Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 1st

I know, I know... I have gotten behind. (I had been doing so good, too!) :( I am determined to catch up before a new month begins!
March 1st was HUGE for three reasons!
Reason #1-
Thomas woke up and the first thing he told me was, "Mom, it's March 1st!" At first, I thought he was just excited about his birthday being in the month of March, but then he said, "Today's the day, Marty said she was going to race me!" (this being said with a huge grin!) I told him that we'd see if Marty could still race after school.
So, he went off to school and the rest of us got ready for the day.
Reason #2
Right before leaving for reason #2, the mailman came and left a box at my door. It was the project I had been working on for most of February!!!!! I was running a bit late already, but I had to open the box and take a look at the finished product.
Front Cover

Back Cover

Isn't it AWESOME!!! (my SIL made the cover for me! She's amazing!!!)
While on vacation in Yuma, my SIL showed me all of her blog and scrapbooks that she had published through Blurb. They were amazing!! and absolutely priceless! I have been able to make both Thomas and Alex a First Year baby book (though, I think both are slightly unfinished :( ) and other than that I really have not done anything with the THOUSANDS OF PICTURES I have taken since we got a digital camera. I love to look at them on the screen saver, but I really wanted to get them published. Now, my SIL is actually a good blogger. I on the other hand did not have enough posts to publish a book! ;-) so, I had to go back through all of my 2010 picture files and recreate posts. As I said, I take a lot of pictures so this took quite a bit of time. I realized at the beginning of Feb. that my groupon coupons for Blurb were going to expire the 21st of Feb.! So, I spent many late nights working on this book! But it was so worth it and I know that I will treasure it even more as the kids grow up and start to leave!!! Now I can't wait to go back and do this for all the years I've missed! :) Yikes!!!! Along with my book, I was finally able to order the Children's book Damond had made last summer. He made it using pictures he had taken at his Grandpa's farm. It is so neat and even more special since it features so many good memories!

Reason #3
I have been working on completing my personal progress goals for YW's. I decided that for one of my value projects, I was going to try and tackle my fear of yeast. I really like cooking, but anything that required yeast, I bought at the store :(

In our ward, I kept hearing about how wonderful Sister Hamner's bread is. So, I approached her and asked her if she would be willing to teach me how to make her delicious bread. She, being the kindest lady, readily agreed :) So, the boys and I headed over there. Marty was also over there and as soon as we walked in Alex started calling for Marty and saying, "it's March 1st!" :)
Well, the bread making was a success! She had me do most of it (which is exactly what I wanted since that is how I learn best!) Now, I just wish that I had her set-up ;-) I told Damond I just need a Bosch mixer, an electric wheat grinder (that thing was awesome! It made about 20 cup of wheat in no time at all!) her nifty long and skinny bread pans, and an electric knife! ok, ok I will just have to make do with what I have :) so, I still need to buy a few ingredients that I don't have on hand, but I plan to make this again (on my own) and see how it turns out. For now, can you smell how delicious this bread is? (and it's made with whole hard white wheat)
Back to Reason #1
Marty was willing to race Thomas after school (she's so nice!) When I picked him up from school, I told him that we were going to head over to Marty's house so they could have a race. He said, "mom, I need to go home and change into my racing pants!"me: "huh? you don't have racing pants." him: yes, I do. You know the gray one's with the strips down the sides?" "oh, sorry, I didn't realize those were your racing pants." I convinced him that he didn't need them.
He was a good sport and I know that he had a great time racing Marty.
I told him that she won, because she changed into her racing pants :)

I, also, had a RS function where I had take all the boys because Damond had a heavy round of tests coming up. First, one of the dads came to find me to take alex to the bathroom, then Jacob decided that the amount of milk I'd brought for him in a bottle wasn't enough, so I went to feed him, only to have them bring me Thomas because he needed to use the restroom. I walk Thomas back to the nursery room only to hear Jacob explode in his diaper. and an explosion it was! one of those that goes all the way up his back :( to top it off, I only had one wipe! :( Luckily, another lady was there with her baby and she lent me a couple.
I was more than ready to go home and go to bed, especially knowing I had to get up to run in the morning! :(
What a day!!!!!! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Anxious for Spring

Monday was the last day of February and I could tell that the boys and I were antsy to be spending more time outside. Since Damond was staying late (he had a week full of tests :( ) I decided that we needed to spend some time outside. It was pretty cold, but the bright sun beckoned us outside. I gave the boys some bubbles and told them to have fun :) (We were really missing the Ereksons' as Sarah and the kids would generally come out if were were out, too!

We had fun, but it didn't last very long as the kids kept telling me that their hands were freezing. Not as a complaint, just so I'd know :) They wanted to stay outside, even when Jacob and I couldn't handle it any longer! :-)

Where, oh where, has the big warm sun gone? :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

3 Handsome Dates

I am still exhausted from the beginning of the week (and I think this whole running program is taking its toll as well).

I was working like crazy to finish a project that had a tues night deadline. I kept thinking I was almost done, but it took longer than I had imagined. In some ways I barely made it and in others, I had much longer than planned! I hope to feature my project next week with pictures! I can't wait!!!!!! :)

This week, I looked forward to a date I had with TWO very handsome men.
These boys were going to take me to the Symphony.

A presentation of From Russia, With Love

featuring Peter and the Wolf

I still remembering learning about instruments with Peter and Wolf

I think it's special that Thomas is now learning the same thing!

It's hard getting ready for a date to the Symphony

It's even harder to get your two dates ready, too!

That's when I got a call from the Handsomest Prince of All

He wanted to know if there was room for one more

How could I turn down a handsome prince?

I now had three dates to the Symphony :)

What a lucky gal!

Personally, I think the handsome prince was just jealous! :D

Thomas has been learning about Peter and the Wolf in his Specials Class. His music teacher is part of the symphony that would be perfoming. I decided that it was time for me to introduce my sons to the Arts. Monster Jam is fun, but I want to raise boys that will also appreciate classical music, musicals, ballets, theatre, "things that are praiseworthy and of good report." I want to teach my sons how to be gentleman, because being rough and tough comes as natural as can be to them :) So, all week I kept telling them how they were going to take me out on a date. I told them that on dates they have to dress up. (They do not like having to wear "church clothes and button shirts, so I figure I have less than 18 years to change this!) Alex kept untucking his shirt, the little stinker!

As the performance was starting, I leaned over and told Thomas to pay attention and at the end tell me what instrument he liked the best. He smiled and said, "ok, when does the movie start?" haha. I had to chuckle..."uh, Thomas, there is no movie. We are here to listen." :)
They began by playing, "Russian Easter Festival Overture," Thomas was grinning ear to ear. :)
I am always blown away by the dedication and talent of so many people! Both of the boys listened pretty intently to the first piece. Thomas was so excited when they began playing "Peter and the Wolf." He would lean over and tell me parts he had learned in school.
Right before intermission, Alex became very antsy. So, we decided to leave on a good not and not push the boys(Alex) too much. I think the highlight for them might have been the free cookies and punch during intermission. :) j/k I think they both really liked it, but Alex is only 3 :) I look forward to our next date! :)

I can't remember if I have mentioned before how much Alex likes to cook. He always wants me to lift him up so he can see what is happening on the stove or he will push a chair over to "help me" So, this week when I was making banana bread, I decided that I'd let him be the baker :)
He, did most of mashing, most of the pouring into the bowl, and THE EGGS. This is always tricky, as I really don't like cleaning up egg, but I know how exciting that part is so I let him help. As I was telling him to hold it like this and not hit too hard, SPLAT! He hit it too hard! :) oh well, we tried again :) I try to remind myself that although it might be more work and take longer, these opportunities to have a "willing" helper won't last forever!

Everyone keeps referring to this one as CHUNKY!
Yes, YES HE IS! :D
I love it! :)

He turned 4 months old this week!
It's not fair how fast the time goes!
I love holding and loving his squishy chubs :)
He really loves to grab things
and his hands are as strong as they are big!
He gets that from both sides of the gene pool :)
He's right around 18lbs!
We love him!!!!

Thomas was so excited this week.
They were having Pajama Day on Friday.
He thought that was the coolest thing!
They also got to bring a book.
It was a tough decision.
He ended up taking the awesome dinosaur book his aunt gave him.
They were going to read it and drink hot chocolate.
When I picked him up, he said, "Mom, today was a really good day." :)
Those were my favorite days, too.
Later, he started laughing and said somebody had called pajamas, "pJs"
Apparently, he had never heard that before. :)
Oh, to be a kid again! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The PW

The silly reason we went to Cincinnati was that I wanted to attend The Pioneer Woman's book signing. She is a fellow blogger that has become quite popular. Ever since I started blogging, I have followed her blog. As I told Damond, you have eaten many delicious meals, desserts ect that are thanks to her!
I, almost went last year, but talked myself out of it. So, this year I decided that this was going to be a year of no regrets. I want to enjoy our time out here. A sister-in law told me as they finished up their two year program that she wished she had done more to enjoy their surroundings. So, although I told myself a million times that it was silly and probably a waste of money, we went anyways! ;-)
Damond was a good sport about it. Though, he teased me the whole time! I wish I had known how those things work, because we drove to the bookstore early to make sure we knew where it was, but then decided to go eat dinner. By the time we got back it was packed full of a "very homogeneous group of women" as Damond called us ;-) Right before she was to come out an employ mentioned something about having a ticket. Apparently, they had been handing out tickets with letters on them. There were 25 tickets per letter. Ex. 25 A's. So, by the time I got my ticket I was a Q!!!!!
The PW came out and gave a little speech and did a short Q&A . It was funny :), but then the waiting began. There was only so much time Damond was willing to look at books with the boys. So, they went for a walk and I kept waiting. It started at 6. By 9:00, they were only on J! As, I was walking around with a sleeping Jacob, an employee saw me and asked if I wanted him to get me in the front of the line? YESSSS!!!

I met Ree.
She signed my book.
We took a picture.
She called Jacob chunky :)

All in all, it was a different experience. I''ll only do it again, if I can go with my sister or as a girl's night out. There is so much standing around that it would have been more fun if I had other people to chat with :D
Here's to seizing the day!


I hope I spelled that right ;-) I always seem to throw in too many n's or t's or i's :)

On Friday, we took a half day trip to Cincinnati, which is about two hours away. The boys were so excited to go on "vacation." They have learned to love travel as much as their parents. They are always excited to go on a new adventure! We had never been there before. It had so many hills! Indiana seems so flat to me that, it was strange to see the whole city on slopes. We didn't really get to see much. We got in around 3 in the afternoon. I had seen online that Krohn's Conservatory was a really neat place if you only had about an hour and you didn't want to pay an entrance fee. So, we went there.
As soon as Thomas walked in he said, "Mom, it's a jungle in there!" ;-) The first part was similar to a jungle/rainforest. They even had a cool little waterfall.
This next sequence of pictures make me laugh as they are the boys in a nutshell! ;)

Then we walked into a room filled with flowers! It was so beautiful and smelled so nice! I made the boys stop to look at the flowers and pick out their favorite ones. Then we saw a room filled with bonsai trees and encased butterflies.
The last room, was like home to us... the DESERT! :D Thomas walked in and said, "Hey, Mimi has that one!" pointing to an aloe vera plant :)

Although, it wasn't too exciting I want to make sure that the boys learn to love museums and more cultural events/places. I want them to be able to find beauty in nature and not focus so much on electronics and material places. So, I am glad that they enjoyed it!

Mid-Semester Blahs

I think we have hit the midsemester blah's :)
Life has hit a routine. It usually takes a while to get going, especially in the winter when weather seems to always disrupt our routine.
This week Thomas got to have a friend over. This boy is the brother of Alex's friend. Their mother runs in the morning with me. Their dad plays all kinds of sports with Damond. I can't tell you how much we are going to miss them come May! I hope they like us enough to let us come visit them in Canada ;) They were actually the first people we met in Indy. They were the first contact I made and, ultimately, because of them (& the Klingler's) Damond and I decided that Indy was the place for us and that Manchester would be our home for the next four years. Karen was so nice to give me a tour of her home after only knowing her for 10 min! :D I, remember calling her the first time and when she said she had two boys, ages 4 and 2, (the exact same as mine at the time) that this was not a coincidence. Heavenly Father knew the boys and I needed good friends while away from our family.
Anyways, no need to get so sentimental quite yet ;-)
Thomas, Alex, and Mikey had so much fun playing football in the living room for awhile. They are all tough boys, but if Mikey had both Thomas and Alex hanging on him he would still plow through until he got to the Touchdown Zone :)

In typical boy fashion, they went from one game to another :) They had alot of fun!
That evening we took care of our friends little girl. We have her in nursery and we love her! But it is so different having a girl in the house! :) The boys loved having her and even played "chocolate milk" party with her ;-) When her parents came to get her they said, "we hope she wasn't too crazy, because sometimes she can get really crazy." I just laughed at them and told them,"on our spectrum of craziness, she doesn't even register!" ;-)

Jacob continues to grow more interested in what's going around him. Especially when it comes to watching his brother or Dad!!!! If he hears Damond, he immediately finds him and starts smiling at him. Today, at church he kept staring at the fans, even though he had to tilt his head all the way back :D We just love him and he brightens everyone's day :D
We had a couple of lovely weather days this week! The first day that it was sunny, we had to go outside. So, we joined our friends on a walk. You could everyone was wanting some of the Vitamin D we'd been lacking for so long! Jacob was looking everywhere. I knew he was thinking, "wow, I have never seen this world." Due to winter, he usually stays inside or under a blanket. We are all looking forward to spring.

The next day, it was supposed to be nicer so a bunch of ladies planned a zoo trip. I think Alex was excited to get and do something with friends. We had a fun time watching the dolphins. The trainer was giving her speech when I heard him say, "echolocation." Later, in the week we were looking at fish and he asked a question that I answered," I don't know." He said, "maybe it's echolocation." Apparently, he really liked that word!

See? Even the seal was trying to enjoy the "nice" weather! Nice is a relative term as my dad always call to tell me how "nice" it is in Phoenix :-) I think he doesn't want us to like it too much over here ;-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just another week in winter :)

I can't really say that anything, too special is going on right now. I feel like there is so much to get done, everyday, with not enough time. But, I would think every mom feels like this. So, I am trying to focus on my priorities; doing the things that Heavenly Father asks me to do so that everything else will work out :) It's going good, I just need to try harder some times :)

Thomas finally had a full week of school :) He worked really hard on his valentines and was so excited to see all of the valentines he got! He, also, felt really special taking his teacher flowers and some valentine cards he made for her :-)
side story: when we were making Valentine's cards, I showed Thomas how to make hearts by folding a square in half and then just tracing half of the heart, then cutting along that line. Well, the first time, I traced the heart and he did the cutting. As he was doing it, I heard him say this is for mom. Next, I will make one for dad. So, after finishing mine, he asked me to help him trace another heart, but I was finishing up the dishes, so I told him that he knew how to do it and to try it on his own. Well, he came up to me and asked, "does this look like a heart?" and it was close, but not perfect, so I told him it did and that he did a good job. But as he went back to work on it at the table I heard him say, "This one is for mom and that one is for dad." me: "What? I thought you said the other one was for me." Thomas: "yeah, but I changed my mind." me: "how come?" Thomas: "Because Dad takes us outside." Me: "Hey, I take you places, too." Thomas smiling, knowing that I am just teasing him, but answers, " yeah, like Costco and Sam's Club."
Little punk ;-) after all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and I take them outside, too! all I am remembered for is my grocery shopping!!! :( and I don't even get the "good valentine? I told Damond that it's a little unfair ;-), but hey, I wanted the one he made ALL by himself anyways! :)
Another side story: I was telling Thomas that when Mimi comes in a month, we are going on a vacation. He asked, "where?" I told him that I didn't know. So he thought for a second and said, "maybe the beach? Yeah, we should go to the beach and relax." I got a good chuckle over the way he said that one! I think we have all been dreaming about being warm under the sun!

Alex had a friend over and I realized that he's hasn't gotten to do that much. I need to do more playdates with him. Everyday, I look at him and can't believe he's going to be four and will be going to school next year! It's not fair how fast it goes! He is always asking me what something means. "Mom, what does english mean?" "Mom, what does back mean?" I always ask him why he's such a good little buddy? I am constantly taking him on all these errands and he never complains or grows impatient at the stores (like a certain older brother of his ;-) ). I love to have him come put his arm around me or have him come put his little hands on my face. He loves to help me cook and will either have me lift him so he can see what is on the stove or he'll pull a chair over to the counter so he can help do what I'm doing.
side story: When we were in Phoenix, my sister asked Thomas what he wanted to be when he grew up and Thomas answered, " an airplane pilot". She then asked Alex and right away he answered, " thomas!" :) He adores Thomas! I try really hard to explain this to Thomas and hopefully Thomas will understand that sooner than later!

Jacob continues to be a stinky pants, but now instead of frowny face-stinky pants (as I used to call him) he is smiley face-stinky pants :) He laughs a little bit, but I keep waiting for a really deep laugh :) He already weighs 17lbs! His eyes are still mostly blue, but I think I see some green in the background... but I don't know if that's just my wishful thinking! Either way, his eyes have stayed blue alot longer than the other two. He continues to fall asleep by 11:30ish and wake up around 4:30 or 5:00. I'll feed him and he'll usually keep sleeping till at least eight!
I was telling somebody today that he really is a very good baby. Many times I will need to finish helping Thomas with his homework, or finish dinner, or finish washing the dishes that I prolong him and he will usually continue being patient. I was also saying that I hope this doesn't mean he's going to be an extra difficult two year old ;-)

Thomas' school had a carnival this weekend to help raise money for the classrooms. They sold tickets 5 tickets/$1 if you bought them early. So I did, since that sounded like a really good deal. Each classroom had one carnival game in it, manned by the teachers. I was kind of worried that it would either be an expensive experience or a lame one, but since each game was only one ticket it came out to 20 cents and the kids had fun doing them. Most of the teachers had come up with ideas that you could do at home with things in your house, with a few exceptions... like the teacher that had PLINKO! wouldn't that be cool to have in your house :D
It was definitely not the Hopi Hullabaloo, but I think I might have liked this better :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The week our world froze!

Remember, last week was awful due to sick kids?

We then went to Monster Jam, thinking they were all better, but Alex started to feel sick again :(
We kept him home from church, just in case, but by the afternoon, you could tell he was all better! :)

So, what do you do with two kids that are so tired of being cooped up inside and no longer feel sick, but are still quite exhausted from being sick?
You make homemade swords and play Knights of the Round Table with Dad :)
(luckily, I didn't throw out the many paper towel rolls I had been saving for so long and this was possible) :D

then this week started with some normalcy... On Mon, I tried to get my house back in order and Thomas went back to school, but by the evening ice started to fall from the sky... it wasn't hail, but it wasn't snow... Weird! Apparently, ice storms are really bad, because everything turns to ice and then causes many problems. I heard this repeatedly, but did not fully grasp it until the next couple of days. School was canceled everyday for the following week. Even Damond's classes were canceled for three days!

The first time Damond went out to chisel the ice off the car, he stepped onto our steps, only to start slipping so he quickly stepped onto the grass thinking it would help him get his footing, but quickly learned it was no longer grass, but a solid layer of ice as well! I looked out the window to see him laughing (on his backside) :D We let the kids enjoy our new ice hill, but thought it would be wise to protect their heads! Thomas is holding one of the huge chunks that came off the sidewalk.

you might think we totally scraped our car, but no, it's just the layer of ice covering our car that has cracked.

that night, we geared up for a second round of ice storms. By mid-day of the following day, there was at least two to three inches of ice covering the ground. Our backyard was a gigantic ice rink.
Our front steps and sidewalk were almost impossible to walk on without slipping, so Damond had to take a hammer and just start breaking it apart, piece by piece.

People worried about power outages and I was told grocery stores looked bare. ( I am so glad that we have been counseled to prepare ourselves! I did not need to run to the store due to food storage!) :D Most schools stayed closed, because their parking lots were like my backyard, ice rinks!
For the most part, it was fun to be stuck inside... we played dress-up, danced in the kitchen, went to the Children's Museum (once the roads were better), played with cars and legos, watched old movies like Rudy :), and at least once a day Damond would take a break from studying and take them out to the ice rink to slide around :)

By Friday, the kids and I were so stir crazy we braved the icy conditions and went to the store. For the most part, all the main roads were ok, but the store parking lots were bad. have you ever ice skated with your car? :) not so pleasant!, but we wanted out and I didn't want to drink powdered milk :)

side story: when Damond got home Friday night, Thomas informed him that he didn't go to school with a very gloating voice. Damond asked him why not. Thomas answered, "Mom forgot" and started to giggle. I, quickly informed him that it had been canceled and I would never "forget school". I then asked him, "how come you didn't remind me?" he giggles again and answers, " I wanted to eat lunch with you guys."
So basically, he went the whole day thinking he was so lucky to have such a forgetful mom! :D

Then, as if we weren't frozen enough, we woke up Saturday to a couple of inches of snow and it kept snowing until mid-day! It was almost better though, because the snow gave the ice a little bit of traction and everything wasn't so slippery (at least when you were walking).
Damond and the boys took advantage of the fresh snow and made an awesome football stadium!

These crazy kids even wanted to eat Popsicles out there!

not to be left out, this cutie basically stayed inside :D

When we got home today from church, Damond looked over at Jacob and saw that Alex had put this on his little brother! :-) so funny!