Friday, October 24, 2014

Pillow Fight

Hyrum was the last to return from school today - it was early out day for everyone else. They had already scattered to play outside and at friends' houses, so it was quiet here for a moment with just Natalie and Sophia. Soon I heard Hyrum and Natalie playing a game in the front room. They were having a baby pillow fight.
They had been playing and laughing and squealing for a good 20 minutes when I came to capture the moment. Hyrum would throw the pillow at Natalie ~
The pillow would bonk her in the head, then Natalie would pick it up and go get revenge on Hyrum.
Are you prepared to feel the wrath of Natalie?
Each time I was surprised she was able to "throw" that pillow at all. But she was able to somehow toss it over her shoulder and have it pat Hyrum ever so gently on his back. But then he would give her a great roar of "HEY!!" and turn her on her heels running away ~
And he'd grab the pillow and toss it at her, and they'd repeat the whole process again.
It was precious to watch. Heaven is here. Love these little moments with them. Thanks for creating it Hyrum! I love it when the kids play together, especially the big kids with their little sisters. Joseph helped Lily read over her kindergarten word list yesterday, and his eyes lit up later as he told me about how she was trying to tell her b's and d's apart. After he told her which one was the b, she made a note at the bottom of her paper by putting "b B" and then "d D" and drawing a circle around each one. Our little Lily is already turning into a good student! Joseph thought it was super cute, and so do I. Love these kids.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Passports

Every five years or so, it seems that Corey likes to make sure all the kids have current passports "just in case..." Yeah right. If there's one thing I know, it's that when Corey starts thinking about doing something, he's probably going to do it, and he's tinkering with the idea of us going to Brazil. Thus, I spent most of the day trying to fill out passport applications for everyone with Natalie underfoot ~ and she doesn't like to let me sit at a desk and do anything (hence the reason why I'm standing as I type this - can't sit or she'll crawl on my lap or on top of the desk or start hitting computer keys...) On top of the challenge of writing and filling out forms, was the challenge of keeping important certificates and cards safely away from her. I didn't finish before lunch, but had to pause my task and hurry to Costco to get their photos taken. I finished filling them out at 2, just in time to go get the kids out of school. I recognize that filling out 9 applications should take a small chunk of time, but seems like it shouldn't have taken me all morning and afternoon, but it did. Oh these hard first world problems!

So I left at 2:15 to start getting the kids out of 2 schools on my side of the valley, Corey got the Jr. High crowd, and off we both went to the county building to turn in our applications. The other 6 kids got their photos taken there at the county ofice, and now we almost look like the Brady Bunch~
So there are no travel plans, so we didn't to do a last minute expedite rush order like we have in years past. Cause like I said we have nothing nailed down at the moment. Corey's just "thinking" about it. After they got their pictures taken, I went out to the car with the kid and Corey stayed and waited to sign. Outside Joseph had a flashback - "I remember when we were here last time, we were eating Dunford Doughnuts..." Unfortunately, that was back before I blogged regularly (hence the May - August gap in entries in 2010). And I just looked back through the July 9, 2010 digital photos (I know that was the date when we got our passports last time cause I filled it out in the "previous passport issue date" box 7 times today) but unfortunately I didn't take pictures either, so we'll just have to go with fuzzy memories of the chocolate doughnuts. Here's a fresh memory of muffins...
The kids and I killed time, Corey worked over things with the nice lady who was the unfortunate employee who got to help us with our 9 passport applications.
Some ground crew employees came along and asked us if we had seen the eclipse. What?!?! Where have I been? My astronomy radar was way off and I wasn't even aware!! Ahh! So it was so cool that they were so thoughtful and stopped to mention it to us. They even shared their solar glasses, thank you, you cool people! After 20 minutes, Corey called to summon me up to sign. He had to call me via Joseph's cell phone 'cause mine got busted last night when Lily knocked it off the kitchen counter - the screen cracked in half. Touch screen still works on the top half, but not on the bottom half, like where you have to push "answer" to phone calls or "back" or "return to menu"... so yeah, it's worthless now. Doh. So he called Joseph's phone, I headed up and was soon signing that "to the best of my knowledge" these kids are mine and that everything I filled out was true, but we confessed as we signed that we really don't know their eye color, even when we're looking at them. So we just faked it with a bunch of "hazel" answers for everyone but Sophi (dark brown) and Abi ~ those are definitely "blue!",
Here Corey, my turn to sign. This is one view of what "you've got your hands full" looks like.
Last check of everything, making sure photos are stapled to right names... and that was that!
Corey made the comment "First we came for our marriage certificate... now... 15 years and 9 kids later..." that clock up on the wall just keeps tickin'.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Manilla Park

Last week, while Joseph and Ethan were at band practice in American Fork, I took the girls and Wes to one of the coolest parks in Utah - Manilla Park. Also called "Discovery Park". And my kids call it "the wood park". It is a very cool park.
We had a few cheese sticks to help keep their blood sugar up during the two hour practice.
Sophia enjoyed herself, and kept her new Anna doll in hand the whole time.
"My Anna!"
 She did put down Anna for a little bit so she could swing. Love seeing happy faces on the swing.
That is pure childhood joy right there.
 Love you Sophi!
However, tragedy struck when we got home - Anna was missing. I thought maybe she had left her at the park. We looked all over in the car. Then luckily we saw this picture below that I'd taken  - proof that Anna had made it out of the park safely and went to the grocery store with us (had to grab some bananas for my monkeys).
I called the grocery store and asked if there was an Anna doll in one of the shopping cart cars in the east cart return. Sophi is a lucky girl, cause they found her. Then the only trial left was to wait 5 days until we went down again for Hyrum's practice. Happy day when Anna was returned. Mom's lesson learned: take the kids to the wood park, but next time sneak Anna away from Sophi and hide it until we get back home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dad's Garden

On Saturday after our hike, the 4 little girls and I went over to my parents' house to enjoy the spoils of their garden. The tomato plants were the only things that hadn't been pulled up yet, and there were so many tomatoes the girls couldn't believe it!
...especially considering that our 10 tomato plants have not yielded a bountiful harvest. They can't barely do one cherry tomato per kid per day. Atleast there's not been much fruit that I'm aware of. The kids do usually get out there before me though, so that might be part of it. ...And the older kids often inform me that Lily has been picking and planting the tomatoes. And then there are the deer too. sigh, so many obstacles! Still, I could have done my part better. Next year I'll prep the soil a bit more and do my homework. ...and might also plant them in the front yard where the pine trees don't block the sun so much. True, they will be more susceptible to deer out there. What ya gonna do? What do you think of Grandpa's garden, Lily? Isn't it great?
They were good little workers and good little eaters. My parent's actually weren't home - they were in Texas visiting my little sis. Doh. Dad said to help ourselves, they weren't going to be home for a few days and thus wouldn't be able to used any of the ripe tomatoes. I hadn't brought any bags or bowls, so we took the two bags that two newspapers in the front yard were in and used those to hold the tomatoes.
And they filled up pretty quickly, so I told the girls to use their tummies as bags too.
Go go go, eat eat eat!!! I love tummies that are full of healthy food, so eat up. Good job Natalie.
It was fun. I want a garden, cause I love working outside with the kids. I'll try to be ready for next spring!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Doughnut Falls

I was able to get my 6 trusty companions to go on a hike with me again on Saturday. I looked at my phone as I put Natalie down for a nap at 2:15 and saw that I'd received a text from my little brother at noon, informing me that they were going on a little hike with their kids to Doughnut Falls at 3. I assayed my situation, tested my kid's willingness, and then it was decided and we got on our shoes and headed for the door. Joseph stayed home to do homework, Ethan was at a Airsoft war game. I got Natalie down for a nap again and we headed out.
There were a lot of cars, but timing helped us get a place in the parking lot at just the right moment. Everyone ready? Abi, you set to take on the trail? Mark, set...
 Go!!
It is a very child friendly stroll through the mountains.
25 minutes later we arrived at the falls. Look! A river!
They just can't help themselves.
 Into the river bed they go
I was loving the patterns and line designs in the rocks. We had to head out earlier than they'd like (only 20 minutes to play in the falls) cause Melodie had to be back by 5 to babysit.
We ran down the trail to the car and got back fast enough that we had time to swing by Arctic Circle for twist ice cream cones on the way home (my little reward/bribe in hopes that they'll come with me on future outings. We didn't get anything for the boys at home, too bad for you Joe and Eth if you're reading this! You missed out! So you better come next time!)
More cool rocks on the trail - love the lines!
How are those lines made anyway? Lava? I'm sure I learned that back in high school geology... I shall have to offer myself a refresher course. Just a few shots of the mountains on the drive down the canyon. Here they are with a vibrant color feature...
 And without...
They weren't this gray looking, but they weren't as vibrant as the vibrant pictures show either.
So imagine somewhere in between those two. But even with their colors fading, the mountains and trees are still beautiful!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Smart Kids

It's been nice to not have school the past two days. Sleeping in until 8:00, ahh! I came downstairs this morning and found this little guy reading on the couch:
What are you doing Wesley?!?! Today is not a school day! You should still be sleeping and you should definitely NOT be reading! What, do you think reading is fun or something!?!?
Well, you're right. Reading is fun. I'm glad you've caught the bug. It usually hits our kids around 4th grade that they realize there is magic in reading and you can transport yourself to another world! Wesley's been reading up a storm. He read for like 2 hours on Wednesday after school, 2 hours yesterday, and already in an hour today and it's only 9 in the morning. Good job little buddy. Joseph came down shortly after and ate breakfast and then joined his little brother studying on the couch. Such good kids.
Woah woah, what are YOU doing, Natalie?!?! You're reading too?!?! When did you all become such smartie pants? She's looking at me confused - Mother, where have you been? Don't you know? We've always been smartie pants!
 I love watching her flip through books. So precious. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Characters

We found this drawing on the counter this morning. Wesley made it. It is a drawing of Wes in the "fucher". I helped a little bit with the torso.
I drew a mid-section like that for the kids when they were playing this drawing game that they learned at school: they fold a paper into 4 pieces and each person draws part of the character. They were all very impressed with my artistic ability.  "How do you know how to draw so strong like that?!" Well, it's easy cause I see abs that like all day long! Haven't you seen my ninja boys? Ethan's reply "Oh mother, you flatter me!" Most of their character creations end up looking like weird monsters, they love it though! It's a fun game.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Making Home

Nothing exciting to report right now. I've been in "the zone" yesterday and today - homemaking wise. Today it's been the "get organized" zone. I am finally sprucing up the binders for the kids school papers (drawings, certificates and awards and such).
Those above are not in biological order. Of the four that I've finished, when in order of age, it said "meal", so I changed it to say "lame" ~ (I thought that was funnier.) Here below is a picture of my desk where the creative juices try to flow. My desk is a big mess.
The chore boards are no more, so I'm using the papers that I had on them for the front of the binders.
Looking forward to UEA weekend and having everyone home. Might have them be my slaves and get some other things checked off my homemaking to do list. 
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