Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Computer Issues

Both of our home computers have been in the shop (Corey is our PC doctor). One of them is back today, so I'm glad I can go back in time (via the schedule thing on the blog) and pretend that I haven't been MIA blogging since Friday. It's weird to have so much time when I can't waste time or be productive online! Life has continued to happen with all the regular stuff plus some of the extra holiday stuff and a few unwelcome cold weather stuff.

Regular Stuff - school, dinner, and a messy house (cause we live here.) Natalie likes to unload the dishwasher. She does great putting the silverware in the drawer. The cups however... she likes to empty the clean cups into the garbage can. Then I find them when I'm emptying the trash and put them back in the sink with the dirty dishes. She is what's called a make work helper. Last night I caught this rare moment -
Joseph and Ethan were cracking up as they read Wesley's library book of Calvin and Hobbes. Ethan was laughing so hard, I wanted to go see what they were laughing about, but I didn't cause that might mess up the flow of the bonding that was going on. It was cute to listen to, grateful for those moments.

Extra Stuff - Corey got back safely from his trip to Campinas Brazil. We went and got things notarized and such for our Brazil Visas yesterday... we'll see if this happens. I'm a bit reluctant about the whole idea, since I know and slightly dread what the process would involve, but also know that I'm always happy that we go after the fact. (Kinda like being pregnant.) We went to see the lights at Temple Square on Sunday night. On Monday Joseph, Ethan, and Hyrum had a performace with their Caleb Chapman sound house bands. The boys did great I hear. I was home with kids. Corey and his parents went and my dad went too. He called me to say it was awesome. He also made a funny comment to Corey that the kids laughed about too: "If I'd have known that it would be this good, I would have looked forward to it!" Yes, I think I've got some of my dad in me and I'm a parent who, when I do attend concerts and programs, do it out of sheer duty, not for fun and rarely cause I'm actually looking forward to it. But now my dad is really excited to go see their Peaks Jazz festival in the spring cause now he knows how much they rock it. :) I haven't been to any of their concerts, I usually just catch up by watching the videos. I should probably go this year too.
More Holiday Stuff - Then another school winter concert on Tuesday, neither Corey or I went to that one but Melodie's young women leaders at church went, I thought that was super sweet of them.
Unwelcome Stuff - We've all been feeling a bit ill. Stomach flu I think. We've been puke free though until the wee hours of Tuesday morning when Abi woke me up at 2 am to tell me she threw up. She threw up a ton, but I was very grateful it was all on blankets and sheets and pillows. I gathered it up, trying not to puke myself, and went to rinse it all down the garbage disposal. There was so much, I swear it was all the food she'd eaten the whole day. At dinner time when she said she didn't feel good, I should have stopped her and not let her shove any more down (but it was Orange Chicken night, and they hate to miss that). Nasty. But again, so glad that none of it got on the carpet, hooray! Then up to put it all in the laundry machine and back to bed. I let her sleep in and was going to keep her home, but when she woke up she felt fine and was perky and knew my regular chill afternoon with little girls would be taken up a notch by her, so I let her go to school.

So that's what's going on here. Hoping to plan and finish Christmas shopping this weekend.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Breakfast

On Saturday, I was holding on for dear life as my week without Corey neared an end. We went to a Christmas Breakfast at our ward. It was fun. Breakfast included a delicious egg casarole, scones, fruit, milk and oj. Natalie likes to drink her milk using two forks. Not very efficient, but it kept her entertained for a quite a while, so it works for me.
Santa came for a visit near the end of the program. Lily went up eagerly, one of the first kids to sit on his lap.
Abi wanted to take Natalie. Abi held her the whole time while they waited cause Natalie didn't want to be put down. When it was time to visit Santa, she didn't want to be put near him either and was clinging for dear life. 
But she didn't yell or scream so that was good. The candy cane caught her attention. It was cute. 
And Sophi wouldn't even go near him or the stage he was on. And she said "NO SANTA". Joseph and Ethan kept trying to reassure her and tried bribing her by offering to be her bodyguards, but she was not having any of it. "I not Santa."
Later at home, there was a little Christmas bag kicking around and Sophi picked it up. She used it for her game, and then realized it had picture of a realistic looking Santa on it. Then she said to herself as she looked at it and while pointing to St. Nick (I was in earshot and loved it) "Fofi not want Santa. (pause) ...Ever!" We all think it's pretty cute.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Temple Square

Last night we went and saw the lights at Temple Square.
Natalie didn't want to be in the stroller, so Joseph saved the day and carried her around the whole time. Sophi was more than happy to fill the roll of stroller sitter. She was super excited about the temple. "Where's the temple Sophi?" "RIGHT DERE!!"

So Joseph carried Natalie, Corey pushed Sophi, and I played sheepdog and kept circling the sheep and counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9.... 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9... over and over again with a occasional photo now and then.
Pleased to report we didn't lose anyone.
We went inside the tabernacle for just a minute to warm up. I was able to share a quick story from the day I came home from my mission ~ December 2nd 1998. After I was released, Corey came and picked me up and we went to temple square to deliver a package to a missionary serving there that her family in Arizona gave me to deliver. Then Corey and I wandered around temple square and into the tabernacle where we were pleased to see a Christmas concert being rehearsed. So we sat and watched that for a bit and then everyone stood up and we did too and noticed President Hinckley had just walked in on the stage. He briefly said something to the choir and then as he said goodbye and was walking away, the conductor talked to him and was asking him something for a moment to Pres Hinckley, who then threw up his hands as if to say "I give up, fine!" and he walked to the conductor spot, tapped the music stand with a baton, and then said "One, two, three, go!" and the choir sang the hallelujah chorus. It was really fun! I thought it was a great way to end my mission and begin my life as a returned missionary. So, that was a fun story I shared with the kids while we were in the tabernacle.
The kids had a request to go see the Christus statue and also to go see the model of the temple. We didn't see the Christus this time, there was a super long line, and if we stand still the kids scatter, so it's just not safe, we had to keep moving. We walked to the south visitor's center to see the temple model.
The model of the temple is so neat. I was able to show the kids where Corey and I went when we got married. The beautiful celestial room:
And then we wandered around some more. Natalie wanted me to hold her, and I didn't see it, but Joseph said that anytime she was near to me she reached for me and tried to grab me. When we did catch each other's eyes, of course she twisted my heart with those sweet pleading eyes. Such a pretty baby girl!
Zoom in on this one below, and just look at her sweet little face there, gets me everytime.
Ethan was in charge of making a video memory for us all.
And then we felt we'd done enough to make a memory and check it off, so we headed back to the warm parking garage and into the cars. Did you have fun Natalie?
What a good big brother, thanks Joseph! Fun making family memories.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy 14th Mel

Happy Birthday Mel!
Make a wish
I didn't know what to get her really, but she said chocolate was on her list, so I got her a thing of chocolates from Costco and the thing of Jelly Bellys from there too. 
She'll be happy for a long time, cause she's got control of her sweet tooth.
She also mentioned that she likes to give presents to other people more than be the one receiving. Wow Mel, you are a pretty incredible kid with feelings like that! I told her what a good gift the candies were, cause she can give them to others just like she likes to. :) She could probably milk a lot of favors out of her brothers. Although I hope they don't harass her too much.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mel's Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is Melodie's birthday. It's also 14 years from the day that Al Gore conceded the Presidency to Bush, just in case you didn't know that history tid-bit. I remember watching his concession from the hospital. Actually it was on the 13th. You know you're getting old when you're able to say things like that.... So anyway, I'm printing pictures to put up on the wall around the kitchen table. I don't have anything digital until 2006, so I've been going through the old scrapooks, from my former life when I actually did scrapbook, and have been taking pictures of them to print. Here is her original birthday. She and Joseph are Irish twins, meaning they were born the same year: Joseph in January, Melodie in December. When I checked in to the hospital before her birth, they were asking me all their questions, and asked "Any other children?" Yes. "What year were they born?" 2000. "...2000? (brief pause) This year?" Yeah, in January. "Wow! We've never had that before!" So I was glad we were able to add something new and exciting to their routine deliveries that day.
As I was going through the scrapbooks, I decided to take pictures of the birth day and birthdays of Joseph, Ethan, Hyrum, and Wesley too, to save me time when their b-days start coming around. Joseph is next month. He's turned out pretty good given how much he startled me as a newborn. Poor little thing...
Well, I wasn't startled, but "I was a little bit ...concerned..." (- said like the kid on Princess Bride). It wasn't at all like I expected, being my first child and all. I didn't know they come out looking so hammered. He was our little old troll man. After a month or two post delivery, when I saw that Joseph was turning out to be a real cutie, I learned that how they look on labor day doesn't mean they're branded for life. It was just a rough day for little Joe, and it's okay to have bad days.  The other kids look better in their newborn hospital photos (no offense Joe).  Cute kids
Ethan
Hyrum
Wesley
Joseph, Melodie, and Ethan had a Christmas Concert at school last night. Corey's parents helped out again a ton this week with Corey gone, and they picked Joseph and Ethan up from school yesterday, took them to their band practice in American Fork, then took them back to school for their concert.
Are these my three babies? Crazy to notice the years of the past have flown by, which might mean that the years of the present have a good chance of flying by too. But it's fun to see them all growing up to be such great young men and young ladies. Love these kids.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Potty Training Week

When Corey leaves the country on business, I usually have some project or thing I want to get done - like my first DIY or just trying to get things clean and organized. This trip Corey had a request, he asked if I would potty train Sophi. Sigh - begin positive self talk - You can do this Tiff!! Are you ready for this, Soph? Your father is imposing progress upon you.
It's been on his wish list for her since January - his goal/resolution for her for the new year was "Independence". Well, since it appears that we're in December now, I guess it's my last month to deliver on that goal for him. She turned 3 in September, so she's old enough, and I talked with a few other mom's at church on Sunday who have kids her age, and some of them are trained, so I conceded to bite the bullet and make this my focus this week. And my little Sophi has done great. 5 accidents Monday and no success, but none of the messes were on the carpet, so I was happy. And she put on underwear without a fuss. Tuesday - She started off with a successful first morning pee, then apparently didn't want to not be able to relax for a whole 'nother day, and she held a diaper and cried for me to put it on for about 10 minutes. "Diiiiapppper!!!" Still, she had 3 out of 5 successes, a good improvement! Unfortunately both accidents were on the carpet that I just got washed two weeks ago, oh well. It was going to happen eventually. Today it's 3:18 and she's 1 for 1. Might sound impressive, but she's barely been awake for 4 hours - she slept in till past 11:00. (Her older siblings keep her and all of us up way too late...)

...then later today ~ yay! I made her sit on the potty a few times with nothing to show for it, then around 4:45 she came and got me and told me she needed to go, and she did sit and she did go! Sophi! I think you've about got it down, good job little girl! We cheer for her and tell her good job and she sweetly and shyly says "Tank you~". She has the cutest little voice. Good job Sophi, thanks for making this easy on me! I think she's got #1 mastered, #2 hopefully will soon follow suit.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Warm December

My pretty Natalie enjoying the spring-like December weather with some trampoline time. Natalie, you are such a cutie! I think this one is going to make it in her ABC book for sure, she just looks too cute.
Of course I need to do Sophi's ABC book before I can do yours. But I'll get there, I promise. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ice Rink - Take Two

Corey is in Brazil again. This time it's just for a week. He left yesterday and will be back on Saturday. Before he left, he had to get something taken care of in the neighbors yard... he had to start something similar to something he did last year ~ remember this? Yes, he's at it again. He spent around 7 hours pushing dirt.
Corey admitted that he really doesn't know what he's doing, but after 6 hours he thinks he got the hang of it and it went well and "felt" productive the last hour. Of course then it was too dark to do or see anything, so he just had to call it good. Again, not that he really knows what he's doing. But it looks like he's doing something. We'll have to wait for when the water goes on to see if it's actually level. He enjoyed playing on the mini skidster and even let Joseph take it for a whirl.
Everyone needs a partner in crime. 
Corey's dad came over and helped too - they were sawing boards and staple gunning things. The plan for this years rink is better with boards instead of pvc pipes. Corey's sure it will turn out better this second time around. They've still got some work to do, and hope that they can get it done before snow and freezing temperatures come. ...Fingers crossed that the cold weather will actually come? Utah weather is known for being inconsistent... This has been a very warm December so far. Last year when Corey started the rink, it was at about the same time, only the temperature was in the single digits and the ground was frozen. They were out there drilling holes in the dirt for the pvc pipes to fit into. Yes, it should go better this year. Last year was a rough draft. And the warm weather made the "make the dirt flat" part easier this time around. Last year he was done by January, so that's the goal again.  Have fun playing in the sandbox, boys!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Leading the Way

We took Lily out to the bus stop today. Natalie didn't want to wait at the stop, so she started to head out somewhere, I don't know where. I don't think she knew either, but she was very confident as she ventured out into the great unknown with her little baby steps. Luckily she was walking in the direction that the bus would come from, so the bus driver would have to drive past us and she wouldn't miss it, so that's not a problem, so we followed Natalie.

After the bus came, Natalie continued to wander here and there and everywhere. Everytime I tried to direct her in the way I wanted to go, she shook her head and brushed her little hand at me, waving for me to get out of her way. So we did that for like 20 minutes, then I'd almost had enough, so I picked her up and put her on the sidewalk across the street and pointed her toward home. Luckily it threw off her scent a little bit and she actually started walking toward home, hooray!

Then we stopped at the sewer drain and stood there for a minute, and that was fun...
then the other metal disc thingy in the middle of the street, that one was so interesting with all it's little dots!!!
And then up and down a few more driveways.
Natalie, you are an adorable little person. It was fun, and I kept wondering what was going on in her little head.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Bear Lake Baby

Last week on Friday, before we drove back to Salt Lake, we drove around to the east shore of Bear Lake, just taking in all it's beauty. It really is such a beautiful lake - it was so turquoise and pretty. Before turning around to head home, we found a place to park and let the kids go explore near the water. It was too windy for Sophia and Lily, they stayed in the car with Corey most of the time. I went out with Natalie. I woke her up from her car nap to come see the lake.
She was probably still a little sleepy, which might have helped her in looking and acting as perfectly sweet as ever.

And I know I have other children, but I was just so busy enjoying Natalie that unfortunately I didn't document them and their discoveries.
Sigh, Natalie, can you get any more beautiful?
I enjoyed just watching her watch the little waves lap against the rocks.
I'm in heaven.
Those cheeks! Those eye lashes! Those little lips - just perfect.
I could look at her all day. But that gets a little tricky with moral life. Maybe... someday... probably in the next life. Ok, I guess it's time to head back home to reality.
Then Ethan came and asked to borrow my camera. He said there was an awesome rock that he just had to get a picture of. 
Then he took lots of other pictures of rocks. What a weirdo, don't know where he gets that from!
Luckily he also snapped these two of his siblings.
Again, it is just a beautiful lake and area. It was a calm and quiet and simple Thanksgiving holiday that we all enjoyed very much. So nice to have a break from school and band and all the hustle and bustle of each day. :)
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