Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Life and Laughter

"In all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." -President Gordon B. Hinckley


HATS

Doug went in for his hat, so Porter then went in for his, and Sophia followed suit soon after, but couldn't find one to shade her from the swelting heat, so she opted for the next best thing...

Preston loved watching the game, perched on his dad's shoulders

Boys night out... Girls night out...

Porter and his buddy Carter play baseball together. Their little team is called the Colorado Rockies, they even have purple and black uniforms to match the original team.

Last weekend the Astros (our home team) was playing the real Colorado Rockies... Carter's dad got tickets from work and asked Doug and Porter if they wanted to make it a boys night out.

What great anticipation filled the week before the game! Porter felt so special to be able to go to such a big game with his Dad!




Sophia and I stayed home with Preston and watched our new favorite movie... Enchanted. We've already watched it more times than I should admit. It's such a fun new flick. Porter actually really enjoys it too. There was great anticipation in the air on Friday as we saw the boys off and hurried home for our girls night out!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Plundering

Preston has started to plunder... I can handle the movies being thrown out of the drawer at top speed. I don't mind the pots and pans coming out either, they all are easily returned to their respective spots relatively quickly...

But Preston's favorite place to plunder?

The tree I have in my hall.

It drives me crazy! I have to be so vigilant to keep him out of there. Last time I saw him heading there, I caught his attention, asked him to find another place to play (essentially)...what did he do? Flash his big beautiful smile, and pick up speed towards his destination!

I told myself next time it happens, I am going to take pictures before grabbing a broom... here's the fun result...









Turn your head sideways to view :)

Before I posted these pictures today, he made it there again, this time I didn't catch him fast enough, I had to wash dirt out of his mouth, and out of his eyes... Yeah, I should have grabbed pictures, but I was too panicked about the dirt in his mouth, I'm not sure if Doug puts fertilizer in there or not... Yeck...

I'm wondering if I should find the tree a new home, and if that home will just be another place in the house or a different household entirely. But I love that plant, it demands very little attention, and it's one of the few living plants I have in my home... and what would I put in it's place?

It's funny how gender preferences play out so early. Preston already loves dirt and sticks. He's just like his brother!

Sing a Song

After Porter spelled all of the colors for me, I asked him where he learned that... he broke out into song, so I grabbed the camera to record it for posterity. Apparently he knows a song for every color. But he wouldn't repeat any of the verses, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Not to be outdone, Sophia agreed to sing the ABC song for the camera. Luckily Porter wanted to help, because between every letter Sophia takes a bite of her bagel, I guess her growth spurt propelled hunger was calling louder than her desire to preserve for posterity, her singing voice. But a video of her eating is very apropos as well... I tell you, that girl is always hungry these days!

Monday, April 14, 2008

thinking vs doing

Some people are thinkers... Some people are doers... I am a thinker... It's not necessarily a bad thing to not just jump into something without fully thinking it over first... it can be a bad thing when when you think about something for so long that it never happens

I'm still thinking about taking down the wallpaper in my bathroom. I hate it. But it will be so much work to get it down and repaint I haven't been up to the challenge.

I'm still thinking about repainting our bedroom furniture. But I don't know if we should just get something new. If so I don't want to spend all that time revamping the old.

Ordering something on line takes me three of four times as long as it does Doug. I have to check and recheck and check again to make sure I got the order right ... right sizes, right colors, right styles, as well as the correct credit card number, address for shipping and billing typed in etc. etc.

Sophia's room is still the original pink it was when we first painted it because I don't know which shade would be better.

Sometimes, I drive myself crazy...




Cutest Baby in the WORLD!

I love this little guy so much it hurts. He's such a good, joyful, sweet, snuggly, pleasant-tempered person. I just like being around him.

Grateful Sunday



* Elder Ballard's tribute to motherhood in the closing session of conference. Beautiful! I was rocking the baby to sleep and Doug came upstairs. He told me Elder Ballard was talking to me and that he'd finish rocking the baby so I could go down and listen. He spoke so highly of the work I do everyday, and I loved how he addressed the children too. Porter listened with wide eyes, open ears, and hands on his chin, taking in every word. He can still recite what Elder Ballard told him to do... pick up his toys, make his bed, give Mommy hugs and say thank Mommy for what she does.

* Sweet conversations with a new mother and father (my brother and his wife). I'm so happy for them.

* Reading. Sophia's gotten much more into books lately and will bring me a big stack to read. She, of course, has to turn the pages herself, but she lets me read every word before she turns it. (she went through the stage of turning them so fast that I could only spit out a word of two). Porter is reading so well. I am a little big astonished. I guess he is learning something at that schools of his. I am proud of him!

* It's yard sale season. I love finding a deal. I've found such fun things for my kids to play with. Inside games and outside games.

* Beautiful, refreshing weather. The picture above reminds me of the bleeding hearts my mom used to plant every spring in her yard. Life is good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sidetracked Home Executive

My friend Lisa loaned me this book. It's nice to be diagnosed. I was not born organized. The authors discuss how difficult it can be for one who is born organized to live with a side tracked home executive (Mom (born organized) I thought of you!) I am so grateful to Doug, who was born organized, and his patience with me. He's never made me feel like a bad person or even given negative vibes towards me and how I keep our home. Currently his favorite baseball cap is missing, because as I was cleaning I put it away somewhere, and I can't for the life of me figure our where. He found his other missing cap in Porter's basket. Hard to say where I stuck it while being distracted by something else.

I heard a friend once admit that keeping her home clean was not something that came easy to her. It was the first time I realized that I didn't have to live in denial. I always thought I should be able to keep a perfect home. I thought it would come automatically with being a stay at home mom. I didn't realize it wouldn't necessarily come easily or naturally and that I could admit that it's hard for me and it's something I need to work on. This book helps one embrace the weakness, and then work to overcome the obstacles and eliminate the excuses responsible for preventing an organized home.

I asked another friend how she kept her home so clean, she told me she made it a priority, and she cleaned a little bit every day. Both of these things were discussed in the book. The author has a couple of schedules and a card system.

I got some good laughs and good motivation reading the book. I especially enjoyed their ideas on how to get children to help. A disappearing box comes around five minutes after you give the warning, and confiscated items can be purchased back of earned back through designated chores. The cleaning fairy (you or a friend dressed up) comes over unannounced to inspect, and rewards kids with prizes for having an organized living area. Kids can have a card system (as well as mom) to help them know what chores to do each day.

In reading it, I saw somethings I was doing right, I have a cleaning day every week. I've been going through all of my closets and drawers decluttering (I can't do it on one weekend as Stephani recently did) but I'm making it through. I also realized things could be a lot worse, I don't feel like I'm nearly as bad as the women described things in the book, but I know I could be and would like to be more organized, have my children help more, and be able to spend less time picking up and more time playing.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Porter and my nightly reading... I am as into the story as he is... I never want to share nightly reading duties with Doug because then I'll miss a couple of chapters. Porter has little trouble talking me into... just one more chapter mom. And several mornings he's shown up in my bed before 7 am, book in hand, wanting to continue the story. How can I turn that down?

Pre-School Field Trip





Making Pizza at Cici's... The kids got to make their own pizza's. The above is Sophia's creation. So fun!

Happy Birthday Anna!





My friend and visiting teaching partner of two plus years turns 30 this next week. She is a single flight attendant and she sits by me in church almost every Sunday and helps reign in my three ring circus.

Porter and Sophia are very fond of her. My kids take turns selecting our seats in Sacrament Meeting. Porter always seats us in the back row, and one Sunday, as Sophia selected the front row, Porter burst into to tears. "Anna won't be able to find us up here!" Sure enough, she came in and sat down in the back row. "See!" Porter emotionally humphed, to emphasize that he was right. I sent him back to her and he returned with Anna in tow. She faithfully plays the dot/square game every Sunday with Porter.

She loves my baby and snatches him up every chance she gets. She kindly volunteered to come to the last primary activity just to hold Preston so I could fulfill my obligations.

I wanted to do something fun for her birthday. At first I thought a party. My kids were thrilled, Porter volunteered to the games, he quickly began planning everything from an obstacle course, to pin the tail on the donkey, to a pinata. My head began to spin as I imagined a guest list, and all of their respective children. So, my to my kids dismay, I opted for a girls night out birthday celebration.

I asked Anna to babysit, told the guest to park around the corner and arrive early. We yelled surprise, let her pick a restaurant and headed out. I was touched by all of the many women who rearranged their schedules and juggled kids and activities to be able to attend. I felt like we were instruments in the Lord's hands and I know Anna felt His love and ours. We returned to my home for cake and ice cream and the opening of a few presents.

Anna's not too demonstrative, but I know she was pleased, and I had a great time being involved in such a fun surprise.

Princesses in the Making

Kindergarten Field Trip

Old MacDonald's Farm

When I asked Sophia if she wanted to go to Old MacDonald's Farm for Porter's field trip, she asked if it was one with toys and if she could play on the them. After a few seconds I realized she thought the field trip was at the restaurant McDonald's. I assured her that Old MacDonald's Farm was much better!

Porter looked forward to the field trip all week. He wore his orange Kindergarten shirt most of the week in preparation for the big day.














I think Sophia could have played in the sand all day and been perfectly content.




Tuesday, April 08, 2008

weekend family fun...




























too close to nature

I think we live a little too close to nature for my comfort...

This spider was in our BACKYARD on Saturday afternoon. The kids found it. Doug killed it. I cheered him on, and convinced him not to simply throw it over the fence alive.

This snake was chilling on the path on the way to feed the ducks... I snapped the picture as he slithered away...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

welcome to the world!

I am thrilled... my brother and his wife had their first baby this weekend!
They named her Eva... so Cute!

How I wish I could go enjoy some of that new baby sweetness! Pictures to come.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

trifle

Sophia helped me make this trifle for Enrichment... We both thought it turned out well!

Happy Birthday To Me!


I've realized as I've gotten older that I can't rely on other people to make my birthday special... I have to be pro-active in the process as well... So I took myself and Sophia out to lunch at Quizno's- so much fun, Sophia still talks about our date, she tried Sun Chips for the first time. I saved all the cards and the birthday package (from my parents) that I'd gotten in the mail to open on my birthday. I watched Enchanted for the first time (loved it!) Doug had to work the entire day, so the following day we went out to dinner (Texas Roadhouse ... Yum!)

My ballerina

Saturday Afternoon at the ball field