Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bragging Rights

If you are like me, you have kids that have amazing qualities, but you also know that your kids....well, are kids, and are not perfect. If your kids are at all like mine, they may be prone to bossiness, whining, tattling, pushing, poking, shoving, sloppiness, etc. However, if your kids are like mine, they are also prone to greatness!

I often times write about the funny, crazy, drive-me-crazy moments in our day to day life. I also jot down a lot of "Lukeisms" (I stole that phrase from somebody) because I love all the funny cute things that come out of a two year old's mouth. I try not to brag continually about my kids, understanding that as their mother, I may be a bit biased. But I now feel like bragging, so please indulge me as I brag away.

My kids get up at 6:00 am every morning (not weekends) to practice. Scott and Josh practice the piano, and Syd and Madelyn practice the violin. Luckily Madelyn is in kindergarten and I can practice with her after the other kids go to school, but next year that will all change. Luke and Ben don't play anything yet...phewww! Well, I think they are all amazing. Scott and Josh can play the piano like you would not believe. And Syd and Madelyn do a fantastic job on the violin.

People will say things like, Oh, they're so talented! But I would have to argue that 95% of what they are comes from very hard work! And don't be fooled into thinking they are sooo disciplined, sitting down to practice of their own free will and choice. That is where I come in. I would be the slave-driver! Mornings in our home are a bit crazy as I try to practice with each one of them for a portion of time. I feel like I am running from one room to the next, trying to practice with all three of them, feed them, help with lunches (rarely), and get them out the door to school.

A couple of months ago, Scott's teacher told us that she was to choose one student for an audition. The student who was chosen would be given the opportunity to play the opening number for a concert pianist who was coming to Burley. Scott and Josh's teacher said she would choose either one of them, and we basically just picked Scott because he was older. The concert pianist, Angela Jia Kim, had requested that a student be selected from the Mini-Cassia area, someone under the age of 12, to be her opener. Scott went to the audition, and was chosen. So last Friday night, Scott got to perform at the King Fine Arts Center on the big 9 foot Steinway. It was such a great experience!!

Brek recorded him and put it on You Tube. Scott is pretty excited that he is on You Tube, and the rest of the kids are excited for him. I'm especially proud of Josh, who would have liked to play as well, and who would have also done a great job. Instead of being jealous that Scott was getting so much attention, he cheered him on. Josh is a great kid that way! Anyway, here is the video if you want to watch it. Enjoy!

p.s. I did not know Brek was putting the whole video on You Tube, or I would have definitely told him to edit me OUT!

p.p.s. You have to pause the music on my blog or they will both play at the same time--not pretty!

Magical Kisses

Just now, as I was sitting here perusing through blogs, Luke came running up the stairs crying. He informed me that he had "broken his head", and then leaned his head in for a magical kiss (you know the kind of kisses that fix all owies!)

I kissed his head, the crying stopped, and he turned to go. Then, as an afterthought, he turned back, held up his arm and said, "Kiss it."

Apparently the arm was wounded as well. But I am happy to he is all better.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Kiss of Death

As I mentioned earlier, Sunday dinner took place at my dad's house with siblings, cousins, etc. While we were there, my darling niece Kendy decided she wasn't too hip on being a "big girl" and therefore didn't want to waste any time on the toilet. As my sister was rushing a very smelly, messy little girl to the bathtub, I teased her, telling her that my child had been completely potty trained for at least two weeks now with no accidents--not to rub it in or anything.

Can I just say, that was the kiss of death, and if I ever open my mouth to say something so foolish again, just slap some sense into me, will you...PLEASE?

Since then, we have had an accident every day for the past three days. Potty training accidents are no fun, especially when they are of the smelly version. And they are REALLY no fun when your independent two year old thinks, "No problem. I'll just clean it up!"

Last night I walked in on this scene. A bathtub full of crap (literally), stinky underwear lying soaking wet in the bathtub (looking rather lumpy), piles and piles of wadded up wet wipes (some slightly used) lying on the floor of the bathroom, hallway, and bedroom. There were also several brownish smears on the bathtub and toilet. AND...there was a bottle of windex sitting on the side of the bathtub.

I called Luke's name and he came running, looking very guilty, knowing he had perhaps displeased his mother! OK, so I didn't just call his name. It was probably more of a yell....OK, it was definitely a yell. (Bad mom, bad mom. I know all you wonderful mothers out there NEVER yell at your children!) However, frustrated as I was with him, I couldn't help but smile (definitely inwardly) and be somewhat in awe of the way his little mind worked.

He had made a mess and was determined to clean it up on his own. After attempting to clean himself with at least 75 wet wipes, he decided to move on to the underwear. His method of cleaning was apparently to rinse them out in the bathtub. This however, led to a very messy bathtub...and hence the windex.

So there you have it, my "crappy" story of the day! Sorry for teasing you Elise....I guess the joke's on me!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Goo-night Mom

Tonight Luke and I shared a sweet moment at bedtime.

Me: Good night my darling Lukey.
Luke: Goo-night dear mom.

I would have to say, at this point in time, I am probably Luke's favorite person. I know it won't last forever, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Little Treasures

Here are some cute pictures of the kids on Easter. I didn't actually buy the girls easter dresses, but I did put my foot down and tell them no black velvet dresses. Maddy wasn't too thrilled about this, until I pulled out her pretty pink dress Grandma Darla had given her for her birthday. Is it just me, or are they darling?! They are truly my treasures!

All the kids walked home from church, and I managed to catch them before they went in the house. Scott, however, was the exception. He made it home before I did, and in true fashion, changed out of his church clothes as fast as he possibly could! He must have a little bit of his dad in him!

Party On!

Sunday was a big celebration day. We celebrated Easter/Dad's birthday/Josh's birthday/Sydney's birthday. Syd's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, but with her being sick and dad being out of town, we never got together. Josh's birthday was a couple of days ago, and dad's birthday was actually on Easter.

We went to Dad and Darla's for a delicious dinner: roast, ham, dad's famous mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, etc. Yummmm! Elise and Trav came, and so did Lance and Kim.

(Dad and his delicious mashed potatoes, smothered in melted cheese)

Then we celebrated all three birthdays....singing Happy Birthday three different times. Darla made Dad a yummy trifle and we had a regular cake for the kids.

Luke inched his way closer to the cake each time we sang. When Syd blew out her candles, he was right there trying to blow them out, too. But he wasn't fast enough. So when we sang to Josh he was ready. The second we sang the last word of Happy Birthday, he lunged forward and blew! Josh had to react quick...and lucky for him Luke was a bad aim! Funny Luke.

The kids had fun playing with their cousins. Here are a few pics of them. It was a fun day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Do you ever feel like you have created a monster? Let me explain.

Every holiday that comes around is surrounded with high expectations from my children....expectations that usually involve a fair amount of work on my part! However, I can't blame them, or fault them for this, since it is a monster of my own making. When my kids were smaller and, well, there were less of them, I went all out trying to make things as magical and fun as possible. It was work, and it was tiring, but now it is EXHAUSTING.

Perhaps this has to do with the fact that there are so many OTHER things going on in my life. Or perhaps I am just getting old and tired (naaaah, that couldn't be it). But regardless, when holilday time comes around, the festivities begin.

An easter tradition is coloring easter eggs. This is probably a tradition for most of you as well. This is not one of my favorite traditions, since it involves using dye that stains hands, shirts, pants, floors, etc. But the kids love it nonetheless.

The older kids were pretty good at containing the mess, but Luke loved "plopping" eggs into the colorful liquids. And once his eggs were finished, he decided they needed to be redyed. Scott and Josh quickly dyed their eggs, but Syd and Maddy took their time, considering each egg to be a masterpiece that needed much love and devotion.

Following the easter egg coloring, we had many easter egg hunts....some with plastic, candy filled eggs and others with their beautifully colored eggs. And of course the easter bunny had to make his (in our case her) secret drop-off.

We actually had a great time! I probably wouldn't have minded it if we hadn't been travelling all day prior to the festivities. But I would say all in all it was a success. The kids had fun, and I was just glad we fit it all in!

Spring Break Getaway

We spent the last few days of spring break skiing at Grand Targhee. We had such a great time! The skiing was fantastic! It was nothing like spring skiing--we skiied powder both days. Luke and Ben stayed in the condo with Lacy (our favorite babysitter that we would gladly adopt into our family!) Syd and Maddy skiied half days, and the boys skiied all day with us. They are getting to be such good skiiers. They had a great area for little kids to ski. Madelyn loved it!

We went with Brek's family....his parents, Cory and family, Kristin, and Jordan. They are all amazing skiiers. The kids had so much fun with their cousins....skiing, playing games, watching movies, hot tubbing, swimming, etc.

Luke got to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag, which he thought was great. I tried to get him to go to bed at a normal hour, but he would have none of it. He didn't want to miss out on any fun. He would say, "No. I not tired. I already went abeep and I waked up."

It was fun to see Kristin and Jordan. Jordan is living in Cleveland, going to dental school, and Kristin lives in Heber. We don't see them as often, and it was way fun skiing with them.

Josh had a birthday while we were there. Krissy stopped at Costco and got a cake, so we could celebrate! This was party number number 2 taking place when we get home. The parties never end!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Be-why Luke??

Luke: Mommy, be-why I have to wear my coat?
Me: Because it's cold outside.

Luke: But be-why, mommy? Be-why I blow bubbles outside?
Me: Because you have to blow bubbles outside, not in the house.

Luke: But be-why? all works!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Five Star Cleaning

I started a new program with my kids today. I call it the five-star program. Basically, when my kids do a job for me, they earn anywhere from 1 star to 5 stars, depending on how well they did their job.

A one star job is obviously about as bad as it can get, and if you have children like mine, you know that one star jobs do happen.
A five star job is hard to get. I told them a five star job is when they have cleaned it as well as I would have.
And then, of course, there is that inbetween category (numbers 2-4) which most of their jobs fall into.

The reward: When they get 50 stars, I will take them out to lunch, or to get ice cream, or something like that.

So today we began, and can I just say, I didn't know Josh was capable of cleaning so well! My kids were trying so hard to get five stars (I don't give those out too often). They were even volunteering to do jobs for me, and at times, they did jobs without even being asked. And I didn't even have to redo their jobs after they finished. It was GREAT!

I am sure this will probably be like any other "program" I will work great for a while, and then the excitement will fizzle out. But hey, I'll take what I can get!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I not a baby!

The other day Madelyn was asking me questions about when she and her siblings were babies. She wanted to know how many other kids we had when each baby was born.

I went through each kid and said something like. When Scott was born, there was me, daddy, and Scott was a baby. When Josh was born, there was me, daddy, Scott who was 2, and Josh was a baby. I did this for each kid.

When I got to Luke, I went through the list again. There was me, daddy, Scott who was 9, Josh who was 7, Sydney who was 5, Madelyn who was 3, and Luke was a baby.

All of a sudden Luke piped up and said, "I not a baby! I Lukey, pookey, tookey!"

Dance Time

Yesterday, Syd had a clogging competition in Pocatello. She was so excited to go. The night before she was trying on her duet outfit (borrowed from her cousin Saydi), and practicing her dances.

However, at 3:30 am, Sydney woke up puking, and continued to puke for the next two hours. By morning, she seemed to be done puking, but she felt awful. We decided we needed to go anyway, so she didn't let down her team and her duet partner, Ashley.

Needless to say, it was a miserable day for poor little Sydney. But amazingly, she danced very well. She just pasted a smile on her face, went out and danced. Then the smile vanished and the misery returned.

(Ashley, Sydney, and Maycee)

I had Ben with me....and Ben's stroller. Unfortunately for me, we were up and down, up and down from level 1 to level 2. Obviously the stairs weren't a great option for me, so I was stuck using the elevator which was slow as molasses! Steph would run the girls where they needed to be, while I was stuck on the elevator. Thank heavens for Steph!

Syd and Ashley did a great job on their duet. They are such a darling pair! We don't know if they won anything or not, because we left the minute they were done! We were all STARVING, and Syd was so ready to get home.

Isn't it called SPRING break?????

In true Idaho fashion, spring break is starting off with a bang! The nice weather we have been enjoying the past couple of weeks came to an abrupt halt the day spring break began. Maybe we should call it Winter Break!

My Little Artists

This is a familiar scene at my house. On a daily basis, I find Maddy and Luke with this bucket of markers, and many many papers. This picture was taken as their creative juices were just beginning to flow.

As they color, the mess grows. There are more pages added to the mix, many of which end up being torn into little pieces and thrown on the ground. As I before mentioned, Luke tends to stray from the paper, coloring chairs, walls, floors.....and often himself!

(This picture doesn't do full justice, since you can't entirely see the blue face or the legs with beautiful designs on them!)

I Am a Lowsy Scrapbooker

I gave up scrapbooking a while ago, deciding it was one of those things that just creates stress for me. It was something I always felt like I was just getting farther and farther behind on--overwhelming! So I gave it up and have been much happier ever since. My pictures go in the little plastic sleeves for my children's enjoyment, and that is that.

Then I discovered blogging, and I decided this could be a sort of scrapbook for me (better than nothing, right?!) I read this great idea on somebody's blog (I have to admit, I don't actually know this person--I know, scary huh!) Anyway, they said they had decided to take a picture every day, and make their blog a sort of scrapbook/journal/family history. So I think I will give it a go!

Every day may be a bit of a stretch, so maybe I will shoot for every other day...or maybe 3 times a week?! We'll see how it goes!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sunny Phoenix---Here We Come

Brek and Scott went on a fun trip together to Phoenix. The highlight of the trip (or should I say the reason for the trip) was the Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz basketball game. I found them some great tickets and off they went!

They had a great time together. They went mountain biking in the desert hills and saw some cool vegetation--different types of cactus.

They ate lunch at a Japanese Sushi restaurant. (Scott likes to pretend he is a sushi lover, but really he likes to go to Japanese restaurants so he can load up on potstickers. He humors Brek and tries a few bites of sushi, which makes him a braver soul than I, but he has not developed a love for it yet!)

They played football together and enjoyed the warm Phoenix weather.

Then they were off to the game! Scott's two favorite NBA teams are the Suns and the Jazz, so he was way excited to go watch them play. What a fun experience! It was fun for them to go--just the two of them. It's really good to have some one on one time together sometimes. But I have to admit, I was wishing I could be there with them!

Both of my boys are huge Steve Nash fans! Scott was hoping to get an autograph, but no such luck! Oh well...maybe he can find one on ebay!

Friday, March 7, 2008

A New Plate

Brek: Where did you get that plate?
Me: At Pier 1.

Brek: Didn't you have something different there before?
Me: Yes.

Brek: What was it?
Me: A different plate.

Brek: Why did you get a new plate?
Me: Because I was tired of the old plate.

Brek: (resisting the urge to say: What a waste of money! What's wrong with the old plate?!) What are you going to do with the old plate?
Me: (with a smile) I don't know...serve food on it!

Brek: (speechless, but smiling back--a smile that said: You're crazy! It's a good thing I love you!)

In earlier days of our marriage, this conversation would have gone differently. We would have both been frustrated with eachother when it was over. As it was, I knew Brek thought my purchase totally unnecessary, and he knew that I partly agreed with him. But he didn't get mad, and I didn't get annoyed. We have learned to laugh at things together instead of getting upset (most of the time). Isn't marriage great!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blogging: Good or Bad?

Today I have been so tired and have not felt like doing anything. I accomplished the basics: cleaning breakfast dishes, exercising, practicing with kids, changing diapers. But beyond that, I have pretty much wasted my day enjoying other people's blogs, and playing around on mine!

I am now sitting in my kitchen looking at a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded, and more dishes to do. I am thinking that if I were a good mom/wife, I would get up and make dinner. I am looking at my family room that needs to be vaccuumed (spelling?), and envisioning my bedroom that is a huge mess. I could go on and on.

But my computer beckons to me and I have decided to be a total blog junkie and let the house fall apart around me! There's always tomorrow, right?!

Baby Ben

I love this kid SO much! I can be in the worst mood, and Ben will give me one of his big smiles, and I can't help but smile back! When I get him out of his crib in the morning, he is so happy and gives me huge smiles. When I pick him up, he nuzzles his head into my neck like he's giving me a big hug. I love it! In fact, whenever he starts to get tired, he likes to snuggle up to me, grab onto my shirt and suck his thumb. He loves to laugh and is very ticklish. We all adore him!

Scott figures it's more fun practicing with Ben than practicing on his own. Maybe Scott is trying to tell Ben, you better get used to this now kid, because when you get bigger mom will MAKE you practice!

Madelyn Gets a Haircut

A couple of weeks ago I had my sister Chelsie chop Maddy's hair. It was getting quite long and I was sick of doing it. I love her cute little haircut! are a couple of pictures of her, as you requested. Thanks again!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Crayons anyone?

Tonight for dinner we had waffles.

This is a family favorite. I personally like this dinner because it takes little prep work. In fact, we usually have waffles when it is 6:15 and I think, "What on earth am I going to make for dinner tonight?!"

So tonight, as usual, I plugged in the waffle maker to heat up as I made the batter. However, when I opened the waffle maker, to my surprise, there was a crayon....or should I say a crayon wrapper and a lot of pink, melted wax!

I'm not sure which child was to blame. I would have to guess either Maddy or Luke. Maddy, because she is constantly coloring with crayons, markers, you name it! However, she does usually stick to paper.

Luke on the other hand loves getting into the art supplies with his sis. But rather than paper, Luke choose other mediums to display his artwork....cupboard doors, walls, the wood floor, etc. So considering these factors, I would have to guess Luke! But I guess we'll never know.

So if anybody ever needs to know how to get wax off a waffle maker, I'm your gal!