Monday, June 30, 2014

The Fourth is Coming!!

First some randomness thanks to Abby and Megan.

Just a few.  I did not subject  you to the 50 pictures they took of books, the floor, My Little Ponies, etc.

I know I've blogged about this before because we do it pretty much every year but on Saturday we went to the Oak Point Freedom Fest.  It is the epitome of small town celebrations and we love it.  Chopper hates crowds so it works well and the kids can enjoy playing at the park and doing their activities and the parade without having to fight to see or get a space.  It's really nice.

This year I decided to go all Pinterest on the kids and do some cute shirts.  William's was stencils and bleach and it bled under the stencil so it's not crisp and clean and looks kind've funny but oh well.  Abby's turned out really cute!  Rick-rack and buttons.  Megan threw a fit about doing her own shirt and, perfectionist that I am, I very VERY reluctantly turned it over to her with the fabric markers.  And she did a great job.  Then the kids actually held still and let me take pictures.  And they are together!  And happy!  I might have to frame these for all time. 

Not the neck!  Not the neck!  Poor Abby really does have cell memory from Grandpa . . .  And William and Megan have it from me!

At the parade.

Ready for the candy!!

William looks very concerned.  He was a fantastic little flag waver but was very serious about it.  I have a short video of it too.

This is the beginning of the parade . . . and the end.

Playing on the swings after!

Fun times!
The video isn't as good of quality straight to blogger.  I'll have to go through YouTube next time.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

More Happiness

Ok let's see how many I can get in before the kids get too crazy!!

Backup to Happy Day #7 -- I'm ready for this kid to talk.  Major tantrum when I gave him water only to stop when I dumped out his cup and refilled it with milk.  Milk is William's 100happydays every day. (Maybe throwing a tantrum isn't a happy thing.  Ok that's not a maybe.  But having a few things to calm him down -- that does make me happy!)

Day #10 - Video of the queen!  I guess I need to see if I can get that on here from my phone.  Abby has a fantastic "queen" voice and bow and she was really going at it one day outside when they were playing in the pool.  Hopefully I can get it on my blog later.

Day #11 -- The bounce house is here!!  Starting off Chopper's birthday weekend right! (Yeah, this made us all very very happy!)

Day #12 -- He's a terror during the first hour of church but apparently decided to give his nursery leaders a break.  100happydays for them, but also for me because now he's happy at home!  (It's tough having church 1 pm to 4 pm but we survive.)

Day #13 -- I just love this boy and his cuddles.  (William is a REALLY good cuddler.  Abby too but especially after losing Aaron, I cherish these little boy cuddles.  They're the closest thing to baby cuddles I've got and he does it well!!)

Day #14 -- Sometimes chocolate and a book is the best part of the day.  (So funny thing about this post, I don't remember now why the day was so bad.  I have plenty of bad days but it's amazing how quickly we forget those days and moments that we turn into screaming, witchy, women because of the little things that happen or don't happen around the house.  I'm glad I don't remember and glad that I have a way to decompress afterwards!!  Also, when I posted this on Facebook it set off a funny firestorm of what constitutes good chocolate.  Let it be known that I prefer dark chocolate, See's candy, or chocolate with stuff in it (nuts, fruits -- yum Cadbury -- citrus, mint, -- wow I could go on and on), but this was what I had on hand.  And it worked.)

Day #15 -- Because how could this face not make you happy? (These are 3D glasses with the lenses removed that Megan's friend gave her.  And they are hilarious on her -- way to big for her face!)

Day #16 -- Lunch with Megan.  And that face.  (Megan loved when we surprised her for lunch at school.  Sadly, with everything going on, I only did it a handful of times.  Here's to being a better surprise lunch mommy next year!!)

Day #17 -- Abby's words were "come see mommy!  You will be amazed!"  She cleaned her room all by herself!  (Abby's vocabulary cracks me up.  She uses fantastic words and they always take people by surprise because they think she's younger than she is and she's such a talker, very unexpected I guess.  We went to see the dollar summer movie at the theater and she screamed out when the 20th Century Fox logo came on the screen -- "mommy that's ginormous!!"  She frequently makes me laugh with the drama of her speech.)

Day #18 -- Successfully (I think) altered a favorite maternity top to a hide-the-fluffy-middle top.  Now I have something to wear to church tomorrow!!  (I got a lot of compliments on my top at church but now that I've dyed my hair red Chopper says I can't wear it.  It clashes too badly.  Oh well!)

Day #19 -- Sunday mornings can be rough but today they're playing really well together.  In fact, at one point Megan said to Abby, "pretend that we're twin sisters and we like each other!"  At least they can pretend that!  (Side note -- I love these felt dress up dolls and we're going to make a beginner's sewing project out of them this summer and create some more clothes and scenery!  The girls are excited.)

Day #20 -- William's hernia appointment was a success -- no issues!  His favorite parts were running the halls and the Thomas stickers.  (This was a relief as well.  They thought he had a hernia when I was pregnant and the last thing I needed was another child going into surgery.  But the doctor wanted to wait and see and now he believes the opening has closed up.  Hooray!!)

Day #21 -- Summer reading goal!!  Although I need to add a few to this stack still. (Yeah so my update on that is that I've added books to this stack and have only taken one away.  That doesn't mean I'm not reading.  It means I'm finding more books to read . . . ) 

 Day #22 -- Last day of school, pizza party at the park with friends, then the workers turned the sprinklers on just for the kids!!
Whew!  That's a good start -- almost a quarter of the way through!  Well, technically I'm somewhere in the late 30s or 40s but it's good to catch up a little bit.  Today our lesson in primary was about Moses and the fiery flying serpents.  We talked in class about the complaining of the Israelites and about remembering the blessings that we've been given.  I feel like I need to focus more on that myself and as I look back over the things that make me happy every day I realize that they are small things in my everyday life having to do with my family, my talents and hobbies, and my friends (ok so I haven't posted many events with friends but I've got plenty of them -- events and friends -- plus their support in all of this!)  I still grieve and I know that I will for a long time, probably until I hold him in my arms again.  But I am not desolate.  The Lord never leaves us with nothing and I need to remember that more.  In my scripture reading I came across Psalm 4:1 -- "Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou has enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer."  I've been pondering on what that means -- to be enlarged in my distress.  I'm still working on it but I know that it partly means gaining the knowledge and wisdom from the experience that causes the distress but also I think if we turn to the Lord in our distress then our understanding and our peace and our joy can be "enlarged" because we gain a stronger testimony of the Plan of Salvation and our role in that and the Lord's love for us.  Just some thoughts.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Days

A few weeks back a friend of mine invited me (and several others -- all of her Facebook actually) to participate in a 100 happy days challenge.  (Did I already blog about this?  I don't think so.)  I decided to participate because quite frankly I could use a good dose of happy in my life right now.  That's not to say that I'm not happy, just that I've been having a really hard time lately.  We had 2 babies born in the ward to friends of mine yesterday and today and unfortunately for me it's like a moth to flame -- I'm drawn to it but I just can't handle it right now.  Which reminds me too that at the pool today William was throwing in pool toys and Megan was "swimming" to get them and after about 5 minutes she asked me to take over because "I just can't handle this anymore mommy."  Made me laugh.  Also made me wonder how many times I've said that lately that she's picked up that exact phrase.

Anyway, I'm sitting here pretty much sobbing and I thought I just need to get my mind off of this and I haven't posted any of my 100 Happy Days pictures at all and we're a few weeks in so maybe I should catch up a little and remind myself of all the wonderful things I have in my life to make me happy.

Happy Day #1 -- This beautiful text print came in the mail today!!  Now I can start on a quilt I am super excited about!  (Ok so I've decided to add further commentary in parenthesis because I can type much easier and faster on the computer than on my phone -- so I've got all the fabric cut but haven't even started on the sewing yet because, ironically, I'm in the middle of a baby quilt for a friend.  But I can't even tell you how happy fabric makes me.  Unfortunately, when I get too happy about fabric, our bank account gets pretty sad.

Happy Day #2 -- Three kids all happily engaged in coloring (or eating markers).  No fighting, no whining.  Just peace.  For a few minutes at least! (Megan is still our little artist -- more about that later -- Abby likes to do what her sister does and William likes to draw on pretty much everything with marker.  He knows when it's crayons and isn't quite as excited about it.)

Happy day #3 -- Fabulous fabric shopping with a fantastic friend!!!!! (So now I'm wondering how many of my happy days photos will be fabric related . . . but I do have the best friends here.  Amazing support system.)

Happy Day #4 -- I should have taken a picture of the crepes!  But a morning spent at a girly baby shower for a dear friend was a great way to spend the Saturday.  Baby girl things are too much fun!!  (So the girl whose baby shower this was had her baby today -- and I'm so so happy for her but, yeah, girly things are super fun!)

Happy Day #5 -- I'm always touched when people are thoughtful of my children.  Today a friend at church brought the girls colorful feathers from her parrot.  It made their day and mine!!!

 Happy Day #6 -- After weeks of watching the nature Duckumentary, I finally took William to see them live and in person.  Now we need to go to the zoo!!  (William screams at all birds and tries to follow them.  He also really really loves dogs and just runs up to them which is not good actually.  I'm trying to teach him to wait and ask to pet them first.  If you haven't seen the nature Duckumentary that's narrated by Paul Giamatti you need to see it -- it's great.)

 Hmmm, I'm missing Day #7 -- I'll have to find it.

Day # 8 -- Some days you have to create happy.  Grocery shopping -- bad idea.  Library -- bad idea.  Park with lunch and scooters -- good idea.  Now that William is happy hopefully I can be!  And there's always nap time coming.

Day # 9 -- Pool weather already?  I love the kids playing outside every day!!

Well that's a start.  I do feel better actually.  Now to get the rest of them up to date so that I'm not so behind!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yay For Dads!!

Right now Chopper is sitting on the couch watching back to back to back to back episodes of Top Gear.  It's a British tv show where they evaluate cars.  I have to admit that it's entertaining although for me, not 4 hours of it.  But it's Father's Day.

He also got biscuits and gravy for dinner and a no-bake cheesecake (which wasn't as good as I normally think -- maybe I've had too much real cheesecake lately -- not a bad thing).  I bought him a fishing book, Megan drew him a great picture, and Abby filled out a questionnaire about Chopper at church that has some really great answers.  (I'll post that picture later, it's on my phone)

But what really got me today was Chopper telling me about his lesson for his Valiant 10/11 boys today.  The Primary lesson was on the 10 Commandments and he talked to the boys about how so many "thou shalt nots" actually free us rather than restrict us.  It sounds like it was a great lesson and I look forward to him explaining it to our kids someday.  But primarily I'm grateful that he has a strong understanding of Gospel principles as the leader of our family.  I'm grateful that he's willing to sit in primary week after week and share his knowledge and his personality and talents with 10 and 11 year old boys.  I'm grateful that he provides for our family and considers our needs and even our wants. I love that when I'm carrying William to nursery he's yelling for daddy (well I don't love the yelling but you get it!) and that the girls adore him as well.

I'm grateful that both my husband and my father are worthy holders of the Priesthood and able to give beautiful, Spirit-guided blessings to me and my children.  And they both have. 

I'm grateful for these things because I want to always be with my husband and connected to my father and have Chopper connected to our children.  And they're both doing that right.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Off to a good start!

Summer has begun!!  This year we don't have any major plans for it either.  We try to get to Michigan to see my parents and escape the heat but this year they are moving to Las Vegas.  So with the chaos of the move (yay for selling their house fast though!) we won't be visiting Michigan.  And quite frankly, I don't think we'll EVER visit Las Vegas in the summer!  Our visits to Grandma and Grandpa may now have to be spring break visits!

Monday and Tuesday though we were blessed with some absolutely fantastic morning weather.  Monday it rained (which we desperately needed -- still do actually) and Tuesday morning we woke up, ate breakfast, jumped in the car, and got to the Arboretum just as it was opening.  Beautiful weather, a nice breeze, and very few people?  I'll take that any day!!

 A lot of my pictures involved the kids running away from me.  That's not really a reflection on me of course but more on how excited they were to just go.  William especially.  He was in heaven!

They took down the Texas history houses (well, wagon, and early settlers -- can you call those things houses?) and put up several "bird houses" that teach about birds.  The owl one was the coolest looking by far but the inside of this nest one had bird tracks all over the floor and a sign on the wall that you could use to identify each set of tracks.  That was really interesting although it also highlighted my most recent behavior struggle with Megan -- she has to be first or right every single time and throws a fit when she's not.  It's driving me bonkers and I don't know what to do about it.  I feel like all she does is whine, complain, tantrum, or cry.  Sorry -- maybe that's for another post.  Suggestions anyone?

A nice man offered to take this picture of us.  Megan refused.

Abby is fascinated by magnolia trees and their flowers lately.  I don't know if it's the size or the flowers on trees but she loves them.

This is funny though.  I was trying to get her to tilt her head a little to get a cute pose out of her.  This is her tilt.  And then when I laughed she had to do every picture leaning further and further over.  I have to admit though, she takes some great selfies with me.  I just need to get them off my phone and on the blog because they are good.  I love that she can be a ham. 

William wanted to climb the frog and threw a fit when I said no so that's when we left.

But after we popped in to Chopper's work and said hi to daddy and disrupted all his co-workers.  I really like a lot of his co-workers actually and it's fun to see them.  They love seeing the kids and always have treats at the ready!!

Abby asked me where the pumpkins were.  That really is her favorite time of year -- fall and Halloween.  She asks me about it at least once a week.  I'm not sure why no other holiday compares.  I would think that presents would trump candy but apparently not!  But she's got a whole summer to get through before we get there, which reminds me that I need to get her preschool paperwork in!!!