Friday, July 20, 2007

Granny and Gramps

We made it to Grandma and Grandpa's house in one piece. Fortunately, the flight with three kids wasn't bad!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Popcorn Party





Among the many different incentives I've tried to get my kids to go to bed with out complaining, is a popcorn party... it was a hit! They earned stars for a couple of weeks, and at the end we bought an air popcorn popper. Porter wanted to take the party outside so we could take the top off and see the popcorn fly into the air.

We experimented with different methods to see how we could get the most popcorn to come out... Fun times with my kids! They are so creative, Porter's next project was making watermelon juice with watermelon and the garlic press... anything to keep them busy?

He also loves to take things apart... a true boy! On Friday I caught him with a screw driver carefully unscrewing Preston's swing... Gotta love his "how does this work" mind!"

My prince and princess


We have a really sweet neighbor who, shortly after the baby was born, came bearing generous gifts for our family.

The baby received sleepers and diapers, mom and dad received yummy banana bread, Porter received a Spider man slip and slide, and Sophia received a princess tiara, necklace, earrings, bracelet and ring set, a boa, and a princess wand. She kept asking, "mom, who gave this to me?"... "mom, why did she give this to me?" It was so cute! She was so excited to have this new gift, but couldn't understand why she had been the benefactor of such a fun accessories!




Sophia reading books, alone in her room, all dolled up in her princess attire


my prince (who didn't want to be photographed) and my princess... lately I've come to the realization that she really does rule the roost! (I've got to work on that! :)

Grateful Sunday





I am grateful for:

* airplanes... this week we leave for Utah to visit family... We can't wait! Tomorrow will be filled with lots of packing!

* Porter's primary teachers... when we get back they will have moved on... they are a husband and wife team... in optometry school... they remind me of Porter's aunt and uncle... they have done a phenomenal job with their eleven five and six year olds and we sill miss them terribly! They put me to shame, and I am so glad that Porter was able to benefit from their dedication, organization, and preparation.

The first Sunday they taught the class they gave every child a canvas bag with their name on it. Each week they clip a summary of what was taught in class to the bag so we can review the lesson for FHE. During class they use charts to keep track of who brings their scriptures and whose turn it is to say the prayer. They use a seating chart and put a star with each child's name on it on their seat. They have a poster with the schedule on it up on the board, and they follow that schedule each week. They do cute crafts and color sheets. For Easter they made each child a book full of coloring sheets about Easter and Christ and they gave them their own box of new crayons. They gave their class a reward when they all filled up their scripture chart for bringing their own scriptures. ( I guess this was why Porter was so persistent that he get a Doctrine and Covenants... he would not rest until we got him one to go with his BoM and Bible).

It's hard to say good-bye to people who make such a difference in your children's lives!

* swimming... I went twice this week. Once to Noah's Ark Pool and another time to a neighborhood pool. It's the only way to stay cool in H*. I was excited for how well my kids have learned to swim. It's so exciting. Porter can do a front flip on his own, and he can swim to the bottom of the pool and pick up things off the bottom. Sophie is confident swimming a long ways out to me from the steps... fun fun!

* smiles-- Preston started smiling last Sunday, and we're loving more cute smiles!

* dates with my kids-- Doug and I are trying to spend one on one time with the kids, I got to take Sophie shopping this week just me and her... she loves it and is quite the little shopper! She's kind of fallen apart since the baby came (I plan on devoting an entire blog to this) so hopefully this will help! (Dates with her dad stopped the potty training regression dead in it's tracks!)

* Harry Potter-- I started reading book #1 to Porter. He loves it and it's fun to have something to look forward to doing with him every night.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

First Day Back



Today was my first day back in running shoes and shorts...I haven't sweat that much in a long time... It felt great... There's nothing like a runners high!

Friday, July 13, 2007

No TV week...



I declared this week our "No TV Week". I felt like we had gotten into some bad habits (ie excessive viewing) so the only way to break the cycle, was to get a fresh start after a good break. The week has gone so well... we might have to make it our "No TV Month." (... just kidding! Well, I would love it, but when I jokingly mentioned it to Porter, it didn't go over well! He let me know in no uncertain terms that a week he could handle, a month was out of the question!) The kids have found things to play (they are using their game room a lot more! I went up yesterday and they were both just chilling, reading books), they've virtually stopped asking for shows, I have tried to plan some fun activities and outings to keep us all occupied... Thus far, it's been a success!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Noah's Ark Swimming Pool

I love this place! We drove down to the pool yesterday to meet the HP playgroup for the day. We ended up staying five hours!!! I was exhausted, but the kids had so much fun bouncing between the above pool and the nearby "normal" pool. Preston kept relatively cool with a slight breeze and lots of shade. I hadn't seen my kids swim since before the baby was born, and they've both improved so much. It was so fun to watch my little fish swimming confidently around! I'm grateful to have friends who are willing to get out and do fun things.

ps... I didn't take my camera, so this picture is compliments of their website :)

July 4th Activities

This was the first 4th of July I've ever spent in Texas... The past summers, Doug's internships and my trips home have always fallen over this holiday. We celebrated in the traditional American way by barbecuing hamburgers and hot dogs and lighting fireworks.
Porter LOVED fireworks, Sophie was very cautious, and preferred to watch from a very safe distance (she's like her mom... those things make me nervous!)
The girl in the picture above is my visiting teaching partner. She's single and her family lives far away, so she was happy to spend the afternoon with us... I think :)

I don't know who had more fun with the fireworks, Doug or Porter. They went out on Tuesday night (the 3rd) and purchased some, and went out on Wednesday (the 4th) and purchased some more. Apparently in Utah, the fireworks that leave the ground are illegal, but not here...

Sophia is eating goldfish her refound favorite. Every time we go to the store, she requests more.

I saw this trifle in a magazine. Isn't it cool? I love how festive is looks. Apparently Doug doesn't always like the trifle's I make, which was news to me... but he really enjoyed this one! My mom gave me the trifle bowl a couple of years ago, and it's really been a fun extra to have in the kitchen!

Some new friends in the ward invited us to accompany them down to IMA HOGG's home (that's not a typo)... someone actually named their daughter IMA and their last name was HOGG (she never married). Her home is preserved for historical value, and tours are given of home home and 15 acre gardens. It was free on the 4th, so we spent a few hours in the early afternoon touring and learning.
The above banjo players makes banjo's and composes songs. One banjo he had made from a gourd. His songs were fun. It was fun to see how much my kids LOVED the musical performances. They sat in rapt attentions, and didn't want to move on.

Drummers

Living History soldiers recreating history.

Our friends have four kids... so with our three, we were quite a crowd in and of ourselves! You can see all of them minus Preston lined up listening to the drummers.



Porter and Sophia listening intently to the above mentioned Banjo player.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

porters vocab

Do I rock???


Sweet! Sweet!


Do I look great?

Happy Birthday Mark!



My brother Mark is a rock... he's kind and calm... he grounds me... he reminds me not to worry so much, just by his example ... he doesn't seem to care what other people think... he does things for the right reason... he has a big heart... he's just a great guy!

I'm excited to see him next week, as are my kids, they LOVE their uncles! I'm also excited to meet his girlfriend Annika for the first time. Although they've been dating for a while, I haven't met her yet... shows you how long it's been since I've been home! Hope your birthday was awesome!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Sweet Baby





pictures by Kelsey Call

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Grateful Sunday







    I am grateful:

  • Preston smiled at us tonight for the first time! It was so fun... he smiled at me, so I called in the whole family, and he repeated his performance over and over again, we all smiled and laughed with him, and encouraged him to continue... he has a big beautiful, toothless grin... I was ready to see it... it makes me feel like maybe he likes me and likes being here!

  • Cute kiddos and a patient and helpful husband... While I've felt like I don't have much to complain about compared to what a lot of other people go through, I feel like I haven't been myself for oh, the past two months between late pregnancy discomfort, postpartum recovering, feet issues, nursing woes, and two terrible colds back to back... hopefully I don't jinx myself, but I'm starting to feel better... despite everything my kids and my husband still seem to love me, even if they are really ready for the old me to return!

  • Good friends. Tara B. and kiddos came up this week... It was so fun to see her, to show off my baby, let the kids play and get caught up on life! Thanks for coming Tara!

  • Jeans... I finally fit into some cute ones... They're not my "skinny me" jeans, but they'll do for now! It's been fun to wear some real clothes again... and some real shoes again too!

  • I leave for Utah in a little over a week... Can't wait to see my family and Jenni T*... and can't wait to see the mountains and breathe in some fresh air!

  • Clear x-rays... Little Preston has had a terrible cough (well, I think it sounds terrible) so I took him into the doctor, my little cutie coughed plenty before and after the doctor came in, but not once did he cough while the doctor was in the room... but from my description of Preston's cough (long coughing spouts, gasping for breath, keeping us up at night, non-productive) even though his lungs sounded fine, he ordered a chest x-ray... that too came back fine, which is great news... but he's too young to be given any medicine, so I just have to wait it out... I keep reminding myself to stay calm, there's nothing to worry about, he's going to be find... it's just hard because as I've said before... He's too young to be sick!

  • 1:00 church... our ward switches times in July... so we're on a new rotation... change is always good, and next year we'll be back to 9:00 church... in the meantime I get to do things like sleep in until 10... okay, don't know how often I can realistically hope that will be repeated but it was heaven this morning!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Happiest Baby on the Block





I recently read The Happiest Baby on the Block, and I found it full of really helpful, practical baby calming tips. With the high volume of baby books out there, and with the potential to get seriously confused and start doubting my mother instinct, I am cautious about what I read... I usually only read what's been recommended by a trusted source... I remember Lindy's sister Sirie (spelling Lindy?) talking about this one.

Dr. Karpp's theory is that babies come out too early, they need a fourth trimester, and if we as parents can help create that for our newborn babies, our new born babies will be much happier and calmer. He included in his book, a detailed diagram of how to swaddle, so with baby number three, I finally have it figured out! And thank goodness, because Preston loves to be swaddled! While parts of the book are repetitive, he gets his point across, and I think this one is definitely worth reading!

Friday, July 06, 2007

My Brown Eyed Girl

I was showing Sophie my blog, when she saw this picture she said slowly and calmly... "She's a butterfly... No... she's a Sunbeam... She has her own water bottle..." (you can see the top in the picture, I bought her and Porter one's to match the one Porter gave me for Christmas because I am tired of them drinking out of my bottle and getting me sick! We'll see if it helps!) The Sunbeam made me smile because 1 the shirt is wearing has a big sun on it, she calls it her sunshine shirt and 2 one of her favorite songs is Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam. We sing it for FHE every week, and Doug throws her in the air on the big up beats.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

crocs





When this type of shoe first became popular, I wondered why. They're not very cute... They don't look terribly comfortable... But Sophia loves anything pink, so when her friend came over sporting some, Sophia kept trying to put them on... Later I saw the knock-off version on clearance, and thought, why not, they'll make Sophia so happy... And I couldn't buy Sophia some with out getting Porter a pair.

Now I am convinced that these are the greatest kid shoes in the world! They easily slip on and off... They can be washed off... (a huge bonus because Porter is constantly ruining his sneakers in his many adventures involving mud, exploration and more mud)... And they provide better protection than flip flops against the spiders and snakes that lurk in the grass...

Oh yeah, and Sophia calls them her "Rubber Ducky Shoes"

Tuesday, July 03, 2007