Monday, January 26, 2015

Neck Hugs

Everyone loves sitting by Natalie during dinner time. She's a bit messy, but the cuteness outweighs the possible spills and food messes she'll make on ya. And the kids always are excited when Natalie starts passing out neck hugs, which she often does at dinnertime.
 (Mel is being weird in these two pictures, not sure what she's doing)
Natalie had already given Wes and Abi a few hugs, but with a little help and encouragement, she did it again so I could capture it on camera.
Often when she gives out her "hey buddy" hugs, we love seeing the reflection in the windows of her cute little arms just barely able to reach around the neck. She's such a cute little girl! The kids were laughing telling me how cute it looked from the front, too, with her little face all squished in there.
We like you Natalie, we love having you around! Thanks for making all of us feel special with your little hugs.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sophi's Dinner Party

Tonight the kids were playing together perfectly and beautifully. That often happens once it's past 10pm and it's time for bed. I came to check on the status of teeth and pajamas, and they were all lost in a game of "Sophi's Restaurant"
Sophi was a busy as a bee (in the green haircurlers) running back and forth from the kitchen to the table, delivering food she was making.
And all her customers were asking for refills of drinks too. She'd run over to the pretend sink and make a water sound as she put the cup to the faucet to fill it up, then deliver it back with a "Here go!" in her little Cinderella voice.
Ethan said "You know all that stuff I said about hating all the princess movies? I take it all back. This is really cute!" Yes, the big brothers (understandably) prefer to not watch the princess movies, but now that they see that the fruit of all that girly-ness is a little sister who hums while she cooks pretend food and sings as she delivers it, well, it's made her brothers have a change of heart. :)
They were laughing at the cute food combinations Sophi brought out to them, such as cookies topped with a generous helping of ketchup (that was my dinner), or a sandwich topped with cream and a cherry (Abi's meal).
Sophi, you are too cute. And Natalie liked the game too. She's practiced her cooking skills by playing with the pans and lids.
She's getting ready to open up her own restaurant in the next year or so. With all these kids, we might always have a kid restaurant since toddlerhood may never end!

Friday, January 23, 2015

First Brazil Trip in 2015

Corey left for Brazil today. He gets back the 31st. Since I'm pregnant, I let myself get some survival food this time. Not cheesecake this time, we're going for coconut ice cream heaven, mmm! They are at the local Walmart now. I usually resist buying them, but since I'm in survival mode, I picked some up on the way home from dropping him off at the airport. I also happened to run into one of my teachers from 9th grade there in the freezer section. I said hi. Not sure if she remembered me or Corey (she was our supervisor when we were SBOs in Jr. High) but I told her our names and that we got married.
Corey was pres in the middle there, I was historian. Sure, it was 23 years ago (I knew that since we just had our 20 year high school reunion) but you remember us, right? It's not like you've had 100s of students each year from the 7 classes you've taught over the past 20+ years! Yeah... she probably doesn't remember, thats ok, but she was nice. It was only a little awkward. I asked her if she gets stopped often, she said she does. There are kinda like celebrities to an exclusive fan base that happen to find them now and then. 

That's all that's going on here. And Corey introduced the kids to BYU's Vocal Point a few weeks ago, and they have been listening to this song A LOT, like a ton.

I didn't think I'd get sick of it, but I did today. Still, it is pretty cool. We think Tanner rocks (plus my little brother knows him, so we feel like we have some sort of connection to him) :) I just saw this ball prank video, I think I'll show it to the kids to get them off of their vocal Point kick (no offense guys) Pretty funny prank. :) Have a good weekend

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hockey Night

The good news: the ice rink is finally ready!

The bad news: Corey's leaving for Brazil tomorrow and will be out of town all next week. Other bad news: the weather forecast is going to be pretty warm next week, possibly getting up to 54 on Monday... Will the ice last until he gets back? We hope so, but in case it doesn't, Corey and the kids went out for a late game while they had the chance. I should have gone out to take some decent pictures. They were too busy playing and this was the only picture Corey returned with:
Pretty sure that's Joseph. They played for almost 2 hours, and the game ended after Ethan took a fall and got a bad bump on his head. I gave Ethan head massage after they got in, he was in heaven. "This is even better than a back rub!" He has now put scalp massages on his list of things he wants his future wife to do for him. I told him he should also start working on a list of things he will do for his future wife, cause it should go both ways. ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elasha's Salad

Up at the New Years' gathering with our friends, Elasha made a lovely salad that I loved. I preferred it to mine and I think I ate most of it, as it was hitting the slight case of pregnancy nausea I had. And I like to name recipes I love after the people that introduced them to me, such as my Sue Snyder salad, and Kelly Cloud's banana bread (made that today too). So here are the simple ingredients to this delicious salad recipe:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • red onion, diced small
  • mandarin oranges
  • Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette
  • Feta Cheese
  • Toasted (or candied) almonds

So good. I went to the store after we got home cause I needed more. We've had it several times since then, and today I mixed it up and used strawberries instead of the mandarin oranges. Corey didn't eat much of the main dish at dinner time cause he kept refilling his plate with several second helpings of the salad. Tasty stuff, Brianna's dressings and feta cheese are now on my regular shopping list. Mmm!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Big Brothers

Big brothers are the best.
Sophi has been way into the kid zone theses days and is lost in play. She has three games she goes between: Friend legos (with Disney princess characters), Polly Pocket dolls (Disney Character ones) and Little People toys in the Disney Princess variety. (I think I see a pattern here?) And she's been loving it when her brothers play with her. Ethan played Disney princesses with her, and of course brothers always do things that girls don't think of, like putting one of the magic-clip gowns on Prince Charming. Boys are so funny! Which is why they make girl games so fun.
Joseph played with Sophia too with the friend legos, he was going for like a half hour in a great falsetto. Super cute. Then he had to break the news that he had to go practice music. After he got his horn ready and was a minute into it, Sophi was upstairs beckoning for him to come back, yelling "JOE!!!" a hundred times in a very loud voice. Finally she came down stairs and was pulling on his legs to get his attention. We helped distract her by reading books and dancing. 

Hyrum's been playing "little people" with Sophi a lot too. He played with her all Monday and then today she was calling and looking for him when he was at school. I'll try to get a picture of their games, it's super cute, and I love the big kids taking time to play with their little sisters. Sophi's really been in the play with toys zone lately. Her and Lily are having their sibling squabbles that come with passionate imagine games, but mostly it's just been fun.
Big brothers are awesome. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Goofy Boys, Pretty Girls

We all enjoyed having a day off from the regular schedule and routine today. And what goes on around here when there is no school in session? Usually there is a lot of running around and goofing off. Ethan got the goofy-ness started today. He came down around lunchtime looking like this:
Not sure what inspired this get-up or what character he was trying to channel - Mel's shirt was tied around his head and looked a bit like an Arab headdress. And he was sporting a nice mustache too.
I had a hard time holding the camera still as I took a picture, I was lol-ing too hard
Yoga tree pose, nice touch.
Then he chased Hyrum around the main floor trying to karate chop him. In other news, Natalie's hair looked so pretty today, I just had to take a picture.
The kids make fun of her and say she has a mullet. No, that is not a mullet. Don't you worry Natalie, you look gorgeous.
It looked especially pretty from the back ~ isn't this lovely?
Closer shot - those are her natural curls. If I scrunch it up a little after a bath, she will soon reveal beautiful layers of lovely soft curls! Mel and I were ooh-ing and awe-ing over her hair all day. So pretty! :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ice Rink Science

Corey and the boys have been working hard on the ice rink this winter.
When most of us were sick over the break, Joseph served as Corey's slave and worked impressively hard out in the cold temperatures.
"That looks cold, Joseph." - Me
"It is" - Joseph
He was often wearing shorts, since he wears shorts around the house most of the time. And he ended up having to go out so often to move the hose or something that he started to get too lazy to put on snow pants every time... which made him especially proud of his body's ability to fight the flu the rest of us had - cause look at all the extra abuse he was imposing upon himself, and he STILL didn't have a cold!
So they've been working hard, but the weather hasn't totally been cooperating... It got really cold for a week or two, but other than that it's been pretty warm. And when it has been cold, it's snowed, which snowfall has messed up the top layer of ice.
See all those bumps? So sad.
So then they'd go put the hose on again to try and melt it a little and hope it would get cold enough that it would freeze over night.
 

Corey's been a little frustrated, but is learning more about all the little things that make or break a successful ice rink. And he is still hopeful that they'll be able to have a few evenings of night hockey. The ice rink has worked well for Ethan - he's doing something about ice and how far a hockey puck will go in different temperatures for his science fair project.
I don't know that much about what he and his friend are doing, cause I try to do my best to avoid helping with science projects.
And they want a Zamboni for next year. Sweet.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Scrapbook Memories

Tonight, as I took a quiet moment to myself, I was surprised that the quiet moment wasn't getting interrupted. Yes, the house is unusually quiet. Mel was gone at a friends house, Hyrum and Abi were sleeping, but as for the rest of them... hm. I went to find out why, and was happy that it wasn't because any little people were getting into trouble or making a mess somewhere. The 3 little girls were playing with toys in their bedroom, and in my bedroom I found all the boys.
Earlier today, when Lily, Abi, and Wesley got back from school, they showed their school class pictures to their elder siblings and told them about all their friends and as they showed them to the older kids, it made them want to go back and look at their old class pictures from oh so many years ago...
...which led to them up into my bedroom where they took several years of scrapbooks off the bedroom shelves and they spent over an hour at them and laughing at the memories. Love moments like these. :)
(and Natalie just can't resist climbing on an open back!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Too Much Chocolate Milk

Last night we were going to bed and everything seemed in order. Kids are all feeling better, I still have a cough that likes to attack me during the wee hours of the night, but other than that all was well and normal. Natalie sleeps in a crib in our room, and after we got in bed we heard her sound like she was gagging on something in the dark. Then she started breathing and then started to cry ~ and as we turned on the light we saw that she had thrown up. Never fun to throw up, and I'm sure it's especially traumatic for babies, who don't know what the symptoms are or how to prepare, and so the poor things just get it all over their hair and face and in their ears... ugh! Throwing up is bad enough when you stay clean and send all the vomit down the toilet. It was pretty gross - lots of chunks of ham and a ton of chocolate milk that she had really really liked at dinner time, so we just let her keep having it. We were laughing at how much she kept wanting it. Silly baby! Ah, now we've learned our lesson and next time we'll be more wise. So she had been asleep and didn't seem to like her dreaming interrupted to take a midnight bath. Luckily, for the bed, she had been sleeping on a blanket that caught most all of it, so we didn't need to change the sheets or bumper pads, just the pillow case, blanket, and her pjs. Corey helped her in the tub while I started a load of laundry.
Time for bed and Natalie didn't give any warning signs of the night ahead
She was all cleaned up, we put a new blanket on her bed, put her in clean pjs, and then I nursed her to sleep, thinking some mother's milk would be good for her tummy. She fell asleep, I transferred her to her crib, phew! Glad that wasn't too painful. 12:45, time for bed. Put her in her bed, and maybe 2 minutes later - she threw up again, sat up, stood up, and then puked again. Got the sheets that time, blanket again, pjs, and it went down the bumper pads and on to the carpet. OK! So, I guess she wasn't done! Looks like it's time for another bath and another load of laundry, yay! And again, Natalie was not happy. We washed her hair out again, she's like having this recurring nightmare, I bathed her while Corey untied the bumper pads, and there are no more pjs for her to wear. I think she's done... if she was't the first time she definitely is now, this has been a lot of throw up. BUT, just in case... I look around for another blanket... She didn't want to go in the crib, I didn't nurse her again, she just wanted to be held. But I wasn't going to bring her in our bed, so down to the couch I go with a baby in a diaper and a big soft blanket in between us. She sprawled out over me and went to sleep. And I don't know what time it was, but it didn't take long until she'd puked the third time. Ham and chocolate milk again. She had a lot of room in that little stomach. Luckily the blanket caught it all with the help of my quick "slumbering to alert in seconds" reflexes that held up the blanket as a wall/shield to protect the floor, couch, and myself. We went up for our third bath of the night. She didn't get too messy this time though, so mostly just a quick wipe off of her face and hands and neck. and I rinsed off the blanket and put it with the sheets and bumper pads from throw up mess #2 that were waiting their turn.

SO! That was my night! Oh, and after all the throwing up I stayed up several hours coughing. Natalie is all fine and dandy this morning, but I need a nap. And thus is life with kids in the cold winter months.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Surviving Hitler

I'm still sick with a cough. Energy is okay, but I'm sick of being sick and am really sick of this cough. Morning sickness is better than average and I'm hopeful it will go away entirely soon. So, I spent a lot of today reading. My mom got us this book for Christmas. Corey read it over New Years Eve when he was on his sick bed. I am almost done with it too, I started on Sunday when I stayed home from church with little sick girls.
Gives me some perspective, if he can deal with war and she could deal with starvation and slave labor in a Auschwitz, seems like I should be able to be grateful in my circumstances, right? Yes. So, here is an interview with the author that was done in October, and great reviews on Amazon. I've loved the book, and I love Gustav and Agnes and their opposite but similar stories of survival and going forward with life, the bad and the good, trusting in a higher power. They show such faith, I'm adding them to my heroes list. I want to be like them. Highly recommend this book!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Patriarchal Blessing

Last night we had an experience that I have been looking forward to for a long time. Joseph received his patriarchal blessing. (Read here about what a patriarchal blessing is.) It was awesome. We've talked for a few years about what a patriarchal blessing is but, despite me being excited, we couldn't just take them to get it cause we want to - we have to wait until they want it and seek it. So last month, the bishop of our ward took aside each of the youth during class and encouraged them to prepare to receive their blessings. After that, with my full and eager support, he set up an appointment with the bishop around new years and got his recommend and then set it up a time with the stake patriarch for the 11th after his birthday.

So a patriarchal blessing is a personal thing, and this one isn't even my personal - it's Joseph's, so I especially can't go blabbing about it. But I will say, after the blessing was given by our Stake Patriarch, the first thing he said to Joseph was "Wow, He really likes you!" I am so excited for Joseph, for him to learn more about the awesome valiant spirit that he is, and I'm excited for the future! Joseph is going to do great things, there is no reason to fear the future or the "end of the world" if we have faith in Jesus Christ and his goodness. :)
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