Monday, December 14, 2009

Wedding Bells

On the day after Thanksgiving, we headed to Utah for Brek's one and only sister's wedding. It was such a great day! We are SO happy for her! She was married in the beautiful Salt Lake Temple. It was cold, but still a great day!

Kristin is the only girl in a family of seven. She has lots of brothers to look out for her, I guess!

I love this picture of Brek's dad. Doesn't it just shout out JOY?!

I love my little man! Picture time was a long, cold wait for him.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dance, Dance, Dance

More catch-up.

Syd and Maddy got to be in Hansel and Gretel. Their ballet teacher did a fantastic job and put on a great production. Maddy was a darling little gingerbread cookie who always had a little smile on her face as though she had some hidden secret. And Syd was a town girl, an angel, a deer, and a troll. Her favorite was the troll because she got to do back handsprings. But my favorite was the beautiful and graceful. She is such a beautiful little dancer!

The only killer was all the makeup! I am NOT a makeup expert. I actually had to go buy eye shadow, because I didn't even own any. But by the end of the week, I was a regular pro....well, sort of!

Luke is not happy to be getting his picture taken, apparently!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flashback Week's been a while.

What can I say. Life is crazy! But on the bright side, my Christmas shopping list is getting much shorter!

My plan is to spend a few days catching up. I know we are all WAY past Halloween, but alas, I must document. So just a quick update.

The older boys weren't much into dressing up this year. But the younger four had a great time. We had two darling witches, a muscle man, and a pirate.

The weather was perfect, which brought out about a jillion trick-or-treaters. We had a great night trick-or-treating, gave away a LOT of candy, and had fun visiting with friends on the porch.

Attack of the pirate boy!
Trick-or-treaters, beware of the crazy pirate swinging a golf club!

Oh yes, and of course we had the traditional night of pumpkin carving.

Goodbye October! See you again next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Save Me

Luke just came up to me, and in his most helpless sounding voice said, "Mom, can you save me from the evil Ben?"

I looked at Ben who flashed me his biggest smile.

What's a gal to do?!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Tonight was rough. I was tired and worn out, the house was in disarray, there was chaos and NOISE everywhere, and Ben was up to his usual tricks (today's highlights were: smashing pears and bananas on the floor and then getting into my makeup and making a general mess of EVERYTHING). I was frustrated, and frankly out of patience.

However, in the midst of it all....well, after everything had been cleaned up anyway, I sat at my computer to help Syd with some homework....thinking to myself "does it ever end??" Still tired, still frustrated. It was at this point in time I noticed Madelyn. She was "rockin' out" to Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, which Brek had playing on the iPod. It was as though she was completely oblivious of anyone else in the room. She was dancing all over the place....head flipping, hair flying, body moving. It was the cutest thing! And despite myself, I couldn't help but smile. And the more I watched, the more I smiled.

Thanks Madelyn for cheering me up!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boom, Boom, Fire Power

Yesterday for dinner, Brek cooked halibut. It was delicious. But, as usual, Sydney, Madelyn, and Luke stuck their noses in the air as they were sure they wouldn't like it. (I'm pretty sure they have never actually tried halibut, but they were sure!) Despite the grumbling, they were each given a portion of fish and told to eat it. I am happy to report they all ate it, and no complaints.

I looked over to see Luke's plate almost empty (an uncommon sight) and exclaimed, "Oh, good job Luke! You ate all your fish! Now you will have big strong muscles. Next time Ben tries to hurt you just go 'boom, boom, boom' and maybe he'll stop."

A huge grin spread from ear to ear as he flexed his muscles. We all laughed and that was the end of that, or so I thought.

Soon this conversation was forgotten. Dinner came to an end, dishes were done, and I went with Brek to visit one of the families he home teaches. When I returned, Luke filled me in on what I had missed.

"Mom, Ben hit me."

"Oh, Luke, I'm sorry. Are you OK?"

"I hit him back."

"Luke, you shouldn't hit him back! That's not the right thing to do."

"But mom, I did what you told me." And then (while flexing his muscles), "Boom, Boom, Fire Power!"

Here's a visual.

Boom, Boom

Fire Power!

Oops. I guess the moral of this story is....Be careful what you preach! They just might listen to you every now and then!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nature's Beauties

I love the seasons! Every one of them.

I love the beautiful colors of the leaves in the fall, the crisp, cool air, leaves falling to the ground. I love winter. I get excited like a little kid when the first snow falls. But I also love to see the snow go, and watch as the world starts to turn green again. I love to see the tulips as they start to poke their green stems out of the ground. I love to be outdoors again....without a coat. And then comes summer. Relaxed summer days, fun, fun, fun in the water, beautiful flowers.

But right now, I really love fall. Everywhere I go, the leaves are falling to the ground....beautiful red and yellow leaves. And it smells like fall. The season of holidays is quickly approaching. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my personal favorite....Christmas!

The other day as we were driving home, I stopped the car and told the boys to go play in the leaves. I just happened to have my camera in the car.

As much as I love the pretty leaves, they don't hold a candle to these two little guys!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pizza and Potty Training

This afternoon I ran some errands. Josh was in charge.

I returned to find Ben running around in nothing but his birthday suit. I asked, but not much of an explanation was given. It boils down to this. Ben had decided he wanted to go potty, and everybody was too lazy to put clothes back on him. (Kids being lazy? Shocker!) we are, an hour later, and he is still running around in nothing but his birthday suit. Why? Well, it's an experiment of sorts. You see, when Ben is not wearing a diaper he tends to run to the potty whenever he feels a need know. Sooooo, I guess we'll see what happens. When I told my dad of my experiment, he said, "If you step in something squishy in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the bathroom, just hope it's a banana!"

(And I do get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. One of the joys of pregnancy, you know.)

So, back to my return home. I brought pizza. Ben came running and climbed up on a stool. And thoroughly enjoyed pizza and breadsticks....while still in his birthday suit!

It made for a comical dinner, I must say.

Happy, Happy Birthday

Another birthday has come and gone....scratch that....two more birthdays have come and gone.

Last weekend was party time around here as we celebrated Ben and Brek's birthday. Ben's cake had seen better days, thanks to Ben. He snuck into the cake and pretty much made a big mess of things. Nothing a little extra frosting couldn't fix.

Brek's cake was actually not a cake at all. He requested his mom's delicious apple blueberry cobbler. However, 38 candles on one apple cobbler makes for trouble, let me tell you. Especially when the cobbler is still hot!

Candles + hot cobbler = candles melting....from the bottom up. OOPS! Nothing like 38 colorful pieces of wax floating in the cobbler!

Brek was a good sport to share his birthday with Ben (in other words to share ME with Ben). Unfortunately, my time was completely consumed by everything birthday-ish....birthday breakfast, clean-up, wrapping presents, making dinner, clean-up again, cake/dessert, clean-up again....etc. Not to mention this partying all took place on Sunday, so of course there was the usual: choir, YW lesson, getting kids ready, etc. I was completely spent and exhausted by the end of the day. Brek would have probably preferred to just have me simplify and spend more time with him. I must admit, I am not very good at simplifying sometimes....especially when it comes to birthdays. I want to make the day special. I guess I am still learning.

But despite it all, at the end of the day, Brek gave me a big hug and said, "Thanks for the birthday!" Because that's the kind of guy he is....wonderful. He knows my heart and my intentions. He loves me despite my faults. He thinks I am the greatest (boy do I have him fooled!) He is my biggest fan. I love him dearly!!!! I am one lucky girl!

This was Josh's little creation. He so wanted to decorate something with icing, and in his haste, chose a piece of bread. Yes, it says OLD. He thought he was pretty funny!

The beginnings of the apple cobbler/candle fiasco.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Fun

We arrived at the pumpkin patch just as the sun was going down. But that didn't stop us from finding 6 great pumpkins! We told the kids they had better choose fast, and luckily there was a multitude of fantastic pumpkins. Here is a recap of our "quick" trip in pictures.

Syd and Saydi: cousins and the best of friends

Remember that monster Ben I was telling you about? This is a classic Luke face when being bullied by Ben.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday My Little Monster

See this little guy?? The cute one with big brown eyes who just turned two?

Don't be fooled by that cute (messy) face and those big brown eyes. Because I'm here to tell you....he is a monster! In his sweet little way, he goes around the house wreaking havoc. Tearing things apart (like my keyboard, which is now missing keys....AGAIN), dumping things (like corn starch all over the kitchen), demanding things, insisting things, etc. He is one strong-willed little man.

If you give him a fork and he wants a spoon instead, watch out for flying forks. If he wants something Luke out Luke! OR if Luke tries taking something Ben out Luke! Ben is not intimidated by size. It's pretty much his way or the highway!

But man is he cute! He has started talking, and of course some of his main words are MORE and No No. I'm afraid he hears the latter a time or two every day. He actually says all sorts of a way that only a mother could understand. You know how it is. My favorite is his latest and greatest. When I ask him something, he nods and says sweetly, "Uh-huh." Unless of course he says, "NO!"

For example, one morning as I was practicing with Josh, Luke began to scream. Almost immediatley, an angelic looking Ben came to find me. You know, the sort of angelic look that means....It wasn't me mom!"

The conversation went something like this.

Me: Ben, did you hurt Luke?
Ben: (sweetly) Uh-huh.
Me: Is Luke sad?
Ben: Uh-huh.
Me: You should go give him a big hug and tell him you're sorry.
Ben: No!
Me: Oh, but Luke is sad. You should go give him a hug.
Ben: No!
Me: Is Luke your buddy?
Ben: (ever so sweetly) Uh-huh.

And so it goes.

Ben is a classic example of....well, the power of example! He watches his older siblings and imitates their every move. Especially his pal Luke. Each night before Luke goes to bed, we say prayers with him. Quite a while ago, Ben decided he wanted to be just like Luke. So, although he doesn't talk, the minute Luke is done with his prayers Ben stands up and folds his arms. This is his signal that he is ready to pray. He stands there while you say a prayer for him, then gives you a hug and kiss and happily lays down. Talk about soothing the savage beast!

Tonight I got home late from a meeting and went around checking on all the kids. Ben stirred as I opened the door, and instantly he was on his feet, folding his arms. He can never pray enough you know! I said a short little prayer, which he ended with Amen (a new development), and he gave me the usual hug and kiss.

I love that kid!!!