Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wesley is 11!

Happy Birthday Wesley!
Let's see... we've already had his party, but I guess there is a little more celebrating to do. Well, first let's do Lily. Wes got a cake on her birthday, seems like she should get one on his... so we sang for Lily and had her blow out a candle on the cake my mom brought over last night. Who wants chocolate cake for breakfast? Yay!
Next, Wes opened a few presents. First from Corey and me, and then my mom came by with gifts at 11, followed by Corey's parents around 1.
Wes was happy to get lots of Legos (cause for some reason our kids just don't think we have enough or something?) and then we had more chocolate cake...
(can't have too much chocolate cake either?) My mom brought by this one too. It was of a patriotic theme, but we had to cover it to keep the ash from falling in the frosting, and so the sparks wouldn't melt it. So after another round of cake Corey took the kids swimming. It's been another good day for the kids I hope, and now we get a brief birthday break until Natalie in two weeks. It's just party party all the time around here!

Friday, June 24, 2016

First Steps

Today Owen was hanging around in the front room, just chillin' and holding onto the couches, while Joseph practiced his saxophone. After the music stopped, we heard Joseph talking like a goof and cheering for Owen. Naturally we were all interested in what was causing such excitement. Lily and her sisters were even pulled away from all of Lily's birthday loot. Soon we had all congregated to see and then to join in as members of the adoring crowd. Good job Owen! You're WALKING!!

It was cute to hear his little sisters cheer and squeal. Owen had a little hard time focusing with me there recording, but you get the idea. He did the best if he could walk toward Melodie, cause she is his other mother. The other kids just had to try their luck getting Owen to come to them - Owen was like the guinea pig in guinea pig lotto (see #12) ~ who to walk to... how to choose?!?
It's just too much to take in! So that is Owen's new trick and we had him perform for us again tonight for scriptures. Pretty good buddy!
Owen kinda skipped the crawling stage. He did the "man dying of thirst in the desert" body drag for two months and has only been really crawling on his hands and knees for two weeks. He's breaking all the baby rules. But we're pretty proud of him. Joseph walked at 11 months (right before Mel was born) so Owen is the 2nd fastest walker, pretty good for a kid we didn't think would ever get crawling down!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Party Time!

Lily is 7 years old today! Let's take a look at this cute little birthday girl~ (I remembered to do a birthday photo!)
Say "cheese"!
Last year Lily celebrated her birthday in Brazil, shortly before we were to return home. I told her then that we'd try to do a party after we got back, and I had full intentions of coming through, but then we had a baby and it never happened. The same good intentions and fail happened with Wesley (who's birthday is on Saturday). So, I really had to do a party this year. A week ago we planned it all out, and we decided to do them on the same day. Yes, it will be a little crazy, but I was trying to accommodate the birthday boy: Wesley had some friends who were going to be out of town on Friday that he wanted to invite. That's okay, Lily was fine to share her birthday, and so I spent Monday through Wednesday gearing myself up. It had the potential to exhaust me, but luckily I listened to a talk about Enduring on Monday (great talk, totally hit the spot) and I've resolved to "be the rock the river cannot wash away" -  SO - let's do this!! So first things first: I woke up and got myself in a good calm zone with a morning walk. After I got back I woke up the kids, I let Lily open her presents from Corey and me~
Then she disappeared into her room to play and was no help to me getting ready, but it's her birthday and she can do what she wants to, right? So the other kids helped make cupcakes and put up balloons. Lily's party was going to be from 1 until 3. Then an hour break to recoop before Wesley's party from 4 to 7. Natalie ate her breakfast as she played with one of Lily's new ponies. And I just thought she looked so cute, just like an adorable 2 year old, but almost three! Just a month until her birthday!
Doesn't she look like she's ready for a party? Those are her "rainbow pants" and cute little tutu - She is just a precious little girl. So, Lily decided on a "Animal Party" and wanted to paint faces, so that was the main activity for her fiesta. When the first guest came, I started doing the faces. Of course Natalie was first, cause she's queen. It's so fun how kids sit so still and serious for face painting...
Then I did two of Lily's friends, and Mel asked to help. Her work put me to shame. I was way impressed with her puppy.
After I did five faces, I passed all face painting responsibility over to Mel because 1) I needed to manage the fun/chaos... you know, stuff like serving up ice cream and cleaning cake up off the floor and because 2) she is just way better than me. Just check out her cheetah!
Lily and her friend Ashley played tag with the zebra being chased by the cheetah round and round the house. Behind them is a little "Tape the Tail on the Zebra" poster that Mel made that morning for Lily's b-day version of pin the tail on the donkey.
I told the other kids to each plan a game for the birthday party. Hyrum did pomp - changing it to "crocodile in the middle" and Abi did hot potato with a zebra stuffed animal, and "zebra zebra Lion" aka duck duck goose. Her friends posed for a picture for me before the party was over. Cute kids.
I think Lily and her friends all had a good time. After everyone left, Abi and Sophi could finally have a turn getting their faces done. Mel and Abi figured out that it was easier on both of them if Abi just lied down as she got painted.
Then Sophi's and Natalie turn. 
Sophi just had some butterfly-ish decorations on.
Natalie wanted to get done again. She did not hold still very well this second time.
We decided to make her Super Natalie with a super hero mask. Kinda funny. She rubbed it off a bit while it was still wet.
The Super Hero thinks she needs some cake!
Not yet Natalie... you're not turning 11, plus there is one more party to host, and then we'll cut up that cake for you. For Wesley's party, he had chosen to have a water fight. As his friends began to arrive, they worked together in the back yard and filled up water balloons and put them in buckets. After everyone was here the official fight began. Wes asked Corey if he could join them (Corey was able to come home early and got here right before 4). The first part of the waterfight was relatively tame and controlled.

It was good the first hour. Hour two got a little intense. The hose got sprayed in the house a few times (by Ethan getting Corey first then another time getting Hyrum.) Joseph joined in, giving the young kids another person to gang up on. The fight went from just the back yard into the front yard too - they needed another hose.
Our front railing that you can see in that picture above is very weathered and is kinda falling apart. It looked really bad near the end of the fight. Ethan said it was from Joseph climbing on it. There were many posts knocked out. I'm afraid the whole thing is just gonna fall over, so that's when I called the fight and told everyone to go in the back yard for pizza. After pizza, time to sing happy birthday. Happy Birthday to you ..."in two more days!" (Wesley sang that after each line, he insisted on being correct on the actual date of his birth).
Make a wish, Wes!
After that, he opened gifts on the trampoline and they admired his toys and gifts until one by one they were picked up by their nice parents.
So, that was our party day. I hope everyone had a good time. Anything else we still need to do today? Yes, I'm going to go to bed early. :) Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Evening at the Park

We all went to the park last night. (well, except Joseph, he was hanging with friends).
The kids were excited to play tag with Corey. He always makes it fun for them, and he enjoys it too cause he knows he's still the fastest and can beat them :)
Owen was my little leg hugger, as always. He held on to my legs with one hand and onto a little wood chip with the other. He had a pretty good time when I sat him down in the whole pile of wood chips.
Natalie went round and round up the ladder, down the slide, repeat for 90 minutes. She is so cute. Here's a little family video of a few minutes at the park -

And a cherry on top of the evening came with a beautiful sunset!  It was a perfectly lovely summer evening.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Free Wii

We've started a new experiment to help the kids get up and start their day... Also something that will help them not ask me during the day if they can play the Wii. The rule is this - Open Wii time goes from 7 am to 8 am. And that is the only time you guys can play Wii. Hyrum and Wes got up Monday morning for our first trial run. We told them they were disqualified from participating if they woke up to play for an hour and then went back to bed at 8. So they did good at staying awake. They were a little tired during the day, and they both did have a brief 20 min power nap. But over all the experiment went well for them. And, and this is the main key - They were ready for bed at 10pm! Yes! So it worked well. Abi and Lily were just sad that Hyrum and Wes didn't wake them up to participate. Today all four of them were up and Wii-ing at 7. 
We don't have a big variety of games. Mostly they just play Mario Kart. I like that that is a fun quick game they can all play together. 
Lily was a little frustrated "driving" her kart. I told her I get frustrated too. (...which is why I just don't play the Wii.)
I am impressed with their skill. I just don't care enough to try and gain such skill myself. The amount of frustration I feel each time I'd fall off the track (Rainbow Road) just makes it a not enjoyable experience at all. I'm glad Corey and the kids all like it. And I am impressed with their skill. I'd just rather go on a walk or read rather than try to improve upon my lack of skills. Happy to let them play though, we'll see if this Open Wii policy works to our overall benefit or not. I'm glad it gives them a reason to wake up in the mornings.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day BBQ

On Sunday after church, Corey treated us all to a Father's Day Rodizio. Everyone was excited, the kids all love Corey's steak! 
It was fun to visit and play with cousins. Joseph practiced being a father by letting himself be smothered and attacked by lots of little kids.
Wesley practiced being a dad by playing with Owen, including the expert level of letting kids bite his fingers. Next level is letting them bite you without showing any expressions of pain or discomfort. ;)
After grilling up his Brazilian BBQ for us, he continued his Father's day in true Fatherly fashion as he entertained the kids - playing pomp, making obstacles and letting the kids get hurt trying to conquer them... just another day of fatherhood. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Unicorn

Last Friday I was cleaning up papers in the art area downstairs and found this book. I believe it was made by Sophi and Lily. Lily did most of it I'm sure. Here is the title page: The YENCRN
Page one in the book is, I believe, Sophi's contribution. Though I'm not sure what it says...
Page two: Once upon utime ther was a younuckrn named Sophia. She was lrning the ABCs.
Page 3: But she got it wrong. She didn't learn it until she was married.
And that's as far as they got. Love it. :) So I thought that was cute. The older kids are at a music camp this week, they will be back tomorrow. Tonight Joseph and Ethan had a concert. But like Mel's concert, I was not in attendance and thus do not have any photos to share, but they did great, the barry sax is really big on Ethan, and they made their dad proud. Will try to update with photos later.

As for us here at home, since our date night was postponed, I had Hyrum and Wes mow the lawn and we did yard work - getting a jump start on our weekend chores feels good!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Honors Concert

They had an Honor's concert down at BYU today for the music camp. Each of the kids auditioned on their instruments to play in the concert, and out of 10 flutists, Melodie was chosen to play! She made her dad proud. He went down to see her, I stayed home with the rest of the crew. Will update with pictures once Corey sends them along. Good job Mel. I haven't seen or talked to them all week, but Corey's been keeping in touch with all of them daily and is enjoying experiencing camp by proxy through them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Surprise Party

One of Abi's "goals" for summer was to plan a surprise party. She's planned to do the "surprise" for Corey and has been talking about it for weeks, which kinda throws off the "surprise" part of it in my opinion, but that's okay. Luckily my idea of what a surprise party consists of is not the same as what she was trying to do. It was a lot more low-key, which I appreciated. They put a table outside and put the cake and ice cream on it and then I texted as we were on the street so they could hide. Corey came in the house and Abi was waiting at the door to put a gold medal around his neck, then the rest of them jumped out from behind the couch to say "SURPRISE!"
Corey told them they are his best friends, no one has ever thrown him a surprise party before! We went into the back yard for him to open his presents. They all re-gifted him one or two of their random possessions, as you can see below. 
Abi had a few dollars to I took her to Dollar tree where she got him some candy and a thing of water balloons. Other presents were: a sea shell and a fish (that Kiran gave us) from Lily, two BYU magnets (a craft from last year at Park City) from Wes, and a little world marble from Hyrum. Sophi, seeing all the gifts, said "I got a present for you!" and ran upstairs to get her racoon Beanie Baby... "Here!" "Thank you!!!" Then they all ate cake and ice cream on the trampoline, which I'm sure was a highlight. They all light up anytime Corey gets on the trampoline.
Owen and I chilled on the grass. 
Next, Abi announced it was time for an activity: water fight. Corey was the only one with ammunition (the water balloons Abi gave him), but the kids still held their own. Well, for beginner water fighters atleast. Corey took some advantage of their lack of experience. Such as when Wes went after Corey with a water gun when Corey had the hose.
 Don't forget rule #1: THE HOSE WINS
Wes and Abi got soaked!
Rule #2: don't fill up buckets all the way.
Lily complained that it was unfair that Corey had two buckets. "Here Lil, you can have one. Let me help, we'll give you lots of water!!" "Yeah!" she cheered as Corey left to get Abi again. She hid under the trampoline. Then Corey dumped it on the trampoline, she was surprised as it all fell over down on top of her. A few minutes later... Lily called for help: "It's too heavy!" Corey took half and went out again to soak his opponents. Another tip that Abi didn't know: she came up to Corey with her stockpile of waterballoons tucked inside her swimsuit. She didn't see it coming when Corey came up and slapped the balloons while they were inside. Next time she'll remember that she runs the risk of that happening. Corey had a few air filled decoy balloons which also made the game fun. Corey's a pro water balloon fighter. He also always says that is one of the funnest things about being a dad: You're the tallest, the fastest, the strongest, and the most clever kid in the fight - Dads always win!
The fight ended with a good counter attack by Abi and Wes combined. Lily and Natalie got in the middle of it. They were a little shocked to find themselves soaked...
...and then smiled! 
Owen got a few sprays too, which I thought he took well for a zero year old. It was fun, an evening and a surprise birthday party that I'm sure the kids will remember.
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