thought of my own sweet, healthy little boys and wondered why some people seem to have to go through so much. My heart broke for them.

I joined in the fast that they had today for Noah.  I believe that there is a lot of power  in people of faith joining together in fasting and prayer.  And I wanted to be a part of that power for their family. 

Noah goes in for surgery on Tuesday.  I am grateful for modern medicine and doctors who can perform life-saving operations.  I am grateful for the power of the priesthood which Noah's father holds.  I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and a loving Savior who have the power to heal our bodies and our hearts.  I know that they weep for little Noah at this time just like I do.

My heart aches for this sweet family, but I will continue to pray and hope for healing for their bodies and their hearts. I pray that they may find rest and that their burdens may be light.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
                                                                                          -Jesus Christ 
                                                                                       Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, November 21, 2013

GPS lady

I'm on vacation! Yay! Kristel and I are taking a break from life, shopping a lot, laughing a lot and attending Time Out For Women this weekend. At one point in our search for awesome stores today we got all turned around but luckily Kristel's GPS on her phone came to our rescue and led us the right way without us going too far out of our way. That GPS lady sure is smart. She knows exactly the right way to go! 

I am also super grateful for all the people back home that are making this vacation happen for me, particularly Chris and also my Mom for her help with the boys. And of course for Kristel for being the kind of friend that I can do something like this with. 

And now I must sleep so I have lots of energy for tomorrow :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Today I taught 7 of my 13 students with 5 of them all in a row because I am going out of town tomorrow morning and had to shuffle things around a bit.  Five in a row is a lot for my kids to handle and even lot for me as I start to feel brain fatigue, but today was really not bad.  Luckily I have an awesome student who trades her lessons for taking care of the kids while I am teaching other students.  I don't know what I would do without her! In the last 6 months I have almost doubled the amount of students I had and it has been largely due to this girl that I have been able to do it. 

I really do enjoy teaching and even though it can be stressful and exhausting sometimes, it is also really rewarding.  Today one of my violin students played a song entirely in tune with relatively good hand position which is something we have been working on pretty much exclusively since she started with me at the beginning of the school year. I can't even express how pleased and proud that made me!

And another one of my students who is really talented but also has a really hard time focusing and not playing sloppily had a good lesson where he concentrated on what I was asking him to do and showed a lot of improvement.

I was also able to work with one of my students on the new practicing system and I know she is the type to do what I ask her to do so I really hope she has good success with it.  She is going to be kind of my guinea pig and so I'm excited to see where that goes. 

This picture is really blurry which is super irritating, (I didn't properly explain how to use my camera before I handed it to my bad!) but I wanted to put it up anyway.  My students were all so cute and did such a good job when we had our Halloween recital in October, and I am grateful for the opportunity to teach them and to continually try to improve as a teacher.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Isaac's journal

I started helping Isaac keep a journal which he loves! He asks me to write in it quite often and he always says things that make me laugh and I make sure to write them exactly as he tells them to me. He really likes to recount his dreams, so a lot of it is a dream journal and he often talks about parties he is going to have and who he is going to invite.  Here are a few of my favorites (although it really is hard to chose):

Oct. 15, 2013

I had a dream that I had flowers in my bed growing while I was sleeping and I was watering the plant. I had a dream about I was sleeping in a vase. I'm having a party.  I was awake in my bed dreaming that I was eating bread and eating some corn.  I have a plant growing but it died.  I am so unhappy.  I wish they wouldn't die.  I have balloons for my party.  They are on my brick tree where I am selling bricks.

Oct. 28, 2013

The funniest thing I ever dreamed: I dreamed that I was in November 15 when I had the 3rd birthday that I was turning ten.  I had a dream that all the people were naked in the store but one was a ghost that had a blanket over it and it was a dementor.  Well it was a person but it was dressed up as a dementor.

I am going to be Woody for Halloween and I am going to bring my gun.  It was fun going to the Trunk-or-Treat and getting all that candy.  It was also fun eating the soup and I also ate a roll.

William showed me how to play Harry Potter on the piano.

Oct. 28, 2013 (two in one day :))

I cooked stuff in a pretend pan for my friends that are almonds.  I am learning so much of one of my friend's songs.  It's called "Sew your shirt together because it ripped."

Oct. 29, 2013

Ummmmmm I love so much....I love Paige. Well she is my best friend well sometimes she doesn't play with me because I am gone, but she usually comes to the Ammon Pool with me.  Also when I had this crazy dream, one of the stores was made out of ghosts.  Then it built up with wood.  But then it turned into a GREAT BIG GHOST! And everyone was sucked up except for one who went to a bad, bad ghost and a bad, bad guy.

This kids imagination is wild! But he is always good for a laugh. I hope he'll continue to write in his journal because it's fun to get a little glimpse of what is going on in his 4-year-old head.

I sure love this face

He ALWAYS has a stick. And they are all his favorite sticks so we must bring them all home.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A happy helper

Today I asked my sweet William to spend some time cleaning up his bedroom while I was teaching lessons.  While I was teaching I could hear that he had turned on an audio book, and since he usually just sits at the computer and listens I figured he hadn't done what I asked. After I finished teaching and was about to go downstairs he ran up and told me he had a surprise and I needed to close my eyes.  He held my hand as we went down the stairs and then said, "OPEN".

When I opened my eyes I saw that not only had he cleaned his room like I asked, but had also cleaned up the rest of the basement.  He has started doing things like this lately and it has been so nice! It really makes me happy (duh) and I can tell it makes him really happy to do.  Like I said a while ago, he once went around and offered to take everyone's plates off of the table which he has done again since then.  He also often responds to things I ask him to do with, "Sure! I'd love to!" He is generally happy to help with Elijah and really is a sweet older brother.  Several times I have seen Elijah lay his head in William's lap and William rub Elijah's back, or Elijah giving him a big hug.  It is very sweet.

Of course William can still be quite whiny and has a lot of times where he doesn't really want to be helpful, but more and more I am seeing this considerate, thoughtful, mature little boy show through and it is really fun to see.

Classic William face

Just tying flies and wearing dragon a boss! I love this picture.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stake Conference

I am really grateful for my kids today! I took them to Stake Conference by myself which I've been dreading for days and they were SOOOO good! I couldn't believe it. Elijah was really good for the first hour, but then was pretty done, but the other boys were so good sitting there quietly coloring and playing with legos that I was able to take him out and let him wander the halls for a while which helped a lot.  Isaac started disintegrating about the last 10 minutes but he had been so good the rest of the time that I was able to deal with that without getting frustrated.  It seemed like a miracle and also made me realize how much my boys are growing up.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A new day with no mistakes

Today was sort of one-of-those-days.  Not that my kids were extra naughty or anything really bad happened (other than slamming my finger in the door-ouch!), I just wasn't feeling it today you know? And although I'm pretty ready for today to be over (but at the same time dreading tomorrow which consists of me taking the kids to stake conference by myself) there are a few things that I did enjoy about today.

1-I spent some time coloring with Isaac.  He is such a funny kid and can drive me up the wall sometimes, but his imagination and ideas are endless and it is so fun when I get a chance to just sit down and enjoy some time with him.  He is always the director, whether we are playing blocks or coloring or whatever, he tells exactly how it is all supposed to be done. And I am happy to be his assistant and do whatever he tells me to do.  I figure he gets bossed around enough I better let him have a chance to be the boss when I can.

2-Isaac got sent to bed a little before William, and I put Elijah down at the same time, which left me time to read to William all by himself which is rare.  It was nice to just snuggle with him and read, even though after a little while Elijah started screaming in the background.  I really love how much William loves books.  He is really getting the hang of reading himself now and is trying to read just about everything, so I'm sure it won't be long before he is reading books to himself.  I hope he'll continue to like having me read to him though.

3-Elijah head banging.  Hilarious.

4-I was asked to play the violin at a funeral for a gentleman in our ward this morning.  It was really nice to be asked and I felt honored to be a part of it. I also love it when I have an excuse and a chance to practice.

5-When I'm having an off day I can take comfort in the words of Anne Shirley.  "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes [or grumpiness] in it."

BTW I cannot believe I have written 16 days in a row.  Miracles never cease. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Continuing Education

I am a member of the Music Club here, and every month or so they hold a workshop addressing different aspects of teaching with guest instructors.  I try to attend these whenever I can, but all too often it is a time that is hard, or I don't have babysitting.

Today there was a workshop that I really wanted to go to, and my mom was free (or as free as she ever is) so she agreed to watch the kids and pick up William from school so I could go.  And I was so grateful because it was a great workshop!

The presenter was one of the newer piano professors at BYU-I and he taught how to teach students to practice.  I loved the presentation because he gave such a systematic approach to teaching your students and I could see how helpful it will be if I can teach my students to practice this way.  He gave measurable goals, and really broke the music down in a way that if the student follows the plan success is virtually guaranteed.

It was interesting because although I feel like I teach many of the same practice techniques and use the same way to solve problems in my teaching that he taught, I could see how having a step by step plan for the students to follow makes so much sense and could put together the things I had been teaching them more haphazardly into something simple and clear for them to follow. 

His plan addresses every issue from the notes and the rhythms, hand position, technique, dynamics, phrasing, articulation...everything! All in one plan that I can make a chart of.  I decided that I am going to go through one of my books of shorter classical pieces and teach them to myself using this plan and see how it goes for me at the same time that I am going to start teaching it to my students. 

One thing he said that stood out to me as a new way of thinking is that the musicality of a piece of music cannot be done just by intuition.  Although some people have really good intuition, it is still never going to be exactly what it should be unless you decided deliberately and specifically exactly what you want to do with each phrase, and build up the muscle memory to be able to do it.  I knew this before on some level of course, but the way he explained it, and the way he explained how to practice it was really kind of a revelation to me. 

Anyway, it really made me happy that I was able to attend that workshop today and I hope that I will be able to use the things I learned to improve my skills as a teacher and as a performer.  Although I really miss the learning environment at college, I am glad to be able to continue my studies through workshops and through reading and simply by trial and error in my own teaching.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


 The other day I was going running with my friend Kristel and as I was walking out the door I called to Chris, "The Baby is in the back yard, just so you know."  Kristel just started laughing at me and said that maybe we should start calling him Elijah.  I couldn't figure out what she was talking about, but then realized that it might sound kind of funny to someone who didn't know I was talking about my 16 month old. 

I'm not sure that Elijah will ever grow out of being "Baby".  We all call him that, although I have started using his name more than I did before.  We love having our baby boy and hope that it is a while before he starts resenting the nickname.

He is such a funny, quirky, opinionated, squishy, hamball of a baby.   I am totally biased, but every day I think he has hit his cuteness limit but he always comes up with even more endearing stunts the next day.

Some of the things he's been doing lately are:

-Saying "hi" to anyone who walks into the room where he is, or if he walks into somewhere where someone else is

-Walking around on his tiptoes

-Yelling "doh" (go) and running across the living room.  Repeat.  Repeat. Repeat.

-Calling the chickens in a funny little high pitched voice.  He makes his chicken call while sitting at his high chair and then tosses the food on the ground like he thinks they are going to come inside and eat it.  It's hilarious, though I do wish it didn't make quite such a mess.  He has a love/hate relationship with both the chickens and William's parakeets.  He loves them, calls them, watches them incessently, but if they make any sudden movements or come to close to him totally freaks out and screams hysterically.

-He loves to give hugs and kisses.  The kisses are slobbery but oh so sweet.

-Gives a super cheesy grin/laugh when he wants you to know he likes something or is excited about something

-Casts spells like a true wizard.  I am really hoping to catch this on video sometime.

-Has been singing along with the piano cds my kids have been playing, especially the Suzuki twinkles

-Playing chase. The other day I was saying, "I'm going to get you" as I was chasing him around.  When I got distracted for a little while he came up to me and said, "GIT CHOO" and then ran away squealing.

-Saying "thank you" both verbally and with the sign.  He perfected this one on Halloween.  He absolutely loved the fact that person after person was handing him candy.
He painted spaghetti on his belly one evening.  You would have thought it was the Mona Lisa the way he was absorbed in it.
-Making the silliest faces ever. 

-Copying everything his brothers do.  I mean everything.

-Apparently he is also one of the only kids in nursery who tries to sing along and do the actions with the songs.  We are all spoiled because grandma is the nursery leader so she has been taking him for the last several months.

-Grabbing his nose and anybody else's who gets close enough.  He has been fascinated with noses since he figured out about them. 

-Being super possessive of his dirty diapers.  He INSISTS on throwing them away himself, and for a while was refusing to put them in the garbage and would cry hysterically whenever I would throw them in.  Luckily he has gotten over that and now just has to throw it in himself.
He loves hanging out with his Daddy.  Except occasionally when he doesn't want anything to do with him.

And a million other cute things.  I can't believe how much fun we have with him.  It's not like he is always happy, or sleeps super well, but for some reason watching him grow and learn new things has been an incredibly fulfilling, joyful experience.  Not that it wasn't with my other boys, but I feel like I have a different sort of appreciation for it now that I have some older kids too.

I was thinking today about what our life would be like without him and the thought was so bleak and sad! He choked on something (I'm not sure what) and I was of course a mess about it for a few minutes until he managed to get it all the way down. We would all be lost without our sweet baby.  He really is like a ray of sunshine in our lives!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Not the Brightest Crayon

Yeah.  That's me.  NOT the brightest crayon in the box. 

On Wednesdays I teach piano and violin lessons to 3 sisters and I go to their house to teach.  When I got there and was taking out my violin I realized that my bow was not in my case.  I could not figure out what in the world could have happened to it! I thought back and realized that I hadn't (so I thought) had it out since I had taught at their house the week before because my other violin students hadn't come that week. 

So I thought maybe I had left it, but they hadn't seen it and it wasn't in any of their cases.  I then thought maybe my boys had taken it out of the case at some point but when I asked them if they had played with it they told me very wide eyed and convincingly that they hadn't touched it at all.  I decided to believe them until I had evidence that they were guilty.  I'm glad I did.

 I tried not to panic and went on with my lessons (using one of their bows).  After I got home I only had about 10 minutes until I had another student come, but I spent it looking under couches and behind the piano to no avail. I kept going over the week in my mind trying to think if there could possibly be another time I had had my violin out but couldn't think of anything. 

So I taught another two lessons and still tried not to panic.  Finally after I was done teaching I told my mom what was going on and asked if she had any ideas or had possibly seen my kids with it. 

She said..."Well, you had it in church on Sunday.  Did you leave it on the sacrament bench?"

I stood there for a minute trying to comprehend what she was even talking about.  I think I might have even said, "I had it in church?"

She went on, "I watched you turn around and put your violin down on the bench by the sacrament table after you were done playing.  Could you have left it there?"

And then it dawned on me.  I had played the violin in sacrament meeting as part of the primary program on Sunday.  And I had moved my violin from the bench to the floor when the primary president came to sit by me during the closing song.  And then I had picked up my violin and gone in the little back room by the choir seats where my case was and had laid the bow on the counter while I put the violin away and had (probably) forgotten to put it in the case. 

As soon as Chris got home I ran over to the church and sure enough! There was my bow on the counter.  Someone had obviously seen it and moved it over to the side, but it was there. 

So today I am grateful that despite my...what is it exactly that I have? Dementia? 3kid-itis? Not enough sleep syndrome? I did NOT lose the bow to my violin.  I am also grateful that I didn't keep accusing my kids of something they didn't have anything to do with.  And I'm grateful for my mom who could retrace my steps when I couldn't.

I am a little worried that I will become a complete zombie if I have any more kids.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Driving in Style

Chris cleaned my car out for me today.  It really makes me happy to drive a clean car. Especially when I didn't have to clean it myself.  :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Dinner Rush

Although I do sort of mean to have this whole gratitude theme going with these posts, sometimes it is more fitting to talk about things that made me happy in the day or ways in which I saw the hand of the Lord.  I am very grateful for the things that make me happy, or which help me to see the hand of the Lord, but that isn't necessarily inherently obvious when I tell about what happened.  I guess to me it is all tied in together and interconnected.

As I sat down to write this evening I was trying to decide what to write about and nothing immediately came to mind.  Sure, I can think of plenty of things I am grateful for, but nothing in particular to today that stands out to me.  I suppose that is horrible because I should be feeling a huge amount of gratitude to our service men and women, but like I said that didn't particularly stand out in my life TODAY.

So I was pondering and praying a little, and thinking back on the day, and the one thing that stood out to me was that I didn't get frustrated with my kids during the dinner rush tonight.  They played relatively happily and relatively harmlessly with each other while I was getting dinner on, and I noticed and was glad at the time.

Normally the time when I am trying to get dinner on is the worst/craziest time of day for me.  Often I have just finished teaching lessons and so my kids have already had to fend for themselves for a while, and then I am trying to hurry and get dinner, and wanting them to continue fending for themselves for a while longer.  This usually leads to meltdowns, a baby standing at my feet crying, William and Isaac making as much noise and being as underfoot as possible and trying continually to get snacks out which drives me crazy since I am preparing a meal right then! Often they turn the CD player on with whatever music/audiobook is in it and while it is going and the baby is crying they either play the piano or play some kind of battle game where they run screaming all around the kitchen and living room.  Talk about sensory overload to an already tired Mom!

But today was relatively peaceful.  The baby played pretty happily with Isaac.  William practiced his piano and although he turned the CD on he was often playing with it which made it much nicer.  Isaac then made up a little game that he and William played and although it was a little underfoot in the kitchen it wasn't overwhelming because it wasn't super loud.  In the middle of their game I asked them to clear and set the table, and William's response was "Okay Mom.  I'll do whatever you want me to do."  Ummmmmm??? Okay??

*Side story: Last night at Chris's parents house William walked around and offered to take everyone's desert plates after they were done eating.  Where did this big, thoughtful kid come from?

Anyway, Isaac was a little harder to distract from his game, but he did help and they worked together to quickly get the table set.

The whole time felt so much more peaceful than it normally does and I really noticed and appreciated the difference.  Even after dinner, when they tend to go right back to their hyper-craziness was nice and calm.  William got engrossed in making a card for Lyndon (our adopted grandpa) to say thank you for his service in the military, Isaac was engrossed in his bird cage he was making out of wire racks and blankets, and Elijah played happily in his high chair while I got a fair amount of the kitchen clean and the food put away.  Usually I don't have the slightest chance of doing that stuff until after they are in bed.

So that little moment is what I am grateful for today.  And now, I am very tired and desire to go to bed, so I am not going to proof read this.  If it is incoherent you know why.  Goodnight!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Primary Program

We had our primary program today and I am grateful that it went really well, and am also grateful that it is over :).  Because I am in the primary presidency I was in charge of the program this year so I definitely sighed a breath of relief after church today!

But really, it went very well.  We have a small primary (30 kids) and for the last several years they haven't even attempted to have the kids sing without someone holding up the words of the songs for them to see.  This year they did it all without any flip charts or pictures! One lady told me that she was sure there must have been angels singing with the kids because it was such a full sound for so few kids.  I am sure there were!

Another older gentleman in our ward told my dad that it was the best primary program he has ever seen.  He also commented that he very much enjoyed watching Isaac's antics (a comment I heard several times afterward).  Apparently Isaac was quite amusing to watch.  I wasn't watching him much because I was busy helping the kids at the microphone, but every once in a while during the songs I would hear him suddenly yell out the song at the top of his lungs.  He got super shy for his first part and wouldn't say it, but his second one he spoke right up into the microphone.  Crazy kid! You never know what to expect from him.

I "wrote" the program, but really provided prompts and had most of the kids write their own parts.  One of my favorite lines was a 4 year old who said, "Prophets teach me to live the Word of Wisdom.  Obeying the Word of Wisdom means that we don't smoke or drink coffee, but we can eat lettuce."Ha ha! Isn't that the truth? We can always eat lettuce.

Several people said they also enjoyed William's part where he said "I am William.  I am a fly fisherman, but most importantly I am a child of God."  Apparently hearing "I am a fly fisherman" come out of a (small) six year old's mouth is quite amusing. 

William had his 2 parts memorized this morning and he said the first one about being a fly fisherman just fine, but when it got to the second one he had to go to the bathroom really bad.  So his teacher prompted him the words since he couldn't concentrate on it, and then he jetted out to go to the bathroom. 

We had a brother (7) and sister (5) come and participate in our program who have only recently started attending church.  It was really wonderful to see their shining faces and hear their simple words of testimony.

I love hearing the basic truths of the gospel shared by the children in our church.  It is such a blessing to be in the primary.  These kids strengthen my testimony and teach me every week. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fall yard cleanup

Today was a beautiful day! It was sunny and warm with no wind. We took advantage of the sunshine and worked outside as a family to finish up getting all the stuff in the yard put away, the lawn mowed and mulch and leaves put on the garden.

It was so nice to be outside all afternoon working with my family.  The boys helped rake leaves and pick up apples.  Even Elijah helped pick up leaves and put them in the wheelbarrow! I always have a great sense of satisfaction when I am working (especially when I can see progress being made), but working outside in the sunshine is even more fulfilling, especially when Chris and the boys are working alongside me.
I am so grateful today was so nice and that we got all the work done. I will be able to look out the back door now with satisfaction at how nice it looks without stressing that it will start snowing before we get the yard ready.  

Here are a few pictures I caught with my phone today:

William and Elijah getting a ride in the wheelbarrow

He was SO excited to help push!

Isaac and Elijah smashing down the leaves.  Getting rides in the wheelbarrow was their favorite thing.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Taste for Music

I started teaching William to play the piano around the beginning of the school year and he has really taken off with it.  It is so fun to see him excited about playing, and gratifying to see how quickly he catches on and what a good sense for music he has.  Often the first thing he does when he goes upstairs in the morning is to sit down at the piano, and he goes back to it constantly throughout the day.

Isaac has also been "taking lessons" although with him I do a lot more little games, or whatever he decides our lesson should be for the day.  William insisted on me teaching him one of the songs from Harry Potter, and he has in turn taught Isaac the beginning of it.  On Sunday at the end of church just after we finished practicing for the primary program, Isaac sat down at the piano and played the Harry Potter song and it was so funny to see his primary teacher's (also a piano teacher) look of surprise when she saw who it was playing. 

In the last few weeks we have started listening to the Suzuki piano book 1 CD and also listening to the CD that goes with the Alfred book I've been teaching William from.  Between them playing the piano and the CD's being played the music is pretty continuous.  Sometimes it gets a little old, but for the most part I absolutely love it.  It makes me smile to hear William sing "Hey Rock and Roll Man" along with the CD and to hear him try to figure out some of the harder songs we haven't gotten to yet (and he usually can figure them out).  I don't even mind listening to the Twinkle Variations over and over because I LOVE that they like to listen to them. 

Even Elijah gets into the music.  He always dances to it, and lately has started "singing" along with the Suzuki CD in the car.  I can't even stand how cute it is. 

Tonight while running an errand, I had the classical music station on in the car and at first they were playing songs from musicals which is always fun to listen to.  They then started playing music from movies with political themes which isn't quite as exciting as The Lion King, but William was still engrossed. He guessed some of the instruments that he heard in the music, and when we stopped he asked if we could please just listen till the song was over.  Isaac passed out minutes after we got into the car or I'm sure he would have enjoyed it too. I'll often be station jumping in the car and he will ask me to stop on the classical songs.

I am so glad that my kids enjoy music.  I love that they have dance parties with their Dad to the kind of music I rarely listen to, and that they get to have a taste of so many different kinds of music.  I love to listen to classical, broadway and mild popular music like Mindy Gledhill.  Chris has a completely eclectic taste in music from folk music to techno, and my kids get to listen to all of it! Pretty cool if you ask me!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Today I am grateful that I know I can trust the Lord with my life.  I am a planner.  I like to know what is coming with the future and have it all figured out.  But I have found that I am really not very good at figuring out my own life and things don't often go according to my plans.  I have also found that circumstances I would never have placed myself in have brought blessings I couldn't have imagined. 

Back when Chris was going through the Seminary program I had a night where I was really really discouraged.  All I wanted was for him to get hired by the church, for us to be able to settle down somewhere and for us to have the stability afforded by having that kind of job.  I had this beautiful, happy future all envisioned in my head, but it just didn't seem to be working out. Chris was discouraged about teaching, the economy had tanked and the church wasn't hiring, and everything looked kind of bleak.  I felt so angry that God wouldn't want my perfect plan for a happy family to work out!

That evening, in the midst of my anxiety and frustration and anger, I had one of the most clear revelations that I have ever had.  The Lord told me directly that even if things didn't work out the way I wanted them to, it didn't mean that he didn't want me to be happy.  In fact, it meant the opposite.  I was told that Heavenly Father wants for my family what will make us the most happy and what will be the best for us.  He told me that He had amazing blessings waiting for us in our future.

I will never forget the revelation of that night. The inspiration incredibly clear, and the comfort immediate.  When Chris didn't get hired to teach Seminary we both felt amazing peace about it.  I think all the other guys who didn't get hired at the same time and even the teachers thought we were a little crazy because we were calm, and even happy about it. 

We have come down a long road since then in a direction I never could have foreseen.  And it is true that we really have been showered with blessings. Not necessarily the kind of blessings I was looking for at the time, but ones that I am very grateful for nonetheless.

Now, once again, we find ourselves at the same sort of crossroads.  Chris has submitted applications to PA school and we are just waiting.  Although I feel much as I did the last time-I really want him to get accepted and for us to be able to move on and make plans- this time I feel much more ability to trust my Heavenly Father.  I feel so much more peace in my heart knowing that his plan for our family might be something different than my plan, but that it's okay because He will always take care of us. He always has.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Honestly, today the thing I am the most grateful for is bedtime.  First my kids, then mine.  It wasn't a bad day at all, just a go-go-go sort of day.

On these sorts of days sometimes the most satisfying thing is to put the kids to bed and revel in the peace and quiet, and the fact that if I clean something up it will stay clean for more than 30 seconds.  I didn't even mind the fact that I still had to clean the kitchen after they were in bed because I knew I would get to stand and think my own thoughts without anyone interrupting them.

But now, I am grateful the kitchen is clean and it is my bedtime because I am exhausted.

Good night.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tough Choice

I had in mind what I was grateful for all day, but then this evening had several other things that came to mind as well.  But I guess I'll stick with what I woke up feeling grateful for. 

Daylight Savings.

I know, I'm weird.  I'm supposed to hate it, but honestly having it be getting light in the morning when I'm getting up is really nice for me.  It makes me much more likely to want to get out of bed and much more cheerful about starting the day.  And yes, I know that we really just went back to the normal time and so if we had just stuck to it through the summer it would have been this way anyway, but sometimes I think the change is nice.  Without it changing, I probably wouldn't have noticed the light this morning to be grateful for it. 

No, I don't really like losing an hour of sleep in the springtime, and no I don't love having it be dark by 5 at night, but I do think I may have it easier than some people who hate daylight savings in a few ways:

1-My kids aren't super early risers, so even with the time change they aren't up at a ridiculous hour.  Sunday morning the bigger boys were up at 6:45 and the baby slept till almost 8.  Not really anything to complain about. 

2-My kids are fairly flexible in their routine so the time change doesn't throw them off too much.  Although they do have a regular routine for the day, the times we do things already fluctuate an hour or so either way, and my kids deal with it fine, so they aren't too thrown off by an hour time change.  For instance, they are almost always in bed between 8-9 at night.  Some nights it is right at 8:00, and some nights it is 9:00 and some nights it is in between.  Some mornings they are up at 7, some they sleep in till 8 and occasionally William will even sleep till 9.  So really, an hour either way doesn't bother them too much.  It really has never been a big deal at all.

So anyway, I woke up this morning a little before 7 and felt ready to get up because it was already getting light outside and was feeling like morning instead of night.  And I need all the help I can get in the mornings so I'll take daylight savings :).

Monday, November 4, 2013


William's first day of school

Today I am feeling grateful for the school William is going to.  I really really agonized over the decision of whether to send him to school or to homeschool him this year, and then again where I should send him.  Long story short, we decided to send him to a Montessori Charter school that is conveniently pretty close to where we live. I was a little apprehensive about it, but after observing the kindergarten class at the end of last year I felt a lot of peace about sending him there and have been more and more pleased with the decision as he has gotten further into the school year. 

I try to volunteer in his classroom once a week, and this morning I went in and was reminded how glad I was to have him in the school.  I know that it isn't a perfect school or anything, and having a public montessori school isn't ideal, but I have been so pleased that his class is organized, and calm and that he obviously understands what he is supposed to be working on.  I love that his teacher really teaches them to be self sufficient in their work and that they can all work at things according to the level they are at instead of having to catch everyone up to the same level before they go on. It's fun to have William show me the things he is working on and see how excited he is to show me what he can do.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend who's son is in the class William would have been in at the regular school and she was telling me how disorganized and chaotic the whole class is and how frustrated she has been so far. I had also heard this same sort of thing from parents who had their kids in this class last year.  So this morning when I walked into William's bright, sunlit (his school has huge windows that let in a ton of natural light), interestingly and aesthetically set up classroom with children who were well behaved and understood their regular routine it just made me really happy! I'm glad to know that he is starting his school experience this way.

I am also grateful that because William has to go to school in the morning I have to get up early and get the day started quickly.  Although generally I always was a morning person, the combination of having kids who keep me up at night and having a night-owl husband has really gotten me out of the habit of utilizing my morning hours. This is something that I constantly regret, but haven't been able to get myself to change.  Now I'm glad I don't have a choice.

I don't know what kind of schooling we will do with our kids in the future.  We will more than likely do different things at different times, but I am grateful that our first school experience has been so positive thus far. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Day of Rest

Chris was supposed to work today from 3pm-11pm.  Because of the nature of his job for the hospital he has to work two Sunday's a month, but has been able to mostly schedule afternoon shifts so he can still attend church with us, which has been really nice.

Still, it is always a bummer knowing that as soon as we get home from church Chris will have to hurry and eat, and then run off to work.  So today it was a wonderful surprise when we got home from church and Chris had a message saying that they didn't have enough patients for him to have to come in for his shift.  Yay!

And then we proceeded to have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday afternoon and evening.  The older boys actually played quietly and listened to an audio book while the Baby slept, and I got to snuggle with Chris and even take a little nap.  

It still seems like such a luxury to have Chris all to myself two days in a row.  Like being rich!

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Chris has worked on Saturdays for a long time. And for a long time he has been so busy working and going to school that the kids often went days at a time without seeing him. 

In July Chris got a job working for the hospital in addition to his satellite job, and since his school was then significantly less he started working 60-70 hours a week between the two jobs.  On top of that, he came down with a bad case of Shingles, and was dealing (and is still dealing) with the effects from that. 

Although we were enjoying having a good income again, since we had gone so long with him working a minimal amount, I started urging him to take Saturdays off work. He was reluctant because of the income, but we knew his health was suffering, and I also knew our family was suffering.  And those things are just more important than money. 

So for the last month Chris has had Saturdays off.  And we love it.  It is so nice to have a whole day with him every week! Today he made waffles for breakfast while I was at a baptism, and then spent time working in the yard with the boys while I worked inside. Later we took a walk at the river and went to the store as a family.  When we came home he helped me make dinner, and then did the dishes afterward. 

Last week we went hiking with some friends and their kids.  I don't remember the last time we were able to do something like that with another family. 

I know that at some point we will probably have to give up our Saturdays again, but for now I am just going to enjoy them and try not to take them for granted.  The money we give up is nothing compared to the satisfaction and joy gained from having Chris home with us. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Bag of Books

Well hellloooooo.  It's been a while...

Last year I attempted to do a thankfulness post every day in November, and kind of failed, yet I really enjoyed doing it and focusing day to day on what I was thankful for or what specifically had made me happy each day.  I figured I'd give it another try this year, and although I probably still won't be perfect at it, at least it'll help me focus on gratitude and my blessings throughout the day.

I find that I really struggle this time of year. I have a hard time when it starts getting cold outside, and my kids don't want to go out to play, and when it gets dark so much earlier.  Isaac gets very "busy" (read destructive and aggressive) when he is bored and cooped up inside and he and William get on each others nerves a lot more easily.  It really tries my patience, and I find myself short tempered, easily frustrated and irritable. So this is a perfect time of year for me to make a deliberate effort to focus on the positive.

Today I am thankful for the public library. Seriously, it is the coolest thing ever that for free (yes, I understand that we pay taxes and that I also continually pay fines for late movies...but you know what I mean) we have access to thousands and thousands of books, and movies, and audiobooks and ebooks. And there is the internet access, and educational activities for kids, and summer reading programs, and story time, and all the other cool stuff at the library. And the fish.  My kids love the fish at the library, and I remember loving them when I was a kid. 

We went to the library today, and I picked up a book I am excited to read about teaching violin.  I have started teaching violin lessons again and since it's been quite a while since I taught or took lessons myself I am a little out of my comfort zone and have been doing quite a bit of study on the subject.  It's awesome that I can jump online and find all sorts of videos and posts and suggestions, but I also think it is awesome that I can check out books.  There is just something about being able to physically turn pages and carry a book around with you that I'm not sure I'll ever quite be able to replace with a smartphone.

My kids did their usual things when we got there-the older boys ran in ahead of me while I got Elijah in the stroller, and were attempting to drive the motorized wheelchairs by the time I got in the doors.  After yet another lecture about how the wheelchairs are not toys we returned our over due movies and proceeded upstairs to pick out some new ones, stopping for a minute first to check out the fish.  Typically Isaac chose his movie in about 1 minute and proceeded to run all around and pull a bunch more off the shelves while William agonized over his decision.  He absolutely refuses to try any movies I suggest and acts as if this will be his only chance to ever pick a movie in his whole entire life.  This happens every.single.time. Finally when Elijah was trying to climb out of the stroller, and Isaac had run off somewhere I turned around to leave and William grabbed wildly for a movie and ran after me.

Once I located Isaac we headed upstairs to get my book which I did as quickly as humanly possible to minimize the amount of time Elijah had to pull books off the shelves, which he can do in those narrow isles, and we headed back down the ramp to pick out children's books. The boys grabbed the first few books they saw, Isaac insisting that his pet dinosaur also needed a book, then ran off to the computers to play games while I checked everything out and the sweet librarian oogled Elijah.

Later, when we were eating dinner I was really considering putting on a movie for the kids to hold them over until bedtime. Chris wasn't going to be home till late and I was tired and didn't feel up to the general evening shenanigans. .But then I saw our library bag full of books and instead of a movie we sat down and read through all the new books they had chosen. And even though each of the big boys ended up in time out at some point in our reading, and the baby dumped water all over the kitchen table, chairs and floor, I was able to keep my temper and enjoy having my kids snuggled up to me.  It really was a blessing to look over and see that full bag of books and know that I had something peaceful that we would all enjoy doing for the rest of the evening.

Our cute library bag my SIL gave me, and a book about chickens.  The big boys always get a book about chickens for Elijah if they see one because they know he loves chickens so much.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Elijah:11 Months

How is it possible that this little boy is a month away from being a one year old? It seems incredible to me! But then again, when I think about it, the nine months I was pregnant with him seemed to last at least 2 years so maybe this last year has just been catch up and time will slow down after this. 

Just hanging out with Grandpa
 Some things about Elijah right now:

He is still very attached to Mom, although he is independent when he wants to be. 

He has started getting more confident standing on his own, especially when he is busy with something and isn't paying attention.  He has also taken a few steps in the last few days, although after one or two he sits down to crawl. It's just so much faster!

I couldn't resist this one.  I love that cute little body, especially the puckered cheeks and the tippie toes.
 He folds his arms when we pray.  Cutest thing ever!

His tongue is constantly sticking out.  He's basically a little puppy dog crawling all over the place with his tongue out and eating everything off the floor.  Gross!

Like I said...little puppy dog.
 Still no teeth, although his top two are starting to look pretty bulgy. I can also feel something starting to push up on the bottom and today his cheeks were rashy and his diapers yucky.  Maybe we'll just get it all over with at once?

 I'm pretty sure he did his first attempt at a sign the other day.  He was definitely gesturing at his mouth and was obviously crying for a yeah. I concluded it was his attempt to sign "drink".   He also kind of does the "all done" sign, although I'm not sure if he is saying all done or just wringing his hands in frustration that he can't get down from his chair.

He has developed a certain controlled scream that he does deliberately if he is not happy about something. He has recently started sobbing and dramatically holding his arms out to me when he wants me to pick him up and the other day he was started screaming at Isaac because Isaac had a toy he wanted.  I swear it starts younger with each one.

 He loves to dance! Turn on music and this kid will wave his arms, bend his knees and move his hips like nobody's business.  

He has also definitely entered the "destruction" phase.  He can pull everything off the shelves, out of the cabinets, out of toy boxes (especially when we are trying to clean up) and so forth quite happily. 

He loves attention and will ham it up if everyone is watching him.  He also loves to flirt, especially with the people behind us in sacrament meeting.

He wants to eat everything we eat and gets frustrated when he can't have something. I still haven't convinced him about the deliciousness of avacado, but I think he is gradually warming up to it.

He sleeps-erratically.  When he was a little baby he was an excellent sleeper and I had high hopes for him.  But alas, no.  I pretty much can't count on anything, although he does seem to be getting better and better about taking more regular naps.   Not so much on the night sleeping thing. The one thing I CAN always count on is that he will wake up as soon as I lay down and start to relax.  Without fail, no matter what time it is. 

We call him "Baby" and refer to him as "the Baby" more than we use his actual name. 
Loving swimming at our Hotel in West Yellowstone

He loves his brothers so much. He especially loves when they get down on the floor and play follow the leader crawling style.  They can make him laugh like crazy!

He had his first haircut last week.  I wanted his hair trimmed up because it was pretty uneven and crazy, but then I was so sad after we did it. I loved his cute little soft curls in the back and it just made him seem so much more grown up to have it trimmed up like the other boys.
Before the haircut with his crazy poofy hair.

He kept trying to see what she was doing to his head.  Good thing Aunt Helen can hit a moving target!

I wish he'd stay my baby forever. I hate to see him grow up so fast!  Next stop: One year old!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Favorite: "Spring" Cleaning

It must be getting to be spring, because suddenly my desire for cleanliness and organization (which all winter has been a vague wish that the house was clean and organized, and that someone else would do it) suddenly became a fixation with NEEDING to clean and organize, and being frustrated when I can't. 
This is what it looked like outside the day I started my "spring" cleaning
The thing is, I actually really enjoy cleaning, organizing and de-junking.  Just not so much with the kids around.  Katherine had the big boys over last week and I was able to get so much done, even with the baby. When they came home quotes like, "trying to clean the house when kids are little is like trying to brush your teeth while eating oreos," and "trying to clean the house while the kids are little is like trying to shovel snow in an avalanch" kept coming to my mind.

I swear, those boys can get into, spread around, dismantle, and generally HELP so much!!

I was able to get their room done, though, including de-junking their toys, rotating clothes, cleaning their mattresses with baking soda and lavender, cleaning out closet and drawers, and behind their bed. Seriously, if I am ever missing something I will look behind/under their bed first thing, because that's probably where it'll be. Their room was the very worst so I feel really good about getting it done.  Too bad they aren't as keen on keeping it clean as I am.
The boys room looked like this in the middle of my cleaning frenzy.  Yikes!
All clean behind the bed.  That took a while!
Baking soda and lavender oil on the matresses.  Thanks pinterest!
 After their room was finished I moved onto my room.  The problem with this room is I've had to do it little by little since Elijah sleeps in there and I can't work while he's sleeping.  I much prefer just getting in and getting it done, but since lately he's become persnickety about where/how/sleepingingeneral  there isn't much I can do about it.  So right now my room is in a semi state of organization.  Hopefully I will get it finished by spring cleaning time next year.

And just to add onto last time's post here's another sleeping picture of Isaac.  He must have needed a nap this day because he fell asleep while watching a show and then continued to sleep through Elijah pulling his hair, my piano lessons and then when I was trying to wake him up so he'd sleep at night he said in his sleepy voice, "Mom...I just want to rest!"

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sleepy Head

In the past few weeks we've found Isaac asleep in several funny places.  The first one was after church.  We had all been eating and talking in the kitchen when I suddenly realized that Isaac was being very quiet.  We went looking for him and it took us a few minutes to realize that he was under the baby blanket in the living room.  I thought he was just hiding, and so I started acting like I couldn't find him, but uncharacteristically I didn't hear any giggling or see any wiggling in response.  It was then that I realized he was actually sound asleep under that little blanket.  Haha!

These next two were both times that he was supposed to be asleep in his bed, and Chris and I had gone upstairs and then came down a while later to find him asleep playing with legos under a blanket:

 and another time asleep in our bed obviously having been looking at books:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Favorite: Elijah's Pick

It's hard to believe our Elijah baby is almost 8 1/2 months old.  I hate that this baby stage is going by so quickly, and it seems even quicker with him because he is so anxious to keep up with his brothers.  He started crawling a few weeks ago and was starting to pull himself up on things even before that.  Neither of the other boys were even close to this mobile at his age so it's a new experience.

I just want to kiss that face!
Some of Elijah's favorite things right now (in no particular order) are:

2-Mom holding him
4-Mom nursing him
6-Playing games with Mom
7-Crawling everywhere
8-Sleeping with Mom
9-Standing up
10-Mom rocking him
11-Playing the piano
12-Mom carrying him in the mei tei (back or front-he's cool with it)
14-Shopping with Mom
16-Watching his brothers and laughing like crazy at their antics
17-Dancing (Soooo cute to see him bend his legs up and down and wiggle with the music!)

A funny little story: Last night a little while after I had put Elijah to bed, I was upstairs and started hearing him crying.  I knew Chris was downstairs and figured he would take care of it, but the crying went on and on and got louder so I finally went downstairs to investigate.  Sure enough, Chris was in the room with him trying to calm him down. 

 I stood at the door (semi-open) and listened to Chris talk to him when he suddenly said, "you little stinker!" and came out.  He looked at me standing there and said, "He keeps crying at the door.  He started crying louder when I came in and then just keeps craning his head around and crying at the door."

As soon as I walked in, Elijah stopped crying, gave me a big grin and acted all excited.  All I did was sit down in the rocking chair and hum a little tune and he settled himself right back down and was asleep again in about 5 minutes.  Little stinker!

Here's a video of Elijah's bath tonight.  He get's so excited when I turn the bath water on and then starts splashing like crazy the minute he goes in.  And yes, he does fall toward the end (oops-my bad for holding the camera!) but notice it doesn't phase him a bit.  Crazy kid!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Favorite: California

Definitely a good day when you find this song* waiting for you first thing in the morning:

Especially when you feel the same way about the guy who sent it to you.

And it only gets better when you turn around and see this written on the chalkboard:

Especially when you've been somewhat on edge and hard to please the last couple of months little while.

The only thing that could make the day better is if your kids would stop fighting and running around like maniacs.

But that's probably just a little too much to ask.  :)

*I may or may not have a slight crush on Mindy Gledhill.  Her music just makes me happy.